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Three Days

NOVEMBER 05, 2022


Three

11/04/22 09:00 AM

For the record, there are now three days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

I'm thinking seriously about adding another category to my list over in the left-hand menu. Weather! I really enjoy it and have posted a good deal about it (especially during hurricane season and in previous locations.)

I get weather pop-ups from Google all of the time (as can be seen below) and, in addition to the local report I get on my laptop and my phone, there's a lot to be posted.

In fact, the pop-up below mentions today's report to our west which is coming this way. It's likely to be our report tomorrow based on what I'm already seeing.

This is going to be a big project so I suppose I better get started.

Update: I'm amazed at how fast that effort went. I guess it wasn't as big a project as I had anticipated.

A new weather file consisting of almost 50 copied and pasted posts and an updated menu are in place. With two hours invested a new Weather category of all previous weather posts is ready and available!

wx110422-1.jpg



Final Ian Report

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022


Ian 092922 - 1

09/29/22 07:30 AM

Well, where Ian goes from here is, once again, anyone's guess. This will be my final report on tropical storm Ian. It's crossing the Florida peninsula and looks like it will be headed up the east coast of the USA.

Best to everyone up that way.




155 mph

SEPTEMBER 28, 2022


Ian 092822 - 1

09/28/22 07:10 AM

My how things can change in a short period of time. Ian is now only 2 mph away from a category 5 hurricane and is still in the gulf. The bottom of a category 5 is 157 mph and Ian is currently at 155.

It looks like our friends up on the pan handle may be spared the brutality of a direct hit. They currently have a forecast of 1-3 foot storm surge. I haven't seen a wind forecast, but I suspect they will be looking at the outer bands on the clean side of things if the forecast holds true.




More on Ian

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022


Ian 092722 - 1

09/27/22 07:30 AM

Still looks like Ian may yet work its way over toward Jacksonville, Florida according to the latest forecast.

It's my understanding that the two major spaghetti models (Europe and USA) are in conflict with one another. I believe the European model has it headed toward Jacksonville, Florida and the USA model has it moving due north. I heard that a few days ago and it may be old information that has changed since then.

If it's still true, I'm guessing the NOAA website, from which my image is pulled, is leaning on the European model. Shouldn't be long before we know which is right, if they are still in conflict with each other.

Windspeeds are currently at 125 mph, which is a solid category 3, and nearing the top end of that category's range (129 mph.) I'm guessing it won't have a problem reaching a category 4 and may do so soon, if not by the next forecast.




Still Tracking Ian

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022


Ian 092622 - 1

09/26/22 08:20 AM

Still tracking Ian.

Looks like Ian may yet work its way over toward Jacksonville, FL according to the latest forecast.

Just proves they really have no idea what Ian is going to do. And quite honestly, there's nothing wrong with that. Ian's movement results from numerous forces playing against one another and constantly changing.

I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for the forecast. At best, it's a guessing game. All we can know with any level of confidence is what it has done and where it's at currently.

And so we keep tracking it.

I'm still very curious about what categories will be realized during its travel along its path and when and where those changes will occur.

Footnotes

Ian 092622 - 2

More on Ian

09/26/22 12:30 PM

Not much to do except track until Ian shows some intentions. Tomorrow should provide some critical direction and it looks like Wednesday will tell the tale.

Ian 092622 - 3

Interesting!

09/26/22 04:10 PM

Looks like they're moving toward the option that includes Jacksonville, Florida. We'll see...




Tracking Ian

SEPTEMBER 25, 2022


Ian 092522 - 1

09/25/22 07:20 AM

Still tracking Ian.

There's no easy way to pray for Ian's movement. One way or the other, someone is going to be affected. Having been through Michael with the ultimate fear of losing one's place of residence, I know what folks are feeling down there.

The anticipation is gut wrenching. And so is the wait to see what really happens beyond what the forecast tells us is going to happen.

I remember the changes that took place with Michael back in October of 2018. I vividly remember watching the ocean sensors, located where we lived, from the view on my phone at the hotel in Tallahassee.

I remember the last reading of seven feet above mean high tide before the power must have shut off. Apparently, that was the last accurate reading from those sensors for the water continued to climb an additional two feet according to the evidence at our home.

We lost power at the hotel too. As I've mentioned before, we were without electricity for ten days at the house.

We had to climb straight up a sixteen-foot ladder to get into the house. We were blessed to have our handy man come out and immediately go to work on replacing the stairs to our home that Michael's surge had ripped away.

Within two weeks, we were perilously climbing up twenty-five feet of new stairs, where rails had not yet been added, to the top level and living quarters of our home. Only a few days before had our electricity been restored and we were celebrating the return of those creature comforts that had been lost without it.

Next on the priority list was restocking the refrigerator and it would be quite a while before things got back toward normal. I took a kayak ride around Live Oak Island where we lived, and the carnage that so many suffered was difficult to process.

Footnotes

Ian 092522 - 2

Still Tracking Ian

09/25/22 11:40 AM

Wow! If this forecast continues to hold true, it's going to slam directly into the location where we used to live. That's hard to imagine since we've already experienced some pretty dreadful impacts from previous storms and hurricanes that didn't land right on top of us.

And, if the category four projection continues to prove true, or even gets elevated to a category five as happened after-the-fact with hurricane Michael, we're in for some chilling reports coming out of that area.

God help 'em all!

Ian 092522 - 3

AccuWeather?

09/25/22 03:40 PM

This is a bit perplexing! The above forecast was presented by AccuWeather about six hours ago and the forecast below was presented by the same about an hour ago. I haven't seen such a dramatic change represented by anyone else. I'm also not seeing anyone suggesting a track over toward Jacksonville or the dramatic changes for hurricane categories. Seems odd to me. I guess we'll see...

Ian 092522 - 4

Ian 092522 - 5

Noaa Forecast

09/25/22 04:10 PM

Well, the latest NOAA forecast does show subtle signs of a slight eastward shift, but nothing like that which is being suggested by AccuWeather. I wonder if that AccuWeather report was issued by a rogue reporter LOL!




Ian

SEPTEMBER 24, 2022


Ian 092422 - 1

09/24/22 07:10 AM

The black star indicates the point where we used to live. We were right on the gulf, in a flood zone, and highly prone to any kind of storm surge.

As I mentioned before, we had to flee the house several times in the four years we lived there. Booking hotels at the last minute up in Tallahassee was always a bit stressful and never any fun. Not when so much was riding on the outcome.

We now live up in the northeast quadrant of Alabama and may get some rain and light winds from this storm. But that sure beats the heck out of storm surge.

Will continue to track the storm, especially as it is predicted to become a category three hurricane with winds possible near 130 mph.

Footnotes

Ian 092422 - 2

Good News / Bad News

09/24/22 09:45 AM

The good news is that it looks like our friends, down on the Florida coast where we used to live, are going to get the 'clean' side of the storm if the forecast proves to be true. And, assuming an accurate forecast, the folks along the west coast of the Florida peninsula are in for a rough ride on the dirty side of the storm. It appears especially true for the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area.

Ian 092422 - 3

Shifting Westward?

09/24/22 01:00 PM

We've got another position report / map due out, but the weather forecasters are showing and reporting a shift to the west. I can see it in the 8 AM report from this morning, pictured directly above.

Ian 092422 - 5

More Westward Shift?

09/24/22 05:45 PM

I've posted the latest position report / map that was due out earlier, and it appears to reflect further shifting to the west. In fact, it seems that the place where we used to live is now in the center of the projected path.




Hurricane Forecast

SEPTEMBER 23, 2022


Forecast 092322 - 2

09/23/22 09:20 AM

Well, things are unfolding on the weather front as we sort of feared they would. The image of the forecast says it all.

Of course, and as we have learned all too often, a lot can happen when it comes to the predicted path of a potential hurricane. We've seen it over and over again.

It's nothing more than a hurry up and wait game, and when you're in the path it doesn't feel like a game at all. That risk, as they see it down there, is the price of paradise. I heard that all too often, and even came to believe it.

But now, having moved away from the high risk of storm surge and flooding, I no longer think of the price of paradise. I see it more as a matter that we just didn't know what we didn't know. We came for the romance and enjoyed it as long as we could.

But it was time to leave, and leave we did.

Footnote

Forecast 092322 - 3

What a Difference 6 Hours Makes

09/23/22 11:15 AM

The prior forecast was for 2 AM and this one is for 8 AM. The two standouts are the higher windspeed probabilities and the sense of commitment to the storm riding up the west coast of the Florida peninsula, instead of cutting across toward Jacksonville as occurred with a previous storm.




Hurricanes

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022


hur092122

09/21/22 09:30 AM

I used to watch the hurricane map like a hawk. That's because we lived right on the Gulf of Mexico south of Tallahassee in the city of Crawfordville. As Hurricanes approached, we had to flee our home several times in the four years we lived there.

I don't stay glued to those hurricane maps anymore, but my better half did bring to my attention the fact that we've got a disturbance brewing just above South America and one of the spaghetti models is forecasting it to cross over the area where we used to live. Apparently, the gulf is at a point where it could convert a storm into a severe hurricane.

I didn't know much about things like the dirty side of the storm until we moved down to the area. In fact, it never came up in all the years I remember seeing hurricanes down in Hialeah, Florida as a kid.

Back then, we dealt with Hurricane Cleo in 1964 and Hurricane Betsy in 1965. If I remember correctly, both reached a category 4 in their lifetime and I vividly remember walking out onto the street in front of our house, and into the stillness of the eye, on one of them.

Nothing could have prepared me for the damage and stress that came with Hurricane Michael in October of 2018, only three months after I retired from IBM. And, the part of Michael that produced real devastation in Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach missed us to our west, but hit our friends Troy and Connie pretty hard.

We had to flee that one and had evidence of a nine-foot surge when we returned. We lost stairs up to the house on the third level and everything on the first level was completely obliterated including our elevator and storage room where things like fishing equipment was stored. We were also without electricity for a total of ten days.

We moved to Spanish Fort, Alabama, but decided that wasn't far enough away from the worries of Hurricanes. As a result, we decided after less than a year to head on up to our present location in the northern part of Alabama with the hopes of leaving the hurricanes behind.

Still, I'll never be able to see the reports from those storms as I did some decades ago. I now understand that real lives are being affected. I understand it because I know exactly what it looks and feels like, even if we were spared the ultimate devastation experienced only a few miles away.




First Storm

AUGUST 16, 2022


Storm 1

08/16/22 07:00 AM

Yesterday, I would say we experienced our first windy, rainy, storm up here in Ohatchee. It came in from the north which is generally the back of our house and there was enough wind to drive the rain onto our back deck and up against the windows.

The wind was strong enough to move the back deck furniture all around and in different places from where we had set it. A few of the times I looked out the window, it truly looked like white-out conditions.

Fortunately, as quickly as it moved in, in moved out. We've all heard of the quiet before the storm, but this was the quiet after the storm. Patty and I went out and set the furniture back where it belonged and marveled at the amount of water the storm left on the back deck furniture.

I guess I'll have an opportunity today to see how effective the new gutter hose was in moving the water away from the house. Should be interesting.




Rainfall

AUGUST 15, 2022


Rainfall

08/15/22 07:33 AM

I'm not quite sure what we were expecting in terms of weather with our move up to this area in more northern Alabama. I suppose a reduction in rainfall would be accurate, but we've still had quite a bit of rain in the forecasts as well as in the real weather.

I noticed the current ten day forecast has us looking at nine days of rain. That probably won't be our reality, but that is what is in the forecast presently.

We moved from Spanish Fort, Alabama and the annual rainfall there is forecast at 66.8 inches. Just across the bay, Mobile, Alabama comes in at 67 inches, which is supposed to be the rainiest city in the United States.

We also lived in Crawfordville, Florida which is forecast at 53 inches per year. I think living on the water provided us with a more similar rainfall to our neighbors in St. Marks, Florida with 58 inches.

In line with our expectations for a reduction in rainfall and accompanying our move to this area, Ohatchee checks in with a forecast of 52 inches annually. Not much of a reduction, but (as they say) it is what it is, so we'll take it.




More Blog Updates

MAY 16, 2022


New Blog Update

05/14/22 7:55 AM

I added back a web log yesterday (Friday, May 13th) and it's been interesting to see the locations where the hits are originating. I can't tell who's there, but I can tell that the hits are coming from users who are clients of the web service providers that own the pool of IP addresses from which the hits are coming.

I also intend to add back the capability to keep my IP address logged so that I can eliminate any logging activity that comes from that IP address. That will allow me to make changes to the blog without those updates presenting log entries.

I'm also anticipating adding back the capability to see website stats for the hits on the menu and various pages on the website. It will be interesting to see what's being reviewed and how often, and also whether or not the hits are coming from users via web providers or web crawlers owned by folks like Google.

More on that to come as I get things developed.

Foot Notes

05/14/22 03:50 PM

Well, in paragraph #2 above, I went ahead and wrote some code with a hard-coded IP address in it. That should suffice in the short-term, since my IP almost never changes, but I'll need to update that code to remove the hard-coded IP address and ensure the tested IP address is the current IP address - just in case the IP address does change.

From paragraph #3 above, I went ahead and finished up the hit counters for all of the pages I built. I won't be tracking visits to other sites, but will be tracking all visits to anything I have built, which turned out to be 15 pages in total.

I want to dabble with some more changes to the tracking of visits and the logging, but am not quite sure what I want to add. More to come on that...

While I'm able and usually do write at least a day ahead of anything I publish, I've also added the capability to review unpublished material as it will appear when it is published and have been enjoying that feature for a while now. It's pretty cool the way it works!

I've also manually added the owners of the webcrawlers and web service providers to the log entires and plan to add some code to do that automatically. That should be an interesting project! (Addendum) In fact, I've been doing some of that today (05/15/22) and it turns out to be a very interesting and challenging project!

05/15/22 7:00 PM

Finally getting some much needed rain as can be seen below.

WX051522-2

Looks like we received a solid inch of rain from that storm.

WX051522-2




Weather Forecasts

APRIL 06, 2022


WXFC

04/06/22 8:08 AM

I remember living in Albany, Georgia back as a kid. We had Gil Patrick doing the weather forecast on WALB TV Channel 10. I remember him vividly sharing how difficult it was to provide accurate forecasts for that area because of a three way impact from 1) approaching weather from the northwest and 2) weather pushing up from the gulf and 3) weather pushing in from the eastern part of the state due to things moving in from the Atlantic ocean.

I also remember living on the gulf coast south of Tallahassee when hurricane Michael arrived and how shocked I was, not only for what we experienced on the coast, but for the devastation that was faced by Albany, Georgia when that same storm arrived up that way.

I'm beginning to think that the forecasters here in the Spanish Fort and Mobile, Alabama area must face the same thing because of the variation between weather forecasts and what really happens in this area. It seems the forecast changes at hyper-speed and always right up to the last minute. It's difficult to make plans when things change like that.

My big challenge du jour is to figure out when the weather is going to cooperate and allow me to get in my run. Yesterday Patty and I scrambled and finished up our outings just before the rain moved in. I knew it was going to be close, and it was!




SkyWarn

APRIL 03, 2022


SkyWarn

I got a call a couple of days ago indicating my repaired power supply was being shipped back to me. It was supposed to go out either last Tuesday or Wednesday and if the trip out there was any indication, it could take a week for me to get it back.

I shipped it UPS on a Monday and it was to arrive the next Monday, which would have been this past Monday. If it takes a week to get it back, we're looking at the middle of this week coming up. I hope it will be sooner.

My power supply drives everything in the shack and without it I'm pretty much dead in the water and off the air. The exceptions to that being my Handy Talkie and EchoLink on my cell phone.

I played with EchoLink during the storm last week but am hoping to have a working 2 meter base station if the power supply makes it back in time. If not, I may check into the SkyWarn net via EchoLink if a storm arrives as is currently in the forecast and if it's bad enough to require a net.

I've always been very active on 2 meters during my time in the ham radio hobby and I'm amazed I have not talked on it yet in the seven months I've been here in the Spanish Fort, Alabama area. There's quite a large and active crowd of locals on 2 meters so I have no excuse for not getting on and at least saying hi to everyone.

Maybe this week.




Weather Today

APRIL 02, 2022


Wx 040222

Well, we had a tiny bit of rain and thunder this morning. Just enough to drag me out of bed to put the covers on the outdoor fireplace and furniture and bring in the large umbrella.

Don't remember the exact time but it was somewhere between 5 and 6 am and the thunder was rolling although no rain had fallen. On the other hand, it looked (and sounded) like it could happen at any minute.

Looking outside it's clear that we got our rain, although I must admit that I never heard it. I must have been sleeping pretty heavily because I don't remember much of anything after I rolled back into the bed.

It was nice to get back in bed after my morning outdoor adventure and to sleep in a bit later than usual. It's 8:22 AM CDST as I type and I'm working on my first cup of coffee as Lily the cat and I put together today's post.

I usually stay a day ahead with my posts but had a very busy day in the back yard yesterday and didn't have the strength to come up with a topic or to write about it. And so, here I sit at the keyboard on April 2, 2022.




Last Night's Weather

MARCH 31, 2022


Last night's stormy weather included plenty of tornados here in the area.

The storm is arriving from the west. We're on the approaching edge.

wx2

Tracking a rotation.

wx3

The storm is right on top of us.

wx4

Our local TV station tracks the debris field from a tornado nearby.

wx5

My Power Supply is out for repairs so listening in on EchoLink with my cell phone.

wx5




Strings and Things

MARCH 23, 2022


Pollen Strings

I'm still writing my blog posts a day ahead and tonight we've got some wild weather with which to contend. Hard to tell if it's going to break up before it arrives, but the TV weather prognosticators seem to feel it's going to hang around and bring some bad stuff to the area.

By the time anyone reads this, the excitement will be over. And, hopefully there won't be any evidence left of the high winds we're now experiencing, with the possible exception of a pool toy or two that got blown around.

I've stayed on top of pool skimming throughout the day and particularly with the pollen strings that keep blowing into the water. In addition to the manual skimming, I've cleaned out the automatic skimmer twice today and both times it's been full of those crazy looking strings.

Looks like what we'll be left with is some lows back in the 40's while highs will still reach into the low 70's. Only one more day of rain on the calendar for this month and it's slated to arrive at the end of the month. Looks like we've got some good running weather coming up!




Cold Temps

MARCH 13, 2022


Cold Temps

Well for the past few days, today included, I've been writing a day ahead on my blog. So, I'm writing on March 12 with the intention of publishing when I get up tomorrow morning on the 13th.

I only share that because the weather issues we're currently facing, and have moving in on us, will be long gone by the time anyone has an opportunity to read this post.

Today's run was a cold one! Air temperature is in the 40's but with the wind chill it's in the low to mid 30's. That does not make for a pleasant run as most anyone could imagine. With winds around 25 mph and gusts up to twice that, I felt like I was running in place more than once.

But tonight is when the excitement moves in. We're supposed to drop down into the mid to upper 20's. That's as cold as I ever remember it getting here or in Florida. And despite the high winds that have been loading leaves in the pool, I'm going to need to run the pool pump to keep the pipes from freezing. That means I'll need to skim the pool once more this evening to ensure the automatic skimmer doesn't get clogged up after an all-night run with the pool pump.

I honestly had no idea what I was getting into when we purchased a house with a pool, but I can also honestly say that I'm enjoying the challenge and learning a lot by keeping up with things rather than hiring them out. Even with the extra attention and effort that's required, it's still about what I expected.

I had initially planned to hire out the pool support. However, after doing it for a while to ensure I understood what needed to be done and how it was to be done, I figured the added pool support expense wasn't justified. As such, I made the choice to continue with my pool support role, enjoy the savings, and have not looked back since.




Weather

MARCH 07, 2022


Rain

With retired life, I love keeping up with the weather. It's always interesting and promises new experiences, no matter the forecast.

Over the years I've watched the weather mostly to plan my daily runs. But, in retirement watching the weather has become sort of a hobby.

I must say, if we received all the rain that is constantly forecast for our area we would probably need to build an ark. It's interesting to see how quickly the forecast changes and even more interesting to watch the threatening weather dissipate just before it reaches our area. That seems to happen quite often around here.

Of course, we've had our fair share of rain but nothing to compete with the torrential downpours that have been forecast for our area. Like I said, it's very interesting to watch those threatening bands of weather literally dry up and go away just before reaching us.

Such is looking like the case for today. And, we've got a rainy forecast for the week too, so it will be interesting to see how that unfolds.




More Weather

JANUARY 16, 2022


Wx 011622

Looks like things on the weather front are going to be more interesting than originally anticipated. We're going to have several nights with well below freezing temperatures this week. Mid to upper 20's will be nothing to sneeze at.

We welcome Allie a week from tomorrow and I can't say that the forecast has anything tropical in store for her as we had hoped. Still, we're looking forward to our time with her and a little cold and wet weather won't slow down anything we want to do.

We're picking up groceries this morning and there's a small chance that we may see a flurry or two while we're out. The weather pattern is interesting with a rotation centered on Birmingham and below freezing temps on the outside of that system. That's the one that might hit us with a flurry or two while we're out.

We'll see!

SIDE NOTE

Ran today, but between the cold temps and the wind the run was pretty brutal. The temp was 42°F and with the wind chill the online report said it felt like 36°F.

I decked out in some pretty warm clothes, which for me is very unusual even in the coldest of temps. I'm typically a short (running) pants kind of guy but today I opted for a cozy jogging suite and was not disappointed when I got out and started running.

So, running shoes, long pants, long socks, long sleeve shirt, jogging suit, ball cap, and a hoodie on the jogging suit top that I used for over 75% of the run. Needless to say, I didn't see anyone out walking or running. I was the only fool out on the road today!




Weather

JANUARY 15, 2022


Wx 011522

Among other things, my Twitter profile says all things Geek and that includes the weather. I'm a big fan of anything weather related and especially unusual weather.

We've got a forecast for rain today and even that seems a bit unusual these days. We've also got a forecast in the week to come for some below freezing nighttime temperatures.

That means my dear wife will be covering up her plants and I will be running the pool pump in the evening in order to keep the water moving and avoid frozen pipes. The cost of a little electricity winds up being a very small price to pay in order to avoid larger expenses for repairing a frozen pump and/or pipes.




Running Weather

JANUARY 02, 2022


Running Weather

Patty and I were eating our sandwiches for lunch when I saw her look out the front window with a surprised glance. It was pouring down rain and she saw a runner on the front sidewalk who must have been caught in it. Clearly, she felt bad for the guy and so did I.

Patty and I both know what it's like to get caught in the rain on a run. In fact when we lived in Pensacola we both got caught in a rain storm on one of our walks together. I gave her my ball cap to keep the rain out of her eyes and for a while thereafter, I think we both wore ball caps on our walks.

By 2:00 PM today the weather map was providing an all clear until around 6:00 PM so I put on my running clothes and headed for the front door. My sweet wife asked if I wanted her to pick me up if it started raining and I assured her I had checked and rain wasn't in the near-term forecast. A simple, "Sure, thanks!" was probably more appropriate than a lengthy explanation, but I didn't think of it in time.

I hate it when I do that!




Weather

DECEMBER 18, 2021


Weather 12/18/21

One of the things on my geeky list that I truly enjoy is tracking the weather. I got up around 7 AM this morning and took a look at the weather map on my phone since the forecast had been calling for a day full of rain.

Sure enough, it looked like the rain would be moving in around 9 AM. So, I hurried around the house to start my morning list and was out for my run by 7:30. By the time I got back, everything had changed and it looked like the weather would be all around us but not on top of us.

Funny how weather does that! And, as can be seen on the map, it still looks like we're in for something big later in the day if it doesn't fade out before it arrives, as is so often the case around here.

I suspect we've already had enough rain to activate that mole cricket bait about which I wrote and that I put out recently. If not, and if today's forecast holds together, I suspect the mole cricket bait should be easily activated before the day is over.

SIDE NOTE

Run Map 2

My watch did an update and now tracks relative speed with my two mile runs. In other words, it's not reporting actual speeds during the run, but is color indicating the faster and slower portions of the run on a relative basis.

Pretty cool!

Of course, the data dump is done from my watch to my phone via bluetooth and the track is displayed on my phone, which I can then capture and share.




Cool Runnings

DECEMBER 16, 2021


Cool Runnings

I'm going to miss these cool temps when spring and summer roll in. The online thermometer says it's 66°F here in Spanish Fort. How about that for mid-December weather!

Unlike yesterday, there was almost zero breeze today, but the cool air more than made up for the difference. I need to enjoy these runs for I know how I will long for this weather (and comfort) with warmer days ahead.

The legs were a bit weary after yesterday's run, but I did make it the entire two miles as planned. I've learned over the years that when I take a break from running, the third day back is always the toughest. I suppose I have that to look forward to when tomorrow roles around.

Total time for the two miles was 18:41 with mile one's pace at 9:47 and mile two coming in at 8:54. My Garmin calculates 252 calories burned with an AHR of 143 and a MHR of 160. That should drop down significantly as I get back in shape although there's very little level ground on the course so AHR and MHR are always going to be higher than they used to be when I was running a very flat and level course.

Part of the high heart rate was due to my pushing the pace a bit, which I probably did to excess considering it was only day two of being back to running. That's one lesson I don't seem to learn, although I am very careful on those down-hill stretches after learning a very hard lesson decades ago.

Per yesterday's post, I did Google the local races and it appears I have one to look forward to in each of the first three months of 2022. This will also make for an interesting 2022 in terms of total miles run since I'm back at it again.




IT'S HERE!

JUNE 01, 2021



Hurricane Season


WEATHER

MAY 29, 2021



WX 05/29/21

Well, the weather front that was headed this way looked much worse last night then it does this morning as it's just arriving. The video forecast doesn't have it getting past us until about 1:00 PM, but it's hard to imagine what I'm seeing on the map lasting that long. I guess time will tell.

SIDE NOTE:

It's exciting to see our house listed on Zillow this morning. It looks like it actually was published yesterday afternoon, but I had no idea our agent would get something up and running that soon.

The picture guy is coming by today, and there's a note online that his stuff will be added soon. Looking forward to seeing the finished product (including the drone footage.)

SIDE NOTE:

The 10 AM Saturday morning Crawfordville radio club 'gatherings' are back on the calendar and scheduled to start today. Not sure how the rain will affect them and not sure how my plans will shake out now that we're moving.

We'll see...




HURRICANE PREP

MAY 22, 2021



Hurricane Prep
Monitoring the track of Hurricane Delta back in October of 2020.

This morning we had a 3 hour hurricane preparedness net hosted out of Tallahassee by the TARS club. We had close to 20 people check in on the Tallahassee repeater and went through a variety of exercises.

The net involved the practice of passing traffic, testing various repeaters, testing simplex communications, and testing the dependability of everything mentioned from a mobile standpoint.

Dave, W4WES, led the exercise and did a great job. He had several team members stationed at various key points throughout Leon County. He also had check-ins from several other counties including Jefferson, Madison, and my check in from Wakulla county.

I really appreciated the round-table approach to the exercise and the way that this kept everyone involved, and not just sitting back and listening. I also thought it was a great idea to do a post-op on the exercise and see what people thought went well or needed refining.

I left the event doing my own post-op to consider what possible situations I might find us in before, during, and after a hurricane and what kind of equipment might be necessary in each of those situations. That was a particularly helpful exercise for me personally.

I know our repeater tech mentioned at our most recent meeting that we would be connecting our repeater to Echolink. That will be a big positive for me since it will allow me to connect with my phone if and when I might be out of repeater range.

There's a lot to think about. I'm glad I've been through this a few times here and have a better feel for what my personal situation might look like. I'm especially aware of the need for battery power and remote operations in places like Crawfordville or Tallahassee hotels, and even if we return back home but are still without power for a period of time, as was the case with the 10 day powerless stretch after Hurricane Michael.




MAY 12, 2021



Kindness

A couple of days ago I was at the gym. As I was driving out of the parking lot after my workout I noticed a bumper sticker with flowers all over it on one of the other cars. The sticker also contained two simple words:

Kindness Matters

As a guy with Asperger's (and who knows what all else is in that mix) my focus on the task far too often leaves me insensitive to those around me. In fact I'm learning that there must be some OCD in there as well because I'm too often focused on being efficient when there's no real need to be. And, it often becomes a distraction to pull my focus away from the people around me.

It truly pains me to look back at what I didn't know. In fact, it really pains me to consider the season with my parents when Asperger's wasn't even on anyone's radar. What must they have thought? I wish I knew then what I know now and could go back and offer them an explanation for my odd behaviors.

The good news about being a dude with Asperger's is that I don't tend to fight anxiety and I don't tend to look back or cry over spilt milk. That's fortunate because it enables me to let go and let God...

I think dad understood because he exhibited some of the same behaviors as did his father before him. So, maybe the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, as they say.

On the other hand, my neurotypical mom must have felt completely out of place in our household. Fortunately, I can look back and see that her deep love for me stood stronger than did my oddities. And now, the wife with whom I am so blessed picks up right where my mom left off and carries love, patience, kindness, and understanding to a new and much higher level!

Thank you Lord for showing me these things. Please help me to learn how to be more like my dear, sweet, and servant-minded wife!

SIDE NOTE:

This is what the weather looks like over in Pensacola, Florida and about 200 miles to our west. If it holds together and makes it over this way, as I would expect it to do, it's going to be an interesting day!

Kindness

SIDE NOTE:

In our bible study, Patty and I were in Romans 14 today. It's really interesting to see that God formed each of us unique to the other and that his mercy and grace meets each of us at a different place, sensitive to our uniqueness. That really is amazing when I think about it, that God recognizes the strengths and weaknesses that He put in me and that He utilizes my strengths and cares for me in my weaknesses.

SIDE NOTE:

And, this is what the weather looked like when it finally caught up with us around 2:00 PM. Plenty of lightning, thunder, and rain, but doesn't look nearly as threatening as it did earlier in Pensacola.

Kindness


NEW FEATURE!

Yesterday, I added a new feature called Side Notes. I'll be announcing this new feature for the next few days in case anyone misses it. I tend to write a day ahead and, as a result, some of the things that occur and might be worth writing about go without attention here on the blog. It has happened often enough that I want to make the change.

Side notes will be located at the end of the daily post and, as I said, will reflect any additional things that might be worth sharing on the day that they occurred. They will be added after the daily post goes out (and may be added more than once in a day) so it may become relevant to check back on a previous day's post for any side notes that might have been added.

PATIENCE

MAY 11, 2021



Patience

Wow! Do I ever have a story from real life for today's post!

I was going to title this post Patience & Kindness and it was my intention to write about what God's doing in my life in both of those areas. However, God moved in a (technical? and humorous!) way to point out that each topic deserved its own post. So, I'm saving Kindness for tomorrow and opening with Patience today.

Both topics also sit on God's fruit of the spirit list, which consists of nine important things including Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. I could use a lot of work in all of those areas, but I'll start with the two that I tend to believe are in need of the most attention.

I should also mention that my NIV bible lists forbearance in the place of Patience. Personally, I prefer Patience because I think it better distinguishes itself from Self Control, which is also on the list.

Yesterday I had one of those real life experiences. If I could rewind the tape, I would have responded very differently. As I rounded a bend in the road, I pulled up on a police car with flashing blue lights and a wrecker. Both appeared to be stopped so I pulled on around using the left lane. What I did not know was that they were finished and were both pulling out to depart that location. So here I am, still in the left (wrong) lane, with both of them picking up speed over in the right (correct) lane.

What was my hurry? In retrospect, I wish I had stopped and waited. I wish I had show a little patience. What would it have hurt for me to wait? In the way that only a person with Asperger's could and would do it, I decided to be more efficient and get on around so I didn't have to wait. I could have easily caused an accident with my attempt to avoid a perceived inconvenience that in reality would have been no inconvenience at all other than a few minutes of my time.

Lord, help me every moment of every day to discover opportunities to be more patient, and to exercise those opportunities. Help me become more aware of my surroundings and remind me that there are real people in each scenario that could be helped by my patience or hindered (and possibly hurt!) by my impatience.

Lord, please remind me that it's not about me but it's about the witness to others that my patience might provide! Lord, let me demonstrate that I care about those other individuals, even if and when they might not be concerned about me.

SIDE NOTE:

Well, I woke up this morning about 4:30 AM to hit the restroom and it came to mind that we're still facing a gas crisis. I looked up online the two gas stations that are close by and found that one is open 24x7.

So, I called and they said they had gas. When I hung up, it came to mind that the lady who answered the phone said, Kangaroo. I realized that I thought it was a Marathon station and checked the number to make sure I had called the right place.

I called once more and a different lady answered with Kangaroo again. I confirmed with her that it was indeed the Marathon station. I mentioned I was out of gas and she assured me they would have gas for me when I got there.

So, I slipped on some clothes and off I went just after 5:00 AM. When I arrived 8 of 10 pumps had vehicles and I slipped into one of the remaining empty spots and filled the tank. Whew! I thanked the Lord right there on the spot, offered a big sigh of relief, and went into the store to get a cup of joe.

The lady who waited on me was very nice - especially for that early hour and she told me that the truck had been there only about an hour ago to refill their tanks. She also mentioned that the store would probably be out of gas again before the morning rush was over. That made me feel good about my early morning adventure! And so here I am, at dark-thirty and in a quiet house, typing in the story and more thankful than ever for God's grace and gas supplying plan!


NEW FEATURE!

Today I'm adding a new feature called Side Notes. I'll be announcing this new feature for the next few days in case anyone misses it. I tend to write a day ahead and, as a result, some of the things that occur and might be worth writing about go without attention here on the blog. It has happened often enough that I want to make the change.

Side notes will be located at the end of the daily post and, as I said, will reflect any additional things that might be worth sharing on the day that they occurred. They will be added after the daily post goes out (and may be added more than once in a day) so it may become relevant to check back on a previous day's post for any side notes that might have been added.

WEBSITE CATEGORIES

MAY 10, 2021



Website Categories

Even though I've chosen to take my website and generally aim the design in the direction of a blog, I've still taken some liberties that aren't quite in keeping with traditional blog designs. You don't have to look very far to see some of the differences.

Once such example is that I've taken a bit of liberty in the way I'm treating Categories. You may notice that I've grouped them with my Home button. This could be a bit confusing to the user, but it has spared me going in directions with my code that I just didn't want to go.

First of all, there are a number of posts that will be viewed by clicking on Home that will not show up under any of the other categories. This is because they're probably not topics about which I write that often. In fact, I initially didn't have any categories listed and only added them in later to help those who might be interested in reading about a particular topic or two.

With this post I'm introducing a new Ham Radio category since it's an interest that earns a lot of my time and about which I've either written or mentioned in more than a few posts. It's also the focus of my Twitter account so I wanted those who might visit this site from that location to have easy access to posts (or mentions) from that category.

SIDE NOTE:

On the way to the gym today, Patty and I were a little over a mile from the house when we both noticed something crawling through the grass no more than a foot from the side of the road. Turns out it was a baby alligator. That was not on my list of expected roadside wildlife and so it took a moment to wrap my head around what I was seeing. And, what a surprise to see one that small and to see if so far from the water. Not sure what to make of that?

SIDE NOTE:

Weather on the way! Waterspout spotted off of the back deck and a screen grab of the current situation as seen on the WCTV weather phone app.

WX

WX

SIDE NOTE:

Well, I was talking on the Tallahassee repeater to a new friend who is down from Athens, Georgia and headed back home tomorrow. He was sharing with me about the challenges he was having at a gas station with the large crowd that was trying to buy gas. He mentioned that he hoped it was just a random thing since he needed gas to get home from Tallahassee back to Athens.

Shortly thereafter I became aware of the hack that occurred on the Colonial Oil pipeline and decided it might be time to go fill the gas tank, just in case. Well, got to the intersection with two local stations and both were already out of gas. Wow! That's the price I pay for being out of touch!

With the low fuel situation I was facing in my car, there was nothing I could do but head back home and wait it out. I can't afford to drive all over town finding empty gas stations and not have enough gas to even get me back home.

So, back home I went and upon my arrival, the computer says I'm good for about 75 more miles. That ought to get me somewhere to refill if and when more gas becomes available.

We're okay for a good while on all other supplies so it may just be a hurry up and wait game.

We'll see...




WEATHER

APRIL 24, 2021



Saturday Weather

I always enjoy the prospects of an interesting weather day and today was supposed to have been just that. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately - for us anyway) most of the weather event has been north of the Florida line, up into both Georgia and Alabama.

Our day started early with high winds and somewhere into the morning we received a warning of high winds that were to extend from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM with gusts from 50 to 70 mph. While we've had some high winds that have slammed a few white caps on the seawall, I don't think we've experienced anything in line with those wind gusts forecasts.

There have been tornado warnings up in South Georgia, and plenty of lightning shows up on the map well to our north, but no evidence of that or anything else down our way. We've got some ominous looking skies, but that's about the extent of it.

High tide was at 1:40, over two hours ago. But, the winds are keeping the tide waters high and may continue to do so for a while based on the forecast for high winds. The ten day forecast shows rain next Friday (a week from yesterday) but other than that we seem to be in the clear.

I've been monitoring 2 meters in case a local weather net came active, but nothing so far on that front either.




NORTH WINDS

APRIL 19, 2021



Flag

After several days of rain, we're looking at five days in a row of sunny skies. It's clearly time to put the new flag back up and I wondered about how secure it might be as I carried it out the door and felt the strong winds hit me in the face.

As for those winds, I think the picture of the flag says it all. The weather website puts our windspeeds at 11 MPH and I'm confident that the gusts are stronger, especially as can be seen in the picture.

I had a great call with Jonathan last night and Patty's enjoying her weekly call with Allie here at 9:23 AM as I type. I'm looking forward to our hitting the gym afterward and then seeing how much painting I can get done today. Hopefully the wind will back off just a bit to make that job more manageable.

If by chance you're here reading, I hope you're having a great day!




PAINT AND RAIN

APRIL 10, 2021



Paint and Rain

Well, the good news on the painting front is that I've painted the places that I was concerned would be the most difficult to paint. In particular, that includes the outside of the deck, rails, and spindles at the top of the second flight of stairs leading up to the house.

I should be able to move to that same area on the interior portion of the stairs and paint on up to the top of the last flight of stairs. From there I will paint the shingles on the house and then tackle the front and back decks. Having finished the stilts and the diagonals was a big step, not to mention the panels on the canal side of the house. It's good to have that behind me and to be moving into a much more readily manageable area.

My greatest challenge at this point is finding a window of good weather. We've had quite a bit of rain lately and when it hasn't been raining the wind has been so strong that it literally blows the paint right off of my brush.

There's a lot of rain called for on the 10-day forecast so I'll be watching closely on the daily forecast for any openings that might allow me to squeeze in some painting. It's not that I just can't wait to paint, but I am looking forward to finishing this project!




TSUNAMIS

APRIL 05, 2021



Tsunamis

I've always been highly passionate about Geek Stuff. My interest in the science and the technology have always taken priority over any interest in the people involved in those arenas.

That's difficult to admit, and I've taken significant steps over the years to try and find a more appropriate balance between the two. But, I'm still forced to acknowledge the reality of my DNA and the way I'm wired.

With the additional free time that retirement has contributed to my schedule, I find myself gravitating toward the learning opportunities built into so many of the YouTube videos that focus on the technical topics of interest to me. Weather has always been high on that list, and lately I've taken a real dive into the science behind earthquakes and tsunamis.

Last night I watched an incredible YouTube video entitled The Wave that Shook the World. It has set me out on a mission to learn more about tsunamis and the four events that trigger them - in particular, earthquakes.

It doesn't stop there either. Studying the underlying causes and effects for these phenomena and gathering an understanding of the terminology and technical data in these arenas is what will better prepare and equip me to take my learning to the next level. What an incredible experience it is to ride along with the experts as they advance our understanding and discover answers to so many difficult questions.




Weather

MARCH 03, 2021



Weather
October 10, 2018: Hurricane Michael comes ashore not too far from us.

One of the things I've always enjoyed over the years is keeping up with the weather. And one of the things that has made that particularly interesting is how it connects with my amateur (ham) radio hobby.

When the weather gets really bad, it's quite common to jump on the VHF (2 meter) radio and check in with the locals to see what's going on. The weather nets, as they are called, are often active during such occurrences and those nets make for an interesting means of tracking the weather, or WX as it's often abbreviated in the ham radio hobby.

Years ago, when we still lived in Atlanta, one of the things that was always interesting was a weather net going on during the afternoon commute. As one can imagine, that tends to be the time of day when those bad storms really crank up. It was one thing to have thunderstorms to contend with during the drive home, but quite another when a tornado or two was thrown in the mix.

I remember working at the Atlanta Financial Center downtown and getting off of the elevator on the ground floor with my 2 meter walkie-talkie in hand and hearing the first reports of a tornado headed our way. The security guards must have also been keeping up with things because they were guiding us away from the outside windows to the building and encouraging folks not to leave the safety of the building until the current threat had passed.

I remember another time where I was already driving home and received a report of a tornado headed straight for the location where I was driving. When those types of reports occur and I suddenly find myself in harm's way, the fun tends to cease and concerns kick in and replace that which was fun and interesting.

I must confess that with major storms on our local radar like Hurricane Michael, my former thoughts of any exciting reports have been replaced with thoughts of the damage and life-changing events (and sometimes life-ending events) that real people are experiencing. It's sobering to say the least.

After what we've seen and experienced firsthand since we moved here to Florida, I just don't look at those serious and attention-grabbing weather reports the same way anymore.




FOGGY RUN

FEBRUARY 11, 2021



Foggy Run

I've run in fog before, but yesterday's fog wins the grand prize. I'm sure it was a bit dangerous to be running in fog that thick on a two lane blacktop, even if it was out here in the county where we don't get much traffic to start with.

Still, with the thick fog I was much more attentive during the run. I usually am able to get in a groove, but yesterday the groove was all about watching for cars popping out of the fog. I did have one or two show up, pretty much out of nowhere, but it wasn't difficult at all to be proactive and steer clear of any trouble.

Using the GPS on my smart watch, I was able to determine that visibility was about 1/20th of a mile or .05 miles. But that honestly sounds farther than it seemed when I was running in that stuff. I was wearing sun glasses just to keep the fog's mist out of my eyes and had to wipe them down more than a few times.

The temp was 62°F when I left and up to 63°F when I arrived bac home. No breeze at all but the mist from the rolling fog made up for it and kept me cool. We seem to be in a season full of gray days, but I'm looking forward to getting back to running in the warm Florida sunshine once again.




Running Weather

FEBRUARY 07, 2021



Running Weather

It was supposed to get into the 60's today but never rose above 52 here on the island. Combine that with the relatively strong winds that were present all day long, and I decided to combat my OCD and (for the first time in a long time) skip my run. I just don't like running in cold conditions!

The wind chill that comes from moderately chilly temps and relatively strong and gusty winds makes for an extremely cold and unpleasant run! (Yes, I actually consider runs in good weather to be pleasant.)

Between wind and cold temps, I can run if even only one is favorable. But when both are working together against me on the cold side (I don't mind the heat!) it's time to pack it in and wait for another day. That's going to be the new anti-OCD rule instead of the one that says run even if there's an approaching lightning storm in the area.

To put things in perspective, I often have to put on my weather prognosticator hat and make timely decisions about windows of opportunity for getting in a run amidst all of the weather that seems to be headed our way. Years ago I mis-read conditions and wound up running in a lightning storm. And, you guessed it, lightning struck a power pole immediately after I passed it on the sidewalk.

And, even more recently, I accounted for approaching weather but failed to anticipate any pop-up rain clouds and wound up putting my wife and I in light rain on one of our chilly outings. Since then, she has very wisely carried an umbrella on those 'iffy' looking days.




A RUN IN THE RAIN

FEBRUARY 01, 2021



A RUN IN THE RAIN

February has arrived with a bang! It's 8:20 am as I type and it's 47 degrees here on Live Oak Island. The internet has our winds at 15 to 25 mph with stronger wind gusts. Far from a good day for running.

From what I can hear (and feel) the gusts are indeed stronger! I just took the garbage out and put some mail in the mailbox and the wind gusts were definitely having their way with me.

Speaking of running, yesterday proved to be interesting. The forecast called for rain all day and well into the evening. However, around noon I saw a hole in the weather on the internet radar and mentioned to Patty that I thought we might have a window to get out as long as there weren't any pop-up storms.

Well, we got out and Patty made a smart move to carry an umbrella just in case. I made the turn for home at 1.5 miles and as I passed Patty at mile 2 it started sprinkling and she had her umbrella out. It sprinkled on me for the first half of my last mile and then it turned to a steady rain. When I got home from my run, I jumped in the car and dashed to pick up Patty from her fast walk.

As I met her she had already made the turn for home and was walking along, open umbrella in hand, and in a pretty steady rain. I felt really bad about the terrible forecast I had provided, but true to form she laughed it off and said she was pretending to take a walk over in London. Leave it to Patty to always make lemonade out of any lemons that life serves up to her.

When I got home a quick check of the radar indicated that, rather than pop-up storms, we were experiencing large patches of rain that were coming out of nowhere. So much for my ability to find open windows for walking or running in between the raindrops.




TORNADOES

JANUARY 27, 2021



Tornados

It seems like down here in the Southeastern United States we've had our own version of Tornado Alley form in more recent decades and up in the northern portion of Alabama in particular.

When we used to live in Northwest Georgia, Patty and I traveled over to North Alabama and witnessed the devastation first hand from the (April) 2011 Super Outbreak that ripped through 19 counties and toppled the Salvation Army Disaster Services vehicle seen above.

Well, here in January and even further south we had one travel through Tallahassee, Florida just before lunch time today and that did damage at the airport, including knocking out the National Weather Service tracking system. I was monitoring the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) net on one of the Tallahassee Amateur Radio Society (TARS) two meter repeaters as this was all taking place.

I have yet to hear if we had one tornado that was reported upon from multiple locations, or if we actually had sightings of multiple tornadoes. I'll try to update this post if and when I am able to gather more information.

Tornado TA


CHRISTMAS EVE

DECEMBER 24, 2020



Christmas Eve

The picture above is what I imagine when I think of Christmas Eve. Even though it's a picture of yesteryears long past, the charm and even the romance are indicative of the visions that dance in my head.

Unfortunately, the picture below more clearly depicts the reality of our current Christmas Eve Day and the Christmas Eve to follow. It's highly unusual to see white-caps out on the gulf where we live, but that's just what we're seeing with these gale warnings that were introduced last night and predicted to hang around from 7AM this morning until 7AM Christmas day.

We just finished lashing down garbage bags and bed sheets over the pots and plants outside and are hoping both plants and covers survive the high winds that have already arrived and are predicted to remain as the subfreezing temperatures fall in behind later this evening.

White Caps


FREEZING TEMPS

DECEMBER 23, 2020



Cold Temps Ahead

Freezing temperatures are ahead! It won't be so cold that boiling water thrown in the air will turn to snow, but it's Florida so no surprise there.

It looks like Christmas Day will fall in the middle of a three day cold snap. We're slated for 30°F on Christmas Eve followed by 27°F and 28°F the following two nights.

Highs will only be in the upper 40's which will provide for a couple of challenging running days. For the past two days it's almost hit 70°F and I've been getting used to running in shorts with nothing more than long sleeves to protect me from the effects of a strong breeze on an otherwise seemingly warm day.

I'm always amazed at the difference these strong ocean breezes can make on an otherwise mild day. I hate to call it wind chill when temps are in the upper 60's, but I guess that's what it is when the winds are up around 15 mph, because it sure does make a difference.

I suppose dripping the water in the house will also be involved since the house is up on stilts with exposed water pipes. They're insulated but I'm not counting on that to avoid more serious problems. I'd rather go ahead and spend a few extra pennies on the water than to take on the headaches associated with a busted water pipe, not to mention a water pipe repair bill.




COOL RUNNINGS?

DECEMBER 01, 2020

Cool Runnings

Many years ago, and on a brutally cold and windy day outside of Atlanta, I was slated for a 10 mile training run in preparation for an upcoming half marathon. Get this! The temperature measured on the Fahrenheit scale was exactly the same as the wind speed measured in miles per hour. Now, if you're a math person or a runner, that might have captured your attention and got you to thinking.

You might have asked yourself if there was a common number at which both of those measures could be considered relatively reasonable for a 10 mile training run. Well, based on my own experience, I would prefer to go for the lower number in common just to avoid the wind chill. But, that was not to be the case on this particular day.

The magic number for that day was 17. And, from my perspective, that was probably one of the worst possible numbers that I could have imagined. The temperature was already brutally cold and with the addition of that wind speed, the windchill that resulted was virtually unbearable - even wearing my warmest running gear. I should note that we don't have fancy cold weather running gear down here in the south!

Fast forward to yesterday with a much shorter run in much warmer conditions and I'm still complaining. I live on the Florida panhandle and am used to running with temps at least in the 70's and just enough breeze to make the overall experience enjoyable. However, yesterday was the last day of November and the front edge of a windy cold front was making its way onto the scene.

I'm older, my blood is thinner down here in the deep south, and the weatherman is hitting me with temperatures in the low 50's and wind persisting somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 miles per hour out here on the island. I guess that's better than the wind gusts of 55 to 65 mph we had in the middle of the night, last night!

In my opinion, the tricky thing about cold weather running, and the thing I like least about it, is the heat that builds up on the run and the sweat that arrives and starts to soak all of those layers I'm wearing to protect against the cold winds.

On the hot and humid days of summer down here, and with the unusually cold and blustery days that occasionally sneak in during our short and mostly mind winter season, the washer and dryer tend to get a real workout around here.




HEADWINDS

NOVEMBER 17, 2020

Headwinds

In the spring and summer months, there's frequently a gentle breeze when I go out for a run. Generally, it's either coming out of the north or the south which means I get to enjoy a northernly breeze on mile one or a southernly breeze on parts of miles two and three.

This will be the first year in recent years where I've really pushed myself to run each and every day, no matter the temperature. As a result, yesterday and today I had a new experience on the first mile with strong headwinds coming out of the north. Those winds were strong enough that I almost felt like I was running in place as I leaned into them.

The effect on my running was definitely noticed when comparing my mile one pace with the pace of miles two and three. In fact, on mile three I shaved a full minute off of my mile one pace and with what I can only assume was the benefit of a mile one headwind becoming a tailwind as I made the turn toward home.

With the combination of the winds and a cooler temperature (around 60F) I decided it was time to pull out the long sleeves and running gloves for a bit of extra protection from the chill. Did I say chill? Really? Down here in Florida? At 60F degrees?

Not long after the turn at mile one, and leaving the wind behind me, I was peeling off the gloves and rolling up the sleeves. I've certainly run in conditions that were much, much worse when I used to live up in the Atlanta area, but I think my blood has gotten a bit thinner down here in the south and I've become a wee bit spoiled running in the relatively warm and sunny Florida weather.




GOODBYE ETA

NOVEMBER 12, 2020

Good Bye Eta

In yesterday's post I mentioned a couple of things I've learned about storms since we moved down to this area. One of those things was the dirty side of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Most folks know that a hurricane that makes landfall in the U.S. rotates in a counter-clockwise fashion. And, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that is approaching the Florida panhandle has those of us on the panhandle watching for the point where the eye makes landfall.

Why? Because we know that a counter-clockwise rotation means that everyone on the right side of the eye (a.k.a. the dirty side) will encounter winds approaching from the south. Everyone on the left side will encounter winds approaching from the north that will be relatively weaker after having traveled across land before arriving.

In other words, the same winds that might have slammed the coast on the right side of the eye will continue their journey in the wind's rotation and hit the coast once again - this time on the left side of the eye and from the north. In a strong storm, the difference between one side and the other may not bring much benefit. However, in a smaller storm the difference may be significant.

The more critical challenge is often the storm surge that accompanies a hurricane. As one can imagine, it is also more significant on the dirty side. This occurs as approaching winds push the ocean water toward land. Mixing that high water from the storm surge with a high tide will often result in double the trouble.

We were on the clean side of Eta and she was far enough to our east that we actually never even received any rain from her - despite an earlier forecast for a direct hit.




SPAGHETTI MODELS

NOVEMBER 7, 2020

ETA-SPAGHETTI
Eta spaghetti models for 11/7/20 - 9:00 AM EST.

My wife is a big fan of spaghetti models. And, I must admit that seeing what she is seeing has persuaded me of the importance of balancing that with what I'm seeing on the National Weather Service's (NWS) National Hurricane Center (NHC) website.

Even though the spaghetti models forecast further out into the vast unknown, the agreement between a large number of models can strongly suggest a level of accuracy and dependability when trying to make logistical decisions that reach out further into the future.

That's exactly the case that exists right now. To look at the NHC website, one might be tempted to believe we are going to take a direct hit from Eta at our home location, indicated on the graphic above by a red star.

Of course that still could be the case, but the spaghetti models are suggesting something quite different. I'm covering my bases in the short-term, but hoping that the spaghetti models are accurate for the longer-term forecast.

We'll see!




STORM WATCH

NOVEMBER 6, 2020

To see the evolving changes to the storm track click here, or on the active storm link in the menu.

ETA24A
Advisory #24A - 11/6/20 - 1:00 PM EST.

Nothing is more effective at putting election results on the back burner than an approaching storm (except maybe for the delay in anything much happening on the election front.) Unless the lawsuits provide an unexpected difference, it appears we will have a new president. We're also still on hold for a final answer regarding control in the U.S. senate. Truth be told, I suspect there's much more to be concerned about on that one than the presidential election.

Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Eta continues to be the topic du jour down here on the forgotten coast. We're probably looking at the middle of next week before caution might give way to a higher level of concern. After all, a lot can happen in a few days. Still, any changes to the forecast so far have not been in our favor and it appears we will definitely feel this one to one extent or another.

It's just additional confirmation that the season's not over until the season is over! Earlier today, I made my traditional run to fill up the gas tank on the car. That's usually the first sign that I'm taking a storm seriously and if I'm not days ahead filling it up, I'm already behind and usually wind up waiting in line and hoping for a turn before the gas runs out.




HURRICANE ETA?

NOVEMBER 5, 2020

ETA19
Advisory #19 - 11/5/20 - 4:00 AM EST.

Hurricane Eta is now a tropical depression but the projected path provides a reason to keep an eye on it. Eta peaked Monday evening as a category 4 hurricane with winds at 150 miles per hour.

With Eta, the 2020 hurricane season has tied the 2005 season for the most named storms in a single season. It is also the fifth storm in a row to rapidly intensify which is defined as a storm with winds gaining at least 35 mph in a 24 hour period.

As can be seen in the forecast model, Eta is expected to return to tropical storm status and make its way across Cuba and up to the Florida Keys. However, that's still five days away and a lot can happen in that time, especially with the changing conditions surrounding a late season storm.

Still, I've been very impressed with the NHC's considerable accuracy for the forecast path of so many storms this season. The big questions in my mind at this point are whether or not the storm will reemerge as a Hurricane, whether the storm will turn northward over and around Florida or move across the gulf, and if the storm reemerges as a hurricane to what category will it grow?

I suppose only time will tell.




HURRICANES

OCTOBER 21, 2020

Hurricanes

Down here on the gulf, they refer to the risk of hurricanes as the Price of Paradise. We're winding down on another season but we take nothing for granted knowing that these storms have little respect for the dates that officially begin and end the hurricane seasons.

Back at the end of the 90's I read and article and shared it with Patty and it had a dramatic impact on both of us. One thousand seniors were surveyed about their greatest regret in life. I don't remember the exact number but I do remember it was over 80% and their regret was that they did not take more chances (risks) in life.

When you stop and think about that stat, it's actually pretty profound! For Patty and I, that stat led us to make two significant decisions. First, in the year 2000, we decided to launch Pocketwatch Productions. You can read about that by selecting the Filmmaking link under the Pictures menu item over on the left or by clicking here.

The second significant decision we made occurred in the end of 2013 when we decided to leave our home of 26 years in the Atlanta area, and in which we raised our kids, and move to Florida! I remember asking myself if we should take the conservative route and stay put, or take a risk and pursue the romance in life with a move to the water. I found the courage to run the question by Patty and together, with that aforementioned stat in mind, we opted for the romance.

For Patty and I, pursuing the romance in life was a very God-ordained thing. We've learned a lot about ourselves through these transitions. We've discovered more about our true priorities and the things that are really important in life. That's not to even hint at the idea that we made a mistake. On the contrary, we've seen God reveal himself to us time after time on this leg of our journey.

He's taught us more about the concept of waiting on Him. He's taught us how to be still and know that He is God via the works that He is performing in our lives. He's shown us the perfection of His plan in those moments where we got off target and dabbled with our own plan. We've learned that he communicates best and we hear and learn from Him most when we listen for His whispers.

For me, the challenge has always been to bloom where I'm planted. It's so easy to forget that God has a plan for me right where He has placed me! He has built in me such uniqueness that it's sometimes difficult to grasp the what and the where in my ability to be effective for His purposes.


Copyright © 2022 Hutch DeLoach









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