Archive for May, 2008

Yeeeeeha! Hurricane Season Begins!

Since it has been unseasonably cool (and wonderfully so), I haven’t really thought about hurricane season beginning and do NOT have any supplies on hand like I usually do, not even extra batteries! Well. I spent today working on furniture, tomorrow will be spent on visiting daughter, and gathering emergency supplies won’t be on the agenda until next weekend.

Unless, of course, a sudden storm forms and heads this way. Then I’ll be foot stomping and eye gouging for flashlight batteries at the stores with the best of them.

Things to have on hand in the event of a hurricane per the state of Florida:

Disaster Supply Kit

Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days

non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
foods for infants or the elderly
snack foods
non-electric can opener
cooking tools / fuel
paper plates / plastic utensils
Blankets / Pillows, etc.

Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items – for babies and the elderly

Toiletries – hygiene items

Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Cash – Banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods.


Toys, Books and Games

Important documents – in a waterproof container

insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
document all valuables with videotape if possible
Tools – keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items

proper identification / immunization records
ample supply of food and water
a carrier or cage
muzzle and leash

*sigh* I think the chain saw has bit the dust, so to speak, and we may have to break down and get another. The generator is still at the parents, so I think we’re gonna have to get another one o’ them, too.

Oddly enough, the handgun and ammo isn’t mentioned.

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Do We REALLY Care About What Europe Thinks?

Per the Telegraph:

America’s actions undoubtedly make the world a more peaceful and stable place. Its support for economic globalisation promotes global prosperity and encourages international co-operation.

And yet, as the results of a poll by show, its standing in Europe is low. In Britain, France, Germany and Russia, more people thought that the United States was a force for evil than for good.

The wildcard in the poll was Italy, where 49 per cent (compared to 27 per cent) thought that the US was a force for good.

Here is my retort in the form of a song to Europeans that want to criticize the way we do things: What do you think about that?

I’ve never understood why some people seem to believe that their views should influence anybody else. Well, guess what. I don’t give a shit really care what you think. I have an internal locus of control.

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Governor Crist’s New Girlfriend

Read all about her here, if you’re interested.

She’s a philanthropist, patron of the arts, Georgetown honors grad and a Manhattan socialite.

An attractive, photogenic divorcee with a ton of money, two school age children, and did I mention the money? She would appear to be the perfect woman for an unmarried politician with national aspirations.

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House Cats on the Menu for Coyotes

Owners can help protect their pets from facing the same fate with a few precautions, Sillars said. Coyotes are typically more active at dawn and dusk, so pets should be kept inside especially at those times. Dog owners should walk their small canines with a leash and during daylight.

If people see a coyote while with their pets, they should pick up their furry loved ones and walk in the opposite direction, Sillars said. It’s unlikely for coyotes to attack humans because they prefer smaller meals, but humans won’t stop the wildlife from coming after Fido or Fluffy.

With development forcing wildlife to adapt to humans, people will have to adjust to the nature that surrounds them, Sillars said.

People are going to have to learn to change their behaviors,” she said.


Yes, people are going to have to learn to change their behavior. Coyotes are new arrivals in Florida. Shoot the bastards.

Legal means of coyote control include shooting
and trapping. Both measures may be conducted
throughout the year because of the coyote’s
non-protected status. The use of guns and bows are
allowed during daylight hours and at night with a
special permit from the Florida Game and Freshwater
Fish Commission (FGC).

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In Miami, Spanish is Becoming Primary Language?

In a story by the AP, they note:

In many areas of Miami, Spanish has become the predominant language, replacing English in everyday life. Anyone from Latin America could feel at home on the streets, without having to pronounce a single word in English.

In stores, shopkeepers wait on their clients in Spanish. Universities offer programs for Spanish speakers. And in supermarkets, banks, restaurants — even at the post office and government offices — information is given and assistance is offered in Spanish. In Miami, doctors and nurses speak Spanish with their patients and a large portion of advertising is in Spanish. Daily newspapers and radio and television stations cater to the Hispanic public.

But this situation, so pleasing to Latin American immigrants, makes some English speakers feel marginalized. In the 1950s, it’s estimated that more than 80 percent of Miami-Dade County residents were non-Hispanic whites. But in 2006, the Census Bureau estimates that number was only 18.5 percent, and in 2015 it is forecast to be 14 percent. Hispanics now make up about 60 percent.

Hellloooooo, Associated Press. Where have y’all been? Certainly not in Miami. This has been an ongoing problem and the majority of residents there were not born in this country.

You haven’t been in California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona….or small farming towns in Georgia, either, apparently.

The tense is clearly wrong in the article. Spanish isn’t becoming the primary language, it IS the primary language.

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Best Shuttle Launch Viewing Sites


I’m going to have to skip the Saturday launch (working) but hoped that there would be one in the summer but alas, none are scheduled.

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Teen, Mom Arrested After Gunfire at BBQ

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 19-year-old accused of firing several shots a people gathered for a Memorial Day cookout is charged with aggravated assault, and so is his mother, who police say told her son to fire the shots.

According to the police report, Kabibi Ngombe, 38, got in an argument with people in the 2000 block of Lambert Street on Monday evening, then told them she was going to get her son, who “would get his gun and come up on you all.”

Ngombe returned a few minutes later, with her son, Patient Lukohde. Witnesses told police that Lukohde walked toward them and fired several shots at the group of people.



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Jacksonville’s Infant Mortality Rate Highest in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, FL — The city’s infant mortality rate continues to be the highest in Florida with the rate in the black community nearly twice that of whites.

Those findings are found in a a study on infant mortality just completed by Jacksonville Community Council Inc.

In 2006, 130 infants died before their first birthday in Jacksonville.

The mortality rate overall in the city is 9.5% with the rate for whites 7.2% and for blacks 12.7% in 2006.

“Jacksonville has the highest rate in the state,” said Helen Jackson who is the JCCI Board of Directors President. “This is not something we want to be known for.”

Poor nutrition is cited as one reason for city’s high rate of infant mortality.

Other reasons to come into play says Joy Burgess who was a member of the study team.

“Racism, poverty, poor housing, crime, poor education, access to medical care and joblessness is killing our babies,” said Burgess.

Recommendations are being offered to help turn the infant mortality rate around. One idea is creating an Ombudsperson program so there is someone to represent and be an advocate for expectant mothers.

Another suggestion made was to bring more well stocked grocery stores into neighborhoods so expectant mothers have access to a well-balanced diet.

Source: First Coast News

A lot of those things listed are called “lifestyle choices”. Poor education? Schools bend over backwards trying to help students to graduate. The teachers, however, cannot make a student learn that refuses to put forth any effort. Poverty and joblessness? This is the 21st century, and most jobs require some type of training and at least a high school education. Access to medical care? Please. Every poor person has state-funded coverage. All they have to do is make an appointment and actually show up on time. Poor housing? I helped build some of the government low income housing. It’s newer than the house I live in. My house, however, is taken care of and not routinely torn apart. Crime? Well, that’s one of the reasons that there aren’t as many well-stocked grocery stores as people may want. It’s dangerous for the workers and managers, and the stores lose too much money.

It would be much more productive to quit saying that the causes of high infant mortality are “racism” and take a good, hard look at where the blame lies.

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Congratulations, Class of 2008!

I was up at the local pharmacy picking up a prescription and while I was there, I picked up the local paper. The young lady in the pharmacy said “Oh, our senior pictures are in there! Let me show you mine!”, found the inserts with the graduates’ pictures in it, and showed me hers. She is lovely young lady, and I admired her picture. Then she showed me the picture of another employee, a young man with a big smile in the back of the pharmacy, and he came up and asked me if I wanted him to sign his picture as he was going to be *very* rich and famous some day. I thanked him and indicated that I would indeed like him to sign his picture so I could sell it on E-Bay when that day came. I came out of the pharmacy with a prescription and a newspaper with autographed copies of two of the town’s class of 2008, and feel much the richer for it.

When you graduate tomorrow night, class of 2008, be sure to fully enjoy the moment with all of your classmates. Don’t be so eager to start your new life that discard all of your classmates as you leave home. I know that there are probably several that you don’t like at all and think that you will be happy if you never, ever see them again but trust me, in 30 years you’ll be happy that there are people that can remember you as you are now, without gray in your hair (or, as SwampMan points out, can remember when you HAD hair).

You will find that a lot of your classmates won’t make the 30 year reunion. Some will have met with accidents or illness and passed away. Others will have moved away and lost touch over time. If someone has made a difference in your life or improved it just by being your friend, now would be a good time to say something before you go your separate ways.

If you’re graduating high school feeling left behind because your family isn’t able to give you a brand new car for your birthday or graduation, congratulations. Often people that have been given everything instead of having to work/strive/fight for it do not have the inner resources to persevere when times get tough. If you’ve already weathered several tough times in your short life, you’re ahead of the game and know that this, too, shall pass.

I guarantee that you will face financial and personal loss, heartache, and defeat on your journey through life. I also guarantee that you will have love, laughter, and your share of victories as well. Life is a roller coaster. Enjoy the ride.

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Wearing That Seat Belt Ain’t Such a Bad Idea….

SwampMan was driving to work this morning when an oncoming Chevrolet Suburban in the left hand lane of a divided highway ran off the road. I don’t know if it was a moment of inattention, perhaps answering the cell phone or changing radio stations, or if a tire blew. Whatever the cause, SwampMan stomped the brakes to keep from hitting the vehicle head on if it careened across the median. The driver yanked the Suburban back on the pavement but the rear end slung around and it ran off the road on the other side straight into some young trees at a pretty high speed. The vehicle was flung high into the air when it rebounded from the trees and landed on its side. Before it had finished sliding, people on the other side of the highway that had been behind the vehicle were pulled over and running to render assistance.

While SwampMan was switching on his cell phone to call for assistance, he looked in his rearview mirror and put his phone away. Some volunteer fire department members were taking the firetruck out for a practice run or maybe going to breakfast and had seen the whole thing from a side road. They were behind us and at the scene seconds after the accident.

I don’t know the outcome of the accident as we drove on to work but hope the driver and any passengers were securely belted in and were okay. It is shocking how quickly a vehicle can turn into a crumpled heap of metal and lives are changed forever.

A friend’s beloved nephew perished in an accident this weekend when he misjudged both the distance he had in which to pass another vehicle and the speed of the oncoming vehicle because he was young and in a hurry. He won’t get the opportunity to develop patience now.

Be careful. Pay attention. Making up time when you’re running late isn’t worth your life.

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