Archive for August 21, 2008

My Electricity is Out Now!

Hope y’all have better luck in the storm. D’OH! I just bought milk, too.

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Woman Drowns at Neptune Beach

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. — One of two people pulled from rough surf Thursday afternoon has died and the other is hospitalized.

“Two teenagers had come in here and asked me to call 911 and said that somebody was drowning out on the beach,” said Terry Williams, who works at an Atlantic Beach business. “They immediately drug her up off the beach. She was just lifeless. It was just really scary.”

One victim was transported to Beaches Baptist in critical condition. Channel 4 learned that she died.

Some mistakes don’t have a do over.

Update: She was a tourist from Indiana.

When I mentioned in front of some developmentally delayed kindergarteners and first graders that I was going to the beach Wednesday, they got VERY upset. “No! Don’t go in the water! You’ll get drownded in the storm!”

Every child here knows that tropical storms are dangerous. Too bad that tourists don’t understand that.

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School is Out Friday for Jacksonville Area Schools, Electrical Outages, Flooding, Debris in Roads

South Bank Camera.

Putnam County schools and county offices have been ordered closed Friday. (12:24 p.m.)

Clay County public schools have been ordered closed Friday, officials said. (12:19 p.m.)

Nassau County schools will be closed Friday, officials announced at noon. (12:07 p.m.)

Duval County schools closed Friday (1:32 p.m.)

Butler Boulevard westbound closed at Intracoastal (1:32 p.m.)

About 27,000 homes and businesses are without power, including 15,000 in Duval, 5,000 in St. Johns, 4,600 in Flagler and 2,000 in Nassau.

The City of Jacksonville has 24 work crews responding to drainage issues and 20 separate teams removing trees and debris from roads. Once Fay’s winds and rains become too dangerous, the crews will be pulled back. “We will reach a point where the storm overwhelms our crews,” said Marty Senterfitt, chief of emergency preparedness for Duval County (1:14 p.m.)

Trees reported down on homes from Nassau County to Mandarin, but no reports of injuries. (5:09 p.m.)

Traffic lights reported out in various areas. Police warn motorists to treat such intersections as four-way stops. (5:08 p.m.)

At least 95,000 homes and businesses now reported without power region-wide, including 75,000 in Jacksonville. (5:04 p.m.)

Source: breaking news.

Wind is picking up considerably now with much more rain. Several reports of trees down in my area which, with the saturated ground, isn’t surprising. If conditions don’t deteriorate further tonight, I believe our trees will be safe.

For Okefenokee power outages, click here.

I couldn’t find the FPL site to check for power outages.

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Ryan McDonald, 16, Killed in Knoxville High School Shooting

Central High School student Ryan McDonald died this morning after being shot in the school cafeteria by another student, according to Knoxville police and a hospital spokesman.

The confrontation occurred about 8:11 a.m. before classes began at the school in Fountain City, according to Knoxville Police Department Deputy Chief William C. Roehl.

The students knew each other, according to Roehl, but he said he did not know what led to the shooting.

“They had contact with one another,” Roehl said.

It was not a random shooting, he said.

“It was an isolated incident,” Knox County Schools Superintendent James McIntyre said at a press conference.

Police said they were notified about 8:57 a.m. that the 16-year-old boy had died. University of Tennessee Medical Center spokesman Jim Ragonese identified the victim as McDonald.

Read the rest at Knoxville News

My deepest sympathies to the students, faculty, and family members.

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Tropical System Cloud Bands

When tropical systems have passed through leaving the inevitable wreckage and Yankees start whining about people that didn’t watch television or listen to the news and therefore couldn’t know the system was coming (because apparently po’ folks live deep in the Swamps without electricity or even batteries for their cell phones and suddenly, WHOOMPH! they’re in a hurricane), I have to laugh.

When you look up in the sky and see clouds like this,

then you know some tropical shit is comin’ your way. Now if you live so deep in the swamp you don’t have a sky, well, maybe that lil’ tropical system will remove the trees so’s your view ain’t blocked.

A beach provides a nice preview of upcoming weather attractions:

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Caylee’s Mother Out on Bail; Caylee Remains Missing

See the Orlando Sentinel for details.

Now everybody from the news stations will be anxiously awaiting to see the miraculous return of Caylee now that her momma is out of jail.

To me it looks like her list of suckers and enablers has gotten way, way longer. Wonder how many media outlets are bidding for an interview?

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Fay’s Main Rainfall Hasn’t Reached Northeast Florida (YET)

I hate to be one of those naggy people that always knows everything (and here is where the but is inserted) BUT the worst flooding I’ve experienced in NE Florida has been from slow-moving tropical storms and depressions in the big bend area of Florida. I’m afraid we’re going to have days of rain as Fay travels west. I know we haven’t seen a lot of wet stuff yet (my rain gauge just had 3.7 inches as of this morning). However, the ground is saturated here in my portion of northeast Florida from recent rains. There is already some wide but shallow puddling on area fields. There will be flooding, possibly severe, as the rains do arrive and, since the roots of even the giant oak trees have very shallow root systems, it won’t take much wind for those trees to start falling. If you have a choice in the matter, do not park under or near any trees.

If you are new to the area and do not know whether your property is subject to flooding, check with your county office or neighbors that live in the area. If nobody in your housing development is local and are from out of state or down state, Lord ha’ mercy, you are going to get a lesson on how quickly land turns back into swamp.

Update: The Daytona Beach people are wondering whether Fay is going to become a permanent fixture, much like the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. That’s going to be tough on Bike Week and the Daytona 500. Maybe they can change it to boat week and have people yelling “show us your anchors”! As for Nascar, racing speed boats around the track would be nice.

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Tales from Kindergarten and First Grade

“Jeeeeeesus Christ, this is BULLshit!” said the cute little kindergarten boy with big brown eyes and a truculent expression. Papers and crayons had just been passed out to color circles in either red or blue, depending on the colors of the circles above the blank circles, the purpose of which is to work on developing pattern recognition and not to torture little kindergarten boys.

So far this week, I have been kicked, hit, spit at, had green snot sneezed all over me, had shoes thrown at me, and told how much I am hated. I’ve also been hugged, kissed, and told “I love you!” and, a high point, have not (yet) been thrown up on or had to change poopy pants. (These are developmentally delayed children; one is not “potty” trained.)

After explaining to the cute little kindergarten boy that first we do our work, then we play, he muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “ain’t no bitch gonna tell ME what to do”.

Sigh. It’s gonna be a loooooong year.

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The Chronicles of the Obamessiah

If this space is blank, Google took the video down.

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Morning Weather Commute Headache: Dames Point Bridge is Closed

With Fay currently moving so slowly, it may be awhile before the Dames Point bridge opens again.  The winds were steady out of the north northeast with stronger gusts to the point where I would be hesitant to drive a high-profile vehicle such as a van over a high bridge with a wet road.

Update: Dames Point bridge opened again just in time for rush-hour traffic. Police officers will shut the bridges down on a case-by-case basis as wind speeds hit 40 m.p.h. Tourists in their RVs or towing their travel trailers being blown over the side of a bridge is bad for tourism and attracts lots of negative media attention. Yeah, I’m joking. We don’t get tourists in Jacksonville.

Afternoon Update: Oh, snap, Dames Point bridge closed again. Hope y’all have fun playin’ musical bridges on the way home from work tonight. Sorry, truck drivers. That’s what happens when you have to go through the River City.

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