Thursday, September 30, 2004

Found Candy

I feel better now. Found some Reese cups. It was a 3 pack. I can't decide if that makes Canadians more greedy (bigger than the 2 pack) or conservative (smaller than the 4 pack). Guess it's the queen size. It cost $0.75. I paid with a $5 so I got a quarter and 2 loonies back. Can't get used to that.

I was IMing with Karin about candy. Fun discussion. Some excerpts:
Rob: ah...found reese cups
Karin: are they cold?
Karin: i only like them cold
Rob: they have all kinds of reese here
Rob: they have an "inside out" one
Karin: what?!
Rob: yeah, pb on the outside, choc on the inside
Rob: hadn't had it yet
Rob: and of course the white choc ones too
Karin: hmmm.....sounds sketchy
Karin: the white choc looks sick
Rob: they have large kit kats the size of a regular candy bar
Rob: it's like an overgrown kitkat stick
Karin: WOW! i wanna go to canada
Rob: they also have stawberry kitkats. that looks gross
Karin: maybe i don't want to go
Rob: i want to sample all the good candy before i leave
Rob: it's my duty
Karin: how do you know it's good before you sample it
Rob: thats the point!
Rob: i don't want to sample bad candy
Karin: what's your favorite in the US
Rob: Probably Reese cups
Rob: but they aren't filling
Rob: Snickers satisfies
Karin: i don't like snickers
Karin: i like 3 musketeers
Rob: it's okay
Karin: twix
Karin: kit-kat
Karin: those are my style
Karin: gummie bears
Rob: twix is good
Rob: hate all gummie stuff
Karin: skittles
Karin: starburst
Rob: skittles rock!
Karin: i LOVE gummie stuff
Rob: and candy corn
Karin: only at halloween
Rob: any time
Karin: but circus peanuts?! amazing
Rob: i like those, but they make me sick
Karin: that's becuase they're pure sugar...and colored orange
Rob: yup, so you'd think I'd like it
Karin: no kidding
Rob: btw, some of this convo is going in a blog as we type!
Karin: sweet!

Need Candy

I just had pizza and root beer for lunch.

I need candy to make it perfect.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Long Intros

I started reading The End of Marketing as We Know It today. I can't say much about it yet but all the intros were good. I hate it when a book has so many long introductions. This one has the introduction to the paperback version, the preamble, the acknowledgements, then the introduction. After reading all that I felt pretty good...then realized I hadn't even started the book yet!

I'll get there yet.

Blogging 201: Posting Photos

Today class, we're going to expound a bit on posting photos. Last time we talked about how to get an image on your blog if that image is already online by using HTML. However, there's a good chance you've got a photo that is on your computer, not on the internet, and you want it on your blog.

What's a blogger to do?

Well, if you're with like I am, then you have a couple of choices.

First, if you have a website or have a way to post photos online, try that and then use the <_img src=""_> code (minus the underscores). However, some places that allow you to post images won't let you use HTML to post them elsewhere. 'Tis a safeguard for you so that your photos aren't published all over the place in other people's blogs! But it works against you in getting it into your blog.

So, here's what I suggest (and do). Get yourself a free program called Hello. Pretty simple name, and pretty easy to use. Google just bought them just like they own, so they work together pretty well.

However, a friend who will remain nameless and photoless had testified that hello isn't as easy as one would think. So, here goes my crash course with hello.

Once you get hello installed, you have to join it with an ID and password. It is really an instant massager for photos. So to add photos to your blog, you have to add a friend called "BloggerBot". It should already be there. So look for the bloggerbot name and double-click it. A new tab should appear inside hello called "BloggerBot". From there you can change your settings for how you'd like your photos to show up and to which blog (if you have a few).

To post a photo, you simply click "Send Pictures". It'll ask you to find the photo on your hard drive. TIP: the image must be a .jpg file. Hello won't "see" other files for some reason. Before you can send it to your blog, however, you must give it a caption in the bottom right-hand side. Do so and hit "publish". Then watch the magic begin!

Another tip: you may want to go back to your blog and edit that post by adding the HTML tags like "align" and "hspace". Just play with it, then type out the rest of your post.

Now, for those of you who are on a Mac or don't want to use hello, there is another option. It's called Flickr. I know two people who use it, and one of them swears by it! I've never used it so use at your own risk!

I hope this hasn't gotten too complicated, but then again, it is a sophomore-level class.

Next time: Publishing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Trackback Back Out

Last night I added trackbacks to this blog from Haloscan. Tonight I took them back out. I'm not impressed with Haloscan and their service. They said I could "install trackback and/or commenting into your weblog". I wanted to just install trackback and it didn't work. Their version of comments were added and I couldn't take them back off. That meant I lost ALL the comments that were posted on here previously.

I emailed them questions and posted on their forum. I know it's only been 24 hours, but I've gotten no response from them.

So I'm out. If anyone has any other suggestions of how to add trackback only, let me know!

New My Yahoo!

I've been using My Yahoo! as my homepage for a long time. And I've loved it.

Today Yahoo! announced it's new beta version of My Yahoo! Check it out. It's pretty slick.

And the real cool thing? Well, they've been able to do this for a while, but you can add this blog to your My Yahoo! (that wasn't too confusing, was it?) There's a new button to right on this blog, just scroll down. Click on the "Add to My Yahoo!" and it will.


2005 Natural Disaster Tour

Mt. St. Helens is starting to show signs it might erupt. Well ain't that just grand? We got away from the weekly hurricanes in Florida to get closer to a volcano?

They say "a repeat of the big 1980 blast at Mount St. Helens is unlikely."

Uh huh. And all the hurricanes weren't coming to Orlando.

Here's another quote: "The key issue is a small explosion without warning. That would be the major event that we’re worried about right now."

Oh well.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Kerry Football

I'm not one to post much about politics. And this one really isn't about politics. It's about sports.

And I find it funny.

So go check out Football Fans For Truth. Someone tipped me off to this site, but I can't remember who. Let me know if it was you and I'll give proper credit. Sorry.

Trackback Added

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog. Unfortunately I've lost all the comments I had on this blog (at least for now). I'm working to get them back, but you can still leave comments. Maybe HaloScan will help me get my original comments back (or anyone else?).

Oh! What is a trackback? I'll let Haloscan answer that.

My New Blog

Well, I guess it's time to tell you about my new blog. I'm trying it out for a while to see how it works. I've been thinking of starting this blog for a while...and I'm finally getting around to it. I guess I'm following the Andrew Careaga model of having a personal and ministry blogs!

It's my effective web ministry notes. I've been passionate about people not just having a website for ministry, but having an effective web ministry...and not just a website, but a ministry. So at this blog I hope to place notes, links, resources, etc to help others (and myself!) have an effective web ministry.


Next Door

Next door to work they are building a giant Costco. Well, I say it's giant. It's probably just normal. But it seems giant! No, not Giant, just giant.

Anyway, they've got the earth movers and shakers over there. They are making such a ruckus I can feel the earth move under my feet (sorry for the Carole King homage there). But it's wild. My co-worker said it's like working in California with all the shaking going on.

Sounds more like Jerry Lee Lewis to me.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Hurricane Jeanne Update

Well it seems that Hurricane Jeanne has made it's way through the Orlando area and most of the reports I'm getting from friends tell me it wasn't so bad there. We heard from the family staying in our house and they said so far they don't see any damage. I'm sure tomorrow we'll learn more in the light of day!

Gov. Jeb Bush had a great quote today:
"Sometimes it feels like this is a test of resiliency for our state ... and people are up to the challenge. Other times, I feel like I'm Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day.'"
It seems that Jeanne had the strength and impact of Frances, but the speed of Charley. Also got this from a friend in Orlando:
Hurricane Jeanne is about over. We've survived another one. Our house held up well. We had some shingles flopping around, but no damage and no leaks. We had winds of 50-70 miles per hour. [We] measured about 6 inches of rainfall in our rain gauge.

Newsmen today reported that the farmers almanac predicted 5 hurricanes for Florida this season. They are saying we may have one more...Jeanne and Frances crossed the Florida coast within 5 miles of each other. Highly unlikely.
What a crazy season this has been!

Pitatayo, Patricia, Trish...

Oh baby! My wife has joined the blogsphere. She plans to write about some of our experiences here in Canada. Check out her blog. I've also added her to my blogroll on the right. When you visit her blog, tell her ol orangejack sent ya!

Blogging 102: HTML Code

Okay class, today we're going to learn about some simple HTML tags you can use in your new blog. You may remember that we've already gone over how to start a blog. Now, with a little bit of HTML code in your arsenal, you can do really cool stuff!

There are plenty of HTML tutorials out there, and you can read them. I'm not going to cover them all (like a bullet or numbered list, etc). But for a blog, you only need a few of them. For all HTML tags, you have to put a < first, then the code to do something, then another >. That is called a tag. You put one of these before you want to do something, then a <, /, the code again, then > to close it. Confused? Don't be. Let me show you.

To make something bold, you type <_b_>, then the words you want bold, then <_/_b_>. However, take all the underlines out. I have to put them in so that you can see the tags! So you see how it works? Pretty simple. Here's some of the main ones you'd want to know:

Use blockquote when you're doing a long quote<_/_blockquote_>

Now to make a link (you probably don't need this for blogger, but here it is anyway), it's a little bit different. The code is: <_a href=""_>. However, there is a space between the a and the href. Type out the words you want linked, then close it with <_/_a_>.

To add an image that is already online, you have to first get the image's URL. To find it, right-click on an image you like and look at it's properties. You'll see the URL there. Copy it then come back to your blog. To insert the image, the code is: <_img src=""_>. This code you don't have to close with a slash tag , / >, but there is a space in-between the img and src. However, you can add some cool stuff to the image tag to make it do stuff. These instructions go after the image's URL and " mark, but before the >. If you want the image to align to the left or right (like in Word or something), type align=left. If you want a buffer around the image, type hspace=5 or whatever number you want. That number is the number of pixels the buffer will be. You can also resize an image by typing width=200 or height=200, the number being the measurement in pixels.

So, here's an example of how an image tag would look: <_img src="" align=left hspace=10 width=200_>.

That's it! Now, what if that image isn't online? Oh, we'll cover that in the Blogging 201 class. See you next time!

Flying Weatherman

This is just funny. A little comic relief from the hurricane. I've been waiting for a clip like this!

Bad Eggs?

There has been constant debate about eggs. Are they good for you or not? Lately I've been hearing they are very good for you and not bad at all...that it's mostly hype. Makes me wonder though why that would be. There's got to be something to the hype, right?

Well, there's even more evidence that eggs are good for you. Makes me feel better. Not that I eat them all the time (it's the hype!), but I like them.

Looks like I'll be eating more eggs...or at least not feeling bad when I do!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Love Orange

Could we just be ahead of the curve picking a name like "orangejack"?


Okay, maybe.

Remember when I told you about a survey about favorite colors? The survey results are in.

It's good to be loved.

Jeanne On It's Way

Looks like Jeanne is going to be another significant hurricane to hit Orlando. Again. And again. It's not just getting "old hat", it's getting old.

They are calling for hurricane force winds and rain in Orlando. Last I saw the projections have it coming just south of Orlando. Do you know what that means? There was a point where the paths of Charley and Frances crossed. That was just south of Orlando. Jeanne is looking to go right through that cross point also...maybe more south this time though.

I'm mixed with emotions. I want to be back home to be able to take care of "my stuff". But I'm also thankful I'm not there. 5 named storms in 5 weeks in the state. That's too much to handle.

So I won't be blogging about the storm. I have nothing to add from my vantage point. I just pray all in the path will be safe.

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Hurricane Education

Because one good blog deserves another.

Thanks Mike.


I just finished reading a great article from a college student in Arizona. She wrote about how different clubs on campus use different recruiting methods to get people to join their club. This article caught my attention because she mentions Campus Crusade for Christ by name and charges the "club" with a healthy wake-up call.

What she's talking about is marketing. How do different groups market themselves? What do they do? How do they do it? How are they perceived? At least in this case, it was the Christian group that failed her because they were pushy and didn't seem to care about her as a person. PETA cared. Can you guess which group she has a positive perspective of?

Thank you, Lauren, for calling us Christians out. You're right. We tend to fail quite often. I'd like to say your case was isolated, but I'm sorry to say that it's not. I'm sorry you were treated in "pushy club" way. You are cared for...and I encourage you to continue seeking relationships with people who care for you.

Christians, we need to care. We need to really and truly care. Then we need to show it.

"That's real nice."

While many houses were torn apart from hurricane Charley, one house in Orlando was put back together. A staff woman with Campus Crusade (and friend of ours) got a great surprise. What's even better is the surprise non-staff got saying, "That's real nice."

It's cool to see friends and co-workers helping others out. We certainly benefited from them when hurricane Frances came. We couldn't have done it without them.

Friends are a good thing.

Far, Far Away I'm Not Alone

It's not just me. See?

Weekend Hurricanes

Why do the hurricanes always come to Florida on the weekend? And during football season too! More games are on hold. Again.


Hurricane Jeanne looks to be heading to Orlando. This is just nuts. I'm just in shock of how this keeps happening to Florida this year. Some models have it coming through Orlando while others have it just scraping by. And it could be a Category 3 when it makes landfall!

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I won't be blogging about Hurricane Jeanne as it comes through. As you know, I'm in Vancouver until Christmas. We have a family staying in our house and friends who are going to help make sure they and the house are okay.

This is just unbelievable.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Blogging 101:

A lot of people (okay, a couple...but humor me) have asked how they can start their own blog. I don't claim to be an expert, but I do claim that I kinda know what I'm doing. I don't have everything down yet, but I know how to do what I do...and that's what I'd like to share. I'm going to take a few posts to talk about some of the tools I use to make my blog the way it is.

The first and main thing that you should do is to, well, get a blog. The one I use is Blogger. Why blogger? Well, for starters it's free. Second, it's owned by Google and I like them. There is a "Blog This!" button on the Goggle toolbar which makes it easy to start a post on your blog. But mostly, it's just easy and I haven't tried anything else yet.

Setting up a blog with Blogger is like customizing Yahoo!. It's simple and you can be done in less than 5 minutes, but you'll spend plenty of time tweaking it all. So to start, go to and join them with a user ID and password. Then you have to decide on two things: the name of your blog & the URL for your blog. Your blog name can be anything. Mine is "Orangejack Blog". The URL you're able to pick the first part of the name. Mine is They will give you the "", you supply the "orangejack" part. If that URL hasn't been taken, you're in business.

Now you choose a template to use and you're ready to go. Now just create a post and publish it.

You've started your blog.

Stay tuned when next time you'll see my type, "photos are easy"...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Local Searching

In other local news today, Google announced they have finally created a local search for Canada. Both Google and Yahoo have had local search for a while in the US.

Now it's here in Canada.

Why Hurricane Season is like Christmas

A friend emailed me this today. He got it from the Bud Hedinger show on WFLA 540AM:
Why Hurricane Season is like Christmas:

10. Decorating the house: in this case boarding up windows.
9. Dragging out boxes that have not been used since last season: camping gear and flashlights.
8. Last minute shopping in crowded stores.
7. Regular TV shows preempted for "specials".
6. Family coming to stay with you.
5. Family and friends from out of state calling.
4. Buying food you do not normally buy and in large quantities.
3. Days off from work.
2. Candles

And the number 1 reason why hurricane season is like Christmas is that..

1. At some point, you know you're going to have a tree in your house!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


What is sadder? That more hostages are being murdered in cold blood, or that I'm not as outraged anymore?

When they first started killing hostages, I was furious. It ruined my day. I couldn't stand it. Today I hear of the killings and, don't get me wrong, I'm upset, but the emotional response isn't as intense.

I hate being desensitizing to this stuff.

Lord, please bring your justice to them and your mercy to us.

Human Company

I've been meaning to write about this for a while. I have a chance now so I will. From time to time when I run across a company that acts human (that is, they actually take the customer or potential customer seriously and treat us with respect). When I find them doing something out of the ordinary or something special, I want them to know about it.

In Orlando there are several local car dealerships that have frequently updated commercials. They film them weekly or even daily. They use all sorts of silly things like a guy walking and talking fast holding a sign with the phone number of the dealership on it. One uses some dog sitting on the hood of a car. Most just use attractive, high-pitch voiced women to tell us their deals. One is a stiff backed guy who "gun-slings" his pointed fingers at the camera over and over. They all crack me up.

After the hurricanes, most of the companies had "hurricane blow out sales" or something to that effect. In other words, "we've not selling anything right now because everyone is buying roofs, so we've put these cars on sale!" That bugs me. That's not looking out for consumers, that's looking out for themselves.

But one company didn't take that route. It was the stiff backed gun-slinging pointer who won my respect. He came on camera (as he always does) and looked us in the eyes (so to speak) and told us he knew this was a tough time for us all. Many people had flooding or damage to their cars. He told us they were ready to help with state-of-the-art repair service. They wanted to help. If, by chance, our cars were damaged too much, they would give us top dollar on a reasonable trade-in.

He met us where we were. Most Central Floridians didn't want a new car. Many needed help cleaning up their cars. Some needed a new one. He met us as humans.

If I need to buy a car, I'll certainly check out David Maus Toyota because of the human-ness of him and his company.

Well done, sir.


They are finally being released today...the original three. Today is a good day. But the day I get them will be an even better day! I've been looking forward to these being released and can't wait to get my own copies! Although I may wait until we're back in Orlando so I don't have to lug them around with me.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Quebec Seceding

Now that we're in Canada, we get a little more Canadian news (yeah, didn't see that coming). Anyway, I remembered that a few years ago Quebec wanted to break away from Canada and it failed. Well, they're at it again.

Hey Quebec, take it from a South Carolinian...let it go!

If not, au revoir!

The Wired Monk

Today I had my first meeting with TruthMedia to meet my team. It should be a fun and great three months here. We just had the meeting this morning then had the rest of the day and tomorrow to continue settling and relaxing. We drove around getting a couple more things from Wal-Mart and driving all over looking for a gym to join while we're here.

We also got coffee from a local chain called The Wired Monk. It was good and they have posted on their site and in their restaurant:
The Legend
Coffee was first discovered many centuries ago in Northern Africa by a herder watching over his flock. He noticed his sheep became quite 'peppy' after eating the berries from one particular bush. Curious as to the effects of these berries he picked a handful and ate them. Moments later he felt revitalized and energized. News regarding the effects of this 'mystical' berry spread rapidly throughout the land. When the Benedictine Monks received word of this amazing fruit, large quantities were gathered, dried and transported to the monasteries. The Monks then combined the dried berries with water and drank the resulting liquid. This provided them with greater exhilaration for late night prayer... And thus,
The Legend of... The Wired Monk
We thought that was pretty funny. Good coffee too.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Top 20 Cities

I was looking over the Nielsen top 20 US markets again tonight and thinking about what cities I've been to and which one's I haven't. I've been to 12 of the 20. My goal is to get to the other 8 someday. For me, the 8 I have not been to are LA, Chicago (well, technically I've been there but was in a hotel 2 miles from the airport and never saw the city), Philly, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Cleveland, and Sacramento.

Popeye Technology

Just can't make this stuff up. Don't have much of a comment about it. Just passing it along.

How's the Weather?

Seems that's a common question no matter where you live. Yesterday here is was cold and pouring rain all day. Yuck. And that was the day we had to go get all our groceries, supplies, etc. A warm cup of Verona coffee from Starbucks really hit the spot.

Today the weather is beautiful! We just got back from a walk. It's cool but the sun is warm. The view of the mountains are great also. We'll post some photos we've been taking later.

Today we went to church at North Langley Community Church. It was pretty cool and it'll be at the top of our visit list. We'll check a couple more probably just because. After church we were given a short driving tour of the's really nice here.

We're still settling in, unpacking, etc. It's been a good day.

We Lost...again

Sigh. Clemson lost again. This one was embarrassing. We were handled quite easily tonight. I did get to watch it.

Congrats to A&M. They played a great game.

I'm starting to think this is going to be a long season for the Tigers.

Friday, September 17, 2004

We Made It

We finally arrived in Canada today! We're at our home now in Surrey, BC just 15 minutes from work. Praise God we're finally here! We'll start work next week.

We're still working out a couple details (like the internet connection), but everything is in place for us. We couldn't have asked for a better situation...and nicer people we're staying with. We're renting out the basement apartment from this great Christian family.

We also got our 89 Honda Accord this morning. It reminds me of the car my dad had growing up. We have a friend who's father is a pastor in the Seattle area. A couple weeks ago we contacted him, he put an announcement in the church bulletin, and someone from the church donated this car to the church so that we could use it!

God has provided so much for us.

So we drove through Seattle and got up near the U Dub (did I write that correctly?) where we ate at a New York bagel place. Yeah, yeah, I know. Save it. It was late and we were starving...and they didn't have a long line. Then got some Seattle's Best coffee and made the beautiful drive on up to Canada...and we had no problems crossing the border or any other trouble for that matter (just some traffic in Seattle).

It's been a good day.

Now we're going to spend the weekend settling in and figuring out where everything is around here. And hopefully sleep late. We're very tired.


I was reading in Blue Like Jazz this week a chapter about grace. Grace is a tough thing to grasp sometimes, but I’m really, really thankful for it. Grace allows me to not live under condemnation. I hate having to perform all the time. I hate feeling like I’m living up to something because I’m sure to fail. When I fail, it really hurts deep. I have some real deep seeded emotions about failure that are hard to let go.

But grace lets me live.

The past couple weeks dealing with two hurricanes and the threat of another, packing to go on a trip for 3 months, getting our house ready for others to live in it while we’re gone, finding wood rot on our door frame, getting treated for termites the day before we leave, and trying to just stay afloat has been very taxing. It’s taught me that I can be hard on myself because I’m putting expectations on myself to perform. Then when I fail, it brings me down. Trying to determine what is just normal stress and what is self-imposed pressure can be tough.

Donald Miller writes at the end of chapter 7:
Self-discipline will never make us feel righteous or clean; accepting God’s love will. The ability to accept God’s unconditional grace and ferocious love is all the fuel we need to obey Him in return. Accepting God’s kindness and free love is something the devil does not want us to do. If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness, He changes our character with the passion of His love.
My wife was right. Of course it didn’t take Donald Miller to convince me my wife was right. She kept telling me the defeated attitude I have was from Satan. I kept saying that I felt like God saw me as a failure also. We used to call that “stinkin’ thinkin’”. It just ain’t right.

God does woo through kindness. He does it through grace. He doesn’t brow beat. I tend to do that myself…and I shouldn’t.

The ironic thing is the response I naturally want to have is be better disciplined at not getting down on myself. What I need is more grace.

I’ll always be a work in progress thanks to grace.

Again? Really?

Jeanne, what's your problem?

Quick question: out of all the hurricanes that will form this season, how many will hit Florida? Answer: Pretty much every one of them!

Even though we're not there, I'm sure glad our boards are still up. This is ridiculous.

12th Man

Clemson plays Texas A&M tomorrow night. I've always liked A&M because of their tradition. Dad always liked them because of their band. Either way, it's a school that even "out-traditions" Clemson. We pride ourselves on our football traditions, but A&M has us beat there (and hopefully that's the only place they'll beat us this weekend!).

My favorite is the tradition of the 12th Man. This article is from the Upstate of SC, but they explain it (and other cool traditions) well.

My boss is a former student at A&M. They don't have "ex-students". He explains it:
...since our great archrival, the Great Satan, the University of Texas (more appropriate called tu in Aggielore) alumni association is cleverly named Texas Exs, A&M would never, never, never in a million years use Ex in anything they ever do publicly. We don't hate them, just
can't stand them. :-)
Go Tigers!

Blog Searching Update

Duh! I just found the answer to my question about searching a blog.

Blogger just added the navigation bar at the top of each blog. That search box is blog-centric searching. In other words, if you do a search in that box on a blog, you will search that entire blog only, not the entire Internet.

This is your Friday PSA.

Still no comment on why the blogger spellcheck doesn't come pre-programmed to understand the word "blog" and "Google".

Random Hurricane Thought

One thing I keep forgetting to mention in my blog is a thought on a couple of results of all the hurricanes hitting Florida.

1. Expect higher priced citrus in the coming year (I read one estimate that there was about $500 Million in damage)
2. Expect lower priced mulch (they said before we left that Orange County alone had chipped enough to fill the Citrus Bowl as high as the Empire State Building)

Thursday, September 16, 2004


We finally made it to Seattle! We got to our hotel by the airport about 11:00 EST which makes it 8:00 PST.

We're waiting for a pizza.

It was a long day, but good. Why in the world did we fly from Orlando to Philadelphia then to Seattle? That was long! So we watched one of the Harry Potter movies (not a great plane movie), I got some more reading done on Blue Like Jazz (I'm diggin' this book), and some sleep. We left our house about 9:30 AM EST. But we're here; trading the 100 mph rains for just plain old cool rain (it's about 55 outside).

One strange observation I had today though on the know those locks they have to hold the table to the chair on the back of each seat on the plane? Why does it have a hanger hook on it? Does anyone actually hang anything on that so that it's draping on your knees? But overall it was a decent flight. We're here so it's all good.

Anyway, tomorrow we plan to head out to where we'll be staying in Canada to settle in this weekend.

Ivan Lands

Yeah, we're heading out in a couple hours, but Hurricane Ivan has been on my heart and mind. Really, the people being effected by the storm. Ivan landed in Alabama today. I woke up right at 3 in the morning...right when it made landfall and I started praying.

It's interesting. After going through two hurricanes in a month, I find it easier to pray for people dealing with Ivan and Jeanne. So far we haven't heard anything from family in Puerto Rico, but we trust all is well with them. It wasn't even a hurricane but it pounded the island pretty hard.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Vancouver Bound

Well, if all goes according to plan, we'll be getting on the plane to finally begin our mission trip to Vancouver!

Please pray for us as we begin this trip...pray for some rest. We're really tired and needing a break. We'd love to hear from you while we're there. We'll continue to update our blog so be sure to continue to visit and leave comments!

Thank you.

What Else?

Well, the door frame has wood rot, not termites. Thankfully a friend will take care of it while we're gone. Orkin confirmed that this morning.

But we figured while he was here to go ahead a do an inspection of the rest of the house. He found evidence of termites, but didn't find the actual bugs. So we are now officially under the watchful eye of Orkin for termites. They're going to spray and do their thing this afternoon. It seems that we probably have them but they've just gotten here and haven't done much damage. Hopefully this will head them off...and thankfully we can do it today. Tomorrow we fly out of here.

But with all this stuff going on, it just makes me wonder what's next? I know God wants us to go on this trip. He's provided everything we need (at least what we think we need). It's frustrating to be delayed in doing what we feel He wants us to do.

We wouldn't have found the wood rot or termites if we left on time. We wouldn't have bonded with our neighbors as well if we left on time. We wouldn't have been the recipients of all the help from friends, co-workers, and neighbors if we left on time.

With this kind of start to our trip, it makes me wonder what else God has in store for us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

That Rots

So if it's not one thing, it's another keeping us from getting to Vancouver. This one won't slow us down, but it rots.


Today we discovered the wood door frame on the front door has water rot. We think so anyway. Orkin is coming in the morning to make sure it's not termites, but I'm pretty sure it isn't.

What a pain.


I don't think Orlando has much to worry about her right now. She's now a Tropical Storm, but when they announced "a new tropical depression has formed" I thought, "yep, that's about right. The tropics have been rather depressing this season."

Thankfully it looks like we won't get much from Ivan. It's been breezy and overcast all day because of him. Tonight and tomorrow it might get a bit more windy and rainy, but I think we're going to be fine.

But he's going to be rough when he comes ashore somewhere between New Orleans and Pensacola.

Who's Your blogDaddy?

I've been thinking about this for a while. I want to try this little experiment (that will probably fall flat on it's blog face, but we'll see).

If you are blogging, who got you started? Who is your "blogDaddy"?

For most of us we'll all have the "well, I was interested in it and then blah blah blah." Yeah, we know. Spare us those mundane details.

What I want to know is who is the person that inspired you to start? Maybe it's a few people. Maybe they did or did not help you directly get started.

For me, well, I was interested in it and...oops.

Take Two.

For me, I guess it'd have to be Andrew and Steve that got me into it. I started reading their blogs and then I got started.

So who's your blogDaddy?

Who Needs a Blog?

There are articles and blog posts galore that talk about how to blog, why blog, yadda yadda blog. But leave it to the MarketingProfs to come up with the best so far I've read.

In an acrticle today entitled Straight Talk About Blogs: Do You Really Need One?, they give some blog characteristics, what it takes to have a good one, and what you're in for if you do it. Included are:
Blogs are writing intensive.
Maintaining a blog is hard work.
Blog software is cheap and easily configured.
It takes time, effort and skillful promotion to build an audience for a blog.
A blog that isn't well-written and frequently updated will simply be ignored.
Blogs can help you get better search engine placements.
Blog software is so user-friendly that it frees you from the tyranny of the IT department.
If you're willing to be controversial, you can build up a substantial audience for your blog in a short time.
Journalists troll blogs for source material because bloggers often break stories before traditional media.
Blogs are great for Intranets that allow sharing of information within a company.
Blogs are a perfect way to organize large amounts of information.
I left some out becuase you should read the article yourslef! These points I highlighted are explored more in the article also.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Blog Searching

You know, a thought just occurred to me.

Why doesn't the system not have an easy way to add search to my blog? is, after all, owned by none other than Google! Anyone know how to add search abilities to my Google-owned blog? Maybe I'm just missing it.

On a side note, I found it funny that when I did a spell check (I can't spell) using the spellchecker (owned by Google), it flagged the word "Google" as a misspelled word. I find it equally amusing that it doesn't know the word "blog" either.


New Vancouver Plans

Hurricane Ivan appears to not be coming to Orlando. Whew! But it's looking to be devastating no matter where it lands. It's already killed almost 70 people. But thankfully for us it doesn't look to be heading to Orlando.

However, it, in part, still slowed us down a bit flying to Seattle. We're scheduled to fly on Thursday instead of Tuesday this week. Patricia's health has not been optimal and we could use an extra day or so to get ready.

We still plan to get a hotel in Seattle Thursday night (it'll be a long day) and pick up the car we'll be driving on Friday, then drive up to Canada then.

Is Marketing a Dirty Word?

During lunch today I was able to catch up to this blog I've been wanting to post about. Steve told the blogsphere about it last week. I touched on the concept of marketing last month.

Well, marketing happens. It's going to happen no matter what. But there's good ways to do it and there's bad ways. Learn the good ways and honor those who are being honorable about it.

I saw a perfect example of how marketing can work really well for good. During the hurricanes here in Florida, one of the local TV networks set up a neighbor-to-neighbor hotline. The whole point was if you were in need, you called to let them know what you needed. If you had something to give, you were also asked to call. The volunteers answering these phones kept a record and would match up those with need with those who had something to offer. That's marketing. That's good marketing.

Gmail PSA

I use Gmail but haven't gotten a bogus email like what the Search Engine Roundtable received.

I'm passing this along to you Gmailers as a PSA.

Every Word?

The Real Live Preacher today has a real interesting blog today about those who say they believe every word in the Bible. I had mixed thoughts as I read it, but I think I can agree with the conclusion. I think maybe there's a difference between "believe" and "understand". I believe it in faith, but I don't claim to understand it all.

Read it and let me know what you think also. It's an interesting read for sure!

Stopping Hurricanes

There appears to be several suggestions of how to stop a hurricane. Among the suggestions are giant fans, super absorbent powder, olive oil, prayer, and nuclear warheads.

Now ain't that somthin'?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Reporting Hurricanes

I've written a few times about how the media covers hurricanes.

The other day I found this funny column about how to report hurricanes.

My favorite rule: What you should wear: Always choose the flimsiest rain jacket available.

It's a funny article. Check it out.

Upset Tiger

Man, I still can't believe Clemson lost to Georgia Tech 28-24. That puts us at 1-1 for the season so far.

Man. We should have won that game.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

9-11 Remembered

Three years ago today. But I guess I don't have to tell you. You remember. How could we forget? I was at work. Someone came in and said a plane hit the World Trade Center but didn't know anything more than that. We figured it was a small plane and a strange mistake. We went to a short meeting at 9:00. When I got back to my desk, my email box was overflowing with breaking news. I started scanning the emails quickly and realized something big was happening.

A co-worker got on the phone with his wife at home and started relaying what she was seeing on TV. News websites were down because so many people were going online. We were having a tough time getting news.

Soon I realized it wasn't just NYC, but Washington DC also. Now it really hit closer to home. We have a lot of family that lives there. My cousin worked right off the mall in DC at the time. I started making phone calls to family and found everyone was fine, freaked, and going home. My family in SC started calling to see if I knew about my cousin in DC was okay. I wasn't sure. Later in the morning I got a report that she was fine, just trying to walk home while seeing the Pentagon up in flames.

Then I found out her husband was in NYC that morning.

That afternoon I got this email from him:
2:15 pm
Corner of Broadway and Houston, Lower Manhattan
I'm o.k., and I understood about an hour ago from my dad, who spoke with her, that [my wife] was walking safely with some our apartment...I don't know if anyone else has had any luck getting through to her, but if you do, please tell her I'm still o.k. and going to begin soon a long walk to the Upper West Side...I spent last night at a friend's apt. about 10 blocks away from the WTC; obviously I won't be going back there tonight...Long distance and cell phones still don't work. Ironically email is the most reliable form of communication now...I left [my meeting] across the street [from the WTC] about 45 mins before the first impact...I watched all of it from the window and balcony of this office, about 25 blocks away. It was like a horror movie. Now the smoke and debris is hanging over the neighborhood, not completely engulfing, but noticeable.
I remember being worried for days that Orlando would be attacked also (they went after our financial capital, government capital, and military capital...why wouldn't they go after Disney, arguably the capitalistic capital?). Crop dusters were all in the news and it was really strange to not see any plane at all in the air.

It was a day none of us will forget. No matter where we were, we have stories. We remember. We have one, no, two updates archived on our website if you'd like to read them.

What's most important is that we don't forget. It's a tough thing to deal with. Since then, I've seen God work in the hearts and minds of people. He's done it in mine. He'll continue to do it. Lord, please help those who still need your help.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Our Latest Update

Our latest update is now online on our website. In it we give our update on our trip to Vancouver, the Hurricanes, and Patricia's health. We email these updates monthly (usually!). If you want to receive our eNewsletter, just sign up here!

Thanks for your prayers.

Population Explosion!

This has consistently been one of my favorite reports put out. It's called Population Explosion! and it's done by They publish, by country, how many people live in each country and how many of them are online.

The total online population will reach 1 Billion probably by the end of this year or early next year (that's my guess). 1 Billion. That's a sixth of the world's population!

Yeah, the internet has potential.

Can Cars Feel Stressed?

Can the stress of 3 hurricanes in a month take it's toll on cars? I know the answer is yes if the car is hit by a branch or something. But what if they aren't hit?

Case 1: The horn in our car quit working three days ago
Case 2: The radio in my truck quit working this morning
Case 3: The airbag warning light came on in a friend's car today

Odd, huh?

PS. That car is our Camry. Patricia took a photo of it and then Illustrated it.

Welcome To Florida

A friend emailed me this photo today.

Although I will say, one good thing about the hurricanes is that there's been less shark attacks off the Florida coasts this year!

I guess that's looking at the bright side.

Tracking Hurricanes

Keeping up with what a hurricane is supposed to do, where it's supposed to go, etc, is stressful. The path is always changing. But if you ignore it early you could be in more trouble.

Ivan is going to really be devastating in Jamaica. I've been praying for the people there.

It's difficult to rest in the Lord right now. I trust Him. But it's hard to rest.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Ivan is Nasty

I realize I'm supposed to say "Ivan is Terrible" or something like that, but I'm tired of that name already. He's already killed 23 people and 90% of the houses in Grenada have been damaged. Looting. Prison escapees. 150+ mph winds...and it's about to land on Jamaica tomorrow.

Ivan is worse than Charley and Frances. Thankfully the latest is keeping it offshore from least for now. It can still bear down on us...and certainly cause some significant wind and rain here on Tuesday. Wherever this thing goes, it's going to be bad.

Lord, please weaken this storm like you did with Frances. Please, send it back out to sea with minimal damage and injury.

Are You Ready?

...for some football?

I am.

I'm so glad the NFL finally gets underway tonight in about an hour.

I really need a distraction!

Happy Adoption Day, Derby!

We adopted our pet cocktail, Derby four years ago today. We've been at least his third owner and we don't know how old he is, but we think he was probably about 2 when we got him. He used to be a lot meaner when we got him, but he's really warmed up to us over time. Right now, as I type this, he's sitting on my shoulder preening.

I remember when Patricia told me we were going to get him. I admit, I was a little freaked out because I've never known someone to have a bird. But it's been cool having him. It's really cool when he starts singing like he did this morning.

Happy Adoption Day, Derby! This time, your last adoption!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

C'mon Yellow! C'mon Green!

This is getting old. Here are all the computer models that are used to make hurricane predictions. I'm currently pulling for yellow and green.

Before this summer, it was 44 years ago when a hurricane came to Orlando. But three in one month? Guess after Ivan we should be good for another 132 years.

Yeah, right.

John Jacob Jingle-Heimer Schmitt

This is a song that has always fascinated me. Here's the lyrics in case you don't remember it:
John Jacob Jingle-Heimer Schmitt
That's my name too.
And whenever I go out,
The people always shout,
There goes John Jacob Jingle-Heimer Schmitt,
Here's what I don't get: how could there be two people named "John Jacob Jingle-Heimer Schmitt"?!?! I guess the good thing about that name is you're pretty popular. But I don't know either one of them.

I'm Tired of Hurricanes

Yeah, these, not these (although I'm not crazy about either).

How far away is November 30 again?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Okay, Done

Okay, now I think we're done with least at our house. The winds have died down to normal breezes and it hasn't rained since earlier.

So I think I'm ready to say it's done at my house. Although just a few minutes ago we were out and there was another band just north of us and it looked like a funnel cloud was trying to form, but it never did.

So I'm going to say we had rain on and off for 74+ hours. There's still a chance of some bands coming through, but I really think we're done this time.

Man that's a long time!

Prayers for Coach Bowden

Well, there's two coach Bowdens. Clemson has Tommy, Florida State has Bobby. Bobby's grandson and former son-in-law were killed yesterday in the wake of Hurricane Frances. Tommy had a press conference today. From the press conference:
Bowden said the loss "reintroduces you to your priorities...Which for me are my Christian faith, my family and my profession. My Christian faith helps me understand the most important thing"...Bowden said he'll do the best he can to keep up with his football preparations this week. "My faith helps me compartmentalize," he said.
Our prayers are with you and your family, Coach.

Brilliant Partnership

Netflix and TiVo announced a partnership that makes so much sense that it's not even funny.

Just one more reason to want a TiVo!

Florida Sports On Hold

Earlier I wrote about how some Miami Dolphin players didn't want to travel to New Orleans with Hurricane Frances bearing down on Miami. The NCAA allowed a couple football games to be moved.

Now that the Florida State/Miami game was moved from yesterday to Friday, there's now talk about the possibility of moving it again along with other games this weekend scheduled to be played.

Not Done?

Oh good heavens. I honestly thought we were done with Frances. Granted we're done for all practical purposes (at our house). But it's been windy all day and it just started raining again. I think we've gotten about 6 or so inches. We really faired well. But this is a testament for how large this storm is. We're still being effected by her!

Guess that makes it 73 hours and counting...

We Can See!

We finally got the boards down off our sliding glass doors. We can finally see outside now! What a relief. We feel like life can begin to resume again! We're keeping the other boards up for now though...but they don't effect us too much (actually the ones on the master bedroom help us sleep in the morning because it's so dark!).

We put Derby back to his regular home in front of the doors so he can look outside. He is MUCH happier now! He's been moving around and chirping ever since we put him back.

Uncle Blog

My Uncle wrote up a good blog today about the power of the Internet for ministry.

Thanks, Uncle Bill.

Still Windy

Frances is done here, but it's still pretty windy and cloudy. The sun just came out for a little bit...hopefully for good. We're still under a high wind advisory today:
Issued at: 4:35 AM EDT 9/7/04, expires at: 4:00 PM EDT 9/7/04

lake wind advisory in effect until 400 pm
South to southwest winds of 20 mph with occasional gusts of 30 to 35 mph can be expected today, resulting in hazardous boating conditions on area lakes and the intracoastal waters. Boaters should not venture into open sections of area lakes.
So we're doing well. I'm going to take some boards down today. Ivan is still a bit of a concern, but we're not thinking much about it now.

They are showing police escorted convoys of power trucks and the National Guard coming to Florida. That's really cool to see.

There's a lot of people picking up today around the state. Thankfully we're doing fine.

Monday, September 06, 2004

What would REALLY be cool

The typical format for a local news broadcast usually is: 20 minutes for news, 5 for weather, 5 for sports. That's being generous.

Since Saturday, we've had the weather report for 24 hours a day. I estimate we've been watching the weather report for at least 60 hours straight.

What would really be cool is if local channels would do 60 hours straight of SPORTS!

Yeah, I'm dreaming. I should get ESPN back.

Done with Frances

I think we're finally done with Hurricane Frances. The Panhandle is only starting. Around 2:00 this afternoon I think our last rain, wind, and tornado threat was finally over. There was one tornado about 15-20 miles from our house to the east, then another one near work. That makes our dealings with Frances at 51 hours of rain and wind (Charley was 7).

We just got back from an errand and around here, honestly it looks okay. It's tough to figure out what is from Charley and what is from Frances. Most damage are a few trees here and there and some shingles. But my guess is most of the roof damage was a re-aggravation of Charley's mess.

Now, I know Ivan is out there, and yes, I know what the projections are. I'll blog about it later. But to be honest, I don't want to talk about it much right now. It's way too early. There's a 400 mile variance on where it'll be next weekend. We're not putting away our hurricane stuff. We'll take the boards off our sliding glass doors so we can begin to live again, but we'll leave the others up. We're well aware of Ivan.

We're ready to move on with our lives...hurricane free!


Frances is pulling on out of here, but we've been getting the last outer feeder bands are coming through from the south. These things are long and thin, but they go longways so they sit on you for a while. What makes it bad is they are full of potential tornados. That's the real danger! One touched down about half an hour ago about 15-20 miles from here. More is on it's way. Hopefully this will be the last one for a while. We're ready to get outside for a while!

Not Done Yet

I can't believe it. All night last night and still this morning we're still getting heavy rain and strong wind. We've got a feeder band that is heading north all over us. It's crazy. It was supposed to be over last night. We still expect 40 mph gusts this morning and the steady winds will be 20-30 mph all day into tonight...and maybe some tomorrow. Still have the possibility of tornados also.

The curfew is finally lifted but they're asking us to not go out until after noon so first repsonders can look around.

There's been a lot of arrests of looters over the weekeend too. Gov Bush said before the storm that there would be no bail for looters and I'm glad. Stick it to them, Gov! There's stories of one looter who tried to use a chainsaw to steal an ATM. Another broke into a grocery store and said he just wanted to sleep there (but he left his latex gloves inside). Another was running from the cops, went behind a restaurant and jumped into what he thought was a dump but it was a grease pit.

I hope we'll be able to get out today. We're getting stir crazy. We've been boarded up since Friday.

Oh, Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Vancouver Plans

Now that Hurricane Frances is pretty much done, we're now trying to plan time to relax, recoup, clean, and go to Vancouver. Because this storm took longer to get through than we thought, we realized we could not make our Tuesday flight to Seattle. What we've decided to do is to push our departure date to Sept 14 - one week later. In addition, we're going to fly from Orlando to Seattle instead of flying out of Charlotte.

We're really bummed we can't make it on schedule and that we can't go visit family before our flight, but one thing is for sure -- God has provided all we need for this trip to happen. Patricia said yesterday, "It's obvious that God want us to go to Vancouver. What is also obvious is that we got the dates wrong!"

Even this schedule is subject to change because we are now watching Hurricane Ivan.

Can you find Florida?

Can you find Florida? Here's a hint: it's under all the clouds!

Although we're pretty much done (for now) in Orlando, it's still rocking the Daytona area with squalls. This report came out recently:
Issued at: 2:56 PM EDT 9/5/04, expires at: 4:00 AM EDT 9/6/04

inland tropical wind warning until 400 am Monday
The circulation center of Frances will continue to move slowly away from the area tonight and Monday. However, gusts of 40 to 50 mph will occur overnight in a few squalls, possibly reaching 60 mph this evening. These winds are capable of producing damage to weakened construction, trees, and signs.
Additional downed powerlines and trees from overnight squalls will make clean up and driving dangerous Monday. Remain safely indoors through sunrise, and be extremely careful when going outdoors to examine damage. A majority of the injuries and fatalities associated with hurricane Charley occurred during the clean up stage.
So this will keep going even tomorrow. In fact, as Frances gets out into the Gulf, it's expected to intensify and as it does, the wraparound effects of the hurricane will effect us on Monday.

We're Fortunate

Watching the radar and the reports, I think we in east Orlando might just pull through this thing okay. We still have power, etc. Several friends in the area lost power already. There are still some big squalls in the Atlantic but it seems most of them will miss us. Patricia and I have been very fortunate so far though we're not out yet. Thank you Lord for your protection so far!

We've been in the 30-40 mph winds all day. Rain started around 11 AM Saturday morning.

Some peak wind gusts recorded in our area include 124 mph in Port Canaveral, 94 at the space Center, and 69 at the airport.

Don't get me wrong...we're not out yet. It's still pretty windy sometimes and we're still under a torado warning until 8 tonight.

Earlier I told you I heard a thud hit the boarded sliding glass window earlier. It's been killing me wondering what it was. Well, I got brave a little while ago during a lull and ran back there. The winds were fine and the rain was light. It was just a small branch...just what I thought. All was fine! But then I heard the wind starting to do this low bass howl so I ran back inside.

It was exhilarating!

Next Couple Hours

The next couple hours probably will be the toughest. The eye is drifting south of us moving near Kissimmee/St. Cloud. I still fully expect to lose power, but we're still doing well. There's no real visible debris yet; at least nothing of significance.

This thing is just so stinkin' slow. It's traveling at 10 mph across the state. Good grief that's slow! They say it should exit the state around 8 tonight. And it's so huge. It's raining from Jacksonville and parts of southern Georgia all the way to Key West. Big and slow. At least it's not as strong as it could be!

Charley and Frances have been compared this way: Charley was like a heavy weight knockout punch. Frances is like a 15-round middle weight bout. Just two different storms with two different characteristics. From the time Charley started raining at our house to the time it stopped, it took 7 hours. Frances started raining 23 hours ago.


The eye of the storm is over Yeehaw Junction right now heading to Lakeland. Patricia and I have actually been through Yeehaw Junction. Can you guess what I yelled as we went through? Yup. "Junction!"

Just kidding. I yelled "Yeehaw!"

I probably didn't need to tell you that.

We're still fine. Power, water, and phones are still up. I expect to lose any or all of them today, but the longer we go, the more I feel we may just make it! Some family and friends have called and several emails exchanged. Thanks! So far so good!

"It's going to get badder"

That was the quote from one of the local weather girls. Badder?

Though looking at the radar, we're certainly in this for a while. We're sustaining around 40 mph winds and gusts to 65. They're saying that should pick up for a few hours as the eye passes about 30-40 miles south of here (Lakeland, FL).

There was a thud on the boards in the back. Sounded like a branch. It looks fine from this side! Don't think it was a tree. It's killing me to not know what it is!

Gov Bush

LOL! Gov Jeb Bush is giving a press conference (I feel for him...this has been a rough month for him). Anyway, someone in the press asked him how he felt about the economic impact of this hurricane in regards to being Labor Day weekend. The Gov quipped, "We cancelled football games. In Florida, that's serious."

Don't read that wrong. It was an attempt to lighten the mood. It's a somber and serious conference so it's good to see a bit of humor in there.

Local TV Media

Things That Bug Me About Local Media
1. They like to overhype stuff (it's still a dangerous situation, but they really overhype it)
2. They get disappointed if the hurricane weakens (I could see the disappointment on the weather guy's face)
3. They feel they have to scoop the other channels so they can say "we were first"
4. They get disappointed if they don't get face time (I just saw a reporter pout and complain on camera because they were going to cut away from him to show the Governor's press conference).
5. They won't show anything else but hurricane coverage...even when nothing is changing for hours

Things That I Like About Local Media
1. They tell me what's going on at my house
2. Guess that's it.

An Inside View

A view from the inside here in the den. This corner points almost due east and the winds are coming mostly from the east and northeast. That's why we boarded these windows. One thing's for sure, it sure is dark inside! But we have a few side windows open where I can peer outside.

I think this storm will finally get out of Florida by Halloween. Geeze it's slow!

Power blip

Just had a "long" power blip. It went out for about a minute. Glad it's back on, but every time it does that it feels like it'll last forever.

We're getting the short flickers every once in a while.

Pine Needles

The sun is up now...well, it's brighter than is was. I haven't seen the sun, but I trust it's there. It's giving me a clearer picture of what's going on. I can see pine needles all over the side yards and I expect the back yard is covered in them also. But damage at this point looks minimal to none. I can see my neighbor's roofs and fence and they all look fine. The trees are whipping around but everything looks okay, from what I can tell.

As slow as this storm is moving, if the power goes out (there's 60,000 in Orange County right now w/o power) it'll be out for a while. They can't send people out until it calms down.


Hurricane Frances finally made it's full landfall last night. That's good. A good analogy to describe what will happen is one I heard on the news...when the eye comes over land fully, it's like turning off a fan that's been going at full speed. The stuff to feed it is gone, but the blades spin for a long time. So it's good news, but there's still a lot left!

I really want to go outside around back to see what's going on. That's where we have most of the boards on windows because it faces northeast and there's a bunch of trees back there. But I guess I won't go back there. Oh I wish I could!

Updated: What We Expect

Looks better on a graphic, but doesn't seem better outside!

I tell ya, it's so much better than what we originally thought we'd get, but when you're in the middle of it, it doesn't really matter that much. The "it could be worse" isn't that comforting.

We're in the tropical storm sustained winds now and when feeder bands come in we can hit hurricane force winds. At the airport, about 10 miles from here, are reporting sustained 41 mph winds and gusts up to about 60.

But hey, I've got power, water, and phones. If it does stay this way, I'll be "happy".

I'm Up

Well, I got some sleep through the night. Got up twice to turn on the TV to see what's going on. Turned out to be just strong winds and rain. Go figure! I just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything worse!

Power is still on though it blipped just now. Looks like the heavy stuff is now with us and will be for many hours. They've been saying the morning hours of today will be the toughest for us.

I'll post as I can.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Some Good News

The eye wall is just starting to move on shore further south than expected (just north of West Palm Beach). This is good news for us becuase that means that the storm won't intensify and the further south, the better for us.

But that doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet. In fact, we've just started. This storm is so huge and all the energy is north of the eye. That means we're in for a long night and day tomorrow with a lot of rain and wind.

I think we're getting the 25+ mph winds now and are getting buffeted off and on by rain. So far so good. I think I'm going to go to bed soon anyway. I don't know how much sleep I'll get even though I'm tired. Hopefully I'll wake up with power and internet access! You'll be sure to know the answer to that in the morning.

Sky Lies

This evening I went outside to see what was going on (I can't see outside well because of all the boards on our windows!). There was a strange glow. I looked up, and there was some blue sky...and orange clouds from the sunset. My neighbor took this photo. Pretty wild.

The strong storms and rain are starting to head in now for us in east Orlando. They say landfall will be about 2 AM now. It'll be a bumpy ride.

I don't believe that sky an hour ago. Red sky at night, sailors delight? Not tonight!

Maybe the orange sky was a celebration of Clemson's double overtime win today!

Ivan, you better not!

Shoo! Shoo!

Windy Orlando

Watching one local channel, they are reporting that by 8:00 tonight, we'll have the 40-60 mph winds. They'll probably start earlier than 8, but they expect we'll be in it pretty solid by then.

By 8:00 Sunday morning (yes, 12 hours later), we'll have 60-74 mph winds with the possibility of 75+ mph winds here to follow.

By 8:00 Sunday night (24 hours later), we will be back to the 40-60 mph winds.

Over 24 hours of 40+ mph winds with it getting up to maybe 90-100 mph winds with it at times...sustained.

Chicago's got nothing on us!

No Clemson Game on TV

Man I'm bummed! They aren't showing the game on TV. I knew they wouldn't!

At least I can listen to it on the Internet.

The Beaches

Well, since a lot isn't happening here (just windy and some rain (dang, just did the report I'm tired of!)), I thought I'd send some of the latest Hurricane Bulletin for Orange County.
Issued at: 2:20 PM EDT 9/4/04, expires at: 4:20 PM EDT 9/4/04

...Hurricane Frances is nearly stationary at 70 miles east of palm beach. The lack of movement will increase the wind and rain damage threat to the area between Palm Beach and Vero Beach. Persistent winds gusts from 80 to 100 mph have been reported on the coast...Storm surge models using the official track forecast indicate that Frances will be making landfall during the time of high tide around midnight tonight between Jupiter Inlet and Cape Canaveral. This would produce maximum storm tides of seven or eight feet near and to the right of where the center makes landfall, most likely brevard and indian river counties. North of cape canaveral, a surge of 3 to 4 feet is likely. Battering waves of very long duration will be of great concern along the beaches. Significant wind and wave damage is likely in the intracoastal waterway...At 2 pm edt the large eye of hurricane frances was located near latitude 26.9 north, longitude 79.0 west or about 70 miles, east of palm beach Florida. Frances has barely moved during the past hour. However the hurricane is expected to resume a west to west-northwest track near 5 mph, 7 km/hr today.

Not much to report now

It's just been pretty quit lately. I just came in from outside where it was getting really gusty, but just as I started typing, I'm now hearing a lot of rain and wind now.

5 Things That Stink

1. We don't have cable.
2. We do have a hurricane.
3. All local channels are showing "it's windy and rainy" reports
4. There's only one football game on now and it's the Vanderbilt/South Carolina game (at least it's football though)
5. They probably won't show the Clemson game because of the "it's windy and rainy" reports

The Lull

Looks like we'll stay in this lull for a little while longer. Maybe I'll go outside while I can. It's windy but all is fine right now. We're expecting tropical storm winds or stronger for about 24+ hours starting late this afternoon or tonight. We should have hurricane strength winds sometime in the middle of this storm (Sunday morning).

Feeder Band Done

Well, that feeder band wasn't too bad.  Just like a rough and very windy summertime storm...but no thunder.  It's still coming and there's a nice lull right now.
Unfortunately every channel we have is talking about the hurricane.  This is getting old.  I wanna watch something else but we don't have cable.  Show some football!
I have a feeling I won't get to watch anything else.


The rain just started at our house. No big deal right now.

However, they just announced on TV that it won't make landfall until SUNDAY morning at 6 AM! This is going to last forever.

Animated Loop Radar

Just wanted to pass along this radar loop so you can watch what we're experiencing.

Right now it's just windy and cloudy. The cloud bands are moving really fast but the wind is probably about 15-20 mph now. They are showing the beaches on TV and they are getting hit pretty hard right now.

We just got back from walking around the neighborhood. Looks like about a third of our neighbor's put up boards...some were still doing it this morning.

Sleeping Late

Ahhh....I slept through the night and woke up at 8:30. I know some of you were praying we'd get good sleep tonight. Thanks. We needed it.

I went outside just now and it's partly cloudy and breezy...nothing unusual right now. Everything is coming out of the east. The interesting thing is seeing small stripes of clouds move east to west very fast. Radar is showing some feeder bands are coming later this morning.

The 11:00 report should tell us a lot more, but it keeps getting better for us. The beaches are already getting hit with tropical storm winds and some surge, and they're going to get it bad all day. I think we're going to be much better off.

BUT, this is going to last all weekend and we can get tornados and microburst winds.

So, we're going to get both the car and truck into the garage, and settle in for the day. Pray that we keep power.

Quick Update

Just wanted to give an update before I'm off to bed. Things are looking much better every moment. By no means does this mean we won't have trouble with wind, rain, power outages, etc. But, it looks like it'll finally make landfall around midnight Saturday and finally get out of here by Sunday night. We're feeling better about it all, though it's still tough storm. We won't have the strong winds we thought we'd might get, but we'll get wind for a LONG time that will cause trouble.

We're going to hopefully get a decent night sleep tonight, clean the house in the morning, stay updated on what's going on outside, and hopefully watch some football!

We'll keep you posted as we can when we can.

NFL Officials

The Miami Dolphins played a pre-season game tonight in New Orleans. But several Miami players didn't want to go because of Hurricane Frances. Seems they didn't want to leave their families with a hurricane coming to their house.

Unreasonable request? Apparently it was to the NFL. They felt the game should be played despite the feelings and emotions of the players leaving home in the uncertainty of this storm. The NFL didn't want to seem heartless though. They moved the game up 30 minutes so the players could get home a half an hour earlier!

So sweet of them to help the players out like that.

Despite it all, Miami won 20-19.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Boarded Up

Well, we're all boarded up. It's been another long day, but not as bad as yesterday. Hurricane Frances has been slowing down a lot and I knew they'd be changing the forcasts for it all day. They have. Yesterday they thought it'd come through Orlando as a Category 2 hurricane. Today they thought it'd go south of here. Today it was back through Orlando. Now they say it's south again.

The good news is that it's been weakening and we could only get tropical storm strength winds. It can still get stronger and could still come here, but we're as ready as we can be. It should start tomorrow evening and last over a day! That's what will be the biggest problem...sustained strong winds and rain for a long time.

I'll post more as I can. Hopefully we'll still have power and they'll still show the Clemson game tomorrow afternoon!

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