Thursday, September 30, 2004
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
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: those are my style
Karin: gummie bears
Rob: twix is good
Rob: hate all gummie stuff
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!
I need candy to make it perfect.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
I'll get there yet.
Blogging 201: Posting Photos
What's a blogger to do?
Well, if you're with blogger.com 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="http://www.domain.com/image"_> 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 blogger.com, 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
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!
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
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."
Monday, September 27, 2004
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.
Oh! What is a trackback? I'll let Haloscan answer that.
My New Blog
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.
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
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.What a crazy season this has been!
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.
Pitatayo, Patricia, Trish...
Blogging 102: HTML Code
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="http://www.domain.com"_>. 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="http://www.domain.com/image.jpg"_>. 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="http://www.domain.com/image.jpg" 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!
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
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
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
PETA or CCC?
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."
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
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: Blogger.com
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 www.blogger.com 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 orangejack.blogspot.com. They will give you the ".blogspot.com", 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
Now it's here in Canada.
Why Hurricane Season is like Christmas
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.
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
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.
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.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Hey Quebec, take it from a South Carolinian...let it go!
If not, au revoir!
The Wired Monk
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 LegendWe thought that was pretty funny. Good coffee too.
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
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Top 20 Cities
How's the Weather?
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 area...it's really nice here.
We're still settling in, unpacking, etc. It's been a good day.
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'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.
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.
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.
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, justGo Tigers!
can't stand them. :-)
Blog Searching Update
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
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'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 airplane...you 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.
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
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!
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
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.I left some out becuase you should read the article yourslef! These points I highlighted are explored more in the article also.
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.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Why doesn't the blogger.com system not have an easy way to add search to my blog?
blogger.com 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 blogger.com 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
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?
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.
I'm passing this along to you Gmailers as a PSA.
Read it and let me know what you think also. It's an interesting read for sure!
Now ain't that somthin'?
Sunday, September 12, 2004
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.
Man. We should have won that game.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
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 pmI 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.
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 workmates...to 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.
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
Thanks for your prayers.
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?
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
PS. That car is our Camry. Patricia took a photo of it and then Illustrated it.
Welcome To Florida
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.
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
Ivan is worse than Charley and Frances. Thankfully the latest is keeping it offshore from us...at 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?
I'm so glad the NFL finally gets underway tonight in about an hour.
I really need a distraction!
Happy Adoption Day, Derby!
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!
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.
John Jacob Jingle-Heimer Schmitt
John Jacob Jingle-Heimer SchmittHere'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.
That's my name too.
And whenever I go out,
The people always shout,
There goes John Jacob Jingle-Heimer Schmitt,
I'm Tired of Hurricanes
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
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
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.
Just one more reason to want a TiVo!
Florida Sports On Hold
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.
Guess that makes it 73 hours and counting...
We Can See!
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.
Thanks, Uncle Bill.
Issued at: 4:35 AM EDT 9/7/04, expires at: 4:00 PM EDT 9/7/04So 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.
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.
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
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
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!
Not Done Yet
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
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?
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 9/6/04So 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.
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.
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
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.
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"
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!
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
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
I think this storm will finally get out of Florida by Halloween. Geeze it's slow!
We're getting the short flickers every once in a while.
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.
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
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".
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
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.
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!
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
At least I can listen to it on the Internet.
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
5 Things That Stink
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
Feeder Band Done
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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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