Wednesday, November 23, 2005

words of wisdom from Carl Hiaasen

God I could not have said this better myself............I love Carl Hiaasen.
These words of wisdom were written by Carl Hiaasen published originally in the Miami Herald and then picked up by many other papers at a later date.
Reminder Mr. Hiaasen lives in Islamorada which is the Upper Keys.

When will we be ready for the next one? Never

With its usual foresight and timeliness, the Florida Legislature is now grappling with the issue of hurricane preparedness.
We all know what that means: absolutely nothing.
The Democrats are blaming the Republicans for the halting response to Hurricane Wilma, and the Republicans are blaming the citizens for not heeding calls to be ready.
There's a breath of truth in both arguments -- and plenty of hot air.
The fact is, urban South Florida will never be prepared for a major hurricane. The idea of evacuating six million people is ludicrous, and the vast majority will be either stuck on the highways or stuck in their homes.
If a slow-moving Category 4 or 5 storm strikes head-on any place from West Palm Beach to South Miami, plan on mass destruction, long-term shortages of fuel and food, disorder in the streets and, of course, darkness.
There's no other possible scenario, unless they bulldoze the whole peninsula, boot everybody out and start over. Catastrophic mistakes have literally been set in concrete, as has our fate.
How many cities and counties in South Florida govern development with future hurricanes in mind? The road systems are designed purely to feed growth. High-rises and subdivisions are mapped to maximize density.
The result is sprawl, suffocating congestion and -- when the storm hits -- the collapse of an overburdened infrastructure. Big surprise.
For decades the state's governors and legislative leaders have avidly encouraged reckless coastal growth, beholden as they've been to mega-developers, road builders, banks and others getting rich from cramming more people into Florida.
Now our lawmakers sit around, scrounging for somebody to blame for the havoc caused by Hurricane Wilma. What boneheads.
I love the comments from Sen. Alex Díaz de la Portilla of Miami and Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland. They say Floridians need to take more personal responsibility for hurricane preparation.
Are you slackers listening? Next time a tropical storm is brewing, rush out and buy your 72 hours worth of food, ice and D batteries. You'll be just fine after the storm hits.
For 72 measly hours at least. After that, good luck.
And here come the Democrats, carping about the Federal Emergency Management Agency and demanding to know why some supply trucks didn't get where they were supposed to go. Sure, there was some bungling and confusion, but it's hard to envision a smooth operation in the absence of traffic signals and fuel for the relief vehicles.
Meanwhile, Florida Power & Light has been asked to explain how so many of its substations got knocked out, and why so many of its power poles snapped like matchsticks, leaving more than 3.2 million people in the dark.
The utility probably isn't taking the inquiry too seriously, having been awarded last week a whopping rate increase of 20.6 percent for the average residential customers. Interestingly, the company had asked for less.
It was with the same unbridled generosity that the so-called Public Service Commission earlier decided that FPL should be handsomely compensated for revenues lost from the massive outages caused by the 2004 hurricanes.
So, even though your electricity was off, the meter was still running.
Many thousands of private businesses took huge hits from Wilma, yet only a select few are being rescued by our concerned leaders in Tallahassee.
Take Citizens Property Insurance, the shambling, state-run outfit that will likely receive a humongous rate hike, including increased assessments on innocent policy holders using other coverage.
Citizens was set up because real insurance companies were bailing out of Florida, which wasn't unexpected.
Only gamblers or fools would write windstorm policies in Hurricane Central, so it's fitting that the state leapt into the void.
You won't be shocked to learn that Citizens is teetering toward insolvency, with losses projected to exceed $1 billion. To bail out South Florida's largest home insurer, we'll all be opening our wallets.
See, it's not just the next hurricane we should prepare for. It's the inevitable reaming that follows.
Wilma wasn't a cataclysmic event on the scale of Katrina smashing the Gulf Coast. It was a Cat 1 storm swiftly raking across an insanely overpopulated swampland.
Imagine a hurricane exponentially stronger, and slower. Imagine sustained winds of 120 mph instead of 85 mph. Imagine four feet of rainfall and streets flooded for weeks.
When the big one arrives -- the really big one -- plan on the pits. Plan on devastation. Plan on mayhem. Plan on bungling by those who've been telling you how to plan. And plan on way more than 72 hours of grief and gouging.
Be prepared, they're warning us. Next time, you'd better be prepared. Know how to prepare? Stock up on Prozac, that's how.
Because it's going to be real bad, both miserable and tragic, and there's nothing to be done except wait.

Monday, November 14, 2005

ok the inside is done NOW we travel outside

So ya see this was the plan that we would finish about now and move to the outdoors now that we are in mid November and the weather always is cooler now. WRONG!!! WRONG!!! WRONG!!! Would it be too cruel of me to tell ya IHATEFLORIDA!!! The humidity is horrible because there is something lurking WAY I mean WAY down south a tropical whatever that has a Latin name like Gamma or hell I don't know and I don't wanna know. But it is headed to South America. Folks this just doesn't happen - sumpin is wrong.

Well anyway we have moved to projects outside like building a small deck, putting in some flower beds and building an overhang over the studio/workshop french doors. Worked out there today and guess that's what is called sweat equity. Maybe it'll help me lose some weight, now that is something I could use. stay tuna'd

Thursday, November 03, 2005

greed gone overboard, WAAAAAY overboard

The headline reads “Java with Jesus” and an artists rendering of a Starbucks logo
with a picture of Jesus in the middle. Short and simple the article states that there will also be a verse underneath that new logo written by Rick Warren, best selling author, pastor (of sorts) and obviously a huckster. Ya know now that I think about it the man reminds me of Uncle Bob, who also was a pastor of sorts and a real huckster. But I digress and that could be another story.

In the article it says “if religion is good for Starbucks, is Starbucks good for religion?”

Ok in a nutshell this is my belief that all these people are greedy, very, very greedy marketing people. And all of this is beginning to piss me off.

The article which was originally published in the New York Times a week or so ago, so you may have read about this in your paper, but here in Florida we be a bit slow on the uptake

Now I was going to write about all the “pink stuff” out there. Why do these marketing people want to inundate us, haven’t they heard that less is more. And ya know if ya pick up the item and read that a portion of the sales goes to whatever, I say prove it. I don't trust the slimy SOB's. Now I’m am not against making breast cancer awareness more out there to the general public. Heck I have a pink magnet thingy on my car. And by the way the only magnet thingy on my car. But folks they have “pink things” even in pet stores. Walmart, bless there little hearts, oh wait they don’t have hearts do they, anyhoo there was pink stuff EVERYWHERE during the month of October, which is breast cancer awareness month I’m sure you know. And now it is November and there is still some “pink stuff” floating around their store but where will all this won't I'll just have to try and ignore the greedy bastards.

I was also going to write about drilling for oil off the coast of Southwest Florida. Now that’s where we live or will live for just a few more months that is. This is gonna be a really big deal because it seems that Washington wants to ruin the beaches of the Southwest coast. Here’s the deal if the hurricanes don’t kill this state Washington is going to see that they take it down fer sure. Stay tuna’d ...............

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

looking for a tree...........

Where is that tree............???
OK our mother, bless her creative little heart, had a gold foil, somewhat embossed, Christmas tree that she dearly loved and decided to do something with. Knowing ma it could be just about anything. It was a Hallmark item, so in it's original form it was a decoration for something probably a package. Now momma decided to put that pretty gold tree decorations on a package and give it to one of our family members. They in turn would be the keeper of the "tree" and the next year pass the pretty little "tree" on to someone else. We did this for many. many years. My husband & I lived far from thefamily so when one of us got the "tree" it was a gift in itself sorta. And very special.......aaawwww I got the "tree" - too cool.
Momma passed away in 2002, and we all miss her terribly. We loved all of her wonderful quirky traditions that were so much fun and done with such love. Talking to my sis yesterday - we don't know where the "tree" is. Hey Lo.................. do you know?????
stay tuna'd

How to impress a woman: Kiss her, hug her, compliment her, love her, tease her, protect her, listen to her, support her.How to impress a man: Show up naked with a beer!

Monday, October 31, 2005

if you are a judge and...............

your phone rings for gods sake run the other way!!! Don't answer the phone - leave your voice mail to answer and it should say "OK yep I'm a judge but nope I dunt wanna be a Supreme Court nominee for the Dope in the White House, please call someone else". I'm sure it would be an honor and hard to turn down ,but come on folks the Dope nominates you - what a frickin nightmare. stay tuna'd......................

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

we're home again........and this better be the last time I have to say this

because I am removing the word evacuate from my vocabulary. Never want to do this again.
8 named hurricanes in 14 months. Now understand I am very sympathetic to my fellow Floridians but I am just not wanting to be a Floridian anymore. Even though Jeb Bush, who is the Governor of this state, and yes the dopey presidents bro, is doing and has done in the past a wonderful job of getting it together. All the other hurricane prone states should take lessons from Jebby and his staff. Now I was thinking maybe we should make Jeb in charge of FEMA. I'm not saying the temp guy is bad, after all he too lives in Florida Broward County to be exact, but Jebby is just more astute to our woes.
I was verbalizing this scenario to my sis and happen to say that maybe we should put Jeb in charge of Homeland Security, since the dope that is in there is a big fat LIAR!!! Sis told me I was going a little too far, the idea of putting any Bush human being in charge of Homeland Security was a bit much. But seems that he couldn't do a lot of damage as the FEMA director.
But then again we are moving and going to Arizona - do they have anybody like Jeb in Arizona? Oh I know there is John McKay, Senator of Arizona so that could make me happy. Senator McKay better behave......................stay tuna'd

Friday, October 21, 2005

OK now what.......

A couple of days ago I did the humid happy dance, meaning the humidity went WAAAAY down. And if y'all live in Florida you know what that means and how happy you can be over such a dumb thing.

Now the humids are back because of WILMA who is supposed to make her appearance somewhere around Saturday nite and Monday nite. Go figure - in this day and age we are not closer to predicting a storm such of this magnitude and who's picking these names for gods sake...................stay tuna'd

Thursday, October 20, 2005

crap, crap, crap, crap, WILMA bitch, bitch, bitch

Well I got that out of my system. And I am sick to death of this for us and all the many, many thousands of friends and neighbors.

We are in the hurry up and wait stay tuna'd.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

does it mean I'm getting old when someone asks me to google something and just for a moment it sounds a bit obscene

buddy ruined my lunch yesterday..............buddy is our 11 year old black cat. He's been known to be a little on the ornery side but he can be a very sweet cat.
Here's how he ruined our lunch........yesterday we were finishing up painting the living room, let's here it WOO HOO!!!, and I got a little hungry, told Norm I was going to stop and make lunch. How bout a tuna salad sandwich, sounds tasty, big glass of iced tea. OK I'm on it. Open the can of tuna, Norm only eats albacore packed in water, who knew he was fussy, anyhoo, and usually when I open a can of tuna Buddy is right there thinking I'll let him lick the can of the juices. Looked around no Buddy - hmmmm!! Went on about my lunch duties called for Norm and then I said bring Buddy I saved the can for him. He's not spoiled really. Nope I haven't seen him so he must be in the closet sleeping. He can do that ya see. Almost done with lunch and now I'm getting concerned that he didn't come out when he heard our jaws flapping. Norm go see if Buddy is in the closet of under the bed please...........OK I called him, Norm called him and nuttin. Now we are getting concerned. Earlier, a couple of hours ago Norm had the door to the garage open and was bring things in to the house thru the garage door. Buddy, the evil cat could have snuk out. So here's the drill, Norm gets in his truck and drives the neighborhood and I start walking, Buddy, Buddy, Buddy. Nope no Buddy.......well I get back to the house and Norm pulls up in the truck, he gets out with tears in his eyes and no Buddy. Oh we feel so bad boo hooing all over the place. Isit down and say Norm go look in the closet again just to be sure. He comes out looking like the cat swallowed the mouse, and he is laughing. The damn cat was up on our bed stuck way behind in all those pillows up on a bed. The little bastard was so sound asleep. Needless to say we were happy.........but..............he still ruined my lunch. No tuna for Buddy.

Monday, October 17, 2005

humid happy dance........................

yeeeee hawwwww!!!! woke up to the temperature BELOW 70 degrees!!! Actually it was 67. I dreamt for early mornings to be in the 60's Kinda dumb huh??? But when the temps are stuck on humid and in the high 70's low 80's for morning temps .................well I did the bye bye humidity happy dance.

Trust me it won't becuase there is a tropical storm out there, which will cause the humids to come back, named WILMA........................geeeeeeez is there no end to this.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

he's on a roll.......

I'll tell ya builder Norm is really going to town. I come home from getting my haircut and he has completed framing the arch in the living room as well as framing up the entry way closet, the remainder of the carpet removed and is beginning to mud the walls. He said the tile would be in next week so he is trying to get ahead some.

So all is well in the neighborhood, I got a great haircut and the builder is happy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

in the beginning.....

OK retirement IS all it is cracked up to be and more. None of this rocking chair, sitting watching soaps and eating ice cream, well maybe ice cream, for us Oh NO!!! We gotta re-build a house! What were we thinking?

It all started when the property values in "the Keys" aka the most southern peninsula of Florida. Anyhoo the property vales a couple of three years ago just started catapukting their way UP. So my dear husband, Norman, says ya know a hurricane could just come along and wipe all of us right off the map. Sobering thought for sure. Let's see about selling this condo we have had for almost 20 years take the $$$ and run to I don't know where???

So we got in our car that weekend and started driving, knowing that we did not want to be on the east coast of Florida, aka the plywood or blue tarp state and yes some people do call it the Sunshine state as it states that very phrase on my license plate. I digress. We head over to the west coast of the state to just poke around and see what we might like. Naples is very pretty, beginning to be a bit over built and $$$$ pretty pricey. Traveling north, Ft Myers is way too crowded and a horrendous traffic problem. Mind you we were used to one road in one road out kind of living for sometime. We came upon an area Called Charlotte county, sleepy kinda area with potential. So we stopped stayed there a couple of days drove back to the Keys and on the way back we had confirmed that we would list our condo and head over to the west coast.

Now mind you I had a job that I dearly loved and we had many friends in the community as well. Norm and I were ingrained in this community as we had retired once before and came to the Keys, got bored and opened a business.....what the hell were we thinking!!!! So 13 years after opening the business we decided to sell it and then Norm could really retire.....NOT!!! He went and got his captains license and became a backcountry guide and a very good one I might add. I continued my employment as the operations manager for a weekly newspaper and all was well in the world. Well so we thought until Norm came up with the idea to take the $$$ and run. And so we did!!

Now fast forward to early 2004, friends from Canada were visiting and we wanted to show them around. I especially wanted to show them this cute little area that I liked and Norm had not seen either. We drove into the area and immediately saw a sign that said rent to own. I don't think so but I asked Norm to go and see what the paper work said that was at the door. While walking back from the house a fella was out front and asked if he was looking to buy. "Well yeah maybe I am, why? I might be selling my house in a couple weeks. I heard that and was over to him in a flash. Show us I asked. Nah I'm a batchelor and it's a mess. Who cares let's go see." I persuaded him to take us to his house so we could show our friends that we visitng. We walked in the front door, I asked "how much" he told me and we bought it right there on the spot. Now our friends hadn't made it thru the front door hardly when we told them we bought it. They were hysterical laughing "no way"!!!

Needless to say we had some kinks to iron out. We had a condo we had just finished re-doing and we needed to sell that. Which we did in a week. Thank you very much. But all in all it was just meant to be. The guy we bought the house from is a sweetheart and we remained friendly and even did some business together at a later time.

Now flash ahead to July 2004. Prior to that we had taken a couple of trips, bought some property as an investment with maybe the idea to build on some day. And we thought it would be a wise investment to add on to the house we had just purchased. Always thinking about resale value ya see.

So we came up with some plans, took them to an architect who in turn had them engineered. All ready now the plans are set to be taken to the county for permitting. Woohoo - we shall get started on the slab in the next few weeks.

Ok it's August 11th, 2004 and there is a hurricane out there hmmmmm. Being from the "Keys" we know to keep a weather eye on the storm. As we went thru Andrew in 92 andevacuated for a few others whos name I cannot/chose not to remember. No one around us is the least bit concerned, "haven't had a hurricane here in years, just years", they were saying. There wasn't even but a few people at the new Home Depot buying plywood for the windows. Those fancy, weather machines all the local tv guys are saying it's going to Tampa, it's going to Tampa. OK now it's the late nite of the 12th we go to a terrific weather site called accuweather. Norm used it all the time when he was guiding and learned to trust them. On accuweather the storm, Charley as it is now called, had shifted some and the dang TV weather dudes had not yet said that. I immediately called a hotel in Vero Beach on the east coast, and made a reservation, just in case. We decided to go to bed get up really early, who slept anyway, and see what accuweather was saying. Bingo, the dang storm shifted and was headed directly towards US !!

Holy crap we gotta get outta here. We were prepared from the nite before, had everything in the truck, all we did was throw Buddy (the cat) in the truck and off we went at 4:30 in the a.m. headed for Vero Beach.

Long, long story short we made it to Vero Beach just in time to turn on the weather channel and watch the storm make a direct hit on Charlotte County. We came home the next day to not a shingle gone from our house. How lucky we were!!! Mind you my car was in the driveway and a tree had fallen on it but hey if that's the worst woo hoo!!! But it seemed like every tree in our neighborhood ended up in our yard. So there was a lot of chain sawing going on. We could not stay in the house as there was no power or water. So we stayed up in Tampa , excuse me, where the storm was supposed to go, and drove back and forth for 6 days. No sooner was Charley out of the way and Frances started showing her/his ugly face. What the hell we evacuated again, but this time we went to Canada. Norm grew up in Cambridge Ontario and good friens of ours, the Boults, live there. The border guard thought it was pretty funny we were evacuating allllll the waaay to Canada.

During that trip was when we decided we would come home start the addition and sell the house and get the hell out of this state. When we finally did come back in late September we could not get permits yet as there were two count em two more storms lurking. Praise the lord we did not have to evacuate for Jeanne or Ivan. Well the two more storms convinced us to get this addtion done and get the hell outta here.

We started pouring the foundation late October of last year and as of this very moment we are almost finished. We will put the house up for sale the first of the year. Get in our 5th wheel trailer and big ass truck and hit the road.

Our intention is to leave Florida and head to Southern Arizona, around Tombstone, spend the winter and spring there. Locate a piece of property we can build a house on, are we glutens for punishment or what. This will be the last house so we need to get it right. Then once we decide on the property we will get on the road and head to Alsaka.............yikes can't believe I said that. It has been a long time dream of Norms to do that and hey he deserves a trip like that. So Alaska it is and of course many places along the way.

So that is why I have started this blog is to actually keep a journal of sorts. Up until a short time ago I didn't even know you could do this. My dear sister Deb has her own blog and she introduced me to this. And I am thankful she did. Stay tuna'd...................................