Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Weather, Politics Both Locational .... Some South Florida History - Back From Florida in NC Thinking on Friends I have in Parkland. #AlyssaAlhadeff Columbine Almost 20 Years Ago. Much Needs to be DONE.

Hard to believe it's been a week since I posted here. This is "off season" in the tropics and when I usually am quiet. I've been traveling and that traveling is going to continue for the rest of the month. I jokingly said I should just rent an apartment down in South Florida for this period but no we are going back and forth so I'm sort of in a mental Jet Lag even though I'm not switching time zones. Speaking of switching time zones I wish.... I want so badly to go to Seattle and visit with the family there however my priorities currently are in Florida even if part of my heart is in Seattle. It's late February but it feels like late March and if that continues the tropics may wake up early this year. Just something to think on so putting it out there....

So back to weather. Much in life is locational whether we want to look at things that way or not.  My spell checker doesn't like the word but it's a popular word in International Relations and as that is one of my degrees I'm going with it. Politics is locational in that issues are felt stronger in some areas than in other areas. Places where people hunt for example view gun rights differently than they do in a quiet suburb filled with strip centers that feature sushi restaurants and frozen yogurt shops. The name Parkland brings up a multitude of places where young men decided to take their anger out on a general population of students that often had no idea who the shooter was or why they hated them so much they needed to be hunted down and shot. In Columbine many of the students knew the killers; in Sandy Hook many of the small children had no idea who was shooting at them as if they were in a movie their parents or older siblings might be watching. In Parkland everyone automatically knew who was doing the shooting and surprisingly they were not surprised as many had known the deranged killer since they were in grade school with him.  If you live in Oregon or Indiana "Parkland" is now part of the lexicon that opens the discussion on Gun Control and brings up the forever question of "just why" and "when will this stop?"  In South Florida "Parkland" is where your sister-in-law lives or your cousin's kids went to that incredibly good school or where your best friend's wife taught and hid in a classroom with your friend's children.

South Florida is an interrelated area that blends together in a megapolis of small neighborhoods that culturally are one. From Kendall to Coral Springs to Boca to Miami Beach it's one general area geographically. Look at the map above and you will see what I mean. They were cities built on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge immediately to the East of the Everglades. Some people love living closer to the Everglades in beautiful homes that though expensive are much more affordable than living in Coral Gables or Miami Beach. Suburban sprawl looks prettier out there in carefully designed places such as Parkland and Weston where there is the illusion of being separated from the sometimes grittier world of Miami. But again everyone eats the same foods, hangs out in the same places and roots for the Miami Dolphins to have just one good winning season. Kids in Parkland root for the Miami Heat and kids growing up in Hollywood Florida get on the expressway and race up to their cousins in Coral Springs to hang out on a Saturday Night. Only people flying overseas or tourists who don't know better fly into MIA if they live in Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Aventura or Walnut Creek...they live in the Northern part of South Florida just as kids down in Kendall and Coral Gables do fly out of MIA unless they want to fly JetBlue or Southwest in which case they drive up to FLL in the Hollywood area.

South Florida is one general region in the same way people who live in Tampa are aligned with people who live in Sarasota. And, south of the Lake the weather is different than it is up past the Lake as it is a Tropical Savanna Climate Zone prone to tropical weather more than winter weather. Rarely do snowflakes get anywhere near South Florida. Rarely does this sort of school violence get anywhere near South Florida. To be honest Miami has many problems with gangs in inner city areas or not such inner city areas. To be honest Miami has gang problems and some neighborhoods worry on drive by shootings and because of that people when they can afford it move North and West often to the suburbs such as Walnut Creek, Weston and Coral Springs aka Parkland as those neighborhoods basically blend together hovering just up near the Broward County Palm Beach Line.

Small trivia on Broward is it is named after a Florida Governor Napolean Bonaparte Broward who yes you can check out his Family Tree on Geni but the real trivia is he ran for office on the promise to "drain the swamps" literally.  You see back at the turn of the century in the 1900s people thought the idea of draining the Everglades was a really good thing providing more farm land and a wider Atlantic Ridge to build homes on and create new cities. Previously in Miami everything West of 27th Avenue was basically swamps, however after dredging canals and using dynamite they blew up the Miami River Rapids and the water table lowered over land once under water and well it was a different time and place. The Everglades that Marjory Stoneman Douglas loved so much were seen as a menace by many that needed draining vs saving as an ecological safe, serene, natural place to protect.  Another wonderful character who lived down in South Florida was Ralph Middleton Munroe who lived in Coconut Grove, built sailboats that he sailed up and down Biscayne Bay and spoke out to save the environment. I've quoted him in my blog often on Hurricane History.

The latter two wrote books you should buy, borrow or read online they offer an awesome, unique view into South Florida life when people first moved down and loved the beauty of nature and spoke out to preserve it. I'm pretty sure neither would see the beauty in suburbs such as Weston or Parkland however they would enjoy the beautiful sunsets and the closeness to nature. Times change, what seems good in 1910 doesn't seem good or smart in 2010 but it's where we are at in 2018. If you are a developer with a vision then Weston is beautiful and peaceful yet if you are a conservationist you feel sad that the Everglades are eroding from both sides as both Miami and Naples dig deeper into the Everglades every year that goes by with new subdivisions touting living at the edge of the Everglades. Florida's map looked very different when the 3 people above lived and loved life in Florida.

I have a cousin who loves living out near the Everglades in a small place that backs up to a canal where he smokes a cigar if the weather is nice on his patio and stares out at the sun setting into a more pristine world than the one he lived in when he lived in North Miami Beach. Both he and his wife have friends who live in Parkland due North of where they live. Their Stepgrandson (is that a term?) went to Parkland yesterday with other classmates to protest and join in unity. I watched him on Facebook Live. He's a kid, a good kid and he wants to make the world a better place. We all do yet we all end up arguing over the details involved. Gun Control vs Mental Illness vs the System Letting Down OUR Children ..... so many places to start and so many things we need to fix. We need to build high schools that have the population of small towns where our children live most of their day as safely as we build other large government buildings. Dry wall doesn't stop bullets for example and most of West Broward is built with Dry Wall. I know that a few years ago when I lived in South Florida full time there was a school set up in both Miami Dade and Palm Beach for children with special needs and that special need being anger. Broward County did NOT have that school in their school system. To be honest, Broward County School System is often the ugly step sister to Miami Dade and Palm Beach school systems. When I taught for Miami Dade County Schools in North Miami Beach most of the teachers drove down from Broward County where they lived as Dade County paid significantly more money than Broward County paid it's teachers and they had better benefits. 

Weather is locational and in my location today the sun is not out but it's going to be in the upper 70s. It feels like summer, it looks like winter. 

Marco Rubio got slammed by students for not responding the way they wanted last night, but he had the guts and compassion to attend the CNN event and try to listen to the students. Parents who lost children in the Parkland Shooting spoke about their loss; I have friends who are close friends with the parents who lost children... some knew the children who were slaughtered. It's emotional and real in South Florida and the nation watches between a lack luster Olympics and reruns being shown by other stations that didn't want to go up against the Olympics. It's today's new story. Will it be eclipsed by war with North Korea or another school shooting or a large Earthquake or Tornado in the heartland? Stories in the media only have legs until another story comes along that eclipses it. Today being National Margarita Day pushed Parkland off the Twitter Feed in popular hashtags. 

In North Carolina the death of the Rev. Billy Graham is the lead story on all local news channels and the details of his life and the expected funeral are being talked on during most of the time allotted for the news. He was a North Carolina Son.... North Carolina loved him greatly in a different way than people in Oregon or Idaho even though he was loved everywhere. He may have taken his calling across the world to distant arenas to spread the word of God yet he came from and lived in and will be buried in North Carolina.  He spoke of God and Love and his message was not one of hate or anger. And, Ill add something unpopular in some circles but we did take God out of public schools and I think on some level that was wrong. A moment of silence in school didn't kill anyone, however it was replaced by moments of silence while students hid in closets waiting and praying the school shooter would not enter their classroom and kill them. There was a lot of prayer in school the day that the shooter killed 17 people and made the name Parkland synonymous with death and destruction not a park like paradise on the edge of the Everglades to raise your family in a safe, secure place. That's sad. That's very sad.

Something to think on while parts of the country are having ice threats and other parts are facing flooding . We are moving fast from Winter to Spring and the Hurricane Season is less than 100 days away. Hopefully the Parkland story will have long legs and somehow, somewhere, someone will get something done so that the system will not fail our children and their teachers, guns will have more checks made safer by a system that records mental illness and numerous police visits for violence and a way to fight the mental illness that we have not yet been able to achieve. It's easy when a child is 10 to give them drugs but what happens when they are 17 and stop taking the drugs or tell their parents they are and flush them down the toilet? It happens... trust me. And, why.... why are our young children, especially young men, so prone to violence and personality disorders in 2018? A lot of questions.

Excuse the typos.... this post is for my own need to write, a few friends who know who they are and anyone who surfs in on the Internet. Much love.... many prayers and let's communicate with compassion not diatribes about political parties we are one human race and our children go to school together and face the same fears no matter what our political persuasion is in 2018. And, I'll add many of these young soon to be voters are not affiliated as the democratic leaning ones liked Sanders and didn't like the dirty party tricks used to ensure Hilary be the candidate. And, many of the ones that leaned right did not like Donald Trump and preferred other republican candidates. This may be the largest group of young soon to be voters who have no real love for either of the dominate political parties and that is not locational it's an issue from Florida to California to Washington State to Washington DC. Soon this will be their world. I hope and pray they make it better.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... A disclaimer here in that I am not affiliated with either party. Some issues I lean right and other issues I lean left. I vote for the best candidate for the office not a political party. I do not own guns and do not want to and do believe weapons of mass destruction should not be in the streets yet I also believe in the right to own a gun. I don't understand how there are rules and age limits on drinking beer, buying energy drinks (really), condoms, cigarettes, cigarette lighters and yet no age limits on the ability to buy these types of weapons that are the weapon of choice in most school shootings. Mind Boggling.

April 20, 1999 was the Columbine Shooting... why are we still trying to figure out how to fix this problem? Trust me the mother of #AlyssaAlhadeff will not give up, neither were her friends and neither will the students who were studying the Holocaust that day they lost their History Teacher. I have a lot of friends who were friends with Alyssa. It's personal for me not just a news story waiting to fade away.

Her mother will not be silent.
Neither will her classmates.

Fix it! Learn from the past. Do it Now.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Trying to Make Sense of It All. Parkland Florida, Coral Springs... Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. How did we get here? How do we fix it?

Parkland Florida.
A beautiful place to live until yesterday.

My thoughts. Aside from the horror that so many young lives were taken from us yesterday ... it really bothers me that the shooter who took their lives escaped into the crowd. Thankful that he was picked up by the Coconut Creek officer who went looking for him down back roads looking for the suspect.

He "looked like a typical high school student" so much so that it would have been easy to keep driving looking for someone who looked "evil" vs "a typical high school student" walking along a road near a high school. The school named after one of Florida's most iconic environmentalist Marjorie Stoneman Douglas became the scene for horrific bloodshed, terror and death; add in panic and an attempt by the staff to try and follow protocol without knowing what was really happening. Schools today are trained in how to handle an active shooter situation but few are tested in the way they were yesterday when someone who looked liked "typical high school student" became the face of pure evil. As people from the school identified him and passed messages around on social media the press tried to keep up with the ever flowing river of information found on his many social media sites. If it was that easy for students from the school to find his YouTube and his Instagram sites it should have easier to stop this from happening. His classmates were not surprised it was him, he was ex-student most likely to do something like this and they verbalized that on social media all day yesterday while trying to make sense of it all. Perhaps we need to start taking social media more seriously? Buzzfeed did a better job finding out information on him than Fox, CNN or MSNBC.

The FBI and media is still trying to catch up and learn what his fellow students knew. Yes, his name look the same and yes it looks like him but .... They were asked today at a Press Conference ... it was painful to watch them act as if there was another person with his name and his face posting violent images online while making public threats on Youtube to become a high school shooter.  We are all so politically correct these days. We worry on our personal liberties getting lost yet the freedom to send our children to school and protect them at those schools from a student who decides to go down in violent glory as a "high school shooter" seems to get lost in the shuffle. I don't know what the answer is but as a parent it's kind of ironic that my kids were safer at North Miami Beach Sr. High a school considered ghetto and dangerous vs one of the best  high schools in South Florida in the safe, idyllic world othat Parkland Florida was before yesterday.  I have several friends who live there, pray at Chabad there and send their children to school there. It's a nice place to live. It's a huge school more like a college campus than your typical "high school" and yet something went terribly wrong yesterday. There is a place you hear about on the News where a shooting occurred to random people in a far away place. Yesterday was not so random for me nor for others who have never been to South Florida.

The world is very small and we are instantly connected often to news events both good and bad, though the sad ones travel faster through our WhatsApp feeds than the good ones. It was pretty obviously last night around 9 PM when the prayers for the 2 girls who were missing Meadow Pollack and Alyssa Alhadeff and had not been seen or found in the hospital could only be two of the five students who remained at the crime scene not yet identified. I prayed but I was afraid the morning would bring sad news and it did indeed.

I'm Jewish and I'm involved with the Chabad movement so I knew that their local Rabbis were trying to comfort their families and tried to get them information at the same time. Heartbreaking videos by Alyssa's grandmother were passed around my kid's WhatsApp sites and it's very personal for me. I have family members who knew families who went to that high school and I have family members who teach in schools in South Florida. My daughter in law works with special need students who were afraid to be in class this morning; totally panicked that they were safe and no gunmen would get in to the school. She's about 8 and a half months pregnant, she took them to the office and had the staff show them all the cameras that watch all the entrances and exits to assure them they are safe. She works at a rather large Jewish Private School that takes security extremely serious. My son who lives in Broward County just south of Parkland kept the news radio off while driving the kids to school today. He didn't want to have to explain to my 11 year old granddaughter or the 6 year old grandson what was going on as his phone rang nonstop with text, Instagram and WhatsApp messages as friends passed information back and forth praying, hoping for good news for Meadow or Alyssa. Several students showed up at prayer services by Chabad this morning to offer up the prayer that is made to give thanks for avoiding death or a dangerous situation. Many people are giving thanks in many different prayers today in a community known for a safe, tranquil place to bring up your children and live. Safety is sadly often an illusion.

How does a girl with the beautiful, peaceful name like Meadow die in a grizzly school shooting when she should be thinking on graduation and college? It's mind boggling. We worry on hurricanes and natural disasters yet our system allows people who have been thrown out of a Public school to avoid further surveillance in the name of privacy and freedom and liberty. He was thrown out partially for continually bringing weapons on campus and making threats; perhaps law enforcement should have become involved? He wrote posts on the web that he was going to become a school shooter, he posted graphic pictures of animals he killed and commented on other sites with his name that he was going to kill students in school. Someone notified the FBI and were questioned how they knew him when they told him they didn't know him but they saw it on YouTube in the comments.

Among the dead were two teachers who were killed.

Aaron Feis protected his students.
He put them first.
He died.

His students thanked him with tears in their eyes on interviews. He shut the door so the girls could hide yet he stayed in the hallway to help others it seems and he was shot. It's a small world there; a large school but a very small world. He was Facebook friends with the media face of this tragedy BSO Sheriff Scott Israel on Facebook. Everyone I know in South Florida is shaken. The clerk in Rite Aid in Raleigh today wished me a good day and added with a sad, far away look in her eyes and said "I just hope and pray we don't have to hear about any more school shootings today."

I don't want to hear about "gun control" as if that would be the magic bullet to end school shootings. I'm not a gun lover. When my kids were growing up we had a "no gun" rule in the house and I mean toy guns or games with guns; water pistols were allowed until we took them away when the kids got too wild. As a child my cousin and I grew up playing Cowboys and Indians and pretended to be Napolean Solo and April Dancer (Google Man from U.N.C.L.E) and there were no school shootings. What changed? How did we get here? Shoot outs were seen in spy movies or Gangster movies from the 1920s and we weren't allowed to see them until we were 17 or with a parent. Spoiler alert my parents didn't take me to R rated movies.

Before blaming "guns" for the violence as a mother and grandmother I'd blame Hollywood. I know it's not a popular cause for liberals to blame Hollywood vs guns for school shootings but the one thing that has changed since Columbine is the quality of video games kids today play that are on par with virtual video games the military uses to put the shooter into the action and perfect his skill. Movies are more violent, TV is more violent and various shows on Netflix and HBO that are the most popular are the most violent. All it takes is one alienated kid with any one of many mental health disorders to get lost in a maze of online violence and social media groups that feed on young alienated bitter kids. There is something about teenage boys and being bitter, depressed and alienated that brings out the need to "go out in a blaze of glory" vs a bitter, vengeful girl who does online bullying or writes nasty "anonymous" notes in group chats. 

I don't know what the answer is but I know there are answers out there. I know we need to find those answers. I know we cannot settle for "just the way it is these days" because it's not supposed to be this way. And for those of you are want to scream gun control you might want to check into his school record "incidents' since Middle School when he not only brought large knives into his school in his lunch boxes. And, yeah a knife would not have killed as many people as he was able to with guns but if he had no guns he would have sliced and diced those young girls to death had he wanted. And, it seems he wanted to.... and he was quite verbal about it online before yesterday's killing. 

He took the lives of young girls studying dance and preparing to go off to college next year. This has to stop. We can prepare for hurricanes and evacuate from a Major Hurricane (and get sued by Arkansas State University for not showing up for a football game...see previous article) but we cannot prevent our children from going to school and not be in danger from some copy cat shooter who wants to go down in history by shooting up the most people in a high school.

These children are gone today.
Some 14 year old Freshman.
Some 17 year old Seniors.
Some teachers at the school.

Her grandmother prayed all night she'd be found alive.
She died in a pool of blood.

We can make a difference by not ignoring the obvious and erring on the side of safety even if it means putting someone under close inspection and supervision to try to help them and others they may harm. A grandmother in Everett Washington turned her grandson after finding his journals and a rifle hidden in his guitar case.

A brave grandmother.
Maybe her grandson will get help.
Maybe she saved many from dying.

We can hope and pray.
We can do something.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Let's remember the heroes.
Let's not give glory to the shooter.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Picayune Lawsuit Threatened at UM For Not Going to a College Football Game Because of Hurricane Irma.

Arkansas State is threatening to sue UM.
Over a college football game...
Because they couldn't make a game due to Irma.
You remember Hurricane Irma....

I'm just going to put this here and let you decide what you think but you can imagine what I'm thinking. Obviously the school of higher education in Arkansas needs an education in what a Major Hurricane is when it is moving towards your home town and what it's priorities should be. I know... earthquakes and twisters must seem real to them with an occasional ice storm but they seem to know nothing about Major Hurricanes in the Ozarks.

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I suppose the day before the New Madrid Fault comes back to life and shoots out a 7.5 earthquake you will be able to play a college football game. But luckily, Major Hurricanes, give us a small heads up time to try and prepare for death, destruction and catastrophe.

Let's go straight to the source.
This was the UM after Irma.
During the clean up.

Personally I have never seen anything so asinine or picayune as Arkansas State saying a Major "Hurricane" about to make landfall is not a reason to  not play a college football game! It reminds me of the US government trying to excuse themselves for a poor response time to Hurricane Andrew by saying they were waiting for a Fax from Miami; spoiler alert the power was out and the fax machine wasn't working....

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I'm sorry that they don't understand how you have to prepare for a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane as if it is going to make a direct landfall on your college, the dorms, the apartments your college students live in and their family homes that might be in the area as well. I do so love college football but let's get real here I'm pretty sure this is ridiculous. Possibly UM thought it was redundant to put "hurricanes" into their document or it never occurred to them that some one worrying on the New Madrid Fault coming back to life wouldn't understand a Category 5 Hurricane is a dangerous "act of God" sort of disaster (duh) but this reads from any point of view like a bunch of thugs trying to bully someone into paying up like in a bad Mobster movie from the 1930s.

We were lucky in Coral Gables as only 75% of the roads on campus had debris covering them and about half were strewn with large trees making it impossible to navigate by car until the cavalry came in and began the long clean up process. We did lose power for a long time during the height of our summer. It wasn't all a big Hurricane Party. Had Miami been hit dead on would they still have sued? Would they have sued a college in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Pay up or else? Seriously?

This has to be my favorite quote below:

“Despite these offers, accommodations, and a number of other unilateral efforts on behalf of Arkansas State University, Miami refused to appear. This refusal caused Arkansas State University, the community of Jonesboro, and others significant harm.’’


Significant harm????? They don't know what a catastrophe is but they think they had significant harm by not playing a game while the students, coaches and staff at the UM were facing a Major Hurricane???

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Say it ain't so .....
.... really no words beyond pathetic.
Pathetic and picayune.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps.... Have a great Fat Tuesday!
Ain't nothing picayune about Mardi Gras.

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Time to Spice Up the Hurricane Name List with Names like Mateo and Morgan! May I Suggest Gender Neutral Names!

Up North moving East
Dipping just a drop South but not much.

Taking a short break from tracking the Stock Market and sharing a random thought here with y'all this morning. Somewhere between dueling memos and hype on the Olympics I decided to check out The Weather Channel. I know it is hard to believe I don't watch TWC all day. Let's face it and admit winter is here for a little while longer and then we start hearing about early Spring Storms and then we move towards whispered discussion on the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Winter Storm Mateo is having it's day as snow is causing pile ups on major highways, some travel delays and it's bringing winter weather to places where there should be winter weather. I looked up at the screen and thought, "wow, Mateo... that's a great name! A real waste on a winter storm"

I've got to be honest without Googling I'm not sure who all these people are but they definitely have me smiling. Of course to the rest of the world that doesn't live or die by TWC and their naming winter storms this would just basically be called "another bout of winter weather" nothing expected to make the record books or take attention away from memos, the Stock Market or the Winter Olympics.

My husband walks into the room and hears TWC talking about Mateo and he says, "wouldn't that be a better name for a hurricane?" and I laughed as basically I was just thinking the same thing. So what is in a name?

Perhaps if we deviated from the overly anal way the Hurricane Center does their naming system we could move away from Mindy and Michael and move on to some way different names for hurricanes. The list below shows the following M Hurricane names in rotation and as there are storms as mean and violent as Maria was they get stuck there way too long. Michael is a great name and Melissa is one of my favorites, Marco is iconic from One Life to Live a show the NHC seems to have watched considering many of their names were famous characters on the show. Moving on we have Mindy and Martin waiting in the wings and at some point they will add a name to replace Maria that will be retired. May I suggest Mateo?

I'm pretty sure a name like Mateo would attain Cat 5 Status late in the season and not slam into Central America like Mitch nor would it want to do San Juan like Maria. An ocean spinner perhaps to end the season? 

The problem with recycling the names forever is you get a name like Hurricane Emily that produces multiple memorable storms but which one were you referring to? When someone says Donna or Katrina or Andrew we know. But then there are those ongoing repeat offenders with minor crimes coming back over and over confusing those of us that like to talk about Hurricanes. "Oh that Emily? Yeah I was talking about the one that drew Alfred Hitchcock's face in the Atlantic" to which someone goes "yeah that was crazy" and well you get the idea.

Perhaps the NHC should update their list a bit to get more interest on Snapchat. How about making the list a neutral gender names? We can use names like Morgan and Marley which is actually a great name for  Hurricane. Can't you see the headlines and graphics if it got into the Caribbean?

So yeah it's time the name list gets an update from it's early 1950s names and the forever wonderful One Life to Live names (Katrina, Larry, Marco, Karen, Victor, Vickie, Wanda) perhaps they should spice up the list a bit more with some new names to make things more interesting and less confusing. Some great gender neutral names are shown below. 

Just something to think on while waiting for the Winter Olympics to begin and before we worry on what the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season will bring as we move on through Alberto and Beryl once again.............

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Financial Storms - Stock Market Watching the Dow Jones is Similar to Watching La Nina and Wondering on the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Time Will Tell. It Evolves in Real Time... NFC Won the Super Bowl but the Market is Going Down? Hmnnn

I'm going to talk about the financial storm that hit us yesterday affecting people everywhere in all parts of the country and the world beyond. Watching the Stock Market and the financial world is much like watching the weather. A lot of maps and graphs are used to show what is happening in real time and to predict what might happen tomorrow; there's also a lot of graphs on what happened in the past. Also the Stock Market goes up and down in real time the same way a winter storm forms or a tropical wave begins to roll off of Africa and develop into a significant tropical wave and then an upgrade to Tropical Storm status appears imminent. Note things in the rear view mirror are often distorted in the short term and what appears to be happening may not play out exactly the way we hope or fear. I'll talk more on fear later...

Why the Market plunged yesterday is the big question today and worse than just one day it has been doing the Downward Dog Pose for the last several days since last week. My husband sent me several links this morning as it's a question I wondered on much yesterday. He's a Financial Planner and he as well as others are watching and wondering and many have their own thoughts. Is this merely an aspect of everyone fearing a "correction" and giving in to fear and selling when the market plunged yesterday the way snow begins to blind drivers on a busy freeway? 

When a Hurricane is making landfall the fear factor kicks in and people panic doing odd things such as evacuating out of a safe area in a well built home and get stuck on the road for hours when there wasn't really anything to fear. People jump on a plane and take a vacation to see Aunt Martha in Maine when Miami appears suddenly in the 5 day cone on the 5th day of the cone. People who swear they won't go shopping until there is a Hurricane Watch suddenly stop on the way home at Publix and spend $300 on toilet paper, bottled water and junk food while picking up a Publix Sub for dinner. Was yesterday's sell off in the market a matter of being so nervous about the coming "correction" that the fear factor took over and made a bad situation worse?

Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

The Eagles won the Super Bowl.
The NFC team won!!
We were supposed to see the market soar..
The Eagles did won but the Bear showed up?

Say it ain't so Tom....
The Market is supposed to fall when the AFC wins!
How could this happen?

Weather predicting is similar to the trying to see into a crystal ball what the Stock Market will do as wives tales and "sayings" are whispered about as random events are often thought to be indicators of what will happen in real life. You know those saying about how watching woolly caterpillars is supposedly a sign of a fierce winter waiting in the wings? Market analysts who keep a rabbit foot in their pocket are known to watch the Super Bowl nervously. As you can read in the article below football has often been seen as an odd indicator of how the market will do in any given year. The Super Bowl happens in the beginning of the calendar year and supposedly high scoring games bring a high climbing market. AFC wins are seen as an indicator of a Bear Market and when the NFC wins we all win or so they say. Well, that's been the often watched pattern by people who love to watch patterns as much as they love to watch the Dow and satellite loops. I suppose in any given year that rule can be broken.  Or this is just an odd anomaly in the way that a weak hurricane goes Cat 3 for a day and then falls apart again for the rest of it's run limping along as a Post Tropical Storm. What goes up must come down and then after the correction could be another correction.

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Well there was a lot of volatility yesterday.
The wrong kind though.

When they talk about the Stock Market they use words such as "barometer" while looking for a way to explain what no one can totally agree on and that is why the market reacted yesterday to what seemed to have no defining reason for dropping so dramatically. There has been much talk about a coming correction and I'd say we can definitely say that correction came yesterday during what had been a bull market for the last year. Bull turned to bear so fast yesterday it was as if it was a fast change artist in between acts of a long running play. And using the words "playing the market" is used for a reason as it is in a way a "game" of sorts however it's one of the biggest indicators of our economy and how our world works... how both our world and our money goes round. On days like today it's a "game" no one laughs about as they watch, wait and pray that it begins to climb again.

First of all there had been talk of a "correction" but no one expected this sort of diving correction out of seemingly nowhere.

To explain this in weather terms let's say it's January and it's obviously possible to get a snow storm in the Carolinas; but we had snow as far South this year as the Florida Georgia Line.  A forecast is made that snow will fall in the mountains and to the north somewhere between Greensboro and Raleigh with rain along the coast and to the South. The cold front begins to move and every meteorologist watches their radars and Twitter feed. Models showed the general path of trouble and the models recorrected themselves taking away that threat of snow for Wilmington and the coast. The flakes begin to fall or in typical Raleigh fashion the snow didn't fall and a clear donut hole formed around Raleigh on the radar as the dry atmosphere took longer to moisten and allow snow to fall. Reports of snow in Pittsboro begin to come in and then oddly reports of snow flakes falling in the Pine Hills to the South of Raleigh. Everyone gets really excited as snow in the Pine Hills is rarer than snow in Raleigh. But oddly the snow continued to fall in record amounts on a town that didn't salt the roads and isn't prepared to plow.

For children snow in the South is a game.
A game they win!
It also creates havoc.
Loss of life and financial loss.

We have gotten so used to being able to predict things be it the general movement of the Stock Market or just when snow will begin to fall and where and when yet weather like the Stock Market can suddenly become unpredictable sometimes for no apparent reason. In retrospect we can watch loops of what happened and see why Moore County got buried in an unexpected snow storm. It was winter after all  and it's been an active winter storm track in the South. It's not as if Hurricane Sandy formed down near Cuba and the next morning it hit Wyoming; it was reasonable to assume that it would move North and follow the steering currents and it could possibly affect the New York City metro area. Bull Markets have corrections and at times go Bear in the same way that La Ninos suddenly begin to look more like a Neutral Pattern after months of warm water expanding on satellite imagery. In the rear view mirror of research, maps, loops and shared discussion we understand what seemed to blind side us in real time.

Maybe this was a problem with computers and algorithmic trading gone awry. Today the Market opened and after a shaky start the Market seems to be trying to correct it's correction though it's falling again as I type this blog.... in real time. It's a good day to watch and wait and not panic; do not sell wildly and do not buy an extra pallet of bottled spring water because the predictions for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season are coming in on the high side. Mind you if it's a really good deal and you have the room... you can buy canned food on a good sale.

Did I mention La Nina?

Is this an anomaly or a pattern?

The same can be wondered about the Market.

Is this a trend or a pattern?

Much like the weather... 
Time will time...

Was the record snow fall in Erie Pa such a big surprise considering they do get Lake Effect Snow and it was winter, however no one saw Santa Claus sending them a record snow fall this Christmas.

Yeah.... trying to figure out the the next week's weather is often harder it seems than seeing which way the Market is trending. Be calm, stay steady ... do not give into fear and wait a bit before doing anything you may regret. Was the fall of Bitcoin an early indicator of the Stock Market doing a nose dive? I wonder...

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps.... It's going to be a long day for people watching the Stock Market.

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Monday, February 05, 2018

Philadelphia Eagles Win the Super Bowl! Foles Enjoys the Victory Along With Most of America. Life Lessons Learned From Football

The times they are a changing....

It's been a long time.

Philadelphia Eagles won the World Series.
Foles believed.
The Eagles believed.
The Eagles won!

Brady didn't pull out a victory.
As someone said...
...time ran out.

But in truth the Eagles played hard.
The Eagles played a perfect game.
Despite injuries....
...they played and they won!

People say a young hot team that's never been there before cannot win in the Super Bowl as there is just something about THE SUPER BOWL but on any given Super Bowl Sunday rules can be broken. Speaking of rules there were very few penalties in a well played aggressive game with few punts and pretty much any possession of the ball led to a score of some kind. It was the type of game people who love offense love and I do. For those who say defense wins games it's worth saying the defense on both sides often held teams to a Field Goal. It was a great game all around.

Often Super Bowls are one sided boring games where commentators look back at other games that led up to the Super Bowl while one side pours on the score higher and higher while the other team looking beaten has failure in their eyes as they stare at the clock wishing it would be over sooner; not this time when time moved fast and furious. 

A really great game. Yes as I'm a Miami Dolphins fan I really don't like New England. In some of the darkest worst seasons Miami has had fans have taken brief refuge in the glow of beating New England. But to tell you the truth I like the Eagles. My oldest daughter lived there for several years so I took to rooting for them. And, who can't root for a player like Foles who is centered and focused and not so easily rattled? As the video below explains "time of possession" often wins games and time management assures a win more than a "2 minute drill" ability to try and catch up that many quarterbacks have been famous for as they try to eek out a victory. Possession is the game and when you use time wisely you never have to play catch up.

And lastly there was this sense of "no excuses" as their team had many injuries including their star quarterback but won with a back up quarterback that many teams in the league would not have put on their roster. The investment of Foles as a back up quarterback may have been their wisest decision in years. Earl Morrall may have gotten the Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl but Bob Griese played in the big games. Morrall was the work horse but Griese got the glory. Ironically Brady won the Super Bowl as a back up quarterback showing how irony always rubs salt into the wound. Yes the times they are a changing.

The truth is having someone you trust to have your back and to be there when you need them is one of the most valuable choices we make in life not just in football. Often when young strength, charm and charisma steals the show and though they often win the game in college their fail later in life when playing in the NFL. But finding someone who can go the distance despite injuries and finding ways to overcome the hard times is what makes a great team player or life partner. We learn much from football that can also be applied to the game of life.

So for all those Philly fans who love Rocky and love when an under dog plays hard and wins the big game.... I'm smiling.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... Back to weather tomorrow. Oh did I mention there is a storm system moving east again that will drop temperatures but today the rain has ended and the sun has come out and it's time to shine and enjoy the sweet victory that most of America was rooting for or possibly in this case against another New England win. It's a new day and the times they are a changing.

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Sunday, February 04, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday. A Look Back at Miami's Super Bowl and Some Miami History - Musing on the Magic City. Hurricane Seasons & Cold Winters. Will 2018 Be a Busy Hurricane Season? History Would Answer Yes!

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When I was little in the 1960s..
I thought Super Bowls would always be in Miami.
That 1969 Super Bowl changed Miami History.
Keep reading to find out how...

The Orange Bowl with palm trees in 1969
Ain't no palm trees in Minnesota today!
The Orange Bowl had magic always!!

As for the weather this morning may I say it's cold in the Carolinas but way colder in Minnesota where the Super Bowl is being played. Waves of eastbound winter weather have been moving across the country this year much the way westbound tropical waves usually depart Africa in the hurricane season. There has been some Arctic Air mixing it up with those Eastbound impulses this year and it's been a continual see saw between cold, warming up, cold, warming up, freezing, warming up and frigid cold again. One could make a good case for that continual see saw slamming us with cold bursts helped the Flu as it continually weakens our immune system. Some winters the cold sets in and you acclimate yourself to the cold weather. As the mercury climbs into the 40s it feels cold still and the 40s do not last long. But when the mercury vacillates between the 20s and flirting with the 60s it's harder to acclimate to the reality of winter. I'm not sure there is any real science there as medicine is not my thing, but I know it's been a hard winter to acclimate to as the waves of warmer weather followed by frigid weather has taken a toll on many of my friends who tested negative to the flu but were sicker than normal this past winter.

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Going further West you can see where this flow begins.

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Miami is a funny place. Logically it should never have become a large metropolitan city yet ironically in the heart of the tropics at the water's edge it rose up despite daring Mother Nature to hit it with her best shot and try and damper her magical spirit. Year after year hurricanes curve away from the coast or slice through the Florida Keys rather than slamming into Miami directly. Hurricane Andrew,  compact dry storm, swerved to the left just before crashing directly into downtown Miami and obliterating Miami Beach. Instead, the Category 5 hurricane went south across Everglades National Park, nurseries and farmland down near Homestead. The bedroom communities of Kendall and Cutler Ridge took a huge hit but they are no more "Miami" than pretending Yonkers and New Rochelle are Manhattan. Hurricanes Donna and Betsy went through the Keys in 1965 as did Irma in 2017 and books are filled with hurricanes that could have hit Miami dead on but did not. Miami felt the tropical breath of these hurricanes but that's not the same as having the eye of a Major Hurricane travel across the heart of Miami.

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No this isn't about how the 2018 Hurricane Season will bring that variant, violent storm into downtown Miami and do more than show watery video of flooding that disappeared almost magically the next day. New buildings at the water's edge are designed to deal with storm surge and despite the dramatic images stores were open for business and bars opened up in Brickell Village a few days later. This post is more a post on the wonders of Miami than actual weather or hurricanes. My friend Dr. Paul George, the Supreme Miami Historian, has said "Miami is seductive" and that's a direct quote from the other day when we were deep in discussion about Miami's history. Miami is indeed seductive as it is a taste of the tropics on our shores necessitating no passport making it always a vibrant, sexy destination especially in the winter. And, even more amazing Miami morphs through time always staying ahead of the game if not creating the game as it moved from the Roaring 20s to the Sexy 1960s when the Beatles performed at the Deauville Hotel broadcast to the world by the Ed Sullivan Show live in Miami.

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 In the 1960s Miami stole Jackie Gleason away to prove that Miami Beach had the "greatest audience in the world" and yes that brings us to the sister city of Miami the way an identical twin is often confused to the casual observer. The only real difference is that Miami Beach was once Miami's sandbar; filled with mangroves as a barrier island and nothing more. Miami at the turn of the last century was a small town congregating around the small ridge along the coast far from the Everglades that began only five miles west of the present site of downtown area. A river no more than five and a half miles and that may be an exaggeration that ran out of the Everglades down to the mouth of the Miami River where old man Brickell and his family ran a trading post for Seminoles who rode down the river in their dug out canoes to trade with the new merchants at the water's edge.

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Every twenty years or so Miami recreates itself moving from Miami Vice to CSI Miami with more episodes than can count of Burn Notice shown on air always somewhere. Cutting edge scenery, glittery lights reflecting, shimmering in the water that laps at Miami from many angles be it bay, river or the ocean Miami is forever tied to the tropical waters and balmy breezes of Biscayne Bay. Not much has changed on that level than when people in the late 1800s began to move to Miami for the promise of better health in a warmer climate giving an older person a better quality of life than they had back home in the winter in Ohio battling asthma or tuberculosis. In the 1960s a generation moved South to retire in the Florida Sunshine from snowstorms that exacerbated the general maladies of old age. No I didn't forget Flipper or Gentle Ben, but Flipper was fun and Miami Vice was a sexy upgrade to Miami in the Boom Time 1920s when crime and palm trees often went together. America's Al Capone actually became Miami's Al Capone; even the King of Gangsters moved to Miami for the Florida Sunshine that he enjoyed once again after he got out of jail and lived out his life on Palm Island until he died in 1947. The house not far from homes my grandfather built on Palm Island still exists. Watch my friend Paul show the house and it's history off below.

Cubans who always viewed Miami as a far distant suburb of Havana moved to Miami en masse in the 1960s when Castro came out of the mountains and wrestled Cuba away from the Batisto. The Cubans were followed by others from the Caribbean and over time Israelis, Russians, Pakistani and others found their way to Miami for the same reasons that the early merchants at the turn of the Century did .... it's a great place to sell things to tourists. Tourism is mother's milk to Miami and from the very start small excursion crafts took tourists up river to tall towers built to show people from "Up North" what the Everglades looked like and the beauty of the Miami River in the early 1900s. Again the Everglades began around 32nd Avenue not very far inland. In those days Miami International Airport did not exist and the only things flying about in the air were nesting birds of all types living in the saw grass prairies.

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How that small group of early settlers gave birth to a modern metropolitan city surely shows the magic of Miami. After the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 survivors moved inland to Houston where the new canal with the perfect timing opened up. Galveston was rebuilt but it became more a place to go in the summer and enjoy time by the beach in the way that people in the Carolinas head towards the Outer Banks or Myrtle Beach. What makes Miami different? The people; the every day people who lived in Miami who stayed after the 1926 Hurricane. The 1926 Great Miami Hurricane is indeed the one Major Hurricane to take Miami dead on at the Miami River. Those early Miamians rebuilt the city and kept going the same way numerous Miamians have suffered through loss of electric and water while cleaning up the debris and doing repairs waiting out the hurricane season one day at a time til the all clear is on November 30th. Miamians have one real definitive season and that is the Hurricane Season.

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So how will Miami fare this year? Yes, I am going there on some level. Miami proved it's worth after the freezes of the winter of 1895 and 1896 when most of Florida froze except for South Florida. Miami's birth as a city is intricately related to it's frost free climate. The farmers, the first real boom in Miami was agricultural, kept shipping out tomatoes and eggplant and pineapples to Key West to be sent far away when crops up the coastline were ruined.  In those days Miami had pineapples but it did not have a world class port the way Key West was a major port. And, yet Miami was not a stranger to tropical storms as October of 1895 and 1896 brought tree trimmer type of storms that blew away the thatched hut homes many lived in and tossed trees forcing even the earliest Miami settlers to clean up after a hurricane. On Miami Beach life went on as normal for the rattlesnakes and alligators and other creatures that lived in the mangroves at the water's edge.

The only REAL difference over time has been the way we can now prepare residents before a Hurricane makes landfall. Even in the 1950s and 1960s early Miamian's did their best to prepare and after the storm they waited to be allowed back into hurricane ravaged areas.

Your typical catch a frontal boundary storm.
Back to  back October storms.

Miami is often open wide for assault from October hurricanes in the same way late August and September make us look out our ocean front windows for hurricanes headed this way moving WNW around the strong Bermuda High. We may have blown up the rapids in the river, drained the swamps, built some flood control canals and built skyscrapers to withstand storm surge but the dangers are still there and the type of people who live in Miami stay there and rebuild time and time again. 

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If the current pattern continues from this winter then the tropics will remain busy next year and storms that form early or late at the tail end of cold fronts could grab that opportunity to travel North along the front in the same way Jackie Gleason grabbed his chance to move to Miami; much the way Don Shula in town for the 1969 Super Bowl looked around Miami and liked what he saw and took the job offer to move to Miami and coach for the Dolphins. His team, the Baltimore Colts, may have lost the game to Joe Namath's Jets but Don Shula ended up the winner in the end and so did Miami. Miami's magic and seductive call once again lured away the big prize.

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Yeah you knew I would weave the Super Bowl into this blog right? How can you talk about Super Bowl History and Miami without remembering Miami's constant use of grabbing any chance to advertise how warm and beautiful Miami is in the heart of winter to tourists digging out from snow and sub zero weather. Our early Mayor E. G. Sewell used every chance to advertise Miami's beauty to Northerners before Carl Fisher put bathing beauties on billboards in Time Square in January and Charlie Cinnamon turned Coconut Grove into the Left Bank and started an Art Show to advertise the showing of Irma La Douce showing at the Coconut Grove Playhouse; publicity has always been King in Miami and Jackie Gleason was indeed the Great One when it came to being the King of Miami Promoters every week broadcasting his show to the rest of America.

Miami is magical. It's history defies logic and it's long lasting appeal can only be attributed to being the Magic city with it's seductive call and the ever present moon rising over Miami lighting up the tropical night sky. Even a hurricane as strong as the Category 4 Great Miami Hurricane did not put an end to it's growth . . . just slowing the growth a bit prior to the Great Depression that made Miami and the nation take a break from the boom of the 1920s. But even then in the early 1930s people like my grandfather moved to Miami to work on construction on Miami Beach where small beautiful Art Deco buildings were going up despite the slow growth of construction elsewhere. I can picture him working on the small dome of a synagogue a block from the Ocean feeling the balmy breeze as he worked in the January sunshine of 1936 far from the bitter cold up North. In Miami you could grow crops in your yard, pick citrus fruit off the orange tree in your backyard and eat fresh fish any day of the year. Family legend has it he apologized to my very Southern Grandma Mary from Tampa who met him while visiting her sister Jenny in Philadelphia that she was right and he should have listened to her ... that Florida is like paradise and they should have moved South earlier. Apparent my Grandfather Ben felt Miami's magical call when he visited in 1935 with a friend. He told my mother how the wind blew in Miami so strong from a Labor Day Hurricane in the Keys he practically had to hold onto a palm tree not to blow away. Nope, the reality of tropical weather did not deter him from moving to the tropics and finding work and warm weather all year. My uncle in the 1960s grew tomatoes in the backyard of the house my grandfather built near the orange tree my cousin and I used to climb and the front yard was filled with rose bushes always in bloom. That's life in Miami.

Miami is the gateway to the tropics and every once in a while a tropical problem finds it's way into our beautiful city. I hope and pray Miami's magic continues and it's star shines on growing, evolving and only getting better over time. Luckily our ability to prepare the residents earlier and more accurately also improves. As we move closer to June 1st I suggest you stock up on things you see on sale that will help you during the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season as it may indeed me a sort of repeat of the 2016 Hurricane Season but this year Pt. St Lucie could be hit the way Big Pine Key was last year or some how a hurricane this year will find it's way into Miami proper and give Miamians a real run for their money.

I'll be in Raleigh for the Super Bowl and back in Miami soon enough. Thanks for letting me muse during the Off Season a bit on Miami History and how it relates to the magical growth of Miami despite the yearly threat of devastation from hurricanes. Often this time of year I think out loud here on my blog working my way through ideas I want to pursue down the road. 

Besos BobbiStorm

Ps I'm rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles if you were wondering but how any real Miamian can root for the Patriots is beyond me unless they originally came from New England ancestors. Note many of those hard freezes were followed by busy hurricane seasons. Something to think on while it's quiet and we watch people up north worry on snow.

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