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!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tropical Storm Agatha Hits Guatemala... Will it Reform in the Carib?

Guatemala beset with ash from a volcano mixed in with rain falling from Tropical Storm Agatha... what a week for tragedy in that country. At least 12 people have died and that death toll will climb higher before the now downgraded Agatha moves across Central America into the Caribbean.

Now comes the 60 million dollar question.. will the moisture from the remnants of Agatha reform into a tropical system in the Carib and head ENE or NE towards the West Coast of Florida and the Keys? Until the moisture makes it past the land mass I wouldn't trust any model doing fantasy tracking. One model keeps taking it straight towards the West Coast of Florida as if it wanted to do the Beeline Expressway. Others don't do much with it and others take it east where the moisture messes up cruise ship holidays and nothing more. Time will tell. But, the fact that the storm went inland and not westbound out to sea says a lot. More so this blurb from the longer NHC Tropical Atlantic Discussion this morning says a lot..


The loops below show the moisture train heading into the Carib better than anything I can add...give a look for yourself.


I've never been a big believer in "crossover storms" as they rarely happen and are usually jest for off-color jokes by bored meteorologists waiting for the real Atlantic Hurricane season to start but they do happen. Arthur was one such storm... "sort of" in 2008. Happens, not usually the stuff that legends are made of...

Either way... on top of the volcano they now have flooding rain from Agatha in Guatemala. A tragedy in itself and a deadly start to the EastPac season. A storm that did not go quietly out to sea...

A year of tragedies and our hearts and prayers go out to Haiti hoping it will stay safe from more tropical troubles as they attempt to rebuild.

As for the Oil Leak..

Did they really think they were going to do some recycling trick with golf balls, tires and mud? Were we really supposed to believe this would work? Will anything work in the near future as the economic devastation for the Gulf Coast for both tourism and more so the fishing industry take a back seat to BP's attempts to find a cheap, quick fix solution that saves them money as BP's main line is always their bottom line and as an old tracker friend round these parts used to say "they don't give a rat's ass" about anyone else as much as they do their own bottom line. When you get into bed with sleazy people and corporations you end up paying the price down the road. We expect integrity and compassion from a company that could not even put together a viable back up plan? Would that be akin to some rich kid with AIDS sleeping with every prostitute he sees without using protection? Only way I can think to put it that right now... I have heard Fitzgerald's quote mentioned a few times.

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . ."

Both apply and pretending an underground oil well will not one day blow is like wanting to believe that every poor girl in America will end up marrying a prince and living happily ever after. It's not living in the real world. Accidents happen... usually though we have back up plans to clean them up.

Very sad tragedy unfolding and even sadder is the wait and see response from this administration that seems to have believed that BP would be accountable and fix whatever mess might happen. Nothing is sadder than watching naivete die a fast death and we are watching in real time as Obama and the whole nation learns a sad lesson.

Where do we go from here is the question?

We need to start rethinking finding new clean sources of energy... just my two cents.

So..take a break from the new hottest reality TV show online of watching the oil leak out in voluminous plumes and try to enjoy what is left of your holiday weekend.

As for me... I am at a wedding in Maryland, one of those three day events at three locations and about to have some Post Wedding Brunch before heading out to the beach and feeling the breeze and watching sailboats slide by in the beautiful water... and giving thanks this memorial day weekend for the men and women who helped this country in peacetime and war time and hoping something works to save some of the most beautiful beaches and coastlines anywhere in this country from Texas to Florida and especially my Florida Keys.

Besos Bobbi
ps... how can a Hilton Hotel NOT have free wifi in the room and only has a cable link and is decorated in old fashioned Blade Runner 1980s style... strange, not the way we make Hiltons down in South Florida ...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2010 - Watching Western Carib

Still watching the system in the Pacific to see if it stays in the Pacific or it crosses over into the Carib.

Best place to view tropical weather info for the Carib is on

Very iffy, a real shot in the dark but not a shot I would like to choose right now. Most models take it west and away from our world. Consistently one brings in up closer towards Florida and the Gulf today than yesterday. One model loses it altogether.

Have a great weekend...choose a beach or a lake or a backyard pond or just sit in front of the computer or TV doing whatever you enjoy doing most.

Got a song stuck in my brain the last few days, wrong holiday but right song as the theme remains the same... let's hope that Memorial Day weekend is Independence Day for all of us and reminds us how good it is to be free from problems and the past and moving on to a bright future. Always keep moving forward...and freedom is not just another world but the key to Independence and the key to taking control of our lives on the personal and on the political side. We can be whoever and whatever we want to be.... we just have to go after it and not sit on the sidelines.

As Americans we have a rich history to be proud of and most of all this weekend is a day to be proud of those who stood up for others.

As for me....on the road again and writing....

Besos Bobbi

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tropical Formation Alert for Epac System... that is East Pacific

We have a Tropical Formation Alert for a system possibly forming in the East Pacific whose energy is spread out over a large area and an unsure long term track... first it has to form.

There has been a lot of talk about energy from this system crossing over into the Western Caribbean. First let's see it form before playing Fantasy Hurricane Tracking.

Note though that you can see a lot of the high clouds and associated moisture spreading east even though it is edging west at about 1mph... approximately.

On the plus side the stronger convection is consolidating and band like features are becoming visible on the visible... (okay, am in a playful mood tonight...enjoy )

The visible often tells the tale, so does the water vapor loop but we are still in the watch and see and wait mode... sort of a test run for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season while we sit and wait for Alex to form in the Atlantic.

Personally, I always thought this was a weak list but I clearly remember making fun of it with my best friend back in 92 and well Andrew, Bonnie, Charley...sounded like whose who of the English Royal Family. But, so far only Bonnie has not been retired so am going to stop making fun of that list ;)

What is in a name? Could this be Agatha forming? Could Agatha try to began Alex?

Stay tuned for the rest of the 2010 Hurricane Season...

Sweet Tropical Dreams... Bobbi purple dot does not mean it gets a name.... watch and wait.... the creed of hurricane trackers.

Get Your Hurricane Set Ready This Holiday Weekend

It has been predicted we will have 14 to 23 named storms this Hurricane Season...

Are you prepared that is the question?

Look at it this way... BP didn't prepare for an emergency... you can and should prepare for a Hurricane! Learn from their mistakes...

Somewhere between the sunbathing and trying on the new bikini and taking it out on the road to a beach near you .... this is a good weekend to make a quick check list of what you have, what you need and what you would like to add to your Hurricane Kit.

Time passages change our parameters for what is important or not to include.

Last year you may not have had a baby, this year you may want to stock up on diapers in case some Hurricane comes to visit your newly expanded family.

Or an older person who is not doing as well this year and is now in a care facility, you might want to check and see what their plans are in case of a hurricane and if you wish to leave them at ye olde nursing home or bring them home to your house to ride out the storm.

Every year brings new intangibles...

My brother's new roof that was put on after Wilma took off the old one is now leaking. The contractor is no longer in business and wants to do a remake of "Let's Make A Deal" and has so far only provided a blue tarp.... A lot of "new roofs" that were put on after Wilma in Florida are beginning to show signs of "not licensed workers" aging... Sad but true, and most those leaks have shown up as the rains of May descended early upon South Florida.

Perhaps you have moved, been put on medication that you were not taking last year. Stock up.

June 1st should be the day that every American living in the Hurricane Belt takes their prescriptions to the pharmacy and gets a new inhaler for the asthmatic, extra pills for people taking blood pressure meds, allergy meds, any meds... lay in a good two week extra supply as running out of allergy and asthma medicine the day after the storm hits is not user friendly to your health. And, if you don't normally take asthma meds ... while watching the debris piled up on your swail turn moldy in the summer sun before the city can haul it away WILL NEED your asthma inhaler, trust me... Post Hurricane Clean Up is not friendly to asthmatics or people with allergies to mold....

Get Ready NOW.... if you don't have to deal with a storm you will have an extra inhaler or whatever your choice of emergency meds are...

Hurricanes are the ONE major disaster that you CAN PREPARE for.. earthquakes give little warning except for ripples in a coffee cup on your desk or hanging plants suddenly doing Zumba moves. Volcanoes blow their top and there is no stopping them...
Flash Floods hit in a flash...

With Hurricanes you have the illusion of control, the ability to try and prepare for an emergency that will eventually hit you if you live long enough anywhere along the Hurricane Coast.

So somewhere between a stop at your favorite Starbucks and your showing off your Bikini and showing up at Uncle Earl's BBQ.... grab a pen and paper or download a few new apps on your IPhone and start thinking about Hurricane Season because trust me some storm named Earl or Karl may be planning a visit to your town sometime soon!

Look at it this way... BP didn't prepare for an emergency... you can and should prepare for a Hurricane!

Straight from the NHC here is a checklist for you to start with, take it and personalize it for your own needs.

For example, if you have an asthmatic child order an extra inhaler and buy a big box of crayons to keep your child healthy and busy so you can do what you need to do to get through the storm's aftermath...

As for the Oil Spill.... best article I have seen written is on Wunderground by Jeff Masters. It is the most comprehensive and impressive read for anyone worrying or wondering how the oil spill will be affected by a Hurricane later this season. <--- billed as reality tv...
Excellent coverage from an angle only Philippe Cousteau Jr. can give...


Note a large area of bright convection in the Pacific that could possibly transfer it's energy into the Carib. This is a real "could" "maybe" "possibly" scenario and not something to expect but to watch just in case it does happen.

The area off of the Carolinas has produced a beautiful breeze at the beach and nothing more and there are blue skies almost everywhere today along the Hurricane Coast so when your local newspaper writes an article about preparing for Hurricane Season... DO IT!

Again, do you want to be like those people at BP who did not think they needed to prepare for a "what if" scenario or do you want to be the lucky one who has a plan and knows how to execute it?

Get a plan and go out and have a wonderful holiday weekend!!

Besos Bobbi ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Breezy Carolina Beaches and Caribbean Convection

Breezy beach day today in the Carolinas as the flow around the area of disturbed weather moves closer to the coast and combines with an onshore flow raising the stakes in the pressure gradient sweepstakes and giving us all a wake up call for the Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2010!

And, while watching the system in the Atlantic trying to form I keep wondering what is going on down in the Carib?

Yes... sort of moving the wrong way but it is May and we are close to June and though June is too soon for the Cape Verde season it is not too soon to have moisture flowing in the Carib handing off tropical energy to the system in the Carolinas...

Much to think on while watching that oil leak out into the Gulf of Mexico... as someone in a town hall meeting said so simply, "you were drilling without a backup plan, what were you thinking?"

Jim Williams has been linking to a webcam on the oil leak if you want to sit a spell and wonder what were they thinking indeed....

Besos Bobbi

Friday, May 21, 2010

Possible Tropical Systems Forming... Will Alex Be Tropical or Sub-Tropical

only time will tell...

This season seems primed to be a media specialists dream season. A week or so before the official start of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season two areas of disturbed weather are being closely monitored for possible development into a named system in a few days time.

An Invest is up on the Navy site and it's not even June, we don't even have Tropical Updates on TWC ... yet we have tropical developments on the satellites.

Off the east coast of Florida is a system that may develop into a sub-tropical storm or just sort of bring in some story weather early next week. There are models that show it moving up towards the Carolinas and from their models differ on it's track inland or lallygagging around in circles in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida.

Another system down in the Caribbean pulses up and down in intensity and attracts attention and the models have been playing with that as well. You can watch it yourself in technicolor animation below.

NOTE... ANY development in this part of the Carib or the Gulf this year will bring added attention to the Oil Slick, the Loop Current and any effect the oil will or won't have on development, track and disbursement of the oil oozing it's way through the Gulf.

As for me I am watching that Carolina system for an attempt to play in Myrtle Beach. Maybe Alex wants to do Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach? Well, know I always love to do that. But, home in Miami right now and enjoying the butterflies and bees and never seen it this bright ...except for years when we had a lot of tropical weather. The atmosphere is just begging for something to develop this season. Water temps are high and shear may be low, may be a season to remember.

Also there has been a lot of discussion by mets as to whether or not the oil will or won't affect the hurricane season. I will address that later in another post when there is not actually something to watch in the tropics.

And, in a year where hail fell in Oklahoma in biblical proportions...

We should keep an eye on the tropics as something wicked this way may come ...sooner or later this season.

It's going to be a bumpy ride, so hang onto your hats and keep your eyes on the tropics!

Besos Bobbi from Beautiful, Balmy Miami
Home Sweet Home

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tybee Island Hurricane History... A Day at a Beautiful Beach

Spent the day yesterday at Tybee Island which to the best of my thinking is one of the South's best kept secrets. What a beautiful beach. I mean beautiful. The sand is soft, powdery soft and small shells do not litter the beach but look as if they were placed there in some arrangement decorated by God or Neptune himself. You can walk without shells cutting into you like on some beaches round these parts and without stones and coral cutting into your feet like on the Florida Keys. It's a wide, open, hard packed beach down near the shoreline that allows you to walk barefoot with a friend who is in sneakers... The breeze is delicious, the pier quaint and friendly with a big round pavilion complete with picnic tables and the sense that somewhere back in a history a similar pier existed where people danced and swayed above the waves.

There is also lots of hurricane history! In fact, everywhere you go are signs that show you exactly what the storm surge would be in a Category 3 or 4 or 5. Category one would bring it in over my head, just in case you were wondering...

The drive down to Tybee is second only to the drive down to the Florida Keys, driving across scenic low country marsh is magnificent and makes you feel close to God and the creator of this beautiful paradise.

There have been many hurricanes in this part of the country, but they are few and far between giving you the illusion of safety from storms forming far away in the Tropics. That frankly is an illusion, but a nice one... As they do form and on rare occasions they move over this beautiful beach and submerge most of the real estate that is not built up high on stilts. But, it doesn't happen often...

I have always loved Savannah, since I was a little girl and my father and I walked around the boarded up, broken down buildings that whispered sweet tales from yesteryear and first read about plans to do some sort of restoration.

And, what a restoration they did. Every time I am there I am amazed all over again though I will always remember my first image of old, wrought iron grill work over boarded up windows with history peeking through calling out my name.

We watched the sunset over the river from the bar on top of the beautiful, Bohemian Hotel.

This is an online picture of the tables where we watched the sunsent:

This is a picture I took below. Note how rare it is the picture is like the brochure and note it did not catch the fireflies that danced at the edge of the roof and the heat lighting off in the distance.

The word beautiful cannot be redundant when speaking of Savannah, it is definitive!

For some hurricane history...

General Tybee Island history...,_Georgia

And here's some great video of what it is to see Tybee from the air from one of those parasailer's cameras and what it would look like to you if you dare...

As for the tropics today... a nice purple blob came off Africa the other day, a little to low and a little too early but very pretty in purple.

And as for the geological forecast of the Tropics I don't know what to tell you because Puerto Rico is still shaking from the earthquake the other day.

As for me... headed home in time for the start of the South Florida Rainy Season.

Raining now as I type this, coming down in buckets of silver raindrops filling up the parking lot of this hotel in Jacksonville where we sit doing some work and washing the raindrops fall. And, I am pondering why a hotel that bills itself as a "Green" Hotel use Styrofoam plates for breakfast?

Less than two weeks until we have Tropical Updates on The Weather Channel.

If you need to watch one now, here is one from Jim Williams at Hurricane City.

Besos Bobbi

Friday, May 14, 2010

Last Flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis & Remembering QuikScat ... or Another One Bites the Dust...

Sitting here watching the Space Shuttle Atlantis take off for the last time. And, I am listening to the author Tom Jones who wrote "Skywalking" and he is asking us "where else can we go but renting seats on Russian Rocketships?" Good Question ...

Where are we going indeed?

We can pass bills based on partisan biased and yet we watch as a part of our space program is ending without anything on the drawing board, being made to replace it.

Sort of a lot like the problems with QuikScat dying and sending it's last image without anything being readied to be launched to replace it.

All I can think as I watch Atlantis lift off for the last time is... something is very wrong. If we don't know where we are going after the Space Shuttle then we are going nowhere...

I'm a child of the Sixties, we grew up watching breaking news and viewing spaceships take off into outer space from our living rooms on the television. T Minus and so many minutes and counting. We grew up believing that by the turn of the Century we would be doing wonderful things in Outer Space. Of course, we thought we'd be flying to work like George Jetson but we are still dependent on fossil fuels that link us more to Fred Flintstones than we do George Jetson....

What happened to the belief that who is first in Space and who conquers Space will be in control of things from future exploration to discoveries to protection of their country's assets and well being?

John F. Kennedy got it!
Ronald Regan got it!

Why doesn't anyone get it today?

You stay on the cutting edge of technology, you don't take a back seat and put your trust in other countries who might not always want to work with you.

This is as simple as it gets.

I'm tired of this "It is what it is" passive aggressive philosophy that has begun to reign supreme in the world today.

We did not get to where we are as a Super Power by back in the forties and fifties by saying "it is what it is" and we need to drop that mentality faster than external fuel tanks.

We need the best information available to help meteorologists track hurricanes and changing weather patterns that change in real time and not always in the way a model predicts. We need to learn more about hurricanes, about tornadoes, about oil spills and how the ocean currents work and maybe even about Global Warming.

If we do not have a global perspective and we don't have an agenda to have something in place, ready to go when one satellite dies or a program is phased do we stay on top of our position of power on Planet Earth?

Time passes and time passes fast and Tom Jones asks some serious questions... "where are we headed" and I wonder are we readily taking a back seat to other countries?

It's always good to have options. Always. Plan A... Plan B. Seems we are moving into uncharted territory by going without any options and saying "well it is what it is" and thinking we will figure it out.

When the Space Shuttle takes off there is the option of various contingency plans if something goes wrong. A point of no return means they cannot return or land in Spain. We live and die on contingency plans and back up plans and currently we have no viable options and that bothers me... it worries me... and it should worry a lot of us.

This is not a partisan issue. It's not an either or scenario. It's whether we go forward or we stand still and by standing still we are going backwards.

Personally, I have always believed winners stay on top by moving forward and there are so many places we as Americans, as Human Beings have to go in the Universe.

Something to think on while saying a Long Goodbye to the Space Shuttle Atlantis and her last launch.

Besos Bobbi

A good article to read and wonder on while wondering where we are going:

Right now... Atlantis has lifted off and she has already gone...

Sad song... sad truth that we need to stop and think we are going with regard to space and with regard to the future.

That Was The Week That Was... Weather Wise

Back before my time, before the Monkees sang their first song on the Television there was a show called "That Was The Week That Was" and I'm beginning to think I should do a weekly weather round up this year on the blog. Well, at least when things are slow and there are no hurricane warnings up anywhere. Will see, but for now here is my weekly round of weather events in the week that was...

A Twister in Morrow County in Ohio was confirmed by the National Weather Service after the system that slammed Oklahoma earlier in the week moved East.

And, Tornadoes continue dancing across the Plains as Tornado Season reigns over the Heartland, before our attention shifts southward towards the Gulf Coast.

Look at that image above, current this Friday Morning... a storm the size of a Hurricane out over Twister Country...landlocked causing misery as it moves along creating real life devastation usually seen only when watching Helen Hunt chase tornadoes in her now famous white tank top!

Please note ....the plume of constant tropical moisture that is moving north from the Gulf to tangle with the dipping cold fronts that have created this Twister War Zone* may in fact give us an active Tropical Season in the Gulf this June and July.

Loop that loop and I wonder how soon it will be before things start to form in the Bay of Campeche... of course the upper level winds need to die down a bit but the moisture is there and if something does form how would that affect the oil oozing along in the Gulf?

So many questions for this hurricane season..and in Tuscon today they are talking Hurricanes as the AMA wraps up their discussion of Hurricanes in a place that doesn't get any. A great article below that illustrates the connection between meteorology and the economy. Sometimes it seems a link is worth a thousand words and I am late for Zumba ;)

Coming up next is the Ever Famous Florida Governor's Conference which has provided Floridians with a wealth of information and me several really wonderful shirts to sleep in ... .... (thank you to you know who...) ... very tempted to be there (thinking online here while I type) but will see. I'll be back in Florida in a few days and I'll Scarlett like think on that tomorrow...

As for today.... our weather concerns turn skyward as the Space Shuttle is scheduled to lift off from Cape Kennedy later today... only time will tell when it comes to good weather in Florida in May...

And, if you think we are weather obsessed in the States... from the news of the weather weird... seems people in England obsess on weather more than we do!

As for the Tropics today in the Atlantic, there are beautiful tropical waves riding westbound too low to get a name but strong enough to catch our attention.

The water is really, really hot out there!

Keep watching... as for me I am going to Zumba and get ready for the weekend. Good Shabbos...

Besos Bobbi

Ps link to enjoy for the original television that many enjoyed:

*Twister War Zone, that's my term and if any of my friends steal it and you see it in graphics on the TWC you'll know where they got it ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season 2010

It's a bit early to jump the gun on predictions and yet we are getting close to that time of year when we make pronounced judgements on the type of season this will be. Will this be what the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season brings? Will it be wild, will it be calm? I know one thing for sure.

Que Sera Sera, Whatever will be will be. The future's not ours to see.. Que Sera Sera, What will be will be.

That's true by the way. My mother always told me that & since yesterday was Mother's Day I figured I would pass it along. Another way of saying Only Time Will Tell...

This is what it really looks like today in the Tropics and across America.

Really hard to tell if the fronts will stop dipping down into the heart of hurricane country. If we continue to have fronts than the chances of those tropical storms being picked up by one of them and swept out to sea will favor a year with few landfalls along the East Coast, but a lot of close calls and breath holding.. with one or two getting through as it's all in the timing always. Course, if the shear across the Gulf is low than some sneaky Caribbean storm can get through the blockade and grab a front up through Northern Florida early in the season.

Every thing in weather has it's good side and bad. Fronts can keep some regions safe and other regions are more in play.

Time Will Tell as always.

Warm to hot water temps out in the ocean and an active early wave train out by Africa and the ITCZ is all wonderful and good for hurricane development but will the trade winds cooperate or blow the tops off the waves all the way back to Kansas?

It is such a fine recipe for an active season, so many ingredients and they must each be added in the order of the recipe. African Waves in May won't help you much in August. It's all a matter of one step a time.

And, this May when most hurricane fanatics are wishcasting storms to form we are talking the Economy and Oil Disasters in the Gulf that could affect the economy and the hurricane season and loop currents without even having named storms. We are discussing earthquakes and Ice Bombs and Windy Days in Rhode Island and Tornadoes in the Heartland.

It's May... that magical month of May...

Hard to make sense of Hurricane Season 2010 just yet... the pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. The players have not arrived just yet. The script is in rewrite and we are sort of doing some location hunts to figure out the best location to shoot the first scene. But, we have as always gone hog wild with pre-production publicity!!

Pick your paper, choose a location... every newspaper in Hurricane Country will be putting out their special advertising Hurricane Special Edition with tips and advice for how to weather this 2010 Hurricane Season.

Til the first player is on the stage and about to say his lines... it is all theory and predictions that are bandied about like beach towels on a sunny day in Myrtle Beach or Miami Beach or maybe even Marathon that doesn't have much of a beach but is truly a tropical paradise waiting for a named storm to form and make a run for the roses so to speak. Mint Julep time is segueing into Pina Colada Time.

And....what will be this coming season?

Not really sure just yet.... seems Mama was right afterall..

..... and see....who could predict that Doris Day would end up in an Alfred Hitchcock movie?

As for me... going to hum that and some Lena Horne tunes today as I go about my day.

Having an omelet and some strawberries and mangoes with Starbucks Verona Coffee.

Stormy mother liked Lena Horne much more than Doris Day as a singer

Beautiful voice, beautiful woman...sadly passed away last night...

Enjoy life, enjoy love, enjoy music and weather...

Besos Bobbi

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tragedy in Tennessee.. Grand Ole Opry Flooded and Closed

Among the many victims of the flooding in Tennessee is the Grand Old Opry itself. And, suddenly a flood far away hits home, the reality of this disaster for many as this is a landmark that so many of us know and love so well.

This paragraph from this excellent article says it all:

"For most fans, the biggest concern is the Opry's wooden stage, which has supported everyone from Hank Williams to Taylor Swift. The circle of floorboards at the stage's centre was transported to the Opry House from the show's former home, Ryman's Auditorium. Ironically, several Opry gigs have been moved to Ryman's this week, with others taking place at another previous Opry site, the War Memorial Auditorium."

The wooden floor is flooded, the waters will recede ... then we will rebuild, that is the way we live and roll with the punches but this was one heart wrenching punch in the gut.

Thousands have had to flee from flooding, evacuating their homes and businesses and the death toll is climbing as I write this.. people are missing still who have either found safety or are lying dead beneath the flood waters.

And, yet we are struck by the flooding of the landmark, soul of Country Music... the Grand Ole Opry being a flood victim. Why? I suppose because music touches our soul and a place like this is to many of us a house of worship, music makes the soul dance and such a place is bonded into the hearts of music lovers everywhere and we all share tears for such a tragedy in Tennessee.

Always amazes me when people who live in cities that are not on the hurricane coasts or in the heartland where tornadoes dance across the prairies and say how they live where it is safe. Safety is an illusion as there is no real safety from a natural disaster. Whether is is tropical weather or flash floods or wild fires or a random tornado touching down or lightning striking and killing someone in a sudden Spring Storm... weather is unpredictable and safety is an illusion.

At least with a hurricane we seem to get days of warning for a possible storm surge that can wash away our coastal homes. We know tornadoes touch down in feeder bands. We watch as tropical waves leave the coast of Africa and wait to see if they will wash up on our shores.

And, yet... this seemed to come out of nowhere. Historic flooding...

We think we can control nature, we dam up rivers, we build watersheds and rely on the National Weather Service or our local TV weather reporters to warn us if it is going to rain or not rain. We rely on flow charts and past high water marks to show us where we are safe and flooding won't wash away our lives.

The problem with weather is... our record of weather is a drop in a pan, a trickle of water compared to the river of history. And, rivers flood...

Weather is day to day and our record of it is weak, over time and many times the area we know as the city of Nashville as flooded and yet we have no archived history of it because no one lived there and no one sang there except birds in the forest and native tribes who probably knew more about the area from legends handed down by elders to the younger people in the tribe.

We like to control things... events, rivers, weather... yet we are all still learning and we are blind to the ravages of high water marks before written history. Way before Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline ever sang songs from the Grand Ole Opry ... way back before the United States of America ever existed... flash floods and strong Spring rains flooded this beautiful part of the country... we are still flying blind when it comes to history and the real historic floods that happened thousands of years ago when only birds sang in Tennessee.

My heart goes out to everyone who has lost family members, property and to those who all have a little piece of the Grand Ole Opry alive in their heart.

They will move the show, they will rebuild... lives cannot be rebuilt ...

Songs will be written, lives will be lived, Nashville will go on... and we will have a new bar to set for what we know as the high water mark and historic flooding..

And... just remember... they say the Mississippi River ran backwards when the New Madrid Fault shook a relatively quiet part of the world on December 16th, 1811. What will happen to the rivers and damn the next time the New Madrid Quakes?

Control and safety is an illusion.... and we live in a state of denial that that illusion can be washed away in minutes...

Much was washed away in Nashville this week and other nearby areas...

I had a picnic yesterday by a dam... walked on it at sunset and watched the sun go down behind a ridge of pine trees, it was beautiful and yet I felt sad when I looked down at the small river trickling below the dam. Always bothers me, what was once a big river is no more.. just a trickle for people who want to canoe. We like to control things, it makes us feel smarter, more powerful and more ...well in control. And, we love to get away from our problems and listen to music and let our soul fly on the notes of angels like the late and always great Patsy Cline.

For my brother Jay and his "friend" Judd ;)

A real tragedy hits a place with so many memories.

Besos Bobbi... I may watch Coal Miners Daughter today... while filling out forms, the never ending flood of forms for kids and watching the weather and the news...

Monday, May 03, 2010

Oil Spills, Flooding in Tennessee, Postville & Unexpected Tragedies and Where is the Cavalry?

Where is the cavalry that is what I want to know and don't understand...

An oil spill in the Gulf is not an unexpected tragedy, it is one that has supposedly been planned for and there have been various contingencies for terrorism, tropical storms or any random tragedy that might occur and yet it seems again the Government is slow to get it's act together. This form needs to be signed, the President needs to sign papers, who is in charge on which level? Who cleans up this mess and where will it go?

Time and time again tragedies occur suddenly and it takes seemingly forever to launch the necessary clean up plans. Why?

When we spend millions... no billions on Homeland Security and other agencies that are supposed to jump into action... there is always this lag time, a failure to act speedily and in an appropriate matter.

Why have we inured ourselves to problems with pithy sayings like "it is what it is" rather than doing something immediately? We stand around and shrug and wonder what the proper political response is...

And, yet when the Government wants to get involved in a bust of a Kosher Chicken Plant in Iowa they are able to mobilize Black Hawk Helicopters and Homeland Security buses and trucks and enough soldiers to take over a small third world country?

Explain this to me?

Why was someone not out on one of those Black Hawk Helicopters immediately after the spill... or were they? Or did papers have to be signed and the oil spill had to be evaluated?

This has always been a fear...always... all the people who have hated off shore oil wells have feared this day. It's like New Orleans having a levee failure... it was a tragedy that was waiting to happen and yet... the wheels of response take way too long to jump into effect.

Financial and ecological time bomb..... it's a time bomb that has been ticking for years... and years.......... so why were we not ready to jump into action and have some plan in hand?

It has been said for years if they were attacked by terrorists they could wreak havoc on the beaches, financially alter the price of oil, kill the fishing industry ... I would have thought Homeland Security should be able to jump into action but "should" is a weak word... it's a word of wishing...

As for Flooding... seriously hope that the people were warned the flooding could be that bad!

As for me... I am wonderfully, beautifully away in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I truly love it here... reminds me of old Florida. Walked the beach for miles this morning. Away from kids and work and responsibilities hanging out at Chabad and enjoying Lag B'omer before being back in Miami dealing with life... which I will soon.

The thing about life and unexpected tragedies is that they always occur, we are just always shocked at the suddenness of the tragedy.

A young man was killed yesterday in Tampa, his family close friends with many of my family members. A Rabbinical student who went to Tampa from Miami to help put on a great program for the day and before leaving went with a friend on a Jet Ski and well... suppose the Jet Ski won and he didn't. He died. I can't believe it and yet I do. It's so sad. This is the SECOND son of a friend who was killed in a tragic Jet Ski accident, two mothers mourning the suddenness of death swallowing up their loved sons. I know accidents happen but it's not fair and it still hurts.

And, what I find most typical is that when I heard that was a terrible tragedy in Tampa yesterday in Chabad ... my first thought was a child was burned in some Lag B'omer bonfire or something horrible happened at a parade... the last thing I would ever have thought of was ... a jet ski and yet time folds inward in ripples and I remember another holiday when a young man was killed on a Jet Ski in Miami while home for the Passover holiday.

The one thing in life we can count on is Unexpected Tragedies... it's not what we worry on that gets us so often it's the things we never expect.

We worry on hurricanes and earthquakes and suddenly there is an ecological and financial disaster in the Gulf that could affect much of the Florida coastline (even the east coast because of the Loop Current and the Gulf Stream) and flooding in Nashville... and random accidents that take the life of young, wonderful people and leave family and friends in mourning.

And... unexpected oil spills that devastate millions who live along the Gulf..

You'd think if Homeland Security could lend out their buses to bust immigrants in a Kosher Meat Factory in Iowa they could get their act together and figure out how to stop an oil leak that could just as easily have been an act of terrorism... isn't that what Homeland Security was formed for... not busting immigration in a town in Iowa...

I had the most wonderful Lag B'Omer in Myrtle Beach by Chabad while enjoying the beautiful state of South Carolina. Kosher food, a night out at Margaritaville afterwards to listen to some live music and a rest between Passover and Shavous and summer vacation when the kids are back and I am no longer on "vacation" ...

Nice fireman helping out to make sure the bonfire doesn't get too big, while we stood around in a circle, sang songs... watched the kids play on a beautiful Sunday. After a big carnival and BBQ..

And, miles away in the area that provides the Nation with a quarter of our seafood... there is oil sliding and oozing and washing ashore on waves...

Where is the cavalry I keep wondering? Busy helping ICE do raids on turkey farms in Iowa, one of many, many other farms not raided that had the same violations... one that was targeted when others were not and people have worked for the government for years writing worst case disaster scenarios for oil spills in the Gulf and yet... it took over a week to organize a response?

Something seriously wrong there if you ask me...

We need to expect the unexpected ... and who knows what unexpected tragedies this coming hurricane season will bring??

Besos Bobbi from Boardwalk on the Beach in Myrtle Beach...