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!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Boreas... Partially Born in the Tropics. Travel Links.

Wow, you couldn't get that much action going in the Gulf during the Hurricane Season. Look at that nice big reddish-orange blob in the GOM. The funny part about this "Winter Storm" is that although it is all about "winter weather" the force for that wintry punch is from the tropical moisture in the Gulf of Mexico. Without that tropical energy this would be just another cold, dry front sliding across the country.

Life is an odd mix of opposite energies coming together to form a new entity unique in it's own way. In the same way as Hydrogen mixes with Oxygen to get water... so does tropical moisture in the Gulf slamming into an Eastbound Cold Front creates "Boreas" and winter misery for travelers going over the river and through the woods...

Without that pretty aqua circle down in the Gulf feeding into the L just south of Texas there would be no travel mess this holiday season.

Watch the moisture feed up into the system as it winds up into a real, live bona fide storm more than just hype on TWC.

If you are traveling on the highway system you can try to check out the Interstate you are most concerned with. For example I95:

It's worth muting the computer to ignore their advertisements to get a fast look at your local highway to grandma's house.

Flight delay information from the FAA is shown here:

Atlanta by the way is currently in RED...

Check back later for more info later as this situation evolves in real time. always I'd like to see a few flakes, but I think I'll have to wait a little longer in Raleigh.

Besos Bobbi

Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter Storm Boreas - A Thanksgiving Travel Nightmare...

There was a post on Facebook from Greg Forbes about his appearance on air this evening concerning the much hyped Thanksgiving Storm Boreas.

My next on-air appearance (and last for the evening) on The Weather Channel will be at 10PM EST. The weather seems to be pretty much on schedule, with the warm front just offshore of the southeast tip of LA. Once it comes onshore late tonight or Tue AM in coastal AL and MS, the western FL panhandle, and possibly the southeast tip of LA the chance of a few (probably brief) tornadoes will begin. A warm front also will move onshore in southeast GA and the Carolinas tomorrow with a chance of a tornado there.

So I watched Dr. Greg Forbes on TWC and found out what I already knew... 

the storm that is winding up in the Gulf of Mexico will make a run up Appalachians missing the Piedmont of Carolina. The Appalachian Trail is going to be a mess to hike and if you are driving in the South East tomorrow.... good luck. No snow in RDU Land. 

I'm tired and not ready for Prime Time just yet after my mother's passing last week, but I wanted to post a bit on this early winter, storm system. Shiva is over and I'm slowly moving on with life; slower than winter which is coming on like a lion this November.

I did think it's interesting that the storm is winding up in the Gulf of Mexico and it goes from tropical regions to a Winter Storm bringing with it Ice to some parts of the country. A bit of a wintry mix here and there.

Greg Forbes talked about serious weather in the "Down East" part of the Carolinas....and across Northern Florida. That region I love from Jax to Myrtle Beach are all under the gun.

Look at all that blue tonight on the national radar.

Touches of pink mixing in at higher elevations.  The Gulf of Mexico is getting lots of action going into winter. Go figure.

More tomorrow.  I went from 81 degrees in Miami to 18 degrees in Raleigh this morning. Hmnnn. A temperature sort of whiplash.

Looks like a winter storm to me:

Here's a loop of the next 7 days.
Worth noting that this morning Bing Weather and TWC had a difference of 10 degrees in temperature for my area. Seems a lack of confidence in the exact degrees this system will feature as well as any possible winter precept in any specific area. 

What is for sure is it's going to be a real mess for travelers in some parts of the country. Flights are packed and people on cancelled flights still need to be put back on planes... not easy. I had originally wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving in Iowa with my son and his family and beginning Chanukah. For many reasons I could not commit as my mother was doing worse and my daughter lives in NC and I wasn't sure where I was going to be. Now I know... NC. But, I really hope to get out to Iowa later this winter to spend time with my kids there. 
Stay tuned... more tomorrow... 

Besos Bobbi

Monday, November 18, 2013

Late Season Tropical Troubles... Red Circle in the Atlantic - My Mother's Passing..

TC Activity

Yes, there is a red circle in the Atlantic. Yes, it might develop briefly into a named storm...but no it will not be coming to Florida or Carolina or anywhere on the East Coast. But, it is worth mentioning and a good reminder of why the hurricane season is not officially over until November 30th.

Official comments are below.


My official thoughts are it's an odd closing note to an odd season.

It's there. It's mostly a large Gale Center that has tropical signs to it ... tell tale signs of a November Gale out in the middle of nowhere.

Keep watching.

On a very personal note I probably won't update on it...or I might.

My mother passed away last night peacefully and I am on my way to Miami for her funeral. 

Not sure what to say here except honestly she lived a very tropical life in Miami. She watched Miami grow up in the same way that she watched the palm trees grow that my grandfather planted around the house he built. She saw Miami go from a small, sleepy, southern town on the shores of Biscayne Bay to the big, busy, metropolis that it is and she always watched the weather...or worried on it and I am imagine I got that early obsession from her. Miami kids always watch the weather. They wait for cold fronts...they watch the tropics and they pose in front of palm trees :)

A page from the album. There were German U Boats off the coast of Miami during WW2 and people volunteered to man centers that kept watch via ship and air reports as well as.... from the hotels on the Beach people watched for U2 boats. It's a part of the war we don't hear about in the movies or on TV. She spoke about it often. Ironically... my youngest brother just got approved to work with the Red Cross during storms. 

And, the beat goes on...  

She lived a good life. She had 3 children, 14 grandchildren and an army of friends in the Miami area. 

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, wishes and prayers. May your lives be lived as well.

Besos Bobbi

Friday, November 15, 2013

TWC - The Weather Channel New Format Just Doesn't Cut the Mustard

The ever changing logos of TWC pop up when you look on Google. It's a smorgasbord of memories that dance before your eyes. Depending on how old you are... you can remember when you first started watching. According to statistics though... the majority of TWC viewers can remember when and why they first started watching. Bottom Line: Demographics of TWC are mostly aging baby boomers and their parents who loved watching back when have mostly passed on ...

Yes, lots of young weather minded kids will put on TWC during a blizzard or a hurricane to see Jim Cantore in the raging surf trying not to be blown away.. And, most put it on when one of their parents or grandparents scream out "turn on TWC I want to hear about Hurricane Oscar" and since we didn't get to Hurricane Oscar this year or any year recently the TWC has a problem. Last year's solution was to name "Winter Storms" going with the reality that winter produces a more reliable number of "winter storms" than the Hurricane Season ever produces on any given year. Statistically a smart move. No one wants to watch Cold Front #19, but "Winter Storm Oscar" gets more attention.

This year the little piggy went to the market and decided to get a make over in the hopes of attracting new, young viewers. There is just one thing they don't seem to get. The young potential viewers are checking weather on their cellphone on an ever changing array of APPS (including TWC APP) and most young, new, potential viewers do NOT watch television the traditional way. Many young people don't even own a TV as they watch series by the season on their newest phone. There are some  who watch on their tablet or iPad and a few watch on PCs ....but most do not watch TWC anymore.

This was particularly pointed out to me one day when my youngest son came in and announced that FOX NEWS and CNN have the same demographics as TWC. Busy cooking dinner I replied "Oh, really... why do you say that?" His response was "they have all the same commercials for the same old age diseases." True, perceptive child that he is ...he is right. And, since then I realized that the reason I don't know which channel is on just by walking into a room without looking is that usually there is a commercial on and usually it IS the SAME commercial. High Blood Pressure. Low Blood Pressure. A plethora of drugs with "warnings" streaming across the screen and Grandma cannot get up and needs a "damn chain around her neck" (note that's what my mother calls it ...) and even my mother didn't watch TWC, but she did watch the Miami Heat play on TV. Think about it... even Grandma didn't want to pay for TWC or CNN. She watched the local news. My generation watches Fox and CNN. My kids get their news from FOX too...the APP. And, to be honest I get my news from my Twitter Feed usually.

Feedback on TWC is awful...

Just to tell your new Local on the 8's format is LOUSY =Monochromatic,too light,too fast Can't read it ! So FL

Sorry, , but I'm not caring for the new format, especially on the Local8's. Put it back, toss out AlRoker. You are TWC.

" : Absolutely do not like your new graphics theme!"

Let's look at the commercial on TWC as I write this article.

Dyson Ball Vacuum cleaner... hmnn every 25 year old trying to make it on his own really wants one of those.

I have young me that is not on their wish list or even on their radar.

And, if they bought it would be on Amazon after comparing prices on different websites for the best deal!

And, TWC is not on their radar either. And, it's for SURE not on their iPad. Know why? Because if there is anything my kid's with kids want it is their own iPad as their kids have taken over their iPad.

Hmnnn... sad, but true...

So, what is the real problem with their new format other than it's new and many people don't like change?

Is it true that the same contractor who developed the website are the same folks that created TWC's new graphics?

The colors are vague and hard to see for most of their typical viewers. Not sure who TWC consulted with, perhaps the designers of the Obamacare Website... but most people watching TWC on TV have problems with their eyes and their vision is getting worse and clean, decisive graphics are important.. unless they think people just like to listen to the music on Weather on the 8s.

New set, new graphics, same old ridiculous reality shows pretending to be "weather related". Who's fooling who??

I'll toss a few more throughout my get the idea. For the most part... people do not like it on Twitter. Always a few who do... most do not it seems.

And yes, older people like to watch CNN and FOX so TWC has added in "Breaking News" into their format. Mind you my son gets his news from his Drudge App and Breaking News App.

So...TWC catering to it's supposed audience started adding in NEWS!

I guess this was really important news this morning.

Yes...when I put on TWC this morning while waiting for Weather on the 8s...this was the breaking news...

...the new "weather format" is even worse than the News...

screen small... light colors do not work with people who have vision problems
I know people who watch TWC have vision problems as they advertise drugs for eye problems...
and why do I need a picture of clouds that are bigger than the regional map
The ONLY good thing here is Mike Bettes.. I think it's Mike Bettes... he's way over there......
okay so if you were in a rush to watch TWC...which is better .. be honest..
Yes I prefer Mike Bettes, but I don't watch The WEATHER Channel to see him
Graphics on the local channel are easier to see, faster... I like the clouds on my APP not my TV

BAD BAD GRAPHICS... and boring... and I like purple...
narrow fonts, pale colors...what were they thinking?

My ex-husband used to do graphics and he thought he did amazing work and he did.. but an older woman would come over named Judy from a large organization that gave him work and she would say all the time:

"Make the FONT BIGGER!" "No one can read this!!"

Well, to be fair we could... most people I knew could ...but the average person reading it was over 50 and they could not...they needed bigger, clearer fonts and he adjusted it even if it aesthetically didn't look as nice because... older people can't see well. These new graphics are a fail, fail for a station whose average viewer is most likely over 50. Maybe they really do think people just turn it on for the music. And, what is that 40% thing? I keep thinking it looks like the  App on my phone that takes a slow motion picture for me to choose the best shot...

I'm sorry, but when I want to see the weather and I'm in NC I put on Channel 14. Every ten minutes the local Cable News channel does Weather on the Ones... and their is WEATHER with all the info quickly, professionally shown. might be a little "old school" but hey wanting to check the TV for the weather is "old school" and by the is the TV in my bedroom. Truth is I don't watch much TV and when I do it's when I get around to it basically all I watch on TV is ESPN, FOX or CNN.

If TWC really DID weather I'd watch it more, but I can usually rely on it being canned, old, repeats of segments on prospecting, fishing and truckers. Sorry, "Freaks of Nature" just doesn't really grab me... Honestly, is that what you think people want?  Some do...  I have a friend who leaves TWC on in the background 24/7 and only turns it up when Jim Cantore comes on or there is breaking WEATHER news. She is not watching TWC to find out about the latest "porn bust" and if she wanted to know more about the breaking Miami Dolphins Football Scandal...she would check it out online on her PC... duh... Note, she doesn't even watch regular TV anymore................

What doesn't TWC get? People want WEATHER and that is basically the ONLY reason a person would watch TWC because there are 300 channels out there on Cable that can do the freak shows and the adventure shows way better than TWC.

Bluntly put.. people put on TWC to watch WEATHER. IF the logic behind the changes at TWC was accurate ESPN should change their format.. add in some shows to attract others on gardening (it's sort of a sport...) and perhaps a "segment on the Ladies of the Home Shopping Club" and drop those NASCAR updates for "How to buy a Snowmobile" and add in some episodes on the Hobbies of Retired Football Players and show Marino golfing rather than talking about this week's games. Maybe Jimmy Johnson can do a reality show about fishing in the Florida Keys rather than having him talk on the problems the Miami Dolphins coaches are having this season.

Hey... maybe ESPN needs to rethink it's format. And, while they are at it... FOX can stop bashing Obamacare and start doing taped segments on busting child porn rings and add in taped, repetitive segments on "How to go Ice Fishing" add it some DIY segments for the Pinterest gang :)

No... I don't think so..

The average TWC viewer likes LARGE SCREENS with MAPS and old school formats. And, when they die and when they are gone... there will be no TWC as we know it. Sorry, but true. In fact, TV as we know it will most likely cease to exist.

My kids shop online.
My kids check their news on their cell phones.

There is a question that defines baby boomers.
What was the biggest invention that changed your childhood.

A parody of a 50s marketing campaign?: glitzy sets, cartoony graphics, washed-out colors, unreadable fonts, childish slogans?

Old baby boomers born 1945 - 1956 will say: Television.
Younger baby boomers born post 1957 will say: Microwave.

To see how up to date someone is ask them how they read their mail.

1) I use a mail opener and sit at the kitchen table and organize my mail into piles.
2) On my PC on
3) On my laptop
4) On my iPad
5) On my cellphone
6) Is this a trick question? Who reads mail? "Huh?" "Don't bother me while I'm checking Tumblr"

Do you use your phone for:
1) phone calls duh...
2) pick up my missed messages
3) text messages
4) email
5) Twitter & Facebook
6) Gaming, TV and getting Weather Alerts to find out if it's gonna rain during tailgating...

You get the idea.

How are you even reading this blog?

You know what the next big thing is??

A parody of a 50s marketing campaign?: glitzy sets, cartoony graphics, washed-out colors, unreadable fonts, childish slogans?

Do you really watch TWC or check out the girls and what they are wearing? Tell the truth..cause the clothes are getting skimpier and am beginning to think pretty soon we are going to see them used as models on Victoria Secrets. And, by the way... I didn't watch TWC yesterday because they had some prospecting episode on that I did watch once several months ago when bored... I was online shopping for new tee shirts on the VS site. Perhaps if they did a Sports Illustrated Calendar with TWC Girls on the cover more people might notice.

As for most of the older women I know who used to watch TWC, they gave it up when their old favorites were taken away by the NBC grinches.

Yep... I have an "Aunt" who actually stopped watching TWC when they got rid of Dave Schwartz. She told me and I quote, "it's not fun anymore, I can watch the 6PM News if I want to know if it's going to rain" and by the way...she gets her weather from as she stopped going to Accuweather when Joe Bastardi left...  Hey it is what it is... it's a TV channel. Who watches TV these days? Older people watch TV. Yes, they make a fortune on their apps and website...but the TV Channel should cater to it's viewers and it is not.

The current changes at TWC do not cut the mustard...they are not even in the ballpark.

It's not just me...

Besos Bobbi
Ps... I just wrote this now because I was at my daughter's house for a few weeks while helping my brother with my mother who just went into a care facility. They don't have a TV.. well they have one but it's connected to my grandson's iPad and it's used as a larger than life rattle. Really. It projects what is on the iPad onto their huge screen TV which is now a HUGE larger than life Baby Rattle gone Live...

My grandson and a friend's child using "their" iPad which is held hostage by babies eating breakfast the way baby boomers read the sides of cereal boxes. Maybe if TWC starts advertising TWC on Baby Apps and Games for the iPad maybe a new generation will want to watch one day.......and if they do watch...what will they be watching on? Won't be on a Cable TV Channel.. Thinking long term TWC has a HUGE problem. Thinking short term they should be catering to their viewer base and realize that the graphics are hard to see and no one puts on TWC to watch the News.... It's all about the Weather...duh.....

Besos Bobbi,5753,-2242,00.html

Other views on the new changes at TWC:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why is Snow Even IN The Forecast is the Question?

This is what I saw on my phone this morning when I checked my Twitter Feed. Larger picture when I went online is below. Hmmmnnn

Temperatures will come crashing down Tuesday afternoon, making it possible for the Triangle and surrounding areas to see a few snow flurries around 4 p.m.

WRAL the be all in weather forecasting in Raleigh is predicting the slight... possible chance of snow flurries for tomorrow. One of those "maybe" forecasts that there is low confidence in, however it keeps showing up and it's all a matter of timing of the front and when the precipitation moves in. It's really all a matter of perspective I suppose.

I turn on the local weather and listen to the  forecaster explain that it's really not much to worry on and if it snows at all it would just be flakes and the ground is really warm and it won't stick. Okay....the ground being warm totally makes sense as it's November 11th. Why we are even talking about snow is bigger question. TWC is showing people bundled up for winter in Chicago walking around looking like it's December and I think back to a year ago when everyone in Chicago was wearing shorts and complaining they were snow less way into December.

To quote yesterday's post...this is the way of the world and weather.

One year you are up in the 70s and it's December and you are wondering why Christmas won't be white in Chicago ... and a year later winter comes back so fast and furious that we are talking about snow in the Southern Appalachians in early November.

The ups and downs of weather. They dry and wet, the hot the cold... it never seems to rain as much as pour or a drought sets in and THAT is why people love to watch the weather. Weather is never boring and if it is, it isn't boring for long. Okay, the Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2013 was a real wimp... the winter of 2013-2014 is not going to be boring. Next year's hurricane season may be as memorable for us as this years was for the Philippines. You win some, you lose some and there is always next year.

As for the tropics today they have put up this graphic which really should be labeled "Are you out of your mind? Why are you even looking???"

Well...they put a purple blotch down near Panama so obviously someone is still watching... it's not over officially until November 30th..

As good as the forecasts are these days... you never really know for sure until you are working in real time and it either rains, snows or sleets. Every forecaster predicts a busy hurricane season and it's a dud for the chasers in the Atlantic. Blue skies and sunshine out the window... and there's a chance of snow flakes tomorrow or... none will be falling, but just in case they put the small, sliver of a chance in the forecast. Indecision may or may not be their problem, the reality of weather forecasting is still the holy grail. We get better and better and then... one system throws you for a loop and there is record early snow fall or cold temps. It's 33 this morning as I type this. Last winter we rarely got down to 33 even in December and January. What it IS a sign that this winter will most likely be a whole lot  more wicked early on than last winter was and in Chicago no one will be wearing shorts on Christmas Eve...

In real time we will know.

The same way I said that I refused to write an article about the early reports from the Philippines when they reported 4 people dead. Now the reports are that there will be over 10,000 people dead and that 80% of the city that lost the landfall lotto has been destroyed.  If you want to follow the aftermath of this year's weather tragedy that made twisters in Oklahoma look like another day on the Plains... check out Jim Edds who was there at landfall and covering the aftermath.


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As for the weather in your area...find  your favorite forecaster and keep wishing for the weather you want. Everyone does it... honestly, you may as well do it too. And, you can bet I'll be withing for a snowy winter in the Carolinas. I love snow. It's one of the few things I like about being here part of the time and why I hate going south in the winter for fear I'll miss a rare snowfall. This year snow may not be so rare in the Carolinas. I can see the sky through the trees...there is a cool breeze, golden leaves fall to the ground and the indecisive gray days of October are gone. The air moves once again in Raleigh, unlike the summer where it hangs here heavy and cloistered like with various forms of mold growing on the ground and a canopy of trees that blot out the sky. Now Carolina Blue appears in my window and the sun lights up the golden leaves that are falling fast one by one showing me more and more sky and soon I'll be able to watch the sunset through the bedroom windows again. And, maybe... just maybe....I'll get some snow even if it doesn't stick to the still warm ground. And, if not this system the next or the one after that as today is November 11th... and we have a long way to go before winter really gets here. This is more like... pre-release publicity for a movie called "Winter 2014" get ready... it's early reviews tell a tale of cold air and more snow than last year!

Besos Bobbi

From one of my all time favorite CDs :)

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Epic Death Totals for an Epic Storm... 1,200 Feared Dead & the Death Toll Climbs in Philippines

This is the reason I never like to write articles about a catastrophe of this size without waiting a few days. The early reports come in one by one... 2 dead, 10 dead, 20 dead.... 200 dead... exponentially rising by the hour until a few days later we found out what we knew would be the end game.... over 1,000 dead and that number keeps rising.  It's just simply ridiculous to pretend that the early reports are accurate when all communication lines are down and it's too early to know the true numbers and the grave reality of the situation. The number will rise and continue to rise and the final total may only be a guess. You don't have a cyclone of this magnitude hit a crowded, coastal city and not have a catastrophe of historic proportions.

"The Philippine Red Cross told Reuters that based on reports itestimates at least 1,200 dead in Tacloban, which is located about 360 miles southeast of Manila, and 200 more in Samar Province."

THIS is a catastrophe of epic proportions. I don't mean for a moment to lessen the extreme tragedy of Hurricane Sandy in New York, but this is the ultimate in tragedies. You can't compare this to Hurricane Sandy or most other tropical cyclones that have hit America. You can compare it to other cyclones that have made landfall in India where crowded, poor populated cities lie in the path of huge landfalling storms. The cyclones in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are often more intense, the populations are bigger and the cities are crowded with people unable to really prepare for such a storm. How do you prepare for a Category 5 or 6 Hurricane? This was one of the strongest cyclones on record in do you prepare for a cyclone like this anywhere in the world? And, from my experience with friends there... they do not prepare the way we do in Miami. No storm shutters on the average home and the codes are different and there is frankly no where to go and for many no way to get out. And, many did evacuate.
[Nov 9, 2013] Four dead in super Typhoon Haiyan. AT LEAST four people have been killed and more than half a million displaced as super Typhoon Haiyan pummels the ...
Reports like this are just silly to take seriously.

That is why I waited for the inevitable. Everyone wants to get a story out as the demand for information is intense, everyone is in a rush to write an article and yet writing that at "LEAST" four people have been killed is fantasy reporting. In real time the number rises like the waters rose and covered the streets of the coastal city sweeping away people, lives, homes, businesses and whatever used to be a the signs of a normal life.

I will write more tomorrow on the actual figures and AGAIN... the actual figures on the height of the storm surge, the loss of life and casualties is still a guesstimate.

What we do know is that people have died ... been washed away... left to die in debris waiting for help that could not possibly get there in time and in ways ...this is the way of the world. We like to believe we can control weather and every day life in the year 2013 and yet we can't...that is the reality.

Earthquakes shake the world, tsunamis travel long distances wiping out whole towns. Volcanoes blow their tops and spew forth poisonous fumes and cyclones crash into coastal towns all across the world. Homeless people freeze to death in blizzards. Again it's just the way of weather and the way of the world.

And, sometimes the sun shines on a beautiful coastal town..the water glitters like diamonds and a luminous full moon sets into a mountain lake framed by jagged peaks that are covered with snow. Palm trees sway in a soft breeze. Cool air chills our face as we venture out in boots and coats and a million stars shine on a clear cold night.

Such is the way of the world when it comes to weather.

You take the good with the bad and there really is no where to hide as everywhere on Planet Earth the weather and nature's beauty can take your breath away. And, on any given day somewhere Mother Nature can take your breath away literally and you can die in an earthquake or a twister or a hurricane.

What can you do about it? Nothing really... Luck of the draw.  I have friends who live in Cebu, but they were far away in Brooklyn this weekend. I have lived through Hurricane Andrew on Miami Beach in an old 2 story Roaring 20s mansion that survived the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926.

What can you do? Enjoy your life, your loved ones and the things you love doing. Dance if you love to dance, watch football if you love football, play chess if you love chess... watch the weather, track the weather, chase the weather and write about if you are me.

Be You! Enjoy Life. And, always watch the weather and the news and what's going on around you. Knowledge is power. Learn from the past. Move on. That's the advice I gave to one of my kids the other day and I am passing it on to you.

Pray for those who survived who lost loved ones. Pray for their recovery in all ways. Give charity. Be grateful for what you have and keep on living. The tropics were quiet in the Atlantic this year. The tropics were not quiet in the Western Pacific. Next year...who knows? It could be our turn for a Category 5 or 6 Hurricane to make landfall. Time is ticking... we can only get lucky for so long. That is not pessimism it's just reality. Enjoy today, prepare for tomorrow and make the world a better place in any way you can.

Besos Bobbi

Ps a link from a friend who lives's not really in English, but you get the idea..

Thursday, November 07, 2013

All About Haiyan - 195 MPH Winds...

rbtop-animated (6)

Going to post some pics and track and I'll be back tomorrow with reliable information on damage and wind speed at landfall. And, note this storm is making a second landfall in Vietnam after pummeling the Philippines. Early reports are never reliable and there is much controversy as to what the actual wind speeds were at landfall, as most measuring apparatus blew away. In the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane just prior to the height of the storm the wind gauge at the Allison Hotel (which later was St. Francis Hospital) on Miami Beach blew away. Also, sadly death tolls in any disaster of this magnitude rise steadily as more reliable data comes in ... it goes without saying the area is without power.. 

If you had to grade Haiyan it would probably be a Category least. We can't compare to any hurricane in the Atlantic Basin. At one point winds were reported to be 190 or 195 MPH with gusts way over 200. 

This is the most amazing picture to me. So amazing I can't think of a way to describe it other than.. "oh my goodness" or "wow" or stunning"

Look at the perfection and intensity of this storm that may be the strongest cyclone to make landfall. Again, verification will come later after the fact when we know more. Can you imagine if this was headed for Key West? It would obliterate it... I doubt much would be left standing. Charleston? It would be way stronger than Hugo. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane would seem much milder in comparison..  Anywhere on the planet this disaster would be horrific ....

Here's a graphic from    that shows what that scenario might look like...

Look at that loop above.. it is a SOLID BALL of destructive winds swirling around a pin point eye.

Ryan Mauve put up this graphic on Twitter of it's future landfall in Vietnam.

Why do the most terrible storms always seem to make landfall more than once? It will be weaker than second time it hits land, but still... a very strong storm.

While it is heartening to know that the region that suffered the most from the Earthquake in Cebu was spared the strongest winds... to have a Category 2 Storm make landfall in an area filled with debris and trying to rebuild and recover will set back the recovery a long time and many weakened structures will be destroyed that otherwise might have been able to be saved. 

It's been a bad, bad year for the Pacific. The Atlantic has been very quiet. Often, when you have that sort of imbalance "energy" flows elsewhere. The years that Miami did not get a landfall from a Hurricane (between 1965 until 1972) the Gulf of Mexico hosted some of the strongest hurricanes that hit elsewhere. 

Mind boggling to me that while I was enjoying a beautiful day in St. Marys, Georgia soaking in the quiet, beauty of the low country and the Sea Islands... such destruction and devastation could be occurring on the other side of the planet. 

Really you have to enjoy the day, the moment...the life you have... because you never know when the tide will turn and it could all be taken away. I needed to relax and breathe... it was the perfect place. I've always been a big fan of the Low Country...the views, the vistas and the serene peace and natural beauty.

Find a place you love and enjoy it.. visit it...give thanks.
That's my advice for today..

Besos Bobbi

Late Season Mischief Near the Tip of Cuba?

Still in Florida... slowly leaving. Still watching the area in the Caribbeanish area. Did you notice that "ish" is the word of the year?  Either way.. it's the only real game in town for me right now.

More later... keep watching... I know I will be. Hey... why not it's still the Hurricane Season.. anything can in theory happen...

Besos Bobbi

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Quiet Tropics and Thoughts on My Mother

TC Activity

I know.. it's been a while, but there really hasn't been much to say tropically while I have been taking care of some family issues regarding my mother. Still, not sure, what to say tropically.

This says it well.....

A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words you know.. still despite the discussion against development in the tropics it is ALWAYS worth watching the Caribbean and Gulf this time of year...when a front slowly dies out and convection lingers... as is happening currently.

Where have I been while I have been away and oh so silent? I've been closing down..shutting down my mother's condo which is about as shut down as this year's hurricane season has been. You know that ole story the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" well... what can I say, there must have been a grinch this year involved. Not much going on tropically. A wing and a prayer for the chaser crews that a Caribbean Hurricane might rear it's odd ball face... but for now..."No Tropical cyclones at this time" so..

Going to speak a bit here on a life lived well in the tropics and the life in general .. mine in particular.

My youngest brother decided that it would be best to put my mother in a "Nursing Home" rather than have her remain in her own home.  It's not really a "Nursing Home" as now days they are called various things that basically mean we provide a place for your parents to live with assisted care and it's a good option if the situation warrants it.  I didn't disagree with him, though I would have preferred she stay in her own home a little longer. My brother in Greece wanted her in a home earlier ...hoping she would interact a bit and have more socialization. She rarely left the house the last few years and hope springs eternal for all of us that she will begin to interact with others and be involved in some of the man activities they provide there. Time will tell.

It's basically as my father would say "an option" and depending on the situation it's not a bad option. Some options are better, some are worse.

See the careful, educational wording that they put up on their website:

Senior Living Options

You’ve probably heard all the terms — “Independent Retirement Living”, “Assisted Living”, “Nursing Home” — but you might not be completely clear about what, exactly, they mean or how they differ from each other. Below are descriptions of the different lifestyle and care options available to seniors to help you determine which one is right for you, or your loved one, and your family.
Note...if you have a loved one who is approaching that point in life where they may need to give up their home and have another "option" you might want to check their site out or any site out as it's good to know.

In my mother's case the main deciding factor was to find a good, kosher nursing home as she has been kosher since around 1959. No lobster or bacon for her ...and of course she needs a place where they make a "shabbos meal" and provide some Jewish entertainment which in this case means a local Chabad Rabbi comes and sings cantorial sort of songs and the young women from the Chaya Aydel Seminary visit and sit with the "guests" at the Plaza... and talk, sing and listen to them.  Nice girls, very sweet and hopefully my mother will open up to them and other guests and make friends there. Either way it's sort of her call. She was never a social butterfly, more an ARTIST and INTELLECTUAL happier alone in her room reading a book listening to Jewish Music or Opera and I don't see why she would become a social butterfly at 87... but she does have that option. Either way...the girls will visit as well as my children who live nearby. And, she will have doctor check ups weekly as well as daily medical care as needed. They also have kosher food...

This was my mother 4 years ago at a Simcha... a festive event.

She loves pale blue... it's her signature color.. 

This is my mother now at the Plaza... what a difference 4 years make when you are in your 80s.

This is my mother earlier this week with my daughter and her best friend visiting "Bubby"

My daughter moved to Crown Heights for now... hoping the other kids go. My brother is there. I'll come and go. The girls from the Seminary are there for weekly visits. 

What can I say? It's not a "home" it's an "option" or more so a place to be put when you are old and need more care and those care givers begin to take the place of family and tend to your needs when you are having problems taking care of the every day details. I spoke to some of the people there yesterday, more than just my mother, most of them have relatives far away or near enough to make visits on Sunday to see them. Pictures cover their wall of happier days. Some of them seem happy, some seem grumpy, some seem out of it and not happy to be there. Sort of like the first day of nursery school. The out going cheerful ones run about making new friends and trying every toy there is in the room. Some kids sit crying hysterically for their parents to come pick them up and refuse to color or play on the swings. Some pout, some smile and some count the hours until their parents come to pick them up. I've taught a lot of pre-school in my day. Seems that Retirement Homes are the same way except they keep hoping their children and grandchildren will come talk to them or take them out for pizza or sit with them in the sunshine. Some of them make friends, some of them talk to the staff and some of them do Arts and Crafts and ...some do not.  Some children refuse to eat the school lunch or the packed lunch and others gobble away and are appreciative. Others... do not. 

That is what life is... and I got to tell you the dye is cast early on. That child who balks and balls and cries constantly, nervously is often nervous when a teenager... a young bride... a young mother... an older woman. The one who smiles and says "Thank you" a lot... who finds the lemon and makes lemonade... they are the happier ones. They may not be always happy, but they find the way to adjust the sails when the sailing gets rough and a new tack..or option or destination approaches. You can't change someone at 48 or 88... they are who they are...............

So... that's my story for the last week.

What did I find going through her condo?? 

Her wedding announcement... the record of a local opera soprano becoming a recent bride.

And...of course her wedding picture...

And, the cake picture though I'm wondering if it's chocolate inside. 
I'm sure not, cause she was very traditional.
In real life she only ate chocolate.

I know it sounds like I am speaking about her as if she is gone.. but she is in ways. She is gone from the home that she decorated ...over and over... Lord that woman loved to rearrange, paint and redecorate. She was and still is a restless spirit and never really very happy. She smiles... she smiled... but she always worries and frets and well she has spent a lifetime trying to get past worrying and fears that eat at her early in the morning and late at night. Artistic and anxious. 

She told me recently that the real love of her life is music. Music she told me never disappoints you. Music has no age. 

That's my mother in a nutshell. Kosher... Artist.... Writer... Singer... Loves Music and Torah and Chocolate.

I hope you all enjoy the things in life that make your heart beat a little faster and whether you are young or old.... remember to listen to the music. One of my mother's favorite songs, which she'd sing to me when I was upset. I sang it to her at the Plaza.

What will be will be... and only time will tell.

Besos Bobbi

Ps...Oh...and I found a few hurricane maps that are packed away in the bottom of a box... and a lot of her personal journaling, poems and thoughts on Torah and other topics from healthy living to how to deal with stress and aging and how much she loved Florida and music.

I'm grateful for my daughter Shayna's help the last few years living with her... taking care of her, cooking for her... joking around and dealing with her many moods. And, now it's time for her to move on and do her thing which Shayna does well... finding friends, enjoying Starbucks and Jets games and life. Shayna is outgoing. My mother is not. We are all different. Life is what you make it...