Hurricane Drinking Game

8:35 PM Sep 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Note: I do not recommend getting drunk during a hurricane, but a libation can certainly take the edge off. With that in mind.

  • When a newscaster says "Hunker Down" - DRINK
  • If the Hurricane is downgraded - DRINK
  • When you see (on TV) one of those gay little wind meters being held up by a rain-soaked reporter - DRINK
  • When a newscaster says the name of your city or town - DRINK
  • When a newcaster says the name of your neighborhood or subdivision - DOUBLE DRINK
  • If a newscaster says the name of your street or mentions your address - drop the bottle and seek shelter!

  • The game ends when the power goes out.

Power and Cable

7:01 PM Sep 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I am shocked, amazed and tickled pink to report that at 3:10 PM today, the power and cable came back on.

The video I took can be found here, here, here and here.

We're back on the air!

4:32 PM Sep 6, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Hey, the web host has power again, so I can give you an update.

Sunday morning, at 6:48 we lost power, in advance of the storm, and it's been off ever since. We also don't have cable. How am I blogging, you ask?

I have a generator buzzing outside, and I'm connected through the phone line.

We got through the storm with minimal damange, lots of tree-barf all over the place, but no additional trees down or big branches. We drove our friend home this morning, and so we got to see that the flooding was much less than expected, and the roads are clear and most of the traffic signals are still operational.

But it's been raining like crazy, as the last feeder bands of the storm blow through Central Florida. We are under tornado warnings / watches on and off as the last of Frances moves off westward

I've had two whole days, and I still can't fathom how large this storm is. It's still going on on the West Coast! I have pictures and video, which I'll post presently.

Update:  My pictures are pretty unconvincing, but the video looks pretty good. However, I can't upload them over the phone line. I'll get them up as soon as I can.

12:58 AM Sep 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

I see on TV that Stuart is currently bearing the brunt of the storm as it slowly moves inland.

I'm praying for you, folks.

I'm frankly shocked that we still have power and that I'm still able to post. Cable has been rock solid, as has the electricity. The figure I am hearing is that there are a million Floridians without power.

I wonder if our little outage earlier today immunized is from further outages, sort of like when you get dead vaccine to immunize you from smallpox.

OK, it's a fanciful thought, but it's what I'm thinking.

10:09 PM Sep 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

We're going to sit down and watch a new DVD we got of The Postman Always Rings Twice. There isn't much else to do, so I'll be away for a while. The power will probably go off soon enough, but even if it does go out, we'll still be here.

Good luck, everyone!

8:16 PM Sep 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

It's so calm outside, it's hard to believe that there's an enormous storm just off the coast.

Image swiped from The Weather Channel

Technical Details

8:00 PM Sep 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I am particularly lucky, because my web host is run by a friend of mine. I get excellent service, basically unlimited bandwidth (not that I need it) and a terrific rate.

The web server is about 5 miles due north of my house. If I lose power, so will it.

View from the Front Porch IV

6:36 PM Sep 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

The rain is coming down now, but it isn't any worse than a normal afternoon thunderstorm. Actually, we haven't seen any lightning or thunder yet.

6:31 PM Sep 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

The best weather coverage seems to be on WFTV Channel 9. They have a first rate meteorologist named Jamie Martin, who is very good at explaining their Doppler RADAR images.

Not bad for old media.

Rain and wind squalls keep coming through. It's pretty messy outside.


6:06 PM Sep 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

According to the Weather Channel, Frances has stalled "just east of West Palm Beach."

Is it at all possible that it's going to stay there until it peters out? Or that it might move away eastwards?

I suppose that's too much to hope for.

5:56 PM Sep 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

I'm not the only one blogging this, of course.

Donnah over at Florida Cracker has some great pictures; she's in North Fort Myers, which is pretty far from Orlando, so it gives you an idea of how large this storm really is!

On The Third Hand has a list of other folks that are Hurricane Blogging.

Update:  According to Kathy K, Donnah is actually in Broward County, which is in SE Florida (Not SW, where Ft. Myers is.) Thanks for the geography lesson!

View from the Front Porch III

5:44 PM Sep 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

At 11:45, five minutes or so after the previous post, the POWER WENT OUT.

It came back on (not doubt only temporarily) at 2:05 PM.

According to the radio, people are sort of outraged that the power went out so soon. I know I was.

Anyway, here's the latest picture:

Lots of wind gusts with heavy cloudcover, but it's not dark. No rain.

This may very well be my last post.

2:17 PM Sep 4, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

11:19 - the first rain bands are passing over the house. Big, cold drops!

Our friend Kathy has just arrived, so once the rain stops, we'll be unpacking her car.

We keep hearing the boom of transformers popping in the neighborhood, the 2nd just a few seconds ago. I can't believe that the power would go out so early in all this, but then again, we do have Progress Energy!

Update:  11:40 - rain stopped, and the sun is out. This is going to be a very strange couple of days!

View from the Front Porch II

2:02 PM Sep 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

11:00 AM. Cloudcover is heavy, but no rain yet. Windy, with some pretty strong gusts, I'd guess about 30 MPH.

I went to the Albertsons on Michigan and Orange and found this sign:

That was very welcome!This was about 9:30, and they had 9 pallets of ice and a large amount of dry ice. I don't know how long it'll last, though. I bought lots of ice and dry ice, and took it home, to Ray's house, and over to the in-laws.

Across the street from the Albersons the liquor store is boarded up, but open:

Got to keep those priorites straight!

View from the Front Porch

11:12 AM Sep 4, 2004by Rob Ritchie

8:00 AM, Saturday. Partly cloudy, somewhat breezy.


11:05 PM Sep 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

AS of 7:56 P.M. Frances was downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, according to the Weather Channel.

A rare linquistic post

8:20 PM Sep 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Here's how you can tell a native Floridian from a transplant:

They call Frances a 'h&r-e-k&n instead of a 'h&r-&-"kAn

The Cracker pronounciation is sort of like that of "pelican".

Bureau of Irony Department

8:09 PM Sep 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

Hey! Today I got official notification from my previous claim with FEMA about Hurricane Charley:

They say that if I go ahead and file the paperwork, I may be entitled to the amount indicated.

I'll get right on that.

(I'm not complaining about this, by the way. There are folks much worse off than me that I'd rather this federal money go to.)

Update:  You know, in retrospect, I have to commend them on the swiftness with which they processed my claim. It's been more than three weeks, and the insurance guy still hasn't come by to look at my property.

7:45 PM Sep 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

The latest information can be found at the Weather Channel:

Frances is still a dangerous hurricane but has (at least for the time being) weakened from the 145-mph Category 4 storm that it was on Thursday to a 115-mph Category 3 storm. Still, Frances continues to develop powerful convection (thunderstorms) around parts of its central core as it tries to rev up. There still is the distinct possibility that the hurricane could strengthen again. Wind gusts to 110 mph have been experienced at Nassau. Wind gusts of 115 mph have been reported in the Abacos in the northern Bahamas. Eleuthera in the Bahamas had sustained winds of 100 mph earlier as the island took a direct hit. San Salvador reported a sustained wind of 120 mph on Thursday as Frances moved across. The hurricane will continue to move slowly through the northwestern Bahamas toward the east coast of Florida.

Hurricane warnings and watches are in effect for Florida's east coast. Coastal southeast Florida could start feeling the outermost effects of the storm during the afternoon. Present thinking puts landfall on the east coast of Florida, any time from late Saturday to Sunday morning. While the landfall point is important, the destructive impacts from Frances may be widespread. This storm is larger and will affect more land than Charley did once it makes landfall. Keep in mind that tropical storm force winds and building surf will precede the approach of the hurricane by quite some time. The flooding rainfall impact is also likely to be significant with this hurricane. Flood watches have been issued across much of the Florida Peninsula.

7:33 PM Sep 3, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Red is worried about us.

So is Rachel.

Thanks for the good thoughts, ladies.

The storm is slowing down, which is either good or bad depending on who you ask. If it slows down enough, it could change course, or fronts could shift to push it out to sea, or whatever. I'm not a meteorologist, but the ones that play them on TV seem to have widely-differing opinions on what we can expect, but they are all agreed on what we should do.

Hunker down; and that is what I intend to do.

Oh, and blog.


6:16 PM Sep 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

I've finished tying down the debris created by Charley, in hopes that it won't be kicked up by Frances. Here's what it looks like:

With any luck, it'll all still be here Monday morning. There's a nice breeze outside, about 10 MPH with some gusts up to 15 or so. Very pleasant, but the sad thing to me is that next week, when the power's off and the temps are in the high 90's, there will be no breeze at all, just a dead stillness.

There's something very, very wrong with us!

2:49 PM Sep 3, 2004by Rob Ritchie

These are both quotes from the same movie. Take a guess in the comments section.

6:53 PM Sep 2, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

5:43 PM Sep 2, 2004

by Rob Ritchie

Just got word that the plant will be closing early tomorrow, and that non-essential employees should be out by Noon. That's me, non-essential (makes me feel pretty damn important!).

Anyway, I'll be in in the morning to put bags over computer systems in case the roof of the plant blows away.

I'm still hoping that the storm will take a big swing northward and miss us, but I'm not betting on it.

Here we go again!

4:55 PM Sep 1, 2004by Rob Ritchie

For the latest information on the latest hurricane to threaten trees, homes, comfort and property values in the Orlando area, click here.

If you're curious about the last time a hurricane came our way, click here.

Update:  The main concern on people's minds is the huge amount of debris, neatly stacked in almost every lawn, left over from Charley. Frances has been described as being a much more powerful storm, and all that stuff will make [in]convenient missiles when propelled by hurricane winds. I visited a Home Depot and a Lowes today, and they were swiftly being stripped of plywood and other prophylactics.

Update 2:  Rachel Lucas comments