Friday, August 25, 2006

Why isn't there ever any good news???

This is going to be a really long, emotional rant. So brace yourself.

I was riding home with my parents after visiting my family in St. Augustine, when my dad and I got into yet another discussion about Florida...Naturally this led to depression and a little anger with me, as it always does. My mom cut in and said, "You two are always so pessimistic." And I couldn't help but say "Mom, what's there to be optimistic about? Florida's gone.....It's dying." There was no response from her, and I know that she feels overwhelmed by the destruction also. And the last couple days has been just full of emotional depression for me, because I am seeing something I truly love being destroyed by outsiders....and even some of our own fellow Floridians. How can they do this to our land?? I just don't see how our leaders, specifically at the county level where I live, can allow this devestation to happen. I have recently read the Durbin DRI and Isles at Bartram Park DRI submissions, two developments that hit particularly close to home for me, as it will promote further destruction of my favorite place in the world, Durbin Creek. Not to mention the fact the William Bartram, a naturalist, would be horrified by the fact that a devlopment was being named after him. Florida's gone forever. Forever. And I never even got to see the half of it.
Thanks for reading my rant.

Now, for the lighter side, I'm going down to Ocala tomorrow to kayak Juniper Creek, a place I've wanted to go for a long time now. It looks like it will be extrememly nice, as it passes through the Juniper Prairie Wilderness. I'll have some pictures and a story, I'm sure.

Well thank you for reading, and I hope to post tomorrow with my creek pictures.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

You Might NOT Be a Floridian If...

This is a list I compiled in about a half hour tonight based on the popular "You might be a redneck if..." jokes. In case you were wondering, this is all my own original thoughts, and they are all based on things I have observed non-Floridians doing or saying. Some are funny, some are serious, but all Floridians can relate :-D I'll add to this list later, but I figured since I haven't written a real post in a really long time, I would post it today. Enjoy.

  • You don't know what Chitlins are.
  • You cry foul over the sight of a gator in the wild. Even if it's just a 3 or 4 foot baby.
  • The sight of a brown patch on your front lawn depresses you.
  • You feel uncomfortable telling redneck jokes, thinking that they are "politically incorrect."
  • You don't know what the Bonnie Blue Flag is.
  • You jump on the table at the sight of a lizard in your living room.
  • You were sunglasses in the wintertime.
  • You look at a river and see nothing more than a boat highway.
  • You put sugar or honey in our grits.
  • You don't know what grits are.
  • You recoil at the sight of a "racist" Confederate Battle Flag.
  • You're afraid to get your shoes muddy.
  • You think a Gopher is only a mammal.
  • You think "Cracker" is only a derogatory term.
  • You build your fancy mansion on an eroding sandbar and then demand compensation when it gets washed away by a hurricane.
  • You can't tell a rattlesnake from a cottonmouth.
  • You think the word "drawers" refers only to a part of a dresser or desk.
  • You think tea is supposed to be served hot.
  • You think a Florida Cracker is a baked good.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Sowwy...

Wow, it's been over a week since I've posted. I feel bad for any of those phantom readers who have lost their source of reading pleasure. School's back in and this little thing called spare time that I used for blogging over the summer is now non-existant. I want to post really bad about a couple things, but I just haven't found the time. Hopefully I can start up with my daily blogging routine once I get into the gist of things at school. And the water level on Durbin Creek should be rising slowly and steadily as these afternoon t-storms dump their rain into its watershed. I might be able to get the kayak back out there in October or Nobember; we'll just have to wait and see. By the way, FC. That cypress tree you were talking about does have very noticeable protrustions growing in an obvious pattern. They do look like those railroad spikes you were talking about, but have just been covered naturally by the wood of the tree. Now, I wonder what caused those three big protrusions you can see in that picture on here.
Oh well, I have a test or a quiz in ever class today, so I need to get back to studying. I hope to post later; we'll see how much homework I will have to eat up valuable time that I could be using on better things :-D. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

"We Hate You"...Even though we just gave you a standing ovation

I usually try to keep politics off of my blog (and out of my life) because it can really strike some enemies from people who otherwise would be completely good friends to you. But this I cannot ignore.
Last night was the summer graduation of the University of North Florida, and my mom was getting her master's degree in rehabilitation counseling. Don't know why she needed it; apparently for more money. Frankly, I don't think we need any more money, I think we need to get rid of some of it. But I digress. After all 806 normal graduates received their diplomas, about 6 or 7 ROTC graduates marched to the front of the arena to receive their commissioning as officers in the U.S. Navy. The leader of the NROTC of UNF began a short speech on their sacrifices that they have given to get where they were. When he read the words "These men and women endured the academic and phycical challenges of their training to defend the constitution of the United States...." applause erupted from almost everyone in attendance, and everyone stood and applauded them...Something they deserve greatly. When the leader attempted to continue his speech above the crown, nobody stopped. The applause got louder. This lasted for about 2 minutes until it finally calmed and everyone took their seat. How encouaging it was to see so many people appreciate our servicemen and women. After their commission was read, they began marching off as officers of the US Navy. From the silence there was a yell. "We hate you!" To this I have to say three things:

1. Whoever you are, you are lucky you were not sitting next to me because my first reflex would be to give you a nice little sucker punch. Even though you were a woman. I don't know if I would have actually done it (likely I wouldn't), but you WOULD have gonnen an earful from my grandma and me.
2. Speak for yourself. 98% of the people in the building just gave these men and women a standing ovation. Quite obviously, WE don't hate them. You do.
3. These men and women will put their lives on the line, just as all of our servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan do every day, to protect your right to say that. They risk their lives to give you the right to insult them. Whethere you agree with the wars we are currently involved in or not, they do not deserve to be insulted because of them

Well there ya go. I am going to try to stay out of politics, but I really thought that this needed to be written.

The Death of a Storm

Being the "Manic Meteorologist" that I am, I find myself actually getting depressed when I watch the destruction of a tropical storm or hurricane. I love these storms in almost the same way I love Florida (i.e.: I hate to see its destruction and I often go into true depression when I see it). I guess you could call me a Meteophile (and a Floridaphile, thanks to FC for the new vocabulary word.). Anyway, this partly explains why I have not posted as of late. I have been watching a storm get itself shredded apart, and I have a very intereting picture with some captions I have added for you viewing and learning pleasure. The picture still depresses me, and Chris has dissipated and looks like it has no chance at regeneration. Oh well, there will be a Debby very, very soon.
I'd like to make a note here...I love these storms and think they are among the most beautiful and awesome things on this earth. BUT I hate to see extremely strong storms make landfall and cause destruction and death. I add this because there have been times that I have been criticized by people who say I love to see storms make landfall and that I love to see the destruction (people said this to me multiple times after Katrina). Another story for another time.

The yellow arrows represent wind shear, which was extremely strong (40+ knots) and there is also a pink circle just below the arrows on the right. That pink circle encloses the center of circulation. As you can see, those upper level winds just blew that deep convection (high clouds) right off the circulation. I'll explain why this happens in a later post. This picture is a lot better when it is viewed in full-size, but Blogger likes to reduce the size of images when you add them, so this is the biggest I could get it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Busy...Very Busy...

With school starting up tomorrow and a poor tropical storm that is getting itself ripped up by wind shear like a squirrel vs. a pitt bull, I am quite busy...From organizing my school stuff to reading RECON reports, I'm keeping myself pretty busy...and I have a fantasy football draft in an hour. So I'm not posting...I know you're devastated...You phantom reader that never leaves any comments...I want to know who you are. And I swear I'm gonna post that seabreeze post soon, as soon as I get over the frustration of losing it. Anyway, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes and a picture of our poor tropical storm...Scratch that picture of the tropical storm. I'll post it tomorrow.
"Those of us with even a scintilla of Florida Cracker in our heart will see poignant similarities between us and the gophers (referring to Florida's endangered Gopher Turtle). We are both close to this sandy, old land and we may both be a dying breed. With the passing of either group, Florida will be the poorer." -Reid F. Tillery

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pulling My Hair Out!!!!

Currently, I am pulling my hair out over 3 things:

1. My Datil Pepper plants took an unbelievable turn for the worst while I was in Chicago this past week. I'll post about that later.

2. I have to go back to school Friday. Not dreading it, but summer flew by.

3. I was just finishing up this huge post explaining seabreeze collision and how it affects thunderstorm activity when my internet explorer shut down. I'll have to write about it again and post in a few minutes...