6 From 45

I’m not one of these people who dwells on birthdays. But I’m noticing that on September 6th, six days from this day, I turn 45 years of age.

I’m lucky to have gotten this far in my life, though I would like to branch out in a new direction with whatever time I have left. Is that time I have left 10 years? 20? 30? More? Less? That’s the thing about life, got to enjoy every day, because each day is a sacred passage of time that should be something held precious to us all. These days, I don’t see that kind of regard for life in our society. Seems to me we are too busy fighting over what matters when everything should matter.

Maybe it’s something that’s always been a problem. Who knows. I don’t know how to solve the problems of society, I just know them when I see them. We should enjoy the lives we have, and not be in such a hurry to be destructive with what’s been created.

That’s my two cents anyways…

Waiting For Hermine, Or Maybe Ian


I’ll probably be keeping an eye on what’s now the 9th Tropical Depression of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season most of the next few days. The weather people in this area have been keeping an eye on this disturbance for a while now, and I mentioned it on this blog last Thursday. It finally became “TD 9” on Sunday afternoon, and is expected to hit around Cedar Key Thursday, which is well to my north, as a tropical storm.

Should the storm get to tropical storm status, it would be named Hermine, unless the tropical depression east of North Carolina becomes one first. In that event, our storm would be Ian.

I’ve lived in Tampa Bay most of my life, except for a year in Charlotte and nine months in Marietta, Georgia. We’ve had many close calls over the years (Elena in 1985 and Charley in 2004 being the more legendary near misses). If a hurricane hits the state, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville don’t usually see it, but southeast and northern Florida do.

When we’re in a storm’s “cone of uncertainty” I’m usually reading the blog of Dr. Jeff Masters over at Weather Underground and the scores of comments people make when there’s a tropical threat out there. I also keep an eye on the Spaghetti Models website, which are those wiggly lines you see that represent where all of the computer models think these storms will go.

Early in the day, not much had changed from what was the original thinking: a sloppy tropical storm that would give the Tampa Bay area about six inches worth of rain around Thursday. As the day progressed, the models moved ever so slightly north, but still a tropical storm all the way.

We should be fine, but it has my attention just in case things change.

Colin’s Sit Down

49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem when his team played Green Bay’s Packers Friday night.

Some of you have been asking me about that whole Colin Kaepernick situation over the weekend. For me, it’s pretty cut and dry.

Kaepernick has the right to feel the way he does about American society as it stands in 2016, but his gesture of sitting down during the national anthem was rather uncouth. Half a century ago, when Tommie Smith and John Carlos donned black gloves and waved them in the air when our country’s anthem played in their honor, at least they stood as they made their protest. I also see rumors among more conservative news sites that he converted to Islam in the off-season, but most of the sports media hasn’t reported that as fact, so it may or may not be.

Standing up by sitting down? That does not compute for me. He makes $19,000,000 a year. I wonder how much of that goes to charities he cares about.

Just a reminder, Colin: you have the right to sit on your keister, true that. But the 49ers have the right to release you, and the other NFL teams also have the right not to sign you up for their respective teams should San Francisco’s team release you.

In the age of social media, what you do in this life follows you around. Remember that. You can’t take a stand for something by merely sitting down.

Aircheck: WSUN and WIOD (Miami), 8/24/1992

Our once every two weeks look back at local and regional state history takes us back to August 24, 1992. As some of you might remember, it was not a normal day, as Hurricane Andrew (a Cat 5 hurricane that everyone thought was a Cat 4 at the time) scored a direct hit on most of Miami and Dade County that Monday morning.

I was working a 6am-noon shift at WEND and the Sun Radio Network that morning. The one thing I’ll never forget was reading the AP headlines off of the computer, amazed at the statewide weather reports. I was seeing reports of wind gusts out of Coral Gables at an amazing 162 miles per hour early in my shift.

(Outside of a small thunderstorm after I got home around 1pm that day, we didn’t get anything here from Andrew in Tampa Bay, as it was a rather small hurricane.)

I’m pretty sure Neil wasn’t on his usual schedule that day with all the news coverage WIOD (and thus WSUN here in Tampa Bay) had. I don’t think he took to the air until after noon that day, and as you’ll hear that day, he’s still on past his usual 2pm sign-off. His usual entertainment type show isn’t there this day, replaced with calls for help in the area and a more serious demeanor. Quite understandable under the circumstances.

With the 24th anniversary of Andrew passing, and threat of a tropical system in the present day that’s yet to have been realized (and I hope stays that way), that all made me think of this.

Six Months For One Word


I figured the US women’s team would act swiftly when Hope Solo called the Swedish team “cowards” for how they played in the quarterfinal game against our women.

Hope received a six month suspension.

I feel no pity for Solo, and what she said was wrong. But if you’re going to get a suspension for that long, throw in an expletive in front of the word “cowards” to get your money’s worth.

I could see this winding up being litigated in court for being too harsh a penalty. Or, maybe she does three months and change of the six months, and gets the test of the ban lifted. Something like that.

It just feels two wrongs never make a right here, and that the six month suspension was over the top. A one month suspension and a monetary fine, that would seem better.


Flashback: “What It Was, Was Football” by Andy Griffith

With the college football season starting tonight in of all places, Australia, and with our local high school season starting last night in a few places, I thought I’d fire up this gem.

This record made Andy Griffith a household name, as he plays a deacon who had never seen a football game, and attempts to describe it. You have to remember this record was made in 1953, so it’s possible a southern church goer hadn’t seen a game on television as of yet, as not everyone had a TV at that time, and there weren’t a lot of stations on the air, either.


Hurricane 68?


Since southwest and southeast Florida got the brunt of Hurricane Wilma back in the fall of 2005, there have been 67 hurricanes formed in the Atlantic over the last eleven years. None of them have hit Florida, which has doubled the old record of 33 consecutive hurricanes without a Florida landfall, according to Denis Phillips over at ABC Action News.

With two named storms, Fiona and Gaston, out in the Atlantic and no threats to anyone, a close eye is being kept on an unnamed system just east of Puerto Rico. Many of the computer models have that mass of weather forming into something tropical, possibly hitting southeast Florida within a few days.

But, solving where a tropical system goes is like trying to figure out a checkmate on a chess board within a few moves. Just as the checkmate requires the opponent making certain moves so that the checkmate can happen as it predicts, the flaw in these computer models is that it requires the chess pieces (in this case, the weather system) to move in a predictable way.

With a system not even named yet, things become more problematic, because the circulation center might not be where the models think that they are. In turn, that changes the projected path of the system from point to point, and the models need a reliable starting point as a frame of reference.

The good news at this point (noon on Wednesday as I wrote this) is Tampa Bay won’t see the storm in all likelihood. If it gets too close to Hispaniola (the island the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic sit), it may dissipate all together and effect only them as a rainmaker. If it stays north and doesn’t interact with that area much, then South Florida may get it, either as a tropical storm or a hurricane named Hermine.

Thursday morning brought news of a split consensus: half the models now think the storm will interact with Florida twice, once hitting the southeast, then again in the Panhandle. Some more models have the storm hugging the west coast up to a Big Bend area hit. But the multi-million dollar question is: as what?

For now, too many variables and history working for us here in Tampa Bay to give it much thought…though I just did.