Hurricanes are strange

Have y’all seen the latest GFS model?  And I thought yesterday’s European model was strange.

Okay, according to the GFS, Matthew will move up the east coast of Florida, right along the edge, then Georgia a bit further off shore, then make this sharp, easterly turn off of South Carolina.  Then, this is where it gets weird, it makes a loop and goes back to the Bahamas and ends up off of Miami, again!, next week.  This is extremely good news for me, but not so much for Florida and the Bahamas.  Remember, yesterday’s European model had it do something very similar.  Nicole has put a really big spanner in the works just by its existence to the east of Matthew.  Because of Nicole, Matthew can’t just go east and out to sea, it has to go south.  Very bizarre.

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And it keeps getting worse…

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Bitch Slapped: My Irene Pictures

Irene was a bitch and she slapped us hard.  We started getting rain bands Friday afternoon, the stead rain starting in the evening and continuing into Saturday night, with maybe one or two breaks.  The wind, however, shrieked, moaned, groaned, howled, whistled, and roared the whole time. It didn’t stop until almost midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning.  I took a few pictures during the storm, but only one came out clear enough to see what was going on.  This one was taken about 7 AM Saturday morning:

I had to take the picture from inside the house because the wind was blowing so hard.  Look at the water in the yard.  It rained for hours after this, so imagine what it looked like later.  The ditch beyond those bushes overflowed, as did all of the others in the neighborhood.  By noon the street looked like a river.

These next photos are of the aftermath in my own yard.  Luckily, neither of my trees went down, but they lost lots of limbs.  The first is my deck, which I took from the inside, the others I took outside.

In the photo above, that limb broke the window.  I couldn’t get any closer because of the glass.

And here is the reason I didn’t have electricity for so long.  The top of that pole snapped off.

Here’s hoping that Katia stays away.  Though, from the looks of it right now, that’s wishful thinking.

Watching Earl

We are all watching Earl with wary eyes.  It’s been a while since we’ve been hit by a major hurricane, so we’re due.  Not to mention the very unscientific fact the storm’s name is Earl.  Hello, talk about destiny.  Earl coming to the South.  We started getting nervous the moment we saw the name.  🙂

The trouble is, the meteorologists don’t really know, yet, where exactly Earl is going.  The way one of our local guys explained it, the key is the cold front.  The one causing the Tornado  Watches in Minnesota last night.  If it gets down here in time, as it is forecasted to do, all we’ll get is some rain and tropical storm force winds.  If it doesn’t, then we’re in trouble.

Every time I see a forecast, it slides just a little more toward the west.  Toward land.  Toward us.  So, all we can do is watch and wait.  And get prepared to leave.

A very odd tropical cyclone …

… was Hanna.  All of the rain was on the west side, which means I didn’t get much after around midnight, and most of the wind was on the east side, of which I got a lot.  I have an old pecan tree in my backyard that lost half a dozen limbs, a few large sticks, and lots of pecans.  Unfortunately, it’s too early for the pecans to be any good.  It’s odd.  I have an oak tree in the front, and, even when it’s loaded with acorns (it isn’t right now), it only looses large sticks in storms.  Almost never any limbs with leaves on them.  The pecan tree always sheds prodigiously, sometimes even copiously, during storms.

Hanna came ashore at about 3:20 yesterday morning.  We managed to keep our electricity until 6:30, which surprised me.  The lights came back on at about 8:30, so it wasn’t that bad.  Just a couple of hours.  By one in the afternoon, it was a gorgeous, though somewhat breezy, late summer day.

From what I can understand, what happened is that Hanna formed a front in its middle:  rain to west and along the front, wind to the east.  Weird, yes, but I still say that Ophelia of 2005 exceeds Hanna in strangeness.  Ophelia managed to maintain hurricane strength despite lots of dry air pretty much obliterating its western side by forming little vortexes of low pressure all around its eye.  It looked really cool on the radar.  All of these little mid-level circulation centers rotating around the eye.

Anyway, everyone here is okay, and continuing to watch Ike with wary eyes.

My Top Ten Best Reads and Hanna

Hi, y’all.  It’s starting to look like Hanna will be paying me a visit this weekend.  My nephew will be bummed.  No excuse to stay home from school.  Well, no good excuse, anyway.  🙂

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything scrappy in the last few days.  I have a few ideas, playing around with some stuff, but nothing complete.  Maybe next week, if Ike lets me.  That’s right, not only do we have Hanna, we have Ike, and Josephine.  Well, hurricane season peaks next week, so, all we can do is get our hurricane kits ready, gas up the car, and cross our fingers.

On a different, to me happier, note, there’s been a discussion going on at BookCrazy (you have to join to read the boards, sorry) about your ten best reads.  It started out as books, but I don’t see why they all had to be books.  Hence, my top two are short stories:

  1. “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka- I have a vicious hatred of  cockroaches, but Kafka made me cry when this one was killed.  This is  definitely the best thing I have ever read, though I have no intention of reading it again.  I had nightmares for about a week afterward involving sofa sized  bugs!   Ewwwwwwwwww.
  2. “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Alan Poe – Without doubt, this is the  creepiest read I’ve ever had.  King can be our right scary, but no one does skin-crawling creepy like Poe.
  3. White Fang by Jack London – Especially the first part of the  books, where the two men are trying to escape the starving wolf pack.  Even  when you are warm and toasty, with a cup of chocolate and cat on your lap, you can’t help but shiver.  I know that Call of the Wild is technically a better book, but White Fang has always been the one that calls to me.
  4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – I’ve always loved this book.  It is especially good when you are frustrated and angry.  Just reading about how the bad guys got theirs is a great stress reliever.  But, just the story is wonderful.  Even my eighteen-year-old niece and my sixteen-year-old nephew love this book.
  5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – This book blew me away when I read it last year.  I cried in at least three places that I can remember, probably more.  I was so sad, yet so happy, when Mariam was killed.  If that makes no sense to you, then you probably haven’t read the book, and you should.
  6. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton – The first time I read this, I was in the eighth grade.  It was an assignment, but I read it within a day, it was so good.  Because Hinton was a teenager herself when she wrote most of  her books, they can’t help but speak to that age group.
  7. The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter – Another school assignment, this time in my senior year of high school.  This book was wonderfully funny, and beautifully touching.  I found it very difficult to believe that the guy who wrote this wonderful story was the same guy who wrote Josey Wales (always hated that movie, too), and speeches for George Wallace.
  8. Elizabeth the Great by Elizabeth Jenkins – This book started me on my love affair with Tudor, even English, history.  The first time I read this was when I was ten or eleven, stealing my sister’s copy.  After reading about Elizabeth, I had to find something about her mother, then  everybody else, going further and further back in time.
  9. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – Like Elizabeth the  Great, The Mists of Avalon started me on a love of history, this time Arthurian, what’s called the sub-Roman period.  I’ve read this book about five or six times since I was thirteen, I think.  Since reading this for the first time, I’ve read all of the sequels and the prequels, plus several other Arthurian series like those by Cornwell, Lawhead, and Whyte.
  10. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard – No, I am not a  Scientologist.  No where near it, but I still love this book.  I’m not big on sci-fi (with a few exceptions), but I read this book at about once a year.  There are some parts, like all that crap about Psychlo math, that I don’t particularly like (or understand the purpose of other than as a meaningless vehicle to tell us more of Psychlo “culture”, for lack of a better term).  Anyway, I love the complex story, though why anyone thought they could compress this book to make even a descent movie is beyond me.

If it were a top 12 list, I would probably add Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby, both of which I love.