Thursday, September 02, 2004


Well, here we go again. This time it's Francis. The weather gnomes are predicting landfall this weekend... Saturday. I was eating lunch yesterday and the lady who owns the place (Lam's Gardens - great buffet- heaven for old single fat guys like me) wanted to know if this was typical summer weather for Florida. She and her husband came here from Viet Nam a couple of decades ago to do the traditional "escape to the promised land". She said that her husband liked Florida because the weather here is so much like their home country, but she said she does not like all these storms we have here.

That got me thinking. What are the chances of two storms so close together? I got out the big almanac and looked at the dates on historical storms. I think the closest was in 1950 when Hurricane Easy came in on September 4 and Hurricane King on October 17. Back then is the dark ages for most people. Pre-TV, pre-air conditioning, pre-dual incomes, pre-heart catheterizations, pre-OxyContin. I can remember my stepfather having a big ad campaign bragging about how his drug store (he was the one who brought Walgreens to Orlando) had "ice cold air" and folks could shop in comfort. He even had a lounge area where his customers could sit down and relax while they waited for their prescriptions to be filled. Whoopie!

The biggest difference of course is population density. The increase rate in Central Florida is seven factorial. The population doubles every seven years. That means that the number of people has doubled about seven or eight times since those storms came through here. Back in 1950 Orlando had one TV station, channel 6 ,WDBO, and they bragged of having a two man one woman news crew and went off the air at midnight. Black and white. The next closest TV market was Jacksonville. I can recall my folks getting a huge array of metal put on the roof of the house some time in the 50s so that we could pick up Jax. Mama wanted a choice of viewing. Ever the moderns. He he.

Well, anyhow, here comes Francis. I moved the plane to Leesburg yesterday but I don't know if it will do any good. I'm just screwed about the boat. It's sitting at Nelson's Marine in Titusville, right in the path of the damned storm, but it is tied down and cross tied with long lines to allow for a serious storm surge so we'll see.

I'll be camping here in the Orlando office (again) and playing babysitter to the JAC. Fortunately, they have learned their lesson about getting the kids out of the facility early. The ARF is cleared out already and the secure (as in dangerous) kidlets are being taken to the 33rd Street jail (that's the Orange County jail). We'll keep processing the critters until ordered to do otherwise.

Want to get a hoot? The JAM unit, that's the sheriff's intensive supervision unit, the guys who ride herd on all the real serious bad boys, gang members and such, has scheduled a major sweep this weekend so that all the scarey neer-do-wells in town will be in jail and miss out on any possible looting. Street talk is that a bunch of the Latin Kings and Outlaw Crips are taking a ride up to Atlanta for their own safety. Heck... there's a bright side to this stormy weather. Maybe they'll stay.