Tobacco Road Fogey
Saturday, September 20, 2003
News about hurricane bloggingHere's an article from the dead-tree press about bloggers and hurricane blogging.
Congrats to Bloviating Inanities, Wizbang, One Fine Jay, and Silent Running for being quoted in the article. I can't be sure, since the reporter didn't specifically cite this place, but I think I'm the anonymous North Carolina blogger who was "listening to ham radios while at the same time blogging."
Thanks to Say Uncle for sending me an email about this article.
Another hurricane bloggerCheck out Unfreezing. He is a ham radio operator who did emergency communications duty at one of the shelters in Pitt County, NC (near Greenville), much closer to where the eye of Isabel passed through the state.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
10 PM UpdateThings are slowly heading back toward normal. The winds are down to around 10 mph sustained and 20 mph gusts. A very light mist is falling, and the streets and sidewalks are beginning to dry from the constant breeze.
Looks like this will be the last update for today, since my employer will be open for business tomorrow, barring any overnight accidents such as power failures.
8 PM updateStill some wind and rain, but the winds have subsided significantly. Occasional gusts that I can hear inside the house, but I haven't heard anything strike the house for about an hour or so.
The college students that live next door have been stirring around a little. I've heard a couple of car doors slamming over there.
Power has been on and steady for about an hour. Little "twinkles" here and there, but not enough to knock the TV off the air.
I think I'll fix myself some supper and watch Emeril Live. He's doing the "pork fat" thing with sausages tonight.
Power outPower went out here at FogeyBase at 5:55 pm for the longest amount of time yet today. It was restored 55 minutes later, so no major problems here. We lost power for about 18 hours during Hurricane Fran in 1996, so 1 hour is not too bad.
During the power outage, I went outside to look around before sunset. Lots of leaves and small tree branches scattered around on the ground, but there was only a light sprinkle of rain and the wind gusts are much reduced in intensity. Besides, with no A/C or fans available indoors with the power out, the FogeyWife would beat me to death with one of our newly purchased flashlights if I were to light up a cigarette indoors.
Current conditions 5PMWind gusts are significantly stronger and last longer, and a strong rain band appears to be trying to move in to the Raleigh area, according to local TV. I heard a few branches or pine cones or something bounce off the roof about 5 minutes ago -- the first impacts of this storm.
Local TV is also starting to show large trees broken off and uprooted in areas much closer to FogeyBase. Also, more reports of localized flooding.
Take a lookStole this idea from Michele:
NCDOT Traffic Cameras. Click on Triangle and then click on the "Exit 287 -- Harrison Avenue" link to get a view of I-40 about 6 miles from my house.
Local television is saying that the next 3-4 hours will be the worst for the Triangle area. The last radar view I saw has the eye of the storm over just east of Greenville, NC, or about 90-100 miles east of here. Wind gusts are still up in the 40's here. No hurricane force gusts reported in this area yet, but possible in the next few hours.
Getting a little more seriousJust heard a call for ham operators to man communications at local emergency helters. A couple of shelters were open earlier, but it looks like the local emergency management officials are going to open several more in the next hour. Don't know if this was the plan or not.
Local ham repeaters are fairly quiet. Most of the wide-coverage repeaters in the area are reserved for emergency net operations, so not much chit-chat can be heard. I'm having to keep the squelch locked fairly tight on both radios to keep the computers from interfering with their scans.
More and more power glitches happening, with a couple of two-minute outages in the past hour. Looks like I'm pretty lucky with power so far, since large outages have been reported throughout the county.
I'm getting a kick out of watching the reporters from the local TV stations who are out roaming through eastern North Carolina. It's really glamorous to be out in rains whipped up by gale force winds, isn't it?
Current conditionsWinds are definitely picking up. I can hear them whistling outside the house now, where I couldn't before. WRAL-TV is reporting peak gusts in the 40's here and 50's just about 60 miles to the east of here. Ham radio ops are reporting more power failures and trees down (largest thus far was about 20 inches in diameter, which fell into a pond in the eastern part of my county).
Barometric pressure is dropping steadily, down about 10 millibars in the last three hours. Only about an inch and a half of rain at RDU airport so far, though.
She's getting closerHad to switch over to my laptop, because we're having too many of those annoying little power flickers that are just long enough to cause my desktop machine to go down and reboot.
I started to stop at Best Buy on the way home from work yesterday to buy a UPS, but changed my mind. Of course, I was also planning on going to work early this morning, which would have kept me from blogging.
FogeyWife is homeYes! She's home and safe, if a little bit wet.
And she even brought me some burritos from Taco Bell.
Another hurricane bloggerAnother NC hurricane blogger: The Blind Man Eateth Many A Fly
He's up on the northeast side of this storm, above Cape Hatteras.
First trip out todayOn Sunday, the FogeyWife and I went out to the local Wal-Mart and stocked up on the things we'd be likely to need as a result of Isabel -- batteries, bottled drinking water, flashlights, etc. We bought plenty of AA, AAA, and D batteries, but no C batteries since I couldn't think of anything that needed C cells.
Guess what? The portable radio I was planning to use in case of power failure uses C's. Murphy's laws in action, of course.
Just got back from a trip down to the local C-store for a couple of packs of C cells. Light rain, gusty winds, and a lot of leaves, pine straw, small branches, etc. blown down into the roads already. Nothing scary happening yet. The one local street that has a habit of getting a sizable flooding pool on it during heavy rains is starting to puddle up. And the eye of Isabel has just started coming ashore down in the Atlantic Beach area within the past hour.
Riding out Isabel update #1Latest news heard on the amateur radio nets:
Blogging from the hurricane zoneYeah, Hurricane Isabel is headed this general direction. The latest local weather reports have the eye of Isabel passing about 40-50 miles east of FogeyBase sometime mid- to late-afternoon today. The current weather conditions here are light rain and gusty winds (maximum about 25-30 mph). The forecast for later today is for increasing winds (40-60 mph) and heavier rain (1-4 inches here, more the further east you go).
My employer told us to stay home today, but the FogeySpouse had to go in this morning. She's a nurse at one of the medical clinics associated with our county's largest medical center, and the powers-that-be decided to keep the clinics open this morning. She called me about a half-hour ago to tell me that her clinic is going to close down about lunchtime, and she hopes that they'll let the staff go home, rather than redeploying them to locations in the main hospital. I'll know more in a couple of hours when she calls to let me know.
As for me, I'm sitting here monitoring my ham radios for reports from the SKYWARN spotters that are helping out the National Weather Service with reports about conditions in their areas. I just heard a SKYWARN report from Kill Devil Hills, NC, reporting heavy rain, sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph, and that power is now out on Hatteras Island and Okracoke Island. Also, RDU airport appears to have cancelled all of their outgoing flights, due to wind gusts approaching 40 mph in the area.
I'll try to keep blogging throughout the day, if the power stays on. I've also located some links for those of you who'd like to virtually experience an oncoming hurricane. Here are three of them, and I'll update with additional ones as I find them.
WRAL-TV, Raleigh, NC live continuous coverage online. (requires Real Player)
Amateur radio link with National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL, via the Internet Radio Linking Project. I was able to listen to this using WinAmp. There appears to be a couple of minute delay between the audio I hear on my local IRLP node and the audio being streamed from NHC.
Backup blogging hereLooks like an Instalanche has snockered my Blog-City site, so I'll be using this old place as a backup for my Hurricane Isabel blogging.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
New stuff up at the new placeI've got some new pieces up at my new home. Please update your blogrolls and bookmarks -- or you might miss something.
Saturday, May 24, 2003
Taking the plungeI'm moving Tobacco Road Fogey to a new blog home. The past week has been very trying for those of us here at Blog*Spot and I've decided to try a new host.
The location of the new Tobacco Road Fogey is here. I'd appreciate it if all of you could update your bookmarks and blogrolls to point to the new site.
I'll still be checking here for comments for a couple of weeks.
Monday, May 19, 2003
Dear President BushWhether you know it or not, Mr. President, your "roadmap" for Middle East peace is already dead -- stillborn before it was ever released.
If Mexicans or Canadians were sneaking across our borders and blowing themselves up in our major cities, we'd be demanding that you be impeached if you refused to send our military forces into those countries to annihilate potential bombers and those who support them.
When you sent American forces against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, we supported you.
When you sent our troops into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime, we supported you.
Why do you deny the same right of self-defense to Israel?
If the price of the pathetically meager support for the Iraq campaign by a few Arab nations was to sell Israel's security down the river, that price was too high.
What happened to "you are with us, or you are with the terrorists"? Where do the homicide bombers and the organizations that support them get their money and their explosives? Why are we pressuring the only democracy in the entire region to come to some kind of agreement with people whose sole purpose in life is to destroy the state of Israel and to drive the Israeli people out of the land of Israel?
When a terrorist crosses an international border to commit his act of carnage, it is an act of war.
If it's war that the terrorists want, then war they should get. And we should support that war.
If the dictatorships, monarchies, and theocracies of the Muslim Middle East cannot bring themselves to recognize Israel's right to exist and to bring all necessary pressure on those among themselves who support these terrorists, then they have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are not our friends.
And we should stop treating them as friends, and start treating them as the enemies they are.
If you really want my vote next year, Mr. President, you'll stand by our friends as they fight our enemies.
You have the chance to make your choice now.
I'll make mine in November 2004.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Policy on trollsFor every blog, there is a troll,
And a time for every trolling in the blogiverse:
A time to read, and a time to ignore;
A time to provoke and a time to rebut;
A time to scorn, and a time to revile;
A time to rebuke and a time to denounce;
A time to revise, and a time to delete;
A time to warn and a time to ban.
(inspired by a good book)
Books we'll never seeDue to cutbacks in the publishing industry and the fickle winds of fate, here are some books we're not likely to see on the shelves of our local Barnes & Noble:
Assessing Risk: Life's Lessons From the Casino Floor, by William J. Bennett, PhD.
Fundamentals of Journalism, by Jayson Blair
Reaching Out To The World, by Patrick J. Buchanan
Lone Star: My Favorite Texas Stories. by Natalie Maines
My Favorite After-Dinner Jokes, by Sen. Trent Lott
Cooperstown: A Tribute, by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon
Mickey and Me, by Michael Moore
Monday, May 12, 2003
No-beverages-near-the-monitor alertIf you are a Star Trek fan (original series or The New Generation), don't miss this top-ten list over at Happy Fun Pundit.
My monitor needed good-blog-humor-aftermath wipers at #5.
(via the crotchety ol' Cracker)