The forecasts are out, and the cliches have already suffered a terrible beating at the hands of area broadcasters as they reach and overreach trying to describe what could happen hurricane-wise to a state that pretty well knows what can happen. In this instance, who can blame them? After last autumn's spectacle, the gloves are off when it comes to superlatives.
For nearly two weeks this (June) month, Florida residents can skip the sales tax on certain storm related purchases, i.e., first aid kits, gas cans, and generators. In practical terms, this has the potential to transform Florida, or at least Pinellas County, into one of the most self-electrified urban areas of the country. Assuming gas is available to run the thousands of portable power plants now taking up space in carports and Florida rooms from Gulf to Bay.
In May I made two trips across the Panhandle and can testify that there's still enough blue tarp covering Pensacola rooftops to be seen from low earth orbit with the naked eye. In a just issued report, those blue roofs cost FEMA $1.75/square foot, to the tune of about $630 million. That's a lot of plastic.
The initial rush to restore I-10 across the bay worked out well, but progress since then has taken a back seat to other apparantly more pressing budgetary needs of the state and country. (For reference, I point to the California Northridge quake of '94, which took down the same I-10 into Santa Monica. Six months later it was completely rebuilt, up and running at full speed. Where there's a will...)
Hurricane prep refresher courses are over on the archives page. And – in all seriousness – it's my opinion that your ordinary automobile can provide pretty good shelter in a pinch. Watertight, in terms of falling rain, and you're not going to lose the roof in a mini-tornado. The radio's a lot better than some cheap $10 box from Wynn Dixie, you could read Farmer's Almanac using the interior lights, and unless you're totally out of gas, you can even cool off in the air conditioned comfort of your front seat while you wait for the repair crews to restore power. (Uhh, just don't do so in a closed garage.)
In Charge of You?
The issue of Living Wills is still with us, even if the headlines aren't. I'd expected to have a guideline wrapped up by now but the backlog for info and materials from the Five Wishes Foundation in Tallahasse stretches coast to coast, north to south, and they're struggling to catch up with demand for their product. As of May 23, they indicated my order for the 10-pack larger version should ship in a couple of weeks, and I should have a feature together shortly thereafter.Yoga-lates, Anyone? I'm putting togther a page or two of observation and reference material that might just maybe motivate some of you to move your butt out of the Barco-lounger and get going on a sensible exercise program you can live with. Sue and I have been at Pilates since 1999, and just started our first yoga class this year. We've really hit it lucky in the instructor department, receiving superb instruction that's kept us coming back for more user-friendly balance, stretching, and strength training.
In younger years, the primary motivation to exercise was probably more aesthetic, whether weightlifting or aerobics. Today it's certainly more survival. We now practice a combined exercise routine of walking twice weekly, and Pilates and yoga classes once a week. Taken together, this trio of activities leaves us in good shape and better able to tackle life's daily chores. I'll highlight techniques and benefits.