This Has to Be the Most BARFTASTIC Video to Hit the Web…

…since Cover Oregon’s tweeting birds, mewling Kiera Knightly look-alike and rabid raccoons attempted to convince people in that state that Obamacare was tha bomb. It’s SO bad, I am inspired enough to be dusting off my vintage, late 1960′s Yamaha six-string and resurrecting my black marble composition book of pre-teen, hand-scribbled warbles/romantic lamentations (streaked by AUTHENTIC pubescent tears) for a shot at YouTube fame. Stand by, ‘Merica. It’s gonna be GOOD…

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: In the meantime, don’t eat before you watch.

This Is What Happens When Budgets Are Tight, Copy Editors Few and Computer Programs

…check just for spelling…

Somebody needs a copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves…

And In the “As If You Needed ANOTHER Reason NOT to Fly Malaysia Air” Category…

…Exhibit A:

A “Dry Run” for a Future Attack?

Video shows organized raid on US Mexico border

Great.

Ebola Has a Thought or Two Concerning a HotAir Headline:

…”Why Rand Paul Likes to Fight About Foreign Policy”:

The inference that Senator Paul’s major foreign policy mistake is that he’s against non-Congress sanctioned engagements is ignorant; purposefully or otherwise. One need only read the differences between his 2013 Platform to Revitalize America and the 2014 version to watch him stumble left and right on that issue, military funding as well, which still doesn’t show the issue that is Paul’s primary foreign policy flaw.

Sen. Paul, like his father, has been talking about downgrading, severely, the American presence overseas, all the while using our “strike anywhere” capabilities and prior demobilizations as primary premises for that debate. Unfortunately for Paul, that argument is innately fallacious: fast response with sufficient military assets is directly linked to a logistical supply chain that would evaporate with the degradation of forward bases throughout the world, both on allied and US territories. Sen. Paul seems to forget that there is a necessary logistical supply chain allowing these activities to occur. A prime reference for this was the materiel movement issues in the early years of Afghanistan for resupply, as our limited basing and restrictive airspaces of neighboring countries not favorable to the US put significant squeeze on the ability to project power into the area in the short term. His continuing wish to “scale back”, seeming code for “largely remove”, foreign allied or “friendly” operations would exponentially compound the initial supply difficulties in Afghanistan to worldwide dilemma at a near exponential level, instead of a limited AOR issue.

The prior demobilizations, which Paul references repeatedly as a defense of his projected cuts, then oddly removed in 2014, resulted in training surges that left troops poorly fitted and prepared for mobilization in a conventional conflict. Spin up time was something the United States could afford when crossing international distances required quite a bit of time, like WWII and even into Vietnam. With increasing technological reliance, spin up time on the materiel end is increasing, rather than decreasing in time on the general scale; concurrent with troop and operator training. Scaling back on defense purchases would further increase both R&D and line production for the weapon systems, EO targeting, etc necessary for the modern warfighter. Sen. Paul also has a huge issue in that he tries to argue the military budget, ignoring that he calls for cuts in 2013 PRA, then argues for restoration of sequestered funds under the guise that they will now “keep the military complex of yesterday in check.” I’m personally left questioning how removing funds, then returning funds, keeps anything “in check”.

“The budget adds back more than $126 billion to defense, above the sequester amount, but it continues to keep the large military complex of yesterday in check…”
Sen. Paul, A Clear Vision to Revitalize America, http://www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/FY2014Budget.pdf

Statements like these would rapidly raise eyebrows with our Marines serving at embassies, as their sole detail is not simply to secure TS documents and HDs. The entire detail does not simply fall in for destruction or securing of classified materials. The reasoning is simple: if you’re under attack, collecting documents without overwatch gets everyone killed. To quote the MSESG Mission Statement:

” The primary mission of the Marine Security Guard (MSG) is to provide internal security at designated U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities in order to prevent the compromise of classified material vital to the national security of the United States. The secondary mission of the MSG is to provide protection for U.S. citizens and U.S government property located within designated U.S. diplomatic and consular premises during exigent circumstances (urgent temporary circumstances which require immediate aid or action).”
http://www.mcesg.marines.mil/About/MCESGMission.aspx”

The inane exercise of cross-analyzing the US military budget against the Chinese and broadly declaring the US budget is six times the size shows a callous misunderstanding of military funding. A simple example is the fact that the Chinese can more cheaply produce arms, due to state manufacturing infrastructure and lower pay, while paying a 3M strong active military force far less per capita than the US due to lower standards of living. Further, and more disturbing, is the fact that he makes an apples to apples comparison based on gross expenditure, while the Chinese budget does not cover R&D, acquisitions, their 1M strong paramilitary units and other huge categories of military expenditure.

As for the WMD bit, we found plenty of things in Iraq, simply no nuclear material. That is readily glossed over along with little to no interdiction on routes into and out of Syria, which we know were being used both during and after the buildup by our forces.

There are considerable other issues in his 2013/2014 documents alone, on the foreign policy front, but I’ve typed too long for my comfort.

Ebola on July 18, 2014 at 5:29 AM

Being Choosy

…and not about peanut butter.

VIDEO: The Obama-Loving Teachers Unions Will HATE Deion Sanders After They See This

Proponents for school choice in America just got a huge ally and magnanimous voice to help in the quest to put the power of education back in the hands of parents, not teachers’ unions. NFL legend and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is a “Champions for Choice in Education” spokesperson. He is featured in a new public service announcement called “Educational Choice Now.” Along with other notable celebrities as the WNBA’s Lisa Leslie, the NBA’s Jalen Rose, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Lou Gossett, Jr., Vivica Fox, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Laila Ali, Mary Millben, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Christian artists “Mary, Mary,” Sanders is taking a stand alongside the American Federation for children and the Alliance for School Choice.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I’m Guessing This “Blindsided” Is Only Because Israel Went In

…before the morning edition of the WaPo hit Barack’s desk.

ABC: White House Appeared ‘Blindsided’ by Israeli Invasion of Gaza

Too

…cool.

Even As the Resident Druid

…it’s still kind of surprising I got tabbed as The Magician:

You make the impossible happen. You See things (with a capital S), everything from people’s true colors to the obscure Easter eggs hidden in cult TV shows. Others see magic where you see the invisible matrix of how it works.

Yeah. That’s me in a nutshell, emphasis on the nut.

What Tarot Card are you?

The “Lion of Fallujah”

What a story.

What a MAN.

Legendary Marine Maj. Zembiec, the ‘Lion of Fallujah,’ died in the service of the CIA

In the foyer of the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters, there is a marble wall covered in stars. They are carved divots that represent those who have fallen in the service of the CIA. Below them, jutting out from the polished rock, is a black book entombed in a case of glass and steel. The book is a guide to the stars, giving the names of some of those who died and withholding the names of others.

On the pages of the CIA’s Book of Honor are 111 hand-drawn stars organized by the years those officers died. For 2007, there is a single, anonymous star.

It belongs to Marine Maj. Douglas Alexander Zembiec.

Long thought to be an active-duty Marine when he was killed in Baghdad, Zembiec was actually serving with the CIA’s paramilitary arm. While the CIA would not comment on whether Zembiec worked for the agency, former U.S. intelligence officials said in interviews that he died in an alley in Sadr City on May 11, 2007, as a member of the Special Activities Division’s Ground Branch.

…Zembiec was also awarded the Bronze Star for valor for rushing into the middle of a machine-gun-raked street to get the attention of an Abrams tank supporting Echo Company. Abrams are equipped with small radios on the rear to allow infantrymen to talk to the tank crew while behind the safety of 60 tons of steel, but for what­ever reason the radio, or “grunt phone,” wasn’t working, so Zembiec scaled the tank while bullets ricocheted off its hull.

After he knocked on one of the hatches repeatedly, the crew of the tank finally opened up. Zembiec then loaded a magazine of illuminated tracer rounds and began shooting from the top of the tank to mark the building from which his Marines were being shot.

The tank swung its turret and without warning fired its massive 120mm gun. The blast threw Zembiec into the air and onto the street below.

It’s a great story, full of GREAT stories.

Portrait

…of a CHAMPION.

Andy Gray at Sports Illustrated is MY HERO

He knows how to go STRAIGHT to a REAL WOMAN’S heart.
~ Getty Images

In the Man’s Defense

…it WAS a SHIT Tzu

Police Pull Rifle Out On Man Trying To Clean Up Dog Poop In His Car

Those Religion of Pieces Guys Almost Sacre

bleu it up? French police busted the plot and forced them to Louvre the iconic landmarks alone.

Terror plot targeting Eiffel Tower, Louvre foiled, French police say

French authorities say they foiled an Islamic terrorist plot reportedly targeting the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and a nuclear power plant last year.

The revelation comes as the country unveiled new anti-terror rules which included a proposal to ban terror suspects from leaving the country if it is thought they intend to fight abroad, The Telegraph reported.

French authorities revealed they arrested a 29-year-old Algerian butcher living in southern France June 2013, after they found coded messages between him and a high-ranking Al Qaeda member discussing how “to conduct jihad in the place you are currently,” according to Le Parisien.

The suspect, identified in the newspaper report as Ali M, reportedly said he would target French landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and

“cultural events that take place in the south of France in which thousands of Christians gather for a month.”

Dear Nice Young Man With the Camera: When Nasty Old BIT~Chez Are Brazenly Removing YOUR Family’s Belongings From the Beach

…and then commence to threaten and slap the camera from your hand, YOU PRESS CHARGES, OKAY?

NEW SMYRNA BEACH (FOX 13) -
No charges are expected against two women who were caught on camera apparently trying to steal items from a Florida beach, police said Monday.

A man, who identifies himself as “Flicky Rich” on YouTube, caught the whole thing on camera. He confronted the females who attempt to take his canopy from the beach.

In just three days, the video has more than 1 million hits on YouTube

.

Fire Control

They could use a little more of it in Chicago.

Authorities: Military service member with concealed carry permit shoots attacker
Gresham man injured, charged after firing on group leaving party, prosecutors said

A Gresham man fired on a group of people leaving a party, only to be shot himself by one of the victims, a military service member with a concealed carry permit, authorities said.
…One of the victims had noticed a cup of liquor on top of her vehicle and asked attendees of a party next door who it belonged to, Hain said.

When she removed it, Denzel A. Mickiel approached her, shouting obscenities and threatening her and her friends, according to Hain and court records.

Mickiel, 22, went into the residence, returned with a gun and began firing at the group, she said.

As Mickiel fired at the victims’ vehicle, the military member retrieved his gun and took cover near the vehicle’s front fender, according to Hain. Two unidentified people also shot at the group, she said.

The military service member fired two shots and struck Mickiel twice, she said.

I’m sure Rahm will find some way to prosecute the defender.

Revisionist History Can Be So Fun

So. Just how IS that good, old USSR doing, Katty Pants?

Of Course Bingley’s in the Background Yelling, “Quit Being Such P-Words! Tee UP or I’m Playing THROUGH, DAMMIT!”

“And Just As Tom Here Has Written, We Say TO HELL With Great Britain”

A masterpiece followed by one of the greatest acts of courage and sacrifice imaginable.

And so it WAS and still IS.

Happy Fourth of July!!

WHAT a Chirpy Headline

…when the Devil’s right there in the details.

Job growth surged in June, with U.S. companies adding 288,000 to payrolls, indicating that expectations for strong second-half economic growth may be fulfilled.

The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent, its lowest since September 2008, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An alternate measure of unemployment that measures those who have stopped looking for work or are working part-time for economic reasons also fell, to 12.1 percent, marking its lowest reading since October 2008.

The level of underemployment actually increased for the month, rising 275,000 to 7.5 million.

And I think we can expect some sincere rejiggering of the figures next month, per Administration modus operandi: “Getchyer a big enough number when ya need it, sorta straighten it out later.

Hurricane Preparation Tips So Your Humble Abode Won’t Blow Away: From Acknowledged Hurricane Experts

…us.

*2014 Edition*

major dad and I are veterans of major Hurricanes Bertha, Fran, Ivan and Dennis (along with others less significant in damage for us, but worth preparing for). Thanks to Irene and Super Storm Sandy visiting brother Bingley, I thought I would offer up what’s worked for us in terms of preparation, both food-wise, house-wise PLUS some of the things folks don’t know about, that make life bearable if those winds of almost-September come early. I hope you’ll find something that you didn’t know before. (And please feel free to visit our previous posts afterwards for the EXCELLENT COMMENTS.) First up is the heavy lifting.

1: Shopping list suggestions for tonight/assoonasyoufreakincan is up underneath the board pictures.

2: And our “WHAT TO DO TO GET INSIDE READY” is posted at the bottom of it all, so now we have our experience covered completely, soup to nuts: food/supply shopping, to board up, to getting the inside of the house set. Make lists. Don’t trust yourself to remember everything you need and/or want to do. Write it all down. I do, every time. I hope the ‘all in one place’ format is proving helpful and PLEASE don’t hesitate to comment or email questions if you have any at all. thsister-at-gmail-dot-com

******************************************************************************************************
Full disclosure. For Bertha and Fran in NC (Cat 2 and 3, 56 days apart in ’96), we only lived 10 miles inland, were on the eastern side of the storm both times (translation: got beat all to hell), never boarded up and did just fine. The most important thing we did, and have always done, is CLEAR THE AREA OF POTENTIAL FLYING OBJECTS. Anything and everything in our yard AND the neighborhood that could be turned into a missile (including that 100lb garden pot you don’t think can fly…it can), goes into the garage. Bertha came in during the daytime and, along around noon, we got to watch the neighbor’s metal shed explode and fly through our backyard at about 110 mph. That was the only thing we couldn’t control that day that went walkabout, and it would have killed someone if the wind hadn’t been parallel to the house.

BOARDING UP: If you want to board up, this is how we did it (In Pensacola, ’04 for Hurricane Ivan). (Now, there are terrific Plylox Hurricane Clips available, which will save you step #2, if you can find them. Be prepared ~ they’re a bitch to get them on the house, but they’re simple and great*.) They were all sold out when we hit Lowe’s, pre-Ivan.

Be prepared ~ NONE of this is cheap. BUT. The peace of mind is ENORMOUS. Plus, you’re so pooped from the effort, not to mention standing in line for supplies, that you sleep soundly. Measure and KNOW WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GET THERE. Be ready to make quick adjustments for what’s left on the shelves.

1) Don’t screw with anything less than 1/2 inch plywood, REAL plywood. (That’s assuming there’s any left when you get to Home Depot. We used 3/4″.) Cut to fit flush INSIDE the windowframe. (We used two pieces here. Shaved the edge off a 5′ by 8′ full sheet and then a smaller piece to cover completely to the top of the window, hence, if you squint, you’ll notice a seam in the plywood about 3/4 of the way up.)

2) What’s going to hold those boards in place are 1 x 4′s on either side, snugged up tight against the plywood, cut to the height of the window, drilled into the frame from the side and held in with hex top TapCon screws, because of the masonry. I think we had a max of 5 screws per side.

I’ll have another post shortly on supplies and preparations:

(That’s dogfood double-wrapped in the plastic bags and Miller Light for the Squid Terrorist -our infamous next-door neighbor- to keep the generator running…)

* Handy Tip: The Squid Terrorist actually drilled through his clips and screwed them to the plywood sheets before attempting to pop them into the windows. Saves a ton of frustration.

****************************************************************************************************
Alright, shopping time.

IMHO and hard won experience, these are stores every single household should have (and you may already have much of it). Use your brain, based on the number and age of folks in your household.
Remember you are going to be HOT, cranky and exerting yourself in the aftermath if, GOD FORBID, the thing smacks you good.
Think of preparing for this as a picnic on crack. Take a good hard look at what you already have on your shelves first, add or subtract according to what you have on hand vs your particular needs/family’s tastes and then…

A Few Days PRIOR (three days out may be TOO LATE to find everything):

3 gallons BOTTLED water per person (for 3 days) minimum
enough prescription medication to get you through 10 DAYS if you take any
canned tuna/chicken/SPAM/shelf stable meats
those damned nasty vienna snausages
canned chili
beenie weenies
canned soups like “chunky” that don’t need water added
mayo/mustard/ketchup
bread (Get the one with the FURTHEST OUT SHELF DATE)
canned vegetables, like green beans or baby peas
kraft macaroni and cheese in a box
dry cereal
instant oatmeal
squeezy cheese
large jar(s) peanut butter
large jar(s) jelly
various boxes of crackers
instant coffee or tea
coffemate, dry milk or shelf stable milk
sugar, salt, pepper
juice boxes
instant potatoes (like a BIG box of “Potato Buds”)
whatever fresh fruit your family enjoys
butter or (gulp) margarine
dogfood/catfood if you have furry family members besides, well…
snacks and chips
canned or plastic jarred fruits, like cocktail or peaches
pudding cups
dish detergent
antiseptic hand soap
paper towels
paper napkins
plastic utensils (forks, knives,spoons)
paper plates
plastic trash bags
ZIPLOCK baggies, QT and GAL
DUCK tape
boxes of wooden matches
MANUAL CAN OPENER
large candles (and NOT stinky ones) WITH a GAS LEAK, CANDLES CAN BE BAD. **SITUATIONAL AWARENESS** KNOW what’s going on.
bug spray, both yard and personal
A BATTERY OPERATED RADIO (that voice in the dark from the local TV station will be your BEST FRIEND, trust me.) They make them now w/ additional hand cranks.
LARGE BATTERY OPERATED LIGHTS that will sit independently (hard to go to a dark bathroom holding a flashlight)
small flashlights
LED poplights are great
BATTERIES and SPARES that fit EVERY SINGLE THING YOU NEED BATTERIES FOR!!!
FILL YOUR PROPANE CANNISTER NOW (if you are on a direct gas hook-up, get a charcoal grill)
3 bags of charcoal (wrapped and taped in heavy duty plastic bags)
lighter fluid for the charcoal
CASH (ATMs take electricity, so do credit card machines at registers)
CAR CHARGER for cell phones (ours were worthless during Ivan but I’ve heard they’ve come a long way, tower-wise…)
COOLERS for the ice (and the stuff that’ll come out of that fridge)
FIRST AID KIT which I bolster with additional Ace bandages, BandAids of every size and description, sterile wraps, tapes, Neosporin, hydrocortizone, anti-histimine pills, aspirin etc.
Little Coleman tanks if you have camping stoves or lights (as always, to be USED ONLY OUTSIDE AFTERWARDS…DUH)
Old fashioned board games, playing cards, Mille Bornes, Yahtzee, books (especially with wired little ones)

Hold off on ice until the latest you possibly can, which is why it’s NOT on the “go after work TONIGHT” list.
TOP YOUR GAS TANKS off WHILE/WHENEVER YOU CAN. You all will have to fight a ton more people at the last second as well as the very REAL possibility of GAS SHORTAGES prior TO/for a while AFTER ANY STORM.

*DIRECT plug-in phone like a Princess type, if you have a PHONE COMPANY landline. Your multiple remote handset phone will not work when the power goes out, and your old fashioned one may very well get a call out on the substation batteries. See below.
*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

When you’re ready to close the house up,
LOCK YOUR GARAGE DOORS DOWN. If you don’t park in your garage, PULL YOUR CARS SNUG UP TO THE DOORS. They provide the most excellent wind baffle you can imagine and, considering the further up the East Coast you go, the less the doors are reinforced like ours here in the Panhandle, you will NEED every little bit of wind mitigation you can muster. You car insurance will take car of whatever said named storm does to the vehicle.

This is doubly important because, contrary to the old wives tale about “equalizing pressure’, if those winds get into your garage, not only do they start tearing the garage to bits, they start LIFTING YOUR ROOF OFF. And then your whole house is a goner. The only house in our neighborhood to have the roof blown to bits during the 140mph+ gusts of Ivan was the ONE home where the owner had the garage door “cracked” opened to “relieve the pressure”. Derp.
*********************************************************************************************************
*What to Do Inside*

Get Your Important “Stuff” Together

Your papers, diplomas, etc. All those things that make your life identifiable? Those things your would rush out of a burning building with? If they’re not already in one place together, get them together NOW. And add one more thing ~ a copy of a utility bill, like electric or phone. If, God forbid, you have to evacuate and they work it like they do down here, that address on your drivers license WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT PROOF OF YOUR RESIDENCY. You HAVE to have a utility bill with THAT address and YOUR name in your possession to return to your home. Period. (Great evacuation tips here in the comments.)

Have a “plan”. WHO are you going to call when it’s over, WHO knows where all your stuff is if, God forbid, something happens. If you get separated, have a meet-up. In our family, it’s Bingster and me tag-teaming. He has all our info for both sides of the family (including Kcruella). When the batteries on the landline substations were still working the morning after Ivan, I got a call out to him, and that’s how everyone else knew we were okay. AT&T screwed the pooch cell-phone-wise here, so we have KEPT our landline, in spite of everything. Trauma dies hard.

What to Do With Important “Stuff”

You all will laugh, but I double plastic bag it, duct tape it…and put it in the dishwasher, then latch the thing shut and tape over the entire front control panel. It’s waterproof and even if one of those spin-up tornados takes a chunk of the roof, the documents of my life are going nowhere, because they’re bolted under the counter and DRY. Other middlin’ precious things I double bag up as well and stash in a rack-free self-cleaning oven and the dryer (duct-taping the door of that shut).

Potable Water

Make sure every single water toting vessel is clean and filled with filtered (if you can) water, from the sun-tea jar to the ancient Igloo softball cooler to tea kettle, and all the pitchers in between. This augments the bottled water on your list and is the FIRST water you use. (Make sure it’s COVERED to keep out bugs/dust.) As well, EVERY POT is filled to the brim with tap water for use as either coffee/tea/mac ‘n cheese makings or wash/rinse water, as well as pet drinking water. All that’s staged on the kitchen counters.

Get ALL Your Laundry Done

You can run out of underwear FAST and blow through some serious t-shirts clearing flotsom. Plus, the second the last load is out of the washer, fill it up on it’s largest setting with cold water and STOP it. Voilà. Another source of water for rinse/washing. (The washing machine also makes an EXCELLENT ice cooler if you are space challenged, trust me. Fill it with THAT instead. Cover ice with plastic bags and towels for additional insulation.)

Bathrooms

Scrub EVERY tub SPARKLING With a bleach based cleaner. We use a piece of saran wrap over the stopper, then plug it to make absolutely sure there’s NO leakage, then FILL THAT SUCKER UP. This becomes both relatively clean water to dip out for a sink sponge bath AND the ALL IMPORTANT FLUSH THE TOILET water. (And is ONLY used for…well, not tinkling.) Speaking of which, it doesn’t hurt to have a “Tidy Bowl” beforehand, if there’s a chance the power might be out for DAYS, if you get my drift…
Now, you may get lucky and have a trickle of water like we did after Fran, but the water company may beg you not to use it, because they’re trying to find leaks, or it’s not potable or whatever. (Another reason to HAVE A REAL RADIO: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE)

GIVE YOUR PETS AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO “DO THEIR BUSINESS”. Once the front door shuts on the howling outside, it’s shut for GOOD. If it comes in during the day, we make meals a tad lighter and earlier than usual. The Scotties and Labradors have always seemed to know something big was on the way and their systems have responded accordingly, but, let’s face it: when you gotta go, you gotta go. So don’t force the poor things into that position in the first place. Plenty of available water, but schmaybe that big dinner/breakfast isn’t necessary, okay?

LOCAL RADIO STATIONS (as well as simulcasts from local TV channels or your local university Public Radio) WILL BE YOUR BEST SOURCE OF WEATHER INFO for your area, not to mention what’s happening as the storm whirls overhead. John Ed Thompson out of Fox10, Mobile, AL is a GOD in our household for what he did during Ivan. At 3 in the morning, when ~ to quote the Squid Terrorist on the walkie talkie from next door ~ it “Sounds like the Devil’s trying to beat my front door down! I’m fixin’ to nail 2×4′s over it and, if that doesn’t work, I’m breaking apart the china cabinet to use IT!” It will be friendly voices in the dark, going through the SAME THING YOU ARE, WHERE you are and you’ll know about hazards/news pertinent to YOUR area (bridges out, electric crews on the way, boil water advisories) that simply WILL NOT be available on that NOAA stream. Plus, we have learned something new and incredibly helpful from callers to the station every single storm that could conceivably save lives or property.

As for just a weather radio I’m torn on that one. They do come in handy for a constant stream of information, BUT they also tend to be for a LARGE general area, and wear on the nerves after a while, since it’s a constant stream of computer voiced info, occasionally punctuated by earsplitting alarms that MAY/MAY NOT have anything to do with YOU. If you can have only one radio going, get one that has BOTH (we do!). It’s a Midland that has the NOAA feeds/alerts on bands, as well as AM/FM, plus a hand crank, in addition to regular battery AND plug-in. DOES IT ALL!

I canNOT stress enough: Your BEST information for YOUR local area will be your LOCAL radio stations, public or otherwise. KNOW AHEAD OF TIME: Spin that dial, find the ones that have affiliations with your local TV stations’ Weather/News programs and head directly for them when the shit hits the fan.

Creature Comforts

While you’re busy as a bee, I always, ALWAYS recommend setting the thermostat on your A/C (while you have it) as LOW AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY STAND IT.

As in MEATLOCKER. Wearing SWEATS IN AUGUST cold. “But, ths, why?” you ask.

Because the second that power goes out and ALL those anxious people are still in your house in August breathing?

That temp is going to climb and F.A.S.T. And it will suck so bad.

And you will still have HOURS of storm to go, and schmaybe days without power. You’ll thank me.

The Refrigerator

We were sort of old school with this. As I told Bingley in the comments, this is what we’ve always done, and ONLY works with a mostly FULL FREEZER. Once we’ve gotten ice ~ usually three to four of the big coolers’ worth, then three stacked on each other, on a beach towel, covered with garbage bags, then blankets for insulation ~ we already have inventoried the fridge itself. When the power starts going dodgey, we’ll transfer all the perishables out of the fridge to the lone ice chest (milk, BACON, eggs, half & half, etc.) and shut the door FOR GOOD. That’s IT. No peeking, no forgetting, no going in for something ~ you want the fridge to cool completely back down. When the power finally gives up the ghost, we throw unopened, big plastic garbage bags over the whole fridge, then cover that with packing blankets or whatever you have. Wrap some duct tape around it and keep your paws off. Believe or not, that will keep all but the flimsiest frozen goods rock solid for at about three days. If you don’t have power by then, you can start defrosting stuff and eating it. *NEVER eat anything that’s partially thawed. Throw it out. (*CHECK FOR THIS THE SECOND THE POWER COMES BACK ON as well, or it’ll refreeze and you could easily get sick from it later, and be clueless why. Don’t take the chance.)

With your ice chests, just break them out as you need them, always keeping the extras covered. We had ice for a week and a half after Ivan doing it this way, and thank goodness. (The stack worked out great against the door when the winds were threatening to blow it in. Dual purpose! And good times…)

There is NOTHING like the comfort of knowing you did everything you could possibly do to prepare. It’s out of your hands from that point forward.

Have a cocktail.

It’s amazing how many knuckleheads who evacuated and watched the whole damn thing on TV came home empty handed, small children in tow no less! We were living like refugees and had to give THEM supplies.

DO NOT RUN OUTSIDE THE SECOND THE WIND SORT OF DIES DOWN

Trees will still be falling. On your gourd.

DO NOT GO LOLLYGAGGING AROUND AFTERWARD TO “SEE”

No electricity TO RUN GAS STATION PUMPS – do NOT WASTE on sightseeing what may turn out to be your last tank of petrol for WEEKS! No electricity TO RUN STOP LIGHTS. LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES LAYING EVERYWHERE Flat tires upon multiple flat tires.

IT’S ANARCHY. STAY HOME.

Whip you up some coffee, scrambled eggs and lovely applewood smoked bacon sammiches on the Weber gas grill, like we’ve done the morning after EVERY hurricane.

It’s a good thing.

“Well, He’s Believed In a Lot of Things That Haven’t Quite Worked Out”

I’m sure every sports team in America would love for him to “believe” in the OTHER guy for a change. They might stand a chance that way.

Stay in YOUR Lane

…or someone will mock you unmercifully.

Excuse Me ~ Is There a Turtle Expert in the House?

If, on TOP of FIVE DOGS, I now get to look forward to babysitting fifty-two infant terrapins, my attitude will be undergoing a serious readjustment.

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