Today is my bro’s 32nd birthday. I’ll be getting together with him after work tonight for supper and presents. No giving him cash or easily swapped out items this year… I’m going to help him fix up his truck so he can make some money doing post-hurricane cleanup around the tri-county area. Help him to help himself.
Samples of the courtyard before and after Jeanne came through. Who knew so many leaves were left after the first two ‘canes? All the old leaves were just raked out, too. Ah well!
The little nook in front of my apartment… usual appearance. (Saturday Morning.)
The Wet Look. With salad. (Sunday Morning)
Hmm.. the piccies are loading slowly. Maybe I should move them to a non-pb server. [*Edit -pictures fixed*]
I miss being a dinosaur, but being a mammal has advantages, too. Thumbs and tool use are nice, as is having a brain bigger than a walnut.
There are things that are left over. I can smell fear on the other animals, sometimes. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at putting those that are frightened at ease unless they’ve got some sort of overactive fight or flight reflex.
Before I start to sleep, I can hear my breath like wind in the trees. When I dream, I sometimes have visions of things I can’t properly put into words. Fragments / figments isn’t the right way to define it, nor is memories. Pieces of things that might be real, could be imagination, spinning in an order to try to make some sense of itself. When I wake, the confusion is usually gone, and my mind is often clearer, even if I can’t place how what happened during dreamtime fit together, or even if it can be jigsawed into a picture at all.
I’m weirdly blessed. No matter what happens in my life, I figure it’ll work out, and it always does… maybe not always the way that I want it to, but it’s always something that can be dealt with, pulled through, or worked around. If I fall down, I know I can get back up, generally on my own, or at least on resources that I can pool rapidly in a pinch. Is that optimism? I don’t think so, because I know other folks that don’t have such a charmed life. My brother is an example of what happens when someone abuses said charmed life. He’s made every possible bad decision in the book, ones that should’ve gotten him killed a hundred times over. His life isn’t wonderful, but he’s regularly eating, living under a roof, and isn’t dead. No matter what he’s done to himself or others, it’s always worked out in the end. Maybe it’s a family thing?
That’s not to say I don’t have stress or suffer as a part of life, but it seems that I’ve got more fortune than famine in my life. So far, at least. In fact, I see even more happiness in the future, after a brief summer drought…. This time of year has always been kind to me.
Souls – Greek / Roman views
The ancient Greeks called the soul the psyche: the totality of one’s mind and identity (similar to the modern use of the word). If this came back from the dead, it was likely to be as a shade or ghost. Such undead were often called larvae or lemures. The Greeks also believed in shadowy keres: a winged death spirit. This was not part of one’s soul as such, but there was one for every living person, so it had a soul-like nature.
The ancient Romans called their soul a genius (for a man), or a juno (for a woman). This wasn’t so much a personal soul as a familial one, and was typically associated with the head of the family. Actual spirits of the dead were called manes, which means “good people,” and was also used for the undead. It isn’t at all clear whether undead manes were supposed to be physical or spectral, but since the Romans often burned their dead, the latter seems more likely; certainly Roman heroes always seemed to encounter shades of the dead. On the other hand, manes seemed to be capable of burning and strangling the living when their descendants failed to propitiate them with offerings.
Rice Rant update – again via NG –
Anne Rice’s tirade has vanished from Amazon, along with most of the responses to it. Probably a good thing. But at least it’s left one hilarious web comic in its wake. (My respect for Ms Rice fell somewhat when I heard that the people who had sent back their books to her for a refund were getting them back from the post office marked “Return to Sender”. If you’re going to make an offer like that, you have to stand by it.)
How is it that I didn’t know Dawn of War (Warhammer 40k on the PC) existed until yesterday? I’m going to have to pick it up… What’s not to like about Goggle-wearing Ork space marines?
“Games Workshop has been involved in every aspect of the development of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. The result of this strong collaboration between Games Workshop and Relic Entertainment is a highly entertaining game that breaks many conventions of the RTS genre, while remaining true to the setting that Warhammer 40,000 tabletop gamers know and love.”
Florida Power & Light Co. is warning that some customers in areas seriously damaged by Hurricane Jeanne may have to wait as long as three weeks or more to get their power back.
This means that hundreds of thousands of people in South Florida could face long periods in the dark after the storm passes. Some Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast residents who lost power after Hurricane Frances were reconnected only nine days ago.
FPL reported this afternoon that 1.5 million homes and businesses had lost electricity at some point during the hurricane, with 347,000 of them restored.
According to data that FPL provided Broward officials, more than 90 percent of FPL customers in Martin and Indian River counties lost electricity and 77 percent of Palm Beach customers were without power.
Palm Beach County had 589,000 FPL customers who lost electricity with 61,600 restored as of noon Sunday ; Broward had 160,500 with 133,800 restored; and Miami-Dade had 25,000 with 22,900 restored.
Martin County had 84,500 FPL customers who lost electricity, with 2,000 of them restored; St. Lucie County had 95,900 who lost electricity with 5,600 restored; and Brevard County had 247,100 without power with 39,800 restored.
FPL also reported that Jeanne had damaged its power plant in Palm Beach County and its generating units in Martin County.
Restoring electricity is complicated by the succession of hurricanes that have slammed Florida.
Crews along the Florida Panhandle spent Saturday working to restore power to 81,515 homes and businesses still without electricity because of Hurricane Ivan.
FPL so far has contracted about 2,500 out-of-state personnel, including line repairmen and tree maintenance crews, to restore power after Jeanne, compared with more than 7,000 at the start of Frances.
But conditions have changed, and utility companies in the Southeast that sent crews to Florida last time are retaining them to cover possible damage from Jeanne in their service areas, or have lent crews to restore power in the Florida Panhandle following Hurricane Ivan.
A shortage of repair crews is not the only impediment. FPL said that the ground is saturated in many areas, which means more trees are likely to be toppled. Piles of debris left from Frances could also damage power lines and other equipment.
Despite the shortage of outside personnel, FPL is working feverishly to obtain more help. “I’ve personally called the presidents of most major utilities,” said FPL President Armando Olivera in a Saturday conference call with the media. “We are stretched. It’s an unfortunate reality.”
Hurricane Frances cut power to about two-thirds of FPL’s 4.2 million residential and commercial customers over Labor Day weekend, many of them in South Florida, in what the company said was the worst storm damage in its history.
“We understand the hardship of hurricanes,” Olivera said. “We have hundreds of employees with damage to their homes who are facing the same problems as other customers. But in all candor, they must be prepared for extended outages of three weeks or more.”
“We don’t want it to be three weeks, but it’s going to be what it’s going to be,” said Geisha Williams, the company’s vice president of electrical distribution. The company wants power to be restored as soon as possible, she added, “but it’s a function of how much damage there is and how much manpower you have available.”
FPL, which provides electricity to more than 8 million people, took 12 days to restore power to all customers whose power was knocked out by Frances. The company began supplying electricity to many subscribers as soon as Frances passed through South Florida, but the hardest-hit areas, such as Palm Beach County, were among the last to be reconnected.
Many customers, however, criticized FPL as being slow to respond and uncommunicative about restoration dates to homes and business that lacked power for days.
With evening forecasts aiming the brunt of the storm to the north, officials in Palm Beach County were hopeful that the county wouldn’t suffer the worst of the outages and the wait.
By 7:30 p.m., however, the green bursts of transformers blowing could be seen from the generator-powered county Emergency Operations Center. An adjacent office building, the county jail and some neighborhoods already had lost power, said Assistant County Administrator Vince Bonvento.
Still, he said — or hoped — the three-week estimate was “based on a worst-case scenario.”
Following the FPL press conference, Gov. Jeb Bush said the shortage of line workers from other utilities is a major issue and that it will take time for FPL to contract the workers it needs.
“Utility crews are in short supply,” Bush said. “I’ve spoken to the CEOs of the [power] companies and told them that anything I can do, including calling other governors tomorrow when it is clear where the storm will go, to expedite additional crews in, we’re going to do.”
FPL said it would begin damage assessments and repairs as soon as the storm leaves South Florida.
FPL activated its storm emergency plans several days ago, Olivera said.
FPL’s nuclear power plant at St. Lucie was shut down Saturday morning. One of its nuclear generators at Turkey Point remains in operation, since FPL is not expecting hurricane-force winds in the area. The other Turkey Point unit was shut down previously for scheduled maintenance.
In restoring power after a storm, FPL starts with repairs to its power system, followed by essential community customers such as police, fire, hospitals, water and sewer services, transportation and communications.
The company then repairs facilities that affect the greatest number of people, followed by smaller areas and individual subscribers.
FPL officials said it will provide target dates for power restoration in each county, but that it cannot give dates for individual subscribers, neighborhoods or cities. “Hurricanes are not normal business,” Williams said, “so we will not be able to provide specific restoration times to customers as we normally do.”
Current Mood: Blessed / Optimistic
Current Music: The Real Tuesday Weld – Bathtime (5.3 meg wmv / save locally, don’t stream)