Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Half Pleasant, Half Disastrous Week Later, I've Returned from Frickin' Florida In a Sunburnt State, and a Picture of Hurricane Dorian May(be)

Two people at the edge of the low-tide light surf near the pier in Flagler Beach, Fla., 2:13 p.m. August 28, 2019 

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Well, I'm back from my Florida trip to see my dad -- sunburned, worn out, and all-around-flummoxed after a weeklong visit that was half very pleasant and half total disaster with the latter including not one but TWO nasty fights with him, both in public places and only one due to political differences.

The pier in Flagler Beach, Fla., 2:13 p.m. August 28, 2019

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I spent a lot of time at the beach and in the ocean in Flagler Beach, hence the sunburn of pale-ass skin. Of note, the surf more turbulent than usual for August thanks to a weak tropical system (briefly, "Erin") located well offshore.

Yours truly, on the line between suntanned and sunburned, at Finn's in Flagler Beach, Fla., 5:21 p.m. August 27, 2019

I'm beginning to peel right now as I right this -- like one of those cicadas that shed their entire outer self.

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Honestly, I don't know how people live -- or even want to live -- in fucking Florida.

The intense, skin-burning sunlight … the flying palmetto bug cockroaches … the biting-ass fire ants and sundry spiders … the grotesque Norfolk pines that shouldn't even be a tree … the 88F heat and 77F dew point for 8 months of the year and endless sweat-drenching … And the people -- oooohhhhh, never mind …

Atlantic Ocean surf on a summer day, Flagler Beach, Fla., 2:04 p.m. August 27, 2019

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That aside, the most noteworthy aspect of the trip was the fact that I made peace with his long-time semi-sorta-girlfriend, Shannon Price, after a decade or so of being way overly harsh and hateful toward her. I was very much wrong on that one. (And speaking of wrong, I think I even had her last name wrong -- it's Price.)

Looking out on the Atlantic Ocean, Flagler Beach, Fla., 4:54 p.m. August 25, 2019

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Bottom line: Just because you're a train wreck (her own self-description) doesn't mean you're necessarily not a fundamentally decent and even good person.

View from a boat ride on Lake Dora, Florida, 2:10 p.m. August 24, 2019

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In addition, I had a nice reconnection with his late semi-sorta-girlfriend Janet's daughter, Tammy, who lives in charming and picturesque Mount Dora (where we went for a one-night visit) and who, despite being dealt a rough hand at the outset, has raised four healthy and decent children to adulthood, owns a nice home, and holds down a steady, successful job.

My dad and Shannon, Jacksonville Int'l Airport, 1:44 p.m. August 29, 2019

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I took about 100 pictures on this trip -- many of which I would like to post.

HOWEVER, the more immediate story is Hurricane Dorian, a potentially disastrous major hurricane that could make a direct strike on one Florida coastline as a category 4 tropical cyclone somewhere between Miami and the area where my dad lives -- and there isn't the slightest chance my 78-year-old father would heed an evacuation notice.

Above: This is the current National Hurricane Center forecast track and cone of uncertainty -- but the wildcard is the strength of the Bermuda-Azores ridge over the Atlantic, specifically, as stated in the 11 p.m. AST NHC forecast discussion:

"The source of the uncertainty can be attributed to challenges in forecasting the strength and orientation of the mid-level ridge over the southeastern United States in a few days, along with exactly where and how large Dorian is by then. As you can imagine, with so many complex variables in play, it is no wonder the models have been having a difficult time nailing down the path of the hurricane."

Hurricane Dorian as seen today from the ISS.

Anyway, right now, it's nearly midnight, and I'm back home, settled in again, everything more or less back to normal.

For tomorrow, I'm going to work -- one day -- and then it's the Labor Day holiday weekend.

I will do my best to post entries over the coming few days, but, again, Hurricane Dorian is going to take precedence in terms of content for the next several days.

Oh, yes, my gym is closed until through this holiday weekend for the annual end-of-summer scrub down of the place. That being the case, no gym until Tuesday.

OK, that's all for now. I'm signing off for now.

--Regulus

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