Sunday, November 4, 2018

And Then There Were Tornadoes…

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Storm Friday, November 2, 2018

This year we have faced…ICESNOWFIRESHURRICANES…and now this past Friday…TORNADOES.  Well, at least we missed the Earthquakes!

Storm Friday, November 2, 2018

As I have said in previous blogs, we have been watching side channels of local over-the-air channels…ones which don’t have political commercials, show older shows.  But on Friday I went to Google to look for something and WOW, there was a Tornado Warning for our area!  We had just heard a few distance thunder claps coming off the Gulf.  I turned to Fox-13 (I know, above says ABC, but they all had the same type of live graphic going), and sure enough, a huge storm hitting the coast from just below Tampa to about 20 miles north of us.  When it hit our area, it was strong…straight-line winds and rain, but in under 10 minutes, the storm had passed.  The actual tornado warnings were 10 miles to our south, and 10 miles to our northeast….with what I counted as six different warnings…

Storm Friday, November 2, 2018

The latest report that I saw had the actual tornado count at 4.  These tornadoes were short lived, unlike the ones I was use to in Arkansas which could go on for miles.  A EF-1 tornado touched down Friday afternoon in New Port Richey, around 10 miles to our north.  Tornadoes were also confirmed in Spring Hill, 30 miles to our north, Seminole , 30 miles to our south, and Land O'Lakes (20 miles to our east).

Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018    Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

The pictures above are from a condo community in Seminole…their clubhouse took a pretty hard hit, and some condos were damaged too.  Thank goodness this was not our condo area!

image   Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018   Storm Damage Friday, November 2, 2018

There was widespread damage in various areas along the “RED ZONE” of the storm.  Fortunately, we have not heard of anyone that we know having any damage.

Bubba at Motorhome   Bubba at Dog Park

I wanted to make sure that the motorhome was ok, so I picked up Bubba, went by the motorhome (upper left picture Bubba is sitting in Marcia’s passenger’s seat), and then over to the Doggie Park (upper right, the person in blue is petting him) where there were more dogs than we have seen all year.  Bubba did his three or four laps slowly around the dog park, then he sniffed a few of the dogs, then did one last lap before we left.  He sure enjoys those Dog Park trips.  We sure wish the Condo Association would allow Bubba to live with us too….Sad smile

Note:  All but the last two pictures of the blog were taken from Google and most from news reports. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Voting, A Walker, More Condo Association Stuff

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Library

Today we got around to voting…five days before voting day.  Line was non-existent…which was great.  We vote at the Public Library.  The picture above is the front of the Public Library…but they want voters to go around to the back.

Library

We proceeded to the back, parked where the red and blue lines meet in the parking area.  Not seeing that if we followed the blue line, back by the dumpster, between the dumpster and the air conditioning units, behind the AC units, we could have avoided the red route over the grass.  However, there are NO SIGNS telling you that this blue route exists.  So Marcia struggled over the grass to the back door.  Now….how much would it cost to put in 15-20 yards of a concrete path?  Or put up signs showing the route along the sidewalk, by the dumpster, behind the AC Units…something any disabled person loves to do considering this could be a hiding place for someone with evil intentions to attack older, disabled patrons.  Anyway, we voted, and I showed Marcia the way through the Library to the front door, and I drove around and picked her up…and before she got in the car she got the sand out of her sandals from the sandy grass she walked over earlier. Voting early was easy…no line...staff was nice…and other than struggling to get inside the building, all was well.  BTW, the front door had a sign telling voters to use the back door…even though it is an easy walk through the front door to the meeting room where the voting takes place.  So instead of having Library Displays showing all these voters the benefits and resources of the Public Library…they would rather have their patrons (remember, all county residents are their patrons) to walk around back, vote, and walk back to their cars without visiting the library.  (Ok, I will get off my Library Soap Box…but after 23+ years working in a library, nearly 23 in a Public Library as a Director, I just can’t help it.

Florida Senate Race     Florida Governor Race

The BIG races in Florida are for Senate and for Governor…and they are both very close, well within the error margin, so who knows who will win.  Today we had no less than 14, yes 14 political flyers…all ended up in the garbage bin.  We have over-the-air TV, and normally watch either GRIT-TV (old westerns), MeTV (old sitcoms, Perry Mason, etc) or Laff (comedy sitcoms) …and thank goodness they don’t run political commercials.  However, when we turn it to the news (rarely), Blue Bloods (won’t miss it) or Last Man Standing (Tim is not the only funny one on that show) we get bombarded by political commercials.  And the radio as we drive…well, many times it is just turned off.  Now that we voted, we had hoped that this would all stop…but they won’t.  And the worse thing…one of the candidates for Florida Chief Financial Officer has sent out text messages to my cell phone.  This is against the law, FCC website says:
Political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls, including autodialed live calls, prerecorded voice messages, and text messages, are:
  • Not allowed to cell phones, pagers, or other mobile devices without the called party's prior express consent.
I reported them to a TV Station, to the Tampa Bay Times, and to the campaign directly…but still got another today.  GRRRRR….  Why would anyone want to vote for the CFO of the State when they openly break the law like this???  Saw articles today that other politicians in other states are resorting to this tactic too…shows just how dirty politics are today.

Walker

Last Monday Marcia finally broke down and we bought a walker for her.  Over the past few years, it has been harder and harder for her to walk with her cane.  On the way back from Bible Study a week ago Monday, we stopped at a Medical Supply place so that she could look at what they had…and she liked one very similar to the one above.  Under the seat is a pouch to hold her purse, Kindle, or whatever she needs.  It folds up real easy and fits in the backseat or back of the HHR.  She is walking much better since we bought it, and it is probably the best thing we bought for her disability since we got the electric scooter.  She has rarely used her cane since we bought it…only in the walk-in closet where the walker does not fit. Even with this walker, getting over that grass at the Library was pretty hard…something she could not have done with her cane.

HOA Restrictions

Yes, another Condo Home Owners Association situation.  Today we got a mailer…sent out to EVERYONE.  Seems that some of the units (not us) have people under the age of 55 living in them…not visiting (limited to 30 days) but living in them.  I have noticed this since we got back, but have not said anything because it does not bother us.  Well, the letter they sent out says the following:

The state requires the enclosed survey from be completed every two years by each resident.  If more than one resident resides in a household, all residents must be listed with date of birth.  ALL RESIDENTS MUST BE 55 TO LIVE AT [CONDO NAME] AS STATED IN THE DOCUMENTS.  Any refusals to complete the survey form will be turned over to legal counsel.  Please drop off or mail…[gives unit number/address]

Well, I understand what they are trying to do here…but the Librarian in me says, “I wonder if there really is such a state law.”  So far, I have not found one.  Also, not only do they want ages and vehicle information, they want actual birthdates, occupation, an emergency contact name and number, and the final question:  “ARE YOU IN AGREEMENT WITH THE RULES AS STATED TO YOU AT THE INTERVIEW?”  (YES OR NO)

HOA Fight

Frankly, I am tired of a Condo Association which thinks they are “God” and act more like “Hitler”.  Yes, they need to verify the age of occupants.  However, when we went through our “Interview”, which was first called an interview until I said something such as, “You mean you can decided ‘if’ we actually can live here or not even though we own it???”  At which time he (old President) said, “It is more like an orientation…if you are over 55, then you can live here, but we need to orient you to the rules.”  Anyway, at this “orientation”, we actually were asked, and we consented to, showing them our Driver’s License.  Of course now, they know just how much older Marcia is than I am…which I think was his intention to begin with.  So “WHY” do we need to provide our birthdates now?  And state if we are married or not. (we are), but it asks “Married, Single, Divorced or Widowed”.  WHY do they need to know this???   What an invasion of people’s privacy.  This is going to take a bit more research…and perhaps a call to a state agency or to HUD.  (Just because someone has to take a stand….)