Monday, December 6, 2010

The Quilt

The Quilt

My mother gave me a quilt, made especially for me by my grandmother, when I was about ten or so. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. You could just feel the love that had gone into it with each tiny hand sewn stitch. I think she gave it to me at such a young age, to make me feel like I did have a family that loved me, besides her. She understood that something like that was so important to an only child being raised by a single parent. From the day I got that quilt I had it on my bed, even if that bed, later on, was in the back seat of my car.
Last night, I was looking at that quilt and thinking that my “family” is in about the same shape as that quilt. It is virtually nonexistent all around the borders and what does exist, is hanging in strings. It is dingy and worn and possibly beyond repair, but yet, I want to repair it. I went to sleep last night dreaming of how I could possibly repair it. How could you repair something like that without carefully removing every last hand sewn stitch, removing that wonderfully warm flannel backing, the real cotton batting and possible half of the once beautiful teal blue border? The only part of that quilt that was sewn on a machine was the outlying border. Then, even if you went to all that trouble of removing all the stitches, what would be the point? It would never, ever be the same. Much like a broken family.
This time of year makes me wish for a family more than any other time of year. I see all the commercials of happy families coming together to decorate their homes and share presents and just go socialize with friends. We won't be doing that because there are only the two of us and at the present we are in much the same shape as that quilt.
The boy is pulling away from me as he should be. In fact, he should have done it several years ago but he didn't, because he knows, when he does I will be totally alone. He doesn't go and I feel guilty every day that he stays because I know I can't make it without him. He is sick of me and I am so sick of me. It has been two years since I got my license and no job yet. I have just gotten to the point that I cannot even make myself go look for a job. Being able to handle rejection has never been my strength, in fact, letting rejection get to me is the worst quality I have. Maybe writing all this down and actually putting it out there will have some effect.
The thing that makes me the most ill is that I do have ideas for possible jobs, but even after thinking about how to talk someone into hiring me I just don't follow through with it. I just can not muster enough belief in myself to go on and do it. For example, there was this job opening with the state health department for a Social Worker V. Now, I know I would not qualify for that job but I know I would make the person they did hire an excellent assistant. This is basically what they wanted for that position:
“Interviews clients and/or family to assess the client's current developmental level, ego strengths and deficits, situation strengths and weaknesses and mental status. Discusses the proposed plan with the client detailing the recommendations and the reasoning for them, and identifies alternative interventions and methods. Evaluates social work program effectiveness; implements procedural changes to ensure proper compliance. Teaches concepts of appropriate social work principles internally and externally. Coordinates external services for clients and serves as client advocate to ensure continuing services are received. Meets with community groups to discuss and review available programs and to identify areas where resources need to be expanded or reallocated. Develops treatment plans through consultation with professionals from areas such as nursing, psychology, psychiatry, medicine and chaplaincy. Monitors and documents progress of clients and makes service/treatment plan adjustments. Provides individual/group supervision of lower-level social service staff. Conducts community planning, needs assessment and evaluation concerning societal conditions which impact on social functioning.”
In the ad on Careerbuilder there was also mention of grantwriting. Now this job interested me very much, possibly more than any other job I've seen over the past two years. It's in public health and works with single parents. I know I could provide this person with awesome tools to enable her to do her job better. But did I try for it? No. Why? That is the question. It makes me sick that I just can not muster the belief in myself to go on out there and go for something I think I would be good at. Shoot...

Anyway, I kind of got off track...but it helped :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

H.R. 3590 ENR Best Known as the Health Care Bill

So, I got sick of people posting Fox/Tea Party crap on Facebook, I decided we should all read the actual health care bill. The thing is, I have also come to the conclusion, the powers that be don't really want us to do that. My computer crashed three times as I was trying to get to a pdf file to link to on here. I persevered :) The title link will take you to the bill, but you might want to start with this page first...just in case you don't have years to wade through the whole thing. That page will give you a more detailed table of contents, so you can scroll down and take note of just where you want to start. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Oxford English Dictionary...Bite Me!!!

Threw my New Oxford English dictionary in the trash this morning. Why? Along with seeing her on Dancing with the Stars and with her new reality series "Sarah Palin's Alaska" their honor of her new made up word "refudate" was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

" Sarah Palin's reality show scored huge ratings for its premiere Sunday night, while the guardians of usage at the New Oxford American Dictionary awarded the former Alaska governor the higher-brow distinction of coining 2010's "word of the year" — "refudiate" — via her Twitter account....
The former governor used the word in a Twitter message last summer, calling on "peaceful Muslims" to "refudiate" a planned mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks in New York. When critics pounced on the made-up verb, Palin deleted the Tweet and replaced it with one that called on Muslims to "refute" the site — even though that usage made no sense, either, since to refute is to prove something to be untrue.

But in a release today, the New Oxford American Dictionary defended Palin's use of the word. "From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used 'refudiate,' we have concluded that neither 'refute' nor 'repudiate' seems consistently precise, and that 'refudiate' more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of 'reject,' " the New Oxford American Dictionary said in a press release.

And lest you think the New Oxford editors were only hailing "refudiate" as a publicity stunt, let the record show that Palin's coinage was also named to the honor roll of the Global Language Monitor project — together with terms such as "spillcam" and "vuvuzela."

It has already started...the media push trying to prove to us that Sarah Palin really is smart enough to be president. Makes me sick...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Open Letter to Republicans from The Opinionated Liberal's blog

I know you all are not expecting me to keep quiet about the election...are you?? I will be getting back onto my soapbox shortly, but for now The Opinionated Liberal has formulated a letter to Republicans that I wish I had written. See below:

"Dear Republican-controlled House,

I am writing this as a concerned citizen. You won the election this year, but why? While I respect the election process, I do have some things to say about the process and its outcome. Did the Democrats have weak candidates? Do Americans not like their ideas? Was the Democratic base unmotivated? Sure, maybe these are partly true. But, I have to say the major reason Americans voted against the Democrats was the economy. While we may not technically be in a recession any longer, there are still a lot of people without jobs. So was this a referendum on Obama, or was he made a scapegoat for the economic situation? My vote is for the latter.

And on the election process; with the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC, corporations can spend unlimited money secretly to influence campaigns. And to whom will they be donating that money? Conservatives, who promise to deregulate their industries and save them billions of dollars. And in 2010, the corporations were spending. Corporate influence is the driving force behind so much corruption in Washington. So what will you do to resolve the issues raised by this decision?

Now I would like to talk about some of your campaign talking points. If your new message is truly that of fiscal responsibility, what programs will you be cutting? Medicare or Social Security (thus alienating seniors from your party)? The bloated army (thus alienating your own base)? How about your own pay? Since taxpayers are on the hook for your paycheck, shouldn't you cut your pay? Isn't this just another form of a government handout? And about the healthcare thing; if you defund the healthcare bill, you should say no to the insurance that you get because of your job. If regular Americans don't deserve good healthcare, why should you be getting it at our expense? Will you raise taxes on Americans to reduce the deficit? Don't just say that you'll cut waste/fraud. That is a talking point, not a real solution to reducing the national debt.

What will you be doing to help create jobs? This leads me to a side note: You know, if government doesn't create jobs, and what we need is a smaller government, then why do Republicans even run for office? Doesn't that contribute to the problem as they see it?

And with regards to deregulation of the market to "get government out of the way," let's explore what that has led to in the past:

1. The housing bubble collapse.
2. Fraudulent, predatory loan practices.
3. The Deepwater Horizon disaster.
4. The credit crisis.

# The practices on Wall Street, such as trading derivatives, that contributed to the recession.
# Decreasing value of the dollar.
# Oil shortages.
# Deadly mining disasters.
# Increased prices of things like oil, gold, and materials for manufacturing.
# Lots more billionaires.

All of this eventually required Bush programs like TARP, the bank bailouts, and the "stimulus bill," which cost taxpayers about $1 TRILLION to prevent a worldwide depression.

On the flip-side, what has regulation given Americans?

1. The 40-hour work week (as opposed to working 60 or more for little pay).
2. The right to unionize and petition for better working conditions.
3. Laws against child labor.
4. Safe food and medicines.
5. Safe railroads, roads, airports, and other infrastructure.
6. Safe working conditions.
7. A minimum wage.
8. Social security and Medicare.
9. Clean air and water.
10. Beautiful natural parks for our children and grandchildren to appreciate.
11. The FDIC, which protects you in case of runs on banks.
12. A credit card bill of rights.
13. Allowing children to stay on their parents' healthcare until age 26.
14. Health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or drop you if you get sick.
15. Much more.

So I think I have made a good case for regulation. It isn't perfect, and isn't always right, but it is better than allowing kids to work in sweatshops and having the fear of losing your job because someone else will work for lower wages. Deregulation may make companies richer, but it doesn't make them hire. It gives them incentives to avoid that.

So, what is your real plan for America? If you give tax cuts, you raise the deficit, and you are not fiscally responsible. If you cut social programs, you will reduce the deficit, but you will lose voters. If you cut the size of the military (which I think is practical), you will lose your own base. If you use Keynesian fiscal stimulus to get the economy going and create jobs (and create programs like FDR did in the New Deal), you will raise the deficit, and look like complete hypocrites to those who voted for you. So how can you possibly stay true to your supposed values without losing almost everyone who would vote for you?

In addition, I have some concerns about your platform in regards to civil rights. Why can't gay people openly serve in the armed forces to defend the country they love? Why do you say you oppose the government intruding in private lives, but want to deny gays the right to marry? This is government intrusion in the bedroom. The common argument I hear is that if homosexuality is allowed, then bestiality and pedophilia will follow; however, this is a fallacious slippery slope argument. In addition, I have a problem with those who speak out against gays, but are either secretly homosexual themselves, or are committing adultery. If you are the party of family values, why isn't adultery a crime? Why is it OK to allow adultery, divorce, and domestic abuse for straight couples, but it is not OK for two people who love each other to get married?

And why should Freedom of Religion apply only to Christians? Placing the Ten Commandments (which it is absurd to say our government is based on, and I could write a whole book in support of my view) in public places discriminates against all other faiths, and against non-believers. And about the "Ground Zero Mosque," why can't a house of worship be placed in New York? It is OK for a strip club to be on the street, but not a mosque? This is bigotry, and is an example of blunt racism. Religious extremists attacked America, not Islam. And denying Muslims the right to build a house of worship, besides being unconstitutional according to the First Amendment, is no less than religious extremism.

Also, what will you do about immigration? Demonizing all immigrants as drug traffickers or as lazy, welfare-sucking bums sends the wrong image to the world. It also avoids the problem we have; that is, it is hard for people to become American citizens. We need institutions to teach immigrants the English language, and allow these people to become taxpaying, patriotic, hardworking citizens. And, we need to punish businesses who hire illegals. So what is your plan?

Also, what will you be doing about education? Because many of our jobs are lost permanently overseas, education will be the key to revitalizing America, and create a long-term solution to the jobs crisis. An educated workforce will create the innovators that create the jobs of tomorrow, and the technology of the future. These could be jobs in medicine and curing disease, or the green technology that will free us from our dependence on foreign oil. Yet study after study shows we lag far behind the world in areas like reading, science, and mathematics. What will you do to address this crisis?

As you can see, I have some problems with your platform, and serious questions about your economic plans and promises. In conclusion, I have this to say:

The rhetoric worked during the election; you won the seats. Now it is time to own up to those big words with bigger deeds. Get to work. Help restore America, and make us a world leader again. You burned America once, and we won't tolerate it again.

The Opinionated Liberal"

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? We have so much work to do and so little time. I'm taking suggestions on how we can change from a nation that can only understand instant gratification into a nation prepared to be patient and support the one's elected to change the ugliness, even if politics doesn't always allow us to revel in the whole pie...we have a portion for now....patience is a virtue.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I have an entire section devoted to domestic violence and homelessness. I have found some new links. It seems the state of Florida is taking domestic violence in their state very seriously. Kudos to them! I wish all states would do the same so all intimate partners being abused could empower themselves enough to remove themselves from the situation.

First Step (English) also available in Creole (way cool) and Spanish

FCADV resource links page

Some interesting ones I have never seen before:

Southerners on New Ground

Pets and Women's Shelters (PAWS) Program

Mending the Sacred Hoop (Native American and Alaska Native)

National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence (ALIANZA)

Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community

The Women of Color Network


I found some more. I have been looking for links concerning domestic violence against older women.

Developing Services for Older Abused Women: A Guide for Domestic Abuse Programs

Interactive Training Exercises on Abuse in Later Life

Golden Voices: Support Groups for Older Abused Women

State by state resource list for victims of domestic violence in later life (2008)

Violence Against Women Online Resources

Many pdf's written by human service providers on all areas of domestic violence, including the one's listed above after the *edit*

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Click the title link and please go sign this petition! Thanks!

I imagine I will post a big ole rant later, but for now I'm just too angry! The words just won't come!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Postcards from Amerah

It's been awhile, I know. My fault, not hers. I can't remember just how long it's been since I talked to her, but she knows what I'm doing and she knows why and she's just waiting, patiently, as always, for me to gather my nerve and face what I need to and speak of it, to her. I'm doing what I always do, when I'm faced with the possibility of great devastating loss...I run...I refuse to acknowledge...I try to shroud myself in as much denial as I can find, even if I don't know if it's as bad as it could be. Even the smallest inkling of yet another devastating loss is just to much for me to bear. She's the closest female friend I have, after all. Tears are pouring down my face as I write this and it's silly because I don't even know! How stupid is that?

Anyway, that's my confession for the day. Here's the postcard.

"(The Writer: Me – some things I think about on the healing journey called life.)

I had an "aha" moment this morning. I started thinking about old friends...friends from back in the day...friends who would share their deepest secrets - the good, bad and the ugly with each other...and, because of different circumstances - a move, a marriage, a life style change, etc. lost touch with each other...friends you still call friends because of the “good old days"...friends I still love and miss.

My "aha" moment" was: just may be we stopped communicating because of "the good old days" because when we see each other’s old stuff is triggered (shame because of shenanigans/unhealthy behaviors); just may be we shy away from each other because we have changed - we become Christians, Muslims, Buddist, etc. and we my be thinking, because one of us may or may not have made a change, "...she knows to much about my good old days and she might be judging me."

To my dear friends from "the good old days", I ain't the one. When you "walk" back to "the good old days" if you would just look down you will see a third set of footprints, God and mine. You will see our new "running" buddies, Grace and Mercy! And, when you open your closet door, guess who have a couple of skeletons "standing" close to you - mine, my dear friend, MINE!

Today, my dear, dear friend, whatever skeletons that are lingering in the closet of the past - we have been forgiven - Jesus has paid the price. And when I see you...when we meet again, my love for you is steadfast, unmovable and abounds in my respect for you - I ain't the one to cast the first stone. I'm your "side-kick", your trusted friend, and your sister-friend in Christ. You my dear, dear friend is not a "season" on this journey called life with are a life time friend. Thanks for the memories, my friend...the good...the bad...and the ugly - they made us who we are today - CHILDREN OF GOD!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Major Depression , the Oil Spill and Hurricane Season...

Most of you know, I suffer from major depression. Most of the time I keep it under control with exercise, vitamins and diet because my body just will not tolerate the medications on the market today. I've been doing quite a bit a yard work lately so it was well under control. Until yesterday, when President Obama had his press conference on what all is being done to help with the disastrous mess.

Now, I have purposely been avoiding the news, taking my mother's stance of "lie to me, I don't want to know it" on the issue, not because I don't care, but because all I can think about is what will be next to destroy our coastline and our main resources for revenue in the Gulf Coast Region? Then it hit me. Hurricane Season. I can not begin to describe the images that are going through my head. Things like a fine film of nasty oil sludge being sprayed all over everything from the coast all the way inland. A Hurricane will pick that stuff up and drop it wherever it damn well pleases. Everyone in it's path should be worried,

So, you know me, I went about searching for what the 2010 hurricane forecast will be. It ain't going to be pretty....

*Activity for the Atlantic Region is expected to be 85% above normal for the 2010 season

Here I was just going to include a link...not good enough. I want you all to read the entire prediction and NOAA's explanation of the scientific factors precluding this prediction. Scary stuff...


1. Expected 2010 activity

Known climate signals and evolving oceanic and atmospheric conditions, combined with dynamical model forecasts, indicate a high likelihood of above normal activity during the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. This outlook calls for an 85% chance of an above-normal season, only a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and a 5% chance of a below normal season.

An important measure of the total overall seasonal activity is the NOAA Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, which accounts for the intensity and duration of named storms and hurricanes during the season. We estimate a 70% chance that the 2010 seasonal ACE range will be 155%-270% of the median. According to NOAA’s hurricane season classifications, an ACE value above 117% of the 1950-2000 median reflects an above-normal season. An ACE value above 175% of the median reflects an exceptionally active (or hyperactive) season.

Consistent with the expected ACE range, the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is expected (with 70% chance) to produce 14-23 named storms, 8-14 hurricanes, and 3-7 major hurricanes. Therefore, this season could see activity comparable to a number of extremely active seasons since 1995. If the 2010 activity reaches the upper end of our predicted ranges, it will be one of the most active seasons on record.

For the U.S. and the region around the Caribbean Sea, the historical probability of a hurricane strike generally increases with increasing seasonal activity. During exceptionally active seasons, the historical probabilities increase markedly for multiple hurricane strikes in these regions. Nonetheless, predicting the location, number, timing, and strength, of hurricanes landfalls is ultimately related to the daily weather patterns, which are not predictable weeks or months in advance. As a result, it is currently not possible to reliably predict the number or intensity of landfalling hurricanes at these extended ranges, or whether a given locality will be impacted by a hurricane this season. Therefore, NOAA does not make an official seasonal hurricane landfall outlook.

Because of the ongoing oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, we are including some historical statistics of tropical cyclone activity for this region (excluding the Bay of Campeche) based on past above normal seasons. These statistics do not represent an explicit forecast for tropical cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico during 2010, as it is impossible to reliably predict such activity so far in advance. Historically, all above normal seasons have produced at least one named storm in the Gulf of Mexico, and 95% of those seasons have at least two named storms in the Gulf. Most of this activity (80%) occurs during August-October. However, 50% of above normal seasons have had at least one named storm in the region during June-July.

2. Science behind the 2010 Outlook

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season outlook primarily reflects an expected set of conditions during the peak months (August-October) of the season that is very conducive to increased Atlantic hurricane activity. This expectation is based on the prediction of three climate factors, all of which are conducive historically to increased tropical cyclone activity. These climate factors are: 1) the tropical multi-decadal signal, which has contributed to the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, 2) a continuation of exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Main Development Region (MDR, which includes the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic ocean between 9oN-21.5oN; Goldenberg et al. 2001), and 3) either ENSO-neutral or La Niña conditions, with La Niña becoming increasingly likely.

The outlook also takes into account dynamical model predictions from new models such as the NOAA Climate Forecast System (CFS), the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), the United Kingdom Meteorology (UKMET) office model, and the EUROpean Seasonal to Inter-annual Prediction (EUROSIP) ensemble. All of these models are indicating a high likelihood of an extremely active season.

a. Expected continuation of tropical multi-decadal signal

One primary factor guiding this outlook is an expected continuation of the tropical multi-decadal signal, which has contributed to the current high-activity era in the Atlantic basin that began in 1995. This signal is associated with a coherent set of atmospheric conditions, all of which are conducive to increased Atlantic hurricane activity.

During 1995-2009, some key aspects of the tropical multi-decadal signal within the MDR have included warmer than average SSTs, reduced vertical wind shear and weaker easterly trade winds, below-average sea-level pressure, and a configuration of the African easterly jet that is more conducive to hurricane development from tropical waves moving off the African coast. Many of these atmospheric features typically become evident during late April and May, as the atmosphere across the tropical Atlantic and Africa begins to transition into its summertime monsoon state.

Several of these conditions are now present, and they are expected to persist through the hurricane season because we anticipate they are linked in part to the tropical multi-decadal signal. These conditions include 1) weaker (i.e. anomalous westerly) trade winds in the lower atmosphere, anomalous easterly winds in the upper atmosphere, anticyclonic circulation (i.e. streamfunction) anomalies in the upper atmosphere in both hemispheres, and reduced vertical wind shear.

It is impossible to know with certainty whether the multi-decadal signal is indeed continuing during 2010, and current climate models cannot skillfully forecast the multi-decadal variability of the Atlantic climate system. Nonetheless, given that key anomaly patterns now present have also been present for the past 15 years, and have previously been linked to the tropical multi-decadal signal, it is reasonable to expect that they are again linked to this signal. If so, this would reflect a continuation of the active Atlantic phase of the tropical multi-decadal signal that began in 1995.

b. Above average SSTs in the Main Development Region

The second factor guiding the outlook is the expectation of above-average to near-record SSTs in the MDR during August-October. It is very possible that the SST anomalies will be much larger than that typically associated with the multi-decadal signal. Record warm SSTs are now present in the MDR, with departures exceeding +1.5oC nearly everywhere east of the Caribbean Islands. Record warm temperatures were also present during March and April, with area-averaged departures of +1.3oC observed in April. This monthly value is much larger than the previous record departure of +0.95oC seen in 1958. This warmth is much larger than anywhere else in the global tropics, and is further indication that climate conditions are favorable for hurricane development in the Atlantic basin.

A set of factors likely combined to produce the record warmth now in the Atlantic. Based on the observations, the likely cause of the extreme Atlantic warming is a pronounced weakening of the northeasterly trade winds that led to a sharp increase in Atlantic SSTs during February and March. This increase occurred in combination with the typical warming associated with El Niño. It is also superimposed upon the background warming associated with the warm Atlantic phase of the multi-decadal signal that has been in place since 1995, and with longer term trends.

Based on the observations, a key to the development of this record warmth was a sharp increase in SST anomalies during February and March, in response to a significant weakening of the normal northeasterly trade winds and low-level ridge over the eastern tropical Atlantic north of the MDR. These overall anomaly patterns are consistent with El Niño (Knaff 1997, Chelliah and Bell 2004). However, their amplitude is more strongly related to a persistent upper-level jet stream pattern that featured blocking activity at high-latitudes of the North Atlantic and a strong jet stream across the southern North Atlantic. This pattern was associated with a persistent negative North Atlantic Oscillation and positive East Atlantic circulation pattern, which at times was linked to a hemispheric circulation pattern called the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation.

Two other instances of very warm SSTs have been observed in the MDR during February-April (1958 and 1969). In both years, the SST anomaly subsequently decreased by roughly 50% during the summer months. For 2010, although the record SST departures may well decrease somewhat, we still expect a continuation of above average SSTs throughout the Atlantic hurricane season. This outlook is consistent with the current (and expected) pattern of reduced trade winds across the tropical Atlantic in association with the expected tropical multi-decadal signal. However, it is very possible that the SST departures will be much larger than that associated with the multi-decadal signal. Several climate models are predicting either near-record or record SSTs in the MDR during August-October.

c. ENSO-Neutral or La Niña

Another climate factor known to significantly impact Atlantic hurricane activity is the El Niño/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The three phases of ENSO are El Niño, La Niña, and Neutral. El Niño tends to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity, while La Niña tends to enhance it (Gray 1984). These typical impacts can be strongly modulated by conditions associated with a low- or high-activity era. We expect either Neutral or La Niña conditions during the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, with La Niña now becoming increasingly likely.

The El Niño episode, which contributed to the below normal Atlantic hurricane season last year, has dissipated. Conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are becoming increasingly favorable for the development of La Niña. Also, in the upper atmosphere the pattern of circulation (i.e. streamfunction) anomalies during the last 30 days, and the last 60 days, indicates cyclonic anomalies in the central subtropical Pacific of both hemispheres (blue shading in NH, red shading in SH). This pattern suggests that the atmosphere has already transitioned out of its El Niño state observed last winter and early spring.

All ENSO forecast models currently predict either Neutral or La Niña conditions during the Atlantic hurricane season. During the last few months, the models have been increasingly indicating the development of La Niña during the summer. La Niña contributes to reduced vertical wind shear over the western tropical Atlantic which, when combined with conditions associated with the ongoing high activity era and warm Atlantic SSTs, increases the probability of an exceptionally active Atlantic hurricane season (Bell and Chelliah 2006). NOAA’s high-resolution CFS model indicates the development of La Niña-like circulation and precipitation anomalies during July.

3. Further analysis of the Ongoing High Activity Era in the Atlantic Basin

Atlantic hurricane seasons exhibit extended periods lasting decades of generally above-normal or below-normal activity. These fluctuations in hurricane activity result almost entirely from differences in the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes forming from tropical storms first named in the MDR.

The current high-activity era has been in place since 1995. Hurricane seasons during 1995-2009 have averaged about 14.5 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes, with an average ACE index of 160% of the median. NOAA classifies ten of the fifteen seasons since 1995 as above normal, with seven being hyperactive (ACE > 175% of median). Only five seasons since 1995 have not been above normal, which include four El Niño years (1997, 2002, 2006, and 2009) and the 2007 season.

This high level of activity since 1995 contrasts sharply to the low-activity era of 1971-1994 (Goldenberg et al. 2001), which averaged only 8.5 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 1.5 major hurricanes, and had an average ACE index of only 75% of the median. One-half of the seasons during this low-activity era were below normal, only three were above normal (1980, 1988, 1989), and none were hyperactive.

Within the MDR, the atmospheric circulation anomalies that contribute to these long-period fluctuations in hurricane activity are strongly linked to the Tropics-wide multi-decadal signal (Bell and Chelliah 2006). A change in the phase of the multi-decadal signal coincides with the transition in 1995 from a low-activity era to the current high-activity era.

You know, it seems as though we haven't fully recovered from Katrina. You can still see piles of wreckage here and there that have obviously been there for awhile that people just forgot about and/or learned to live with. Can you even imagine how hard it will be to remove all that wreckage if it's covered in nasty, sludgy oil? My heart breaks mostly for the wildlife, they can't go inside to air-purified homes and be safe.

When is the healthcare reform going to take effect? July? I think I might need the drugs to get through this one.....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This is so funny...and so me!

Wow, it's been three months since i posted anything on here! Sorry about that. Been having sort of a rough go of it lately...but this made me laugh so hard I had to post it!


> Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
> Somehow, I feel better even though I have it!!
> Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D.
> Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.
> This is how it manifests:
> I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I
look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
> As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I
brought up from the mail box earlier.
> I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
> I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can
under the table, and notice that the can is full.
> So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the
garbage first.
> But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take
out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
> I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one
check left.
> My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house
to my desk where I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking.
> I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Pepsi
aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
> The Pepsi is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator
to keep it cold.
> As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the
counter catches my eye -- they need water.
> I put the Pepsi on the counter and discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers..
> I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with
water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.
> I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the
remote but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
> I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the
> So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up
the spill.
> Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to
> At the end of the day:
> the car isn't washed
> the bills aren't paid
> there is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter the flowers don't
> have enough water, there is still only 1 check in my check book, I
> can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember
> what I did with the car keys.
> Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really
> baffled because I know I was busy all day and I'm really
> I realize this is a serious problem,
> and I'll try to get some help for it but first I'll check my
> Do me a favor.
> Forward this message to everyone you know because I don't remember who
I've sent it to.
Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tough times for Ottawa's homeless 'Blues Lady'

Click the title link for the story. I know you are wondering why I put the story on this page and not on the blues page? I probably will put it on there later, but go read the story and you will understand. There are two words in the story that sum it all up... then come back over here and donate if you can and I will make sure this great lady gets whatever we can scrape up for her.