These are the three worst weather events directly impacting my life.
#3. 2005 Hurricane Triple Header – Florida received a 1-2-3 punch combo in the Summer and Fall 2005 hurricane season. Homestead received one of its highest precipitation totals ever recorded and most of Dade and Broward counties were out of power for extended periods while much of Homestead’s power outages lasted weeks. Katrina, Rita and then Wilma had South Florida residents putting up shutters, taking them down, and repeating two more times. Just about everywhere you went standing water blocked vehicle progress and flooded homes.
#2. The Winter Storm January 1996 – I was returning to Lee University in Cleveland following Christmas break with Andrew Hoomook when an ice storm hit the east. From Atlanta north into TN, roads were closed for three days. We ended up grabbing a room for two nights in Cold-lanta to try and wait out some of the nastiness. At one point for several miles, we were slowed to almost idle speed to keep from sliding off the ice covered roads. The conditions occurred because a layer of rain froze on the road was followed by freezing rain falling on top. I saw numerous cars blown off the road by wind, people losing control and being stranded in ditches, and semi tractor trailers barrelling down the road at speeds well above the rest of traffic. It was frightening to say the least.
#1. Hurricane Andrew, 1992 – Thank the Lord I did not directly experience the wind of Hurricane Andrew. That weekend, my mom and I were in Cleveland, TN helping Travis get moved into his dorm for his freshman year at Lee University and my dad evacuated with Ron Cable (one of the HCOG church members who was working at Turkey Point with Bechtel, down temporarily from Fresno, CA). They evacuated west to Punta Gorda, FL and then traveled east to Central FL on the east coast, and followed the tailed end of the hurricane as it exited the state across Naples and into the Gulf. I stayed up all night Sunday evening at my cousins’ home in Atlanta watching the weather channel as the radar image showed that destructive storm land in Homestead while the weather people were stating that it was heading for Titusville, then Palm Beach County, and the Miami. I kept thinking they must be blind since I could clearly see that it made a direct hit south of Miami, and had been on a straight line for Homestead since it went across the Bahamas. When we made our entrance to Homestead with our family friend David Barron (he was there to help us dry in the house and salvage anything from the mess that we possibly could), it took us a couple hours just to make it the 30 or so miles from near the airport in Miami south into Homestead itself via Florida’s Turnpike. The best way to describe the damage in Homestead was ground zero of a massive bomb. The few trees that were not toppled were completely stripped of leaves, every home in our neighborhood was practically destroyed, cars were destroyed, all mobile home/pre fab homes were flattened and debris strewn everywhere, many roads completely impassable by car, boats were found miles inland, and even the grass was destroyed by driving wind and salt water tidal surge (in areas). We slept on a picnic bench outside the house for a couple nights since the house was covered with fiberglass insulation and rain water. The contents of Travis’ room was sucked out when his shutters failed, and my room was soaked from rain which fell through the destroyed roof. We were without power for 4 months, though we did have generated power for some lighting and refrigeration a few weeks into our recovery. It really was a tough but learning time for me, though I know I had it good compared to so many other people. At a later time, I can go into more details of the events, experiences, sad and funny things I saw and did during that defining time in the life of my family. I am sure my dad also has many stories to share that you may find fascinating.
It was a good weekend for South Florida football fans, both college and pro. The Miami Hurricanes broke through and finished a game with the most effective and boring play in the book, the QB kneel. We beat a very tough Wake Forrest on the strength of defense, solid place kicking, field position, clock control, and the running game. We did not exactly pile up tons of rushing yards, and neither Harris nor Marve had fantastic overall games behind the center, but Marve did what it took to win including a big run to set up a TD.
The Fins did it again. That is, they beat a really good team. This is the sign of a maturing and developing bonafide future contender. That is, teams that are coming together but are not mature tend to lose games they should not lose and they win games they should not win. This 25-16 win over Buffalo is huge. Miami fought through the adversity and self-injury of turnovers and key penalties to grind out an honest win. The NE game could be written off as a fluke due to a new QB for the Pats and game changing turnovers, but in this win, Miami faced their toughest opponent head-to-head and won. Also, Buffalo seemed to be playing at the peak of their ability which makes it that much sweeter.
In the LPC fantasy football, this was not a good day for yours truly. You can read more about it tomorrow. While I did better than I did last week, I still failed to get the win over Pastor Trav‘s Big Doggs (who are now the hottest team in the league and making a serious push toward the playoffs).. That should mean I am stuck in 4th place for another week or two.
This week’s winner of the EIB award for excellence in blogging knocked it out of the park. The entry contained some nostalgia, pictures, and a look ahead at what might be! But first, it was a close week and I have to give credit for the runner up.
Jesse gives us a glimpse at his fine acting skills in a new motion picture with some still shots of his starring role as a grocery store floor man. Just in case you can’t quite make his face, he tagged them.
And the winner is…
Kelly’s Yikes Ike blog. It has a little of everything. Some cuteness from Kourtney, Julie, and Sara, a nostalgic look back at a past hurricane with Manny and his fam teamed up with Trav and his fam to make it through the times without electricity, and a look ahead at the projected path of Ike (that we don’t like).
- Total domination of an inferior opponent. There is not much more that can be said.
- There wasn’t much to learn about this game, other than that the Canes can beat a really bad opponent. 52-7 was the final score.
- I can’t say the offense or defense looked great, because the talent level was so completely divergent. The best thing is that penalties were relatively low throughout the first half. The game was never close. We did what we had to.
- We will have to wait until next week to see if we can even hang with the elite class this year.
- Parking was ridiculously expensive. $25 is too much to pay for general parking to see a lousy college football game. If it was a great opponent, it would be a little easier to swallow. I guess I am used to the $5 park and ride at the Orange Bowl.
- I miss the Orange Bowl. It was very strange watching a regular season game in Joe Robbie, er Dolphin Stadium.
- It was great to hang out with Oral and Lee.
Hurricane fans can sit back, take a deep breath and relax now. The University of Miami, aka NFL U, aka “The U” is notorious for it’s pipeline to the NFL. UM has the most players selected in the first round of a single year (6), the most first round selections in a 2 year period (11), and the most first round selections in a 3 year period (15). Since 1994 at least one player from the University of Miami has been selected in the first round of the NFL free agent draft. The streak now stands at 14 years with the selection of Kenny Phillips by the New York Giants.
They are called quarterback U, linebacker U, wide receiver U, running back U, tight end U, and so on because of the dominance of Miami at each of these positions over the past 25 years. It just became easier with that big orange and green U on the helmet to call Miami “The U”. Is there any question why they are called NFL U?
My brother wrote about how he landed yet another awesome piece of memorabilia. I’ve hooked him up with an Alonzo Mourning (one of my all time favorite NBA players) autographed photo, Hurricane player autographs, and Victor hooked him up with some really cool stuff including a team autographed Hurricane helmet and a Dr. J autographed basketball. Now he has an autographed book from “The Lama” himself! In honor of my brother’s new stuff, I wanted to post an important message about the Dalai Lama from Mr. Carl Spackler.
Since January 1993’s Sugar Bowl match-up of the “unbeatable” Miami Hurricane’s against the lowly Crimson Tide of Alabama, I have become a pessimist. Anytime there is a marginally competitive opponent, I just assume the Canes will find a way to lose. That started to change in 1998 when The Edge ended UCLA’s title hopes, and 2000 against FSU and in the Sugar Bowl against UF, 2001 when we went undefeated and won the football championship. I had progressed back to a cocky Cane fan until Terry Porter infamously snatched the championship from us and handed it to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Since then, I just assume we will lose against marginally competitive teams, basketball or football, doesn’t really matter. Well, I was proven right today. The Canes were in the game, even had a second half lead against the Virginia Tech Hokies. Then, VT just decided to put us away. 63-49 was the final. The Canes this year are not bad, but they aren’t great either. We will probably get a 9 or 10 seed and be lucky to get past the first round of the tourney. It’s a good season on which to build the future, but not really that much to brag about.
There I go again, sounding like a pessimist in a season that is not even technically over yet.
My alma mater, the Lee U Flames men’s basketball team of the NAIA (that’s not a typo, we really are the Flames) had their best regular season in school history going 31-1 with a solitary loss to Auburn-Montgomery. Included in those 31 wins was a stunning win against the NCAA Div 1 Pirates of East Carolina, possibly the biggest win in our school’s history. East Carolina beat North Carolina State. On January 19 of this year, NC State beat my favorite team, the Miami Hurricanes.
At 2:00 PM today, the Canes (20-9) square off for a rematch against the NC State Wolfpack. Miami’s loss to NC State was in the regular season and was in OT. With a win, the Canes will pretty much secure a bid in the NCAA Tourney with a good chance at a 9 or 8 seed; a loss puts them in a weaker position and maybe on the bubble.
How would Lee fair against the Miami Hurricanes? My guess is that if the ball bounced right and the Flames were on fire, they might only lose by about 20 points. Some people have speculated that Lee can no longer continue to expand and grow the program without switching to NCAA, perhaps a very low division. In time, some expect Lee to be the next ORU, a Christian university competing with the big boys in college basketball and baseball. While I was a student, Lee was good but certainly not as good as they are this year. The Flames have a real shot at their first NAIA national championship this year, entering the tournament as the #2 seeded team.
Update: The Hurricanes beat NCSU 63-50. This totally locks up the tournament invite for the Hurricanes. I am guessing that Miami is a 9 seed.