Command and Control

I’ve told myself I’d retire from the discussion of natural disasters here, because the scope is far beyond a modest cartoon blog. Hurricanes in particular became fodder here, you will recall, only because I happened to have had personal experience with Katrina. However, because of that experience, I have been struck by one thing: so many of the Caribbean islands and the Florida Keys are virtually denuded of leafy foliage in the wake of Irma. One might be tempted to think, “Well, at least that will grow back.” One could be forgiven for assuming palms and coastal live oaks are naturally adapted to a capricious environment and have an abnormally hardy capacity to rebound. Not necessarily. Many of the trees stripped by wind and by storm surge will never recover. They are dead. Not a good thing in the tropical sun.

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79 responses to “Command and Control”

  1. My kids did extended medical missionary work in Haiti. Haiti is apparently denuded and treeless.

    Ice storms do that in Oklahoma. Dead trees. Well, tornadoes too. Limbless leafless tree trunks.

  2. Haiti has been practically treeless for decades, and it’s all caused by people. The proof is the fact that the Dominican Republic has lots of trees, with forests going right up to the border.

  3. My coastal SC friends are back home from their retreat to St. Louis, MO, and consider themselves much more than lucky. The causeway – only entry to their island – is back open, their home had only a small roof leak next to a chimney, the groundspeople had already removed all branches & debris, and their lawn was newly mown! The nearest water [a river inlet], which is in their backyard, did rise, but just short of enough to enter the lowest level. Having seen the flatness of the place, I’d say they missed by only a foot or so.

    I cannot speak for all the other island residents; hope they did as well or better. The island is really a beautiful place, but really, really low in altitude.

  4. Don’t forget all poor folks in South Texas that are still trying to dig out (literally) from the flooding Harvey brought. My church is sending as many as are able to go down to a small town to help whoever needs it for the next few weekends. Shoveling mud out of houses and cutting sheetrock. As I undersatnd it you only have about 30 days to save the structure. If you wait too long mold and rot take over and it is bulldozer time. If I wasn’t so busted up I’d be going too. All I could provide was some mosquito netting and a few supplies. Getting old sucks.

  5. Tomorrow is our three week anniversary of being flood refugees. Finally able to get into our house on Monday. Water line measured five feet on the interior. First floor and both cars are lost. Cleanup team has completely stripped first floor to bare studs and concrete. Saturday brings us a church to help clean what we could salvage. Sunday brings packers and Monday movers to the second floor. Next week is car shopping.

    On the positive side.
    Both the community and groups from across the country have joined in helping Houston. The media may portray the country as divided, we see it as united and full of brotherly love. On August 26 I was planning to go over to the church to volunteer, the next morning we were the one’s depending on volunteers.

    A friend sent me an email expressing their sorrow, but also mentioning she was not worried, as she knows I am a survivor.


  6. Rick in Shermantown, Ohio — the instant coffee you mentioned, that’s so good — can you tell us what to look for on the label? I’d like to try it, and there is a store less than two miles from my house. Seems like a good place.

  7. I have to keep reminding myself that this is only the half-way point of the hurricane season. Irma’s eye passed about two miles west of me. Only lost a fence this time.

    Got power back Wednesday evening. Walking around in the dark I stumbled over
    something and hit my head on the floor. Say a few light flashes when I hit. Still have a sore spot on the back of my head.

    Didn’t lose much, but had to get rid of my poke weed when I cleaned the freezer.

  8. I think he’s poking fun at the awards shows…Oscar, Emmy, etc… acceptance speeches have gotten full of “thank you” to everyone the winner knows.

    Hang in there sandcastler. You’re right, most folks are good. 5 feet? YIKES.

  9. Charlotte in NH:

    Glad to help.

    The Aldi in my town sells Beaumont Coffee Instant Classic Roast.

    The label also says that it is 100% pure coffee and that it does not have preservatives and artificial flavors or colors.

  10. Ghost and I have found some of my friends to help eat the ten pounds of sushi we made last night. Then I looked on the net and identified two more kinds I had made when I lived in Hawaii, along with some in little cones.

  11. I forgot to mention that we ate at Pho Lien Hoa restaurant in OKC a week or so ago when we attended a funeral. I had their pho tai nam, which was excellent. Long ago I decided to master the use of chop sticks for Asian food, and now I can even pick up individual rice grains and eat noodles with them. I especially enjoy doing that at Vietnamese places because, as I did in OKC, I enjoy watching elderly Vietnamese people looking just as silly as I do eating noodles with chopsticks.

    Oh, and the maki sushi and nigiri we made last night was obviously a great hit with the boys and their two soccer moms.

  12. That’s probably in a New Yorker I’ve not read yet. Typically behind 2-3 wks. Reading a substantial article on cancer now.

    Reminds me: various legitimate campaigns have phrases like ‘for the cure’ as part of their appeal. That’s fine, if it’s a disease such as smallpox or malaria, with a specific pathogen. Not so fine if the disease is defined mostly in terms of its symptoms, like cancer. There are cancers, not just one. We don’t know how many. There are also metaphorical cancers, but it’s not PC to go there. And you’re welcome for the non-accusing apostrophe lesson.

    Peace, really. Went to a morning meeting at xxxx, at which I remained relatively polite.

  13. Ruth Anne, that’s a good one. While here at Disneyland I’ve seen two torties in the parks. One was a shorthair which sauntered down the middle of the train track in front of the Disneyland station. The other was a longhair in the California adventure side.

  14. I fell asleep around 8 p.m. I think and here I am awake at 1 a.m.

    Think I will make french toast for breakfast but we never seem to get up and in kitchen in time for anything than lunch which we then skip because we haven’t had breakfast.

    Ghost says I am first woman other than his mama to cook breakfast for him. I can see why.

  15. Good morning. It is 11 a.m. and I am awake and Ghost has gone off to Walmart without french toast. Heck.

    The Village has disappeared like Brigadoon.

    Or else you are all in church being good Christian people instead of sinners in bed.

  16. You know better than that. All at BUMC were sinners, and went away knowing they were forgiven, even us non-creedal heretics. I even told somebody else’s wife a slightly naughty true story at coffee, and neither of us were thereby more sinful than before, and my guess is Elaine enjoyed it, too. Told her she could tell her husband, but it should stop there. It will. Peace,

  17. Good afternoon Villagers….

    Taking a break from boxing and wrapping ‘stuff’ up for “The Terminator”. Looking forward to a free from all spiders, fleas, hard telling what else is under this old house. Need to treat the inside cats with the Advantage Plus…..and I would also like to rip off the old carpet that is on the back porch…the kittehs are use to eating out there on the porch. Dad likes to watch them feed, frolic and do what kittehs do 🙂 This is their second treatment.

    And then once this is done….enclose the crawl space so that nothing else gets in. I just wish I knew what day they were coming. Dad, I bet, has asked 4 to 5 times what all was in the clear 55 gallon bags that I put out in the sun room…told him….4 – 5 times too 🙂

    Gotta go…need a few groceries here. Church is over, and so is grocery shoppig after church…just hate crowds

    Good morning back at you Jacki…

    GN OB

  18. Philanthropist cat, now that is good. A dog would just eat the bills. Too sick for church today, my smarter half and I both, just sitting and listening to music most of the day. Y’all take care. Praying for all of you affected by Harvey and Irma, a good use of my time today.

  19. Why Disneyland and not Orlando? In Alabama I was within driving distance and had been there more than once. I had been to Disneyland only once, in 1975 while I was in the Navy. So, I wanted to go back and see what it was like now. Lot of interesting and fun rides, but way too crowded. I am no longer curious. Next vacation, someplace else. Maybe I should go back to Hawaii and see how I like that!

  20. I never received my two drawings and one original strip I paid for on your Kickstarter campaign – PLEASE CONTACT ME AND HELP ME TRACK THEM DOWN!

  21. Rainy day. Oklahoma has been in drought but not wildfires this month. Still green here.

    On way to Tulsa for pre-operative labs and see cardiologist for evaluation and if I need more heart tests. We would both rather still be in bed with Dickens on a day like this.

    So would Dickens.

  22. Saw this last week when I was conserving battery and data –

    If we would enjoy ourselves, we must take the world as it is; mix it up and a thousand spots of sunshine, a cloud here and there, a bright sky, a storm today, calm tomorrow, the chill-piercing winds of autumn, and the bland, reviving air of summer.
    –The 1854 Old Farmer’s Almanac

  23. “… a cloud here and there…” would be much better than what I’ve been getting this year.

    Yep, same old gripe concerning Utah’s ever-cloudy night skies. Does anyone know of a website that has a map which tells how many clear nights for stargazing? I’m approaching the point of moving!

  24. Trucker Ron, it’s hard for this New Englander to imagine cloudy skies in Utah. It’s way out West in the desert — how come it’s not all dry and clear?

  25. Charlotte, I believe our mountains serve to “snag” the lower altitude clouds. The general weather flow is to the east, and we have a chain of mountains on that side. The western slopes of those mountains generally get more rain and snow than their eastern sides, though the afternoon sun results in that snow melting faster on the west side.

  26. Good morning all. It will be another early morning today with last visit to oncologists today and a visit at long last to the ear nose and throat specialist about my sinus and horrible cough.

    Anyone besides me noticed it is getting harder and harder to get in to see really good soecialists, even if you are an established patient? Are there not enough physicians to go around to an aging or increasingly ill population?

  27. TIP blogspot: Better than some.

    Jackie: Yes. As more of us survive way beyond ages our parents/grandparents did, there’s more need. As to the pipeline, don’t know all the factors, but know I’m glad I never considered MD as a profession. It’s a way for many to acquire McMansions. I even know many that are truly happy, and truly good people. Some have been my students. One, now retired, is receiving a BSU alumni award Friday. He even established a BSU scholarship named for his mentor, one of my colleagues.


  28. Jackie, the practice of medicine has become frustratingly complicated by the intrusion of outside forces: insurance companies and the government (state and federal). Doctors have had to add staff just to deal with the paperwork and to keep them informed as to what procedures they can do and tests they can order. It takes real desire and dedication to put up with all of that. Some have opted for early retirement, others have dissolved their private practices and hired out to bigger commercial groups.

  29. Totally true Mark! I am considering a taseful recycled container with heat and air as a walk in clothes closet!

    Right now I have to go through clothes and pull out just those that do NOT go over my head but open up front. Seems I will be wearing those a long time until I can raise my arms. First left, then right.

  30. And some have gone back to the old style practice that does not accept either insurance or Medicare, so they can concentrate on medicine rather than paperwork. When Medicare pays 40 percent or less of the actual cost of the care and demands more of the physician’s time to make sure the paperwork is done correctly to keep even that small portion, there is no incentive to accept new Medicare patients unless you are starting a new practice and need volume of clients.

  31. Good morning, Village! Just checking in. While we didn’t get the flooding that some did we did get high winds and a good bit of rain last week. Our power went out Monday afternoon and didn’t get back on until Friday evening. Thank goodness Husband is prepared for anything up to and including the Zombie Apocalypse so we have a generator. It can’t run the whole house all the time, but we can keep the fridge and freezer cold and there is water for short showers and washing dishes and since we have a gas stove we managed pretty well. Of course not being able to walk into a room and flip a switch and have light is annoying, but that’s about it. A couple of trees did come down close to the house, but no damage was done so we were truly lucky.

  32. Good to have your report, Jean. I’ll check in with mine also. Just as I knew, second week after knee replacement is better than first but still not good. Range of motion is excellent but lots of swelling and bruising, ergo still lots of pain. Even though one knows better, one still hopes….

  33. Trapper Jean
    Glad things are OK with you. But:
    Of course not being able to walk into a room and flip a switch and have light is annoying, but that’s about it.

    Is that a “first world problem”? We do get used to electricity quickly.

    I too have a generator – just big enough to keep the freezer OR the frige OR the heat going.

  34. Nancy it does indeed get better and the physical therapy is really important. I was so looking forward to having the right one done in October and having a matched pair.

    The left knee is straight and entire leg is straight, muscular and full. The right one is crooked, bowed, scrawny and boney. Not matching at all.

    Ghost changed his appointment calendar tonight and pointed out that the date I was to have the right knee replaced is now the date I am to begin chemotherapy. How life comes at you.

    Do the exercises and take enough meds to control the pain. Icing with the knee ice machine really helped too.

  35. Video from Mexico City shows hundreds climbing into collapsed buildings when the shaking had barely stopped and moving debris with their bare hands to help people that they didn’t even know. As of tonight it is reported that there has been no looting so far. Allow me to point out the obvious. On the other side of that imaginary wall there are human beings. I started to say just like you and me, but I won’t insult them.

  36. Jerry, yes, that was a very compassionate comment. They are indeed.

    One has only to work with one of these people we are trying to keep out to learn how hardworking, intelligent and proud they are. My trainee became more proficient than any I had ever taught, faster, more precise and perfect in no time despite a language barrier of sorts.

    Oh and I learned about her education and how proud she was that her child would receive one. You see, hers was spent from age three working the great dump in Mexico City with her mother and siblings, looking for scraps of food or other scraps to patch their hovel if they could not sell.

    I have seen those dumps in Mexico City and Caracas, Venezuela with those trash pickers. I did not want to, the tour driver took us. It was a tourist “sight”.

    Sometimes I am ashamed of us, we who have so much we negate the values of others.

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