I’m Thinking A Lot About Age

I had a few people tell me I’d visited their elementary school years ago. These were grownups talking. That’s about the most depressing thing I can hear.

I was an auctioneer this evening. That’s a skill I picked up along the way–part of my toolkit. I was helping out with the Milford Chamber of Commerce’s charity golf outing. This event funds scholarships an a few small grants.

Milford’s event was held in Stratford. Isn’t that like cheating on your spouse? Isn’t Milford’s Chamber supposed to encourage business in Milford. I didn’t ask, but I couldn’t have been the only one thinking that.

Bic was a major sponsor. Bic’s American operations are based in Milford. It’s nice when a big corporation is a good local citizen.

I had a few people tell me I’d visited their elementary school years ago. These were grownups talking. That’s about the most depressing thing I can hear.

I’ve gotten to the point when people tell me I look young for my age I get internally upset. Looking young doesn’t take anything off the calendar.

From People Magazine: ON GLORIA STEINEMS 50TH birthday, somebody had the nerve to tell her that she looked good for her age. “This is what 50 looks like,” was the feminist’s oft-quoted response.

I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking about age a lot nowadays. Contrary to my assumption at 16 there’s nothing good in getting older!

I’m going to stop before I get too depressed.

What Hath AccuWeather Wrought

I was scrutinizing Drudge last night when I saw the headline.

I began to get upset. Then, I read AccuWeather’s release, which was headlined:

Threat of Major Hurricane Strike Grows for Northeast

AccuWeather.com Warns That “Weather Disaster of Historic Proportions” Could Strike as Early as This Year

The release went on to quote Joe Bastardi, one of AccuWeather’s meteorologists as saying:

“The Northeast coast is long overdue for a powerful hurricane.

That’s like saying a slot machine is overdue because it hasn’t paid out in a while. In statistics, the likelihood of a 100 year event doesn’t increase just because you’ve gone 99 years without seeing one.

I went to the weather bulletin board where I sometimes post and left this:

I read the AccuWeather release and my blood boiled. As far as I know, there’s no such thing as “overdue” in statistics. I’m assuming all their meteorologists, including Joe Bastardi, took statistics courses.

When people come up to me in the supermarket and say we hype the weather – they’re talking about stuff like this.

What AccuWeather missed – the real story – is, a Hurricane of ’38 scenario would create a civil catastrophe before it struck! Though they mention Providence as the storm’s focal point, the center actually struck nearly 100 miles west, in Milford, Connecticut.

The biggest damage was that far east because it was no longer a classic tropical system. First, it was moving at better than 60 mph (I’m doing this off the top of my head – allow a little leeway). It had also been over colder water and was probably transitioning to extratropical.

How would we warn for a storm which went from the Bahamas to New England in about a day, and whose damage would be so far east of the center? Hurricane Warnings from Atlantic City, NJ to Portland, ME? It boggles the mind.

Would we evacuate all of New England? Could we? Where would they go?

As it is, on a Sunday evening the Mass Pike backs up for miles at the I-84 exit. I-95 through most of Eastern Connecticut is 2-lanes in each direction, and the area just east of New Haven will be under construction for much of the next decade. That’s without all of Boston and Providence heading west.

But, back to AccuWeather. Is this like yelling fire in a crowded theater? I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t have put out the statement they put out, but that’s their choice to make.

I believe they’re honorable people. Joel Meyers certainly has a long and storied reputation and has been honored for his contributions to the public’s well being and safety.

I know folks at AccuWeather read this. I would like to see Joel personally revisit this particular statement. If this is how he really feels, fine.

My hope is, he’ll provide more specifics and less hyperbole.

So, there you have it. Yes – New England is vulnerable, but no more vulnerable today than it was last year at this time.

We need solid action to prepare, not hyperbole and scare tactics.