Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Monkey Magic Time!



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Pensacola Seafood Festival 2008


The crowds at the Pensacola Seafood Festival were actually pretty decent while I was there. This year, I decided to go at night to avoid being baked by the sun. There were so many people that it was actually somewhat difficult to find a place to plop down and eat my mountainous platter of fried seafood and roasted meat-on-a-stick. Despite these challenges, I actually had a great time. My only suggestion to the organizers of the Festival is to try to get some big name bands to play. The music was somewhat weak in my opinion.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Free Air Guitar

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I have seen this before, but someone emailed it to me again. So, I decided to share it to all of you Utterlings out there.

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ByteMonkey Pic Post!

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I think I found a way to rig my phone to post to Utterli.



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A Quest for Old Laptops ends with Peanuts.

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Lately, I’ve been obsessed with putting Linux on old computers just s so I could I see if it was possible to squeeze out a few more “usage miles” out of them. This past weekend, I decided to hit the thrift stores and the local flea market to see if I could find someone selling away their retired laptops.

I did manage to find a few stalls selling old computers, but I didn’t find that many that had old laptops. The one that I did find had an over inflated sense of value towards his merchandise where the cheapest laptop he had was about $400. For that price, I could get a brand new laptop at Wal-Mart, so I decided to move on.

But my trip wasn’t a total loss. I manage to buy some freshly roasted peanuts there. I love roasted peanuts.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clarity

Somewhere between mental exhaustion and sleep, I found a moment of clarity. In this moment, I realized that you can not escape your past. You can try to keep running away from it until it seem like you have lost it, but the truth is that you’re only a few paces ahead of it for a little while. The past will catch up with you. There is no doubt of it.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Super Mario Rescues The Princess

First 2008 Case of West Nile Virus in Escambia County

ESCAMBIA COUNTY (FL) – The Escambia County Health Department is issuing a Health Alert for West Nile virus following the report of the first adult case of West Nile Virus since 2006. Residents and visitors are urged to take the necessary precautions to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito.

The 5Ds of Prevention

  • Dusk and Dawn: Do not go outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood during the twilight hours of dusk and at dawn.
  • Dress: Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
  • DEET: When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET are recommended. Check labels before using a product on infants and children. If an infant is too young to wear repellent and must be outdoors, a parent should place mosquito netting over the infant’s carrier. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options for individuals who cannot wear DEET.
  • Drainage: Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Elimination of breeding sites is one of the keys to prevention.
  • Screens: Make sure window and door screens are in good condition, without any tears or holes that allow mosquitoes to enter your home. Place screens on open windows.


Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites

  • Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
  • Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain.
  • Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
  • Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
  • Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water.
  • Pump out bilges on boats.
  • Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
  • Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
  • Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.


What is West Nile Virus?

West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness – about one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.

The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Mild Symptoms in Some: Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

No Symptoms in Most People: Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

# # #

Source: Escabia County Health Department Web Site - Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 8, 2008
Media Contact: Molly Payne-Hardin Escambia County Health Department Phone: 850-595-6410

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hurricane Ike

The one thing I hate about hurricanes is the waiting and guessing of where the storm will hit.

As I type this, Hurricane Ike is aiming for the Gulf of Mexico and at least one hurricane projection has Pensacola as part of the affected area.


Friends or Clients?

I was looking through my emails and something dawned on me. There are people that I know that only contact me when they have computer problems.

These people refer to themselves as my friends but to be honest, I realize that I don't really know them that well. Honestly, I can't really consider these people friends because I really don't know them that well. I'd say they're more like acquaintances.

They tend to drop off the radar for long periods of time and out-of-the-blue they email me for help with their computer. It usually turns out they've been carelessly surfing the Web without protection and that their lack of discretion has led them to contract some nasty online virus.

Most of the time, I end up helping these poor saps. I try not to be judgemental, but it does make me wonder who are my true friends and which ones are those who just want me to fix their computer. I guess this is the curse of being a techie.

Utterz Everywhere

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Here's a pic of my work desk with Utterz on the screens. Yes, I use that many computers at work.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

No Phone Pics on Utterz

I'm really bummed that Utterz can't receive the picture messages from my cell phone. I would have thought that with the new improvements to Utterz that they would have found a way to make it work.

What makes me feel even more bad is that Tumblr has no problems receiving my picture messages. Now, I consider Utterz to be far better and useful than Tumblr since it can serve as a hub to my other blogs and feeds, but if the hub can't deliver my pictures to the intended destination then the hub becomes less valuable.

At the moment, I'm directly emailing my pictures to my Tumblog to get it auto-posted online. It would have been nice to be able to package my pictures with the audio and text features of Utterz, but I guess I will have to wait until the next revisions to the service.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Best Buy Express

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I truly believe there is a God. Only a wise and omnipotent being would allow such a thing of beauty to exists. If only they were everywhere like soda pop vending machines! (This pic was taken inside the Dallas Airport by my friend Cristin who was on her way back from her vacation in California.)

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Don LaFontaine: The Voice of Movie Trailer Dies



Don LaFontaine, the man who popularized the catch phrase "In a world where..." and lent his voice to thousands of movie trailers, has died. He was 68. LaFontaine died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from complications in the treatment of an ongoing illness, said Vanessa Gilbert, his agent. LaFontaine made more than 5,000 trailers in his 33-year career while working for the top studios and television networks. Click here to read the full AP article.

Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, and other nasty weather

Pensacola, Florida lucked out on Gustave, but the high storm activity in the Atlantic may mean that it's only a matter of time before we have storm barreling right at us. We locals needs to be diligent at keeping an eye at what is happening out there and be prepared when the inevitable does happen.

If you're new to the area and are not familiar with dealing with hurricanes, I recommend that you read BeReadyEscambia.com. It is a web site created by the Escambia Department of Public Safety to educate and inform residents about what to do before and during a hurricane. For those who are long time locals and hurricane survivors, it would not hurt to look over the site and refamiliarize yourself with some of the information on the site.

As I look out my office window, I realize that Gustave is still lingering as the grey clouds swirl in the sky. As of this post, several flood warnings are still in effect for the area. Possibility of tornados and heavy winds are also still present.

So, if you have to be out there, drive safe and be patient. Keep in mind that we have some extra out-of-towners in the area who took refuge from Gustave. They might not be familiar with the area and might be prone to driving a little eratically.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Latest from Escambia EOC

The lastest from the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center

Shelters
  • East Brent Baptist Church, located at 4801 North Davis Highway, in Pensacola is open for local residents and as a host shelter for travelers. Nurses are available for special needs clients. No advance registration required.
Current Shelter population – 155 (total)
  • 42 local residents – 113 out of town
  • 1 special needs patient with 2 caregivers
The following shelters are open along the Florida 1-10 corridor east of Pensacola:

Jackson County:
  • Blue Springs Baptist Conference Center, 2650 Lakeshore Drive, Marianna.
  • Jackson County Ag Center, 3631 U.S. 90, Marianna
Leon County:
  • First Baptist Church of Woodville, 9500 Woodville Highway, Tallahassee
  • First Church of the Nazarene, 1983 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee
  • Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 211 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee
Walton County:
  • First Baptist Church of Defuniak Springs, 210 East Live Oak Avenue, Defuniak Springs
Okaloosa County:
  • Shalimar Methodist Church, 1 Old Ferry Road, Shalimar
Santa Rosa County:
  • Milton Community Center, 5689 Byrom St., Milton

Power Outages
  • Gulf Power as of 10 a.m. is reporting 3,406 customers without power in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties; 2,765 in Escambia, 641 Santa Rosa.
  • In Okaloosa County, 506 people are without power; Bay County, 37; Washington County, 22.
  • Crews will begin working to bring the power back on as soon as conditions improve. Lynn Erickson, company spokeswoman, said crews cannot be in bucket trucks until the winds die down below 35 mph, but in areas where the interruptions, don't require crews to work in the air, work is under way to repairs.
  • Report power outages to (800) GU-POWER.
Lodging and Pet Kennel Availability:
  • The Pensacola Visitor Information Center is providing an up-to-date list of available lodging and pet kennels. Call (850) 434-1234 during business hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Transportation
  • Pensacola Regional Airport is currently open. Please contact your airline directly for flight availability on both returns and departures.
  • ECAT services are suspended Monday for Labor Day.
Utilities
  • ECUA will not have trash pickup today due to Labor Day. Customers scheduled for today pickup will be serviced on Tuesday. Customers scheduled for Tuesday pickup will be serviced on Wednesday.
Schools
  • UWF and Escambia County schools are scheduled to be open on Tuesday.
  • UWF students in affected areas who may be delayed in returning to campus Tuesday should contact the Division of Student Affairs at (850) 474-2214 or e-mail StudentAffairs@uwf.edu.
Beaches
  • Extremely rough surf conditions exist at the beaches. Red flag conditions at both beaches prohibit swimming in the gulf until further notice. People are reminded to stay out of the water.
  • Trolley Service on Pensacola Beach has been suspended until further notice.
Additional Information
The Emergency Operations Center remains at partial activation.

Latest from Santa Rosa EOC

In Santa Rosa County, emergency management officials have issued the following information:
  • As a precautionary measure, a voluntary evacuation of campers, mobile homes and Navarre Beach was issued at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.

INFO
  • The citizen information line is activated until further notice. The number is 983- INFO/4636 or (800) 225-7421. Call volume has been high throughout the day.

ROADS AND DAMAGE
  • Emergency management staff will monitor river levels, but no flooding is expected.
  • Standing water on Gulf Boulevard on Navarre Beach near South Carolina Street has been reported.
  • The eastern section of Madura Road in Tiger Point and the adjacent cul-de-sacs. The stormwater lift station has been turned off until the storm surge subsides.
  • Minor damage was reported from a possible tornado on Ceylon Drive in Midway.
  • A family needed assistance leaving their home on Andrew Jackson Drive in Floridatown due to storm surge.
  • Minor beach erosion has been reported at Navarre Beach.
SHELTER
  • At the Red Cross shelter at the Milton Community Center, 5629 Byrom St., there were 110 people, including nine staffers, 60 Santa Rosa residents and 34 evacuees.
  • As of Sunday night, 36 rooms of 576 hotel rooms in Santa Rosa are estimated to be unoccupied. Evacuees represent an estimated 95 percent of that occupancy.
  • Evacuees seeking accommodations can visit www.floridabeachestorivers.com

FIND AN EVACUEE
  • FEMA –Hurricane Gustav Evacuee Locator Service; call (800) 588-9822 or visit www.fema.gov.
POWER:
  • Escambia River Electric Cooperative, Inc. is experiencing very few scattered outages in northern Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida. Crews have been able to quickly restore the isolated outages. EREC will continue to monitor the storm closely and respond accordingly
City of Gulf Breeze
  • The City of Gulf Breeze has established an e-mail list to provide community and emergency information to residents.

    • Sign up at the City’s website: www.cityofgulfbreeze.com and follow the link under “Emails from the City” on the front page.

Official County Storm Information: www.santarosa.fl.gov