Category Archives: Stan Eugene Paregien Jr

Issue 369 – Trouble in Florida

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The Paregien Journal     –     Issue 369     –     Nov. 10, 2017

Trouble in Florida

Yes, friends, Florida is a wonderful place to live. Its name even conjures up the good life: the Spanish word “florida” means “land of flowers.” And so it is. Plus the land of perpetual sunshine and gentle, warm surf. Ah, yes, the good life. 

Only Hawaii and Florida among the U.S. states have truly tropical climates. That is a tremendous draw for tourists from other states and around the world to visit Florida. Florida is the 3rd most populous state in the Union and is the 8th most densely populated state. As of July 1, 2015, our resident population stood at a whopping 20 million well-suntanned folks and a few sunburned ones. The bean counters say that was nearly an 8% increase just in five years (since the Census of 2010). And newcomers keep pouring in, a fact which keeps the pressure on increasing real estate prices.

Of course, we do have a few wee issues such as (1) we are the lightning capital of the United States; (3) we are usually hit by at least one significant hurricane during the season which runs from June 1 to November 30); and (3) if you include waterspouts (actually tornadic winds over a body of water), then we also are the tornado capital of the United States (no, we don’t get much press because our dinky tornadoes very seldom come close to the F5 monsters in Oklahoma and other southwest and midwest states).

 

Oh, and there is one other increasingly bothersome issue.  We have 1,350 miles of coastline with about half on the Gulf of Mexico to our west and half on the Atlantic Ocean to our east. Way back in pre-historical times, Florida was not just surrounded by water it was mostly underwater. Not so surprisingly, then, today most of Florida is at or very near sea level.

Ah, yes, and there is the really big rub.

Our local yellow sheet, the Bradenton (Florida) Herald, has this bold front-page headline this morning: “Rising seas could cost area $25.4 billion in homes.”

The rub, you see, is climate change and rising sea levels are already causing major problems in many cities in Florida (Miami, Tampa, Anna Maria Island, etc.). And a new study by the folks at Zillow.com (the real estate search engine folks) — based on the data released by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration —  warns that the following 10 cities nationwide will be in a catastrophic world of hurt within 100 years (that means being swamped by an additional 6 feet of water):

  1.  Miami, Florida
  2. New York City, NY
  3. Tampa, FL
  4. Fort Myers, FL
  5. Boston, Mass.
  6. Upper Township, New Jersey
  7.  Salisbury, Maryland
  8. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  9. Bradenton, FL  (yep, right here in Paradise)
  10. Naples, FL

 

Do you see a pattern here? Five of the ten listed cities are in Florida. Yikes.

Florida -- climate change - 'Visit While you Still Can'

More specifically, the study warned that the 15 or so cities and towns from the Bradenton area down to North Port could have more than $25 Billion in damages to our homes by the year 2100. Bradenton and beautiful Siesta Key would each have over 5,000 homes destroyed or heavily damaged.  

Because of that, I just won’t hang around for 100 years. I’m reminded of a joke about a scientist who was lecturing about how some distant planet would hit and destroy Mother Earth in 2,400,000 years. Some redneck in the audience widely raised his hand and asked the professor to repeat the timeline. “Yes, sir. Approximately 2,400,000 years.” And ol’ Bubba said, wiping his brow, “Oh, gee, I’m glad you cleared that up. I thought you said only 2,300,000 years.”

Put it in your “Facts to Remember” file.

Try a Little Kindness

2016--97--11 'Smile and Wave' - Bradenton Herald - Part 1 of 2

2016--97--11 'Smile and Wave' - Bradenton Herald - Part 2 of 2

A Last Word on Hurricane Irma

2017--11--08 House Prices Still Increasing in Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Aging -- Florida -- rooster saying, 'The older we got the less we care'

Amen, Brother!

Share this with your friends who just can’t wait for deer hunting season to start.

Animals - deer - hunting -- CLOSE TO HOME cartoon 2017-11-08

Smile . . . And Be Happy

Bradenton, FL -- 14th Happiest City in USA - 2017-10-25

[Bradenton, Florida named one of America’s happiest cities]

Florida -- we live where you vacation

 

2017--11--08 Waterloo, IL -- Stan Paregien Jr's 1937 Oldsmobile

[photo of Stan Paregien Jr.’s 1937 Oldsmobile in Waterloo, IL on Nov. 8, 2017]

2017--10--02 01 Scott AFB, Belleville, IL - Lt Col Stan Paregien and new recruit

Lt. Col. Stan Paregien Jr. helps induct a law enforcement officer into the Air Force Reserves. Scott AF Base in Belleville, IL.

2017--10--04 01 Peggy Paregien and Allie - Bradenton, FL

Some people and some pets have it rough . . . and some, like Queen Allie, above,

do not. Peggy bought this “doggie stroller” a while back.

2017--10--13 01 Palmetto, FL - Bob and Jean L'Hullier with Peggy & Stan Paregien on Peg's birthday

Stan & Peggy Paregien (right) with neighbors and friends Bob and Jean L’Hullier in Palmetto, Florida at a riverside restaurant in October.

2017--10--28 07 Bradenton, FL - Peggy Paregien at the Halloween party at Plantation MHP - by Stan Paregien

[Peggy Paregien in photo on Halloween]

One reason why I keep posting items on this account is because I enjoy reading the statistics on who is visiting my blog. Please understand, I don’t really get t-h-a-t many visitors per day. But, boy, I do get a variety. Just in the last two weeks, people from these nations have stopped by:  the United States, Germany, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Philippines, Latvia, Russia, Norway, China, Switzerland and Netherlands.

Pretty neat, huh? Welcome to all of my long-distance readers and . . . I hope . . . friends. Please stop by again, real soon.

Until next time,

Stan

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Issue 364 – Fleeing Hurricane Irma, Part 3

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The Paregien Journal    —    Issue 364    —    September 21, 2017

Fleeing Hurricane Irma, Part 3 of 3

[See Parts 1 and 2 for earlier portions of the story of our evacuation from Bradenton, Florida due to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irma.]

On Thursday, Sept. 14th, we made a mad dash from our motel in Lexington, Kentucky about 20 miles west to visit Frankfort, Kentucky. That is where the state’s capital is, plus that is where the grave of he one-of-a-kind American hero Daniel Boone is buried. The first place we went was to the final resting place of Daniel Boone and his beloved wife Rebecca. A tall, impressively carved marker stands in the beautiful and historic cemetery across the Kentucky River on a bluff which looks out upon the State Capital.

2017--09--14 06--D Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien

2017--09--14 06--A Frankfort, KY - grave stone of Daniel Boone -2017--09--14 06--B Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien2017--09--14 06--C Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien2017--09--14 06--F Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien2017--09--14 06--G Frankfort, KY - grave of Daniel Boone - by Stan Paregien2017--09--14 06--H Frankfort, KY - grave of Daniel Boone - by Stan Paregien2017--09--14 06--J Frankfort, KY - grave of Daniel Boone - by Stan Paregien2017--09--14 07--A Frankfort, KY - State Capital Building - by Sttan Paregien2017--09--14 07--B Frankfort, KY - State Capital Building - by Sttan Paregien2017--09--14 07--C Frankfort, KY - Ky Historical Society Bldg Quote from Happy Chandler - by Sttan Paregien2017--09--14 07--D Frankfort, KY - First Baptist Church building - by Sttan Paregien

Then we drove up to Williamstown, Kentucky. Never got to see the town itself. But we saw what draws many hundreds of people every day to the edge of town. Just off I-75 is an attraction named “Ark Encounter.” A bunch of some bodies invested a ton of money in this project. Taking the actual dimensions given in the Old Testament of Noah’s Ark, they built a 510 foot arch, with a ground floor devoted to a huge gift shop, some meeting room, etc. Then the ark itself — with all the birds and beasts and such all arranged two by two — takes up three full floors. We walked ourselves silly and were amazed by all of the displays and exhibits. We probably spent three hours or so there.

However, if you’re a serious student of the Bible and/or archeology and such, you really ought to buy a two-day pass. Then pace yourself by maybe spending two hours there on the first morning and after lunch another two hours. Same thing for the second day. My bet is you won’t even be able to see it all even then. It is H-U-G-E, as a car dealer in the Tampa area likes to shout in his commercials.

2017--09--14 11 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 12 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 13 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 14 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 15 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 16--A Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - by Peg Paregien2017--09--14 16--B Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Stan and Peg Paregien2017--09--14 16--C Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 17 Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 18--A Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 18--B Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 18--C Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien

After seeing the Ark Encounter, we had planned on driving on up to Indianapolis to visit Peggy’s eldest sister, Mrs. Charlotte Allen Richardson and her husband Bill. We thought we might spent a couple of nights there, then wander west to our son’s house near St. Louis for the duration of our evacuation from Florida. That is, we did not want to start back until we were sure we had our electricity back on and that food and gas supplies were adequate.

However, about then we got a call from a neighbor back home in Bradenton. She gave us the exciting news that our electricity had been restored (it had been off since last Sunday night). And she said it looked like our house had only very minor damages.

Hallelujah! Those were the words we were waiting to hear. We did a quick u-turn and headed back to Florida. However, I did not want to drive down I-75 again. So we went slightly west toward Nashville and I-65. We spent Thursday night in a very busy, small town named Franklin, Kentucky, right on I-65. We had perhaps the best night of sleep since we had been forced out of our home by Hurricane Irma.

On Friday, Sept. 15th, we left Franklin, Kentucky about 8:30 pm and drove through some patches of fog on the way down to Nashville. Getting through congested “Music City” was no easy task, but I guess it did prepare us for what was coming next.

After actually looking at a map and seeing that the lower part of I-65 took us way west toward Mississippi, we decided to boogie back over to Chattanooga and join back up with . . . yep, . . . I-75. There is some major road construction going on in Chattanooga, so it was stop and go all the way.

When we got to I-75. the pace of the hordes of southbound traffic moved along pretty well for the most part. That is, until we got to Hell. Yeah, you know — Hell, Georgia. Oh, okay, you may know it better as Atlanta. But I’m here to tell you that driving through Atlanta from 2:15 pm to 5:30 pm is as close as I want to get to hell.

2017--09--15 10 Atlanta, GA -- hell on wheels - by Peg Paregien

2017--09--15 11 Atlanta, GA -- hell on wheels - by Peg Paregien

There were six lanes of traffic going each direction, but it all was going at the speed of a senior citizen snail. It was bad. No it was downright awful. I have driven in a lot of big cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Montgomery, Indianapolis, Columbus, and more. But I ain’t never in all my born days driven in anything that could compare to the helter-skelter of Atlanta. I came away from that white-knuckle experience crying, “No mas! No more! Never again!” Or to paraphrase the great Chief Joseph of Idaho’s Nez Pierce tribe who finally admitted defeat at the hands of the U.S. Army. He said, “As long as the grass grows and the water flows, I will fight no more forever.” And I said as I exited Atlanta, “As long as I am half-way sane, I will drive no more forever in Atlanta.” Amen and Amen!

We were physically and emotionally exhausted when we finally got to our . . . eh, well . . . 3rd rate motel in Macon, Georgia. After a few $160 per night hotels we just had to take something cheaper. It turned out to be okay. Certainly nothing fancy about the room, and the continental breakfast the next morning left much to be desired. But it was a bed and the room was air-conditioned . . . and they allowed pets. 

We set our alarm for 5:30 am on Saturday, Sept. 16th. And we hit the blacktop on I-75 at 6:40 am. We were going home. Nothing quite like that feeling after so many one-or-two night stands. There were pockets of very heavy traffic, especially about 11 am at all six exits or so to Gainesville. We wondered why the heck the traffic was backed up so far. And, bingo, we remember that the University of Florida “Gators” had a home football game that afternoon.

Amazingly, we managed to average about 66 mph on Saturday’s travel. We drove into our driveway about 2:00 pm.

2017--07--17 03 Cartoon - even anti-government folks ask for help after a disaster

2017--09--17 01 Bradenton, FL - Cartoon - linemen were heroes

2017--09--17 02 Bradenton, FL - home damaged - by Peggy Paregien

2017--09--19 01 Bradenton, FL - tree damage - by Stan Paregien

2017--09--19 02 Bradenton, FL - tree damage - by Stan Paregien

Yes, we did see a lot of trees down along the roads, all the way from central Georgia to Bradenton. And some of the residents in our 55+ community had some significant damage, with maybe 25 families still without electricity. Florida’s sauna-like summer heat and humidity are terrible for anyone without air conditioning, but it is especially hard on young children and on seniors. But, all in all, we were thankful the hurricane had not made a direct landing here.

Be it ever so humble, it is always a good feeling to get back home. And it is especially wonderful when the house that you half-way expected to lose in a massive storm surge of water is still in tact. Thank you, Lord.

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