ON this Day: ‘ Recollections of Riding Out a Natural Once in a Century Disaster ‘

Three years ago today l was to experience the most life changing event – surviving Hurricane Sandy. This is my story and recollections of what occurred on that day in 2012.

The water appears suddenly where the walls and floor meet. You look and see about two inches of cold salt water. Then instantly another three feet of water is inside the house.

Everything upend’s and is floating. A thud, followed by a second thud, as the front and rear doors of the house are opened, locks are man’s devices of foolishness, and everything that you own in life is swept from the house as tide and current are now in command of you and the house. It is only the beginning of a ten-hour storm.

My storm, lasted three-and-a half days, and Superstorm Sandy was met by a Nor’Easter. The water turned icy cold. Ten-and-a-half feet above the flood tide mark, about one foot under the roof sofit. You float and try to stand while current pushes you around like a rag doll in a child’s hand vigorously shaking you.

It taught me what torpedoed sailors felt like in the vortex of a dying ship in the cold waters. My tethered boat with survival gear awaiting for my decision to abandon should the roof crack and dislodge, rope safety lines to follow as my upper body strength is great, but my decision was to ride it out, my preparations and words were given to my wife who did very well.

My dog-tags around my neck: 

Identification and next of kin written and placed under the insole of my boot. My name and data written on my skin but that too was taken away by the sea. When the storm was in the calm eye, I locate a semi-floating bottle of Cabernet and I grasp two long-stem wine glasses and pour the wine. Looking at the full moon and black ocean around, my wife says that I am crazy, but few enjoy a good glass of wine under such circumstances.

In my family, I am the only one, born during a hurricane, and it remains with me to be my guide and strength. Then the eye closes and the reverse winds are here, along with another rise in tide and current, inside of what is left of my home, a lifetime of work, given to the sea, and I am forged as steel with renewed strength. Weaker hurricanes we have seen, and had my grandsons with us to teach them and toughen them to life on the oceanfront, but the greater storms such as Sandy, was an obligation to something inside of us to ride out, as we who live at the edge of the sea, do not run. It is not in our character.

Post Script:

As a postscript, most people do not have any idea of the impact, nor the fact that we were without natural gas for weeks, and electric service, fortunately, I threw the main circuit breaker early and saved my wiring. Electric crews (from Maryland) restored power the day after Thanksgiving, on November 23, 2012, as our street was one of the last and final streets without power due to the extent of damage caused to overhead electrical cables. Since the event.., locally, many people view me, as a sort of “Robert Shaw – JAWS” type of character.
“Ian, put up another barrel.” 😉

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​ The Baltic: The Land Of Wonder

I am writing my series on the world’s regions that could be the next fire point and helping people understand just why it is so…….

When Russia started flexing its muscle in Ukraine…..the US ran to prop up the governments of Poland the Baltic as a counter to the Russian Bear…..US poured arms and cash into the region…..and even had some "war games" with the different governments in a show of strength……

The Russians moved some long range missiles into the region but on Russian soil….and the world panicked…….the US swiftly started pour resources and assets into the Baltic…….again……..as a counter.

And I wonder (hence the word used in the title) just what is so important about the Baltic region……the map reference will illustrate why……its proximity to Russia soil is the best answer…..

A further explanation from the World Affairs Journal…….

Source: The Baltic Defense Bubble | World Affairs Journal

In their haste has anyone in Washington asked…….. why the panic?

I mean the movement of assets around the country is nothing new…..the Russians have been doing this since the 1960’s….and yes we moved assets around also….again as a counter (there is that word again)…..

This whole scenario is starting to look like a game of chess or worse……. a game of Risk………

A journalist notes that the area is being "increasingly squeezed by Russian hardware," from "thousands of Russian troops and advanced weapons" from the west in Kaliningrad, and from the east via a large Russian airbase in Belarus (which, it now appears, may not even be built).

Pointing ambiguously to "an increasingly assertive Russia making land grabs in Ukraine [where?] and on the Black Sea [what?]" and to "menacing overflights of the Baltic Sea," the journalist emphasizes that "for Western military planners, ensuring access to the three Baltic states inside NATO is fundamental to any forward response to Russian aggression."

I am sorry but all this sounds like a contest of who has the biggest wanker….instead of preparing for war why not wipe it out and throw it on a table and just compare the sizes?

This is starting to sound like a ploy to inflate the defense budget when the vote comes….you know…the more adversaries we have…the more cash we will need….then Obama did what he promised……

As promised by the White House, President Obama has vetoed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the $612 billion annual military funding bill. The argument centers around the bill’s use of Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) budget to bypass spending caps on domestic programs.

The House passed the NDAA 270-156, well short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto, and while there is likely to be some heavily politicking over the vote there, the recent failed battle to override a veto on blocking the Iran nuclear deal may have lobbyists a bit more gun-shy than usual about the matter.

Republicans had been threatening retaliation for the veto as well, with Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) vowing to block all civilian defense appointments through the rest of his term in office to punish Obama for the veto. For now, efforts to revise the bill are probably on hold in favor of efforts to must an override support.

Is this a new game in town…..fighting over military spending?

Will be interesting to see who wins this political game……..

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