So what are we going to do about the property insurance situation in Florida? I've had a major commercial real estate deal fall through because the buyer couldn't get insurance on the building. Florida is the main problem, but the whole Gulf Coast and California are affected as well.
Yes, insurance companies overall have been enjoying good earnings, but not here. Now they want to leave, and it isn't just an idle threat. If they do leave, then what? Do mortgage holders start calling loans? If they do, and get back the properties, then what do they do?
I'd like to see some serious discussion of this by free marketeers -- that's where the solution lies, but I just don't know enough about the property casualty industry to have any good specific ideas.
... Pedro The Happy Carpenter, do soberly affirm to try my goshdarndest to NOT do any hurricane blogging this year. I mean, crap, there's one aimed right at my dock this minute and do you care? You do NOT, except for my Mom who reads this blog every day and it's a good thing she does 'cause without her it would probably become loaded down with all kinds of dirty jokes (only the good ones though). If you're interested in where the storms are headed, you can find out faster and better at plenty of other sites. Me, I'm taking a vacation from hurricane preparedness in the sweet security of knowing FEMA is there for me and has already printed my $2,000 VISA card and besides, any storm that's going to do more damage than my $15,000 deductible is going to blow right past any plywood or sandbags I put up - that's why I pay for it. Well, actually I'm forced to pay for it by law and by my mortgagor, but you know what I mean.
SCREW hurricanes, I hates them, I hates them I do. FILTHY hurricanes.
Surprisingly good for web traffic, however. I don't know why, but they are. So maybe I'll reconsider my self-imposed ban.
OH! Almost forgot. I was thinking, "What do I have against Alberto?" Nothing, so why name destructive storms after perfectly nice people. This storm's perfect name is obvious: Abdul etc. Zarqawi. All the storms should be given Arab and Persian names until the WOT is over.
From John in San Francisco, fellow carpenter blogger, who writes some advice for earthquake season, equally applicable to us here in Florida:
...Burt Benrud, vice president of New Orleans' renowned Café du Monde who was on hand at the small business celebration, said he did not know to try text messaging when his family evacuated to Alabama, but luckily the teenagers in the group did.
"Everybody had a cell phone, but all of the circuits were busy," said Benrud. "It was the members of our fourth generation who figured out they could text message each other."
A text message takes up less room on the network and is more likely to get through,” said Joe Farren, Director of Public Affairs for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, “The text message is the best way to communicate in an emergency....
Sorry to bore you youngsters, but us old luddites need a little help sometimes.
Regarding the risk of flooding, one resident [of New Orleans] said, "We've been living with this risk all our lives so it's really a non-issue."
How's that again? Do you mean the next time you're flooded out you won't complain or demand money from the rest of us to make up for your stupidly risky choice to live 18' below sea level in a coastal city subject to tropical storms? A non-issue for you maybe, not for us.
Then there's this gem:
... And as the charrette process geared up last week, one zoning consultant and former New Orleans city planner, Pat Fretwell, said Duany's team is tackling complex issues that typically require months of hard work by local planners.
So a bureaucrat named "Fretwell" is, well, FRETTING that the job of rebuilding his city is being done too fast. You can't make this sh** up, folks.
Instead of an ugly white trailer, build something nice for about the same price. Hey, it's just crazy enough to work.
Instead of something that will be thrown away after a year or two, build something that can be a permanent part of the rebuilt landscape. By siting the cute little cottage intelligently, you can keep it as a studio, rental, mother-in-law's, office, whatever. Or you could just sell it; it's nice enough and transportable enough that there would always be demand.
Louisiana needs to get with them ol' boys in Mississippi.
From Charlie at The Officers Club, who served in Task Force Katrina (thank you for your service, Charlie), I learned that:
My Way News -- ... Three days after the storm, Blanco wrote Bush asking that the 256th Louisiana National Guard Brigade be sent home from Iraq to help....
Guard and Reserve troops from all over the country poured into the Gulf Coast region within days of the disaster. In Louisiana, the absence of 3,000 troops should not have been detrimental to the Guard’s disaster relief efforts- they had units like the Area Support Group for local coordination, and Engineers, Medical, Maintenance, and Aviation (the units that did the real heavy lifting like construction and water purification).... Why task troops 3000 miles away to do a job troops 300 miles away can do? (emphasis added).
Three days after the storm, Democrat governor Blanco (I know 'Blanco' means 'white' en Espanol, but it sure is conveniently close to 'blank-0, is it not?) was more interested in zinging the President and the war effort than in getting help for her own people. Amazing. What the hell is wrong with those people?
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.