Sunday, July 31, 2005

If there is a will there is a way

Everyday household products or customary over the counter drugs, are being used as ways of getting high and can be lethal.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant. Found in over the counter tablets and capsules. It is used to treat congestion associated with allergies, hay fever, sinus irritation, and the common cold. Pseudo-ephedrine is used as a key ingredient needed for the production of the illicit drug methamphetamine, also known as Crystal meth.

The abuse of inhalants is widespread across the United States; however, it may be underreported because law enforcement officials and healthcare providers are often unfamiliar with the signs of inhalant abuse. Abusers, primarily adolescents, inhale chemical vapors from a variety of substances, many of which are common household products. These young people abuse inhalants in order to obtain a euphoric effect and are often unaware of the potential risks, which include brain damage and death. Some adults also abuse inhalants, particularly nitrites. Adult abusers often inhale substances in order to enhance their sexual experiences. Inhalants are the fourth most abused substances in the United States among eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders; alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana are the top three.

Non-prescription medications containing various forms of DXM found in various over the counter cold medications, (includes medicines used for cough, cold and flu) acts as a disassociative. This means that it disassociates your mind from your body, and the rest of your physical setting.

Nutmeg can cause a trip that lasts anywhere from 20 hours to almost 2 days.

There have been many affirmations from those that have overdosed (lucky enough to have lived) that say their lives are ruined forever. Any one of these products can cause death if misused. I cannot personally corroborate the truths to any of the above information, and do not personally know anyone who has participated in this type of activity. This is information that I read on the internet and have seen in previously reported news specials. I do not condone the misuse of any of these products. I am simply pointing out, that according to what I have read or seen on the news, these “household items” are dangerous or even lethal if used improperly. I am shocked that people will go to these lengths to get high. I guess just like anything, if there is a will there is a way. In my opinion, it is just not worth the risk. Since the increase of consumers buying the decongestant Pseudoephedrine for the use in making Crystal meth, the pharmacies are now putting all of those medications behind the counter and making people sign for them. I guess you can say they are not "over the counter" any longer. Does that mean they will be putting all of the cough syrups, cleaning solutions, paint and SPICES behind the counter now? Nutmeg? How do people ever figure this out? I just can’t picture the first person saying, “Hey, lets eat a bunch of this spice so maybe we can trip”!

Friday, July 29, 2005

A little too edgy for some

There is a new teen movement called Straight EDGE (well at least, I have just heard of it). In some areas, they are getting a bad rap, as they are being called a gang. I saw this on the news and it seemed interesting. To look at them, you might be surprised at what their philosophy is. The original definition of straight-edge included the rejection of mind-altering substances and promiscuous sex, modern interpretations include a vegetarian (or vegan) diet and an increasing involvement and awareness of environmental and political issues. Straight-edge grew out of the punk rock/hardcore scene and so music plays an important role. The attitude between straight-edge and the rest of the world often took on adversarial tones becoming "The positive youth crew versus people who drink, smoke and/or do drugs." Many people dislike straight-edge and its adherents because of such intolerant views. The girl from this movement that I watched on TV said they are definitely a nonviolent movement. Increasingly disenchanted with societal ills, young men and women adopt the straight-edge doctrine as a guide to better themselves and their surrounding environment. While its critics seem to focus more on them as fashion victims, few can argue that the philosophy is still valid. The drug-free lifestyle has left its positive impact and the movement is spreading worldwide.
This is an example of people judging the book by the cover. If they are nonviolent and aim to better themselves and the environment around them, then what can be wrong with it, as long as no one gets hurt in the process?

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I have noticed it more and more as time goes on. People are “sue-happy”. If there is one irregularity in a normal routine, or the least little thing that someone may say or do, people are willing to sue. I really cannot comprehend it. Sometimes people will even commit fraud in order to gain from someone else, if they see an opportunity to do so. Take for example, not too long ago there was a portion of a human finger that a woman says she found while eating a bowl of chili at Wendys restaurant in San Jose, California. San Jose Police Chief told the media that his department conducted a "CSI-like" investigation into how the human fingertip could have ended up in the chili. The probe involved an "ingredient trace back investigation" to see if the finger entered the chili somewhere in the food production, but determined that the woman suing was involved in the incident. How could anyone do something like that. This had tremendous repercussion for Wendys. Wendy's says that since the incident was reported, sales dropped off at franchises in Northern California, forcing layoffs and reduced hours in some locations. Then there was the time at the seafood restaurant chain McCormick & Schmick's where a lawsuit was brought by a California woman who said she suffered severe emotional distress after she discovered a condom in her clam chowder. A woman and three companions sent their soup back to the kitchen to be reheated while dining at the Irvine, California, restaurant. The woman said she was treated rudely by the waiter, and when she began eating the soup she encountered a chewy, rubbery object that she first thought was calamari or shrimp. She spit the offending object into her napkin and discovered it was a rolled up condom. Then she said, 'Oh my god' and ran into the bathroom with another friend of her’s and I started throwing up. The restaurant chain launched an investigation but had no idea how the condom got into her soup. The settlement was reached the day the restaurant was to go to trial. The settlement terms were confidential. Do you really think it happened that way? It makes me skeptical, as so many people see an opportunity and run with it…..all the way to the bank! My point is that I find it disgusting that so many people are willing to do what ever it takes to get over on someone. That is the reason so many Obstetricians have changed their practice to Gynecology alone. Their malpractice insurance is one of the highest in the medical field. I guess it just wasn’t worth it for so many of them. Anyway, I just think people should have more integrity and morals, and not be willing to sue at the drop of a hat.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Where are the parents?

I was wondering about parent-child interaction these days. So much of a child's behavior depends on the interaction they have with their parent(s). It seems logical that if a parent spends a lot of time with a small child, interacting, teaching, punishing (if necessary), then a child will act better and be smarter. There are social skills to think of as well. How does a child act in public, and around others? I have personally witnessed, and I am sure most of you have too, that more and more, parents seem to ignore their child(ren). The other night, my boyfriend and I went to a nice restaurant. We were seated near a couple that had two small children (elementary school age). The children were not loud, but were running around, which was quite distracting. I looked over to see what the parents were doing........talking to each other. They were completely oblivious to their children's actions. Then I noticed something else, which I could not believe. My boyfriend and I were in amazement from what we saw at another table just a few feet away. There sat a dad, mom and two small children (preschool and toddler). The parents were apparently enjoying their meals, while the toddler (not buckled in the high chair) kept standing up and sitting on the edge of the chair...over and over. I just felt sure he was going to fall out. The little girl sat there nice and quietly...."here it is....." in front of a DVD player sitting on the table in front of her. We couldn't believe it! They certainly found a good babysitter for the little girl. What ever happened to having the children sit still, eat dinner and be interactive with "the family"? Seriously, if you are going to take the children out to dinner with you, they should know how to behave. Can you imagine the social skills that little girl will have as she gets older. I mean, if she is sitting in front of a DVD player in a restaurant, you can only imagine that she must get the same baby sitter at home. This brought back memories to my boyfriend and me from when we were on vacation not too long ago. We were sitting by the pool at a resort, eating lunch. We were watching this little boy. He had a shirt, long shorts type of swim suit, water shoes and a hat. The hat was a fitted canvas hat that had two flaps to cover his ears and a brim in the front and back. (Funniest looking cap I had ever seen). Then to top it off, he had enough floatation devices wrapped around his body and arms that it would keep the Titanic afloat! Oh my goodness, I felt so sorry for the little boy. Then we looked for his parents. Guess where they were? The father was asleep (sunbathing) and the mom was deeply involved with her paperback novel. We couldn't believe it. They were using all of the clothing and "floaties" to baby-sit him. I am sorry, that is bordering on child abuse. He obviously wasn't getting any attention from his parents. Makes you wonder what goes on at these people's homes. I think I wouldn't care to know, it would probably upset me. Anyway, I just think it wouldn't hurt to spend a little more time with your children. They look up to parents for guidance and need it! How else are they supposed to learn? They can only learn what they are taught.

Monday, July 25, 2005

I just don't get it

Gosh, I just don't understand! Today's society, people are wanting to live longer and look younger at any cost. I just read an article about Botox. A girl had a friend that had the underarm Botox injections to help with a perspiration problem. Because the treatment was so successful, the girl thought it would be the perfect solution to her problem - which was similar in nature, but different in location (super-sensitive spot where most women would outlaw needles). WHAT? They have got to be kidding! The Botox treatments work on any part of the body where there are sweat glands. Come on, that is really scary. I cannot even believe that people are willing to inject that stuff into their faces, let alone "other places"! Do you know where Botox came from? Botox is Botulinum toxin which can heal as well as harm. The bacterial toxin can paralyze and kill if consumed in contaminated food is now safely used, in a purified form, as a medicine to control certain conditions marked by involuntary muscle contractions. This is Botulism! This has become such a craze that people have "Botox parties". This is when a doctor comes to a gathering at someone's home and gives injections to the guests of the party. Ok, so they say it is safe. What do they know about this stuff as far as 20 years from now? How do they know your face (or other body part) won't just fall off or something? Besides, the effects of the injections only last temporarily (about 6 months). Then they have to do it all over again. Ouch, hurt, yuck! I just cannot believe that people are willing to first of all put a needle in their face (or some other body part), and secondly - pump your face full of toxins to get rid of lines or perspiration or for whatever reason. Just not my cup of tea, I can't fathom it.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Backyard surprise

Several years ago, I lived in a quaint neighborhood in South Florida. A canal that ran from the Atlantic ocean was right behind my backyard. Anyone who has ever lived or seen South Florida knows there are canals everywhere. Anyhow, one day I was cleaning my house and opened the window to let some fresh air in. I couldn't believe my eyes. Sitting in my backyard was a large alligator (approximately 8 feet long) just sunning. I rushed outside and got a picture, as soon as it heard me snap the shot, it slithered into the canal at the speed of light. I was truly amazed at how quickly it moved. I called the Florida wildlife preservation (can't remember the name of the government office), but the first thing they asked, "was it fed by humans?" They ask this because if an alligator is fed by humans, they associate the scent of humans with food. It is illegal to feed wild alligators in Florida. Well, I did not know if it had been fed by humans. I asked them if they could come get it and relocate it to the Everglades. They said they no longer did that, if they captured it, they would have to destroy it. Well I didn't necessarily want that, but there was a concern for the small children and pets in the neighborhood. I am not sure if they ever came to get that gator, but I never saw it again after a few days. That was amazing! But what if you saw this thing in your backyard?

The preceding images appear to be authentic and correspond to a French-language news story that appeared in the Congolese weekly magazine La Semaine Africaine on July 17, 2003.
Here is a synopsis of that story, which partially confirms the information given in the email:
The creature was first reported swimming in the port of Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo on the night of July 5, 2003. Later, around one o'clock in the morning, it was spotted creeping up onto the beach by onlookers who phoned the police, apparently frightening the beast back into the water in the process. It returned to shore a couple of hours later only to be greeted by a fusillade of bullets from an array of weapons including a Kalachnikov assault rifle. Even so, it took nearly an hour to fell the beast, during which time the neighborhood sounded like a war zone, according to residents. A crowd of bystanders equipped with axes and knives began to approach the carcass with visions of crocodile steaks in their heads, but Mayor Roland Bouiti-Viaudo interfered, declaring it necessary to preserve the monster in the name of science and tourism. It was eventually forklifted into a container and, at last report, was bound not for the freezer of a local hotel, but for a taxidermist.
Contrary to what is reported in the email, the news story says the croc measured 5 meters (equivalent to 16 feet) long and weighed 850 kilos (1,874 lbs., less than half of what the email claims), and identifies its species as Crocodylus niloticus (Nile crocodile), native to fresh-water rivers, lakes and swamps — which would explain why it was so eager to quit the ocean for dry land even though it was confronted by unfriendly humans. It was estimated to be approximately 50 years old.
Because they were snapped with a digital camera, it was possible to retrieve the source data on the first image in the series, according to which it was taken on July 6, 2003 at 12:35 p.m.
This croc was twice the size of the alligator in my back yard! That is unreal!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Just enough to get by!

One Friday night, not too long ago, I grabbed a bite to eat and went to a movie. My boyfriend had previous plans, so I had gone by myself. After the movie, I went home, played on the computer a little, did a few things around the house, took a shower and went to bed. My boyfriend came over around 12:30 am, wanting to go do something. So, I got up, got myself ready and we went to a popular nightclub, arriving around 1:30 or so. We stayed for a couple of hours, having a few drinks and enjoying the music. Now here is where the story gets a little interesting. Take in mind there is not a lot of good parking, as it is in the city and the hub of interesting places for this area. We are walking to his truck, laughing and joking, and as we approach his truck, conversation dies out when we see a sticker on the driver side window. I noticed there are stickers on all of the vehicles in this parking lot. Then a guy starts hollering over to us… “Hey there is a boot on your truck”! When we read the sticker on the driver window it states, “Please do not attempt to drive away, as a boot has been placed on your vehicle and will cause severe damage to your vehicle”. The guy that previously hollered to us is making his way over to us. He said, “You have parked in this parking lot without paying. It will be $30. $5 for the parking and $25 to get your boot off. We start towing at 4 am, and then it will be $120.” WHAT? My first question is “what time is it now?” 3:30. My boyfriend immediately starting asking questions about the parking fees. “There was nobody here taking parking fees, where do you pay, how much is it, we have parked here before and there has never been fees before, if I had seen the sign, I would have paid the five dollars…..” Then the guy points over to a box with numbered slots over in the corner area of the parking lot (that is not even lit) that has a small sign over it to pay here, $5, and one sentence of instruction. Then he says, “Each space is numbered to coincide with the numbered slot. When we come here, we open the box and see which spaces have paid and ticket the ones not paid.” Oh my gosh, at the exact same time, my boyfriend and I said “what a racket”. Then we noticed a couple of other people on the other end of the parking lot, getting a little ticked off. The police were there. So I started asking the policeman questions about the police involvement and where the money goes, etc. The police said, “we are just here to make sure the parking guys don’t have any problems”. I said, “Huh, ya think, and what would give you that idea?” As my boyfriend started defending and arguing, saying “how could anyone see that sign, and if this weren’t such a racket, then why would there be so many people getting tickets, and why would the police need to even come…….”, I noticed person after person, coming up the hill into the parking lot to find the sticker and the boot, same as us. Let me tell you, there were a lot of angry people there. Well, with much reluctance, at 3:50 am, my boyfriend wrote a check to get the boot off. He doesn’t normally carry a lot of cash with him, so thankfully they accepted checks. At that point, he chose to pay the lesser of two evils, even though he didn’t want to pay either. Then they wanted 2 phone numbers on the check and I thought my boyfriend was going to lose it. Well, we got the boot off, and went on our “un-merry” way. Those people must be making a “killing” off people. They had a sign up, so legally there was nothing we could do, but it was just enough for them to get by! And get this; it was a church parking lot!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


I have always thought of Tom Cruise as a major talent. Top Gun is one of my all time favorite movies. On the other end of the spectrum, Eyes Wide Shut had to be one of the most disturbing movies ever. Lately, I have to admit, he is acting a bit....well, how I think of him, "out of character". I have to ask the question......Who is the perfect girl for Tom Cruise?

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I still think he has talent!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Apartment Life

I woke up this morning feeling hot. I could hear the air-conditioning kind of gurgling. Yep, just what I thought… was frozen up again. This makes 7 times in the past 6 weeks. I just moved into this apartment 6 weeks ago. It is a nice apartment other than that. Maintenance has not been the best as far as getting the “little” stuff done and fixing the air conditioner. I mean they have been very courteous, and have said each time they have come out to fix it that they will need to do a major repair on it. Well, come on now, let’s do it! I just hope my heater works during the winter; at least I have a fireplace. Apartment life isn’t too bad, for those that do not want to have your own yard and your own garage and your own space to really call home. My neighbors are relatively quiet. Occasionally I hear the upstairs neighbors get into a scuff. In addition, the neighbor across from me apparently got upset that the trash pick up people forgot to pick up ours for 3 nights in a row. Therefore, instead of taking it to the dumpster themselves, they just piled it up outside of their door. We are supposed to only put out trash in the container provided to us between 7 and 9 pm at night. About an hour later, it is magically empty. (At least most of the time). I understand them being upset about it, I was too, but come on, that is nasty! Other than that, it really isn’t bad; I live in a great area. That brings me to my last apartment. I lived there for 3 years. It was a nice apartment with total concierge service, swimming pool, tennis courts, cyber cafĂ©, movie theatre, car wash, planting shed. I loved living there, but realized I wasn’t really using all of the amenities, so I could save a little money. When I moved out, my boyfriend and I cleaned that apartment sparkling clean. The refrigerator looked brand new when we left. Anyhow, I moved out May 31 of this year. When I talked to them about getting my deposit back, they said ok, we need a forwarding address. Why would they need that, it really isn’t their business? Therefore, I told them I didn’t have one and I was staying with a friend. She asked if the check could be sent to my friend’s address. I said, no, I would come by there and pick up the check. The manager told me, “Oh, we can’t do that. The home office will only send the checks here then mail them to your forwarding address you left with the post office.” I told her I don’t have a forwarding address. Then she says, “Oh! Well, I can go to the home office and pick up your check personally and bring it here for you to pick up here, ok?” hahaha, I said “okay!” That certainly was a round about way of getting to the original request. So, a week later, I never heard from her, and I have called and called, leaving messages, finally got in touch with her, and her bubbly little voice said “oh I haven’t heard anything yet, but you are definitely due back your deposit, it just takes longer than I want it to sometimes.” So she left it like that, I had to ask her if I need to call her back to check on it again, she said, call me back next Monday. Ok, I will, and then I think I will start getting upset, because as of Monday, that will be 1 week shy of 2 months. For a full service concierge type of apartment, they are not providing very good service. The way I look at it, they have had my money for nearly 3 years and 2 months! That is like a bad insurance company that treats you nice while you are making the premium payments, but once you have a claim, they drag it out. That stinks! Oh well, I just have to be diligent, because people try to get away with everything. As for today, I guess I will not worry anymore about it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Power of the Wealthy

I keep hearing more and more on imminent domain. The government can seize your property to build on your land. That is unbelievable! Well, I was in CVS the other day and the pharmacy assistant said "I don't know why I want to tell you this, but I just need to tell someone". Then he proceeded to tell me that a wealthy contractor in Texas was able to orchestrate imminent domain on one of the supreme court justices that ruled in favor of this. So, the contractor is building a hotel on the judge's land. Something that will benefit all of the taxpayers in that community. Someone told the contractor, "it is gonna cost you a lot of money". He replied "I have a lot of money". How bout that?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

TV needs a makeover

I was just watching tv, or I should say, looking for something to watch on tv. TV really stinks these days. I have over 200 channels and most of the time there is nothing good to watch. Too many infomercials. That gets me to "Reality TV"! It used to be a novelty thing, kind of innovative. But now....ridiculous! There is reality show on top of reality show. Some of them are truly pathetic. Nannies, wife swapping, bachelor, bachelorettes, the Real Gilligan's Island Hahaha....etc., etc. Even Survivor, which I believe was one of the first ones, isn't truly reality. I never watched it, but I read an article once, where they said that some of the events had to be done more than once in order to get a good camera angle. Britney Spears, I assume was jealous of Jessica Simpson's success with her reality show Newlyweds, so she decided to turn in some video tape to one of the television channels and make it into a reality show....what a joke. I didn't see it, but I heard it was terrible. Enough is enough, time for them to stop airing. Just like all of the court/judge shows. How can anyone go on national tv with your marital, civil or financial problems? It surely wouldn't get you any sympathy, only laughed at. It is so undignified. They are the type of person that is chosen to be interviewed after a natural disaster of some sort. They are usually illiterate with an unkept appearance, and for some reason have the desire to be noticed, now becoming someone that represents the area you come from! Anyway, back to television. Talk shows! I remember when it used to be The Tonight Show and The David Letterman show. Now, everyone has one. I think you might be able to catch one in between the court show and the reality show. There is so much competition with the talk shows. Everyone wants to have the best guests, and they try cramming in several guests in one show. This leaves only a few minutes to see each guest. Sometimes you can't figure out why they were even brought on the show. Just an introduction, some one minute uninspiring conversation, and then they are thanked and off to commercial. What about the makeover shows? There is a show to makeover, rooms, hair, faces, and bodies, anything you desire. They should have a show to makeover television. Ok, the last thing I wanted to mention as far as television is MTV. Does anyone know what that stands for? Yes, Music television. However, it should be ABMTV....Anything But Music Television. When it first came out, it was great. They played music videos and that is all. Now you can watch that show for hours and not see any music videos. They have games and ...ha, more reality tv. Oh well, I guess I should just stick to watching what my boyfriend watches, the History Channel, at least that channel makes sense.

Friday, July 15, 2005

If you can't handle it......

You know what I have noticed? People love SUVs. I admit, when they first started to become popular, I thought it would be cool to have one. It was just a thought, as my car still gets me around and I have no payments which is wonderful. Anyway, SUVs have definitely become the new craze on the roadways. Now, I find them to be annoying. Well, not the SUVs themselves, it's the people driving them! On more occasions than not, I see women (that can barely see over the steering wheel) driving them, or supposedly driving them. I say; if you cannot handle a vehicle, don't drive it. They have either forgotten how to drive, never knew how to drive in the first place, or simply cannot handle the big load! They are all over the road and certainly cannot park them. Today, in fact, I was behind someone in an SUV and I really wondered what was going on because they couldn't seem to keep it in the lane. When they went to park, they made a huge "farmer's turn", pulled into the space (which had no cars in that row of spaces), and they still did not make it into the lines. Surprisingly, that was a man driving! Then, I went to my usual parking lot and found a space, between 2 vehicles. The vehicle on the right side of my space was a large SUV and the vehicle on the left side was a car. When I got out of my car, I noticed the SUV on the right side was so close, there would have been no way for the driver to get into the vehicle without going through the passenger's side. I double checked the way I had parked, and I was centered perfectly in my space. Then looked at the SUV, and of course, it was way over into my space. Another incident, which wasn't too long ago, I was walking to my car in the Target parking lot and observed a lady in a big SUV backing out of her space. All of the sudden, the Target employee that was gathering shopping carts started yelling at the woman to stop. She was close to running over him and two other pedestrians. The employee looked at me and said exactly what I was thinking....Gees, she can't handle that big vehicle, she shouldn't be driving it. Not only that, but all of the big SUVs on the road, make it nearly impossible to see everything going on while driving. My car, which at one time would have been considered a midsize car, now seems like a small car in comparison to all of the vehicles out there. I understand for some people there is a need for the extra space, toting kids and sports equipment, etc. But for goodness sakes, if you cannot handle driving the large vehicle, don't. I mean, there are lives at stake! All of the bad drivers have changed my mind about the SUVs. I don't think they are cool any longer. And besides that, they are starting to resemble station wagons more and more these days (just a bit taller). Really cool, huh?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Tailgater

Have you ever had someone tailgate you before? It is so annoying. Not to mention it is dangerous. I know that when someone does that, it usually means they are in a hurry and want you to speed up. Guess what? It doesn't make me speed up. In fact, it irritates me so much, that I do completely the opposite. There is one particular incident that stands out for me. One night, I was on my way home, driving the speed limit, just minding my own business. All of the sudden a guy comes up behind me and starts riding my bumper. He was obviously very impatient and started honking. Well, that really didn't sit well with me, so I gradually slowed down, way down. I never stomped the brakes (something I know people do) and I tried to remain calm. We came upon an intersection in which we both made a right turn onto a 4 lane road. I immediately got back up to the speed limit as he went to the left lane in order to pass me. What he didn't know was that my boyfriend was ahead of me and had slowed down when he had not seen me for a while. He saw what was happening through his rearview mirror. Just as the guy was coming up along side of me, my boyfriend moved to the left lane, which blocked the guy from passing me. At that point my boyfriend and I both slowed down and drove together, which kept him in a blocked position. I don't think the guy liked that very much, as he threw his arms up and honked at my boyfriend. We were approaching the intersection to turn. My boyfriend slowly moved over behind me as we began to make a right turn, and the guy made it to the intersection only to be stopped by a red light. As we made our turn, he sat at the red light, gesturing, yelling and honking. The timing of everything was impeccable, and of course he had no clue that we even knew each other. You know what "they" say about patience! My boyfriend and I still laugh and say every so often...."wonder if he is still mad". Slow down and be safe!

Sunday, July 10, 2005


It's here. The fourth named storm of the season, our first big one of the year. Here in Birmingham, we anticipate the affects of Hurricane Dennis. You would think our city is far enough inland to avoid the wrath, but we know differently. We experienced an actual hurricane here last year....Hurricane Ivan. I would consider us lucky in comparison to other cities. Last year Florida residents took a beating from the continuous flow of hurricanes. We still have to go through the "routine" in preparation. From the first sign of it heading our way, everyone rushes to the grocery store. They buy all the bread, milk, bottled water and other nonperishable types of foods. Peanut butter is a good one. (Why do people buy out the milk? It surely won't last long once the electricity goes out!) Then Lowe's and Home Depot sell out of batteries and generators; drug stores back up with people filling prescriptions; and gasoline starts selling out. Then at home, fill pitchers of water, coolers with ice, and the bathtub full of water. I guess we are not close enough to the shore to tape or board up our windows. All in all, it is better to be safe than sorry. We have to worry about flooding, winds and tornadoes which causes power outages. At least we don't have the actual storm surge this far inland. Then we watch continuous coverage from our favorite meteorologist and wait. It is gray and dreary and raining....and raining. Our area will get the brunt of the storm sometime during the night. I really hope the damage won't be too bad, so everyone stay inside and be safe.