FOW Archive: Of Dolphins and Downbursts

July 2, 2019

This article was originally published in The Dolphin Talk Newspaper in April of 2012.

Downburst:

If you were up early enough on the morning of April 2nd, you might have noticed that we had a thunderstorm that got a little out of control. That was especially true if you rode out the storm in Port Lavaca.

That was because Port Lavaca fell victim to a weather event called a ‘downburst’

The April 2nd downburst created winds up to 80 MPH along a ½ mile wide radius, causing damage to trees and windows in the area while also knocking down telephone poles and damaging the roof of a Port Lavaca business.

A downburst is created on the interior of a thunderstorm. A downburst can also create damage similar to a tornado, as some downbursts can contain winds over 150 MPH. Unlike a tornado, however, a downburst spreads out from the spot it touches the Earth, giving it a sort of ‘roll’ effect.
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Fow Archive: Explosions and Pranks

June 29, 2019

This article was originally published in The Dolphin Talk Newspaper in March of 2012.

Since 9/11 we have become a country that (rightly so) has become a bit more wary of some of the dirtier aspects of modern warfare, such as suicide bombings, booby-trapped explosives and what could be inside our daily mail, something we have sadly seen in action before with the Uni-Bomber and Anthrax attacks.

There is also another enemy we have to combat when keeping our local area safe, one that does not have the backing of a major foreign power or makes it to CNN.

Pranksters.

On March 13th, someone called in a bomb threat at the H-E-B store in Port Lavaca at the Calhoun Plaza. Although nothing incriminating was found at the store and no one was hurt, the bomb threat itself was most likely just a prank probably played by local youth, it does not take away from the seriousness of the matter.

How do I know?

I’ve done it before.

When I was around fifteen or so, myself and a couple of friends decided that the best way to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend was to run around with firecrackers and a few cherry bombs, causing mayhem and destruction about town.

One target for our mischievous ways was a local McDonalds where we had the bright idea of leaving a pack of firecrackers out on the floor of the men’s room, with a lit wooden match laying across the fuse so we could leave the restaurant with our ‘bomb’ primed and then run across the street outside to watch what might happen next.
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FOW Archive: Spotting Storms and Fighting Fears

June 28, 2019

This article was originally published in the Dolphin Talk Newspaper out of Seadrift, Texas in March of 2012. 

I’m not really too sure of exactly when I became phobic of severe weather, but I do know that it is something that has shaped my life deeply over the last two years. Imagine watching weather reports days in advance, letting the weather severely impact your daily activities and also being embarrassed that you hold this overwhelming fear of something that most people would find silly.

While the truth is that the problem is one that affects a far larger number of people than is reported; there are ways to fight it as well. Besides trying to raise awareness of the problem online and starting a support group, I have found that one of the best ways to fight the phobia is to learn as much as I can about severe weather and what causes it.

It was with that in mind that over the last year or so I endeavored to become a Skywarn spotter for the National Weather Service. I figured it was a chance to get information on severe weather as well as to help others impacted by severe weather events. I wanted to know even more about what I was looking for in the skies and on the radar, I wanted to be able to trust myself as a source for when the weather got too dangerous.
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FOW Archives: 419 Scams

June 12, 2019

I have written for the Dolphin Talk Newspaper out of Seadrift, Texas since 2012. These are the articles I have written in this time as it went from a bi-weekly publication to a monthly. This article is from the twenty-third of February 2012 and can also be found here

419 Scams:

Have you ever checked your email and found a letter from a poor refugee who is suffering in another country and needs assistance? Ever received a letter stating that an American soldier serving in the Middle East has a trunk stuffed with cash from a terrorist compound and he needs your help to get it into the United States? Or how about a letter stating that you have won the United Kingdom Lottery drawing, even though you never entered?

Chances are if you have a public email, such as a Gmail or Hotmail account, that the answer is most likely yes. These letters are called 419 scams, named after the part of Nigerian code that governs such criminal activity in that country and they have been around for over twenty years.
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FOW:September 2017

September 23, 2017

dolphin talk newspaper hurricane harvey 2017 texas gulf coast seadrift

When a tragedy such as a natural disaster strikes today, the world outside the affected areas tends to only see the damage and the heartbreak through television and the instantaneous magic of the internet. Additionally, once the disaster has had its time as a ‘current’ news event, it tends to slip into the background of those not connected in some way with the area that is in crisis.

The complications from this are many, such as the fact that donations to relief funds may stop coming in as time passes, making recovery harder, and the fact that it is yesterday’s news to the rest of the world may make it seem like the brave rebuilding residents of those areas are on a desert island, cut off from the world but still having to soldier on through the aftermath.

Once shining American jewels like the ‘Motor City’ of Detroit or the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina could tell you what happens when tragedy befalls its residents and the world has stopped watching.

There is a reason I brought up America and old-fashioned American values that in modern times seem to have gone the way of the drive-in and the roadside diner – something that most in this country today were raised to have pride in, no matter what side of the political aisle you are drawn to or how many mistakes the American people may have made in its ongoing history.

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Fish Out Of Water Sept 2016 (late posting)

October 17, 2016

imag1711This column is actually from last month, forgot to re-post it. The original version is here and in the near future I will be posting older columns that no longer exist in print or in Website form. 

It’s here again.

I love the Fall, it has to be my favorite season, even more than the hot and humid days of Summer.

Partially it might be because I was a ‘Fall Baby,’ being born towards the end of the month of October. It may also have to do with the fact that the season also includes the holiday of Halloween, which I have adored since I was a child.

Where I grew up in the Midwest, Fall is a much more colorful time then it is on the Gulf Coast (although I will take Winter in the Gulf over the snow and ice of the Midwest any day), a time of comfortable weather, falling leaves of all shapes and colors and also as said, being the season of my birth seems to hold a special regard for the season that is now at our doorstep.

Fall is also nature’s way of trying to teach us that all things pass, everything ends and loses its life, but with the promise that after Winter is over a new form of that life can also rise again.

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Dolphin Talk: Fish Out of Water August 2016

August 25, 2016

johnny_automatic_jumping_fish

Dolphin Talk can be found on the web here and please give a second to ‘like’ their Facebook page as well! 

The kid had to be twice my size and, not knowing that in less than ten years that most people would have to look up to me quite literally as I would stop growing at a tall six feet, five inches, this kid scared the life out of me.

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