Posted by: annemartinfletcher | October 6, 2016

Overnight with the Red Cross

We just got kicked out of our Tallahassee hotel room. We knew we were in a safe place because the parking lot was full of Red Cross vans. The “cherry-picker” trucks for restoring electrical power were all heading east to the coast last night as we were driving west.

Now on to the hotel reservation I made last week in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, in Dothan, AL. My reservation is through Monday. Why Alabama? Because it is the closest place that will be out of the effects of the storm bands. If I am paying to be safe, we might as well enjoy it with electricity.

What is the most miserable part of a hurricane? If your shelter is safe, then it is not the storm, but the aftermath. No flush toilets, no water, and worse of all — no air conditioning and no internet! The no power part can last much longer than a few days — remember Katrina? As The Weather Channel just told a newbie FL resident, “This (Matthew) ain’t no snowstorm.” We will return when the power does.

Next Post: The Day After Tomorrow? How the worst might be mid-next-week.


Posted by: annemartinfletcher | October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Updates

Welcome folks! If you are a subscriber, you know that I quit updating my blog about the Air Force Academy three years ago. I am temporarily resurrecting my blog to keep friends, family, and the curious updated on my adventures with Hurricane Matthew.

I claim to be a hurricane magnet, after close experiences with hurricanes Andrew, Irene, and Hugo. More than that, I have over a decade of training in meteorology as an Air Force pilot, back in the days when we had to make our own forecasts based on various broad weather maps. I also have Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Operations Research — the design and analysis of computer models to study real life problems. If you want to know how I make my decisions, you can read a previous post on how to interpret computer models at this link. Additionally, I looked at the “Spaghetti Models” which are simulations based on variants of many variables. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) no longer posts the graphic results of its simulations, but you can find them at the Fox Hurricane Center website and on The Weather Channel. Because I’ve been following hurricanes for decades, I have favorite simulation models (GFDL and BAMS)  which I pay closer attention to than the aggregate models. I made my decision to evacuate six days before officials called for it, and even pulled my son out of school when I thought his district delayed their closure announcements irresponsibly late.

After three days of pre-positioning aluminum panels and closing wooden shutters that hadn’t been budged in nine years, we left at rush hour on Wednesday, Oct 4. I used my back-road escape route to Tallahassee to avoid traffic from evacuees streaming out of Palm Coast, Fort Lauderdale, and Jacksonville. If you haven’t left yet, here is my “Secret Route”: FL Hwy 16 West to Starke, then FL Hwy 100 West past Lake City to I-10. Then I-10 to parts further west.

My next post will be about where we are at and where I go from here.

Posted by: annemartinfletcher | May 24, 2015

Dream a Bigger Memorial Day Dream

Would you risk your life for your ideals? Would you risk your life for your family? Would you risk your life for teammates who you know would do the same for you?

In past Memorial Day posts I wrote about friends who lost their lives in military service: Thank You, A Family of Patriots, Sadness to AngerMike Joyal, Help a Navy Seal. Today, I want to project their memories and my thoughts outward. I would like to dream a bigger dream.

AmFlag2015Honor the sacrifice of American soldiers by honoring the best part of yourself. You don’t need to risk your life to do so. But you do need to lay aside your quest for devices, comfort, entertainment, power, accolades, and riches to do something for a cause you believe in — just as every fallen soldier did.

It does not matter what that cause is for, as long as it is an ideal bigger than your own self-interest. This Memorial Day, dream a bigger dream than yourself, then go out and make it so. We honor your ideal, your sacrifice, and your attempt.

Share your causes by mentioning them in a comment below.

Success, if it happens, will be a collective achievement.

Posted by: annemartinfletcher | May 28, 2013

Fun USAFA Cult Movie

I don’t think the leadership will be showing this movie to the Class of 2017 during BCT, so basics, you need to watch it before 27 June.

Can we all agree that the Cadet Chapel with its seventeen spires (12 for the Apostles and 5 for the Chiefs of Staff) is THE iconic image for the United States Air Force Academy? No images of USAFA are complete without it, right?


Well, here’s a movie highlighting the Chapel that you might have missed: Cover for Disney's "Wreck It Ralph" Cover for Disney’s “Wreck It Ralph

That’s right, either watch this delightful cartoon or fast forward to the  32 minute mark and watch through minute 33 (in Chapter 4 on the DVD) and you will see the “saddest backstory” of Sergeant Calhoun’s almost wedding. And guess where her backstory was filmed?

If you pay attention, you’ll notice the sides and front windows as in my photos below:

Author's photo rear interior of Protestant Chapel

Author’s photo rear interior of Protestant Chapel

Protestant Chapel Author's photo

Protestant Chapel Author’s photo



One more fun cult item — do you see any resemblance between the cult character “Sergeant Calhoun” and the alumni author of this blog?



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