Daily Archives: October 29, 2012

Forgot to mention this

The GAR Evil Princess has fled her dungeon for higher ground so there’s been no real estate news to report today nor will there be any tomorrow. One can speculate, however, that this storm may dampen buyers’ enthusiasm for low-lying areas of Old Greenwich for awhile.

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Binney Lane fire?

Readers are reporting a house fire on Binney Lane that is “spreading from house to house”. That doesn’t sound good.

UPDATE: Reader sends this, from Greenwich Patch.

As Hurricane Sandy blows ashore, the mega storm is wreaking havoc with rescue efforts throughout Greenwich.

Based on emergency dispatch transmissions Monday night, many roads in town are impassable, making it impossible for firefighters to battle house fires and emergency medical crews to respond to calls. According to Greenwich Fire Dispatch radio transmissions, wind conditions and rising tides are making it impossible for emergency crews to reach the scenes to battle the fires at several locations including Old Greenwich.

There were several calls involving ambulances trapped by fallen trees and downed wires.

As of 7:30 p.m., no injuries have been reported.

According to radio dispatches, house fires have been reported on Binney Lane, Shore Road and Hillcrest Park. There have been numerous reports of roads blocked by fallen trees including Sound Beach Avenue, Stanwich Road, Hillside Road, West Putnam Avenue, Old Orchard Road, Sawmill Road, Valley Road, East Putnam Avenue at Maple Avenue.

At 7:38 p.m., Greenwich fire dispatches ordered all personnel to “respond to the nearest firehouse and standby. We are no longer responding to alarms.”

According to radio dispatches, fire crews and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service crews responding to calls are stranded by fallen trees, utility poles and downed wires.

UPDATE: check out this picture from Greenwich Patch (Noah Schwartz) of Ledge Road – that mountain in the background is a wave! It will be interesting to see how those two beautiful homes further down the lane, one of which just sold for $13 million, fare in the face of that kind of surf.

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Power’s back, for now

Took advantage of the downtime to travel to NYC and check out conditions there. Holy cow, things look bad!

Planet of the Apes, Part IX?

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Power gone, back when it is

Posted via iPhone, but I’m going to have to conserve the battery. Stay dry.

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From Dan Rather’s Photo Album

 

 

Ole’s Creek, low tide

 

Tod’s Point

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Live from Old Greenwich (and Rhode Island)

EOS has pictures posted.

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And of course, there’s this – (thanks, Ant’ny)

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I’d forgotten this (as I’m sure Matt Lauer hoped we all would) but AJ remembers

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An educational experience

Trained apes at play

Watching television for its hurricane coverage offers a fascinating view of how the media manipulates its viewers. There’s Jim Cantore, speaking to some “expert” in a secure, undisclosed location who is opining on his opinion of surge height. The damn fool won’t get with the game until Cantore presses: “so you’re saying we can expect catastrophic damage?” Well he hadn’t until then but understanding that you don’t get on TV unless you cooperate, the man readily agreed: “Oh yes – people coming back on Tuesday won’t recognize the beaches they left just Sunday”. Only in media land is beach erosion a “catastrophe”, but that term clearly has a different meaning when used by wannabe meteorologist reporters.

And I’m enjoying the shots of anchor women (the phenomenon seems limited to women) who listen intently to what a colleague is saying and then turn to face the camera and nod their head, as though vouching for the accuracy of what the talking baboon next to her has just said. Fun stuff.

Another thing I noticed, and something that must drive TV producers nuts, are the stupid civilians who ruin dramatic shots of “deserted ghost towns” whose residents are supposed to have all fled – they come back just as the cameras roll, dressed in flip flops and shorts or even jogging outfits and get between the intrepid reporter and the raging sea and really crapping up the whole image of men and women braving the elements to bring us the truth.

Then there are the constant comparisons to last year’s hurricane, Irene, which was hardly a hurricane at all, and only Irene. Is this because the producers don’t trust their viewers to have memories that extend back more than a year or because comparing a real storm to a baby one is more dramatic? I’m guessing it’s door number two.

And I just saw some guy who, in the midst of his reporting on the cruel sea took care to note for his viewers that he wasn’t trampling the sea grass – I kid you not – so as to preserve the dunes from human damage and, presumably, let the waves ruin them instead.

Amazing stuff – I’ve got to start watching TV more often.

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Cam coverage?

I wasn’t thinking ahead and have no practical way to set up a live cam of the storm now, but isn’t there , wasn’t there, a video set up to observe the osprey nest in Old Greenwich Harbor? If any reader knows, and can provide a link, I’d love to post it here.

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Woe is us!

6′-12′ storm surge predicted for Greenwich, as high as 3′ in Boston. The broadcasters are shrieking “millions at risk!” but fail to quantify that risk. A wet basement? Loss of electricity? Bah. That said, I’m thinking of heading up to Maine to help my son move today. If Greenwich loses power for a few days I’d prefer to be in Portland, thank you.

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TV storm coverage improves for this storm

They’ve figured out that it’s better television to actually pose their reporters in ankle-deep water! I just saw some hottie who probably can’t tell her nimbus from her cumulus, stuffed into spandex pants and standing in water up to her shins, spouting dire warnings whispered in her earpiece by her producer. This is so much better than a shopworn Jim Cantore doing his schtick for the 10,000th time from Nag’s Head or the Outer Banks. Next hurricane, topless? I’m ready for it and I’m sure the country is too.

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Wouldn’t that be all of them?

Governor Dannel Malloy has just ordered “all non-essential state employees” to stay home.

By the way – the Governer was flanked by a blonde flapping her arms as they shared the podium, presumably sending the signal that Dannel never forgets about deaf people. Even though it doesn’t express the “we care” meme so boldly, wouldn’t sub-titles reach more of such people, or are they all illiterate?

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Aboard the HMS Raging Queen

Dressed for Success

Cause and effect? Abercrombie and Fitch stock sags from $80 the $25 on the watch of CEO Michael S.  Jeffries, who seems to devote most of his time fretting about his comfort on the company jet.

A 40-plus page manual that was filed with court documents in relation to an age discrimination suit by a former pilot outlined a list of instructions for crew members aboard the CEO’s Gulfstream jet that stipulated everything from how to arrange the toilet paper to what type of cologne should be worn.

Among the details: the [all] male flight crew had to wear a hat, sunglasses, gloves, boxer briefs and a spritz of A&F41. Jeffries also didn’t want the toilet paper to be “exposed” and the end square should be folded. As for current issues of magazines like Bloomberg Businessweek or Fortune, they had to be kept in the right side of the credenza. Crew members should always check for fingerprints on the credenza, cabin door, galley door, ledges and the cabinet doors in the lavatory. And the crew has to play the song “Take Me Home” when passengers entered the cabin for the return flight.

The rulebook for his Gulfstream underscores Jeffries’ attention to meticulous details, particularly how he wants his flight crew dressed. For example, hats should be worn only when the temperature is below 40 degrees. The brim of the hat should be two inches thick and it should be pulled so that it’s about in the middle of the forehead. When wearing a winter coat, the crew has to zip the jacket up to the fourth button from the bottom. The lowest button should be left undone, but the next three buttons up should be fastened. Jeans should sit at the hips, according to the rulebook.

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This ought to generate some controversy

I can’t find any way to confirm it*, but rumor has it that CNG intends to shut off natural gas lines if flooding hits. Those shoreline Democrats safe at home, generators humming away as the homeowners cheerfully write checks to the Obama campaign, may soon find themselves in the dark. Of course, the way things are going so far, they can just plug their generators into a wall outlet and continue their merry ways.

* readers now have.

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This is what passes for science today

Jennifer Francis, Delphic Oracle

There’s a storm a’brewing, so naturally the Greenists have dusted off their stuffed Al Gores and begun pontificating. Here’s Rutger’s occupant of the Elizabeth Warren Affirmative Action chair, one Jennifer Francis, pretending to apply scientific reasoning to the issue: see if you can spot a single fact – I can’t – that would support her speculation or convince anyone except the media that “the science is settled”. This isn’t science, it’s soothsaying and chicken entrails reading and it’s not even happening in Italy.

The jet stream pattern — particularly the strongly negative NAO [North Atlantic Oscillation] and associated blocking — that has been in place for the last 2 weeks and is projected to be with us into next week is exactly the sort of highly amplified (i.e., wavy) pattern that I’d expect to see more of in response to ice loss and enhanced Arctic warming. Blocking happens naturally, of course, but it’s very possible that this block may have been boosted in intensity and/or duration by the record-breaking ice loss this summer. Late-season hurricanes are not unheard of either, but Sandy just happened to come along during this anomalous jet-stream pattern, as well as during an autumn with record-breaking warm sea-surface temperatures off the US east coast. It could very well be that general warming along with high sea-surface temperatures have lengthened the tropical storm season, making it more likely that a Sandy could form, travel so far north, and have an opportunity to interact with a deep jet-stream trough associated with the strong block, which is steering it westward into the mid-Atlantic. While it’s impossible to say how this scenario might have unfolded if sea-ice had been as extensive as it was in the 1980s, the situation at hand is completely consistent with what I’d expect to see happen more often as a result of unabated warming and especially the amplification of that warming in the Arctic.

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This will cause the Regressives to redouble their efforts to shut it down

Our (aged) enemy

Europe left behind  as shale shock drives America’s industrial resurgence.

Royal Dutch Shell is planning an ethane plant in the once-decaying steel valley of Beaver County, near Pittsburg. Dow Chemical is shutting operations in Belgium, Holland, Spain, the UK, and Japan, but pouring money into a propylene venture in Texas where natural gas prices are a fraction of world levels and likely to remain so for the life-cycle of Dow’s investments.

Some fifty new projects have been unveiled in the US petrochemical industry. A $30bn investment blitz in underway in ethelyne and fetilizer plants alone.

A study by the American Chemistry Council said the shale gas bonanza has reversed the fortunes of the chemical, plastics, aluminium, iron and steel, rubber, coated metals, and glass industries. “This was virtually unthinkable five years ago,” said the body’s president, Cal Dooley.

America looks poised to become the world’s biggest producer in 2014. It will approach the Holy Grail of “energy independence” before the end of the decade.

This is largely due to hydraulic fracturing – blasting rock with water jets – to extract shale gas and oil, though solar power and onshore wind are playing their part.

Europe is going in the opposite direction, drifting towards energy suicide. So is Japan as it shuts down its nuclear industry after the Fukushima disaster. China is more hard-headed, as it needs to be. The country is adding 20m cars a year. Chinese oil imports are rising by an extra 0.5m b/d annually.

As of last week, US natural gas prices were roughly one third of European levels. The German chemicals group BASF said it had become impossible to match the US on production costs.

Shale has made the US self-sufficient in gas almost overnight. The new twist of course is shale oil. Output has jumped to 2m b/d from almost nothing eight years ago. The Bakken field in North Dakota is twice as big as the conventional Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska.

America produced 81pc of its total energy needs in the first six months of this year, the highest since 1991. Citigroup thinks US ouput of crude and eqivalents will top 15.6m b/d by 2020, adding up to 3.6m jobs through multiplier effects. North America as a whole will reach 27m b/d – with Canada’s oil sands and Mexico’s deepwater fields – making the region a “new Middle East”.

The implications are momentous. America will no longer need a single drop of oil from the Islamic world. The strategic burden will fall on Europe, which is meekly disarming itself to meet Wolfgang Schauble’s austerity targets. Russia and China will be pleased to help.

What is staggering is the near total failure of Europe’s leaders to face up to this new world order, or to prepare for their energy crunch ahead. They have spent the last decade wrangling over treaties that nobody wants, endlessly tinkering with institutional structures, and ultimately holding 22 summits to “save” EMU, largely oblivious to the bigger danger ahead.

Germany is to shut down its nuclear plants by 2022, reluctant to admit that this can be replaced only by coal – and even then with great difficulty. It is opting instead for the romantic quest of a politically-correct grid. The goal is to raise the share of renewables from 20pc to 35pc by 2020 at a cost of €200bn, and then to green supremacy by mid-decade for another €600bn.

Germany seems to think it can power Europe’s foremost industrial machine from off-shore wind in the Baltic, without the high-voltage wires running from North to South yet built or on track to be built. “It is a religion, not a policy,” said one German official privately, warning that his country is already “very near blackouts”. He fears an almighty national disaster.

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