Ruby, Ruby, calm thy raging winds


[Source: US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center

Ruby, Ruby, calm thy raging winds, thy torrents of water flying flat. Do not Yolanda be, God’s rage upon the poor. In tents they live still, and food they have not any. Be firm if you must, but be kind, for we are learning our lessons well.

Natural reaction: “Well, here we go again!”

  • The good news: the beast is expected to lose some smite by the time she makes Samar.
  • The bad news is she is moving slowly, and what she lacks in power, she makes up for in persistence.
  • The additional bad news is that Biliran Island fits neatly in the eye of the she-devil on her current track.

Check list:

  • Get first aid kit put together. Check.
  • Cut tree branches near the house. Check. Yolanda did that.
  • Lay in stocks of rice and canned meat for one month. Check.
  • Fill the 27 cubic meter water reservoir. Check.
  • Board the two glass doors that almost popped in Yolanda. Check.
  • Store outdoor furniture and loose items in the garage. Check.
  • Top car and multi-cab gas tanks. Check.
  • Get gas for generator. Check.
  • Extend invitations to neighbors who live in wood homes to visit for the day (or night). Check.
  • Get extra tie wire, masking tape, and plywood for emergencies. Check.
  • Get flashlight batteries. Check.
  • Find a safe place for the dogs. Check. Garage.
  • Sharpen the knives to eat the chickens, as we did after Yolanda.
  • Send notes to family and friends to say not to worry if we are quiet afterwards. We are just resting while Globe and Smart get their totally unprepared acts together. Check.
  • Thank the powers that be for assuring that life is rich with challenge. Check.
  • Curse the powers that be for giving the Visayas so many riches. Check.

Addendum: two excellent additions courtesy of pinoyputi:

  • Extra sealant on the windows and plastic and clothes under the outside doors
  • Give Christmas bonus earlier to family and katulong so they can prepare themselves for Ruby


50 Responses to “Ruby, Ruby, calm thy raging winds”
  1. Batten down the hatches and hunker down, Joe and family! Praying for you and yours’ safety. You all are provisioned and prepared. Still hoping it will miss Biliran.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, Juana. You must have powerful prayers. The track has moved slightly northward over the past hour. Alas, it is rather aiming for Manila now. Perhaps it will keep moving north and just graze us . . .

    • Bert says:

      Keep praying for us, too, Juana. We are in Manila, and your prayer to spare Biliran put us in the line of danger from this super typhoon. Please make it veer a little more to the north as Joe suggested and then we”l all be okay.

  2. timowp17 says:

    Ever since 2011, every Christmas season, is now a season of disaster. I can smell the calm wind from their storms.

    Can’t we have a break?

  3. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Government Check List:
    1. Check NOAA website every hour on the hour and claim it as PAG-ASA’s
    2. Get those undistributed foreign donations ready
    3. Get those certified pre-owned hand-me-down Hamilton frigates ready with Google Maps. The last time Yolanda hit Leyte and Samar, PMA-Graduate Captains cannot find these two islands because they were blown away from their geographic location. It took them weeks …. !!! to get to Tacloban
    4. Fill up tanks of all navy boats and 12 Italian choppers while gas prices are cheap
    5. Have Korina ready to be teletransported to Tacloban before CNN Anderson Cooper beat her to it.
    6. Powerbarges and powergenerators at the ready
    7. Have those stickers ready “Sardines donated by Mayor Romualdez”
    8. The mayors and governors of affected provinces be ready for disaster preparedness. They should! The life they save will vote for them. And those that didn’t make it will also vote.
    9. Gas stations should fill ‘er up so they can crank up the price when Ruby hits if they do not, the politicians will
    10. Romualdez better stock up on TDK C-90 Chromium Dioxide cassette tapes to record bickering with Mar Roxas

    • Joe America says:

      I check the U.S. Navy site because it gets updated frequently and has a text explanation so I can talk about wind shear and steering vectors. Your Korina line cracked me up. I note that CNN will have an outlet here in the Philippines soon (Channel 9). Maybe they will ship Anderson over from time to time, rather like a rock star. His hair is like Mitt Romneys. It does not even move when he is reporting from a typhoon.

      I’m glad you have Romualdez pegged properly.

      By the way, you do need to give Filipinos credit for creativity. When Yolanda shut the gas stations down here, the smugglers had the stuff moving in the next day via a small neighboring resort island (Maripipi). The price was doubled, but no one complained. Five gallon canisters were available all along the main highway. It actually fueled the economy for the week that it took Petron to find the road back into town.

      • Cornball says:

        Here’s a linky to one of my favorite sites (aside from the kinky adult sites), it tracks almost everything happening on earth real-time from earthquakes, typhoons, epidemics and accidents etc. with the exception of wars and crimes.

      • sonny says:

        Joe, I’m praying you and everybody are out of harm’s way. My intuition suggests the use of geodesic dome design (Bucky’s) might be best for windward homes in Leyte/Samar regions.

        • Joe America says:

          Interesting. I was thinking of flat, about seven inches of concrete, would make a nice roof. The tin peaked ones for sure have great aerodynamic qualities, like akin to the lift from airplane wings.

          Thanks for your kind thoughts. Most people are a lot better prepared for this one than for Yolanda, I think. We for sure are.

  4. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I am impervious to typhoons. Because I have typhoon insurance. Typhoon is not typically covered in Fire Insurance. “Acts-of-God” like typhoon, earthquake and fortuitous events are not covered but it can be bought to protect you, your love ones and your property from impending doom by Acts of God.

    In 1688, Lloyds of London saw to it Standard Insurance Policy wordings should exclude ACTS OF GOD for measly additional premium it protect us against wanton Acts of God.

    When it comes to Acts of God, Insurance is very good in putting back where we were before. They even give a timeline when they can put back my house in shortest possible time better than anyone else.

  5. gerverg1885 says:

    Take good care!

  6. John McMahan says:

    I hope it turns north & misses you. I have loved ones in Ormoc that were wiped out in Yolonda. Survived with the (tattered) clothes on their backs. Living in a rented room at double the rent they used to pay.

  7. Dolly Gonzales says:

    Be safe, Joe! How nice of you to open your home to neighbors whose houses may not be so typhoon-safe. I hope all will be well for you and everyone, including your dogs.

  8. edgar lores says:

    1. Before the storm, there is the calm.

    2. During the storm, there are the prayers.

    3. After the storm, there is gratitude, peace and wonder, and a new earth.

    • bauwow says:

      Uncle Joe, keep your family safe and dry! I’m glad you still have your humor intact despite the coming typhoon, hope it misses Biliran.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Here is what I am not understanding …

      1. Filipinos pray
      2. Filipinos pray harder during typhoon
      3. After the storm, they thank God for sparing them
      4. Too bad for the dead God did not spare them
      5. Filipinos think typhoon is punishment from God
      6. Therefore, Warays are evil people because they have yearly punishment
      7. Faced with the fact, they blame nature not God
      8. Isn’t their belief said that God made nature and everything else in Universe?
      9. Frances will have answers for them in January

  9. davide says:

    Uncle Joe,

    I normally dont pray but this time I will, for your family neighbors, friends in Biliran, Likewise my sister in Baybay City. Somehow maybe our God is punishing the Romualdeze’s but the problem it also includes others that are not well off and those that cannot easily recover.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for your thoughtfulness, davide. Those Romualdez people are indeed a piece of work. I’ve never seen a batch of people so intent on denying any responsibility for anything.

  10. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Before I use to think Philippine Press is hard of learning. Well, they can learn after all and it depends.

    The coverage of Ruby is intense. They check out NOAA. They use science. No more Filipino standing in lighthouses looking over the horizon to WITNESS coming doom and write AFFIDAVITS. They use science. BUT SCIENCE IS COMING FROM NOAA.

    WHY DOES PAG-ASA wanted more money? For what? When they can always go to NOAA,, National Service Service, etcetera …. FREE OF CHARGE !!!

    Somebody gotta investigate PAG-ASA. COA should check where PAG-ASA information coming from.

    • Cornball says:

      I guess we still have to do our part to contribute to a more precise forecast of the weather globally not just locally; if that means buying doppler radars or whatever to accurately measure wind and rain, personnel who know how to use it and maintain it etc.

      COA should stick to Binay and company for the time being.

      Chaos: The Making of a New Science by James Gleick is a good read from Edward Lorenz’ chaos theory, Lorenz coined the term the butterfly effect. If the variables can be accurately identified and measured it has an immense use in forecasting not only the weather but can also be applied to social and economic forecasts etc.

    • sonny says:

      “… Two states differing by imperceptible amounts may eventually evolve into two considerably different states … If, then, there is any error whatever in observing the present state — and in any real system such errors seem inevitable — an acceptable prediction of an instantaneous state in the distant future may well be impossible….In view of the inevitable inaccuracy and incompleteness of weather observations, precise very-long-range forecasting would seem to be nonexistent. ” — from Lorenz & Wiki

      My wife’s application of this in the winter is simply to feel the temperature of our apartment glass window and dress accordingly; while in the summer I go up to the condo solarium look at the cloud formations for a radius of 9 miles and project a 4-hour window of precipitation for the city. 🙂

      @ cornball

      “… immense use in forecasting not only the weather but can also be applied to social and economic forecasts etc. …”

      thanks for bringing up Lorenz. I’ve always been curious if there was a theory of chaos already formulated. I did guess it would be related to weather patterns. Due to the last sentence in the quote from Lorenz’s, it seems his theory cannot be applied to social and economic forecasts because these are well behaved systems compared to the weather. 🙂
      (What do I know, anyway.)

      • edgar lores says:

        Not sure about social systems but as for economic systems, the stock market is very much subject to this variable called “confidence”.

        In social systems, the appearance of an outlier — Jesus, Luther, Gandhi, et al — will also usher… not chaos precisely but change of a certain magnitude.

        In the blogosphere, Mariano — or is it I? — is/am the agent of chaos. 😉

        I would suggest that Cornball be appointed Head of the Clandestine Humorous, Amorphous and Omnifarious Section (CHAOS), a division of the Wacky, Resourceful, and Esoteric Cyberspace Knowledge Service (WRECKS).

      • Cornball says:

        Hi Sonny, I agree but what if forecasting the weather can be improved to say less than 20 km margin of error when it comes to predicting the path of typhoons and tornadoes with better instruments and better systems of data collection? That could already spell the difference in saving more lives and properties, 100% certainty is still in the realm of scifi.

        I beg to disagree that it cannot be applied to social and economic forecasts because they are well behaved systems, they are also complex if not more complex than the weather. Think about each individual separately or in groups (we’re not even talking about women here yet), imagine the dynamics of people to certain events, moral issues etc., which mass media is to some extent a large part of. Same with economics, there has been a trend of hiring quantum physicists in wall street to crunch numbers and apply QM theories to hedge funds.

        Wouldn’t it be nice if forecasting can be improved to 75% or up (whatever that means) to be a tool not just in picking our wardrobes and accessories for the day but in saving more lives?

        • edgar lores says:

          “…(we’re not even talking about women here yet)…”

          This parenthetical phrase is:

          1. Clandestine – because it is buried and enclosed in parenthesis.
          2. Humorous – but only to misogynists who used to be known as male chauvinist pigs.
          3. Amorphous – because it does not specify what type of women by age, size (both B sizes), hair color, body type, etc.)
          4. Omnifarious – precisely because it is inclusive of all types of women.

          Well done, Chief. First day on the job, and already on the way to being a… legend. 🙂

          P.S. Consider me a sissy. Grown men also cry.
          P.P.S. This is not payback for the porn-downloading joke. But wait… well, maybe it is!

        • sonny says:

          I hope you’re right. Humans have traceable histories, gas molecules under atmospheric conditions are less continuous. Maybe Maxwell’s demon can help 🙂

        • Joe America says:

          The coming typhoon is one of the most perplexing for forecasters to read, as far as direction and even intensity. In about a day it enters a convergence of weather patterns doing battle, and it becomes an element of that battle. Like a giant scramble and no one knows where it will pop out. Anywhere from north east to south west, which is 180 degrees of separation. The forecasters have been very clear to warn EVERYONE to prepare because they have a low confidence in any projection. They do a best guess, but it is truly a SWAG.

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    “With a new, powerful typhoon threatening central Philippines, the government has allotted P4.69 billion to support the preparation for the response of government agencies.

    According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the budgetary support will be drawn from the agencies’ quick response funds (QRFs).” – INQUIRER 12/3/2014

    This means happy days are here again. PDAF is gone. DAP is unconstitutional. Overpricing is so, like, yesterday.

    Now, the crooks are drooling. Ruby will hit Sunday. They have to spend P4,690,000,000.00 in three days !!! That is a lot of crook-money !!! That is plenty of zeroes.

    This means, no BIDDING! I REPEAT, “NO BIDDING”. It is Christmas time again. I can hear the chimes of Christmas bells tolling.


    Wanna bet? There will be controversy as usual! Witnesses lines up. Typists are needed to type affidavits.

    • sonny says:

      Ay santisima! I know honest, dedicated public servants who have to go to congress to justify their vital operating budgets. These people hold the line between chaos and minimal services to make things work for everyday people! And they’ll not even see any of that php 4.69 billion. 😦

  12. Pinoyputi says:

    At some predictions it shows Negros will receive, after the initial hit on the Eastern Visayas, a blow in the centre. With you, i am putting the sandbags and your checklist comes in handy. I put two more, extra sealant on the windows and plastic and clothes under the outside doors. And secondly, give Christmas bonus earlier to family and katulong so they can prepare them self for Ruby. Take care!

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