31 December 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

As 2009 draws to a close and 2010 is on the horizon, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2010! And as they say in Slovenian, Rad bi zaželel vsem srečno novo leto 2010!

I am amazed that the first ten years of the new millenium have gone by so quickly - to me it seems like 2000 was just like yesterday. But we have seen a lot happen during these past ten years: The day America was attacked on 9/11/2001 is the biggest event that will be on our minds as a part of American history.

Moreover, in August 2004 we in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area held our breath and wondered if our area would be devastated as Hurricane Charley churned out there in the Gulf of Mexico. The preliminary forecast tracks had Charley coming through the Tampa Bay region and with it being a Category 3 storm, it had the potential of extensive damage. Pinellas County's Emergency Management officials took no chances and ordered the evacuation of persons residing in Evacuation Levels A and B - that's a lot of Pinellas County residents alone, and you got to factor in the mobile home residents who have to evacuate at any evacuation level.

Hurricane Charley got a lot of extensive media coverage, not only here in America but worldwide as well (even RTV Slovenia had coverage too!) Unfortunately, your blogmaster (and webmaster at EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com) had to evacuate and relocate to a hotel to ride out Charley; believe me, I was worried if the condo that I bought a few years earlier would hold up to Charley's devastating winds. Fortunately, Charley made a turn to the northeast sooner than expected and made landfall in the Port Charlotte-Punta Gorda area; when I watched the images of destruction on TV days after Charley hit I said to myself, what if Charley hit the Tampa/St. Petersburg area as originally forecasted? I was able to return home a few days after Charley passed.

The next year, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina took its toll on the New Orleans area with extensive damage, which is taking years to rebuild. I was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Baltimore a couple of days after Katrina hit New Orleans; I was headed to Baltimore to do US Copyright Office business in Washington, DC when I registered the copyright on both EdwardRingwald.com and Interstate275Florida.com. I was inspired to register for copyright on both websites after an incident involving the principal of Springstead High School in Spring Hill, Florida (an hour north of Tampa on the Suncoast Parkway, FL Toll 589) when she took words from other sources and passed them off as her own and used it for a graduation speech. You can read more about it on my copyright topic at EdwardRingwald.com.

Then the next few years came the collapse of the real estate market and the credit crunch that followed. The news media was more than willing to write stories about the credit crunch in a manner that would scare the public. In fact, I have a related blog entry you can read here that explains how the news media is misleading and scaring the public about the credit crunch.

May I throw in something for a moment? I used to subscribe to The Tampa Tribune as an alternative to the St. Petersburg Times. Right after the credit crunch started, everything in The Tampa Tribune was stories about the credit crunch that were presented in a way to scare the public. I was so fed up of the Trib's scare tactic stories that I ended up cancelling my subscription. Now the St. Petersburg Times is intensifying the scare tactic stories not only on the credit crunch but on the real estate market as well. But print and electronic media's goal is this: Blood sells.

Well, this was the first decade of the new millenium in a nutshell. Of course there are a lot of other things that have happened but to describe them would take a very long blog entry.

As 2009 fades slowly into the sunset and the dawn of 2010 on the horizon, there's going to be a lot of you celebrating New Year's Eve. Some of you will celebrate at home like I do, but some of you will be out and about partying until the stroke of Midnight. If you are out and about for New Year's Eve, please designate a driver and if you drink, don't drive. I have posted a blog topic over at the Interstate 275 Florida Blog on New Years Eve and the dangers of drinking and driving, which you can read here.

One more thing: 2010 will mark the tenth anniversary of EdwardRingwald.com! My websites have come a long way from its early days since it started out as a class project for a college introductory Internet course. More on that later.

Onward with 2010!

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