Posted by Dewey Jr.
Raining this morning, and there's still a lot of folks with damaged roofs. It's
not overly warm, but as the rain began this morning it started to get very
humid. I'll have to stop by the house later and get a fan for the kitchen and
see if I have any leaks from Wilma. Here at the restaurant we'll know
shortly how well our work has gone over the side room.
If the electric were back on we'd be able to give happier answers to all the
folks calling about stone crabs. Until we have juice, we won't be doing stone
Posted by Dewey Jr.
Hyper-extended my right elbow Sunday, while chain-sawing, but it could've
been worse. Christopher and Freddy were there helping, and I couldn't have
done it without them. My right arm was pretty close to useless all through
today, but some strength seems to be returning, and the pain was less after a
long hot bath earlier tonight.
Hot bath? you ask, thinking, "I thought he said the power was out"... well,
the restaurant's water heater is propane, so we have all the hot water we
need. So while 90% of the remaining 40% (as of today those without power)
of the county is taking cold showers, your's truly has been soaking in hot
water each night. I need a propane water heater for home too. And a
generator. On the list...
Better news today as well on power restoration. FPL is now saying
November 13th for full restoration in Broward. That's nine full days sooner
than they had been predicting. Woo Hoo! JEB! is calling in all the help
possible from other states. I figure 8 more days for us but who knows? In the
meantime, I've got to try to keep as many of the staff involved and focused
on the restaurant. Nobody's talking about what electric rates are going to be
like next summer... I don't think many care. I do think solar power
companies are in for a boon in the next few years, even if only for helping
ease the pain of FPL's financial needs in each month's bill.
One branch of Bank of America was open today on generator power, so I
finally made the weekend deposits from last week. When I called the main
customer service number this morning to find out if I had to go to Miami or
not they were much more informed today of the situation down here than my
previous call. (ref. the 10-26-05 posting below). I know... my one little rant
didn't cause some high level customer service meeting at Bank hindqua... I
mean headquarters, but I'd bet they had a boatload of calls like that.
Boatloads of calls, all with the same basic theme will tend to get attention.
A house on Joe's street caught fire today. A can of gas was too near the
generator and it exploded. I don't think anyone was hurt, but the frustration
of adding insult to injury...
Dany, one of the managers... part of his roof came off in the hurricane, so he
moved into the condo where his mom and brother live. Today that building
was ruled unsafe by Lauderdale Lakes officials and they were scrambling to
find a place to move. Frustration again.
Daylight savings time is over now, and it gets dark so early.
Frustration... it's being felt by all of us.
Posted by Dewey Jr.
Well, since Sysco, Empire or other suppliers are not delivering on Sunday,
we are not open for our emergency menu today. Everyone needs a rest
Power is being restored here and there, only we are neither here, nor there
yet. Adjacent grids have been powered up. There's two ways to look at that;
one is to say, "Well... we MUST be next!" and the other, " Our grid has
nothing vital to the community, as do the others... one has an elementary
school, another a gas station and the third a clinic. We may be slated for low
prioroity too, since our grid is rather smaller than others, thus fewer
customers. Third week of November is a distinct possibility."
Also, as more restaurants around that are fortunate enough to have power
restored, we may see more and more of our customers going to more normal
circumstances, especially if they are still without power... they are going to
crave a taste of normalcy. So, we will continue to operate our ad hoc
emergency food service, but are now going to focus on a thorough clean up;
there's still a lot of debris and cosmetic repairs to make. Now might be a
good time to re-carpet, and do other things we can't normally take care of
because of business.
Personally, today I have to take a chain saw to the remains of a ficus tree
and black olive tree and free up access to the yard at my house so FPL can
work there... hopefully soon there as well.
Be checking in tomorrow or next day, hopefully with all body parts still
Here's our modified menu we've been doing:
Menu Saturday, 10-29-2005
Catfish fillets and hushpuppies, fried, with choice of fries, green beans or
3 four ounce fillets ……….$6.00
5 four ounce fillets……….$10.00
Fried Shrimp (not our normal recipe due to emergency)
15 pc. With hush puppies and choice of fries, green beans or rice : 8.00
8 pc. Appetizer, sides not included: …..4.00
Fried clam strips, hush puppies and choice of side………………….6.00
Garlic chicken, sautéed with veggies over rice or pasta ……………6.00
Garlic shrimp, sautéed with veggies over rice or pasta ……………..8.00
2 chicken breasts, fried with hush puppies and choice of side………6.00
4 chicken tenderloins, fried with hush puppies and choice of side….6.00
Cheeseburger with choice of side ………………………………....5.00
Double cheeseburger with choice of side……………………………7.00
Hot chili over rice or pasta ……………………………….................5.00
Belly buster Hot Dog with choice of side …………………………..3.00
Chilidog with choice of side ………………………………...............4.00
Spaghetti and meat sauce (beef) ……………………………….........6.00
BIG chocolate chip cookie ……………………………….................1.50
Bottled soda ………………………………........................................1.50
Cold bottled beer (while we have ice) Have ID ready, please..............3.00
Some cocktails available. Ask bartender. Have ID ready please……..6.00
Friday, October 28, 2005
Posted by Dewey Jr.
My cell phone is showing it's the 28th, which means previous post date is
wrong. This is an example of one of the changes felt by many in a disaster
situation... loss of tracking what day it is. Kind of like what happens on a
really good vacation where you ask, "Is it Tuesday, or Wednesday?" Time
also sems distorted... daylight decides much of everthing.
This morning I was up at 7:00 AM, fired up and made coffee and sat out on
the new roof in lotus seat and watched the world. Cool, but clear sky and
bright sun was warming us up fast. The pace of everything seems to have
shifted. Mostly it's a slower pace. Driving around where there's absolutely
no stop lights working (if the stop lights are still there at all) definitely makes
for a slower pace.
There's stupid people around, of course, but most... the vast majority, are
more considerate and courteous than usual. There's definitely a feeling of
unity. Sure, I see everything through a very narrow viewpoint centered on
the restaurant, so I can't say how everything else, everywhere else is like, or
how the national perception is, but what I see is a very nice thing.
I sure hope it lasts. People's frustration over the lack of power has got to be
rising. I mean, even a vacation can get tiresome.
I heard on the local news this morning about a nine man, three truck crew
from North Carolina who restored power on their own to 15,000 in Dade
County in one day. They "hit the area running," as the newscaster reported,
repairing things as soon as they arrived and blasted through one area like
Sherman through Georgia. If all the other thousands of power workers from
other states are like these guys, between those guys and our own FPL things
look optimistic for Early November being pretty close to normal. Denuded of
a good share of trees, but normal.
When I get back on broadband I'll have some links to pictures.
8:50 PM Posted by Dewey Jr.
We are still operating as described yesterday. Sysco delivered today and will
again tomorrow. They don't run on Sunday, so I think we will all have a day
Cranked up the generator at 9:00AM, made and drank a pot of coffee.
Coffee always tastes better when one has been deprived for a couple of
days. But fuel for the generator is running low and I sat drinking that coffee
figuring the best way to get fuel. I decided to make a long range run to get
fuel... St Lucie County or further if need be. I can do that and be back in
about the same time as waiting in line for a $20.00 limit.
Roof work continued today as Shawn and I left to get gas. On the way up,
the service plazas on the turnpike had the $20.00 limit and there were cars
lined up 200 deep or more. It looked pretty grim, but we were prepared to go
220 miles to find "normal", but at our first stop in Stuart (79 miles) when we
stopped seeing catastrophic damage, we hit paydirt. Unlimited fuel @ $2.63
/gal, and 27 cars in front of us. I bought a pack of beef jerky, two cans of
Skoal, a full tank and 20 plus gallons in cans to bring back.... some for the
generator and the rest for a few employees low on fuel. Success! It sure
feels good. We found a Publix there too, and loaded up on ice, then headed
By closing time at 6:00 PM we had made good progress in all areas...all in
all a good day.
10:00PM Posted by Dewey Jr.
First off, I have not been able to get online. When you see this is when you
see this. This is going to be a record of my impressions, and what has been
I called Bank of America's 800 number today to ask where the closest
branch was that is open. Bayview and Sunrise he said. Great! I went there.
They were not open. Dude had no clue what I was asking. There's not an
operating branch online until St. Lucie County, I found out when I called
back and clarified what I was asking. Are that few people so uninformed that
they don't know what is going on in South Florida? I made it crystal clear
what I thought of the general intellect of the headquarters staff of Bank of
I've moved into the apartment upstairs. I know... that makes Shawn my
neighbor, but I don't have to burn precious gas to come here. And here's how
precious gas is... the VP Racing fuel station next door has been selling
racing gas. $9.40/gallon in five gallon cans. There was a line to get it too.
Sure, there's other places here and there, but you waste half a day in line.
Darcy tried to make it out of town to get to Tampa, but there was no fuel on
the turnpike until Ft. Pierce, she didn't have enough fuel to make it there,
and turned around and made it back on fumes. Other employees have left
the area, but there is a core of 15 who come in each day to work the food
part, or the cleanup/repair part. We split the net after food cost. We each do
our part, and we each recieve a share... kinda like marxism... not bad for a
hard core Republican, eh?
Wilma rippied off part of the roof over the side room exposing the Miami
Pine deck (it's a flat roof). Today we cleared off all debris and tomorrow we
nail down plywood and membrane with new flashing along the edges. Then
comes tar and tar paper. When that's done in the next couple of days, I'll
paint it with a coat of UV reflective elstomeric cover. It will be better than
before. Christopher (my oldest son) and Joe have been great at coordinating
and getting this job going.
We're still selling food from 1:00PM until 6:00 PM. Sysco, who is operating
their warehouse in Boynton with generators, is delivering what I ask for,
enough each day to cook and not worry about storage.
Our insurance company is Lloyd's through a local agency, but there is no
answer at the agency. I'm sure they're in bad shape like everyone. CNN
crew was seen nearby where FEMA was giving out ice and water... I wonder
what the national news people are showing.
I got a 3500 watt generator. Japanese brand from a guy in a parking lot. He
had four, $1200.00 each, cash, and it's good. Internal computer throttle
control makes 4 gallons last up to 24 hours. We run power tools on it, and I
charge this laptop at night, but can't keep it running and use up all the fuel.
While I was out looking, the Day's Inn by Home Depot on Oakland has this
huge sign on big steel I-neam girders. The I-beams were bent in half. I wish
I'd had my camera with me for that... I don't feel so bad now how our sign on
six in diameter steel poles was bent 25 degrees off vertical.
Did you know you can't siphon gas from newer cars? What you can do, is
detach the fuel line from the throttle body on the injectors system, stick a
section of hose from it down to a can, turn the ignition to "on" (but don't
crank the motor) and the electric fuel pump will pump gas for about 15 to 20
seconds. It stops automatically, but then you turn key to "off", back to "on"
and pump for another bit until you've gotten the fuel you need into the can.
A dude was stabbed cutting in a line to get gas, I heard. Folks are on edge,
but today seemed better than yesterday. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
"Stuff's gettin' better. Stuff's gettin' better every day," as the Postman said.
Cops patrol all night with blue lights flashing and spotlight probing the
darkness for curfew violators. They are a constant presence where ever I've
been, and it's clear... this will not be a New Orleans.
Tuesday 11:15 PM
Posted by Dewey Jr.
"Looks like we'll be closed Monday?" Was that an understatement, or
what? While we are waitning for the power to return, we are actually opening
from 1:00PM to 6:00PM doing to-go orders of smaller, more normal portions
of catfish, shrimp, ribs, and snow crab legs for very low prices. We are doing
this both because there is a need in the community for hot, fresh and
inexpensive meals. I have been assured by more than one supplier they can
deliver daily just what we need. We have to limit everything as much as
possible because without electric, I can't seat people, and I can't run more
than two gas appliances burning, or the automatic fire system will go off. It
went real well today, and it looks good as a way to keep my people working
as well as serve great food at great prices. I can't really think of more
worthy goals than that.
I'm limited on power to supply this laptop, so posts will be ad hoc for a time.
Sunday 11:30 PM
Posted by Dewey Jr.
Looks like we will be closed Monday. There is a best case scenario... the
storm passes quickly and the power stays on. In that case, we may be able to
open to the public around 6:00PM Monday. If there are no immediate
postings, it means I am without power. Good luck to all.
Posted by Dewey Jr.
At the end of business, Saturday, we had sold out of stone crabs. And I
thought I was being bold with the amount I brought in for the weekend.
Frankly, I was afraid we were not going to sell all we had. We plan on being
open today, Sunday, at 4:00 PM...weather permitting, we are under
hurricane warning... and have adequate Alaskan snow crab on hand for our
regular Sunday special. Looks like we'll all be hunkered down Monday, but
Wilma is expected to pass quickly through the area and Tuesday, provided
FPL is still up and running, we should be open our regular hours. I'll keep
you all posted on next delivery of stone crabs.
Saturday afternoon 10/22/2005
Posted by Dewey Jr.
All is well at the restaurant. Flooding reports on the news are misleading. I
encountered no flooding going there this morning. The low areas of Oakland
Pak are affected, but main access from Oakland Park Blvd. and Commercial
Blvd. are normal and dry.
Saturday Oct. 22,2005
We are running low on large stone crabs. We have good supply on mediums,
and fair supply on jumbos.
It's 3:00 AM Sat morning and a little while ago a tornado cell went through
Oakland Park. It got VERY gusty at my house east of there, and I'm hoping
the power was not taken down at the restaurant. I'll know more after
Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005
posted by Dewey Jr.
Looks like we will have stone crabs as well as decent weather through
Saturday & Sunday... maybe longer. Wilma has slowed, and we've stocked
well with claws and contracts through the weekend. We have mediums, large
and jumbos, though jumbos may not last through weekend. Last night I had a
pound of the large. You know, check the quality and all that. Well, I'm here
to tell you, they were fantastic. No wonder folks go "stone crab crazy" this
time of year; there's nothing like 'em, a true South Florida delicacy.
I may have to check them alongside a tenderloin steak... hmmm
... Well... somebody has to do this work! :)
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005
posted by Dewey Jr.
Wilma, a cat-5 at this time, still forecast to pass right through(or close
enough to effect)the best stone crab procucing areas.
Already, I'm being told by several suppliers, Thursday the 20th is the last
day to get stone crabs. This should keep us in stock through Saturday,
10/27/05. We have medium, large and jumbo stone crabs. We have all-you-
can-eat dinners, two pound dinners and one pound dinners.
October 18, 2005
Well, stone crabs opened, as usual, with a bit of difficulty. Prices are pretty
high, but seem to be settling. Supplies of mediums and large are strong so
far, but there are indications mediums are not as plentiful as we are all
accustomed. Deliveries today and tomorrow (Wednesday) will include
jumbos. The big unknown right now, is what tropical storm Wilma is going to
do. Current tracks forecast its path right over stone crab alley this coming
weekend. Fishermen are probably going to pull their traps before this
weekend, rather than risk losing them in the storm. This could mean
shortages in the early part of next week.