The Coyne'r'Butch Christmas Letter 2017

  Hi, Everyone! It's another Christmas letter from Coyne'r'Butch.

May your stocking runneth over!
Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2017
So two years have gone by. Here it is, Christmas Day, 2017, and I never really got ready for Christmas 2016. I know I should have sent cards last year, but somehow I just didn't feel like being ready for Christmas.

Part of that was all the changes at work. For twenty years, I have worked on an in-house software product called SunCare, wearing one hat or another. Most of that time, I worked for Florida Hospital as an employee, with a short four-year start in Sunbelt Systems Concepts, which founded that software.

Florida Hospital is a subsidiary of Adventist Health System. For some time, a replacement of SunCare has been looming, as has a transfer to work directly under AHS. In 2016, the first part of that arrived in April, a transfer to Adventist Information Technology and, a bit later, a move to a shiny new Solutions Center for my place of work. The replacement of SunCare is now definitely targeted for first quarter 2019.

And it involves a ton of changes: workplace, work dress, new processes, new software, new culture. Frankly, 2016 was a bit overwhelming.

Hurricane Irma
In early September, pretty much everyone in Florida got a surprise—and very unwelcome—visitor: Hurricane Irma. I came through mostly unscathed, though it did strip about two thirds of the shingles off of the north side of my roof.

Apparently, Irma set a goal of touring every Caribbean island and all of Florida. Did most of them, too. So far, the damage is estimated at $67 billion, $50 billion of that in the United states. Key West (the town) is largely gone. We're lucky we didn't get the same, but Irma's timing was bad coming ashore in south Florida (she was doing an eyewall replacement cycle just then) and the wind speed dropped much faster than anticipated.

"But it missed you, Coyne?!" Ummm...yeah. The track of the eye missed me. But when a storm is 420 miles wide (maximum–maybe only 250 by the time it got to me) a miss counts. ("Horseshoes, hand grenades, nukes...and hurricanes.") I was amazed that I got power back after only 3 days. People I work with had no power for weeks. Think about your life with no power but a generator...for your refrigerator. No lights, no computers, no cable, no stove or microwave, no cell phone (or even land line many places), and no air conditioning in 90° heat and 50% humidity.

Only the later Hurricane Maria was worse, with an estimated $104 billion in damages and, probably, more than 500 dead in Puerto Rico. Thank you, Lord, for looking after us, and for leaving Florida off Maria's list.

Fun With Dragons
I went to Universal Studios Resort three times this year, twice with friends Joe and Vicki. The first time we went to Islands of Adventure, the second to the main part, Universal Studios Florida. I didn't go on many of the rides; too delicate a flower for that anymore. Except the water rides, of course...

But I didn't feel like going on any of these either, because these guys are serious about getting you wet. If you ride one of the Universal water rides, you will come out looking like a half-drowned rat. Well, unless you wear a poncho, in which case you will come out looking like a half-drowned rat in a poncho. Yeah, ponchos don't help much.

The third time, I went the main park by myself just to burn the third day of my three-day pass. I didn't do rides and I didn't watch shows—all I did was wander around and look at things. And spend a quite a while in Wizarding World of Harry Potter, trying to get a good picture of the dragon spouting. (Part of the deco is a large faux dragon on top of the faux magical bank, that spouts flame at intervals.) Took four tries, but my last shot is not bad at all:

Taken with my Samsung S7 cell phone, which did a wonderful job of making me look like a photography wizard. But the timing and composition are all mine.

I suppose after you've been half-drowned on a water ride, that the dragon could dry you out right quick.

Obligatory Florida Christmas Decoration
Reindeer horns on a Nissan:
Sorry, guy, but I don't think that thing will be towing Santa's sleigh real soon.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.