The theme of the FMI Energy Conference in September certainly stressed sustainability and conservation. There were no printed documents of PowerPoint presentations. They were not even on CD-ROM. They all came on a single, handy-dandy USB flash drive. There were no bottles of water to cart around. You had to get water from coolers in the hallway or pitchers on the tables.

While no formal sessions took place outdoors (it was, after all, Florida in early September), many breaks and social events did take place outside. That did create a couple of interesting adventures.

It seems Hurricane Ike was working its way through the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. Most forecasters said the storm would pass well south of central Florida, but local forecasters kept saying it “could” turn north.

As it was, Ike did stay pretty much westward, the results of which are well known in Texas. There were by-products of the storm for those of us in central Florida. High winds to go along with the humidity and 90°F days created some bad hair days for even those of us with little hair.

A walk from the hotel to a golf clubhouse nearby for a social event was supposed to be led by a bagpiper. But some rain spinning off from Ike made for a soggy evening and the need to be shuttled in golf carts.

These are common occurrences, however, in Florida in September, that can be an unpredictable month.

We at FMI were only a bit inconvenienced. But our hearts then - and now - go out to those more directly in the storm’s path.