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Faucet Dripping

Published for Saturday - February 17, 2024

Faucet Drip

Written Friday - 02/16/24 1:30 PM

We're headed for some cold weather this weekend. As usual, the night time is where the cold temps are slated to move in but cold days are also being called for. Just not at the same level.

Weather.com is calling for a low of 27°F on Saturday night moving into Sunday and a low of 26°F on Sunday night moving into Monday. Looks like I'll being doing some faucet dripping on those days. Highs are expected to be in the mid to upper 40's on Saturday and the mid to upper 50's on Sunday.

By the way, in a month with a lot of faucet dripping the water bill was only about $3.50 more than in a month with no dripping. I'm not concerned with dripping a faucet to avoid busted water pipes. I've seen where the water feeds into the house and fear we could indeed have a problem with sub-freezing temperatures. We're truly blessed to have very low water bills over-all.

I wish I could say the same for the electric bills, but they are a different matter altogether. Our average electric bill has been in the low to mid 100's. Unfortunately, on one very cold month this year we were left with a $311.87 bill. I guess that's to be expected when heating and cooling our home is completely a function of electricity.

No rain in the schedule until the week after next and those forecasted rains are slated to take us into the new month of March. The good news is that low temps are moving in an upward direction and should transfer from the 30's to the 40's the last week of this month.

My wife tells me that another gardener she ran into suggested that on average the local forecast is not really safe for staying above the freezing level until after Good Friday. In 2024, Good Friday falls on the last Friday in March.

I guess we'll see if that prediction holds true for 2024. I know my wife is ready to do some stuff in the yard and her garden! We started a stepping stone project in the highly sloped side yard this past week to kick off the season.




Weather

Published for Tuesday - February 13, 2024

WX

Written Sunday - 02/11/24 9:05 AM

As I write it's Sunday morning. This will be published the day before Valentine's Day.

We were slated for storms last night, but they either skipped over us, or went around us, or most likely just fell apart. That's usually what happens when we are slated for bad weather in the forecast.

We got some rain judging by what it looks like outside, but both my wife and I usually wake up when a storm passes through and last night we both slept like a baby as they say.

Looks like we're in for some more rain today with storms moving in this afternoon and hanging around until about midnight. We'll see if that happens.

Addendum: 02/12/24 07:20 AM

Well, looks like we got the midnight rain that was in the forecast last night. In fact, while Patty and I were watching YouTube everything went off for a few seconds - just long enough to show us how dark my office area is when the power is off.

Fortunately, the power stayed on the rest of the night and we got some good sleep after the storms moved through.




More Temps

Published for Thursday - February 01, 2024

Temps 2

Written Wednesday - 01/31/24 7:00 AM

Well, today as I type it's Monday the 30th of January and still Patty's Birthday. I managed to get my run in this morning and after a Therapy visit and a run to Walmart to pick up groceries, I also managed to stop by Mickey D's on the way home to pick up lunch for Patty and I. No cooking on her Birthday and especially with her under the weather (like we both seem to be.)

Bu the way, as this goes to publication it is Thursday and the last day of my balance Therapy. Woo-hoo! With the assortment of topics on this post, I should probably have gone with a tile more in keeping with the mixed nuts theme. Oh, well.

I'm spending a bit of time fighting the blog and scrambling to join the Pacific Maritime Mobile Net on 15 meters. Kevin is net control and seems a very nice guy. Yesterday and today he had me put out a call for check-ins and yesterday is was nice to meet Roger up in Oregon.

It's currently 63°F but looks like we're going to drop below freezing tomorrow night and then we're not slated for any drops below freezing in the 10 day forecast.

In fact, we are looking at low temps in the upper 30's ranging toward the upper 40's and highs ranging anywhere from 50 °F to the upper 60's. That should present Patty with a welcome opportunity to enjoy one of the porches. I can tell she is chomping at the bit to get outside and do something in the garden and to enjoy those porches.




Temps

Published for Wednesday - January 17, 2024

Temps

Written Tuesday - 01/16/24 7:15 AM

Well, I got up around 3:30 AM the first time to check things out. The temp as shared on my phone app was 27 °F. However, the temp on the outside located thermometer was only 20 °F.

That's the first time I've ever seen the outside temp fall below the one listed on the internet. It's usually the other way around and by a margin of 5 to 10 degrees °F.

I got back up 20 minutes later and the internet temp was 25 °F as opposed to the outdoor thermometer which came in at 22 °F. They were inching closer together but the outdoor temp was still below the internet listed temp. That is totally unusual around here.

Outside, there's no evidence of any precip in the front, but the same cannot be said for the back. The upper deck is wet and there are frozen drops of water hanging from the guard rails.

As I type it's cold down stairs and I'm mentally preparing for a run. The time is 7:26 AM. The internet temp comes in at 18 °F and the outdoor temp is down at 15 °F. I never dreamed we would see temps like that around here.

Water is still being dripped at the kitchen sink and will probably continue for a good part of the day if not the entire day. Fortunately, I cancelled my therapy appointment and can stay tucked in for tomorrow.

Addendum: 1/16/24 8:05 AM

It's still only 15 °F so the precip I'm seeing must be sleet or frozen rain. I suspect it's sleet judging by the appearance of it. I just found the following definitions on Google of the difference between sleet and freezing rain.

'Freezing rain develops when the raindrops do not have time to freeze before hitting the ground. The water then freezes once it hits the ground, making a layer of ice. Sleet is when frozen precipitation melts as it falls through warm air and then refreezes before it hits the ground.'

So, what I'm seeing is definitely sleet - according to the above anyway.

Addendum #2: 1/16/24 8:30 AM

Just looked out the window and now it's snowing! Smiley




Wild Weather

Published for Tuesday - January 16, 2024

Freeze

Written Monday - 01/15/24 9:10 AM

Well, as I type it's Monday and we're headed for some rough weather tomorrow. Rough weather?

Yep! Accumulations of ice and snow are possible with lengthy periods of below freezing temps. That makes for a rough combination.

What really concerns me is that our water is pumped up the hill since we're on a relatively high point. If power drops around here (and particularly to that pumping station) then we won't have any water to drip. I'm not quite sure how to handle that scenario but suppose I will find out if we lose power.




More Weather

Published for Wednesday - January 10, 2024

wx010824

Written Tuesday - 01/09/24 12:25 PM

Had to go to the doctor very early about double vision. He already took corrective measures but they didn't last long. He took another step and all looked very good on the drive today back to the house.

As such, I just finished my run for the day (no weights today) and decided to work on the next blog entry. As for the weather, we had a major storm last night and the rain gauge was filled to the top (over 5 inches!)

I have included weather map images of the storm taken from the phone.

weather010824-2

weather010824-3

weather010824-4a




Weather

Published for Tuesday - January 09, 2024

Windy

Written Monday - 01/08/24 7:10 AM

Well, it looks like we're probably going to avoid any snow or wintry mix. However, the rains and winds seem to be headed this way.

I suspect we will miss most of the stronger excitement but still may be in line for some of the left-overs. And, they may not be that much fun - especially the winds.

As usual, the rains and the freezing weather don't seem to arrive at the same time, but you won't hear this guy complain about that. And as cheap as our water is, there's just no problem doing the drip thing if we're supposed to fall below freezing overnight.

Looks like we may be doing some drip stuff coming up this weekend and on into early next week. We'll see if the forecast holds together.




The Snows Arrive!

Published for Saturday - December 30, 2023

Snows Arrive

Written Thursday - 12/28/23 04:15 PM

I'm typing this a day ahead since the Snow family is slated to arrive today. I don't want to be in a position of having to pull myself away from the crowd in order to go and type a post.

Admittedly the picture is a bit off the mark for the post, but close enough. Snow arrives - get it?

Besides, I thought the pic had a lot of character and even some emotional value.




Wintry Mix

Published for Friday - December 29, 2023

Wintry Mix

Written Wednesday - 12/27/23 12:50 PM

That's what the weather guessers are calling for. A wintry mix.

According to the weather guessers, it should arrive Thursday night leading into Friday morning. The Snow family may wind up driving in some of that if it does indeed arrive as forecasted.

They're calling for a 10% chance of a wintry mix starting around 6 AM and continuing through 7 AM. Doesn't sound too promising for our location, but we'll see.

Addendum: 12/28/23 04:05 PM

Well, it looks like the wintry mix is no longer in the forecast for our area. In fact, the low for the night is forecast for 33 °F. Since we tend toward something close to 10 degrees above the norm, I won't even be looking to do a drip in our area.

I'll probably wake up early and check the temp to ensure that I don't need to drip a faucet at the last minute for some crazy change to the forecast.

Addendum: 12/29/23 08:30 AM

The wintry mix showed up after all, on the map but not at our place. It did go all the way down to I-20 (about 15 miles south of us) but skipped over us on the way toward Georgia. Do dripping and everything was fine.




Weather

Published for Sunday - December 17, 2023

Rain Z

Written Saturday - 12/16/23 9:15 AM

While our forecast calls for rain, the automated weather map has it skipping us completely. That's not an unusual occurrence around here.

We're scheduled for rain Saturday and Sunday and who knows how that will work out with our drive over to see Jonathan and Amy, not to mention all of us going to the Nutcracker Ballet.

We're planning to spend the night with Jonathan and Amy and while Jonathan has to get up and out early on Monday, we plan to sleep in a bit and get up with Amy and grab some coffee before we head to my doctor's appointment.

I hope the testing being done by the inner-ear team proves fruitful because if it doesn't, I'm going to have to change gears completely. No telling what is going to happen on that one, so I guess (and as I've said so many times before) we'll see...




Rainy Days

Published for Sunday - December 10, 2023

Rainy Weather

Written Saturday - 12/09/23 10:35 AM

Well, as I write it's Saturday the 9th and looks like were in for some rain today and tomorrow, or at least that's the forecast anyway.

I say that because the forecast often doesn't describe the reality of things. It seems we often get more rain in the forecast than we do on the ground.

Monday is our anniversary and there's no rain in the forecast for that day. More about the anniversary in tomorrow's blog post.

One of the things I try to keep up with is freezing weather. That's because I want to make sure I do the drip thing or those nights where temps are below freezing. Looks like we may be facing such a situation Sunday night going into Monday. We'll see...

Addendum: 12/10/23 09:30 AM

Rainy

Looks like we got almost 2.5 inches in that gullywasher last night!




Warming Weather

Published Sunday - NOVEMBER 05, 2023

Warmer Weather

Written Saturday - 11/04/23 7:15 AM

Well, we've gone through our freezing spell and are headed to warmer weather. It didn't take me long to get all I wanted of the cold stuff.

It's odd but the online forecast called for much colder temperatures than we experienced out where we live. I'm not sure we got below 32°F out this way but online was calling for something closer to the mid 20's.

That Patty's stuff survived in her garden and the big raised beds on the back deck is a good indicator of the difference between what we saw online and what we experienced out our way. We just didn't experience anything as cold as was forecast for our area.

Oh, and no complaints here. Perhaps we will be able to enjoy a season without any heat or AC and see the power bill drop just a bit. That is always welcome and enjoying an open door and a few open windows is always an added bonus.




Fall Weather

SEPTEMBER 28, 2023

Fall

09/27/23 7:55 AM

Well, the days start off like fall and end up something like summer. Doing all of that yard work in the brutal hot sun had me sweating like a hot summer day early yesterday afternoon.

I heard the air running some last night so it couldn't have gotten to cool outside. A quick check of the outdoor thermometer reflected right around 70°F this morning. Lately when I get up it indicates 60°F but even then it still gets up above 90°F during the day.

I'm ready for that crisp football weather that usually rolls in around this time of year.

Bring it on!




Gutter Guard

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

Gutter Guard

09/19/23 6:40 PM

Yesterday, Mike and Kim (my handyman and his assistant) came by and took measurements and then went over to Lowes to purchase three foot sections of Amerimax Snap-in Gutter Filters. At $2.28 per guard (3 foot section) plus installation costs, I couldn't beat the deal and I'm very encouraged when comparing the price to other options.

The guards are a vinyl mesh and snap-in place to lock tight to the gutters. I'm really looking forward to leaf free gutters and downspouts. In addition to locking to the gutters, they slide under the roofing shingles for a seamless approach that really looks good and seems highly protective of the gutters.

With that all done and paid for, it will probably be a long time before any rain shows up to take everything for a test run. Ofcourse I'm expecting great things when they finally happen!




Medicine and Weather

AUGUST 31, 2023

Medicine

08/29/23 07:05 PM

Yesterday, I picked up some medicine prescribed by my ear doctor for my balance challenges. It was a rainy drive over to the pharmacy, but things cleared up by the time I went back to the car and made my way home.

I took my first dose last night but unfortunately could not tell any difference. We'll give it a few days and see if there are any positive changes.

On the weather front, we've been taking note of hurricane Idalia. She's hitting the place we used to live, right on the gulf, in Crawfordville, Florida. All indications peg her reaching a category 4 storm right before she hits land and moves over to a category 3.

I'm truly concerned for the folks that purchased our home. They are looking at some highly destructive winds and storm surge. I pray for them and their home.

The seawall we put in should provide a small amount of support for the place. I hope it's enough to keep their home standing up on those high stilts.

The mess I used to have to clean up, before the seawall was installed, was unbearable. And the exposure to the cement base for each stilt had been worrisome to say the least.




Weather

AUGUST 11, 2023

wx081023

08/10/23 06:30 AM

Woke up to thunderstorms and rain. Haven't checked the rain gauge yet, but have to believe it contains a substantial amount of rain water based on what I heard.

More trips to the doctor for Gabe today and who knows what else. I'm pretty high in my weight range (up 3.4 pounds from the bottom and only 1.6 pounds from the top) so time to trim it back - especially after all that pasta I ate yesterday.

Looking forward to having Jonathan over this weekend to visit with Allie and Gabe, and of course Patty and I. Hoping we can get things done quickly for Gabe so that everyone can breathe a deep sigh of relief.

08/10/23 09:30 AM

Just checked the rain gauge and there was 1.75 inches. Looks like we will all go to the doctor in Gardendale again, to make a drop and pick up a form. Afterward, I think Gabe and the girls want to shop at Hobby Lobby and a few other places.




Weather

AUGUST 07, 2023

Weather 3

08/06/23 07:05 AM

Well, I was thinking it was going to be a quiet Sunday, but I'm not so sure anymore. In fact, I was thinking it was going to be a quiet Saturday evening last night, that is until the rain showed up - and boy did it show up!

Now they're forecasting big storms this afternoon. It will be interesting to see if they arrive, but lately the forecasts have all been accurate, unlike what we've experienced over the last few weeks and months - where the rain was in the forecast but never arrived.

One thing is for sure, the grass will tell us how the weather has been. When it has been raining, we can't wait for the yard crew to make their bi-weekly rounds. If it has been dry, the crew still comes but the job doesn't seem as demanding as it does when it's been raining.




Weather

JULY 20, 2023

WX071823-1

WX071823-2

07/19/23 07:10 AM

Well, the weather moved in last night during our ham radio net. We were all chatting away and the lightning and thunder rolled in and not long after, the rain followed (all pictured above.) Needless to say, we all cleared out and unplugged pretty fast.

As I type this Wednesday morning, there's some pretty serious weather up in the Tennessee and Kentucky regions, but it's just far enough to the east that its southeastern movement should allow it to skip past us.

We've got rain slated for the next four days including today, but the odds of anything hitting us look pretty low except for this coming Saturday. As I've said so many times before, I guess we'll see...

Update:

As I type it's now 10:00 AM Wednesday and there's additional weather buildup in the Tennessee region. The futurecast forecast shows it approaching us and at the same time falling apart. Whether it hits here will be anyone's guess.




Heat Advisory

JULY 02, 2023

Heat Advisory

07/01/23 07:05 AM

We've been under a heat advisory for days and it looks like it will go through the weekend. It's been pretty brutal around here.

The forecasted high for today is 97 and the outdoor thermometer has indicated temps over 100 even when the forecast only called for high 90's. Like I said, it's been pretty brutal.

We've got a week's worth of rain in the forecast starting on Monday. Not sure if we will see everything in the forecast, but we should see at least some of it.

On an unrelated note, it was so good to get my new glasses. It still feels funny to be picking them up at the hardware store, but Todd seems to know what he is doing up there and the price sure is right. In fact, I paid about 1/3 of what I paid for the last pair at one of those fancier places.

The technology is amazing and it completely eliminated my double vision. Despite the call for prism in the glasses, the grind value was actual base out with nothing indicated in the prism boxes. It was also nice to get out of that cloudy foil they laid over my right lens to handle the test for the base out prescription on my old pair of glasses - which will now serve as my spare pair.

On another unrelated note, Patty and I are looking forward to the fireworks on the fourth of July and we're especially looking forward to both seeing Jonathan and Amy that week as well as a trip out to see the Allie and the entire Snow family sometime around this year's Halloween. Should be fun!




Weather

JUNE 20, 2023

Stormy Nights

06/19/23 01:55 PM

I think last night was the first time in a while that the weather has matched the stormy forecast. We have more than a few forecasted stormy nights but nothing ever showed up on the radar or outside.

We got 1.25 inches of rain last night and plenty of lightning and thunder to go along with it. That was enough water on the ground to wave off our yard crew in favor of a dryer yard - hopefully later this week.

We close up the cat in the guest room each night and she sleeps on the bed, but when the storms roll in, I've seen evidence that she goes down under the bed in search of a safe hidey-hole. I'm guessing that's what she did last night.




Oneonta

JUNE 15, 2023

Blount County ARC

06/14/23 05:25 PM

Well, as mentioned yesterday, it was a busy day.

Bob rode with me to Oneonta for the Blount County Amateur Radio Club meeting (pictured above) last night and we met at the Little Brick Church, as it is called. On a humorous note, no one picked up the keys to the church so one of the members climbed in through an unlocked window to gain access to the building.

A lot of discussion was had regarding the upcoming Field Day. That was pretty much our sole purpose for being at the meeting and Bob did a good job of soliciting for the much needed equipment for the event. Looks like we should be good to go weekend after next.

I had an opportunity to visit with Bob before we left for the meeting and he showed me around the radio shack and the property. It was good to be able to see where he lives and where he is located when we're talking over the air.

I couldn't believe how far away from everything Bob and Theresa's place was. What would probably require a one minute boat ride took 30+ minutes by road and it was all a 2 lane blacktop. Even with headlights, it made for a rather dark ride on the drive home.

On an unrelated note, I missed supper due to the early departure that was necessary to get to Bob's place, visit, and get to the club meeting a bit early. I snacked on some left overs when I got home and was sure my weight would be up.

Much to my surprise, it was down and put me about a pound below the bottom of my 5 lb. range. That's always a good place to be.

Looks like we're in for a stormy day today. The rain and thunder have already moved in and look like they're here to stay for a while.




Spring Cleaning

JUNE 13, 2023

Spring Cleaning

06/12/23 08:30 AM

I suppose the title of this post should read, 'Summer Cleaning.' Thinking I'm a bit late for the spring season.

We've been picking up all along on things like the garage, but my desk was an entirely different story. Talk about things just crammed in folders.

That's what it was like until I just went through and did some paper shuffling and folder building. Hopefully things are now in a more appropriate filing system.

And talk about some things that needed to be thrown away. The garbage can here in my office is now full of stuff that should have been tossed way back when instead of saved in folders with no names.

On an unrelated note, we sure got some severe weather last night. The strong winds rearranged everything on the back deck and the lightning and cracks of thunder were intimidating to say the least.

The winds moved our sofa and blew over a heavy fan on a stand. I'm amazed that we got less than 1/4 inch of rain out of the whole thing. I still wonder if that happens to our rain gauge when the strong winds cause it to rain sideways instead of straight down.

Oh, and the wonderful news is that the high winds provided a good test for the ham antenna and rotor which stood tall and strong during the event. I'm quite grateful for that!




Rain and Revelation

JUNE 05, 2023

Rain and Revelatin

06/04/23 08:35 AM

I went searching for a picture to match the post title and was surprised to discover that there is a novel by the same name. The book cover didn't look like anything I wanted to use, and so I found something different.

It's never easy to write a post with two topics and even more difficult to find a picture for the post. I had to do a bit of whittling to make it work.

Only recently there was no call for rain at all. And now, it is supposed to arrive this afternoon.

Interesting how quickly the forecast changes. No rain due, and now all of a sudden we're expecting rain. Bring it, please. We need it.

On the spiritual front, I've been reading Revelation. However, I'm not sure such reading is very beneficial. My study bible always seems to point out the different interpretations from various scholars.

I'm not sure I'm in a place to benefit greatly from this book. I may go on to the Gospels and consider Revelation at another time. I'm not sensing any positive direction from such diversity of opinions and I have no interest in trying to form my own opinion from what I'm reading.

There are those who seem to enjoy this puzzle. It's not for me, at this time anyway.




Rainy Forecasts

MAY 13, 2023

Rainy Forecasts

05/12/23 07:50 AM

I've become so cynical on the actual delivery of those rainy forecasts that I went to bed without giving a thought to my normal before bed review of the late night forecast. I crashed without giving it a look.

Well, much to my surprise this morning there was water all over the porch and a rain gauge review revealed 2.5 inches of rain had fallen last night. That was a big surprise and I wasn't awake for any of it.

I'm sure the yard is happy and I'm confident that Patty's garden received a super-charge from all of that rainfall. I suspect we also made a pretty good dent in our annual Ohatchee, Alabama rainfall forecast of 52 inches.

We've had 3.75 inches of rain this month and 11.25 inches since I started tracking rainfall back in the last week of March.




Weather

MAY 03, 2023

Tornado 1

05/02/23 10:15 AM

Well, it's Tuesday and it's sunny. The weather is supposed to remain sunny up until Friday.

With the arrival of Friday is supposed to be the arrival of a week of rain. That's according to the forecast anyway.

One thing is for sure - although we've had a lot of rain, the forecast has far exceeded what has truly arrived and hit the ground. Somehow or another, it seems the forecasted rain usually tends to slide by us - either to our north or to our south.

Ohatchee, Alabama has an average annual rainfall of 52 inches. That's 4.33 inches per month.

According to my rain gauge, we had 5.25 last month. We had almost 2 inches in the last week of the previous month when I started measuring. From what I remember, we probably had a similar month to last month with over 5 inches.

The picture above is of an area of Ohatchee, Alabama where an EF-4 tornado struck back on April 27, 2011. With images like this, it's no wonder that they have added storm shelters to new homes up this way (ours included.)

Winds were around 180 mph and for all of the tornadoes that struck that day there were 81 injuries and 22 fatalities according to the National Weather Service. The path of damage for the day was over 70 miles in length.




Rain

APRIL 09, 2023

wx040823

04/08/23 07:45 AM

I didn't hear any rain last night. And I wasn't sure when it was supposed to move in today. However, I knew we were expecting lots of it today.

I woke up a couple of times last night - each time to no rain. Then, sometime between 5 am and 6 am this morning I heard it arrive. And arrive it did!

The screenshot above was taken just a few moments ago and not only is it still raining, but it's expected to continue up until early evening.

Fortunately, the forecast is clear for tomorrow. That means our drives to and from Jonathan and Amy's, to join them for lunch and an Easter afternoon, should be nice and dry.

I decided to start tracking our rainfall last month and this month we've had one half inch plus whatever we get today, which should be a pretty good bit. In fact, I just checked the rain gauge and we've already had 1.5 inches as I type.

I actually started tracking the last week of last month and we had 1.75 inches that fell over two days during the first part of that week. I know what you're thinking. I guess tracking data is just one of my things, LoL!




Weather

MARCH 28, 2023

WX032623

03/27/23 08:20 AM

Well, we had more storms last night and what we saw is pictured above. I snapped this picture just before 10 PM.

I've also started dumping the rain gauge and keeping up with it on my phone. I dumped 1" of rain on 3/26 @ 1:45 PM and .75" of rain this morning (3/27) @ 8:00 AM.

Fortunately, everything outside (including the garden beds) weathered the storm just fine. That's a good thing. I honestly thought we received more rain than I found in the rain gauge this morning. Interesting.




More Weather

MARCH 03, 2023

WX030223

03/02/23 10:40 AM

Well, it looks like the big event for today (Thursday) is the weather. We're staying tucked in and out of it since the rain seems to be all around us.

More rain tomorrow and then Saturday and Sunday look to be nice, sunny days. I suppose by the time they get here, I'll be ready.

Only one more garden raised bed to fill with garden soil and then on to the fence for bushes, border, landscape fabric, and some kind of mulch filler. We've got the bushes and need to get them in the ground, no matter what the upcoming weather looks like.

Addendum:

03/03/23 10:25 AM

WX030323

Speaking of what the weather looks like, here's a shot (above) of what we're expecting later today (Friday) around 1:00 PM.

Looks like we're really in for it.




Bye, Bye, Winter

FEBRUARY 23, 2023

Winter 1

02/20/23 10:00 AM

Winter doesn't officially end until March 20th so I'm offering this post in faith. Faith that the freezing and sub-freezing weather are behind us. No one ever knows for sure if there is going to be a late season freeze and I'm sure more than one garden has been impacted by late season freezes and anxious gardeners.

We took a long look at the future forecasts today and even the one day of winter that seemed to be left on the ten-day forecast had moved up a couple of degrees and only one degree short of 40°F. That's encouraging.

We've got the yard guys coming by Wednesday (on a very mild day) to pick up 12 large bags of leaves and the small and now dead pine trees that they cut down. Not much of a list for them but that's all we have left for them until they start cutting our grass in a few weeks.

The only thing I have left in the yard is to place some dirt in some low areas, both below the concrete on the back of the house and in the troughs that were formed from the down-spouts on the rain gutters. I've connected some large hoses to the down-spouts in those areas to channel the rain away from those trough-prone areas.

We've still got a lot of work to do in Patty's garden area and with this milder weather moving in (fingers crossed, LOL!) we're going to start knocking things out over there too.




Photographing Lightning

FEBRUARY 22, 2023

Christ the Redeemer Lightening

02/19/23 11:10 AM

I came across this picture on a weather report today. It caught my attention because of my love for lightning photography and all of the time and effort I have invested in that direction.

My wife saw me looking at the picture and mentioned that I should blog about it. I thought it was a great idea and took her up on her suggestion.

I discovered that there are a lot of pictures of lightning striking the Christ the Redeemer statue and this is a shot captured by Fernando Braga on February 10, 2023.

The statue sits atop a 2,400 perch above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One report suggests it was built to withstand 124 mph winds and has been through a lot of storms.

That same report indicates that there are lightning rods in the head and arms to direct frequent strikes to the ground and that despite this precaution lightning has still caused significant damage on more than one occasion.

By the way, if you want to get a pretty decent lightning shot, take a cell phone with a good camera and shoot a video of some lightening as it's happening. Then when you get a video with a good lightning bolt in it, pause the video over the shot and screen print it.

Voila!

That's all there is to it.




More Weather

FEBRUARY 18, 2023

More Weather

02/16/23 11:15 AM

As I write it's Thursday, February 16th, despite the February 18th publication date. We're supposed to have some bad weather on the way. But as we've grown to understand around here, weather forecasts are a crap-shoot.

On a side note, the game is 'craps' and should probably be craps-shoot. However, it's been incorrectly stated for so long that people might think I've lost it if I tried to use 'craps-shoot' in my post. Sorry, I digress.

As long as I digress, I remember going to work one time with my grandfather on my dad's side. He was a foreman at a construction site in Atlanta, GA.

Before the day started, they rolled the dice. Grandpa (as I called him) had me take his roll to see if I could bring him some 'luck' and I remember rolling a pair of ones.

I didn't know it but I had rolled 'snake eyes', which for those who don't know is an automatic loss of one's bet in the game of craps. I didn't know how I did with my roll, but the groans and laughter told me what I did wasn't good.

Needless to say, I didn't roll the dice anymore that morning.

So, back to my comments regarding the weather. We're due for something and it's supposed to be nasty. In fact, Jonathan's school is taking a virtual day just in case. Of course, that means the weather will skip us entirely. If they hadn't gone to a virtual day, the weather would have probably slammed us, LOL!

Anyway, by the time this post gets published any storms will most likely be a distant memory. I hope so anyway. We don't need or want anything memorable.

By the way, and speaking of weather, we've got another night in the 20's coming up this weekend. I think we're about ready to be done with those sub-freezing temperatures.

Come on Spring!




The Write Time

JANUARY 24, 2023

Blogging1

01/23/23 07:25 APM - #608

I've probably mentioned it before, but it probably warrants repeating. That's because some days I write the post well ahead of the point at which it is going to be published.

It may be confusing to any readers out there, so knowing the difference between the date and time I wrote a post and the date I published it can help the reader understand any date and time related context for the post.

Yesterday's post is a great example of my point. As can be seen immediately below the picture, I wrote it at 9:15 AM on January 22nd.

So when I mentioned the term yesterday I was referencing Saturday, January 21st. When one considers that I published it on Sunday, January 23rd (as can be seen at the top of the post) that could be quite confusing to any reader who wants to know exactly what happened and when it happened.

Another good example would be the January 20th post that I actually wrote on January 18th, two full days ahead of the publication date.

I used to add a footnote, but now I just call it an addendum. I always add the date and time to the addendum to avoid similar confusion. That's because addendums may be written at a different date and time from the post and are more likely to be added on the date of publication, and sometimes even later in the day where it might not be as likely to be seen and read.

So if you didn't know about the write time, or better yet the write date, now you know.

Addendum:

01/24/23 08:15 AM

Well, it looks like we got our first snow of the season last night. Lows were slated to be in the 20's so I'm not surprised. I was on my way out to the mailbox this morning to mail our HOA dues and saw what I thought was a heavy frost. That is until I saw something heavier and more serious on our roof and those of our neighbors.




Rainy Weather

JANUARY 23, 2023

Rainy Weather

01/22/23 09:15 AM - #607

Well, I worked hard and fast yesterday to get the leaves piled up and down to the bottom of the back lot before the rain arrived. I had several very large piles to deal with, which all came from the trees we have on our lot. And the amount of leaves in those piles, all I can say is wow! I was one very tired camper by the time it was all done.

The rain arrived sometime late yesterday and as of 9:20 AM this morning we had 1.25 inches. I just dumped it out of the rain gauge. Looks like we have a forecast for more rain arriving early this afternoon and staying with us until sometime late tonight or very early tomorrow morning.

After that, the rain stays away until Wednesday and then not again until next Sunday. That means we have a clear day next Saturday for our trip (for Patty's birthday) over to see Jon and Amy and join them for a lunch out and a visit to the indoor Antique shopping mall close to their home.

It promises to be a great day for all of the obvious reasons.




Frigid

DECEMBER 23, 2022


Frigid

12/22/22 03:40 PM

Patty and I have a standing joke about bringing bad weather with us to whatever location we move. And the cold temps in store this week only serve to underline our point.

I'm not quite sure what to expect, but you can bet that plenty of faucet dripping will be involved.

We've decided to cancel any and all plans for outings in favor of staying home and tucked in (and hopefully warm) for the days leading up to and including Christmas.

The Snow family plans to depart the day after Christmas, and I guess we'll see if weather permits. If not, well, I suppose we'll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.

As I prepare to publish what I wrote yesterday, it's 11 degrees (F) outside and the low a bit earlier was only 10. It's only supposed to get up to 21 today. Ouch!

By the way, I heard the garbage men earlier. Those poor guys must have been cold!




Cold

DECEMBER 16, 2022


Cold 2

12/16/22 07:05 AM

Well, it's relatively early and I'm the only one up.

Dish washer dishes have been put away and the dishwasher has been reloaded. Cappuccino in hand and log just filled out for the day. Down 1.4 pounds which is just fine with me.

Grandsons are fast asleep behind me and we're going to pick up Noah's new phone today at the Apple store in Birmingham, just over an hour away. He's been saving and is ready to buy!

I can't believe the low temps we're slated for this week. Last time I looked there was a 13 degrees (F) somewhere in there. And mostly sub-freezing evenings in store while the kids and grandkids are here. Ouch!

Guess I'll be doing the dripping thing on those cold and freezing evenings.




Rainy Monday

DECEMBER 05, 2022


Rainy Day

12/05/22 07:30 AM

It sounds like the title to a Carpenters song. Looks like we're starting out the week with a rainy Monday.

I'm so glad Justin was able to come by yesterday and look at the ham radio antenna since we're supposed to have a lot of rain this week. He did a great job and it looks like we may make a ham operator out of him. He indicated he was going to look into it and I pointed him toward the study guides for the tests.

Patty found a really neat museum down in Anniston and it looks like that's where we are going to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary. It's a two-part deal, which includes an interesting program, and should make for a very fun day.

We've got Allie and the boys coming up the following week for a ten day stay. Josh has to stay home for a work-related project but should arrive and be a part of things (including Christmas) for the last three of those ten days. Patty and I are trying to figure out what we want to do to keep the grandsons entertained during their stay. She has a great list put together and should make for a fun stay.

We've both got end of the year doctor visits to look into some of the challenges that come along with getting older. Dad sure was right with his thoughts and comments about old age. It's most certainly not for sissies.




Storm

NOVEMBER 30, 2022


Storm 11/30/22

11/29/22 09:20 AM

I didn't take the time to look at my watch, but we had a major storm accompanied by some serious thunder, lightening, and wind sometime in the middle of the night. One crack of lightening must have hit right outside of our house because it started a (our?) car honking and the shock wave traveled through the house.

It sounded like it might have been our car but it turned off after just half a minute and I don't remember our car being able to do that. That's why I'm thinking it may have belonged to someone else.

From all I can tell, the ham antenna did just fine. I will probably have Justin come by sometime and inspect it just to make sure. He offered to do that anytime and I think I will take him up on his kind offer.

The picture above is what remains from the storm as it is traveling from northwest toward southeast. It appears that there are still a lot of warnings around it. From what I see on my phone, we had both tornado and flash flood warnings last night.




Fog

NOVEMBER 29, 2022


Fog1

11/29/22 09:20 AM

I woke up to a beautiful layer of fog this morning. This is the view I had from the back porch.

It got down in the 30's last night and is supposed to reach 70 sometime right after lunch. That's quite a swing in temperatures.

We have a 15% chance of rain starting at 10 AM and proceeding until 3 PM when moderate rain is slated to move in. That is supposed to lead up to thunder storms which are scheduled to arrive around 6 PM.

We're still supposed to pick up groceries at Walmart around 1 PM although there seems to be a problem with our order. We may have to take a list and go in the store to get the things we need. We'll see.




Weather

NOVEMBER 28, 2022


14 Day Forecast

11/27/22 08:50 PM

I haven't written about the weather in a while and it looks like we have some interesting things coming up. The graphic above shows the 2 week or 14 day forecast beginning today, Monday, November the 28th.

Patty and I have moved our Wednesday grocery pickup to Tuesday at just about the same time. The forecasted storms for Wednesday are something we would like to avoid it at all possible.

The plan is to grab an early lunch at our favorite buffet and pick up our groceries immediately thereafter and then head home to unpack. The hope is that we'll be done with everything and tucked in at the house before the forecasted rain moves in.

Wednesday is one of those days with a big temperature swing and an associated storm to go with it. Our plan is to be nestled inside and away from the excitement.

Looks like we will wrap up the week and move into the weekend with milder temperatures before ending the weekend with a move to cooler temperatures and the start to a rain-filled week - assuming the forecast holds together.

Our 46th anniversary falls on Sunday, December 11th, and if the forecast for morning showers proves true, perhaps we will be able to get out and celebrate somewhere later on. A lot can change between now and then so we'll see.




Three Days

NOVEMBER 05, 2022


Three

11/04/22 09:00 AM

For the record, there are now three days in our countdown until the 2022 mid-term elections.

I'm thinking seriously about adding another category to my list over in the left-hand menu. Weather! I really enjoy it and have posted a good deal about it (especially during hurricane season and in previous locations.)

I get weather pop-ups from Google all of the time (as can be seen below) and, in addition to the local report I get on my laptop and my phone, there's a lot to be posted.

In fact, the pop-up below mentions today's report to our west which is coming this way. It's likely to be our report tomorrow based on what I'm already seeing.

This is going to be a big project so I suppose I better get started.

Update: I'm amazed at how fast that effort went. I guess it wasn't as big a project as I had anticipated.

A new weather file consisting of almost 50 copied and pasted posts and an updated menu are in place. With two hours invested a new Weather category of all previous weather posts is ready and available!

wx110422-1.jpg



Final Ian Report

SEPTEMBER 29, 2022


Ian 092922 - 1

09/29/22 07:30 AM

Well, where Ian goes from here is, once again, anyone's guess. This will be my final report on tropical storm Ian. It's crossing the Florida peninsula and looks like it will be headed up the east coast of the USA.

Best to everyone up that way.




155 mph

SEPTEMBER 28, 2022


Ian 092822 - 1

09/28/22 07:10 AM

My how things can change in a short period of time. Ian is now only 2 mph away from a category 5 hurricane and is still in the gulf. The bottom of a category 5 is 157 mph and Ian is currently at 155.

It looks like our friends up on the pan handle may be spared the brutality of a direct hit. They currently have a forecast of 1-3 foot storm surge. I haven't seen a wind forecast, but I suspect they will be looking at the outer bands on the clean side of things if the forecast holds true.




More on Ian

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022


Ian 092722 - 1

09/27/22 07:30 AM

Still looks like Ian may yet work its way over toward Jacksonville, Florida according to the latest forecast.

It's my understanding that the two major spaghetti models (Europe and USA) are in conflict with one another. I believe the European model has it headed toward Jacksonville, Florida and the USA model has it moving due north. I heard that a few days ago and it may be old information that has changed since then.

If it's still true, I'm guessing the NOAA website, from which my image is pulled, is leaning on the European model. Shouldn't be long before we know which is right, if they are still in conflict with each other.

Windspeeds are currently at 125 mph, which is a solid category 3, and nearing the top end of that category's range (129 mph.) I'm guessing it won't have a problem reaching a category 4 and may do so soon, if not by the next forecast.




Still Tracking Ian

SEPTEMBER 26, 2022


Ian 092622 - 1

09/26/22 08:20 AM

Still tracking Ian.

Looks like Ian may yet work its way over toward Jacksonville, FL according to the latest forecast.

Just proves they really have no idea what Ian is going to do. And quite honestly, there's nothing wrong with that. Ian's movement results from numerous forces playing against one another and constantly changing.

I wouldn't want to be the one responsible for the forecast. At best, it's a guessing game. All we can know with any level of confidence is what it has done and where it's at currently.

And so we keep tracking it.

I'm still very curious about what categories will be realized during its travel along its path and when and where those changes will occur.

Footnotes

Ian 092622 - 2

More on Ian

09/26/22 12:30 PM

Not much to do except track until Ian shows some intentions. Tomorrow should provide some critical direction and it looks like Wednesday will tell the tale.

Ian 092622 - 3

Interesting!

09/26/22 04:10 PM

Looks like they're moving toward the option that includes Jacksonville, Florida. We'll see...




Tracking Ian

SEPTEMBER 25, 2022


Ian 092522 - 1

09/25/22 07:20 AM

Still tracking Ian.

There's no easy way to pray for Ian's movement. One way or the other, someone is going to be affected. Having been through Michael with the ultimate fear of losing one's place of residence, I know what folks are feeling down there.

The anticipation is gut wrenching. And so is the wait to see what really happens beyond what the forecast tells us is going to happen.

I remember the changes that took place with Michael back in October of 2018. I vividly remember watching the ocean sensors, located where we lived, from the view on my phone at the hotel in Tallahassee.

I remember the last reading of seven feet above mean high tide before the power must have shut off. Apparently, that was the last accurate reading from those sensors for the water continued to climb an additional two feet according to the evidence at our home.

We lost power at the hotel too. As I've mentioned before, we were without electricity for ten days at the house.

We had to climb straight up a sixteen-foot ladder to get into the house. We were blessed to have our handy man come out and immediately go to work on replacing the stairs to our home that Michael's surge had ripped away.

Within two weeks, we were perilously climbing up twenty-five feet of new stairs, where rails had not yet been added, to the top level and living quarters of our home. Only a few days before had our electricity been restored and we were celebrating the return of those creature comforts that had been lost without it.

Next on the priority list was restocking the refrigerator and it would be quite a while before things got back toward normal. I took a kayak ride around Live Oak Island where we lived, and the carnage that so many suffered was difficult to process.

Footnotes

Ian 092522 - 2

Still Tracking Ian

09/25/22 11:40 AM

Wow! If this forecast continues to hold true, it's going to slam directly into the location where we used to live. That's hard to imagine since we've already experienced some pretty dreadful impacts from previous storms and hurricanes that didn't land right on top of us.

And, if the category four projection continues to prove true, or even gets elevated to a category five as happened after-the-fact with hurricane Michael, we're in for some chilling reports coming out of that area.

God help 'em all!

Ian 092522 - 3

AccuWeather?

09/25/22 03:40 PM

This is a bit perplexing! The above forecast was presented by AccuWeather about six hours ago and the forecast below was presented by the same about an hour ago. I haven't seen such a dramatic change represented by anyone else. I'm also not seeing anyone suggesting a track over toward Jacksonville or the dramatic changes for hurricane categories. Seems odd to me. I guess we'll see...

Ian 092522 - 4

Ian 092522 - 5

Noaa Forecast

09/25/22 04:10 PM

Well, the latest NOAA forecast does show subtle signs of a slight eastward shift, but nothing like that which is being suggested by AccuWeather. I wonder if that AccuWeather report was issued by a rogue reporter LOL!




Ian

SEPTEMBER 24, 2022


Ian 092422 - 1

09/24/22 07:10 AM

The black star indicates the point where we used to live. We were right on the gulf, in a flood zone, and highly prone to any kind of storm surge.

As I mentioned before, we had to flee the house several times in the four years we lived there. Booking hotels at the last minute up in Tallahassee was always a bit stressful and never any fun. Not when so much was riding on the outcome.

We now live up in the northeast quadrant of Alabama and may get some rain and light winds from this storm. But that sure beats the heck out of storm surge.

Will continue to track the storm, especially as it is predicted to become a category three hurricane with winds possible near 130 mph.

Footnotes

Ian 092422 - 2

Good News / Bad News

09/24/22 09:45 AM

The good news is that it looks like our friends, down on the Florida coast where we used to live, are going to get the 'clean' side of the storm if the forecast proves to be true. And, assuming an accurate forecast, the folks along the west coast of the Florida peninsula are in for a rough ride on the dirty side of the storm. It appears especially true for the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area.

Ian 092422 - 3

Shifting Westward?

09/24/22 01:00 PM

We've got another position report / map due out, but the weather forecasters are showing and reporting a shift to the west. I can see it in the 8 AM report from this morning, pictured directly above.

Ian 092422 - 5

More Westward Shift?

09/24/22 05:45 PM

I've posted the latest position report / map that was due out earlier, and it appears to reflect further shifting to the west. In fact, it seems that the place where we used to live is now in the center of the projected path.




Hurricane Forecast

SEPTEMBER 23, 2022


Forecast 092322 - 2

09/23/22 09:20 AM

Well, things are unfolding on the weather front as we sort of feared they would. The image of the forecast says it all.

Of course, and as we have learned all too often, a lot can happen when it comes to the predicted path of a potential hurricane. We've seen it over and over again.

It's nothing more than a hurry up and wait game, and when you're in the path it doesn't feel like a game at all. That risk, as they see it down there, is the price of paradise. I heard that all too often, and even came to believe it.

But now, having moved away from the high risk of storm surge and flooding, I no longer think of the price of paradise. I see it more as a matter that we just didn't know what we didn't know. We came for the romance and enjoyed it as long as we could.

But it was time to leave, and leave we did.

Footnote

Forecast 092322 - 3

What a Difference 6 Hours Makes

09/23/22 11:15 AM

The prior forecast was for 2 AM and this one is for 8 AM. The two standouts are the higher windspeed probabilities and the sense of commitment to the storm riding up the west coast of the Florida peninsula, instead of cutting across toward Jacksonville as occurred with a previous storm.




Hurricanes

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022


hur092122

09/21/22 09:30 AM

I used to watch the hurricane map like a hawk. That's because we lived right on the Gulf of Mexico south of Tallahassee in the city of Crawfordville. As Hurricanes approached, we had to flee our home several times in the four years we lived there.

I don't stay glued to those hurricane maps anymore, but my better half did bring to my attention the fact that we've got a disturbance brewing just above South America and one of the spaghetti models is forecasting it to cross over the area where we used to live. Apparently, the gulf is at a point where it could convert a storm into a severe hurricane.

I didn't know much about things like the dirty side of the storm until we moved down to the area. In fact, it never came up in all the years I remember seeing hurricanes down in Hialeah, Florida as a kid.

Back then, we dealt with Hurricane Cleo in 1964 and Hurricane Betsy in 1965. If I remember correctly, both reached a category 4 in their lifetime and I vividly remember walking out onto the street in front of our house, and into the stillness of the eye, on one of them.

Nothing could have prepared me for the damage and stress that came with Hurricane Michael in October of 2018, only three months after I retired from IBM. And, the part of Michael that produced real devastation in Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach missed us to our west, but hit our friends Troy and Connie pretty hard.

We had to flee that one and had evidence of a nine-foot surge when we returned. We lost stairs up to the house on the third level and everything on the first level was completely obliterated including our elevator and storage room where things like fishing equipment was stored. We were also without electricity for a total of ten days.

We moved to Spanish Fort, Alabama, but decided that wasn't far enough away from the worries of Hurricanes. As a result, we decided after less than a year to head on up to our present location in the northern part of Alabama with the hopes of leaving the hurricanes behind.

Still, I'll never be able to see the reports from those storms as I did some decades ago. I now understand that real lives are being affected. I understand it because I know exactly what it looks and feels like, even if we were spared the ultimate devastation experienced only a few miles away.




First Storm

AUGUST 16, 2022


Storm 1

08/16/22 07:00 AM

Yesterday, I would say we experienced our first windy, rainy, storm up here in Ohatchee. It came in from the north which is generally the back of our house and there was enough wind to drive the rain onto our back deck and up against the windows.

The wind was strong enough to move the back deck furniture all around and in different places from where we had set it. A few of the times I looked out the window, it truly looked like white-out conditions.

Fortunately, as quickly as it moved in, in moved out. We've all heard of the quiet before the storm, but this was the quiet after the storm. Patty and I went out and set the furniture back where it belonged and marveled at the amount of water the storm left on the back deck furniture.

I guess I'll have an opportunity today to see how effective the new gutter hose was in moving the water away from the house. Should be interesting.




Rainfall

AUGUST 15, 2022


Rainfall

08/15/22 07:33 AM

I'm not quite sure what we were expecting in terms of weather with our move up to this area in more northern Alabama. I suppose a reduction in rainfall would be accurate, but we've still had quite a bit of rain in the forecasts as well as in the real weather.

I noticed the current ten day forecast has us looking at nine days of rain. That probably won't be our reality, but that is what is in the forecast presently.

We moved from Spanish Fort, Alabama and the annual rainfall there is forecast at 66.8 inches. Just across the bay, Mobile, Alabama comes in at 67 inches, which is supposed to be the rainiest city in the United States.

We also lived in Crawfordville, Florida which is forecast at 53 inches per year. I think living on the water provided us with a more similar rainfall to our neighbors in St. Marks, Florida with 58 inches.

In line with our expectations for a reduction in rainfall and accompanying our move to this area, Ohatchee checks in with a forecast of 52 inches annually. Not much of a reduction, but (as they say) it is what it is, so we'll take it.




More Blog Updates

MAY 16, 2022


New Blog Update

05/14/22 7:55 AM

I added back a web log yesterday (Friday, May 13th) and it's been interesting to see the locations where the hits are originating. I can't tell who's there, but I can tell that the hits are coming from users who are clients of the web service providers that own the pool of IP addresses from which the hits are coming.

I also intend to add back the capability to keep my IP address logged so that I can eliminate any logging activity that comes from that IP address. That will allow me to make changes to the blog without those updates presenting log entries.

I'm also anticipating adding back the capability to see website stats for the hits on the menu and various pages on the website. It will be interesting to see what's being reviewed and how often, and also whether or not the hits are coming from users via web providers or web crawlers owned by folks like Google.

More on that to come as I get things developed.

Foot Notes

05/14/22 03:50 PM

Well, in paragraph #2 above, I went ahead and wrote some code with a hard-coded IP address in it. That should suffice in the short-term, since my IP almost never changes, but I'll need to update that code to remove the hard-coded IP address and ensure the tested IP address is the current IP address - just in case the IP address does change.

From paragraph #3 above, I went ahead and finished up the hit counters for all of the pages I built. I won't be tracking visits to other sites, but will be tracking all visits to anything I have built, which turned out to be 15 pages in total.

I want to dabble with some more changes to the tracking of visits and the logging, but am not quite sure what I want to add. More to come on that...

While I'm able and usually do write at least a day ahead of anything I publish, I've also added the capability to review unpublished material as it will appear when it is published and have been enjoying that feature for a while now. It's pretty cool the way it works!

I've also manually added the owners of the webcrawlers and web service providers to the log entires and plan to add some code to do that automatically. That should be an interesting project! (Addendum) In fact, I've been doing some of that today (05/15/22) and it turns out to be a very interesting and challenging project!

05/15/22 7:00 PM

Finally getting some much needed rain as can be seen below.

WX051522-2

Looks like we received a solid inch of rain from that storm.

WX051522-2




Weather Forecasts

APRIL 06, 2022


WXFC

04/06/22 8:08 AM

I remember living in Albany, Georgia back as a kid. We had Gil Patrick doing the weather forecast on WALB TV Channel 10. I remember him vividly sharing how difficult it was to provide accurate forecasts for that area because of a three way impact from 1) approaching weather from the northwest and 2) weather pushing up from the gulf and 3) weather pushing in from the eastern part of the state due to things moving in from the Atlantic ocean.

I also remember living on the gulf coast south of Tallahassee when hurricane Michael arrived and how shocked I was, not only for what we experienced on the coast, but for the devastation that was faced by Albany, Georgia when that same storm arrived up that way.

I'm beginning to think that the forecasters here in the Spanish Fort and Mobile, Alabama area must face the same thing because of the variation between weather forecasts and what really happens in this area. It seems the forecast changes at hyper-speed and always right up to the last minute. It's difficult to make plans when things change like that.

My big challenge du jour is to figure out when the weather is going to cooperate and allow me to get in my run. Yesterday Patty and I scrambled and finished up our outings just before the rain moved in. I knew it was going to be close, and it was!




SkyWarn

APRIL 03, 2022


SkyWarn

I got a call a couple of days ago indicating my repaired power supply was being shipped back to me. It was supposed to go out either last Tuesday or Wednesday and if the trip out there was any indication, it could take a week for me to get it back.

I shipped it UPS on a Monday and it was to arrive the next Monday, which would have been this past Monday. If it takes a week to get it back, we're looking at the middle of this week coming up. I hope it will be sooner.

My power supply drives everything in the shack and without it I'm pretty much dead in the water and off the air. The exceptions to that being my Handy Talkie and EchoLink on my cell phone.

I played with EchoLink during the storm last week but am hoping to have a working 2 meter base station if the power supply makes it back in time. If not, I may check into the SkyWarn net via EchoLink if a storm arrives as is currently in the forecast and if it's bad enough to require a net.

I've always been very active on 2 meters during my time in the ham radio hobby and I'm amazed I have not talked on it yet in the seven months I've been here in the Spanish Fort, Alabama area. There's quite a large and active crowd of locals on 2 meters so I have no excuse for not getting on and at least saying hi to everyone.

Maybe this week.




Weather Today

APRIL 02, 2022


Wx 040222

Well, we had a tiny bit of rain and thunder this morning. Just enough to drag me out of bed to put the covers on the outdoor fireplace and furniture and bring in the large umbrella.

Don't remember the exact time but it was somewhere between 5 and 6 am and the thunder was rolling although no rain had fallen. On the other hand, it looked (and sounded) like it could happen at any minute.

Looking outside it's clear that we got our rain, although I must admit that I never heard it. I must have been sleeping pretty heavily because I don't remember much of anything after I rolled back into the bed.

It was nice to get back in bed after my morning outdoor adventure and to sleep in a bit later than usual. It's 8:22 AM CDST as I type and I'm working on my first cup of coffee as Lily the cat and I put together today's post.

I usually stay a day ahead with my posts but had a very busy day in the back yard yesterday and didn't have the strength to come up with a topic or to write about it. And so, here I sit at the keyboard on April 2, 2022.




Last Night's Weather

MARCH 31, 2022


Last night's stormy weather included plenty of tornados here in the area.

The storm is arriving from the west. We're on the approaching edge.

wx2

Tracking a rotation.

wx3

The storm is right on top of us.

wx4

Our local TV station tracks the debris field from a tornado nearby.

wx5

My Power Supply is out for repairs so listening in on EchoLink with my cell phone.

wx5




Strings and Things

MARCH 23, 2022


Pollen Strings

I'm still writing my blog posts a day ahead and tonight we've got some wild weather with which to contend. Hard to tell if it's going to break up before it arrives, but the TV weather prognosticators seem to feel it's going to hang around and bring some bad stuff to the area.

By the time anyone reads this, the excitement will be over. And, hopefully there won't be any evidence left of the high winds we're now experiencing, with the possible exception of a pool toy or two that got blown around.

I've stayed on top of pool skimming throughout the day and particularly with the pollen strings that keep blowing into the water. In addition to the manual skimming, I've cleaned out the automatic skimmer twice today and both times it's been full of those crazy looking strings.

Looks like what we'll be left with is some lows back in the 40's while highs will still reach into the low 70's. Only one more day of rain on the calendar for this month and it's slated to arrive at the end of the month. Looks like we've got some good running weather coming up!




Cold Temps

MARCH 13, 2022


Cold Temps

Well for the past few days, today included, I've been writing a day ahead on my blog. So, I'm writing on March 12 with the intention of publishing when I get up tomorrow morning on the 13th.

I only share that because the weather issues we're currently facing, and have moving in on us, will be long gone by the time anyone has an opportunity to read this post.

Today's run was a cold one! Air temperature is in the 40's but with the wind chill it's in the low to mid 30's. That does not make for a pleasant run as most anyone could imagine. With winds around 25 mph and gusts up to twice that, I felt like I was running in place more than once.

But tonight is when the excitement moves in. We're supposed to drop down into the mid to upper 20's. That's as cold as I ever remember it getting here or in Florida. And despite the high winds that have been loading leaves in the pool, I'm going to need to run the pool pump to keep the pipes from freezing. That means I'll need to skim the pool once more this evening to ensure the automatic skimmer doesn't get clogged up after an all-night run with the pool pump.

I honestly had no idea what I was getting into when we purchased a house with a pool, but I can also honestly say that I'm enjoying the challenge and learning a lot by keeping up with things rather than hiring them out. Even with the extra attention and effort that's required, it's still about what I expected.

I had initially planned to hire out the pool support. However, after doing it for a while to ensure I understood what needed to be done and how it was to be done, I figured the added pool support expense wasn't justified. As such, I made the choice to continue with my pool support role, enjoy the savings, and have not looked back since.




Weather

MARCH 07, 2022


Rain

With retired life, I love keeping up with the weather. It's always interesting and promises new experiences, no matter the forecast.

Over the years I've watched the weather mostly to plan my daily runs. But, in retirement watching the weather has become sort of a hobby.

I must say, if we received all the rain that is constantly forecast for our area we would probably need to build an ark. It's interesting to see how quickly the forecast changes and even more interesting to watch the threatening weather dissipate just before it reaches our area. That seems to happen quite often around here.

Of course, we've had our fair share of rain but nothing to compete with the torrential downpours that have been forecast for our area. Like I said, it's very interesting to watch those threatening bands of weather literally dry up and go away just before reaching us.

Such is looking like the case for today. And, we've got a rainy forecast for the week too, so it will be interesting to see how that unfolds.




More Weather

JANUARY 16, 2022


Wx 011622

Looks like things on the weather front are going to be more interesting than originally anticipated. We're going to have several nights with well below freezing temperatures this week. Mid to upper 20's will be nothing to sneeze at.

We welcome Allie a week from tomorrow and I can't say that the forecast has anything tropical in store for her as we had hoped. Still, we're looking forward to our time with her and a little cold and wet weather won't slow down anything we want to do.

We're picking up groceries this morning and there's a small chance that we may see a flurry or two while we're out. The weather pattern is interesting with a rotation centered on Birmingham and below freezing temps on the outside of that system. That's the one that might hit us with a flurry or two while we're out.

We'll see!

SIDE NOTE

Ran today, but between the cold temps and the wind the run was pretty brutal. The temp was 42°F and with the wind chill the online report said it felt like 36°F.

I decked out in some pretty warm clothes, which for me is very unusual even in the coldest of temps. I'm typically a short (running) pants kind of guy but today I opted for a cozy jogging suite and was not disappointed when I got out and started running.

So, running shoes, long pants, long socks, long sleeve shirt, jogging suit, ball cap, and a hoodie on the jogging suit top that I used for over 75% of the run. Needless to say, I didn't see anyone out walking or running. I was the only fool out on the road today!




Weather

JANUARY 15, 2022


Wx 011522

Among other things, my Twitter profile says all things Geek and that includes the weather. I'm a big fan of anything weather related and especially unusual weather.

We've got a forecast for rain today and even that seems a bit unusual these days. We've also got a forecast in the week to come for some below freezing nighttime temperatures.

That means my dear wife will be covering up her plants and I will be running the pool pump in the evening in order to keep the water moving and avoid frozen pipes. The cost of a little electricity winds up being a very small price to pay in order to avoid larger expenses for repairing a frozen pump and/or pipes.




Running Weather

JANUARY 02, 2022


Running Weather

Patty and I were eating our sandwiches for lunch when I saw her look out the front window with a surprised glance. It was pouring down rain and she saw a runner on the front sidewalk who must have been caught in it. Clearly, she felt bad for the guy and so did I.

Patty and I both know what it's like to get caught in the rain on a run. In fact when we lived in Pensacola we both got caught in a rain storm on one of our walks together. I gave her my ball cap to keep the rain out of her eyes and for a while thereafter, I think we both wore ball caps on our walks.

By 2:00 PM today the weather map was providing an all clear until around 6:00 PM so I put on my running clothes and headed for the front door. My sweet wife asked if I wanted her to pick me up if it started raining and I assured her I had checked and rain wasn't in the near-term forecast. A simple, "Sure, thanks!" was probably more appropriate than a lengthy explanation, but I didn't think of it in time.

I hate it when I do that!




Weather

DECEMBER 18, 2021


Weather 12/18/21

One of the things on my geeky list that I truly enjoy is tracking the weather. I got up around 7 AM this morning and took a look at the weather map on my phone since the forecast had been calling for a day full of rain.

Sure enough, it looked like the rain would be moving in around 9 AM. So, I hurried around the house to start my morning list and was out for my run by 7:30. By the time I got back, everything had changed and it looked like the weather would be all around us but not on top of us.

Funny how weather does that! And, as can be seen on the map, it still looks like we're in for something big later in the day if it doesn't fade out before it arrives, as is so often the case around here.

I suspect we've already had enough rain to activate that mole cricket bait about which I wrote and that I put out recently. If not, and if today's forecast holds together, I suspect the mole cricket bait should be easily activated before the day is over.

SIDE NOTE

Run Map 2

My watch did an update and now tracks relative speed with my two mile runs. In other words, it's not reporting actual speeds during the run, but is color indicating the faster and slower portions of the run on a relative basis.

Pretty cool!

Of course, the data dump is done from my watch to my phone via bluetooth and the track is displayed on my phone, which I can then capture and share.




Cool Runnings

DECEMBER 16, 2021


Cool Runnings

I'm going to miss these cool temps when spring and summer roll in. The online thermometer says it's 66°F here in Spanish Fort. How about that for mid-December weather!

Unlike yesterday, there was almost zero breeze today, but the cool air more than made up for the difference. I need to enjoy these runs for I know how I will long for this weather (and comfort) with warmer days ahead.

The legs were a bit weary after yesterday's run, but I did make it the entire two miles as planned. I've learned over the years that when I take a break from running, the third day back is always the toughest. I suppose I have that to look forward to when tomorrow roles around.

Total time for the two miles was 18:41 with mile one's pace at 9:47 and mile two coming in at 8:54. My Garmin calculates 252 calories burned with an AHR of 143 and a MHR of 160. That should drop down significantly as I get back in shape although there's very little level ground on the course so AHR and MHR are always going to be higher than they used to be when I was running a very flat and level course.

Part of the high heart rate was due to my pushing the pace a bit, which I probably did to excess considering it was only day two of being back to running. That's one lesson I don't seem to learn, although I am very careful on those down-hill stretches after learning a very hard lesson decades ago.

Per yesterday's post, I did Google the local races and it appears I have one to look forward to in each of the first three months of 2022. This will also make for an interesting 2022 in terms of total miles run since I'm back at it again.




IT'S HERE!

JUNE 01, 2021



Hurricane Season


WEATHER

MAY 29, 2021



WX 05/29/21

Well, the weather front that was headed this way looked much worse last night then it does this morning as it's just arriving. The video forecast doesn't have it getting past us until about 1:00 PM, but it's hard to imagine what I'm seeing on the map lasting that long. I guess time will tell.

SIDE NOTE:

It's exciting to see our house listed on Zillow this morning. It looks like it actually was published yesterday afternoon, but I had no idea our agent would get something up and running that soon.

The picture guy is coming by today, and there's a note online that his stuff will be added soon. Looking forward to seeing the finished product (including the drone footage.)

SIDE NOTE:

The 10 AM Saturday morning Crawfordville radio club 'gatherings' are back on the calendar and scheduled to start today. Not sure how the rain will affect them and not sure how my plans will shake out now that we're moving.

We'll see...




HURRICANE PREP

MAY 22, 2021



Hurricane Prep
Monitoring the track of Hurricane Delta back in October of 2020.

This morning we had a 3 hour hurricane preparedness net hosted out of Tallahassee by the TARS club. We had close to 20 people check in on the Tallahassee repeater and went through a variety of exercises.

The net involved the practice of passing traffic, testing various repeaters, testing simplex communications, and testing the dependability of everything mentioned from a mobile standpoint.

Dave, W4WES, led the exercise and did a great job. He had several team members stationed at various key points throughout Leon County. He also had check-ins from several other counties including Jefferson, Madison, and my check in from Wakulla county.

I really appreciated the round-table approach to the exercise and the way that this kept everyone involved, and not just sitting back and listening. I also thought it was a great idea to do a post-op on the exercise and see what people thought went well or needed refining.

I left the event doing my own post-op to consider what possible situations I might find us in before, during, and after a hurricane and what kind of equipment might be necessary in each of those situations. That was a particularly helpful exercise for me personally.

I know our repeater tech mentioned at our most recent meeting that we would be connecting our repeater to Echolink. That will be a big positive for me since it will allow me to connect with my phone if and when I might be out of repeater range.

There's a lot to think about. I'm glad I've been through this a few times here and have a better feel for what my personal situation might look like. I'm especially aware of the need for battery power and remote operations in places like Crawfordville or Tallahassee hotels, and even if we return back home but are still without power for a period of time, as was the case with the 10 day powerless stretch after Hurricane Michael.




MAY 12, 2021



Kindness

A couple of days ago I was at the gym. As I was driving out of the parking lot after my workout I noticed a bumper sticker with flowers all over it on one of the other cars. The sticker also contained two simple words:

Kindness Matters

As a guy with Asperger's (and who knows what all else is in that mix) my focus on the task far too often leaves me insensitive to those around me. In fact I'm learning that there must be some OCD in there as well because I'm too often focused on being efficient when there's no real need to be. And, it often becomes a distraction to pull my focus away from the people around me.

It truly pains me to look back at what I didn't know. In fact, it really pains me to consider the season with my parents when Asperger's wasn't even on anyone's radar. What must they have thought? I wish I knew then what I know now and could go back and offer them an explanation for my odd behaviors.

The good news about being a dude with Asperger's is that I don't tend to fight anxiety and I don't tend to look back or cry over spilt milk. That's fortunate because it enables me to let go and let God...

I think dad understood because he exhibited some of the same behaviors as did his father before him. So, maybe the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, as they say.

On the other hand, my neurotypical mom must have felt completely out of place in our household. Fortunately, I can look back and see that her deep love for me stood stronger than did my oddities. And now, the wife with whom I am so blessed picks up right where my mom left off and carries love, patience, kindness, and understanding to a new and much higher level!

Thank you Lord for showing me these things. Please help me to learn how to be more like my dear, sweet, and servant-minded wife!

SIDE NOTE:

This is what the weather looks like over in Pensacola, Florida and about 200 miles to our west. If it holds together and makes it over this way, as I would expect it to do, it's going to be an interesting day!

Kindness

SIDE NOTE:

In our bible study, Patty and I were in Romans 14 today. It's really interesting to see that God formed each of us unique to the other and that his mercy and grace meets each of us at a different place, sensitive to our uniqueness. That really is amazing when I think about it, that God recognizes the strengths and weaknesses that He put in me and that He utilizes my strengths and cares for me in my weaknesses.

SIDE NOTE:

And, this is what the weather looked like when it finally caught up with us around 2:00 PM. Plenty of lightning, thunder, and rain, but doesn't look nearly as threatening as it did earlier in Pensacola.

Kindness


NEW FEATURE!

Yesterday, I added a new feature called Side Notes. I'll be announcing this new feature for the next few days in case anyone misses it. I tend to write a day ahead and, as a result, some of the things that occur and might be worth writing about go without attention here on the blog. It has happened often enough that I want to make the change.

Side notes will be located at the end of the daily post and, as I said, will reflect any additional things that might be worth sharing on the day that they occurred. They will be added after the daily post goes out (and may be added more than once in a day) so it may become relevant to check back on a previous day's post for any side notes that might have been added.

PATIENCE

MAY 11, 2021



Patience

Wow! Do I ever have a story from real life for today's post!

I was going to title this post Patience & Kindness and it was my intention to write about what God's doing in my life in both of those areas. However, God moved in a (technical? and humorous!) way to point out that each topic deserved its own post. So, I'm saving Kindness for tomorrow and opening with Patience today.

Both topics also sit on God's fruit of the spirit list, which consists of nine important things including Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. I could use a lot of work in all of those areas, but I'll start with the two that I tend to believe are in need of the most attention.

I should also mention that my NIV bible lists forbearance in the place of Patience. Personally, I prefer Patience because I think it better distinguishes itself from Self Control, which is also on the list.

Yesterday I had one of those real life experiences. If I could rewind the tape, I would have responded very differently. As I rounded a bend in the road, I pulled up on a police car with flashing blue lights and a wrecker. Both appeared to be stopped so I pulled on around using the left lane. What I did not know was that they were finished and were both pulling out to depart that location. So here I am, still in the left (wrong) lane, with both of them picking up speed over in the right (correct) lane.

What was my hurry? In retrospect, I wish I had stopped and waited. I wish I had show a little patience. What would it have hurt for me to wait? In the way that only a person with Asperger's could and would do it, I decided to be more efficient and get on around so I didn't have to wait. I could have easily caused an accident with my attempt to avoid a perceived inconvenience that in reality would have been no inconvenience at all other than a few minutes of my time.

Lord, help me every moment of every day to discover opportunities to be more patient, and to exercise those opportunities. Help me become more aware of my surroundings and remind me that there are real people in each scenario that could be helped by my patience or hindered (and possibly hurt!) by my impatience.

Lord, please remind me that it's not about me but it's about the witness to others that my patience might provide! Lord, let me demonstrate that I care about those other individuals, even if and when they might not be concerned about me.

SIDE NOTE:

Well, I woke up this morning about 4:30 AM to hit the restroom and it came to mind that we're still facing a gas crisis. I looked up online the two gas stations that are close by and found that one is open 24x7.

So, I called and they said they had gas. When I hung up, it came to mind that the lady who answered the phone said, Kangaroo. I realized that I thought it was a Marathon station and checked the number to make sure I had called the right place.

I called once more and a different lady answered with Kangaroo again. I confirmed with her that it was indeed the Marathon station. I mentioned I was out of gas and she assured me they would have gas for me when I got there.

So, I slipped on some clothes and off I went just after 5:00 AM. When I arrived 8 of 10 pumps had vehicles and I slipped into one of the remaining empty spots and filled the tank. Whew! I thanked the Lord right there on the spot, offered a big sigh of relief, and went into the store to get a cup of joe.

The lady who waited on me was very nice - especially for that early hour and she told me that the truck had been there only about an hour ago to refill their tanks. She also mentioned that the store would probably be out of gas again before the morning rush was over. That made me feel good about my early morning adventure! And so here I am, at dark-thirty and in a quiet house, typing in the story and more thankful than ever for God's grace and gas supplying plan!


NEW FEATURE!

Today I'm adding a new feature called Side Notes. I'll be announcing this new feature for the next few days in case anyone misses it. I tend to write a day ahead and, as a result, some of the things that occur and might be worth writing about go without attention here on the blog. It has happened often enough that I want to make the change.

Side notes will be located at the end of the daily post and, as I said, will reflect any additional things that might be worth sharing on the day that they occurred. They will be added after the daily post goes out (and may be added more than once in a day) so it may become relevant to check back on a previous day's post for any side notes that might have been added.

WEBSITE CATEGORIES

MAY 10, 2021



Website Categories

Even though I've chosen to take my website and generally aim the design in the direction of a blog, I've still taken some liberties that aren't quite in keeping with traditional blog designs. You don't have to look very far to see some of the differences.

Once such example is that I've taken a bit of liberty in the way I'm treating Categories. You may notice that I've grouped them with my Home button. This could be a bit confusing to the user, but it has spared me going in directions with my code that I just didn't want to go.

First of all, there are a number of posts that will be viewed by clicking on Home that will not show up under any of the other categories. This is because they're probably not topics about which I write that often. In fact, I initially didn't have any categories listed and only added them in later to help those who might be interested in reading about a particular topic or two.

With this post I'm introducing a new Ham Radio category since it's an interest that earns a lot of my time and about which I've either written or mentioned in more than a few posts. It's also the focus of my Twitter account so I wanted those who might visit this site from that location to have easy access to posts (or mentions) from that category.

SIDE NOTE:

On the way to the gym today, Patty and I were a little over a mile from the house when we both noticed something crawling through the grass no more than a foot from the side of the road. Turns out it was a baby alligator. That was not on my list of expected roadside wildlife and so it took a moment to wrap my head around what I was seeing. And, what a surprise to see one that small and to see if so far from the water. Not sure what to make of that?

SIDE NOTE:

Weather on the way! Waterspout spotted off of the back deck and a screen grab of the current situation as seen on the WCTV weather phone app.

WX

WX

SIDE NOTE:

Well, I was talking on the Tallahassee repeater to a new friend who is down from Athens, Georgia and headed back home tomorrow. He was sharing with me about the challenges he was having at a gas station with the large crowd that was trying to buy gas. He mentioned that he hoped it was just a random thing since he needed gas to get home from Tallahassee back to Athens.

Shortly thereafter I became aware of the hack that occurred on the Colonial Oil pipeline and decided it might be time to go fill the gas tank, just in case. Well, got to the intersection with two local stations and both were already out of gas. Wow! That's the price I pay for being out of touch!

With the low fuel situation I was facing in my car, there was nothing I could do but head back home and wait it out. I can't afford to drive all over town finding empty gas stations and not have enough gas to even get me back home.

So, back home I went and upon my arrival, the computer says I'm good for about 75 more miles. That ought to get me somewhere to refill if and when more gas becomes available.

We're okay for a good while on all other supplies so it may just be a hurry up and wait game.

We'll see...




WEATHER

APRIL 24, 2021



Saturday Weather

I always enjoy the prospects of an interesting weather day and today was supposed to have been just that. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately - for us anyway) most of the weather event has been north of the Florida line, up into both Georgia and Alabama.

Our day started early with high winds and somewhere into the morning we received a warning of high winds that were to extend from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM with gusts from 50 to 70 mph. While we've had some high winds that have slammed a few white caps on the seawall, I don't think we've experienced anything in line with those wind gusts forecasts.

There have been tornado warnings up in South Georgia, and plenty of lightning shows up on the map well to our north, but no evidence of that or anything else down our way. We've got some ominous looking skies, but that's about the extent of it.

High tide was at 1:40, over two hours ago. But, the winds are keeping the tide waters high and may continue to do so for a while based on the forecast for high winds. The ten day forecast shows rain next Friday (a week from yesterday) but other than that we seem to be in the clear.

I've been monitoring 2 meters in case a local weather net came active, but nothing so far on that front either.




NORTH WINDS

APRIL 19, 2021



Flag

After several days of rain, we're looking at five days in a row of sunny skies. It's clearly time to put the new flag back up and I wondered about how secure it might be as I carried it out the door and felt the strong winds hit me in the face.

As for those winds, I think the picture of the flag says it all. The weather website puts our windspeeds at 11 MPH and I'm confident that the gusts are stronger, especially as can be seen in the picture.

I had a great call with Jonathan last night and Patty's enjoying her weekly call with Allie here at 9:23 AM as I type. I'm looking forward to our hitting the gym afterward and then seeing how much painting I can get done today. Hopefully the wind will back off just a bit to make that job more manageable.

If by chance you're here reading, I hope you're having a great day!




PAINT AND RAIN

APRIL 10, 2021



Paint and Rain

Well, the good news on the painting front is that I've painted the places that I was concerned would be the most difficult to paint. In particular, that includes the outside of the deck, rails, and spindles at the top of the second flight of stairs leading up to the house.

I should be able to move to that same area on the interior portion of the stairs and paint on up to the top of the last flight of stairs. From there I will paint the shingles on the house and then tackle the front and back decks. Having finished the stilts and the diagonals was a big step, not to mention the panels on the canal side of the house. It's good to have that behind me and to be moving into a much more readily manageable area.

My greatest challenge at this point is finding a window of good weather. We've had quite a bit of rain lately and when it hasn't been raining the wind has been so strong that it literally blows the paint right off of my brush.

There's a lot of rain called for on the 10-day forecast so I'll be watching closely on the daily forecast for any openings that might allow me to squeeze in some painting. It's not that I just can't wait to paint, but I am looking forward to finishing this project!




TSUNAMIS

APRIL 05, 2021



Tsunamis

I've always been highly passionate about Geek Stuff. My interest in the science and the technology have always taken priority over any interest in the people involved in those arenas.

That's difficult to admit, and I've taken significant steps over the years to try and find a more appropriate balance between the two. But, I'm still forced to acknowledge the reality of my DNA and the way I'm wired.

With the additional free time that retirement has contributed to my schedule, I find myself gravitating toward the learning opportunities built into so many of the YouTube videos that focus on the technical topics of interest to me. Weather has always been high on that list, and lately I've taken a real dive into the science behind earthquakes and tsunamis.

Last night I watched an incredible YouTube video entitled The Wave that Shook the World. It has set me out on a mission to learn more about tsunamis and the four events that trigger them - in particular, earthquakes.

It doesn't stop there either. Studying the underlying causes and effects for these phenomena and gathering an understanding of the terminology and technical data in these arenas is what will better prepare and equip me to take my learning to the next level. What an incredible experience it is to ride along with the experts as they advance our understanding and discover answers to so many difficult questions.




Weather

MARCH 03, 2021



Weather
October 10, 2018: Hurricane Michael comes ashore not too far from us.

One of the things I've always enjoyed over the years is keeping up with the weather. And one of the things that has made that particularly interesting is how it connects with my amateur (ham) radio hobby.

When the weather gets really bad, it's quite common to jump on the VHF (2 meter) radio and check in with the locals to see what's going on. The weather nets, as they are called, are often active during such occurrences and those nets make for an interesting means of tracking the weather, or WX as it's often abbreviated in the ham radio hobby.

Years ago, when we still lived in Atlanta, one of the things that was always interesting was a weather net going on during the afternoon commute. As one can imagine, that tends to be the time of day when those bad storms really crank up. It was one thing to have thunderstorms to contend with during the drive home, but quite another when a tornado or two was thrown in the mix.

I remember working at the Atlanta Financial Center downtown and getting off of the elevator on the ground floor with my 2 meter walkie-talkie in hand and hearing the first reports of a tornado headed our way. The security guards must have also been keeping up with things because they were guiding us away from the outside windows to the building and encouraging folks not to leave the safety of the building until the current threat had passed.

I remember another time where I was already driving home and received a report of a tornado headed straight for the location where I was driving. When those types of reports occur and I suddenly find myself in harm's way, the fun tends to cease and concerns kick in and replace that which was fun and interesting.

I must confess that with major storms on our local radar like Hurricane Michael, my former thoughts of any exciting reports have been replaced with thoughts of the damage and life-changing events (and sometimes life-ending events) that real people are experiencing. It's sobering to say the least.

After what we've seen and experienced firsthand since we moved here to Florida, I just don't look at those serious and attention-grabbing weather reports the same way anymore.




FOGGY RUN

FEBRUARY 11, 2021



Foggy Run

I've run in fog before, but yesterday's fog wins the grand prize. I'm sure it was a bit dangerous to be running in fog that thick on a two lane blacktop, even if it was out here in the county where we don't get much traffic to start with.

Still, with the thick fog I was much more attentive during the run. I usually am able to get in a groove, but yesterday the groove was all about watching for cars popping out of the fog. I did have one or two show up, pretty much out of nowhere, but it wasn't difficult at all to be proactive and steer clear of any trouble.

Using the GPS on my smart watch, I was able to determine that visibility was about 1/20th of a mile or .05 miles. But that honestly sounds farther than it seemed when I was running in that stuff. I was wearing sun glasses just to keep the fog's mist out of my eyes and had to wipe them down more than a few times.

The temp was 62°F when I left and up to 63°F when I arrived bac home. No breeze at all but the mist from the rolling fog made up for it and kept me cool. We seem to be in a season full of gray days, but I'm looking forward to getting back to running in the warm Florida sunshine once again.




Running Weather

FEBRUARY 07, 2021



Running Weather

It was supposed to get into the 60's today but never rose above 52 here on the island. Combine that with the relatively strong winds that were present all day long, and I decided to combat my OCD and (for the first time in a long time) skip my run. I just don't like running in cold conditions!

The wind chill that comes from moderately chilly temps and relatively strong and gusty winds makes for an extremely cold and unpleasant run! (Yes, I actually consider runs in good weather to be pleasant.)

Between wind and cold temps, I can run if even only one is favorable. But when both are working together against me on the cold side (I don't mind the heat!) it's time to pack it in and wait for another day. That's going to be the new anti-OCD rule instead of the one that says run even if there's an approaching lightning storm in the area.

To put things in perspective, I often have to put on my weather prognosticator hat and make timely decisions about windows of opportunity for getting in a run amidst all of the weather that seems to be headed our way. Years ago I mis-read conditions and wound up running in a lightning storm. And, you guessed it, lightning struck a power pole immediately after I passed it on the sidewalk.

And, even more recently, I accounted for approaching weather but failed to anticipate any pop-up rain clouds and wound up putting my wife and I in light rain on one of our chilly outings. Since then, she has very wisely carried an umbrella on those 'iffy' looking days.




A RUN IN THE RAIN

FEBRUARY 01, 2021



A RUN IN THE RAIN

February has arrived with a bang! It's 8:20 am as I type and it's 47 degrees here on Live Oak Island. The internet has our winds at 15 to 25 mph with stronger wind gusts. Far from a good day for running.

From what I can hear (and feel) the gusts are indeed stronger! I just took the garbage out and put some mail in the mailbox and the wind gusts were definitely having their way with me.

Speaking of running, yesterday proved to be interesting. The forecast called for rain all day and well into the evening. However, around noon I saw a hole in the weather on the internet radar and mentioned to Patty that I thought we might have a window to get out as long as there weren't any pop-up storms.

Well, we got out and Patty made a smart move to carry an umbrella just in case. I made the turn for home at 1.5 miles and as I passed Patty at mile 2 it started sprinkling and she had her umbrella out. It sprinkled on me for the first half of my last mile and then it turned to a steady rain. When I got home from my run, I jumped in the car and dashed to pick up Patty from her fast walk.

As I met her she had already made the turn for home and was walking along, open umbrella in hand, and in a pretty steady rain. I felt really bad about the terrible forecast I had provided, but true to form she laughed it off and said she was pretending to take a walk over in London. Leave it to Patty to always make lemonade out of any lemons that life serves up to her.

When I got home a quick check of the radar indicated that, rather than pop-up storms, we were experiencing large patches of rain that were coming out of nowhere. So much for my ability to find open windows for walking or running in between the raindrops.




TORNADOES

JANUARY 27, 2021



Tornados

It seems like down here in the Southeastern United States we've had our own version of Tornado Alley form in more recent decades and up in the northern portion of Alabama in particular.

When we used to live in Northwest Georgia, Patty and I traveled over to North Alabama and witnessed the devastation first hand from the (April) 2011 Super Outbreak that ripped through 19 counties and toppled the Salvation Army Disaster Services vehicle seen above.

Well, here in January and even further south we had one travel through Tallahassee, Florida just before lunch time today and that did damage at the airport, including knocking out the National Weather Service tracking system. I was monitoring the Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) net on one of the Tallahassee Amateur Radio Society (TARS) two meter repeaters as this was all taking place.

I have yet to hear if we had one tornado that was reported upon from multiple locations, or if we actually had sightings of multiple tornadoes. I'll try to update this post if and when I am able to gather more information.

Tornado TA


CHRISTMAS EVE

DECEMBER 24, 2020



Christmas Eve

The picture above is what I imagine when I think of Christmas Eve. Even though it's a picture of yesteryears long past, the charm and even the romance are indicative of the visions that dance in my head.

Unfortunately, the picture below more clearly depicts the reality of our current Christmas Eve Day and the Christmas Eve to follow. It's highly unusual to see white-caps out on the gulf where we live, but that's just what we're seeing with these gale warnings that were introduced last night and predicted to hang around from 7AM this morning until 7AM Christmas day.

We just finished lashing down garbage bags and bed sheets over the pots and plants outside and are hoping both plants and covers survive the high winds that have already arrived and are predicted to remain as the subfreezing temperatures fall in behind later this evening.

White Caps


FREEZING TEMPS

DECEMBER 23, 2020



Cold Temps Ahead

Freezing temperatures are ahead! It won't be so cold that boiling water thrown in the air will turn to snow, but it's Florida so no surprise there.

It looks like Christmas Day will fall in the middle of a three day cold snap. We're slated for 30°F on Christmas Eve followed by 27°F and 28°F the following two nights.

Highs will only be in the upper 40's which will provide for a couple of challenging running days. For the past two days it's almost hit 70°F and I've been getting used to running in shorts with nothing more than long sleeves to protect me from the effects of a strong breeze on an otherwise seemingly warm day.

I'm always amazed at the difference these strong ocean breezes can make on an otherwise mild day. I hate to call it wind chill when temps are in the upper 60's, but I guess that's what it is when the winds are up around 15 mph, because it sure does make a difference.

I suppose dripping the water in the house will also be involved since the house is up on stilts with exposed water pipes. They're insulated but I'm not counting on that to avoid more serious problems. I'd rather go ahead and spend a few extra pennies on the water than to take on the headaches associated with a busted water pipe, not to mention a water pipe repair bill.




COOL RUNNINGS?

DECEMBER 01, 2020

Cool Runnings

Many years ago, and on a brutally cold and windy day outside of Atlanta, I was slated for a 10 mile training run in preparation for an upcoming half marathon. Get this! The temperature measured on the Fahrenheit scale was exactly the same as the wind speed measured in miles per hour. Now, if you're a math person or a runner, that might have captured your attention and got you to thinking.

You might have asked yourself if there was a common number at which both of those measures could be considered relatively reasonable for a 10 mile training run. Well, based on my own experience, I would prefer to go for the lower number in common just to avoid the wind chill. But, that was not to be the case on this particular day.

The magic number for that day was 17. And, from my perspective, that was probably one of the worst possible numbers that I could have imagined. The temperature was already brutally cold and with the addition of that wind speed, the windchill that resulted was virtually unbearable - even wearing my warmest running gear. I should note that we don't have fancy cold weather running gear down here in the south!

Fast forward to yesterday with a much shorter run in much warmer conditions and I'm still complaining. I live on the Florida panhandle and am used to running with temps at least in the 70's and just enough breeze to make the overall experience enjoyable. However, yesterday was the last day of November and the front edge of a windy cold front was making its way onto the scene.

I'm older, my blood is thinner down here in the deep south, and the weatherman is hitting me with temperatures in the low 50's and wind persisting somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 miles per hour out here on the island. I guess that's better than the wind gusts of 55 to 65 mph we had in the middle of the night, last night!

In my opinion, the tricky thing about cold weather running, and the thing I like least about it, is the heat that builds up on the run and the sweat that arrives and starts to soak all of those layers I'm wearing to protect against the cold winds.

On the hot and humid days of summer down here, and with the unusually cold and blustery days that occasionally sneak in during our short and mostly mind winter season, the washer and dryer tend to get a real workout around here.




HEADWINDS

NOVEMBER 17, 2020

Headwinds

In the spring and summer months, there's frequently a gentle breeze when I go out for a run. Generally, it's either coming out of the north or the south which means I get to enjoy a northernly breeze on mile one or a southernly breeze on parts of miles two and three.

This will be the first year in recent years where I've really pushed myself to run each and every day, no matter the temperature. As a result, yesterday and today I had a new experience on the first mile with strong headwinds coming out of the north. Those winds were strong enough that I almost felt like I was running in place as I leaned into them.

The effect on my running was definitely noticed when comparing my mile one pace with the pace of miles two and three. In fact, on mile three I shaved a full minute off of my mile one pace and with what I can only assume was the benefit of a mile one headwind becoming a tailwind as I made the turn toward home.

With the combination of the winds and a cooler temperature (around 60F) I decided it was time to pull out the long sleeves and running gloves for a bit of extra protection from the chill. Did I say chill? Really? Down here in Florida? At 60F degrees?

Not long after the turn at mile one, and leaving the wind behind me, I was peeling off the gloves and rolling up the sleeves. I've certainly run in conditions that were much, much worse when I used to live up in the Atlanta area, but I think my blood has gotten a bit thinner down here in the south and I've become a wee bit spoiled running in the relatively warm and sunny Florida weather.




GOODBYE ETA

NOVEMBER 12, 2020

Good Bye Eta

In yesterday's post I mentioned a couple of things I've learned about storms since we moved down to this area. One of those things was the dirty side of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Most folks know that a hurricane that makes landfall in the U.S. rotates in a counter-clockwise fashion. And, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that is approaching the Florida panhandle has those of us on the panhandle watching for the point where the eye makes landfall.

Why? Because we know that a counter-clockwise rotation means that everyone on the right side of the eye (a.k.a. the dirty side) will encounter winds approaching from the south. Everyone on the left side will encounter winds approaching from the north that will be relatively weaker after having traveled across land before arriving.

In other words, the same winds that might have slammed the coast on the right side of the eye will continue their journey in the wind's rotation and hit the coast once again - this time on the left side of the eye and from the north. In a strong storm, the difference between one side and the other may not bring much benefit. However, in a smaller storm the difference may be significant.

The more critical challenge is often the storm surge that accompanies a hurricane. As one can imagine, it is also more significant on the dirty side. This occurs as approaching winds push the ocean water toward land. Mixing that high water from the storm surge with a high tide will often result in double the trouble.

We were on the clean side of Eta and she was far enough to our east that we actually never even received any rain from her - despite an earlier forecast for a direct hit.




SPAGHETTI MODELS

NOVEMBER 7, 2020

ETA-SPAGHETTI
Eta spaghetti models for 11/7/20 - 9:00 AM EST.

My wife is a big fan of spaghetti models. And, I must admit that seeing what she is seeing has persuaded me of the importance of balancing that with what I'm seeing on the National Weather Service's (NWS) National Hurricane Center (NHC) website.

Even though the spaghetti models forecast further out into the vast unknown, the agreement between a large number of models can strongly suggest a level of accuracy and dependability when trying to make logistical decisions that reach out further into the future.

That's exactly the case that exists right now. To look at the NHC website, one might be tempted to believe we are going to take a direct hit from Eta at our home location, indicated on the graphic above by a red star.

Of course that still could be the case, but the spaghetti models are suggesting something quite different. I'm covering my bases in the short-term, but hoping that the spaghetti models are accurate for the longer-term forecast.

We'll see!




STORM WATCH

NOVEMBER 6, 2020

To see the evolving changes to the storm track click here, or on the active storm link in the menu.

ETA24A
Advisory #24A - 11/6/20 - 1:00 PM EST.

Nothing is more effective at putting election results on the back burner than an approaching storm (except maybe for the delay in anything much happening on the election front.) Unless the lawsuits provide an unexpected difference, it appears we will have a new president. We're also still on hold for a final answer regarding control in the U.S. senate. Truth be told, I suspect there's much more to be concerned about on that one than the presidential election.

Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Eta continues to be the topic du jour down here on the forgotten coast. We're probably looking at the middle of next week before caution might give way to a higher level of concern. After all, a lot can happen in a few days. Still, any changes to the forecast so far have not been in our favor and it appears we will definitely feel this one to one extent or another.

It's just additional confirmation that the season's not over until the season is over! Earlier today, I made my traditional run to fill up the gas tank on the car. That's usually the first sign that I'm taking a storm seriously and if I'm not days ahead filling it up, I'm already behind and usually wind up waiting in line and hoping for a turn before the gas runs out.




HURRICANE ETA?

NOVEMBER 5, 2020

ETA19
Advisory #19 - 11/5/20 - 4:00 AM EST.

Hurricane Eta is now a tropical depression but the projected path provides a reason to keep an eye on it. Eta peaked Monday evening as a category 4 hurricane with winds at 150 miles per hour.

With Eta, the 2020 hurricane season has tied the 2005 season for the most named storms in a single season. It is also the fifth storm in a row to rapidly intensify which is defined as a storm with winds gaining at least 35 mph in a 24 hour period.

As can be seen in the forecast model, Eta is expected to return to tropical storm status and make its way across Cuba and up to the Florida Keys. However, that's still five days away and a lot can happen in that time, especially with the changing conditions surrounding a late season storm.

Still, I've been very impressed with the NHC's considerable accuracy for the forecast path of so many storms this season. The big questions in my mind at this point are whether or not the storm will reemerge as a Hurricane, whether the storm will turn northward over and around Florida or move across the gulf, and if the storm reemerges as a hurricane to what category will it grow?

I suppose only time will tell.




HURRICANES

OCTOBER 21, 2020

Hurricanes

Down here on the gulf, they refer to the risk of hurricanes as the Price of Paradise. We're winding down on another season but we take nothing for granted knowing that these storms have little respect for the dates that officially begin and end the hurricane seasons.

Back at the end of the 90's I read and article and shared it with Patty and it had a dramatic impact on both of us. One thousand seniors were surveyed about their greatest regret in life. I don't remember the exact number but I do remember it was over 80% and their regret was that they did not take more chances (risks) in life.

When you stop and think about that stat, it's actually pretty profound! For Patty and I, that stat led us to make two significant decisions. First, in the year 2000, we decided to launch Pocketwatch Productions. You can read about that by selecting the Filmmaking link under the Pictures menu item over on the left or by clicking here.

The second significant decision we made occurred in the end of 2013 when we decided to leave our home of 26 years in the Atlanta area, and in which we raised our kids, and move to Florida! I remember asking myself if we should take the conservative route and stay put, or take a risk and pursue the romance in life with a move to the water. I found the courage to run the question by Patty and together, with that aforementioned stat in mind, we opted for the romance.

For Patty and I, pursuing the romance in life was a very God-ordained thing. We've learned a lot about ourselves through these transitions. We've discovered more about our true priorities and the things that are really important in life. That's not to even hint at the idea that we made a mistake. On the contrary, we've seen God reveal himself to us time after time on this leg of our journey.

He's taught us more about the concept of waiting on Him. He's taught us how to be still and know that He is God via the works that He is performing in our lives. He's shown us the perfection of His plan in those moments where we got off target and dabbled with our own plan. We've learned that he communicates best and we hear and learn from Him most when we listen for His whispers.

For me, the challenge has always been to bloom where I'm planted. It's so easy to forget that God has a plan for me right where He has placed me! He has built in me such uniqueness that it's sometimes difficult to grasp the what and the where in my ability to be effective for His purposes.


Copyright © 2024 Hutch DeLoach