Sunday, February 27, 2011

I couldn’t think of a good title for this entry

Another weekend has passed with little to show for it. I started the weekend in front of the TV watching Megamind and I am about to end it in front of the TV watching the Oscars. I didn’t fix the shingles on the roof. They are a tad out of reach of my crappy ladder. I borrowed a better ladder and then noticed more loose shingles up at the very top of the roof so I will just give in and call the pros on that one. Maybe the loose ones will blow off in tomorrow’s severe weather outbreak that they are warning us about. I’ll wait and call after the storms pass.

I’m back on the Mucinex. I’m trying to clear out all of the congestion that popped back up this week. I am so tired of sneezing fits. I’m always afraid that I might blow out an eyeball on the fourth sneeze.

The Oscars – I doubt I will stay up for all of it. So far, there have been weird, awkward pauses and jokes that just didn’t quite make sense. I haven’t seen many of the nominated films this year. The kids mostly control the movie budget around here so I did see Toy Story 3 and I didn’t really love it – it was ok, I guess. Give me a Monsters, Inc. sequel and I’ll be happy.

Finally, how is this for a weather headline? This is a notice from our local emergency management agency:

Strong to severe storms with potential for tornadic development early Mon morning through noon.

As a system moves through our area overnight, Monday morning through noon could bring way for damaging winds, hail and the possibility for several long tracked strong tornadoes, and straight line winds.

Yes, I’ll be taking this one a tad more seriously than I did the last one.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The weatherman serves up some warm humble pie

OK, so all of the build-up on television most of the night warning us that it was going to get a bit nasty out was right on-target.

wx3

10:25PM is about the time I got everyone in the hallway. Up until that point, I had been watching out the patio door and it was just a regular old thunderstorm. Sure, there was a tornado warning, but there always seems to be on these days. I’m watching the wind whipping up when the hail started and then the rain seemed to begin swirling and then there was virtually no visibility. The wind was howling and the last thing I saw before closing the door and forcing the kids out of bed was stuff that appeared to be flying over the top of the house.

I barely got everyone in the hallway before the wind died down again. The whole thing had to last only about a minute before it went back to just being a regular storm. My guess was 70 mph wind and just east of here a weather station clocked it at 67.

We were lucky. About 8 miles west of us, there were roofs blown off homes and a tire warehouse was torn apart. I only had part of my shed roof peeled open and lost a few shingles off of the roof of the house.

At least one piece of hard work I have done over the years was finally validated last night. We got a trampoline four years ago and I’ve always had a fear that it would be blown into the house in one of these storms. So, I’ve always been anal enough to keep 40 lb. bags of soil on the legs of the trampoline so it wouldn’t be so likely to become a spacecraft.

our trampoline

I have hated those bags each time I’ve moved them to mow under that thing.

My neighbors had a trampoline until last night. They had nothing to anchor it down and it temporarily became the world’s largest Frisbee.

next door

The impact with the ground bent the steel frame in half in two places. Luckily, it went out in the field and not into the side of a house. I walked out in the mud this morning to see if it was worth pulling back up for them and it is now just scrap.

And, we have more storms coming for Sunday night. I will have my shingles back on by then.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another end of the world weather freak-out

I remember when a thunderstorm was something to marvel at. You peeked through the windows amazed at the power of nature. You had the common sense to realize that there was a difference between a thunderstorm and an approaching tornado. This was long ago in the days before we were urged to go to tornado shelters two hours before the storms even arrived.

Yes, there are storms on the way. They will be here around 9PM.

wx1

wx2

Because of this, Vanderbilt University actually postponed a basketball game. Metro Nashville schools cancelled all after-school activities. The Nashville Office of Emergency Management sent out a message advising all citizens to stay in after 6PM. The television stations have been breaking in on every commercial break since 7PM.

We appear to be completely losing our minds. Yes, we need to stay safe and yes, we need to keep an eye on the news when bad weather is approaching. But, do we need to scare people so badly over and over again that we eventually become numb to what is happening and just start ignoring all of this?

When I was a kid, radar was so horrible that I’m not sure how anyone could even read it. When our local weatherman, Bill Hall, told us to get to shelter, we jumped in the closet. His warnings we very rare and very accurate. When he said it, we knew that he meant it. Now we are over-anxious and over-scared. As Bill Hall said a couple of years ago, weather reporting has gotten so overblown and dramatic that they “can’t even let us enjoy a good thunderstorm”.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another day, another headache (two, actually)

The first headache was because it’s going to rain. I know this because I can feel it pulsating in my forehead. There are not enough sinus pills in the world.

The second headache was work related but at least I had enough sense, in between sinus throbs, to apply my INWI philosophy to a series of emails I received. The old me would always want to get the last word in but the new me remembers ‘it’s not worth it’ and just lets it drop.

In technology news, my battle of the mp3 players is over and the Zune HD has won. The $27 dock I got off eBay sealed the deal.

DSCF0625

I gave my wife’s old iPod Touch a try over the past two months. Angry Birds was fun. The incredibly clunky user interface was a complete pain, not to mention being prompted to enter my iTunes password every time an app needed an update. If your music matters more than your apps, the Zune HD is the way to go.

So, that’s Wednesday. My blog hiatus was short-lived.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nashville–where rush hour never ends

Thanks to the snow arriving right before rush hour, there are still people trying to get out of Nashville. Some of these people have been on the road for 4 hours or more at this point.

snow1

snow2

Remember, we only had about five days notice on this one. For the last two days, they said it would be coming in late afternoon today. The schools all closed early but most working people don’t get the luxury of an early dismissal. And, there are also the idiots who ignored all of the weather forecasts and thought this wouldn’t possibly be such a mess when it was 20 degrees.

I was out on it at 4:30PM and it was unbelievably slick. There was just enough salt out there from the last one to start this stuff melting and then make that slush instantly re-freeze. The snow alone would not have been as bad if the freeze-over hadn’t happened.

Oh, well. School was already closed for tomorrow and it is supposed to be 55 degrees on Sunday. Come on, Spring!

Monday, February 7, 2011

We pause this blog while I reinstall Windows 7

win7

My trusty Gateway laptop has never quite been the same since I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7. Somehow, Vista was still on the PC (I know because of the dual boot menu that would pop up whenever I rebooted) and for the last few months the wireless got slower and slower.

So, I've given up, backed up all of the pictures and music and other junk I have, and reinstalled the whole thing from a freshly formatted drive. So far, so good.

I have to piece this thing back together now and there is more snow in the forecast. That means that the next few days might be even busier than usual and the blog may have to get neglected for a few days. I’ll be back immediately if some celebrity drops dead or if Anderson Cooper parachutes into Afghanistan for a live remote.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another weekend passes by with little to show for it

After a week of pretty much constant illness, the weekend finally arrived and I have slowly gotten a bit better. I had no prolonged coughing fits or urges to curl up in the fetal position. That doesn’t mean I accomplished anything.

I dusted the home office. All of our clothes are clean and the house is vacuumed. We caught up on the DVR. We got our grocery shopping done before all of the snow that may or may not be coming this week.

new wx

We rented two movies at the Redbox.

redbox

One was pretty good (“RED”). The other (“Solitary Man”) was so bad I turned it off 15 minutes in and I feel like demanding a 75 cent refund directly from Michael Douglas. I really need to learn that these quasi-indie films all stink. I should have remembered how horrible “Greenberg” was a couple of months back.

I’m wasting the rest of the day by watching some football. I won’t stay up for all of it. I really don’t care who wins but the commercials have been pretty good.

Now, on to Monday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rainy Tuesday

I between the atomic sneezes and the tb-like coughing fits, I’ve been watching the rain come down. It was almost 60 today and it we’ll be lucky to see 28 degrees tomorrow for the high! At least we’re not getting the 2 feet of snow in Chicago and all of the ice in Indianapolis. national

And, it’s not just here where the weather has gone nuts. Since our news is filled with own weather woes and Egypt, we haven’t seen much about the category 5 cyclone about to slam into Australia with 200 mph winds but it’s going to happen in about 12 hours.

cat5

Aside from the weather and continuing to feel cruddy, there is no other news here.

Blah humbug.