Friday, September 29, 2006

A moment to reflect...

Yeah, I'll admit it's been a long and trying week launching the new station and working with a gazillion bugaboos and haints...but what a lovely day Friday has turned out to be. Tech issues were minimal and dissipated quickly this morning...and I left feeling good about the end of the week and the cool weather. On the way home, as city traffic goes, I witnessed inexcuseable driving maneuvers and childish but dangerous road-rage-ish car (who was at fault, in front of me) threw a cup of liquid into another car's open window simply because they honked at them...that sort of thing that depresses you about some 2-leggeds we have to live and deal with...

And yet...and yet, as I turned down the cul de sac toward home, all calm and void of people....there right above me was a beautiful red-tail hawk, wings spread wide against the blue sky and lit by the sun...and above and beyond was another...and another...and another...probably as many as a dozen raptors circling in the thermals and breezes. Ahh, yes, the migrations...they have begun. Probably Broadwings, Cooper's, and more were all a was enough for me to have seen them, smiled, and taken a deep breath. As I parked and got out of the car, I heard only the familiar cry of that red-tail, obscured by the trees, but close, nonetheless. The migrators had angled out of view, but I had the picture I needed in my heart. It's Friday. Keep Life in perspective. Aho!

(Photo: while the scene I saw was much like the photo, the pictured red-tail was one I photographed in South Dakota last year; hawks and I get along real well...)

TGIF! Storms on radar, and more...

A big offensive tackle on a football team wrote TGIF! upside down on the toe end of his cleats. When he lined up on the line of scrimmage, the defensive lineman looked at the letters and said, "You idiot, today's not Friday!" The offensive lineman grinned (as best you can with a mouthpiece in) and said, "You're the idiot. It stands for 'Toes Go In First!'". He promptly barreled over his opponent who was still trying to figure it all out.

It's Friday. That's my TGIF today. And not a day too soon, either.

WOW, what barn-burner storms we had roll through the Triad last evening, replete with severe thunderstorm warnings aplenty. I watched possibly the worst of the storm cells start in west Forsyth and boil ferrociously as it rolled north east through Oak Ridge, Stokesdale, Summerfield and up just under Reidsville. Hail and wind damage reports aplenty as the double line of storms really put a whoopin' on many areas throughout the region. I forgot I could save some radar images from my home radar to share in this blog, so went and pulled a few of the severe cells from the second wave that moved through:

Being but a screen shot the storm markers aren't interactive...the green triangles indicate hail, and moving over the cursor you can see the potential yesterday's storms aloft, I saw hail as big as 1.5", but the size aloft does not necessarily mean it reached the surface. The little red circle symbolizes rotation aloft in the storm. At the very least that will make for strong surface winds and very heavy precipitation, and at worst could be a precursor for tornadic development. And, as you would suspect, the bright reds indicate torrential downpours and almost suredly lots o' lightning. All cells moved in a northeast direction, basically.

Right on cue, delightfully fresh and cool fall-like weather and temperatures grace us with their presence today through the weekend. You can look forward to the upper 60s for today and the lower 40s Saturday morning in the northern Piedmont, and even cooler in them there Hills. Before you know it, the leaves will start their radiant chameleon dance, making for delightful drives on the backroads. Bring it on!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Answer: Waters that can't focus for very long.

Question: What are scattered showers?

They'll be in later in the day today, Thursday (focused or not), so keep a bumbershoot handy. Or a trenchcoat, like my good friend Winchester, here. Watch out for those poodles, though. And if it starts raining cats and dogs together, it'll be Katy-bar-the-door...

Be that as it may, the 'felines' are mutual that some great fall-like weather will be coming in behind this showery front, setting the stage for a cool end to the work week, and a delightfully pleasant weekend. Just the fact that it's the weekend makes it pleasant in and of itself, regardless of the weather, of course.

My weekend plans involve serious sanding on new flutes in preparation for an art show October 6-8 in Tryon, NC. Hard to get much done during the week as I start my day at 1 AM...and one thing I learned long ago is that you don't run power tools when you are tired or at the end of a long day. So Saturday will be sanding and finishing and sanding and finishing and walking Mercy and sanding and finishing....I've got some neat new ones coming out, so I'll probably post a couple of pics here next week. One neat one has an inlay of a hummingbird feeding on a flower. One has been carved to look just like a tree trunk. My flutes and music are my release in life, no doubt. If you didn't catch the very first post, you can go back and read more about them and click on the link to my webpage.

Buffaloed by it all...

Yesterday, just when it looked like all was smooth technically at work...I have known there would be that little voice in my head say, "You ain't seen nothin' , yet, FluteBoy!" So I'm pulling extra duty and doing Charlotte-side shows for the mid-day...pulled up a show to edit...put it in preview and checked all the timing and pause points, etc...then when at the wall actually doing the show, the frames would run right through the pauses, or the show would skip entire graphics, or jump back to the start...I was indeed 'buffaloed' by it all...but that's not to confuse me with Buffalo Bob... I would pull up the offending frame, turn off the pause, then turn it back on, and it worked...replay the show, and a different frame or two would was enough to make me pull my 'hare' out...

I was hopping mad, to say the least...maybe, though, no bunny cares...maybe I shouldn't either..maybe I should pull a Chuck Howard (heh, heh, heh...!)
For those that aren't familiar with the long-time and widely liked veteran sports chief at WCNC 6, he was recently, uh, fired for an innocent mistake that many, many make in this biz. He was taping a segment for re-broadcast, made a flub at the end, and after an expletive said to tape it again...which he did...only something went horribly wrong and the flubbed tape aired the next morning, not the corrected one. And, well, the rest is TV history now.

If one of my tainted segments aired from yesterday's mind-numbing taping consternations, I want the record to show that I do great handyman work, year-round...

(photos: Buffalo cow and calf from Custer State Park, Black Hills, South Dakota, April 2005; creeping rabbit, not a hare from Wyoming (though it could be anywhere); Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody from their website)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mercy, this weather is nice!

'Tis, indeed nice weather! And this is my rescue pup Mercy, a foundling from TCAR, the Tri-County Animal Rescue located on Highway 27 on the Gaston/Lincoln county line on Highway 27 - you can check 'em out at:
I have adopted from them for years, and they are great folks...I strongly advocate adopting dogs from such organizations, and there are myriad groups right in the Triad. And consider adopting an older dog, too. You can never outgive the love they give back, and even if they live but a couple of years, they actually bless your life in wonderful ways. Thanks Smiley, Snowball, and Yoda!

What a day of those days you don't want to repeat for a looooooong time, if ever again. Significant technical issues that persisted for hours...and it just happened to be on my shift. I always ask groups that I speak to, "What do you think is the most important aspect about being a TV meteorologist?"

Most say 'knowing weather', but that is down the list. You first and foremost need to know computers extremely well, and know how to assess what goes wrong when equipment goes awry, and know how to get it up and running in a usually deadline-pressing situation. And if you can't, you'd better know who to call, because you can't just take the 'do nothing' approach. Anyway, the waters are quite calmer this morning...can I get an "Amen!" from the choir????!!!!!!!!

Live weather is coming I get thoughts I'm prone to add to the daily posting, but for now, I'll have to go....Mercy!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The dawning of a new day....

Well, here we are with News 14 Triad alive and well on air. It has been a long road with many twists, turns, and long hours of work that had its share of frustrations. Alas, we are here, and can enjoy the 'dawning' of a new day. Lucky you, I have plenty of personal photographs to share with you here...thought you'd like to see a 'dawning' of the pink glow before sunrise looking at the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area in northcentral Wyoming from just about a year ago:

Had to fight a few technical brush fires this morning to correct some programming glitches, but luckily I wake up easily early in the mornings, and with great clarity to solve such troubles when there is no one else to call for help...a clarity which deteriorates through the day, I might add! Raise your hand if you can relate...

Nice to have quiet weather, though our Stormtracker with Level 2 data is a nice piece of equipment for stormtracking and more. It's a numbers forecast, which allows us all to take deep breaths and marvel at the beauty of the day...and hopefully not fight anymore technical battles! Even the ol' tropics have gone quiet, with 2 disturbances far out in the eastern seas, and in very hostile environments for development.

With nothing pressing on my weather noggin', I turn to silly humor. Question: How can you tell when a mother kangaroo is happy? Answer: She jumps for joey! I say that because this is the last week to see the kangaroos at the Asheboro zoo before they hop a flight back to Detroit. See, I told you this blog will wander all over the place...

Enjoy your day, and remember that of all the people that could have read this blog today, you are one of them. I-V drip of coffee, please, ma'am....

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Greetings and Salutations, Y'all!

Welcome! Bear with me as I launch this blog post and help launch the new News 14 Triad as the weekday morning meteorologist. I was in Charlotte several years ago to help launch News 14 Carolina in the same capacity. Interesting how moths are drawn to flames, eh? (the photo is one I took of one in the Elk Mountains of western South Dakota in 2005...)

What will you be reading here? A little bit of everything....heck, probably even a lot of everything. Weather thoughts, sure...but my interests and daily mental ramblings will most likely travel far afield into the world of music, art, science, and such. While I've been a TV meteorologist for over 15 years, I don't exactly eat, live, and sleep weather. My Soul's work is my playing, performing, recording, and making of Native American style flutes. And they have an unusual name, as well: Ugly Boys. There's a story there, why the name remains and where it came can read about it at my website, as well as see some images of my work:

I reserve the right to freely practice poetic license, as well, grammar. I write as I think...which in itself can be a scary proposition. I now need to get up to speed on blogging, as this is my first grab that cup of coffee and buckle up for daily whirls on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I'll have you pull your hands and arms inside the bucket car shortly...