Tuesday, October 31, 2006
With Daylight Saving a done deal, the sun sets around 530-ish, which is when a lot of the little boos and ghouls will be heading out to load up on sugary treats that none of them need. Drive carefully... Pepto Bismol sales soar by 327% every year on 10/31 and 11/1, if you didn't know...I didn't either...I just made it up...
Speaking of forecasts...it will certainly be a warm one with temps still in the 60s for most as they pilfer the porches with lights still on. Little Ewoks and baby Gorillas will be grasping for bottled water instead of Laughy Taffy if you have it...
As with so many mass-forwarded emails, which I personally chunk upon receipt, some I kept for their sheer entertainment value per this season. All pictures on today's post came from such mailings, so I have no idea who to give credits due...just not to me!
Monday, October 30, 2006
The double-entendre goes for our forecast, as well, here in the Carolina Piedmont: Sunny and 70s, and calm as a sleeping sloth. I just feel sorry for the kids that will be dressed as Ewoks or gorillas...maybe we should be prepared to handout bottles of water instead of candy...
And I am preparing to get out of the sling as soon as I can get some sideways movement from the shoulder...hopefully in a couple of days. Been pouring in the baby powder lately to battle to copious sweat that can't soak into the impermeable foam fabric...not to mention it goes nicely on the navy suit, dontcha think???!!!!
Sorry for the lack of photos for today...have some funny ones appropriate to tomorrow I'll be posting, so check in for those. And I will start throwing out some of the weather info I picked up in Cleveland you might find of interest...
I'll be starting with the changes ahead (starting February 1) with a modified tornado classification scale...instead of the Fujita (F) scale, it will officially become the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale...still a 0-5 scale, but estimated wind speeds based on more precise damage verification will be utilized, and will change some classifications as we move forward.
Too much excitement, I know...so let your heart quit racing, take a deep breath, and enjoy your day!
Friday, October 27, 2006
(old chimney near Lambsburg, VA, 2006)
With today's rains and tomorrow's winds, I'd imagine the leaves will come down in short order, certainly in the mountains. I was glad to catch the spectacular color of Spearfish Canyon near Deadwood, South Dakota before moving back east last year...I would say I love fall the best, but I honestly fall in love with each season as they possess their own unique Beings...
(Spearfish Canyon, Black Hills, South Dakota, 2006)
I also caught the fall wardrobe in sections of the Bighorn Mountains in north central Wyoming last year as well, and mostly to myself as the tourists were long gone...not the hunters, though, but they do drive a little better than the average tourist does...
(scene from Shell Canyon, western Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming, 2006)
(brilliant autumnal robe, central Bighorns, Wyoming, 2006)
Don't forget to turn your clocks back this weekend, as Daylight Saving Time comes to a close this year. Have a great weekend, and if there is good news from the doctor today I may post a little something about it. Y'all be good now, y' hear?!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I am among the masses who were taught that Crick and Watson made the ground-breaking discovery of the DNA working model through x-ray crystallography...if I was taught the 'truth' that follows, I don't recall it...
They didn't discover it...at least not on their own...worse yet, they basically stole ideas of another researcher without giving her due credit. The 'her' part to this is significant in its own right, which happens to be yet another soapbox of mine. Read on...
Let the record show that Rosalind Franklin should be credited with the crystallography discovery of the double-helix shape of DNA...click here to read up on all the unsavory details of how the ideas were lifted and not credited...
Unfortunately, we all just 'assume' that society is patriarchal and 'okay' as such...and it simply isn't true. Even to this day there is a male-biased dominance in just about every arena society has to offer, and in no way is that to suggest that it is 'right'...many merely have accepted it while others stamp their feet in knowing disapproval of a faulty paradigm, as well they should.
We should all be equal, because we inherently are. Pay, status, importance, you name it...sex should not enter into the equation. Sadly, it continues to do so even today.
Rosalind Franklind didn't stand a chance in the male-dominated world of scientific forays decades ago, and certainly had no chance against her cancer which took her rich life at such an early age.
We reap what we sow. Make sure you sow seeds of fairness and That Which Is Right in your day to day life, assuming that's the type of world you want to live in. I sure do. Thanks, Bunky and Sue!
------ Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Crick and Watson...ring a bell? Discoverers of the double-helix coil pattern to DNA, decades ago...very long story very short, they shot x-rays of the strands and worked/researched the shadow patterns the x-rayed coils created to derrive their physical form. Put a bicycle in strong afternoon sun, and study the shadow cast by the front wheel...it was/is that type of 'Awareness'...
...and so in my random attentions I 'focused' a part of my photographic intentions this past weekend on the reflections of the fall images...
There is a great deal of information and power in shadows and reflections of objects; my opinion, of course...but if you take the time to truly be Still within, you will experience what I refer to as another level of Knowingness that goes above and beyond the plane of our day to day lives. There is vibrant Life to be seen from so many different angles of perception...
Or not. It can simply be pretty picture to you and leave it at that. Just know that we always have choices we can make, should we choose to do so. Whether you are aware of it or not, we create our own Realities. I invite you to be Bold and Deliberate...
Monday, October 23, 2006
So I won't write much for now...slow as a turtle with the left hand...but I can at least post a couple more pics from Saturday's excursion....enjoy!
(looking up to the Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain)
(these would make nice jigsaw puzzles, eh?)
Sunday, October 22, 2006
OK, setting aside the fact that everybody and their brother, sister, cat, and dog were up in the mountains leaf-peeping this past weekend, the leaves were in quite wonderful color.
(wind-shaped vegetation atop Table Rock)
Friday's winds did take many of them down from the highest elevations, yet there was still plenty of color even as high as 4,000 feet. One of my favorite places to venture to is Linville Gorge just northwest of Morganton; and one of my favorite places to go is along the eastern rim to Table Rock.
(Rhododendron peering over cliff and myriad colors splashed below)
Easily seen even from I-40 because of its flattened table-like appearance, Table Rock is approached by graveled Forest Service roads off of Highway 181, and sits between the two other excellent hiking destinations, Shortoff and Hawksbill Mountains.
(southern flank of Hawksbill, just to the north)
In fact, the North Carolina Outward Bound School is located on the flanks of the ridge below. They do a lot of technical climbing on the plentious rock faces from time to time, as well. FYI, to enter the Gorge for overnight trips, a permit system is in place as this is an official Wilderness Area.
I did avoid even greater masses and did not drive around to the Falls section on the north end; but even with the mass of humanity all around, the views combined with perfect weather were worth the hike! And, might I add, my 12x zoom was used extensively to remove said masses! In closing, I thought it appropriate to show you one of the flowers still blooming along the trails, there, Closed Gentian.
(Closed Gentian, or Closed Bottle Gentian, or just pretty purple flowers that don't open up...)
More color coming this week...!
Friday, October 20, 2006
(among the throngs in downtown Mt. Airy for the Autumn Leaves Festival!)
I started by peeling east from I-77 to Mt. Airy last Saturday for their huge annual Autumn Leaves Festival...what a crowd, and what gorgeous weather to listen to some pickin' or pickin' up some holiday presents or just plain flat-out enoying that picturesque town of Mt. Airy...Wheeedoggies, as I like to exclaim!
(The Easter Brothers pickin' some gospel tunes for the appreciative crowds...)
Then, it was on up the interstate for many hours toward the shores of Lake Erie and Cleveland, Ohio for the National Weather Association annual conference and meeting. The fall colors, however, were not yet in full swing...
(My dashboard view as I headed up I-77, with Azna helping guide the way...)
I am very familiar with Southwest Virginia as well as West Virginia, and enjoyed the circuitous route the interstate travels through the well-carved Appalachian Plateau. One of the highlights is the W.VA. craft mecca called Tamarack, along the WVA Turnpike...all kinds of vernacular crafts can be found...worth a stop if you're passing by...
(Tamarack's sun-inspired roof and gardens...)
Ultimately, I found my way to Avon Lake to stay with some relatives for the the duration of my time there. Being 24 miles west of the hotel and conference, it made for very full and long days...up at 6am to deal with traffic in-bound, and home in time to exchange pleasantries and quickly face-plant into the pillow pile on the bed, only to get up at 6am and do it all over again...! Alas, sightseeing was not in the cards.
Long story short, I'm back, and settling into my saddle once again. I'll divulge some info gained over the next several days, but for now, buckle up for a pretty good weekend forecast ahead...Saturday being 'better' than Sunday, in terms of lots o' sunshine and cool temps in the low to mid 60s...Yippee-kiy-yay!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
(This reflection is from French Creek in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota)
Of Mark Twain's many sage words, one quote stuck out in particular as I pondered what to write about for this blog entry. To paraphrase, "There are 3 types of lies in this world: Lies, damned lies, and statistics." Amen, Brothers and Sisters! Statistics are something thrown out so everyone can oooh and aaaah and take it for gospel when, in fact, numbers only say what someone wants them to say. OK, they can serve a good purpose, but all too often we just accept statistics at face value and never ask our own probing questions. Statistics can easily be massaged to lead lemmings over some appointed cliff. Accepting some fact and its meaning blindly is ignorance; power comes from knowledge, which we gain when we question who is feeding us these numbers and why. Make your own decision. In fact, I should make a bumper sticker that says:
"DON'T BE A LEMMING!"
(Time to reflect again...this is from Rapid Creek which is the namesake of Rapid City, SD, and the site of a devastating flood in the 1970s...)
I bet you'd like to know what prompted my choice of words this morning, eh? Tuesday at 7:46am the U.S. Census Bureau says the U.S. will hit the 300 million population mark. One, two, three......"ooooooooh" and "aaaaahhhhh!" Please spare me the theatrics. We shouldn't care about the number...we SHOULD care about what the number represents, which is burdgeoning development all around the world with limited resources and dangerous increased levels of environmental degradation. Feel free to put on your party hat and have at it...I'm sure it will be quite the media circus for a brief bit.
Nice-N-Fresh outside today, eh?
Time for a pleasant cool-down which will help us to remember that it is the middle of October...even with abundant sunshine we sould enjoy coolish days this weekend under mostly sunny skies. Enjoy, revel, and relish! Lows Saturday and Sunday morning are going to be down in the 30s, with scattered frost likely in the favored areas along the VA border, especially. 20s in the mountains....perfect leaf-peeping weather is waiting in the wings for the weekend.
I am driving to Cleveland early Saturday morning, and will make a short post to let you readers know I won't post on this blog until Thursday of next week sometime, unless I have comptuer access where I'm heading. It's the National Weather Association's annual meeting and conference...don't know if I'll bring back lots of information to tell you about, but I know I'll bring back some fall photos from other regions/areas to put in the blog! HA! You know me and those side-road diversions!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Looks like they're all ears to hear of the impending forecast changes...are you? If you can't, maybe you should quote Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears..." Sorry 'bout that one, Willie.
(Since Shakespeare was famous for his 'aside' stage lines, I might as well add mine herein. On my first drive through Custer State Park in the Black Hills of western South Dakota late in 2004, I came across many incredible scenes and wildlife. Being that it was late in the fall, tourists were long gone, and the roadways empty...just the pups and I cruising slowly in the silent, wintry feeling air with the windows down...rounding a bend only to find a couple of the park's 30 or so wild burros standing in the middle of the road, watching wide-eyed. My dogs didn't know what to think other than those were 2 very strange looking dogs...)
This particular weather system has been jumping around in virtually every model run the past couple of days....oh, it'll be like this...then, no, it'll do that....then, oh, it'll do this and then cause such and such to happen. Might as well close my eyes and throw the dart at the forecast board and go with what I hit. (You do know that's how we forecast, right?) The concensus remains that Friday will be chilly on both ends, and Saturday's lows will be in the 30s with highs barely above 60...good ol' fall weather.
The one kinda sorta change is that the second front that was supposed to plow through will be dismantling in some respects before it arrives, which means less windy conditions as it passes through and, just maybe, slightly warmer temperatures by a couple of degrees. The really strong wind fields will be further north toward the center of the driving low pressure, and potential problems for airports with runway configurations, etc. Chicago, Detroit, over to Boston, all will be looking at increasingly windy conditions through today and into Friday, of winds gusting to or above 30mph.
Still, another kiss of fall is fast approaching, which means altering our wardrobe concerns yet again. So what else is new...! Highs in the low 60s Friday and Saturday...lows Saturday flirting with frost in outlying Triad locations to the west nearer the mountains.
And you know what it means when we get frost on the pumpkins, don't you? Yep, it means it's definitely a cold morning...
Peace to all y'all...
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
You are welcome to your own thoughts. I know without a doubt that the major U.S. auto makers could easily be producing cars with much higher mileage, efficiency, and cleanliness...but there is such a strange bedfellows organization of entitites to prevent that...and I also know it all boils down to the financial bottom line, which smacks of corporate greed. That Geo, while not the safest road rat, was incredible with gas...got 57 mpg once going on a 10-hour road trip, cruising the speed limit. My current car is a 225,000 mile Ford Escort wagon straight drive that pulls 36-38 mpg regularly...of course, both of those cars have been discontinued and replaced with models which are less fuel-efficient. You make your own call. I think it's an ugly case of selfishness on the part of the U.S. automakers, myself, and I think they are doing a poor job advancing alternative fuel vehicles, as well.
Okay, 'nuff said on that soap box. There will be plenty more to come. We have another wardrobe change ahead by Friday, which should be around 20 degrees cooler than Tuesday's highs. Anytime you switch out significantly colder air masses, you have to have winds working to bring that effect to fruition, which is what I expect on Thursday, especially. Thursday night should be the windiest with gusts close to 30mph through the first part of the night. Keep an umbrella handy (so you can be like Mary Poppins!) and throw in a rain jacket for safe measure the next couple of days...we have ourselves a real barn-burner of a cold front about to plow through! So get bzzzzzy pulling out those warmer clothes again!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Driving the backroads is often times medicinal, isn't it. Most of us are happy to avoid the congested traffic and eternal rushing that city life gives birth to. We yearn to drive slowly with the windows down, knowing we have the freedom to stop and marvel any time we please. The road pictured above is called East River Road, in extreme southwestern North Dakota just below the Southern Unit of Roosevelt National Park. In the 40 or so miles I drove along it, listening to the constant songs of Meadowlarks, I encountered just 2 vehicles. Hard to imagine that here in the East. Antelope sprinkling the horizon and vales...sage bowing in the incessant breezes there...the occasional Golden Eagle majestically surveying the terrain from high above...'medicinal' becomes an understatement.
This coming weekend I have to travel to Cleveland for the National Weather Association conference next week. I know I'll be torn between hoofing it on I-77 and wanting to turn off on a sideroad in West Virginia and dawdle a while. It's a taste you never forget...and to paraphrase the line made famous by Lay's Potato Chips, you can never drive just one...
Monday, October 09, 2006
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
- Robert Frost, October
The art show in Tryon this past weekend was hampered by the same gray blanket of sky, winds, showers, and chilly temperatures the Triad experienced...but given family and myriad friends there, it was a wonderful reunion, nonetheless. Sitting on mom's large screen porch, facing the mountains and setting sun (somewhere on the other side of the clouds!), with the fading light of day...smells of homemade lasagne and bread wafting from the kitchen while we sat on the porch in the chill of the evening, sharing thoughts of the day with all in attendance...it was a most excellent time. I do not pursue my flutes from the financial viewpoint; rather, I go to share the beauty and magic of the instrument with others, and invariably touch a few lives along the way. Some decide that they would like to experience it, as well. Anything that can help lead us all to the Understanding that we are One is a step in a needed direction.
OK, you can go now! That upper low that ever so s-l-o-w-l-y has been waffling southward is finally going to allow the sun to reappear...kinda sorta. It will be aided by a strong storm system in the Great Lakes region, which will in turn bring another quick weather change by midweek with another cold front and highs in the 60s as Friday and the ensuing weekend make their presence known. Again, no complaints from FluteBoy, here. Kind of a bummer that the Chrysler Classic golf tournament had to put up with it all, but then again does such weather not help separate the wheat from the chaffe? CONGRATULATIONS to Davis Love III for his Charge Of The Birdie Brigade to bring home the bacon with his final round 66 in such damp conditions!
This week in the Triad, we will warm up before the cold front, and we're talking upper 70s by Tuesday. Isolated storms by Wednesday, scattered storms and showers by Thursday, and highs barely above 60 by Friday...get the idea?
Got Cold Front? Have a safe start to your workweek, Friends. Keep the Faith.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
I'll admit, the buffalo were hunkering down, and the wild turkeys were not out in their usual numbers...mine was the only car on the road. I had slowed and stopped at a wide place in the road...put the windows down and zipped up my coat to hear the beautiful silence of wind on a winter's eve that was threatening snow showers...and within a brief period a motion to my right caught my attention.
The lone coyote pictured above was slowly trotting across the rise...maybe en route to his den and mate...or heading to a hunting ground...it was magical, regardless, and with the windows already down I quickly captured a couple of photos before he or she was gone from view. The Lakota tribe there has an expression that says it all for such an experience:
"Lila anpetu waste!"
(LEE-luh ahn-PET-too WASH-teh)
It is a very good day! Aho!
So today we have a plethora of clouds, chilling N-NE winds, periods of drizzle and showers, and temperatures that have no resemblance to yesterday's sultry high of 85 degrees...all thanks to a large area of low pressure curling back into the Outer Banks as it slowly drifts southward toward Georgia over the next 3 days. I relish the cool down, and find it quite vibrant, such conditions. Yes, it will make for a cloudy chilly Saturday with a chance for showers in most Triad areas, and a mostly cloudy Sunday...but, afterall, it is October, and the march of the seasons needs to do its thing. And I, for one, welcome it with open arms.
See, harkening back to my original post and blog description...I take left turns at Albuquerque regularly. I cover my bigger weather issues in my forecast write-up, and occasionally here. My blog is more about food for thought...sometimes humorous, sometimes pensive, but always able to touch some part of another's Being. I thank you for reading this far. May you walk in Beauty.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
From highs in the lower 80s, we are set for a Friday that most likely won't get out of the upper 50s in the Triad, with lots of clouds and rain showers to boot, ushered in on north-northteast winds up to 15mph. Ah, NOW we're getting into perfect shorts weather for me! Alas, that also entails a far cloudier weekend with some showers maybe being added back into the early hours of Saturday morning. At least it will feel like fall, though.
This Friday through Sunday I'll have my Ugly Boy Flutes at the Canterbury Faire in Tryon, North Carolina. Tryon is such an unusual community; very high quality of living, yet a small population of a few thousand folks, and close enough to Asheville, Greenville, and Spartanburg to be quite a draw. As well, it's HUGE horse country and reknowned for its Block House Steeplechase held each spring for lord knows how many years. Having lived there before, I know tons of people there (notwithstanding my mom and sister live there, as well.) So I finally got around to photographing a handful of new flutes I'll be taking there, and thought I would share them with you here. The hummingbird inlay is of malachite, abalone, and pink coral. It has an African Satinwood body, Purpleheart spacers, and redwood burl endcaps. The bird block is made of Peruvian Walnut, atop an elevated nest of mahogany. Key: low E
I also make a line of flat-bottomed flutes I call Half-Pipes. This little one is in thekey of high E and is made of Aspen (w/ a walnut bottom). Being a dog lover, I felt like putting some puppy paws meandering down the flute. You'll note it is a 6-hole, with one hole far to the side. The high flutes have finger holes too close together to make them 6-holes, with most becoming 5-holes...but I experimented with this one by rotating it out to the side and it works very very well.
And who doesn't love the tight banding of some beautiful Curly maple? This key of A beauty has a wonderful bright voice and is a responsive player. The block is a reclining Kokopelli in Peruvian Walnut. And then there is this flute I've been wanting to create for a long time...the wood is Panga Panga, a dense African hardwood relative to Wenge...and by accident I discovered I can easily make it look like a log. When I first worked with this wood I had a reaction to it, but learned that if I shower within 30 minutes of working with it I was okay. The block is made from burly maple, though I may fashion another one when I have more time, if it doesn't sell this weekend.
So get ready for some great cool weather...I've had a lot of questions recently from people wanting to know when it will be cold enough to wear some of their new fall fashions that go best with chilly weather.
***POOF*** Anything else I can do for you?....
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The window to the Soul they are, eyes. You can see and tell so much by looking into them...or, sadly, not see much of anything. But they speak the truth if carefully observed. And the eye of this South Dakota burro is saying, "Hey, FluteBoy, where's my apple???"
My eye is on the incoming cold front which will end our warm days for a spell starting Friday. The best rain chances for the Triad look to be Thursday night from 8p through 5am Friday, though showers are possible before and after that period. Friday should be downright cloudy and very cool as the front, once through our neck of the woods, hangs at the coast...or more specifically, the low pressure center hangs up and does a backwards dipsy-doodle counterclockwise circle back into the Outer Banks. That means a solid inflow of colder air from the north/northeast, along with moisture thrown in from the Atlantic, which spells c-l-o-u-d-s and the occasional spritzle.
Like my official scientific terms? Okay, okay, I could say the low center will 'retrograde' once it clears the NC coast, but a 'dipsy-doodle backwards flip' works for me. And for years I've put sprinkles and drizzle together to get 'spritzles'. As the ol' bumper sticker says, "Why be normal?"
Bottom line: another kiss of fall is on its way, with sunny cool skies on tap for the weekend. And why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall? He didn't. He was pushed. Details at 11...
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
And then you take it out,
Then put it back in the forecast
And you mull it all about..."
Such is the biggest decision I have to make this week per Thursday's cold front. It ain't much of a chance at that, but I'll be chompin' at the bit to enjoy the decidedly cooler air coming in behind it. Highs in the upper 60s for Friday and Saturday...almost ideal shorts weather for FurnaceBoy, here.
Wouldn't you know I forgot to add pictures to the blog at home this morning...geez, what was I thinking at 1:20am???? I have one shot I can add that I pulled from my "Mercy" page last week, so here it is: yours truly with Mercy in my lap, sitting atop Sheep Mountain Table in the Badlands on the border of the Pine Ridge Reservation (Lakota). That was a cold February day, but the views were phenomenal in that clear air.
Monday, October 02, 2006
This South Dakota prarie dog I photographed in the Black Hills has the right idea...Snoozeville, Saddle Pals. Don't get me wrong...I find the nigh impossible task of weather forecasting to be an interesting challenge no matter the conditions...but I gotta tell ya that this week is one where none of us have to fret over hair-splitting details like timing of arriving thunderstorms. It's a numbers forecast full of mostly sunny skies and a wind shift later in the week. A dry cold front passes through Thursday and the highs fall back several degrees. Oh yeah, and throw a few clouds in as the wind shifts S to W to NW. Be still my heart. Buckle up for a calm and quiet week, albeit a warm one to start out.
I should have some neat pics tomorrow of my weekend endeavors. New flutes. Did a little one made of Aspen with little puppy paw prints meandering down the barrel. Another one with a malachite and abalone inlay of a hummingbird. One that looks like a tree. And one made of a high grade curly maple that is a beauty to behold. Stay tuned.
So, with a non-plussed forecast in our sites, I turn to rambling thoughts (like I need any excuse) about a couple of other oddities I ran across...
...like the young couple who recently broke into a Dominos pizza store at 530am...not to steal equipment or money...but to fire up the oven and bake a couple of pans of their new brownies. Of course, the police caught them as they ran away, and were most likely under the influence of marijuana and the resulting relentless driving urge for munchies at that late/early hour.
...In Austria last Friday, an airline passenger notified the crew that he had lost sight of his hamster which he had illegally smuggled on board, so the flight was diverted to the nearest airport so the crew could find the furball before it decided electrical wires were fun to chew on...
Must go for now...I'm having too much fun with my morning work...Carpe Diem, Y'all!!!