Friday, August 29, 2008

"Fried Fridays: Puttin' the pony in the barn..."

As August comes to an end, so does my contract at News 14. I made the decision last spring not to re-sign, and gave the station a 3-month notice to aid in hiring my replacement. If you aren't aware, TV contracts are pretty tough cookies, and once you're in one you stay in one. My window of opportunity has come up, and I knew the time was now to make my move, on many levels.

While no one has signed on the dotted line yet (to my knowledge), Matthew East will be sliding over to my weekday morning position, which will be a huge boon to his family's life. Technically, that leaves his position the one being filled, a mix of nights and mid-days weekends and 3 weekdays.

It takes a special person to work here, as it's not anything like a 'normal' station. Weather On The Ones fires off 6 times an hour, every hour, every day, even holidays, combining that with live wall-to-wall coverage in severe weather or serious weather-related situations. We don't have to worry about cutting into ads, or cutting off popular TV shows or games...we do what we have to do.

There are quiet times, to be sure; but when the skies crank up, we jump in with both feet, and you can guarantee yourself you will work yourself to the bone. Too, when it happens time after time after time in a short period, you wonder how you can even coherently speak anymore, and you get sick of hearing your own voice.


But it's what we do....not a job for those who want to be pampered and paid a high salary, 'cause it ain't happenin' here. Never has, never will. And now there is yet an increased base load with the addition of News 14 Coastal into the mix, and the demands are much greater for us all. It can be successfully argued that the thinness of the new 'stretch' creates several Achilles Heels that will have to be dealt with on the fly...

I won't be totally gone...for a while I'll be like the proverbial bad penny and keep showing up from time to time, filling in as I can to help with the load. Otherwise, I'll be pursuing my Soul's work making/performing with my Native American style flutes, and pursuing all of my other artistic and literary passions that I've simply not had the time, energy, or freedom to follow.

NOTE: This blog WILL CONTINUE, and more than likely will expand. There will be times I'll write about weather situations, whatever interests me...so bookmark this ol' blog if you've enjoyed my ramblings, and keep checking in regularly. Too, I will be revamping my website soon, which will also have more 'stuff' on it like upcoming art shows, performances, and the like:

www.UglyBoyFlutes.com

As I like to say, I'm shutting a door and opening the windows. Breezes are good for us free spirits in the world.

Toodles!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Too much of a good thing...

Quick entry as I have another other-worldly schedule again today...absolutely the busiest and craziest work week in my 19 years of TV weather work, rather humorous since its my last. Good ol' blaze of glory! For friends that read this and haven't seen my return emails, I'm a bit overloaded and slow to respond...but I will! Thanks for your patience.

Below is radar grab of storm totals interpolated by Doppler radar of most of the Triad. The scale (in inches) is to the left, so click to enlarge it and find your area...note eastern Guilford County basically off the chart in the white coloring:



Gustav still has its bead set on New Orleans, for all practical purposes...path has slowed somewhat, but not veered a whole lot:

Thanks for all the viewer pics of yesterday's storms, instant rivers, etc. One for the record books for many. Been a long time since I've seen so many weak funnels pop left and right from the training storms we had mid-day yesterday. Volatile atmosphere it was.

Heck, still is. Got up this morning and saw a tornado warning around Wilson, east of Raleigh...please oh please no repeats of yesterday....!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Hang on, Saddle Pals...!"

"NOW we're cookin' with...uh...tropical activity!" Lots o' areas of interest, and rightly so given statistics of hurricane seasons as we near the peak of activity.


Of course, we're currently dealing with almost incredulous downpours throughout much of the Piedmont of NC...Charlotte has picked up around 8 inches in the past 30 hours, and there have been numerous flooding issues. There were also some weak tornadic cells yesterday that made for a looooong day for myself and Jeff Crum out of the Charlotte office. I have to believe it will be much improved for this evening's commute.

Gustav's modeling continues to look rather ominous for Louisiana by the end of the weekend. Forecast tracks have been holding it pretty much on the same course since its formation. Click on the forecast track below to better read the information, etc.

While it doesn't show it, that last position on the track is for Gustav to be a Category 3 hurricane. Given the straightness of path and anticipated minimal resistance atmospherically, further strengthening would be anticipated. Not a good sign, for many, many reasons.

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Be extra careful today with the rains...and if you see animals going by two by two, grab your things...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Glub, glub, glub, y'all...

When it rains, it pours, alright, thanks to:

1) Fay's remnants and coinciding frontal boundary, and
2) understaffing issues

Matt Morano is out for the week, so I will take his Charlotte reins (and rains) for the rest of this week. The remnants of Fay are bringing critically important amounts of rainfall to northern GA and the SW NC mountains and foothils...good news for the drainage basins and lakes, problematic news for travelers and those situated in flood prone areas. Flash flood watches are posted for those regions, and for good reason. As I write some places therein have already received 5" to a few isolated 8" amounts.

(click on pics to enlarge)


Above is the QPF map (quantitative) for rain totals the next 5 days this week, which was produced 8am Monday. Below you will find the subsequent 5-day model run 12 hours later at 8pm Monday:

Either way, that's inches of water for most of the state, with the heavier amounts in the Piedmont and points west into the mountains. The cold front heading south and stalling will keep us mostly rain...but as it presses back north Wednesday's with the former Fay's low center pushing north through TN, we will see more thunderstorms and maybe an isolated weak tornado or two. Speaking of which, scroll down after this entry and look at the 3-D radar grabs of a tornadic cell I made Monday afternoon from a storm in central GA. They're in that unstable zone and continue to be for today.


Lest we not forget, checking the tropical page there is now the quickly strengthening Tropical Storm Gustav in the Caribbean, taking almost the identical route to Fay's early path...and it should be a hurricane very soon, which is not good news for Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, etc. A stronger storm moving slowly with torrential rains...there is a great deal of mountainous terrain there, which will create devastating issues with floods, mudslides, landslides, and the like.

For now, it may take 5 more days before Gustav crosses Cuba and enters the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This puppy bears watching.

Carpe diem, everybody!

Monday, August 25, 2008

GA tornado Monday afternoon

(CLICK ON PICS TO ENLARGE)

As I was killing a little time before going to the doc's office for one more cortisone shot in my right knee this afternoon, I began playing around with my Level 2 home-based radar imagery...and I found a good 'un!

(all images from KFFC radar out of the Atlanta area)

This first map is purely for reference and grabbed from the Level 3 data map AFTER the below grabs were taken. The funnel would have been south and a little west of the current position in the purple tornado warning box, fyi. Atlanta is to the north.



12:32 pm...on isoscan for severe (red) weather from warning area. Note funnel growing to the right on the tail end of the storm (very typical)...

Rotated box to the east, looking west and from close to eye-level with the storm...still the 12:32p scan...

Rotated view to the SE looking NW, adding ghosts of other intensity layers...storm tilt to the ENE is rather evident (upper prevailing winds)...

Intensification of funnel and storm formation, now at 12:36p...


Same time, 12:36p, but added 'lit volume' showing higher storm levels...

12:41p scan at eye level...strong feed to funnel (right)...

Storm intensification at 12:45p...

...with 'lit volume' added...just cool to look at!...

12:45p eye-level scan for the fun of it...

12:50p and the funnel feed to the surface had apparently ceased...for the time being....

Time to go to doc for some relief....ciaou!

"Monday Mop-Up..."

...with the appropriate sub-title "A Birdie Flew By"...

This my last week of full-time work is a 6-day straight run covering 13 on-air shift periods and I plan on having too much fun...and it's already begun. It cranked up Sunday filling in for Tara Lane, and knowing rest comes at a premium at times for me, I went to sleep around 5:30p yesterday. No blog prep...not much brain ability to think ahead of the curve with a plate-full in front of me, and so once up this morning I mused "I'll just mop things up" and just sorta tie up loose ends of info tidbits...

And then it happened.

A birdie flew by.

I mentioned in an earlier post about the Myers-Briggs personality test - ENFPs know all about birdies flying by. Colorful ones, drab ones, big ones, teenie-weenie ones, it doesn't matter. We ENFPs see 'em ALL.

And so my brain immediately took the 'mop' motif and accessed my cranium in the Big Band closet, quickly dusting off a fun non-sensical song made popular by The Treniers: "Ragg Mopp". I could find only this version on YouTube, which starts a bit into the song, but it'll get your toes tappin' to "R-A-G-G-M-O-P-P, RAGGMOPP!"

The Treniers performing "Ragg Mopp"

Now where was I.....

Oh, I'll come mop up some stuff later and add it here...need to tend to other matters this second....stay tuned!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Fried Fridays: A Moment Frozen In Time"

Q. What did one half-ton block of ice say to another half-ton block of ice?

A. My, you have a Big Foot!

DATELINE: PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA

Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer made the discovery of a lifetime back in July of this year...at least that's when their initial YouTube video hit the webwaves. What are the odds....to find (and then encase in ice) proof that the legendary Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti was no longer legend, but fact. Real. Touchable.

Oh, but not on the remote slopes of the Pacific Northwest peaks, where the ol' hairy ape-man has been 'sighted' through the years in the U.S.; rather, the duo purportedly found it in the...north Georgia mountains.

Um, okay.

There were lots of interesting pictures to potentially add in here...even a fuzzy snapshot provided on the AP wire stories of a Bigfoot in the north GA mountains this past June. However, all pictures I tried to add here would not save and transfer. I'm sure that 'Enquiring' minds can easily find them on web searches, however.

And so this duo, for an undisclosed sum of money, delivered their 'find' to the "Searching for Bigfoot" business entity...and Bigfoot, Inc. CEO Tom Biscardi publicly released the information and photographs in advance of the big news conference announcing the testing results recently.

Steve Kulls is the executive director of Squatchdetective.com , and oversaw the thawing and subsequent testing of the body:

"As the team and I began examining this area near the feet, I observed the foot which looked unnatural, reached in and confirmed it was a rubber foot."

Further tests immediately revealed this Bigfoot was a Biggorillacosstume.

Somebody done pulled the Woolly Mammoth over somebody's eyes.

Krull's more expanded report can be read at the searchingforbigfoot website. Worth a read. I got so confused as to what was done when and who said what and what was arranged or not that it was requiring waaaay too much time for this blog...hence my Cliff Notes version.

Big story short, somebody cheated somebody in a Big way, trying to get their Foot in the financial door of a get-rich-quick scheme. And just like the mythical creature, Whitton and Dyer have been equally hard to find since the hoax was announced. Can't you just hear Ricky Ricardo telling Lucille Ball, "You got some explainin' to do, Lucy!!!"

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Thought you'd go ape over this one. Like a banana, it was a-peeling (sorry, had to slip that one in there)...gotta split, now. Have a good weekend, everybody!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Well...uh,..."

It's tough coming back from a week off from work and walking into a new graphics system and News 14 Coastal launch process at 3am. And so I sat here racking my brain yesterday afternoon for something to blog on. Yet, with the constant need to 'catch up' and 'get ahead' with other correspondence and responsibilities, I was left with my fuel gauge on 'empty'.

Normally I get up and have my time to drink coffee, pull preliminary data, blog, and head into work...but the new regime requires an earlier work arrival time, and my blog time is the first to 'go' by the wayside. Some days I get inspired to rough out an entry before I go to bed, but it just ain't happenin' this week. Apologies.

My 3-D storm toy wasn't of much use yesterday as 1) Fay was meandering and wimping out today per severe cells, and 2) the lower MS River Valley system had been relatively tame, as well. Storms, yes. Good 'uns, no.

I could blog about the Olympics, but I imagine that's a bit overdone. Not been impressed with overall coverage as I remember in the past seeing a lot more of the competitions at more hours of the day...and the "fluff" gets to be a bit overdone. Of course, I have to go to sleep really early so I miss the 'prime time' coverage...

To add on to the list, I'm on my last week and a half of a full-time position at News 14, by personal choice now that my contract is ending. However, I'll still fill in on a part-time basis as the Charlotte operations sorely need additional weather help (as I can offer it)...and the schedule is chock full of additional responsibilities next week with vacation and other requests for deserved time off for other mets. If this August were my "March", it's going to go out like a pride of lions, not just one.

And so I offer this as my non-blog for today...if you are having motivational and personal energy issues, welcome to my world at the moment!. Ah, as the old saying goes, "This, too, shall pass."

Peace to all y'all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New weather toy...

Still trying to juggle the 'time' thing...haven't found the groove yet, hence not much of an explanation of a new tool I use from my home computer. Where you've seen my prior posts with flat, 2-D radars, those are from Level 3 data from the National Weather Service radars. While I can get a similar view (like the one below), this offshoot uses Level 2 data for 3-D dissection of storms...

You can pick out the center of Fay's circulation after midnight last night, getting ready to kiss the Atlantic. In 3-D mode I can do a variety of scans and reveal various features...the one below helping to show the cloud bandings and heights (all pics can be clicked to enlarge for better viewing):

I can 'lose' the clouds and deal with the various intensities of rainfall, cloud heights...in this case the green being a lighter intensity of rainfall...

...as opposed to the more intense yellow...

I have complete control to rotate around the storms, look at it horizontally, or move around for a bird's eye view...

Please excuse the incompleteness of these explanations...more on all this at a later date as I get other parameters loaded...just figured you'd like to see some cool images!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Do us a FAY-vor, please..."

...and bring some rain our way! Alas, may I suggest you don't hold your breath....

Landfall was just south of Naples at Cape Romano around 5 am, Fay remaining at tropical storm strength (remember to click on pics to enlarge). Typical of any tropical system, it brings with it bands of torrential rain and sporadic weak tornadoes.

The "rain total" image below will certainly be outdated as the day wears on, with already impressive rain totals quickly adding up. Keep in mind radar-estimated totals are 'hot' and under certain conditions can record twice as much rain as actually fell. Regardless, it's a wet day for the Sunshine State...

A couple of significant cold fronts coursing through the Carolinas will act as a lid and keep Fay (or the remnants thereof) going much of nowhere over days and days...the 5-day forecast map below tells it all:

What does that mean for most of NC? Virtually no answer to water woes. Oh, there will be the 30-40% chances for widely scattered storms for several days, starting the latter half of this week...but it definitely won't be the soaker it could have been. I'll update if and when I see any significant changes in the going forecast, of course.

Could there be "Gustav" waiting in the wings well east of the Windward Islands? Methinks so...



Friday, August 15, 2008

"Fried Fridays: Motor City Madness"

Up until now I've run "Friday Fridays" on articles-of-the-week. This week's winner I could argue waiting on another 4 weeks for yet more points to add to the ever-growing bullet list.

While there are plenty of exceptions, power does a funny thing to many that gain it, so it would seem. Greed and invincibility oft go hand in hand, along with a good dose of pompousness if not outright self-righteousness. I'll be the first to admit that the numbers probably aren't as high as we would be led to believe by media reports, but those that come to light are real doozies.
As the old saying goes,

Power tends to corrupt,
and absolute power
corrupts absolutely.


- Lord Acton, 1887

And this story has more heads than Medusa's head has snakes...


DATELINE: DETROIT, MICHIGAN


When you think of America's industrial centers through the years, no doubt you will put on that list the hub of automotive history, Detroit. The Motor City. The original Motown.
It's enough that that region overall is reeling from a lousy, failing economy that sees gloom at many a turn. Things ain't what they used to be there, but change is also inevitable.

Many residents want change to include their mayor getting ousted ASAP. Could be you've heard only bits and pieces in the news about the circus-like atmosphere that has been in place surrounding mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Not for days or weeks, but many, many months.

The biggest expose on national news was an alleged romantic liason he had with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty...all lied about while under oath (and still under litigation).
I suppose I should state that "circus" is too nice of a word. "Embarrassment" and "disgust" are words used by many citizens there, fed up with the black eye Detroit has been (and continues to be) dealing with.

Following is but a bullet-list of "Kwissues" on the front burners:


• Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was ordered to jail Thursday August 7 for violating a condition of his bond (he disappeared to Canada for a quick trip ‘to get away’, without required notification to the courts). What awaits him in legal issues include:

• Felony conspiracy, perjury, obstruction of justice and official misconduct charges filed by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in March that could send Kilpatrick to prison for years.

• Recent charges in early August for assaulting a police officer, announced by Michigan Atty. Gen. Mike Cox.

• A long-running FBI investigation of alleged City Hall corruption in which the mayor's father, Bernard N. Kilpatrick, and close advisers of the mayor are reportedly among those under investigation. Apples don't fall far from their trees.

• Detroit City Council efforts to oust the mayor through a process called forfeiture, for which trial-like proceedings are set to begin Aug. 18.

• Removal hearings before Gov. Jennifer Granholm that were requested by city council and that are set to begin Sept. 3.

• A federal civil lawsuit brought by the family of a slain exotic dancer that alleges Kilpatrick and other city officials obstructed the Tamara Greene homicide investigation.

• A civil lawsuit brought by Detroit's two daily newspapers that seeks the release of all records related to last year's $8.4 million settlement of two police whistle-blower lawsuits and that could force the release of text messages sent and received by the mayor and his close advisers.

• Veteran Detroit police detective Ira Todd is suing the mayor in Wayne County Circuit Court, alleging he was demoted for investigating alleged links between the mayor and drug dealers.

• A civil lawsuit filed by attorney Corbett Edge O'Meara seeks to hold Kilpatrick personally liable for part of the $8.4 million whistle-blower settlement, alleging some of the money the city paid was "hush money" related to the text messages.

• Douglas Bayer, a former emergency medical technician in Detroit, has filed suit in Monroe County Circuit Court, alleging the city retaliated against him for providing the Michigan State Police with information about a long-rumored party involving strippers at the mayor's Manoogian Mansion.

• A civil lawsuit filed by Detroit Police Officer Tony Davis alleges Davis was retaliated against for having information about alleged sexual liaisons involving the mayor.


In Detroit, while Kilpatrick remains in power, it's "Fried Fridays" pretty much on any day that ends in "Y".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A bit of poetry for today

Rained all day yesterday, and the camera didn't come out...figured it was a good day to pull a couple of other shots and sprinkle a few quotes from famous authors that found inspiration from the ocean...

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For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea.

- e.e. cummings

My soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves
that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


My life is like a stroll upon the beach,
As near the ocean's edge as I can go.

- Henry David Thoreau, The Fisher's Boy


To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.

- Isaac Newton



Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.

- Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"IT'S HERE!!! Oh, wait a minute..."

Not a video game player, I. I think I might really enjoy a Wii, with it's physically interactive interface, but I've never tried one. If I had a couple of hours to play a video, I'd much rather be making something or reading and learning something new.

Apparently, there just was a big release of an updated Madden football game for the XBOX 360 that has all sorts of new and updated bells and whistles...and front cover. Back in the development stages before the recent release, the cover figure was none other than the iconic Brett Favre from the Green Bay Packers.

Or used to be, rather.

It was only mere days ago Favre announced he wanted to come out of retirement as he missed the game so much, among other reasons, I'm sure. Alas, Green Bay wanted nothing to do with him, for various reasons. Just the other day, he was traded to the New York Jets.

"Oops!" on the cover design now out the window. Apparently when you buy the game, they hand you the new printed cover for you to insert yourself over the outdated Cheesehead version:


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Rainy day here at the coast today, which is fine with me as I have some creative stuff I'd like to focus on a while. Did find a two-headed mermaid in the sand yesterday, which was causing a temporary stir:

But that was in the morning...by afternoon the filtered 'white sky' had moved in in advance of the incoming low pressure system. Mercy is still rather tentative in the beachy setting...not too many pups you'd have off the leash that would just stand there and look at you like this:


And now what I do is wait for a break in the showers so she'll go out for her morning 'exercise'!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Ever-changing weather weather..."

Rare is the day I am not up well before the sun...even on vacation. In the pre-dawn darkness I could see low clouds still spitting out raindrops, and my radar showed a heavy rain cell just overhead and pushing east into the Atlantic. Overnight showers are not uncommon in many coastal areas, as warm ocean air meets slightly cooler land air as winds shift and boundaries move through. Even with a 'thicker' sky the magic is all there...

(remember, you can click on pics to enlarge)

In my morning walk, I wrapped up the knee and opted for tennis shoes to aid in a longer traipse up to the pier and back. The night's high tide was not enough to dismantle a couple of cute sand and shell creations I ran across...of all the sand sculptures and castles I made growing up, I've never thought of encrusting the top with shells...

Given that Mercy still hasn't come around to loving the water any more than she does, the walk back was via a nice sidewalk lining the main beach drag, which is often used by walkers and bicyclists. Along the way were several open lots facing the inner estuaries, all well-splashed in red. A cultivar-escapee covering the Carolina coastline with ample color is Gaillardia (aka Fire Wheel, Indian Blanket), a self-seeding annual that loves the sandy soil...

You may wonder why it was I didn't just turn around and take the beach back to the house? Maybe Mercy would have 'seen the light' and decided she loved the beach after all? Well, truth be told, there is one simple reason I gave in to her non-beach-route demands, and the picture below says it all...


Pier pressure.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"It's official....

Mercy is NOT a beach pup. Some dogs eat it up, but Mercy is my mountain girl, alright. She doesn't mind the soft sand up high, but whether it's the noise of the ocean or the way the water flows (she does love creeks and ponds), she disdains the flattened sand near the water. Walks with her are limited, which suits my right knee just fine.

Oh, and we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Just a fairly quiet, skinny barrier island just above the SC coast in NC for the week, a vacation which was well-timed from many months of prior planning. I'll need lots of energy and stamina to round out the month of August when I return as we officially put News 14 Wilmington on-line. Until then, I will remain as unplugged as possible.

This beach is fully developed residentially, but without the commercialism of high-rise hotels and mega-stores. The picture below speaks of wildness, but it's simply selective cropping. I must say, in the world of beaches, even with most houses occupied it's not very crowded here.

And while the sun began this much-needed break, there is some inclement weather coming through. Looking at storms, showers on the radar this morning almost overhead but moving east into the Atlantic. Not a sunworshipper, I, so clouds and showers at the beach are a non-issue.

Interesting, too, this section of the NC coast below Cape Fear has a concave shape, and this island (along with a few others) are much more closely oriented east-west as opposed to north-south, hence the summer sun rising not over the water but from behind the beachfront houses.

Wont' be a sunrise this morning, though...okay, there will be one, but it will be positioned on the other side of thick clouds for now. Good time to post this blog, have some more coffee, and read about some of the great Olympic competitions since I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to see the men's 4x100 freestyle "race of races"...

Friday, August 08, 2008

"Fried Fridays: OOPS..."

I jokingly (yet truthfully) tell people I could never be a surgeon. I can just see that moment after finishing the most complicated new procedure in the world...cutting edge work (now that I think about that, pun intended)...never-done-before technique...and within a few minutes stopping and saying to myself, "I don't remember what I did with that third sponge..."

Sure as shootin' I'd have left something inside the patient...
In like manner, if I ever travel anywhere, even if but for a night, it's never 'will I forget something?' as it's ALWAYS 'what did I forget THIS time?'

And so in that vein I mused in disbelief, caught between laughter and horror over a story you may well have read or heard about from days ago.....


DATELINE: JERUSALEM ('THE' ONE)

I can relate to the stress of family vacations, in the sense that there are sometimes deadlines to be met to keep connecting flights, etc. You are on edge. Every second counts. You give it your best shot to do all you can do to make it all 'work'. You're fidgeting. You're nervous. You are thinking way ahead of the curve, or at least trying to.


In this case, you and your spouse have 5 children. You have 18 pieces of baggage. You have just flown in to the Ben-Gurion airport in Jerusalem, later than expected, and you are in a mad rush to catch a charter flight to Paris for your long-awaited family vacation. Lots of money on the line. Hard-earned money, too. This vacation means everything. You're putting it down on the line.

OOPS.

Somehow you left your 3-year old daughter behind in the terminal, unattended. You barely make the flight. Your 3-year old makes tears. She is found wandering around the duty-free shopping area frightened and lost.


I've read many stories of people being left here and there accidentally and oh-so strangely...but what really gets me about this story isn't that nobody noticed they were a child or sibling down...


...but that they realized it ONLY after a flight attendant brought it to their attention...

...40 MINUTES AFTER
TAKE-OFF....


Overlooking something is one thing. Overlooking a young child and not being aware of it for such a long period of time is, well, almost criminal. One can't help but to wonder whatthehell they were thinking, any of 'em. And then to have to have someone else tell you about it when 6 genetically linked heads were clueless.


Luckily, authorities quickly sheltered the child and escorted her on the next flight to Paris, reuniting all...and just HOW did this all possibly happen? It's reminiscent of the old Tootsie Pop ad which closed with the phrase, "...the world may never know."


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Have a good 'un, y'all. I'm off from work next week, but should be able to get into blogging mode, so stay tuned and enjoy the stellar weekend weather ahead!



Thursday, August 07, 2008

Temporary shifting...

I keep this blog because I like to write...I like to muse...I like to spread art and music around...I like to share...I like to bring a smile and a laugh into someone's day...and I like to grumble and growl when appropriate, even pulling out a soapbox so I can drum on my chest like a Ruffed Grouse.

With that said, my blogging does take time and energy, and my regular slot that I enjoyed writing in is, for now, compromised. My morning responsibilities and duties are taking on a new increased twist now that News14 is opening the Wilmington operation. With no additional forecasters being added to our weather staff, there are consequential changes to most shifts, and I am having to restructure my morning time-tables a good bit.

Alas, I'll need to find a new groove, so thanks in advance for your patience while I readjust my row of ducks that is currently a tad out of kilter!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"How difficult can it be?..."


I'll leave out the prior day's issue with the water tank system. I thought that would be a fun one to recount, but Sunday's encounter took home the cake, complete with giant sugary roses on top.


At issue was a bathroom fan and light fixture that hadn't worked correctly for some time. Hit the switch, the light came on...but the fan did nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. One of those things you mumble to yourself that you'll look at one free weekend and then promptly forget about it.

Only what you think is just a couple of months quickly becomes a couple of years.

OK, I mused, let's pop the cover and see what's up in that ol' assembly which wasn't really all that old. It was around 8:30am...nice day ahead after Saturday's storms, and I was going to relax and do creative, artistic stuff.

Ah, the best laid plans of man...

You can imagine my total surprise when I removed the first couple of pieces and saw this...click on pics to enlarge for more detailed views:


Truly, it's one of those situations when you see what you see....you blink with that deer-in-the-headlight look, and you tell yourself, "No way! That CAN'T be a hornet's nest sitting there!" But it was. You don't want to believe it. But truth just stares you in the face.

You immediately think of "the next step" which is, now that you've discovered it, you HAVE to do SOMEthing about it. It won't go away on its own. And so I armed myself with wasp spray and a pencil...the pencil to stick into the nest and hold there to see if there is any buzzing activity of a 'live' nest. Thankfully, there wasn't.

And so the initial poking and prodding began. How big? Where did it go? There was only a 3-foot distance between this outlet and the outside wall fixture, which had a malfunctioning exhaust flap, so I found out. 15+ feet high on the side of the house. I pulled what handfuls of powdery nest residue out that I could, and then went outside to (take a deep breath) and put my hand into the vent as far as I could and see what was in there.


What was in there was a sizeable old hive, and the above picture shows only a grouping of the larger pieces that came out. Thankfully, the silvery ducting akin to dryer hose helped a flashlight peer into the cata'combs' as I cleared a vent way and reattached a working flap.

It was the quintessential 1-hour job that took 8 hours, as in the process of discovering, testing, and cleaning, I realized the fan unit was dead as a doornail, but the light unit worked well. An ensuing trip to Lowe's afforded me the right parts and after other minor tribulations, the light and fan came on with the flick of a switch.

Later, I saw another one of those 'little' household idiosyncrasies that beckoned to reach 'active project' status...but after that nest issue, I figured what-the-heck is a couple of more years...