Friday, January 29, 2010


It has been interesting to watch not just this east-moving storm system, but graphics of watches and warnings as they were put out on the national map.  This is one nasty bowling ball of wintry weather that has held as straight a course as a large spinning mass of kinetic crud can:

The swath of pink is the winter storm warnings that now encompass most of North Carolina.  I wish I could show you a projected snow total map from a particular site, but it's built in overlays and I don't have a screen grab program (that I know of) to take the whole pic...saving the web page gives only each overlay layer.  The graphic below is another model data set, but gives you idea of what will have happened by 7p Saturday.  This one does not show the heavy amounts I see on other data sets, which I'll describe...

(click to enlarge)

In the mountains, just east of Asheville around Craggy Gardens and Mount Mitchell on the Blue Ridge Parkway...pretty much east and northeast to Boone...east JUST north of pretty much the entire I-40 corridor through the Triad to Durham...that's all sitting in the 12-18" snow belt.  North of Durham, around Kerr Lake and along the VA/NC border through Emporia, VA, there is a potential hot-spot of 20"+ inches of snow.  Projected, mind you, but this model nailed the earlier one in December with monster totals that exceeded National Weather Service ballparks.  The graphic above shows less heavy amounts, but still levels that will shut people and businesses down.  Saturday wind fields could add insult to injury in areas where there is icing thanks to.....(quick digression ahead!):

Do you remember the old "Price Is Right" with Bob Barker?  One of the games was the "Range Game"....there was a rectangular bar that, when you thought it covered the actual price of something, you'd stop it...if the price was in that rectangle you'd win.  Well, the southern edge of this storm has a rather small rectangle...maybe 30 miles tall, maybe 40...the southern edge is 1-2" of sleet, rain, snow, and general crud....and the northern edge could be a full foot of snow.  Predicting where that narrow band will set up shop is the wildcard, here...except that this system is barrel in eastward in such a straight line.  Approximate to that band you would see a significant difference in types and amount of wintry precipitation.  Significant icing is the biggest threat in that narrow zone...1/4" of ice spells big trouble, and there is the potential for up to 1/2" in limited areas.  Not good.

Charlotte is on the southern edge....the Triad (which I'll be handling weather for Saturday and Sunday at my former station News 14) is in the "Pirates Plunder" zone of potentially heavy snow...Raleigh itself is in the 'game' band, but northern Wake County is in the dump zone.  Asheville will see heavy snows (12-15") in the higher elevations, but maybe just 7-12" in the lower.

There will be a recurvature northeastward Saturday as another low develops off the Carolina coast and helps push the heavier snow bands up into southern Virginia...and if there is any good news the storm doesn't tarry...Saturday supper-time should see everything pretty much done except in NE NC.  Then we freeze through Sunday before temps try to warm a little Monday.

Needless to say I'm altering my day's game plan per work and the weather, so Fried Fridays is once again taking a back seat.  Bread and milk time, Saddle Pals!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ah, sweet perspective....

A couple of days ago I was listening to NPR and an in-depth story on now-Senator Scott Brown's improbable victory.  Media outlets, per their usual over-the-top manner, beat certain topics to death...but one made me kind of laugh.

Laugh at our hypocrisy.

However many years ago, 20-30, Brown posed for a centerfold spread to earn money for college.  While mentioned in stories, and appropriately blurred on the airwaves, the topic is mentioned but not for long.  The story moves on.

I can't help but to muse what the media/public response would have been had an attractive 50 year-old woman been elected Senator and had posed for Playboy while in her 20s.  I'm pretty sure we would have a very different discussion around the water cooler, and media stories would be digging at it a bit deeper.

As much as we should, too many of us do not look equally upon the sexes and our response to it.  A guy poses in Cosmo, and not a lot is said.  A woman poses nude and she's sluttified, if I might make up a word.  Sexism in media has gotten to be rather nauseating, too.  "We're all for equality" say outlets, while they clearly choose sexy eye candy over brains and ability.  Sex sells.  Always has. Always will.

If a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment and a lawsuit.

If a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $4.99 per minute.



Chapter Two is up on "Milepost 50" (link at top left).  It's about my grand entrance into TV weather...

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Animals going two by two..."

Eeegads but the heavens opened up late Sunday! Flooding rain measured in inches, tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings popping up like unwanted bills...I suppose the silver lining is it wasn't ice or snow!

Grabbed these rainfall total images from the radar, which you can enlarge by clicking on 'em. First up is the storm total through 3am, or something close to that. While these are radar estimates that tend to run 'hot' sometimes, the 3-5 inches certainly fell in several areas and caused a good bit of damage still being assessed this morning...

An especialy heavy period of rain passed through the Metrolina region around midnight, and this is a 3-hour total map roughly from 11p through 2am....ouch.....

Molly got her first bath last Friday, thanks to the ever-so-muddy dog park where she romped and rolled mightily. She's so clean and soft now that I dare not take her anywhere off-leash lest she return to her soiled state.

Need to get a good picture of her back, too....about December First her silky straight coat started to strongly curl along her spine...and after the bath that spinal area now resembles a black-haired Phyllis Diller. Craziest thing I've ever seen on a pooch.
Chapter One is now 'up' on "Milepost 50"...keep in mind that part of my writing style utilizes 'poetic license' that massacres 'traditional' grammatical practices. Like writing in fragments...and using 'mulling' dots. I prefer to write as my brain thinks out loud, which, yes, is a very scary proposition. Enjoy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Not 'fried' today....

I promise I'll return to my semi-normal blogging format before too long....just a crazy odd schedule among other things is keeping me from being 'predictable'....unless my 'unpredictableness' is that which is 'predictable'!!!!!!

Per an earlier posting, there is a 'new kid on the block'...and while musings of others have run quite the creative gamut, it is but another 'blog' of mine....just FAR from 'normal' whatever that is.

Having officially crossed the half-century mark, it really is high-time I tend to doing things I've meant (and felt destined) to do for a long time. At the behest of other professional confidantes, I've created a new blog that will in essence be my first book to be published, chapter by chapter. Yes, in hopes of being 'picked up' since the publishing world is as crazy as the TV world I lived in; too, it will MAKE me produce my interim goals and chapters in a timely manner.

Below is the link to the goal is to post a chapter entry once a week or maybe every other week...with a new chapter. They may well not be in the order of the projected book, and I certainly know that whatever I write reserves the right to be edited...or tossed, or ripped to shreds...but at least I'm putting it into motion.

The preliminary posting to my proposed first book,"MILEPOST 50", explains a bit more about my intentions. Read and enjoy...and spread the word if you feel so led. CLICK HERE


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"What's in a word...."

Shakespeare and many others have said that. I can easily see why the English language is one of the most difficult languages to master, thanks to all of the 'exceptions' and double entendres and such.

Palindromes are phrases spelled the same backwards and forwards...the one I remember best is:

"A man, a plan, a canal: Panama"

With a little snooping I found a 'new' one that made me smile:

"Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas"

In my ADD/ENFP way, as I was writing today's post I mused if Sarah Palin were to be elected President, taking over affairs in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and she kept attacking with unmanned planes, would they be Palindrones?

Then there are some anagrams I ran across, letters that when rearranged create totally new ones. Like "Bob". Rearrange them and you have "boB"...oh wait, bad example. Here are some good ones I recently read:







Speaking of words, something of a much larger nature is afoot (but not to be confused with Bigfoot). For the moment, that's all I'll say...but soon there will be a new kid on the block...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Signed, sealed, delivered...."


The 'Hippie Flute' has landed in the hands of its happy owner as of Saturday morning, and here are the pics I had waiting in the wings to publish. You think I would have thought far enough ahead to record a song with it, but nooooooooooo that would have required me to think ahead! Oh well, you can only accomplish so much when things get hectic, eh?! I photographed it without any finish so I wouldn't deal with reflective glare, etc. Paints are acrylics in multiple coats, topped with a wipe-on polyurethane finish. The black lines were originally done with a Sharpie at the 'coloring book' stage, but finished off with a Rapidograph pen before sealing.

The particulars are it's made of spruce, in the key of low C, and I built an in-bore constriction about 5 inches from the foot of the flute to make this a much more compact low C flute. The short SAC (area behind the block) makes for a more comfortable hand placement, closer to the player. Typical of softwood flutes, it's oh-so-mellow...perfect for the theme, dudes.

The new parent Sharon mentioned something I'd thought about...whether one would be comfortable playing Native songs on such a flute, would it feel right, etc. While I was alive for Woodstock, I was too young to remember much about it or anything going on then. But was it not an era that stood up against government control and lying, covering up 'truth' and strong-arming those that refused to play by the Fed's rules? Was it not about truly loving peace and acceptance of everyone as they were? Can't encapsulate such a significant cultural movement, of course, but I would have no problems playing serious soulful songs with that baby.

I did tell Sharon that she needed to buy a pair of glasses with round yellow or rose colored lenses, as well as a cheap afro in a somber concert, start talking, put on the glasses, then the wig, then pull the flute out...wouldn't that be a hoot?!

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Fried Fridays: I call a spade a spade..."

Oh, I did search through myriad stories on the wires that would qualify as 'fried'....but none seemed worthy on their own. Many were weak. Shallow. Too simple.

But one did speak to me, and I will admit because it touched one of my hot buttons....


I will not mince words. Rush Limbaugh is an egotistical @ss that serves no useful purpose except to rev up conservative Republicans and those that are anti-ANYthing democratic and forward-thinking.

Each of us is free to make choices and decisions about not only what we believe but what we watch, what we listen to, and what we read. Some of us are very conservative, some are quite progressive and liberal. Some of us are pessimistic and preservationist, and some of us are optimistic and forward thinking. Some of us don't want things to fact, some want things to go back to the way they used to be. Some accept the 'new' world and try to work within the new framework.

All I can tell you is, for me, Rush is an @ss. A total one, at that. I will entertain opposing viewpoints as long as they are presented respectfully and well...sadly, the Limbaugh machine is one that spouts venom, never apologizes, and offers nothing but a defense of it's words and position. While I applaud someone standing up for what they believe in, I find Rush offensive with his racist and exclusionary opinions that prevail more than tamer criticisms.

Case in point is the Haiti disaster relative to the earthquake...and Rush's comments that CLEARLY smack of his neanderthalic bias...all the while he accuses opponents of being that way.

You can freely search for Limbaugh's comments on Haiti and how he thinks Obama is using the tragedy as a stepping stone in the popularity polls, among other insidious accusastions. I am going to leave this exactly where it is...calling Limbaugh a poor excuse for a human being. As long as he has no remorse for his words, I will have no variation in my assessment of his behavior.

For me it's totally 'fried'. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

As the old saying goes....

"If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all!"

Sitting here at Firestone writing this quick update, with a suggestion at the end.

Came out of work at News 14 last night, started to pull out of the parking lot and heard a noise. Lo and behold I had a flat tire on the passenger rear. Pulled into an area with at least a little light...but I'd had this car a year and had never looked at the spare or into the rear compartments. The tire had a big ol' metal screw stuck in the tread. Wheeeeeeee.

Subaru, even on their older models, have a really thorough little set-up, insofar as a removable tray with tools and other nice touches. Though a 1991 vintage, the car jack, I can guarantee you, had never seen the light of day...'twas in perfect unblemished condition. The donut tire looked just as perfect.

Can't say it was the fastest tire change as I had to find out where everything was, and without the help of a flashlight it was a tad more trying. Nonetheless, I was on my way soon enough. Kept my speed at 45mph as something didn't feel totally right, but didn't have to hit an expressway or anything like that.

Planned on getting to Firestone when they opened at 730a, as I'd bought my new tires there in July and had road hazard insurance on the tires. Planned on walking the pups at O-dark-thirty and then going over...with pups loaded I took off, only to have the rear of the car start swaying to the side a bit...pulled into the nearby gas station and, voila, the donut tire had suddenly gone flat. Found out the stem cracked at the base, I guess from age of just sitting without use.

You know the planets are misaligned when you get a double whammy like that during non-business hours. Ah, a joke...

What do my tire and I have in common? We both got screwed. As I typed that my wireless mouse batteries just died. And it's only 9am......

Thank goodness for AAA Plus. Found out I needed an inspection, which will help me avoid a $500 fine with this new stickerless inspection system NC get no reminders, and it's up to you to remember the inspection is due 1 month prior to your tag renewal. Not on my list of things to remember.

Words of wisdom...keep a flashlight in the car somewhere, check your spare tire to make sure it's ready to roll if you need it, and make sure all the tools you might need are where they should be.

Then you glance at the TV in the waiting area, Haitian devastation plastered everywhere. So I was thrown off into a very inconvenient unplanned schedule. There are worse things.

Far worse.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Need a new battery

Actually, not a real one, just one to get me blogging again! I'm filling in at News 14 (Greensboro/Triad) at the moment, and working a foreign shift: evenings/nights! This, for a guy who prefers to go horizontal around 730p or shortly my mind there is no 'good' shift, time-wise and bio-clock-wise. Just like with most things in life, it's all about trade-offs.

I'm trying to get 5 flutes totally finished and up on the web....the flutes are oh-so close to the photographing and sound sampling stage, but every time I look I see a run here or a blob there, and I have to go and sand and reapply a finish. The finishes are taking a little longer to dry, and with my TV work I can't reapply as quickly as I normally would. But one particular bugaboo is in line with what they say about cars....

The hardest car color to keep nice and clean looking is black, hands down. Originally i would have thought white, but for a long time I've been told black is the toughest as it actually shows everything given the right viewing angle. I have a mid F (Verdi tuned) Half-Pipe in salvaged Dogwood with an Ebony base...and that Ebony is constantly showing me stuff I can't live with. If it were a smaller flute, then it wouldn't be the same issue. This particular flute is large, and the Ebony area is large and flat, and like a freakin' microscope on steroids when there are imperfections! And so yet another coat is going on a spot the size of a dime...

NEWS FLASH!! "The Devil's Flute" is going on the block. Started it 6 years ago, and it has about $500 of my doctor bills in it from my extreme sensitivity to Lacewood dust. Now totally inert, the beauty is finished and sings like a dream, clearly one of my "IT" flutes that regular flute customers understand. Should have pics later today of it...assuming I get them taken, I'll post them tomorrow. While I can think of myriad reasons to keep it, for its 'story' if nothing else, I can think of one good reason to release it: something called a mortgage! :-)

Too, a fellow flute-maker had a great answer to an oft-asked question: what's the best flute you've ever made? His answer: the next one. I will always have 'kids' that blow my socks off from time to time, so I simply look forward to creating them and smiling. Still itchin' to post pics of the Hippie Flute, but I can't until delivery late this week. One of the new flutes coming out is a Half-Pipe keyed in Mode 2 pentatonic (major)...should be able to make a video of it so you can hear that 'different' scale...very pretty and spring-like to my ears.

Time to get the pups to the dog park for some exercise and run a few errands before work. Thanks for your patience as I waffle through this week!

Monday, January 11, 2010


I do love listening to NPR radio, and on weekend mornings Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers never disappoint with their "Car Talk". Always something to be learned, always something to laugh at. One of their weekly features is a "puzzler of the week", which was the point I turned on the radio. I missed the first part of the teaser, but what caught my ear was their paying brief homage to the late Rodney Dangerfield.

I realize he wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but he sure came up with real zingers on a regular basis. In response, I felt led to post a passel of his 'cleaner' quotes that I immediately can see and hear him deliver. Figured with all this bitter cold and snow and lousy economy we could all use those muscles that turn a frown upside down.....enjoy!


I told my psychiatrist that everyone hated me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet.

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.

I found there was only one way to look thin, hang out with fat people.

I went to a freak show and they let me in for free.

I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

I stuck my head out the window and got arrested for mooning.

My mother had morning sickness after I was born.

One year they asked me to be the poster boy - for birth control.

I was so depressed I decided to jump from the 10th floor. They sent up a priest who said, "On your mark..."

When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.

I was lost and asked a cop to help me find my parents. "Do you think we'll find them?" "I don't know, there's so many places to hide."

With my wife I don't get no respect. I made a toast on her birthday to "the best woman a man ever had." The waiter joined me.

My wife was afraid of the dark...then she saw me naked and now she's afraid of the light.

When I was born, the doctor said to my father, "I'm sorry, we did every thing we could but he still pulled through."

My wife made me join her bridge club. I jump next Tuesday.

On Halloween the neighbors sent their kids out looking like me.

A girl phoned me the other day and said 'come on over, there's nobody home'...I went over. Nobody was home.

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.

My psychiatrist told me I was crazy. I told him I wanted a second opinion. He said, okay, you're ugly, too.

I worked in a pet store and everyone would ask how big I'd get.


Now, go out and get some RESPECT, everybody!!!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Still alive....

No, I didn't send this to 5 people within 5 minutes.

No, I didn't go prepare to have the worst luck in my life descend upon me because I didn't follow the sacred instructions.

No, I am no different a person than I was before I read the email, and, no, God will not smite me because of an apparent lack of 'belief'.

Yes, I laugh at and delete the waves of this type of email.

Yes, I question whythehell anyone bothers to author such schlock in the first place, much less the person that feels led to mass-forward it to everyone else.

Because many people went present-crazy at Christmas, they are hungry for either debt-relief information or get-rich-quick schemes (where's Bernie Madoff when you need him?). Cycles of predictability after the holidays. You can rest assured that when we flip the calendar to January and the new year, those ads along with weight-loss ads will proliferate like bunny rabbits in the Elysian Fields.

However, this one that passed through I thought had a little nugget to pass along without all the baggage...simple words of wisdom we all know already, but maybe don't truly let it sink in. Worth a mulling over as we await one more Arctic blast here with a bit of snow late today....


5 things you cannot take or get back in life:

A Stone....after it's thrown

A Word...after it's said

An Opportunity...after it passes

The Time....after it's gone

A Person....once they cross over


Stay warm and keep the faith....the bitterly cold pattern in the Carolinas will start to break up early next week!

Monday, January 04, 2010

A little bit of overkill...

The world of advertising and making sales while you gain potentially loyal customers is an ever-changing one, what with the explosion of the internet and on-line sales. Fast, accurate service is what I expect, and one company I use a fair amount never disappoints: Craft Supplies USA.

They had sent an email early the morning of December 30, with a flat 15% off any order just for the day. Since they are my chosen supplier for most of my inlay materials, I remembered that they recently offered a new powdered stone that was basically white, or the next best thing to it, Magnesite. I've seen artificial substances for white inlays, but I liked the idea of true crushed stone to be in my arsenal of color selection.

I ordered a bag, and given the economies of scale in shipping charges, threw in a couple of oft used materials I work with regularly, Turquoise and Malachite. 3 little bags. 3 little expensive bags, granted, but the 15% off got me to order that afternoon.

Lo and behold, the box arrived Saturday January 2, even with the holiday break...they are fast and accurate, which I appreciate. However, I was left musing about the incredible waste of materials and space used to mail such tiny packets, with evidence below...

The box measures 7" x 7" x 4.5"....certainly not a huge box....

...but upon opening it I found a sea of inflated packing bags...

...with my minions in the bottom (and the receipt which I'd removed).

I tried to make the three cover my whole hand, but they didn't quite do it...

...and just as I was trying to shoot a David and Goliath comparison shot, Molly stuck her face in the picture. The exposures herein leave a lot to be desired, but the last one was too cute not to include. Luckily, she did not also grab a packet and run off with it, one of her new favorite games...

I guess big companies ship in assembly line fashion and it's easier for them to use even something so ill-sized for the order at hand. A padded envelope would have done swimmingly, of course. In this day and age of environmental awareness and recycling, I just wonder why such practices go unchanged.

Stay warm and well...I would say my usual 'This too shall pass' but this cold pattern is locked in the midwest and east for a good while yet. I'm feelin' the excitement....NOT. :-)

Friday, January 01, 2010

How long has it been?

A year. Been a year since I've blogged, it has. Maybe it's just the holiday pull-the-plug feeling, but I have not been inspired to write about much the past few days. Searched for a 'fried fridays' story and the most incredulous ones all seemed to involve alcohol abuse, which I didn't want to write about in a humorous light. I also have a 40-something friend who was just diagnosed with colon cancer. Tuesday before Christmas surgeons removed the tumor, with additional tests showing it had spread to the liver. A loving wife and dedicated mother of 3 young boys...doesn't seem fair, does it.

There is the other side of the coin that this time of year brings...the spark of turning over new leaves, pre-spring cleaning, starting on creative projects that have been in the idea stage too long. And so I imagine we all look for that 'balance' to level our floating boats, especially at this time of year. Happy New Year to all y'all, and may we all hold our heads high and tackle the trails ahead.