Thursday, January 31, 2002

Arise Storm!!

Wind, snow, freezing rain, ice.

The storm has arrived in force.

For those of us who understand these dynamics, there was no way we were going to miss this.

God, I want summer to be here (doesn't help I'm coming down with a cold).

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Fight!! Fight!!

Tonight is the "Battle Of The Local Meteorologists"

In this corner, Peter Chan from WXMI TV-17.
In the other corner, George Lessens from WZZM TV-13.

Peter has taken some of the snow out of the forecast for later in the week. He thinks that we will be in a "dry slot" on Thursday, with the freezing rain a little farther north, maybe affecting Grand Rapids. He has also said it's "uncertain" and he will know more tomorrow night.

George says that starting late tomorrow night we will see heavy snow through Thursday. A slighter chance of freezing rain up here.

Who will be right? Who really cares. I want it to be sunny and warm during the day, and clear and warm during the night. I don't want to wait until July.

Oh yeah. And what does Craig (this isn't my real name) James from WOOD TV-8 say? Who really gives a rats' ass? I don't watch him or his flunkies. They're a bunch of snobby jerks.

Told Ya So!!

Now the other shoe has dropped. I knew we were going to pay for the nice weekend (and yesterday)....
Statement as of 5:40 am EST on January 29, 2002

...A Winter Storm Watch Has Been Issued For Wednesday Night And Thursday...

Light snow is expected to begin in earnest Wednesday evening and last into the day on Thursday. Accumulations in excess of six inches are possible. The snow may mix with sleet and even freezing rain late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The snowfall could be quite heavy and for this reason a Winter Storm Watch has been posted for Wednesday night and Thursday.

A Winter Storm Watch is issued when severe winter weather is possible...but not imminent. At this time...there is a potential for significant snow and/or ice accumulations for southwest Michigan. Future driving and walking conditions may become it is important to monitor the latest forecasts from your National Weather Service.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio and other local media for further details or this weather event unfolds. Remember... slight deviations in the track or strength of this winter storm could greatly alter the ice or snow potential at any one location.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

Ahh Warmth!

From the NWS at 1:56 pm.

Temperature: 54° F
Humidity: 47%
Dewpoint: 34° F
Wind: WSW at 16 mph
Pressure: 29.92 in
Conditions: Mostly Cloudy
Visibility: 10 miles
Clouds: Mostly Cloudy (BKN): 20000 ft
(and no snow on the ground)

Isn't it great!?!?!? Spring's on the way! And Summer's not far behind!

Let's not talk about how this week will end, or the next month or two. I'll be in denial.

Saturday, January 26, 2002

Oooh!! Sunny!!

It's rare, but we're going to have a nice weekend this last weekend of January. No snow, and temperatures in the high 40's and mid-50's. Sunny days and clear nights. You know what that means....

Outside during the day, and observing at night. Party on!

Better do it this weekend, because the other shoe's gonna drop. Next weekend looks to be crap - cold, wind, snow. Typical midwinter stuff. I blame the people at WOOD TV-8.


Man, what a day Friday was. First, I had to go into work, which always sucks. Then, about 15 minutes into work, I volunteer (always a bad idea) to go get a piece of our equipment that was found near a church a few blocks away. No problem, it'd be a nice walk, and 20 minutes away from work. Boy, was I wrong.

I got kind of turned around walking down the streets, and it took me nearly an hour to get back to work. Also, it was a tad windier than I thought, so I was cold, despite wearing a jacket. At work, it was busy all day, and my "walk" kind of tired me out. So I needed to relax somehow. And what better way than to go to the observatory, as it was clear.

Pack up the laptop, cameras, etc., and drive out to the "boonies." The moon is in gibbous phase, just to the west of Jupiter in the constellation of Gemini. A beautiful (but windy) clear night. Tried a few special effects shots, and will see how they turn out in a few days.

Getting cold, we (Jeff & Tom were there as well) took off from the hill around 10:00. Back home to talk to Ed on the phone regarding his website. He also told me that I had to thank Dorothy for getting something off the net for me (she said she had to "fight someone for it," and "Well, Ed wouldn't do it, so I had to."). Well, thank you Dorothy.

Now sitting downstairs watching Star Gazer on television. Almost time for beddy-bye.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

What's in a Name?

Ah fame. And name-dropping.:)

Just got off the phone a few minutes ago with Ed out in LA. He was calling me from the El Capitan Theater, where he was attending the world premiere of the movie "Count of Monte Cristo." I guess since he did the television spots (trailers) for the movie, it was best for him to be in attendance.

But of course, there were the "brushes with greatness" that he had to tell me about. Like James Colburn being interviewed just outside, and how he had just been standing near Penelope Cruz ("and what a petite thing she is" he stated). Ah well. But so what? I talked to George Lessens last night! Doesn't that mean anything? Doesn't a local meteorologist compare with world famous movie stars? I guess it's not the same.:)

Isn't life boring here in Grand (Bland) Rapids?:)

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Pretty Colors

Finally some fun news after a depressing few days. WZZM TV-13 is in the process of revamping and resurrecting an old favorite to the local skyline - the Weatherball. They have a site set up for it, with some "memories" posted. I of course, posted mine, and so did my friend Jim (who doesn't live around here anymore). Looking at their site today, I noticed both of out "memories" are posted. And to make Jim really mad, mine is first (as of now - they might change later). here they are....
"I always looked for the Weatherball when I was around downtown. I also remember back in the late 1970's when we added a new color to the weatherball. It was "WeatherBall Black - Nuclear Attack." Most of the kids around here knew of that line to end the "Weatherball Saying." It'll be great to have it back."
And here is Jim's...
"I grew up from birth in Grand Rapids, but am living in Phoenix, Arizona now. I will never forget the Weatherball, and am glad you're bringing it back. A friend of the family's was involved in its construction, and I remember thinking he must have been a real important guy to have anything at all to do with the Weatherball. Going to school with Peter Chan, we used to joke that his job as a meteorologist would be to sit in a little room underneath the Weatherball and push the buttons that turned it red, blue, or green; and then a special extra switch would make it blink. He surprised all of us."
Of course, now Peter Chan is Chief Meteorologist at another local station, WXMI TV-17 (the only two stations to watch around here. No one with any sense of morality would watch WOOD TV-8).

Of course, that got me thinking. We need a graphic for the Weatherball. So my brother made one up. Here's the graphic on my site.

Saturday, January 12, 2002


Ah bliss. A few hours out under the stars. After the day I had, I needed it.

The day started out fine. Then went straight to hell. Not enough help at work thanks to asshole bigwigs who cut labor. So we get slammed. And I'm doing my job plus another one. I actually called and said if I didn't get any help, I was walking away from my post.

Didn't want to go right home after work as I was pissed, so I drove out to Lowell and hung out at Optec for a few hours. Talked to Ron about the race site, and setting up his new one.

Finally came home and spent a few pleasant minutes talking to Diana on IM, then found out around 7 pm that it was clear! Oh Joy!

Called around to see who wanted to go out to observe (after reserving the dome). Tom was out, as he had plans with Amy. Jeff was ready to go, and would meet me out there. Called Bob&Sara, but only talked to the machine. Called Mindy (from work), but she had to pick up someone at 9:30, or she would have "loved to come out" (yeah... sure). Decided not to call Marcy, as she wasn't home and was probably busy having a life. Called Will, and he said he might come out.

Packed up the laptop (as the computer in the dome isn't working) in the old briefcase, as I don't have a proper laptop case as of yet. Grabbed the twins (the cameras) in case "something wonderful" happened (like another aurora). Made it to the hill at 7:30.

Jeff got there, and the Will around 8:30. Had the scope on Saturn, the Jupiter. Will boogied, and then Bob shows up (without &Sara). He had tried to call my phone, but I left it in the car. He finally saw me online, and knew I was out there.

Spent the time looking at Jupiter and two satellite events as Io and Ganymede were eclipsed by the planet, and then moved to Saturn for a few views (much BS'ing and joking about work and other things during this). We finally settled on the Orion Nebula as a fitting tribute to the end of the evening (and we were getting cold).

Stood outside for a few minutes taking in the view, as who knows when it will be clear again around here. A beautiful night. I ended it by stopping and getting gas for Dad's van and coming home. This evening took care of the stress of work. I have to get a better job.

Tomorrow night I might spend in Middle Earth (3rd time for LOTR).

Thursday, January 10, 2002

I'm Called...

Cool cool cool. Just found out my brother got a new job. Now if I can only get one.

Heard something great while watching the movie Mad Max...
"The Nightrider. That is his name.
Remember him when you look
at the night sky."

It sounds like something an astronomer would say, instead of a psychopath like "The Toecutter." So I will take on the mantle.

Either that or "The Nightwatcher."

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Ringing In...

New Year. Old Stuff.