Is Al Gore in Town?

Because there was global warming all over my car.  I had to clear it off before heading to choir rehearsal at 10 this morning.
Global Warming on the car
This was what the neighborhood looked like
The Neighborhood
Got home around noon, and there was more global warming falling out of the sky!
More At Noon!
Hope my peonies survive the climate!
peonies
And the peaches
peaches
And Oh! The Irisis!
Irises
Here’s hoping this is the last we see of global warming around here for a while.

Not Snow

This may look like snow in my front yard.
not snow in my front yard

But I assure you that it is not.  This is sleet.

See the block of ice on wheels in my driveway?

frozen car

Notice how there are no tracks in the street.  No one in my neighborhood has felt like chancing that mess.  This picture was taken at about 8:30 this morning.  Yes, it’s a work day.

(more pictures after the break)

Continue reading Not Snow

Have A Plan

If you mention being prepared to ‘bug-out’ or stocking up on various goods, people start looking at you like you belong in the tin hat brigade.  And then we get a dash of global warming.

After last year’s major ice storm, some people were without power for 2 weeks.  What would you eat?  Do you have a plan?

We’ll see whether or not today’s weather events test ours.  When there is a major disaster, whether man-made or natural, the government will not be right there to make sure you are alright.  You are responsible for how you and your loved ones manage the storm.

Oklahoma Weather

I’ve talked about the weathertainment here before.  I just want to let you know how seriously we Okies take our weather.  It is such a major part of life especially during this part of the year.  When the thunder crashes, we know we’ve got to tune in.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t know when to head into our storm shelters……or drink!

I give you the Gary England Drinking Game

Gary England Drinking Game
Pregame
1. Everyone selects a storm chaser other than Val Castor. Every time Gary talks to your storm chaser, you take one drink. Take two drinks every time we see footage from your storm chaser. Take four drinks if your storm chaser says “tornado on the ground.”
2. Everyone selects a county other than Pottawatomie County. Every time Gary mentions your county, you take one drink. Take two drinks every time we see footage from your county. Take four drinks if a tornado touches down in your county.
One drink
1. Take one drink every time Gary says the following:
“Hook echo” | “Updraft” | “Metro” | “Doppler radar” | “Wall cloud” | “Ranger 9” | “Underground” | “Mobile home”
2. When Gary gives a list of counties, take one drink for every county in the list.
3. Take one drink every time Gary interrupts a program. Take one drink if Gary says “You’re not missing any of [program name].” Take one drink when Gary says “We’ll keep you advised.”
Two drinks
1. Take two drinks every time Gary says the following:
“Baseball-sized hail” | “Waterloo Road” | “Pottawatomie County” | “Deer Creek High School”
2. Take two drinks every time Gary mentions the following towns:
Altus | Burns Flat | Dill City | Gotebo | Hydro | Lookeba | Meeker | Mulhall | Oktaha | Olustee | Shattuck | Slaughterville | Tryon | Vici | Waukomis | Wayne (or Payne) | Weleetka | Wetumkah
3. Take two drinks every time Gary talks to Val Castor.
Three drinks
1. Take three drinks if we see footage from Val Castor.
2. Take three drinks if we see footage from Pottawatomie County.
3. Take three drinks if Gary mentions the following:
“Immediate tornado precautions” | “National Weather Service” | “Mesocyclone” | “Portable Radio” | “Take shelter” | “Tornado warning in effect until …”
Four drinks
1. Take four drinks if Ranger 9 must land to refuel.
2. Take four drinks if Gary issues his own tornado warning, not recognized by the NWS or says the following:
“Will someone please answer that phone?” | “Do you see power flashes?”
3. Take four drinks if a shirt-less tornado victim is interviewed.
Finish your drink
1. Finish your drink if someone uses the word tornado as a verb or if Gary mentions the nearest cross streets to you.
2. If Gary says “We’ve lost Val,” pour a little out for your homies and finish your drink.
I don’t know who came up with it, but it’s freaking hilarious.  I can’t think of a drinking game that would get you blitzed any faster.  Ah good times!

Ah! Weathertainment At It’s Best UPDATED

Apparently this happened just blocks from my house last night. I love the headline.

Destructive Storms Rip Apart Edmond Arts Festival

It’s all bold and scary sounding. There’s a video and everything. I slept through the apparently ‘destructive storms.’ It’s the Midwest, you know, where the weather happens. I’ve mentioned it before. That storm was worse.

What they don’t tell you is that by ‘rip apart’ they mean blew some tents over. We all know how stable and weather resistant tents can be. I’ve not been to the festival yet, but I plan to go at some point this weekend. I sincerely hope the artists were able to recover their work. Many of them do make a living this way and storms are an unfortunate peril of outdoor shows.

But the weather did not cause any widespread devastation. Oklahoma, by no stretch of the imagination, deserves a place next to Baghdad and Mogadishu as Top 10 Places Not to Visit. It is by no means a ‘hell on earth’ like the article suggests. I will point out that all of the buildings shown in the picture have been there since before the F5 tornadoes of 1999. Those were devastating and unique. Those buildings are still there in 2008, and we’d never had tornadoes of that magnitude before nor have we since. I’ve lived in Oklahoma for nearly 30 years and never once been whisked to Oz, but maybe I should shop for ruby slippers just in case.

side note: I must give credit to my brother-in-law for coining the term ‘Weathertainment.’

UPDATE: I originally saw the 10 places not to visit on AOL’s travel page. They have now edited the title and removed OKC. And because so many Oklahomans felt it necessary to comment on the article, the editor posted this response.

AskMen.com Staff says:
Hello Oklahomans! — Thanks for all your posts. We certainly admire your quick defense of your capital, and please understand that its place on this list isn’t a commentary on it as an economic center, a sports town, or a place to live and raise a family. This article was commissioned and written as a lighthearted travel feature. What guided us in choosing the cities that we did? In seeking out the world’s least travel-friendly destinations, we looked for diversity in terms of what characterized each of them as such, hence the reference to “Type of Hell” within each subheader. So when it came time to choose a city that was characterized by natural disasters, OKC — home to some of the world’s most frequent and powerful tornadoes — was a natural choice.

James Bassil
Editor-in-Chief

I’m not buying it. There have been far fewer casualties due to Oklahoma tornadoes than New Orleans hurricanes. Sounds like someone’s got a bone to pick. Maybe it has to do with the upcoming sportball team moving from Seattle of OKC as some comments suggest. Meh. As you may know, I’m not exactly a sports fan.

I’d like to challenge their ‘travel specialist’ Nick Clark to come and visit the heart of tornado alley. He could go to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art or visit our world class zoo. He’s not likely to experience a tornado, but if he does, the incredible early warning system and helpful people are certain to make sure he comes through it unscathed.

Winterpocalypse!

The Ice Storm cometh! I know you missed my ramblings yesterday, but I have a really good excuse. I live in the Midwest. You know, where the weather happens. School was called off, and hubby’s office closed. I still needed to go in. So my sweet husband excavated the car from it’s 3/4 inch ice cocoon, and the three of us piled in for the slow creep to my office.

We lumbered past the idiot carnage to each side of the road and down to my office. Well we really shouldn’t have bothered. We had power when I arrived, but no network connection. We decided that it was stupid for us to sit around staring at each other, so we all went home. Thankfully hubby hadn’t made it too far since dropping me off and was able to come right back. Whatever would we do without our cell phones?

Like good midwesterners, we went to the grocery store. You can’t weather an ice storm without proper martini making supplies. Milk, eggs, and bread help too. We loaded up the loot and crept home dodging fallen tree limbs all the way. All the while thinking of the steak and eggs we were about to prepare once I had changed into some squishy slipper socks. Yes, I adore fun socks of all kinds.

We got home to this.

Yep, that would be the lovely Bradford Pear that graces my front lawn. Well, it was lovely on Monday morning. Now it looks like it had a bad hair cut.

We decided to go inside and unload groceries before throughly inspecting the tree only to discover that we had no electricity. It was on when we left that morning. But then again, our tree was whole when we left too. So we packed up the perishables and put them on the porch. It was 25 degrees, that’s cold enough to keep the milk from spoiling. I took a big stick and beat what ice I could out of the remains of my tree to hopefully save what I could. Seems to have done some good since no more has fallen down.

We called the in-laws and carted our steak and eggs to their house. We had a nice lunch and couple bottles of wine. They had a couple of brownouts while we were there but nothing serious. By the time we got back home, we had power and sis-in-law did not. But they have a fireplace so they were able to stay warm.

Kiddo is still out of school today, but it’s back to work for the rest of us. He gets to hang out with my dad today.