Icepocalypse '09

Ice Storm 2009The week of January 26, 2009, Northwest Arkansas (and a lot of the rest of the upper South) was hit with a massive ice storm. People called it a “category 5” or “generational” storm. It did millions of dollars in damage to the area, which has been declared a state and federal disaster area.

Personally, it was a VERY disturbing and motivating experience. We were out of power for 6.5 days (early Tuesday through the next Monday afternoon). We lost a number of large limbs from our lovely trees (we live in an old neighborhood with large mature trees), our electrical service was ripped off the house by a fallen limb, and our back porch cover was partially smashed. We’re still cleaning up the yard (and waiting for the crew our insurance company hired to remove the porch cover).
Continue reading Icepocalypse '09

NOAA Weather Radio

I miss listening to the guys on NOAA Weather Radio. As a kid, my dad was always listening to this little grey-green weather radio before going fishing, which was at least once a week.

I had one in the late 90s when I camped and fished more, and when I got my 2003 Subaru Forester, it had weather band radio in it. Sadly, despite still pushing their “rugged” image, Subaru dropped the weather band from their radios in 2007 (I think). I’m guessing this was so they could add satellite radio.

Don’t get me wrong. I lurves me some XM Radio, but I miss having even the computer voice (which NWS switched to in 2002) available when I’m in the car.

So, I think I’m going to invest in a portable weather radio. I’m hoping to get out fishing more this year, especially now that The Boy is getting big enough to go.

Catching Up

It’s been a while, so I should update my status a bit:

  1. RPGs: Haven’t been roleplaying for the last few weeks due to sundry other commitments for members of the group. It’s been a nice break, but I’m anxious to get back to it and soon.
  2. Viewing: Just moments ago finished watching the first season of Deadwood. It’s one of the best shows on TV, right up there with Battlestar Galactica. It (like BSG) is a great example of what great stories can errupt when you throw a lot of characters that are full of conflict into a confined space and force them to confront their issues. To combine this item and the one just previous, I want to play some Dust Devils sometime soon. Deadwood also has two odd, almost competing effects on my speech. On the one hand, it strains mightily my efforts to rein in my pottymouth. On the other, it makes me want to talk (and blog) in a somewhat archaic and formal manner, which may permeate to some small extent this very post. Those of you who are fans of the show will most certainly know what I mean.
  3. Weather: We’re about to get our first round of heavy weather tomorrow. For those of you that don’t live in — or, rather, near as is more accurate — Tornado Alley, that might not mean much. Those of you that do know that anticipation of a big storm system is complex. Having never faced war, I’d liken it to anticipation of a battle, maybe a battle against a stumbling blind idiot god.
  4. Reading: Been re-reading a lot lately, actually, and enjoying the hell out of it. I’ve got a longer piece percolating about a handful of books with related themes that really shaped certain aspects of my personality. You’ll probably recognize just one of them, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. It’s the only one of the three that’s still widely available in print. I just discovered last week that another one is now available from a boutique publisher in my very own state who is trying to revive the author’s list. I’m sending him some money (via the wonder of the Internets) today. I’ll report back at length when I’ve received and (re)read that one.
  5. Sickness and health: After a weekend of gastronomic debauchery, my digestive system rebelled. It was a painful twelve hours but I hope to have learnt my lesson. if nothing else, it’s gotten me back on the clean livin’ bandwagon. In partial effort toward that end, I’ve joined the Mr. Bento Fan Club, enjoying my first meal with his assistance just today. See my Flickr stream (linked hereabouts) for the details.
  6. Water: My primary means of recreating or hobbifying for the last ten years or so has been through flyfishing (and other outdoor activities like hiking and birding), mostly for warmwater species (especially smallmouth bass). The unfortunate downside to liking to chase the basses, though, means that there’s precious little to do during the winter (when about all you can catch on the fly is trout, which are plentiful herebouts but stocked, not native). However, the season usually kicks off in early March with a bang: the white bass spawning run. When the water temperature hits around 56F (the exact number is in question and the subject of much heated debate) they charge up out of the depths of the local Army Corps of Engineers impoundment (i.e., big-ass lake) and up the rivers that feed said big-ass lake. The run is on. I aim to do some fishing as soon as the big weather passes, as standing in a river waving a nine-foot length of graphite is generally discouraged when lightning is about.
  7. Family: The Boy is three years old now. It goes fast, folks. Make no mistake about that. Lots of friends and family in town and around this past weekend for the Birthday Party. Much fun was had by all, not the least of which The Boy, who slept in his new tent in his bedroom that night. He’s a funny kid. He’s currently visiting The Wife’s grandparents in the care of The Wife’s parents. He’s only been away for 30 hours, but I miss him like crazy. I can’t even begin to imagine sending him off to college.

I guess that’s about it. If there’s anything else of note, I’ll let you know.