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April 2018 Entries

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180414 the weather rabbit hole

I've always had an interest in weather, as I think most who live in the middle part of the USA do, since it affects our lives so directly. Of course, people on the coasts get weather, but it's not such an 'every day point of focus' for them as it is for us.

When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I noticed this most directly. I can think of maybe three or four times in two years that weather made any difference, and they were mild compared to anything I experienced in Kansas or Iowa. But even here, over most of my life, I've remained very much a layperson with regard to meteorology.

I don't suspect that will change, certainly not from a professional standpoint. But I can say that my personal interest in weather has increased this year, thanks to Jenn. She has certainly rekindled the embers of interest that I had from middle school and the childish days where I thought that I wanted to go into meteorology in 1986-1990.

Her interest in weather has been mostly focused on using weather apps like PYKL3, which, at least to my untrained view, seems like a powerful tool. I have not dug into it yet myself. I have been a longtime user of the National Weather Service's Doppler Radar, which has none of glamor of apps or TV's SUPER ULTRA MEGA DOPPLER!!!, but seems to give me all the information I need.

In any case, we've attended both the basic and the advanced storm spotter training seminars hosted by the NWS offices in Iowa. I have done the basic seminar in the past (amateur radio and weather spotting often overlap in interest areas), but how much I retained and how much I used it in life in 2009 and 2010 could likely be rated in the "very little" category. This time, though, I feel like I am retaining and gaining knowledge, and that's very gratifying to me.

I am certainly going down the rabbit hole a little more deeply, reading the NWS's FAQ pages on radar and learning about relative velocity of wind, downdrafts, types of clouds, and so on. As I said, this is a personal interest, and I don't think I'll be classifying myself as anything more than a general storm spotter anytime soon. But having a subject to delve into that doesn't have heavy duty personal stakes for me is refreshing and healthy.

And, who knows, maybe I'll spot something worth reporting one of these days!

180401 my favorite song of the seventies, no foolin'

I have been for a long time wanting to make Yearbook Albums for each year of my life. I've done it for a few years, but not all, and I'd like to make it one of those projects I really get behind rather than put on the shelf and say, I'll get there someday.

But it's apropos as I have decided on what I think is my favorite song from the 1970s (not counting Genesis): "Strawberry Letter 23" by The Brothers Johnson. It came out, appropriately, the year I was born, a few months prior. I would like to imagine that maybe it imprinted itself on my developing mind when I was still in utero.

This song is just outstandingly ethereal and joyous, without being too saccharine to me. It makes me think of spring, the loveliness of the '70s, and of childhood. It also picks me up when I'm down. Take a listen, if you feel it. I hope you feel the same.

It might be a good cheer-up for me to spend some time finishing my yearbook albums. For me, every year has its own unique mood and characteristics, and I live them again through music that I loved at those times. If anyone would like to see my track listings for my yearbooks, just let me know!

One last note of housekeeping: I now will be archiving my entries by month, and you can access them using the links at the bottom of the page.

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All contents 2018 JF Boyd. Email Me. Call me at my phone number if you know it. But probably text is better.