Groundhog Day

Well, here we go again…

Sorry. I have nothing if not time on my hands and it has got me thinking. Thinking about how the entire country, replete with the best-trained meteorologists money can buy, still puts their long-range forecast in the hands (paws?) of a portly, smelly rodent.

And the big irony here is that groundhogs are the least proficient underground-dwelling creatures when it comes to predicting the arrival of Spring (and remember folks, Spring arrives on March 20, despite what the critters say). But I digress.

Moles. That’s right, the tiny, blind mole with what looks like an open hand balanced on its nose is remarkably accurate at predicting weather trends. Remember the extremely high number of tornadoes hitting the midwest this Summer? The mole, Pittsburgh Paul, totally saw it coming. Now, if there was something called Mole Day, perhaps billions in property damage could have been averted.

Earthworms. Yes, those squishy things that look the same coming and going (and just where does the poop come out?) also are quite prescient weather-wise. The current drought in California? The earthworm, Eureka Eunice pointed its way years ago. Too bad that crow got to her first. Had that gone differently, perhaps celebrities would have avoided washing their Hummers during peak hours.

Pillbugs. Truth. The trilobite-looking, creepy-crawler has had a long history of correctly anticipating major changes in our atmosphere since, well, forever. Remember the Ice Age? Well, guess who came out of the ground to alert the people of the Great Western Hemisphere Land Mass of what was to come? Pillbugs, that’s who. Sadly, none of them were quaintly named because there were no cities or towns then. Or names, for that matter.

Ahhh, 60-Degree Christmas I Love You

I’m in my shorts and tank-top, snuggling up with my family under the blanket, except we are not actually touching each other due to the sweat involved and the blanket is actually one of those fans attached to a water bottle.

We sing Christmas carols with our hands cradling mugs of hot chocolate, chilled to perfection. I cannot bite through the marshmallow floating within due to the fact that it is still frozen. I must remember to call the dentist right after the holidays.

Since we do not have a fireplace, we replicate that coziness by having our TV perpetually tuned to the Nature Channel, where we watch video loops of glaciers falling into the Bering Sea.

Outside, one of our neighbors takes their annual ride in a sleigh down our lane. Sadly, the ensuing friction of the metal blades against the dry pavement caused the entire thing to combust into a tower of flames.

Smells like barbecue. Oh, and frankincense.

Ah, Indian Summer

You really can’t beat 85° in October. And do you know why? One word…mosquitoes.

That’s right. In fact, I was just thinking to myself yesterday, “You know, I really do have too much blood in my body. And I really haven’t scratched in earnest in weeks. If only there was a way to rectify that.”

So if you’re like me and can’t get enough of blood-sucking parasites in your life, then you need Indian Summer.

Because cool, crisp weather, colorful foliage and cozy sweaters are soooo overrated.

Stormeggedoncalypse

Oh dear, another Superstorm. But that’s our society today. We just cannot have regular portions anymore.

Technically, at least part of this storm is a Nor’easter. I am not sure what happened to the ‘th’. Perhaps it blew away in the storm. I find it incongruous that in this day of super technology we are still referring to natural phenomena as if we were the Gordon’s Fisherman. Perhaps some PR department somewhere decided that the best way to deal with serious winter storms is to make them sound all quaint and homey-like.

I think the best way to deal with serious winter storms is to hunker down with brownies and hot chocolate, but I’m no meteorologist. And while I’m on the subject, WHY do they call them ‘meteorologists’? I’ve yet to hear one predict a meteor.

Hmm. But maybe that’s a good thing.

I think I have refined the act of hunkering to a fine art. For example, I do not ever leave the bed or even completely remove the blanket at any point. I call the dog over but then feel abject disappointment because I don’t have one.

But at least I’m smart. While all those misinformed go-getters spend their time clearing the snow off their walks for pedestrians (whom I advise to stay home or at least stay away from MY walk), I prefer to wait out the storm, when snow removal is at its easiest.

Like in July.

The Earth Has Some Serious Anger Management Issues

I really don’t understand what’s with this planet’s attitude. In recent years we’ve had tsunamis, record heat, snowpocalypses and now hurricanes. Apparently, the earth is some kind of drama queen.

And for what reason? It’s not like we haven’t taken care of the place. Sure, we might have dredged up and burned more than our share of fossil fuels. And perhaps we might have dumped a little toxic something something into some bodies of water. But who hasn’t? Over-fishing, over-hunting, over-developing? A little bit, sure. But come on, the earth’s response is a little over-the-top, don’t you think? Let me say this: Venus would never complain this much.

So I’m thinking of calling out the earth. Letting it know that I am not putting up with its tantrums anymore. That’s right. I’m yelling it from the rooftops.

Mostly because the nearby water has risen to about 12 feet. Please send help.

Pre-Storm Update

Well, my family and I have finished our final preparations. We couldn’t find any sandbags for the space under the door, but luckily, my son is the exact right size, once rendered unconscious and laid on his side. We secured all the patio furniture and Grandma has been lashed to her favorite outdoor chair with some spare bungee cords I found in the basement. My wife and I are now looking forward to some “we” time in our storm shelter with a battery-powered CD player blaring Taylor Swift non-stop and a week’s supply of beef jerky.

See you on the other side.

Storm Watch: Dave’s Truly Disposable Guide To Hurricane Preparedness

So I hear that we are in for another storm. Unfortunately, I learned about it from the pain in my corns. God help us all if I had to hear about it from the news…

"Is death and destruction on its way to your immediate area? We’ll have storm details for you in 20 minutes on our TruWeather Forecast."

Thank you. I will stop packing my go-bag at that appointed time to watch your report.

In any event, hurricanes are nasty buggers that should be taken seriously. As near as I can tell, the #1 piece of advice all professional storm-trackers give is GET THE @*%$! OUTTA THERE. Inspirational. But sometimes impractical. For this reason, I have supplied some commonsense steps all potential hurricane targets should follow. Now if you could just stop packing your go-bag long enough to read them…

1. Pack a go-bag.
2. Build a homemade generator out of your treadmill, 6 pairs of iPod earbuds and Barkley, your faithful hound. No doggie? You could try substituting your cat, but good luck with that.
3. Put on clean underwear. You never know.
4. Keep your phone charged in case of power outage (admission: kinda hard to do when there is a power outage).
5. Buy as much milk, bread and eggs as you can carry home. You will need these ingredients to make french toast, the traditional food of hurricanes the world over.

And here are some things you should NOT bother doing in preparation for a hurricane:

1. Buy extra bottles of water. It’s not like you can’t just go outside in the torrential downpour with an empty glass.
2. Put in that skylight you’ve been meaning to do all summer.
3. Move to higher ground. Who has time to hire a real estate agent and complete the paperwork necessary to obtain a mortgage? (Honestly, this has to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard.)
4. DVR additional episodes of The Real Housewives of Portland, Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo’s Diabetes (or whatever). You probably won’t have time to watch them while you’re busy kissing your ass goodbye.

Well, that’s about it. I want to wish all those in affected areas a Very Happy Hurricane. We’ll probably all share a laugh over the hype in a couple of days. Or we’ll all be dead.

Either way!

It’s Not The Heat

Yesterday morning I left for work and wouldn’t you know it, it was a little humid outside. According to my hygrometer (which I carry with me at all times), the relative humidity was about 247%. This meant that I was walking in a level of dampness roughly equivalent to that of an Olympic swimming pool.

Needless to say, I almost drowned on my way to my car. Good thing I was wearing swimmies along with my suit.

Humidity is like the evil stepchild of the weather report. No one likes humidity. You never hear someone say, “It’s 91° outside…but at least it’s a DAMP heat.” Now I know what some of you are saying: “Well, Dave, *mold* likes humidity.” To which I respond, “Oh yeah? Well, no one likes mold.”

Debate Team captain right here.

One particularly humid day, I found myself hopelessly stuck to our padded toilet bowl seat. This is because humidity has strange and magical adhesive properties. But don’t worry, I eventually was able to leave the bathroom. Although I did have to have the back of my pants let out to accommodate the ring.

Today, the weatherman stated that the humidity would be approaching 100%. In layman’s terms, this means that there is a 100% chance that I will be complaining about the humidity. Don’t forget the widely scattered whining, either. That always seems to go hand-in-hand with the humidity. Just ask any meteorologist.

Some people buy de-humidifiers to combat the humidity. These machines somehow suck the moisture right out of the air. I imagine one would have to be careful with these devices, making sure that you don’t point them at anybody— lest you reduce them to dust. You’d think that such a warning would be clearly printed on the box, but alas no. I wonder just how many de-humidifier deaths go unreported each year.

Smells like a government cover-up to me. Or perhaps that’s just the mold.