Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Ok, this is a picture of my house at the end of last year's biggest snowstorm in our town. Pathetic.

And now they tell us ... SNOW IS COMING! First I must say ... I will believe it when I see it. Sure they say that snow is coming. Should start tomorrow sometime. Gonna get INCHES. Gonna be ICE under it. Run out to the store! Do it quickly! Buy milk! Buy bread! Buy salt and a new snow shovel! Hurry! Oh... but don't panic!

yada, yada, yada.

If weather men and weather women really know anything about weather shouldn't they be called "weatherologists" or something weathery like that? I'm not buying it anymore. It's all too clear that these people called "meteorologists" went to school to study meteor's. You know, big rocks flying through space. Nobody knows where they came from and nobody knows where they are going. But heck, they are out there and so they must be studied! Get a team on it pronto!

Here is the problem. The study of meteor's must get really and truly b-o-r-i-n-g. I mean, what is there to do but get a telescope and, well, look up? Seems to me that's about it.

Here is my hypothosis. Somewhere along the line people began to realize that we needed to know what the weather was going to be far more than we needed to know how many rocks are flying around up there. So somebody with a brain must have said something like ... "Hey. You. Meteor man. Think maybe while you are looking through that telescopy thing of yours you could maybe point toward the horizon every now and then and tell us if it's gonna rain?" And the meteorologist, being the smart individual that he or she is, said something like, "sure ... if you pay me for it." From there it was just a short hop to network television, radio weather reports and my own personal favorite ... The Weather Channel." This is a channel that gave up looking at rocks in space long ago. They have turned weather prediction into not only science but entertainment. I am passionate about "Storm Stories." Things always get torn up and sometimes people even (to be perfectly blunt) get whacked around and eventually assume room tempreture. Fun, huh?

So how come these meteor guys cannot get it right? Oh, in the summer they are really good. They can fire up their little doppler radar and actually show you your STREET. That's right, friends. Your weather, street by street by freaken street. (Would you believe that they actually interrupted Dr. Phil last summer for a weather bullitin when I turned my lawn sprinkler on too high? No? I didn't think you would.) And in the summer they are almost never wrong! If they say, "Hey, set off the siren's and get in the basement" then you darn well better set off the siren's and get your little fanny downstairs. From March through November these people know there stuff.

And then December happens. This coming Friday is December 1st. That's the day they are leading us to believe that the world will probably end under the wrath of 3 to 8 inches of snow. (And MORE in places! Not that they have a clue which places this will happen in.) If they are predicting 3 to 8 we should expect a dusting. If they predict 8 to 12 we should expect to have to actually scrape our windshields. No matter the amount ... in 2006 ALL snow is considered armageddeon. Seriously. These people most own stock in salt mines or snow shovel factories.

When I was a kid growing up in Detroit and Chicago and they said it was going to snow, well by golly you had best go buy whatever you need and do it fast because it was always ... ALWAYS worse than they said it was going to be. I remember when I was twelve we had the biggest snow fall I have ever seen. It was, at the time, the biggest snowfall Chicago had ever received since they began keeping records. And Chicago is all about records. I'm not kidding. If you went out for a walk you had to be careful lest you trip over the top of a street sign. A helicopter actually landed on the street in front of my house one night(my dad and the neighborhood men had cleared it with snow shovels and lit the area with cool red flairs.) My brother and I sat in our living room eating frozen pizza (well, that's not really true. It had been frozen but mom heated it up, bless her heart) looking out the picture window as the guy coasted in and landed about 40 feet in front of our house. Then they carried the VERY pregnant woman next door out to the chopper. Off she went into the night. She delivered a bouncing baby something hours later and named him or her after the pilot. Seems appropriate to me. All of us men folk got tired of waiting for the snow plows after two days (this was Chicago after all... they were busy clearing the mayor's street ... ) and we shoveled our entire neighborhood. The next day the plows showed up. They did not stick around though because all of these men were running at them with angry shovels waving in the air. Their hasty retreat was a wise thing to do.

It doesn't snow like that anymore. My kids are now 26, 24 and 21. I don't think they actually know what a sled is for. It's a shame. I remember sitting on the deck of my 3rd floor apartment in Tinley Park, Illinois, in the winter of 1978/1979 and watching front-end loaders actually clear out our parking lot. It was that bad.

So anyway. It's going to snow. Maybe. Somewhere. Sometime. You'll excuse me if I don't go and dig out my boots just yet. I think that the odds are greater that one of those meteor rocks will fall on us. And if that happens all of the milk and bread in the world will not help you, my friend.


Anonymous said...

We are in Southwest Missouri, we have the ice and snow and a ton of people who have no clue how to drive! I am staying in!
I miss REAL Chicago snow and people who know how to drive in it!
We are suppose to get 5-10"
It has been snowing 1 hour and we already have 1"