Thursday, May 26, 2011

Civility and approaching storms.

Living in what I think of as Middle America, you learn to expect violent storms when the air heats up in spring or summer. This year the skies seem to be intent on keeping us on the edge of panic. Again last night we Louisville KY residents were "up all night" but not for any purpose of pleasure.

About noon the weather heads had put a crawl on the bottom of the screen announcing a long list of southern Indiana and north central Kentucky counties under a thunderstorm warming. This soon moved to a tornado watch. At 6 p.m. that changed and live meteorologists in front of those brilliant maps, tracking a line of storms 300 miles west of us, stretching 100 miles north to 80 miles south. The entire half hour of the local news was pre-empted and we got to see 10 minutes of national news after commercials. Then there were a few minutes of the two game shows and the remainder of the evening it was a non-stop rotation of five meteorologists reporting the storm.
I fixed supper, watched a cable show, talked to a couple friends on the phone and about 10 minutes before the predicted hit, turned off the computer, dug out my flashlight and sat on the top step watching the storm. First there was wind, then lightening, then thunder then rain so hard I could see only lights across the street. In ten minutes all that remained was rain.

I'm glad it worked out this way. The destruction in the south and near west is almost unbelievable this spring. From reports having a warning of approaching storms helps. Paying attention to the warnings and doing what you can is not enough.

The three broadcast stations each have full blown news organizations and their commercials year round remind us of the piles of money they have spent to buy the latest technology to keep us informed. After a day and night of repetitive minutia weather reporting, it seems less worthwhile to me. Do I in a big city need to know when a storm is going to pass over Leota Indiana? Do I need to know when it will pass Deputy or Memphis or through the bottoms of Brownstown? Who in those little towns sees this reporting? The place this reporting would be valuable is the radio. After all we are supposed to be hunkered down with our battery operated weather radios anyway. To the people sitting somewhere watching TV it's not necessary.
Consideration of others is a kind thing. I believe people who are considerate witness to everyone.

As was recently reported a woman got on an Amtrak train in Oakland for a sixteen hour trip. She talked loudly on her cell thereafter. Efforts by her fellow passengers and the train conductor had no impact, she continued to loudly talk. The train was stopped between stations in Salem Oregon and the local police arrested her for being an unruly passenger. A witty commenter on wrote, "She was later charged with unspeakable crimes against humanity and sentenced to live on some distant planet where there are no reception bars, ever."

That last part is a joke though popular correctness does often over react.

Wouldn't it be lovely if all similar incidents were so well addressed?

Being a voyeur, I enjoy listening to one side of conversations in public. The hardest part is pretending I'm not listening but when a guy is apologizing to his wife, girlfriend, fuck buddy for having done some unspeakable thing, I only wish there was video. That would be a reality show worth my time.


  1. and eaves droppers is why texting is so popular. I'm glad you were passed over.

  2. That sky in the first photo is unbelievably frightening. And yes, the tornadoes have been amazingly numerous and horrid. Not certain what I'd do if I lived in the area where these monsters are seeded...

    And the woman escorted off the train? Good for the authorities, but having to endure her resolute behavior for 16 hours -- 16!!! She's lucky she got off the train alive.

  3. Glad that sky didn't portend much more than rain for you! Scary! I would rather not listen to someone on their cell - however, just people-watching and occasionally "listening" in on conversations - well, that's how stories get made.

  4. I found you today from Maries blog . The english Kitchenn,, I was in intrigued by your statement of entering the brownies,, I was hesitant when finding you by the warning,,, then after entering your blog I smiled,,, life gets messy at times,, you shoot from the hip and I like that.The photos are breath taking,,I'm still reading,

  5. Richly enjoyable as always, Charlene. You don't lose your deft touch. Please may we have some of your rain?

  6. I can take the snow storms we have here in Northern Maine. I would be a wreck in the storms you have. That sky photo scared me!

  7. KrippledWarrior: I know about the texting and why it's so popular in the presence of parents!

    KathyA: As to what to do about lots of tornados, I'd suggest building an underground shelter and making sure the house is insured for replacement value as well as paying that premium.

    Barb: That wasn't local sky as far as know. I like people watching too.

    Laurie: I'm glad you read me and the warning is to allow me to use my real voice instead of editing myself. Generally my opinions are probably the only really shocking content.

    Christopher: If you can provide a durable container and transport I'll give you all the rain you can stand!

    Kwizgiver: I'd prefer not to have snow either. If there was a place in the country that didn't ever have extreme weather, I might move there.

    If this posts anonymous, it's because Google ID isn't working!

  8. I turn on the weather news when storms might threaten the area where my kids live, states away. Then, because I'm a tornado panic officianado, I call them and warn them. Mostly, it just annoys them, but that's my job.

    Wow. The porch? Not the basement or the bathtub?

  9. I am sick of the Storms! I can handle the rain, but these storms are awful!!

  10. That is an amazing photograph! We have terrible storms in Florida, also, and lots of tornadoes...not so far this year, though. We're thankful for that!

  11. I know severe weather must be quite frightening and destructive over there, but from someone who lives in a place that doesn't have extreme weather at all, it all sounds quite exciting! Occasionally the winds pick up here & all our trees fall down, sometimes it snows & everyone phones into work sick, sometimes it rains a bit & we get flooded, sometimes it's a bit warm & we have hosepipe bans - for a country that talks about the weather all the time, we're not very good with it!


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