Category Archives: weather aka global warming

Didn’t See That Coming

I’ve been regularly checking the weather since it’s monsoon season.  It’s looked like no rain for today, but then this happened:

It was really loud.  Everybody eventually hid.  Murphy’s out now surveying the yard.  Dora is not interested in going outside at all.  It’s about an hour later and there is still some hail in the yard.  That’s amazing because it’s been over 100 every day for a while now.



She’s sleeping now.

It Rained on My Laundry

I also watered the garden this morning.  I don’t care, though.  This year, I cherish every little drop of rain we get.  Also helpful:  it cooled things off a bit.

I made cookies for the pups again.  Last week I used a gift packaged thing my mom had given me.  The pups loved them.  They were more the texture of crackers than cookies, though.  The ones today I made from this recipe.

The dark flecks are mint and parsley (from the garden).

The recipe calls for using a food processor, so I enlisted the Magimix 3150 and its dough blade for the first time.  Talk about cool and easy.  But no surprise, my Magimix 3150 is the greatest.  (Made in France, thank you very much!)

They are to cool in the oven overnight, so I’ll report on the pup reaction then.

Today in Gardening

Back to work, but not before doing a little watering.  I will have to do a bit more tomorrow morning.

I had lost another yellow squash plant by the time I came home.  I dissected it and there were no vine borers, so I can only conclude that it was too hot, too dry and too windy for it.  One is left, but I have two zucchini plants, one of which has three good fruits on it, and I will plant that tolerant squash that I good seeds for but can’t remember the name of in a couple of weeks.

I picked tomatoes, beans and jalapeños tonight.  I boiled that mess of beans along with a couple of banana peppers, and the tomatoes will ripen on the dresser.   I will can them as they ripen more.  The jalapeños I will eat fresh in egg and refried tacos for lunch and dinner and lunch and dinner.

I’m trying to eat some fresh, but also store up a bit for the fall.  Right now I have carrots, beets and beans in the freezer to eat up in the winter.

Oh and, the last thing I collected today was lettuce seeds from the bolted bed.  This first bed caught me by surprise.  I had nothing to eat with the lettuce.  From now on, I will plant a lettuce or two in pots and then enjoy them all year ’round with tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, cucumbers, radishes and carrots.   I just had no idea.

Next up: okra, Red October tomatoes, and more moon plants.

And hopefully some rain!

About the Historic Snow

This is how things played out in my life — we will compare it to others in a bit.

I remember earlier in the week that the forecast on the local CBS channel was for snow on Friday.  My family does a family thing on the night that Santa rides the firetruck through Pasadena every year and I had stupidly made a dental appointment for about the same time, so over Thanksgiving I agreed to identify the date.  Once I had it, I called my mom, and we talked about the possibility of snow.   She remembered (memory of an elephant — it was December 10th last year) that it had snowed early last year.  I remembered that too and so this year was not that much earlier, except that we have had snow more often than ever in my life of 40+ years of living here.

I was surprised and anxious when I found out on Friday that the university would be closing early.  I had planned on having a full afternoon to get my work done — so I had to prioritize.  I made it — which means I was able to listen to Chris Baker on the way home.

First thing to know is that Baker is not in Houston.  He’s in Minneapolis.  So when he claims that his kids are playing in the snow, he’s lying.  The snow hadn’t reached there by Friday afternoon — if this particular front even affected where he was.  He tries so hard to pretend he’s here.  It’s almost sad.  Sad because he thinks his listeners are so dense.

Baker made fun of weather forecasters and Houstonians for two hours.   If he could have called his listening audience pussies he would have.  Maybe he did.  But Baker’s hobby horse is the media — and on weather days  — it’s the weather part of the media.  (Let’s just let it go that he is part of the media too now.   For better or worse — he and his kind have inserted themselves.)

Maybe it’s because I don’t have cable.  Baker hates weather people.  According to him, they (weather people and reporters) always go overboard.  I saw none of this on the local weather.  I understood why employers let people go early — I was out on the mostly invisible roads last Tuesday — as were most of the people I work with.  Visibility even without sleet and snow was nil in Houston that night.  The city and responsible employers did the right thing — and hopefully planned for such hits, as any good business would — and decided to try to mitigate the damages.

And for that, all of them are called wimps by a guy up in Minneapolis.  A radio guy who has nothing to worry about.  A guy named Chris Baker, who has ridiculed every person he has ever come across — perhaps even Michael Berry — and still has a job.  He produces nothing.  He calls people names. Again and again and again.  He thinks things are funny the more they are repeated.  While he mocks his audience, he trusts World Net Daily and Sky News.  He lives in another city but pretends to live here.

Over and over again he told his audience that the world was laughing at Houston all because the city officials and responsible business people took precautions.  Will he come on the air on Monday, from Minneapolis, and credit the city for the lives potentially saved because of the actions taken?  Has he looked at the “liberal” newspaper here to seek the death-toll of the “Great Blizzard of 2009”?  It’s not funny, so no.

I wasn’t surprised to hear Randy Lemmon jumping on the bash the media bandwagon at 6:00 this morning.  He’s supposed to be the “Garden Guy” but this morning he was the “keep the meme going on this wing nut station guy.”  He decided that he would clean out his freebie closet by giving shit (his definition) away to anyone with a bash the media story about the weather that made him laugh.  Funny thing is, the station ran a stale weather report from Friday early on Lemmon’s show.  “Oh noes!!! I thought.  It will get down to the 20″s again tonight?!?!?!?!'” Right.  Bitch about the media and it will bite you in the ass.  Lemmon complained about the weather media, but then ran an outdated weather report that could have confused.  No worries.  Hardly anyone is paying attention, so no one cares.

Someone I know recently moved from the inner city to outside the loop.  Now needing to pay attention to traffic after years of just zipping on side streets to work, he started tuning into AM 740 — recalling their ads of being the news traffic and weather station.  He was surprised to find Lana and J.P. interviewing Cunningham as if it were news.  I told him that 740 no longer has reports like they used to, so all they’ve got is phone-ins.  And now it’s all partisan.

For a very long time, Houstonians had a radio station that just gave them the information that they needed.  It’s call letters spell out Keep Tuned Right Here.  They had actual news — real news (though one of their old reporters is now doing wingnut commentary on a competing station) real traffic and real weather.  Now it’s all wingnut all the time.  AM radio in Houston is filled with liars and those who support liars.  YaY for AM radio.

Ha ha.  Upon adding links, Michael Berry’s AM 740 still has up warnings from yesterday.  It’s 8:20 on Saturday night and this is what the “news” radio station has up:

Oh yes, I will click there.  This station deserves to fail.
I wonder if the people whose loved ones died this weekend found others’ — including Friday’s  Chris Baker — laughing at the conditions funny?   Baker won’t touch that on Monday.  It’s not “funny.”  And he’s not here.  One man may have jumped or was plunged to his death on a local freeway.  I’d pay money for anyone t ask Baker about anyone laughing at that, especially given how late on the weather updates his mothership is.

Snow — The Morning After

After worrying about the outside kittens and somehow tripping two breakers (after it got dark), we awoke early to a very cold crisp morning.

Tammy peed in the bathroom.  I’m surprised that was the only accident since none of the pups would go out after about 9:00 last night.

Some picks — this from yesterday afternoon:

Harry checking out the little cubby I moved from the garage:

I put a couple of towels in the recycling bin, too.

Sad Gray & White Kitty showed up for some dinner.  Harry wanted to play.

Then surprise!

I set it up again, but this time without the milk crate.  As of this morning, it looked like someone had slept in it at some point.

Frost on my plants this morning:

Looking down the street:

Snow still on the roof:

Snow Murph:

Junebug, up early, hungry and playful:

The sun is shining now, Dora is barking in the front yard, and I’m off to look for more outside kittens.

UPDATE!!!!!!! Sleepyheads Harry and Braveheart finally showed up for breakfast.


Tonight on Now on PBS, they explored the Pacific nation of Kiribati and the threat it faces from global warming.  Many other nations like Niue and Tuvalu are facing the same fate: the ocean is swallowing them.

Then there’s Dubai’s  obscene project.

There’s no way that Dubai would help little countries — democracies — survive the effects of what gave them the resources to build artificial islands.  Nope.  Not a chance.

One Week

One week ago, I was making the last preparations for Hurricane Ike.  Looking back, I think I did ok.  I should have bought more batteries for the radio and flashlight.  I should have bought some bags of ice.  Not filling up the car didn’t have any consequences.  I still have water from last week and though I lost what was in the fridge and I could eat up all of the humus I made before it went bad, I’ve been ok food-wise.

Losing power for this long and all of the generator drama were not things I had anticipated.  But now, the generator has been running fine and even the neighbors across the street have hooked up as of this afternoon (they had left and just came back).

On one hand, I’m not yet mentally prepared to go back to work, but on the other hand, going back to work may help me feel a little more certain about all this uncertainty in life right now.

I can’t wait until everything is back to normal.  In the meantime, I’ll keep making do.  The pups are a great source of help, security and joy.

Teevee Radar

Wow.  The teevee station that I had watched each half hour of the storm justed showed the whole radar thing in a matter of seconds.  The second half of the storm was on and off the air in no time.  That was when the house shook.  The time I thought I had lost the outside kittens and the house shook.  After that, I couldn’t sleep.

Busy Day

I stayed up a little late last night, but just not late enough.  I learned this morning that the generator-neighbor had gone to my next door neighbors’ house at midnight and started banging on theri windows.  That didn’t sit well with them, so they unplugged their extension cord and in the process unplugged me.

It’s ok.  Generator-neighbor had turned out to be a little strange.  Two nights ago he had come down to my house around 11:00 to tell me that he was going to collect money the next day.  I had Murphy and Tammy out in the yard and he proceded to tell me that he could hear what they were thinking, as well as Dora, and that I have been raising them wrong.  He pushed it so far, and it was so late, that I finally cried.  Even then it took him a while to finally leave.

Yesterday morning, he came back by.  Dora was in the yard at that point with me.  I gave him $20 (I had given him $15 before.  He started telling me that he was a surgeon and could cut someone’s hand or foot off, that Dora was speaking to him, and that I should give my dogs heartworm medicine intended for horses.  He said he had been thinking about adopting the fuzzy one (meaning Tammy).  I told him she was mine and I didn’t understand where he got the idea that I wanted to adopt her out.  He finally realized that his talk about my dogs was getting to me and started to leave.  He told me there would be a bar-b-q that afternoon and what he would contribute.  I said ok, and he finally left.

A few hours later, I went to the grocery store and got some mayo and pickles to make tuna salad.  When I got home, my next door neighbor said that the family between his house and generator-neighbor’s house had packed up and left.  That family was the one that supposedly was hosting the bar-b-q.  I had thought about hiding from the bar-b-q, but it turned out that I didn’t have to.  Apparently, generator-naighbor had tried to force the idea on his next door neighbor.

So, back to this morning.  I had talk to Roberto before I found out about the disconnect.  Our friend B called and we discussed my options.  She agreed that I should try to get a generator.  She said she would start calling around since the cell phone I had might not last long.  Then I called my sister, who has had power and phone service since Saturday and got asked her to start calling around.

Less than an hour later, my sister called back and said there was a Lowes nearby.  I got in the car and ran into Roberto on his way to the house.  I picked him up and off went.  The generators had sold in three minutes.  There was none left.

We went down the road to a Home Depot.  There was a line and I dropped R off.  In the parking lot, Home Depot employees were telling people that part of the ceiling had collapsed and that they were only selling generators, gas cans, motor oil and extension cords.  I was a little worried, but walked on up to the line.  People were coming out with generators.  The signs gave a range of prices from about $400 to $600.  I started talking to a guy whose son was in line.  They had lost power at about the same time I had.  My sister called and said she had found a place that still had them.   Since we were in line ahead of him, I told the guy I was talking to that I would count how many they had and tell him and if necessary, I would call my sis back and see if whe could get one for him.

It turned out to be unnecessary.  The line went very quickly and just before we got in, a Home Depot employee told the guy that they were unloading more.

We went in and one guy asked us which generator we wanted.  We chose the smaller one.  The had one loaded on a cart with 2 5 gallon gas cans and 2 quarts of oil.  We just took one of the gas cans and checked out in under 5 minutes and under $500.  Another employee helped us load it into the Yaris — it fit!

When we got home, I went down to check on the neighbor across from the generator-neighbor.  They had hooked up, but then they disconnected after 8 hours.  I had tried to check on them after that, but had found no one home (on maybe willing to come to the door).  They were ok.  A relative had brought them a generator. 

I started reading the instructions and then my next door neighbor got home and pitched in.  Between the three of us we got the thing up and running by 4:00.

It’s almost 8 now, and so far, so good.  We have to change the oil at 9:00, but then it should go for 100 hours before I have to do that again.  The fuel should last us until 2 a.m.

I went out and checked on it earlier.  It seems to be leaking a bit of oil, so I will call the customer service number tomorrow.

Right now, I am just glad that everything worked out so well today.  I feel extremely lucky.

Tomorrow looks to have less drama, so I hope to post about what I’m hearing here and about the storm itself.