Monday, November 12, 2012

The Weather? Really?

Yes, I am blogging about...  the weather.

So, I have several nits to pick.  For you younger folks, that means I have things I want to talk about.  Firstly, what is up with weathermen?  Or more specifically, meteorologists?  Look, I know the weather is a complex global system.  I know predictions about it are never going to be 100% accurate.  But, can't we get somewhere in the ballpark?  Now, I'm not complaining about any specific weather day.  I wasn't out at a picnic today, for instance, and the weather forecasters said it was going to be sunny and 80 and I ended up in a blizzard.  But, are they ever right?  A meteorologist will tell you his forecasts are usually about 85% accurate.  Which is absolute bupkus. I would say closer to 40%, and that's just within 24 hours at best.  So who can keep a job being right 40% of the time?  What waiter would keep his job if he said "Sorry sir, I screwed up your order a little.  You wanted the fish and chips, and i got you a burger and rice.  But hey, at least I got your drink order correct!"  Or what employer would be in business long if they said "Oh sorry, I gave you $4000 dollars this week instead of $400.  But at least I spelled your name right!"  Look, when I can listen to the weather predictions for the next week, and make a more accurate prediction of the weather by saying the opposite of what the meteorologists say, they need to work on their computer models a bit.

Here's my next thing.  Hurricanes usually come with lots of rain and wind.  They usually do lots of flooding damage to coastal areas.  Do you remember all the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy, where they said "This storm isn't going to be like anything you've ever seen before!?"  Well.  Let's review.  There was lots of wind and rain.  And.. it did lots of flooding damage to coastal areas.  So... how was that different from the other hurricanes?  Did it rain skittles?  Did the wind smell of hot and spicy chicken wings?  No, the only difference I can see was that it hit New York City instead of Florida or wherever.  So why all the fuss beforehand?  Was it just to spice up an otherwise semi-ordinary event like a hurricane coming ashore?  Doesn't that pretty much happen every year, sometimes several times?

Which leads me to my next two points.  There's tons of celebrities going on the air lately asking me to donate my hard-earned money to hurricane sandy relief efforts.  Hmmm.  Where were the celebrity aid requests during the last florida hurricane?  Or don't celebrities care about a few retirees who lost their trailer park in the sunshine state?  Is it just because there's a lot of celebrities living in new york and they now need your money because their expensive apartment building just got washed out to sea?  Hell, get some hot female celebs to lose some clothes in the commercials, and I'll be more than happy to pay up.  Yea!  Start a naked female celebrity hurricane sandy relief effort!  You'll rake in billions!

Just as an aside, I'm not trying to make light of people having trouble getting back on their feet after Sandy.  I'm sure there's still people out there who are homeless or without power, and i can't even imagine.  I mean, my power was out for 3 whole days during the october storm around these here parts back in 2005 and it drive me nearly insane!  I was cold, it was dark, and worst of all, I had no internet access or computer games to play!  AGH!  So, anyone just getting back onto the net and reading this after being without a home or power for weeks, you have my deepest sympathies and admiration for surviving with your mind intact.  Assuming you survived, with your mind intact.  I don't think my mind made it, but nobody seems to have noticed yet.  Or, maybe you did.

But here's my third (or fourth?) point, do we really need to start naming our winter storms?  Athena?  Brutus?  I can see naming a hurricane.  It's a huge weather event that has the potential to come ashore and cost millions of dollars in damage as well as lives, even if it does turn and head out to sea half the time.  But do we really need to name every single cold front that sweeps across the nation?  Aren't we just adding to the confusion at this point?  Athena dumped an inch of snow on my front lawn!  A WHOLE INCH!  ZOMG!  Brutus froze that lock on my car door!  THAT COLD HEARTED PRICK!  Geddit geddit?  Cold hearted?  HAH!  I make joke.  You laugh.  But seriously, why?  Are meteorologists or media junkies just so friggin bored that they need to draw viewers in by naming storms?  Really?  Are you that desperate for viewers???  Doesn't pretty much EVERYONE watch the weather at some point to find out the forecast?  How do you get more viewers than EVERYONE?  Isn't that being just a tad greedy?  lol

So here's my problem in a nutshell.  I looked at the radar images of hurricane sandy coming into the coast.  I looked at the predictions of where it would go.  Weathermen in my area were calling for tropical storm force winds when it got close enough.  I looked where it was heading, realized that not only was upstate new york (where i live) not anywhere near the center of the storm, but we were in the outer bands of what is usually the lee side of the storm, where the hurricane's direction of travel and prevailing winds go against each other, and realized in about 2 seconds that we wouldn't see anywhere near that level of winds, and probably wouldn't feel much of anything.  So how did I, an out of work technical support guy with a minimum of understanding about the weather, able to make an accurate prediction that went against what every weatherman in our area was saying, and be 100% dead-on-balls-accurate, as Marisa Tomei so eloquently put it in "My Cousin Vinny?"

Hell if I know.  But when I can out-predict a trained, experienced meteorlogist, they got to be doing something wrong, don't you think?

In other news, I think my movie review format was a little too rigorous last month.  I may go back to just random thoughts about the movie divided into paragraphs.  It seems like having to organize my thoughts, instead of just rambling incoherently most of the time, stifles my creativity in my reviews.  So, next review, I am going back to incoherent rambling!  Sounds like a good name for a heavy metal band, right?  "FEAST YOUR EYES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!  Back by popular demand, INCOHERENT RAMBLING!"  Hey, it'd certainly squelch the need to come up with good song lyrics.  You could read your little brother's book report on See Spot Run while blasting out guitar riffs and the drummer's LSD-fueled solo and nobody would notice.

Squelch.  Word of the week.  Until next time, rabid fans!  Yea, if you are frothing at the mouth to read my blog, you really need to get a hobby.  lol

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