3/14/18: Daily Post

Yesterday was quite busy.   I started out the day by tutoring in Magdalena.  The important part of that, however, was having a meeting concerning this year’s Magdalena storm chase.  It is a go!  The students have to fund raise $1000 and we have a few other small details to iron out, but we will be chasing.

In the afternoon, I met with the inventory folks at NMT, and then we ran around campus, tagging all of our equipment.  I thought it would take an hour, and it took nearly two.

After that, I rescheduled a meeting with the dynamo programmer, because the inventory meeting took too long.  After I finished with inventory, I had my first tutoring session with a new student.  I will help her write and edit a final report and presentation for a materials engineering class.  I think the meeting went well.

I commuted back to Rio Rancho, working on the dynamo flow charts along the way.

I also met with one of my students for an in-person tutoring session.  I have another one scheduled with him tonight as well.

Thank you for reading my post.


Daylight Saving Time

I remember daylight saving time in the spring of 2003. It meant spring had arrived, and spring meant that I would be going on my first Great Plains storm chase.

At the time, I was going to school full time as a materials science and engineering student at Virginia Tech. I had switched out of electrical engineering, and this was my first semester in my new major.

I was also working full-time at night at Kroger (grocery store), stocking shelves. I was trying to raise the money for storm chasing. My 1988 Nova needed a few major repairs before it could be trusted for cross-country travel.

I had very few friends and was generally bitter towards the whole world. I did meet Dave Carroll, who was leading a storm chase out of Virginia Tech and Pulaski County High School. This meant I would not have to drive my car, but would have to come up with tuition money for his class instead.

I had no idea if it would all work. I had very few friends at this point. My grades in materials were better than in electrical engineering, but not enough for an internship. I didn’t know if I’d be able to find a job once (if) I graduated. I almost quit school and continued to work at Kroger.

I went for a walk along the Huckleberry Trail, not having to report to work until 9:30 PM. As I walked, I saw the 00 Z balloon sounding from the Blacksburg, VA, office float overhead. As it scouted out the world from a higher point of view, it was like a sign of better things ahead.

The storm chase was something on the horizon to look forward to. No matter what happened after the storm chase, at least I will have done that.

15 years later, I’m teaching engineering. I have a degree in meteorology as well as two in engineering. I have yet to miss a single season in the Great Plains, and have caught somewhere around 30 tornadoes. I have probably launched two dozen of those same balloons.

I still have the same feeling around daylight savings time. I’m sure my blood starts circulating cyclonically. The doldrums of winter weather slowly lose their grip on my mood, as the trough and ridge pattern amplifies over the mid-latitudes.

I don’t know if I have a favorite time of the year, but this is pretty close.


1/24/18: Daily Post

Yesterday, I spent the day at NMT. I started out by going to an interview for becoming an Explora Fellow. This wasn’t a placement interview, but it was an interview to get the preliminary work done for my project. The interviewer and I had a great time talking about the weather.

I had two meetings get cancelled, but ended up sucked into other projects. I spent a good part of yesterday mid-day working on the computer lab, updating software. I also had a department meeting sandwiched in there as well.

In the afternoon, I taught my first section of instrumentation lab this semester. I have only two students, so the lab goes by very quickly. I spent the remainder of the afternoon working on the computers and then meeting with another student to practice using the plastic welder. I had to leave before it got up to temperature, but we will try again later.

On my commute home, I worked on my storm chasing book. I added about 400 words to it. I have a ways to go, but I told the publisher I would have the table of contents and the first chapter by February, and I am on schedule to do that.

In the evening, Joey and I watched an episode of Justified. We are almost done the second season. I also updated my amateur radio logbooks.

Thank you for reading my post.

7/8/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I started out by remotely attending a Society for Industrial Archeology board meeting.  I checked in via my phone on my way to Santa Fe.

In Santa Fe, I attended the Skywarn Training, led by Kerry Jones.  He does a great job, and I’ve attended several of his training sessions.   He referenced me several times in the talk as a fellow storm chaser.

I drove back from Santa Fe, and stopped to go for a long walk in Bernalillo.  I knew I had eaten too much, and I did my best to walk off the calories.  I overdid it slightly, and ended up taking a nap when I got home.

After my nap, Joey and I went to the music show at the Solid Grounds Coffee House.  It wasn’t the same without the whole group there, but we still had a good time.

In the late evening, I posted several updates to this blog, including monthly updates for April, May and June, as well as one of my running screenshots.

I started using MapMyRun again, as I am having trouble with FitBit accurately representing my path, even though it gets the mileage and times right.  It can’t seem to map it correctly.  I promise I’ve gone on quite a few runs since 1/2/17, though my page doesn’t accurately represent them.

Joey and I also finished up the first season of Justified.

Thank you for reading my post.

7/1/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I started out the day by driving to the Camp Meeting, which was an event hosted by the Texaco Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists.  It was held just north of Ruidoso, so I left Socorro early in the morning.

I attended Sabbath School, Church and an afternoon session.  In the late afternoon, severe storms had developed across much of the state, including one cell just south of my location, passing through Ruidoso.  I headed south to Ruidoso, then northeast along US-70 to chase this storm.  It fell apart soon after my northeastern turn, so I ended up punching the core and driving home.

Thank you for reading my post.

6/25/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we woke up at the Field Day site in Datil Wells Campground, NM.  We had breakfast with the other ham radio operators and I did a quick forecast.  I had received several messages about chasing storms from my Virginia Tech storm chasing crew, and sure enough, we were in an Enhanced Risk area.  We packed up at the Field Day site, and JoAnna and I headed home to pick up Joey.

He jumped in the car and we headed north to Las Vegas, NM where we intercepted a cell that was showing rotation on radar.  We could clearly see the entire base, and there was no organized wall cloud, and no tornado.  We did take one big hailstone to the center of the roof after seeing an occasional pea-sized hailstone, so we headed south out of the storm.  I will post the entire writeup on my storm chase blog later tonight.

We returned in the evening and unpacked.  I was pretty well beat from the Field Day and the storm chase, so I went to bed early.

Thank you for reading my post.

6/5/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we packed up and headed east for a two week road trip.  We only made it as far as Amarillo.  We stayed at a Quality Inn just a little ways off I-40.  Along our route, we also punched a weak hail core (slushy pea-sized hail).  I tweeted about it and it was picked up by Albuquerque NWS as well as Channel 4 in Albuquerque.

JoAnna and I talked about hard work last night.  I value hard work and struggle, but why value struggle?  It is inefficient and stupid.  Learn something new everyday, I suppose.

Giving up fighting depression.

Thank you for reading my post.