Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Fall Storm Brewing?

Like many I have been glued to the models watching, waiting and hoping this whopper of a storm comes to life as currently shown.

Well, maybe not the 12Z as it shifted the main area of interest to the east, but I think this run is a bit too fast with things. If ridging in the east develops in the wake of a midweek storm I would think that should keep this system from rocketing into Ohio by 0z Sat.

I wont get into it too much because the models are still bouncing the timing and location all over the place. What has been consistent though is the showing of a very powerful storm system with the potential for a multi day widespread severe weather threat. I do believe all modes will be possible. Tornado threat is conditional based on instability. It wont take much, with a system like this I think 750j/kg is all wed need.

I will take any chase right now though, I have no problems driving a couple hours for a raging, evil looking squall line that mows the forest with an 80mph gust front. Whatever I can get to build up my stock video library. Straight line wind footage can be just as, and sometimes more intense than tornado footage.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Colors 2009

Storm chasing as a whole has several tangent areas of interests that go along with it. One of those would be photography. I enjoy photography, but it is probably the tangent area I'm least educated in. Furthermore I do not own a fancy camera, just your basic Sony all purpose digital camera, the kind that fits in your pocket.

Nevertheless, being off work has allowed me to explore some new venues with my free time. I decided to venture to the local forest preserves and shoot the fall scene for the first time. I enjoyed it. It was a nice fall day with temps around 70. The sky was a bit hazy so good sky/tree contrast wasn't going to happen...but tomorrow will begin 3 days of rain, wind and hopefully thunderstorms. We're at peak now and the incoming system will likely shred the trees of what little they have left. It was a bit breezy too which made some macro shots a little difficult.

Unless I find an insane deal I likely wont be acquiring a more professional type camera anytime soon. I would love to have one though, and start learning the tricks of the trade, but for now as always, I make do with what Ive got. I have many other things chase related to purchase before a nice still camera.

Here are some photos.

Perhaps it was the hazy sky but the colors weren't all that vibrant with the exception of a few trees. I went fishing in northern MI last week and I remember seeing amazing colors up there along the interstate. I should have shot the colors up there. I'm no foliage expert but it was pretty dry and cool here for most of autumn with the exception of the last week. I think that has lead to a duller-than normal year. Brown and down is the saying Ive heard. Typical of 2009 I guess.

Its always fun to experiment with new things though. I love and enjoy everything about the outdoors. At the very least it was nice to be out on a beautiful fall day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Denver Balloon Boy and Storm Chasers

When I got word of the whole balloon boy incident I thought the whole thing was a hoax. Turns out that might be legit. Also once I learned the builder was a "storm chaser" I knew all the bullshit would start about chasers and their reputations. I wont even get into the debate about it. I never even heard of Richard Heene until then. I remember a thread on ST about a storm chasing episode of wife swap a while back...but I don't watch that crap, chasing related or not.

Regardless, I am not worried about my reputation being ruined and I wish others would stop. If people DO judge, and there always will be some that do...oh well. Maybe an increasingly negative Image will keep the whords of uneducated wanna-bes from spending their allowance on a new I-phone to go out chasing with.

In the end, I chase when where and how I want and could care less what someone thinks about it. I tend to have a zero tolerance for human ignorance, so if someone presents themselves as an uneducated, biased, cynical member of the public with snark remarks it just makes it that much easier for me to ignore them and continue on my way. I think allot of chasers need to stop worrying about this...or maybe I need to start caring what people think of me? Nah.

Enough about that though. Storm Chasers starts tonight. Im pretty sure the first episode will be about the Roll, OK tornadoes from April 26th of this year. That episode will hurt to watch as it will remind me of missing those very same tornadoes by only a couple of minutes. If you want to know why go to my site and read the chase log. Basically it came down to too many chasers in one car and conflicting opinions.

Speaking of my site. Ive begun to go back to the old chase logs and clean them up. Back in the day all I used to document chases was my Myspace blog so they're written poorly and have a ton of swearing and internet slang in there. When I launched my site earlier this year I just copied them over. They need to be fixed. 2006 is done and now 2007 is next.

Looking at the longer range GFS and seeing the same damn thing - highly amplified west coast ridge and east coast trough is finally beginning to kill my optimism that there will be at least one more chase in this crappy 2009 year. Oh well.

Oh well, time to order the pizza and get ready to head to Dannys house where Im sure we'll have an amusing time drowning our sorrows and bitching about the busted Roll day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2 Weeks

This is my second week of being jobless. So far its been mostly enjoyable. Ive gone on a couple fishing/camping trips, reconnected with the outdoors as well as spent some longer nights with friends. As a whole Ive felt my stress come down allot lately. Im not as irritable and my body is starting to get back to a somewhat normal sleep schedule.

Ive been looking around for side work of course, to bring in some extra spending cash. My resume isn't complete yet so I wont be sending that out anytime soon. Honestly, as long as I can support myself I see no reason to immerse myself back into a lifestyle I loathe.

Ive been tweeking my site and learning some new things since then as well. I do plan to "whore" myself out there a little more. So those who are frequent visitors to my sites/blogs may notice some changes.

The big downfall of all this comes from that bitch in the sky. Of course this would fall on me on what is probably the most boring year weather wise I can remember in a long time. All Ive ever wanted was the opportunity to chase wherever whenever, and now Ive got it and this bitch has us locked in a constant east coast trough/NW flow pattern of complete boring-ness. Go figure.

Oh well, still lots to do to keep myself busy in the meantime.

Most of the chaser drama has settled for now, thankfully. I still cant believe how much betrayal, back-talking, side choosing and cliquey-ness there is within our little community. I guess thats just the world we live in.

I plan to attend chaser-con in February so that will be a neat experience. More on that at a later time. Might be a couple local gatherings too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Offensive ST thread

The thread going on ST about "offensive" content reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from the move Clerks. I would post it there but it wouldn't last long enough for everyone to see it. Not that many people come here anyways.

I dunno, Ive always have a problem with people who get so easily offended. Ive never reported a single post or thread on that site and probably never will. If someone says something I don't like I simply ignore it. If the same person/s do it, then I know they are someone I will never get along with in person.

The world really does need to lighten up.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Job loss and CTV

Well I am now officially unemployed. I was never really happy there so I take it as a blessing in disguise. Im not sure where I will head next. The corporate office world is not for me.

Of course I want to succeed in chasing more than anything, but we all know how hard that is. Still, I am a believer that if you want something bad enough, you will get it. Others have done it and so can I. They're no different than me. If the passion and drive is there, results will come.

Also, I have been thinking of switching streaming services to CTV. Back during that whole streaming war I was contacted by TVN and invited to join, since they reached out to me I accepted.

The biggest problem is I was never a man with allot of money and thus I am a very low tech operation. The TVN stream setup does not work well with my older laptop, it requires me to have about 3 different applications running and it just does not work. The CTV setup is a simple, one application streaming setup [or so Ive been led to believe.] That is the main driving force behind my decision.

This has NOTHING to do with personal relationships with anyone. I don't play those games. I don't care who is with what service and I never suck up to anyone. I choose what works best for ME. So far TVNs service has not worked for me and its time to seek other options. Ive fiddled, faddled and fuddled with it for countless hours. I was able to get it working back in April FINALLY, only I didn't have a camera mount and the duct tape bungee cord solution only worked so well.

I get the camera mount, fire up the stream on the next chase and BAM all the applications crash and It will not work and to this day it still wont. Ugh.

I haven't made a final decision though...its just something Ive been thinking about. I need to succeed at this and in order to do that I need to be up with the times, and use the means that Im able to get for myself. If I had the money Id have all the latest and greatest gear capable of...whatever it can do...but I I have to make do with what I have.