Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Halloween show

Frontier city actually puts on a decent show.  The kids are lovin it.

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Dance/cheer competition

Part of being married to a dance instructor is going to these, which I spent a majority of my day at.  This one was primarily focused on cheer, with only three dance routines.  So we were a little out of our element.  Oh well, made for a fun day with the rest of the afternoon spent on rides at frontier city for the kids.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

End of a decent chase

Had a good chase today, seeing as we stayed on all the right storms.  Just none of them ever produced, and we didn't feel like going to Missouri today.  :)
We got some nice pics, and some b footage.  Fun day.

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Nice so far

Chased this storm from chickasha to now over Perkins.  Hasn't been a bad chase so far.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wish I were here

Just testing sending from my mobile.  Will post a lot more if this works.

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Decided to stick around

I went to the centennial parade today with my family. It was descent for Oklahoma standards I suppose. Maybe parades had more appeal in my youth in Stillwater (OSU homecoming parade), or Bethany puts on one heck of a parade, but I expected more for our big centennial. There were several modest balloon floats (probably good they weren't bigger, given the wind), and the OU and OSU bands were impressive, but other than that, I've seen better. After the parade was done, I looked for a min or two at some data, wasn't impressed, and decided to eat dinner with the fam. All in all, a pretty relaxing day.

Fall possibility

There appears to be a decent chance for some supercell storms today, and pretty close to home. Seeing as how the Oklahoma centennial parade is today, isn't that fitting. I will probably head towards Weatherford to Clinton later this afternoon.
BTW - sorry for the sparce updates, been a busy summer - when is it not. :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Time once again

I've settled into my new job (it's been almost a year), and feel comfortable enough again to let my thoughts fly. For nearly a year, this blog has been invisible. I've had to think through the ramifications of keeping it up. It could come back to haunt me later, but the original reasons I started it still hold, and I still believe honesty and truth trump all other motivations. Nice to see the political pendulum is still in full swing. :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hello Philly

For those that don't know, I'm up in Philadelphia this week for some training, well, actually in a suburb called West Chester. It's a university town, and is really nice actually. Every evening I've been heading to the campus area to try different pubs, restaurants, etc. My favorite by far is a place called the Iron Hill. They have incredible burgers, and brew their own beer, which is always a bonus. Below are a few of the pics I took. This weekend I head up to NY to visit Shaown for his b-day, then next week off to Chico, CA.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Season is over

I had a decent season, considering we saw very few tornadoes in central OK. I have at least 3 on video, and maybe 1-2 more. I haven't had time to comb through all the footage. The probe needs a little work, as the clutch on the A/C blew out on one of my last chases. No biggie, I have another to replace it, just need the time to work on it. I'll try to get a recap out soon, but I have a few projects to take care of first.
Speaking of which, I just recently installed Microsoft's new RC of Windows Home Server. This is going to turn out to be a nice product, and I'm a little excited about it. Basically it's a very stripped version of their Small Business Server, and serves the purpose of mainly providing daily backups of all PCs on your home network as well as providing storage for all your media, especially shared media. It will also allow you to access your media and remote into your computers via a website you can easily set up (for the RC, the site is
That's all nice in and of itself, but the part I'm fairly excited about is that your can get/write custom add-ins for it. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for expansion. Add-ins are just starting to come out, and already I've seen add-ins to customize the web content that is published, stream the media on it to anywhere you log into it (including the Internet), stream the media to mobile phones, online photo albums, syncing albums with a Flickr account, backing up content to online data stores, and more. Sooooo many possibilities. I look forward to playing with it more.
By the way, I've noticed blogger has a much improved interface for spell checking, and an auto-save feature that is sure to save a lot of people some frustration.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tiring chase

I didn't head out 'till later in the day, and drove up to the NE corner of the TX panhandle. I saw a few lowerings and got some lightning pics, but that's about it. I tired now, so more later.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Thats all I have to say about the roads south of Sweetwater. I feel bad for the folks in Sweetwater tonight. I drove through shortly after a large tornado went through, and there was quite a bit of damage. A few miles north I caught it at dusk, and followed it for another 45 mins, stopping several times for some lightning backlit video. I broke off after that as it was going into some hard to chase territory, esp at night. Just arrived home, so off to bed, I'll try to post some video or caps tomorrow.

On the road again..

It's been a while since I've posted, and since I'm just sitting in Clinton waiting for storms to fire, I figured I'd write an entry. I've had one bust in the TX panhandle since then, nothing much to write about. Today I thought I'd try to head to NW OK / SW KS to chase, but after looking at data on the way to Woodward, I think everything is just coming together better down here. The CAPE values are insane, 5000 here, 5500 in SW OK. Helicity and shear values aren't great, but still good enough for tornadic supercells. Now if a storm would just pop up, I'd be racing to it. Waiting in Clinton..........

Friday, March 30, 2007

Gotta laugh

I gotta laugh when I go to the TX panhandle to catch a few tornados one day, then the next day there's a tornado just miles from my house, and I don't know about it until it's been on the ground. It even went within 1/2 a mile of my in-laws house, and leveled a shed that stored their horse feed and some equipment. I'm happy that more damage was not done. Oh well, I guess no one was ready for it, as there was no watch, and I have seen no video of it either, just pictures from residents in that area.
Now on to today. It's all dependent on how much things clear off, and how much destabilization we have. All the other factors look good for a good chase day. I'm waiting the morning out to see how things look.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A few tidbits from yesterday

Here are two pics I took yesterday, one of the back lit tornado towards the end of my shooting it, the other of some hail that had been on the ground about 10-15 minutes (the stuff I managed to avoid). I'll try to grab some video stills, as the tornado was more photogenic then.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

First catch of the season

I caught what is possibly the best torn of all my chases today near Memphis TX. I would have liked to blog more during this chase, but that' s hard to do when you are chasing solo. Right now I'm on my way back to OKC. I got lucky, as many chasers I was with/near right after dusk got their windshields busted out by softball size hail. Thanks to Steve Miller OK for some great nowcasting, particularly at that critical moment. Got some video uploaded on the way home, we'll see how that turns out. I'll post pics of the hail, and maybe a short vid tomorrow. Night all.

Stacking up to be the first real chase

Looks like I will be heading west today to the TX/OK border, perhaps a bit further. I will firm up my target later this morning, but from the models I saw last night NW OK looks good to me. Tomorrow also looks like a possible chase day, even closer to home.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I can hear!

... my ham radio in loud environments. I assembled the audio converter needed to convert the mono 1W speaker outputs of my radios to the line level stereo input on my head unit. Here is the schematic and a pic with the cover off.

I only got 4 hours of sleep last night, so when assembling it, I got a little too literal when reading my schematic. So now I have an extra output if I decide to port it somewhere else (just got my creative juices flowing about running a line to the laptop input to record it...). Anyway, now all I have left are the camera mounts.

Friday, February 23, 2007

First bust of 2007

I'm on my way back from Elk City. Of the first storms to go up, I chose to wait for the southern most storm to make it's way up to Elk City. As it approached Sayre, it started to fall apart. Congrats to those that got out early enough to get the torn in TX, I heard it was on the ground for a good 5 mins. I'm happy with my first run in the new probe. Met up with Matt Patterson in Elk City, and Bob Hall on the way back in Weatherford. Thanks to Steve Miller OK for the updates. I'm calling it a night. (Though I may shoot some lightning if and when the line moves through OKC.)


Going to wait for 20Z to come around before I decide to head out, though right now, it looks like I will be heading out west on I-40.

First day that needs a decision

I have mixed feelings about chasing today. Every year, we all go through the same process: we're anxious about the start of the season, so we chase systems that we probably shouldn't chase. The SPC is a little overly excited about today/tonight. A 15% and hatched area for tornados? I'm not so sure about that. The cloud cover is a big player for me today. If we get enough daytime heating, this could be a fun late afternoon. That's a big if. But it is the first potent storm system to come through OK this year, and it's hard not to get out there, if nothing else, just to get back into the swing of things. But still, the thought of chasing fast moving storms in a cloud covered environment doesn't thrill me much. Sigh.
My target right now if I do go out will be somewhere just north of Elk City. Best combination of all ingredients. I'll wait to early afternoon to make my decision.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I spent the holiday weekend cleaning up the garage, which led to enough workspace for me to work on the laptop platform for the probe (the platform that got destroyed 3 days after building it last spring). I also purchased a new head unit that has an aux input, which will allow me to input my ham radio and scanner (via a simple mixer I need to assemble). It will be nice not to have to strain to hear the radios when things get loud. In the past I have just had two external speakers attached to the radios, but one of the mounts for those got destroyed by my knee in the same accident that destroyed the laptop platform.
So basically the new storm probe is ready for chase season, although I have a few improvements to make (mixer, windshield camera mount, door camera mount, etc).
Speaking of... I may get a chance to put it to use this weekend, Saturday specifically. The way things look right now, I will be heading towards Tulsa (kinda vague this far out). We'll see, as it's very early in the season, and there's no telling where things will be a few days from now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Goodbye cruel winter

Have I mentioned how much I dislike the cold. I told my wife (who whole-heartedly agrees) we will never live north of this latitude. One of the only things that gets me through it is the anticipation of my favorite season: spring. Starting this weekend it's going to warm up, and I'm thinking, stay warm. Something to look forward to.
Oh, and happy b-day to my brother, Dirk.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I'm waiting on the CPC's next set of forecasts to come out on Thursday. They aren't always accurate, but what long range forecast is. More info on the current El Nino effect will be out, and we'll see how it afffects my feelings about this season. Being that we're still in, but possibly coming out of, a tornado drought cycle, most people I talk to aren't willing to give very firm answers or predictions. I've found that my long term forecasting skills still aren't good enough to tell me much, other than "feelings". We'll see. On another note, my blog is now published on my site: , so for those of you who may be linking to my blog, please change it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Back in the saddle

My new job has been keeping me busy, as I have had to adjust to new responsibilities. I love it though, as it is constantly challenging and keeps my mind on its toes. I also love the fact that it looks like it will allow me to chase more. I am looking forward to this season more than usual, probably because last year was such a crap year. I could say "I have a feeling...", but hell, almost any season would be better than last. Now that I'm settled in, hopefully I'll be posting more often.