Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chase Day

It figures it's a decent chase day and I'm stuck clear across the country in Cali. Who am I kidding, I probably wouldn't be chasing today, especially since we are without a chase vehicle (see here). Who likes chasing that far East anyway? Congrats Steve on the new truck, looks very nice! Not sure if I'm sorry I missed the first nasty weather for OK and am here in the 70s / sunny weather. I kind of enjoy nasty weather. There wasn't much else to post about yesterday, other than the casualty count grew to 3. Sorry if this post seems choppy, but lunch is almost over and I'm back to training.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Interesting Day

I will blog later this evening about most of the day, but here's some breaking news: a FA-18 fighter plane crashed in a neighborhood less than a mile South of our hotel. It happened while we were at training a couple miles North, but I snapped a few pics on the way home. The pic above isn't much, but you can see the work lights just to the right of the center of the pic. Authorities of course had the neighborhood closed off. The fighter was trying to land at Miramar air force base, and crashed in a residential community just to the West of the base. Scary stuff. So far, there are 2 civilian casualties, with 2 more still missing. It destroyed two houses. The pilot ejected prior to the crash, and is fine.

San Diego and Gallery

Enjoyed the trip to Co Springs last week, got home just fine. I got plenty of pics on the way home, including The Garden of the Gods, as well as the southern Rockies and a volcano in New Mexico (took the south route home).
I should have pics online before too long. I just got a server up and running at home to handle my new galleries: gallery.chasinghans.com and gallery.schroeder5.com (not up yet). Shouldn't be too long (this week hopefully) before both are fully operational and have some pics up. BTW, some apps can be a PITA when getting a Linux server up and going (been a while since I've had to deal with source code).
This week I am in San Diego for some training for work. Scott (fellow Net guy) and I arrived this eve. It was an interesting trip over. We nearly missed our OKC departing flight, as we showed up 5 mins after they were supposed to start boarding. They had closed the doors and "un-checked" us. We got on ok, but had to re-check in at Denver. Luckily it didn't affect our luggage, as it was waiting for us in S.D. Also, lucky for us, we got new seats in Denver for the 2nd flight, as the flight was nearly full. Once in San Diego, we used Priceline to grab a Sebring for $20/day, not bad, since the cheapest we found on the rental sites was $40/day. Embassy Suites Hotel San Diego-La Jolla has been great so far, aside from the $17/day parking and $25/3 days internet access. It's a very nice hotel though, across the street from the UTC-Westfield Shoppingtown mall.

Here's home for the next week:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Colorado Springs and Black Friday

Up in Colorado Springs, arrived Wed eve, no snow on the ground, and as you can see Pike Peak was even mostly clear. On Thanksgiving, we had a few flurries, and last night we got enough to cover the ground and roads with a couple inches. The girls are happy! It made getting out for the black Friday deals fun though. Surprisingly Wal-Mart was packed; no parking spaces. Once I got in there was two 50 people lines for the electronics dept. Good thing my brother Dirk, who was shopping online at his house, found the same deal (items intentionally left out) online with free shipping at Circuit City. So I headed over to Office Depot to grab the other items I was looking for (2 4GB CF cards and a 16GB mem stick), but they were sold out. I then decided to head to one of the other Office Depots in Colorado Springs, and, luckily, they had mislabeled the prices, so I got everything I needed! Yay! More pics later hopefully - heading to the Garden of the Gods.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tornados On The Tube

Tonight I watched the latest installment of Discovery's Storm Chasers. I think it's a great series that shows a realistic viewpoint of the frustration chasers face most seasons. That being said, this episode went a little overboard with the drama. At one point the narrator states Reed is getting pelted by 100 mph winds while filming outside his vehicle. There were quite a few other times during this episode I found myself chuckling at comments made. Don't get me wrong, I've said a few stupid things while the camera is rolling, and I don't fault any of what the chasers said while out there, but what the narrator says after editing / production is another story. Reed and team do show how to get it done though!
Another thing that caught my attention... Seriously, the DOW team has no one technical enough to troubleshoot a faulty monitor cable out in the field??? I realize I'm a computer geek, but com'on. With all the people that travel with them, surely one should be a tech, especially given the technical difficulties they seem to run into. If I didn't want to catch more tornadoes I'd offer to tag along... ;)
On another note, My Name Is Earl had a tornado theme tonight too... That was only good for some great laughs.

Friday, November 07, 2008

11/5/2008 Chase

Things shaped up nicely for a chase on Wednesday. Steve Miller OK and I met up with Aaron for what was to be a mud slinging good time. We started out by heading to Morrison, where we met Aaron, then headed towards I-35 and up N of Perry to catch a cell developing there. At this point it was still early, so not much rotation yet. We then decided to head down I-35 towards Guthrie to catch the monster cell headed there from El Reno. We intercepted it just N of Edmond, and followed it from there, the whole time watching cyclic wall clouds. This led to the mudding adventure through back roads S of Langston, S of HW 105. After Steve got over his white knuckles (the Dodge is rear wheel drive : ), we jetted E on 105 to catch up to it again (didn't take much - these storms we slow moving for Nov). Staying on it as it had more lowerings, up to Cushing and E on 33, it never did produce any funnels. Finally we called it in Drumright as it was past sunset.
All in all, a fun day, nice to be in the weather again. It's also good to know Steve can be forgiving when I keep saying "The road ahead should be paved", as road conditions worsen. I have video of a stern faced Steve for $30 / sec if anyone is interested. j/k :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

McCain Concedes

I'm currently watching McCain's concession speech. I still have the up most respect for him. He continues to show his willingness to reach out and try and unify. Now if only those supporters booing sections of it would come around. I hope Obama offers him a cabinet position, seriously. It would do wonders to heal the divide.


Obama is at 297 projected (polling just closed on the west coast), and Florida among others haven't been counted yet. I don't think we'll reach the filibuster proof 60 in the Senate, but now have plenty of wiggle room.

GW: This is what a "mandate" looks like. I do hope Obama sticks to what drew me to him, and reaches across the isle for many things. I really have no reason to think he won't. I really can't express how optimistic I am of the coming years.

Nice Fall Possibility

As I draw myself away from politics, I'm not so sure about tomorrow's potential for storms. It's been windy as hell here in central Oklahoma, but the moisture won't flow as far north as was previously projected. This is actually good for me, as I won't have to go far to chase tomorrow. Just for nostalgia's sake, I'm targeting my old stomping ground: Payne county.


Ohio has just been projected to go to Obama, and that pretty much clinches it. There are several other big states such as Florida that are close, but many of those are leaning Obama. It doesn't really matter at this point, the rest are just gravy. Now I'm just watching the house and senate races. Sorry to say, I can't see Rice winning the OK senate race. Oklahoma has a long way to go...


The wait wasn't too bad, only 40 minutes until I walked out the door. No glitches besides being asked to take off my Obama pin. Maybe a post in here regarding that, who knows.

The Wait Begins

Here's the line at 2:38 at my polling place. Not too bad, but more than i've ever seen here before.

Reverse Psychology Response

A friend and colleague of mine, who I respect and have a great deal in common with (just not political views), posted an entry regarding the upcoming elections and his thoughts on Obama. Normally I try to stay away from responses, but this one was irresistible. Sorry Steve. ;) His post can be found here.
I have the unenviable task at work to control the filters for incoming and outgoing email (I don't set the policies, just enforce 'em). A couple months ago, we set in place a policy to block the political spam / chain letters, and from time to time, I have to go through email to see if it's legit business or not and see much of the crap that gets caught. I've seen crap on both sides; how Obama is Muslim or the Antichrist, or McCain is racist, etc, etc. When I get the chance, I try to correct the errors when they are put forth, so here it goes...
The bullets:
  • If you have no aspirations to ever be anything more than what you are right now, vote for Obama.
    - Personal opinion, I'm sure many conservatives feel this way. I happen to think that the policies set forth by Obama, like those of President Clinton will lead to a more prosperous country, therefore a more prosperous population with more aspirations.
  • If you think slow-ass government should be in charge of keeping you healthy, vote Obama
    - Obama isn't for socialized medicine, just for providing insurance for those that can't afford it. How would my insurance be affected? It wouldn't, other than my employer may pay less for premiums (and so would I possibly). If I do expand my small business and make it full time, my premiums would be less, and my business would get a tax credit for providing insurance. Independent fact checkers (example) show generally that while both sides exaggerate, Obama's plan would cover more people for less or similar costs, especially in the long run.
  • If you don't think you will ever own a small business and like being the "worker bee", vote Obama
    - Not sure how eliminating the capital gains tax for small businesses and start-ups hurts those who want to start a small business, both sides have many incentives for small business.
  • If you have gone to school for years and years to be where you are today and don't mind that extra $7500 (if you make 250K+) being taken out of your check and redistributed to those who refuse to work for their living, vote Obama
    - Kind of odd since McCain just said this: "At a campaign speech Friday, October 24, in Denver, Colorado, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain criticized Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama for how his policies would impact the jobless. "Just yesterday, we received news that jobless claims increased by 15,000," McCain said. "Yet, just this week, Senator Obama announced that his plan would have a work requirement, meaning that those unemployed receive no help under the Obama plan …"
    While not totally true (Obama does provide plans to increase jobs and help those who are jobless to find them), you see my point. Yes, if you make more than $250k, you taxes will stay the same or go up (depending on how much more than $250k you make), but those cuts don't go to those sitting on their asses.
  • Want your Social Security tax increased or extended? Vote Obama
    - Not a bad thing in my opinion; I'm not for privatizing Social Security. Had it been privatized, there would have been a hell of a lot of seniors in serious trouble right now. Due to their stupid investing mistakes? Sure, some, but that's exactly what Social Security was designed to prevent. Every senior can at least meet living standards. If you want more, invest to your heart's content (I know I do)!
  • If you want to leave Iraq high and dry after rocking their world as they knew it, vote Obama (think New Orleans, post Katrina - Gov't assistance will just up and leave)
    - I don't think anyone is going to get left high and dry, however I do think that Iraq's government will have its feet held to the fire to get their own security forces in order. How can we deal with our own financial woes when we're pumping $10 billion per month into operations there. For comparison, 2 months would pay for Obama's education plan.
  • Someone breaks into your home and threatens your family and you shoot them - you go to jail under Obama's plan. There is no self defense allowed, vote Obama
    - This is just plain false. Factcheck.org states the following:
    "NRA Claim: "Ban use of Firearms for Home Self-Defense"
    False: Obama is proposing no such ban."
    To read more on the details of the origin of this statement, go to this
    link at factcheck.org
  • Last: Do you really think someone who has never authored a Bill in Senate qualifies to be the leader of the free world?
    - Again a false statement. The origin of this is a Palin convention speech where she stated "But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."
    Several bills he has authored:
    "Authored by U.S. Sens. Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Barack Obama (D-IL), the Lugar-Obama initiative expands U.S. cooperation to destroy conventional weapons. It also expands the State Department's ability to detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction." - Signed into law
    "Legislation authored by U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) that will stop the abuse of no-bid contracting in the aftermath of a disaster was included in the final Department of Homeland Security funding bill likely to pass the Senate today. After Senate passage, the bill will go to the President's desk to be signed into law." - Signed into law
    These are just some I picked out of the blue (easiest to find), notice they are all bi-partisan. There are more, some not signed into law, not to mention the many, many more he has sponsored.

On a final note, regarding the subject, reverse psychology, and the aftereffects of the election... I seriously doubt that those who have been sooo energized for the Obama campaign all this time would peter out the last day, election day. I know I won't, and my vote is pretty much useless in Oklahoma. As far as rioting, looting, the end of US civilization? No more than any other presidential election. The only ramification I fear, and most people democrat or republican I've spoken to agree; one or more assassination attempts. It's only a mild fear for me, however, seeing the issues with race, some wackos' view of him being Muslim, the Antichrist, etc; there is a definite possibility of an attempt. THEN I can see rioting, mayhem, etc coming to be.

But again, I emphasize my rosy outlook for the coming 8 years. :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Pendulum Has Swung

A few years back I wrote about the political pendulum and how it was, at the time, on the right side of the political spectrum. For reference: link. I didn't really expect it to swing so quickly back the other direction. I did expect a democratic president to be elected this year, but I didn't quite expect the congress to swing this far yet. There is a small possibility the dems could have a filibuster proof majority (not likely, but hey...). You read that right, I said did, as in I fully expect Obama to be elected tomorrow, not a hard one to predict. Here it is, now we have to prove ourselves. I truly believe that in the next 8 years, most everything will improve; the economy, the standard of living, the world's view of the US, and many other issues we face today. There will be bumps, but I have a rosy picture of what is to come. Happy voting!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The details

OSU just screwed up all Missouri's stats during the game.  Right from the start, OSU stopped Missouri from a scoring initial drive, which they have done all season, and forced them to go for the field goal.  Shortly after that, OSU lead the game for a good amount of time, and Missouri had only been in that position for, I believe, 17 seconds against Illinois at the start of their year.  They were in the trailing position for most of the game.  Then, the Cowboys forced the Tigers to go 3 and out for the first time all season, and the Tigers only made 2 out of 9 3rd down conversions all game.  Daniel, the Tiger's QB, had only had one interception all year...  3 this game.  Our defense has really come out in the past 2 games, and I really don't see it being ranked anywhere near as low as it was previously, we'll see.  If they can keep it up, I honestly see us having not only a good year, but a "where did they come from?" year.  I'm a happy man, especially since my wife just brought home some leftover filet from Mahogany Steakhouse.   Mmmmmmmm...  Go Cowboys!


I just finished watching the OSU v Missouri Game. One of the best games I have ever watched. The heart is pumping, I have been yelling and cheering, and the kids now bleed pure orange. A majority of the guys at work are Sooner fans, and sorry to say, they didn't fair so well today. This means the office is going to be an awkward place on Monday. I know at least 2 are going to be in a VERY foul mood, which means making sure I don't smile toooo much. ;) After today, I truly believe we can be OU at the end of the season, and, dare I say it, could there be a national championship game in our future? I think I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but wow, it's a possibility. All I know is that some people will be eating crow for giving me crap about saying OSU was going to beat Missouri today. Truly though, I wish OU had pulled through, it would have made for a much more festive day, and me shoveling a lot more crow.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I was preparing a post on politics, including the tone McCain's campaign has taken recently. I had lost any respect I had for the campaign, especially Palin, for the low ball tactics they have employed during the last few weeks...
I just saw a story on CNN about McCain's reaction to some of his supporters during a town hall meeting today.
It has renewed my respect for the man; not his campaign, but McCain himself. I saw the side of him I haven't seen since he entered the presidential race. Here are a few of the exchanges I saw:

McCain: "And we wanna fight, and I will fight, but we will be respectful. I admire Senator Obama and his accomplishments; I will respect him. And I want..."
crowd: (boooooooo)
McCain: "No. No. I want everyone to be respectful, and let's make sure we are, because that's the way politics should be conducted in America. So let's make sure..."
some in crowd: (cheers)

man: "We're, we're scared. Um. We're scared of an Obama presidency..."
(camera cut)
McCain: "I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."
woman in crowd: "WHAT???"
crowd: (booooooooooo)(jeering)
McCain: "Now I just... I just... Now I just... Now, now look I, I, if I didn't think I wouldn't be one heck of a lot better president I wouldn't be running, OK. And that's the point. That's, that's the point."
crowd: (cheering)

woman: "I can't trust Obama."
McCain: (nodding) "I got ya"
woman: "I, I have read about him, and he's not, he's not, he's uh, um... He's an arab.... He's not..." (she literally looses the thought)
McCain: "No ma'am, no, ma'am" (Shaking his head)
woman: "No?"
McCain: (taking microphone) "No ma'am. No ma'am. He's a, he's a, he's a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on, on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about. He's not; thank you."
a few in the crowd: (clapping)

I'm not sure that's what the whole campaign is all about, as the campaign continues to use Palin and ads to tear down Obama's character, even today, but I have to give McCain credit for starting to control the outbursts and comments by some of his supporters that feed that image. Maybe he's starting to realize what kind of message these tactics have started (more on this later) to send to the moderates he needs sooo badly to win, or he is showing his genuine character that I used to see, but whatever the reason, I applaud his statements.
I realize this is somewhat out of the blue, as I haven't posted my thoughts on anything political lately, but I felt this deserved to be mentioned. It most certainly doesn't change my vote, but I do again respect McCain as a man. Senator McCain, thank you for restoring my belief that we will be better off, no matter who wins this election.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Getting caught up

I fixed several links to images over the last year's worth of posts.
On a side note, I'm posting again to my philosophical / theological blog here.

No posts so far in an election year???

It's hard to believe this is the first post of the election year, just barely more than a month before election day. Between being busy, re-organizing, and just plain being tired, I haven't posted. Actually that's not entirely true, as I have posted some political stuff on my other blog:
Here - Towards the end some stuff about the primaries.
And here - After I had chosen to definitely go with Obama, funny, never would have seen Palin coming.
Now here we are in the middle of a financial crisis, weeks away from electing a new president (sigh of relief either way), and my theological views have changed a bit (no drastic changes, so don't worry ;).
Over the next several days, I'll write posts to cover each of these topics. I'm also debating starting a new weekly post regarding theology / philosophy.
I also hope to get my family / personal and chasing sites revamped in the near future and clean up any bad links in those and my blogs.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Slow motion lightning video

Wow, this has to be the best high speed / slow motion video I have ever seen of lightning. I originally found this on gizmodo.com, but have found it many times on youtube, and many of those trace it to many other sites that show the latest "cool" video. I'm looking to find the origin, to find who shot this video, as I would like to give them props. A few out there claim it may be fake, but it looks plenty genuine to me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Night before last my car was broken into. They managed to pry the window out just enough (no door frame) and unlock the door. They tore apart the console to rip out the $150 head unit. If anyone doesn't know, I drive a POS ford probe I bought for $250. It was great for when I used to commute and for storm chasing, as I don't care what happens to it, about the high milage, and it gets around 30 mpg. Why they thought it would have a decent stereo is beyond me. What is even more beyond me is that they missed the $2200 laptop with around $600 in accessories, the golf clubs, the $800 HD vid cam, and the $200 ODBII automobile computer scanner all lying in the back seat (granted all were in respective bags). Hell, I feel happy it turned out the way it did. If the punk(s) who did it ever read this, know you missed a treasure trove. Won't happen again though, now everything comes inside. Haha!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

5/24 Chase

I chased a single cell from Hennessey to Perry OK Saturday. I missed the first tornado from this cell that destroyed a large pig farm, but caught 4 more tornadoes, possibly 5, as it made it's way VERY slowly towards and past Perry. The first torn, between Hennessey and Marshal, was a small wedge white funnel against a dark background. The second, north of Marshal, was after the storm became very HP, and had bad contrast. This was the one KFOR was reporting as a mile wide. The wall cloud base was possibly a mile wide, and very low, so I could see how some might have called it that. Video I shot clearly shows a 1/4 mile wide multi-vortex violent tornado, but had poor contrast for most of the time it was visible. Finally about a few miles NW of Orlando, I caught one tornado dying out to the SW of me, while a new one formed just to my WNW. This was by far the most photogenic funnel of the day, with great contrast, and a long rope out at the end. This was my first catch with the new HD cam, and after looking at the vid, I'm ecstatic I decided to go with HD. You can see the wisps circulating around the funnel as it ropes out. I'll try to get a vid cap when I get the time, though it may be a while. Just south of Perry, there was another tornado reported, but I didn't get a visual on it. I had several great shots of the storm at this point, so it must have been embedded. Oh well. After that the storm began to fall apart, so I headed home. KOCO did buy a segment of the good footage, so gas is paid for this trip!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Storm chaser arrested

Brian Barnes of Violent Skies Tours was arrested on May 6 for basically storm chasing. The official violation was obstruction of a highway or other passage way. He was parked at a rest stop, with plenty of room for other vehicles to get by.
Here are a few links to stories covering the incident:
News West 9 - has some good video of the arrest
CBS 7 - another account
ABC 33/40 - has Brian's original post to a weather list
Here is some edited commentary I posted on the same weather list I subscribe to:

An arresting officer has to have a valid reason for arresting someone, and not following his orders is not one of them. Here's a nice little wiki on false arrest:
I don't know Texas arrest laws in detail, but some things are common in all 50 states. Miranda rights for one, if Brian was asked any questions, I wonder if Brian was read his? Also, Brian should have been told at the time of arrest why he was being arrested; the exact criminal offense. As the wiki article mentions, in the case of a misdemeanor, he should only have been detained long enough for identification and to issue a summons (ticket). If it actually took 5 hours for them to tell you what you were charged with, then this should be an easy false arrest case (imo).
(Whether the officer was) Untrained about the weather or not, unless the passengers of the van are being held against their will (they, in fact, wished to be there, or they would not be on a tour), he can't just arrest Brian because he refuses to move. He could barricade the entrance to the rest area, etc, but unless Brian was breaking the law, he can't force him to move. He could even issue him a citation to be fought in court later for a misdemeanor parking violation if he thinks he's parked wrong, but again, he can't arrest him for just not following his orders. If that were the case, police could use that to arrest anyone, anytime.
I can think of any number of ridiculous scenarios following that logic.

I would like to think I would have done the same thing had I been in Brian's shoes, but sometimes I'm too nice... Although in this situation, after seeing the video, I think I might have just done the same thing.

Friday, May 02, 2008

May 1st chase

I wasn't going to chase yesterday, as I wasn't all that excited about the way things were setting up, and didn't think anything was going to go up anyway. As I was heading to my wife's dance studio in OKC to pick up our kids after work, I saw towers going up. A quick look at data and it was an easy decision to go chase.
I headed to Eastbound I-40 to try to intercept the cell that went up by Moore. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as I intercepted it as it was just north of Tinker AFB. It had a nice lowering with decently rapid rotation and was putting down plenty of hail. During that time, I was also listening to radio rebroadcasts of a local TV met and station chaser who were going nuts about the storm. At one point they mentioned debris on the ground and then went on to assume it was a clear funnel / tornado, and called it a tornado on the ground. I was looking directly at the rotating base (yes it was rotating), but didn't even see a funnel. My guess is it was straight line RFD that managed to blow down a backyard shed, which is what they saw as debris. That's just my informed judgement. I followed the cell up to Chandler and the majority of the time it had lowerings / a wallcloud on it. As it travelled further Northeast, the cloud base got higher and higher, so when I got to Chandler, I broke off as daylight was fading.
Now onto the second part of my post. TV mets are getting worse and worse about going nuts over relatively non-dangerous situations. Don't get me wrong, they provide a great service to warn the public, as they are the most visible venue for storms. I just get irritated when I hear them screaming "Tornado on the ground!!!", when I can plainly see there isn't one, and if there was, it wouldn't do much damage to even a car, much less a house. I just wish they would tone it down a bit and present the facts as they are warranted. If I believed the radio broadcasts, every time we have a severe storm coming through the OKC metro, a strong tornado is always present... bleh. [off my rant box now] Also, some stations are worse about it than others.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Later this week

Looks like the end of the week could turn into a multi-day chase, even relatively close to home. I don't set things in stone this far out, but I'll definitely keep things open. If it bleeds over into Sat, I may have a conflict, as the girls have competition, and I need to be available.
With a low coming through, plenty of moisture (although unknow exactly where it will be) coming up from the gulf, and several other factors coming together, I'm excited. Wednesday will likely depend on the cap / enough moisture, but I'm confident I'll be chasing at least 1 day later this week.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Nothing popping up around here, guess the cap is gonna hold. Looks like a few cells went up at the KS/NE/CO junction, with several having TVS's. Good luck to all who are up that way.

Looking better

Looks like my forecast / target isn't too far off. SPC has a MD out for a bow N/S from Canadian county just to my W, and NWS OUN put this little graphic out depicting a similar area. If I believe the RUC, the best posibility of a torn today is just south of Payne County (Stillwater), and moisture convergence is occuring just N of me / OKC. I will be going out if ANYTHING fires around here.

Today's action

It's been a while, but I've been actively chasing so far this season, just haven't had time to post it. I just finished up a rather large project at work, so hopefully the coming weeks will have more updates.
I''m currently trying to decide whether to go out today or not. The action was supposed to be up in Nebraska and Kansas, but things are looking quite a bit more impressive here in central / north central OK. In fact, the more I look at helicity, CAPE, the dryline bulge, etc, the more I think everyone up north is about to get screwed, and we are looking good down here.
Plus there's the fact that Steve (Miller OK) is on his cruise this week, which bodes well for chasing. :) Problem is I'm not sure if I trust my probe this year, as it's starting to show it's age and abuse.
I'm just concerned about the cap this far south. If I were to throw caution to the wind, I'd head up to Enid and sit.
I'll update more this eve, after I've decided.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Domain change

BTW, anyone linking to this blog may want to change the URL, as it has switched to www.chasinghans.com/blog
I have enabled a 301 redirect, so it should come here automatically anyway, but it may not stay that way forever.

Long term predictions - both weather and political

I have quite a few thoughts on the upcoming storm season. We are in a La Nina cycle right now, which can explain the early season, East of the norm, tornado outbreaks we've seen so far (all things that normally occur during La Nina). For the early season, it should be dryer and warmer than normal. I don't like the farther East than normal factor, I hate chasing in the forrest covered hill/mountain areas. The scary part is there could be more outbreaks, but not likely. Farther into the normal chase season for us, April - June, the El Nina conditions are forecasted to lighten up, which could improve our Oklahoma chase season, but will still be rather dry, meaning I think we'll see more chase days bust do to the cap holding. This could be good in some aspects, as the way things do go, we should see more discreet cells with fewer of those "gunk" days where it's hard to determine where to go just by looking out the window. I'm a little up in the air about a mid-May, early June outbreak, but if we do have one in the southern-central plains, my guess is that will be the timeframe (the more I think about it, the earlier I want to shift that timeline).
Now on to the political predictions. Several weeks before the super Tuesday elections, I decided to go for Obama. Not because he's going to win, which he will, but because I haven't really liked the retoric and tone I've been hearing from the Clinton camp. I really like the new/fresh perspective Obama comes across with, and the more I listen to his debates, speeches, etc, the more I really think he is a logical and intelligent leader, something we've been without for quite some time. It's good to see the tide turning, and we will likely see a McCain / Obama matchup for November. McCain's chances then will depend largely on who he picks for a runningmate. If he does pick Huckabee and can draw in a large portion of the conservative religous right (he will have to change his tone on many issues, which I suspect he will once he has his party's nomination secured), he will have a fighting chance come the big race.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hope this isn't a sign

Tuesday eve / night, there is a tornado outbreak of historic proportions, and where am I? Too busy to post during the day and day after because I'm busiest I've ever been at work, and the evening of, I took my girls to a movie of the Hanna Montana concert we had pre-purchased tickets to. Not to mention the after hours work I've been doing taking up any other spare time I may have. I know, wah, wah, wah... On the bright side, we should get a 3rd net specialist hired at work next week. That should free up some time. :) The other benefit is that I'm building up time for this spring.
Steve, great coverage man! Also, all the others who were able to cover this. Hopefully, this won't happen again anytime soon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Trying again

Let's try this one without the backlit tv. ;)

Testing the new phone

Nice, rotates and everything. Sorry for the unfinished cabinet, just fitted it for the tv.


A few weeks ago, I changed from a Blackberry Pearl to a Blackjack II. I Love the change to Windows mobile 6, but the Blackjack II only has Windows Mobile 6 Standard, and I couldn't really customize it that much. I was expecting to have PDA functionality, but found it lacking. So I went ahead and went up to the Tilt. Let me say, I am thoroughly impressed. This is what I was expecting. It has WM 6 Pro, which has the full functionality of a PDA. It also has 802.11 connectivity, which makes it tons faster while at home and work (Blackjack didn't). Many more nice features are included like a 3 megapixel auto focus camera (it actually moves the lens to focus), GPS with the ability to tether it to a laptop for GPS, and of course the ability to tether for connectivity. I love this phone. I still think AT&T's data network leaves a little to be desired, and will stick with sprint for my personal phone and data card, but for business, this phone can't beat anything I've seen so far. Believe it or not, it comes with the installer for Blackberry connectivity, so tomorrow I will switch back to my Blackberry unlimited data plan to test that out. Leaving the Blackberry messenger is the only reservation I had in leaving the Blackberry, and now it looks like I will have it all!! Bwahahaha!
For valentines day, I will probably get my wife a Sprint Touch phone. She's been asking about the iPhone, which is locked to AT&T, but the Touch looks like it might be a competitor to it, and as long as the phone offers touchscreen and music, my wife will be happy. Plus it's WM 6 Pro also, so she can access her personal email, etc. I'll let everyone know how that phone turns out.
Stay tuned for a pic from the new phone, as I test blogging from it. Should be nice!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Don't peek...

Anyone who is young and is invested in growth stocks should just ignore / not look at your statements, unless you actively manage your portfolio, in which case it's a little too late. I'm serious, put your head in a hole. Here, I'll give you a glimpse: my most aggressive portfolio is a Roth I have with Vanguard. It's a side retirement account I have just for my aggressive tendencies and because I'm young. For the past five years it's done wonderful, but then December hit, and it's only gotten worse. It went from a share price in late Oct of 34.39 to currently 29.80 (and that was on the 18th). So say I have 1000 shares of this. That means I've lost a little over $4500 in the past couple months ($34390 to $29800). This month has been terrible. High of 33.90 to today's low, which means most of what I lost has been in the last couple weeks. I'm young and a big believer in just put it there and ignore it (as long as it's doing well over the long haul). It's hard to do with this downturn, as that takes a huge chunk of any returns down. I can only hope that it's temporary, and all will be gained back by the end of the year. I'd say this lends credit to the big "R" word being talked about in the media every time you turn them on.
Don't feel sorry for me, as my main retirement account is much more diversified, and not seeing nearly the losses I talked about above. But again, if you're one of those that doesn't actively manage, then seriously, find something else to preoccupy you.
BTW anyone wanting to look at the fund mentioned above in more detail, look up ticker symbol VIGRX.
I suppose it's only worse now with the current news. Even the Fed must be scared as hell if they just made an emergency cut of 3/4 point. That's huge considering their previous strategy. I'm just glad a recession won't affect me that much. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Holy crap, is it already 2008?

I'm starting to think I'm staying too busy. Life is flying by. In the past year, I feel like I've accomplished quite a bit and am starting to catch up to everything I'd like to finish. It's amazing when you get an extra couple hours back a day how much more you can accomplish. I think this country's productivity would go up tremendously if more employers would allow telecommuting, escpecially in areas like Atlanta, LA, etc. Sorry, random thought. I am seriously anticipating this year's chase season. For the first time I will be in a position to go chasing when the opportunities present themselves. I could sometimes in past years, but this year I have built up time with the employer, and as long as there are no emergencies, I'll be chasing.

One more thing, since I never blog in my other blog, I think I'll somewhat combine them. Not too heavy on my rants, but make this a little more personal. Great, there go my nonexistent readers. :)

About the primaries: I'm now torn between Clinton and Obama. I was all for Clinton, as I am what Rush used to call a "Clinton Koolaid drinker". Seeing as how she can draw on her, and more importantly for me, her husband's experience, it was an obvious choice for me. However, the more I hear from Obama, the more I realize what an intelligent man he is. Plus I like change, and of all the canidates, he would most definitely bring it. Hopefully I will have a more resolved opinion by the time the primaries reach Oklahoma February 5th.

This also means you'll be reading more books, such as this. I'll try to keep the personal opinions at the end so you can skip them if you wish.