Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

Yesterday’s weather was fine. Today’s was a little wet. I made my world famous avocado toast for breakfast. Yesterday, just as we were about to launch towards the Festival of Nations, Harry called. He had gotten a spam call on his new phone and then notice that he had missed a call from Anne the day before. The two talked for a while, while I fidgeted. Eventually, they signed off. Anne told me that Harry missed my cooking and dishwashing. It’s nice to be missed.

Today, we checked radar. It looked threatening, but we launched anyway. We got to the farthest point in the park, when the rain caught us. Turning around, we rode home in a light, but steady rain. I figured that we would get caught by some rain, but when we left home the storms were small and scattered. While we were out riding, they had congealed into a more solid front. Still, while on our bikes, we escaped the heavy stuff. Interestingly, before we launched, I went to unlock the basement door, but the key just spun without throwing the bolt. Fortunately, I had a replacement lock, which after a little bit of fumbling, I got installed.

We lunched on the last of the gazpacho and were just getting ready to drive to gyrotonics, when the heavens opened up. So we bagged that opportunity for some cross-training. When the rain let up, we drove to the grocery store, where Anne got her hair cut next door, while I shopped. I finished first and went to the hair salon to wait. The rain started up and we got wet again.

Tomorrow, Anne starts school. She’s starting at the beginning again, with her first assignment at the Early Childhood Center. One of her automated sub apps always contracts this school’s name into an acronym that it pronounces as Eck! With her repeated dousings today, Anne has ably demonstrated that she is immune to the Wicked Witch of the West syndrome, “What a world! What a world!” Those little munchkins better watch out, or she’ll get you my pretties. 

Everthing Is Just Beachy

Superior Sunset with One Dark Spot

Dave is back in Boston, mostly. I had to mail his iPad to him today. I then went to Meijer’s. Shopping there feels safer than shopping at Walmart these days. These are the only two choices. Not that we normally frequent Walmart, but now that we’re on Medicare, Anne may need to go there to fill a perscription or to exercise her cute girl privileges.

Anne, Dan and Brit finished a jigsaw puzzle today, in record time. This 1,000 piece puzzle that Brit had bought is entitled, “Age of Discovery” and features a British ship-of-the-line sailing vessel. It was an interesting puzzle for a couple of ancillary reasons. The pieces were a cardboard-wood laminate, making the fit between pieces very crisp. The other novel feature was that the puzzle was back-printed with a matrix of the letters A through H. We started only using the back to confirm that a piece was placed correctly, but that was a slippery slope. Since, each of the eight letters identified which quadrant the piece belonged in, we soon had sorted the remaining pieces into their appropriate piles. This greatly expedited the puzzle’s completion. Anne plans on trotting out the Redwoods puzzle again. She, Jay and Carl had solved it, but it should be good for one more play with Dan and Brit. Besides, it is unlikely that she will be able to entice them with the only other alternative, the Thomas Kinkade puzzle, even though it features NYC Central Park, because Dan loathes him as an artist.

The weather has been unusually fine here, since Dan arrived on Friday. Since, Dave and Maren were here for only a very short time, I’m glad that their brief stay was marked by good weather. What makes the weather here so nice is the wind. It has been a wee bit cool here, but I’m fine with that. We’ve enjoyed a fairly constant 10+ knot wind that has kept the bugs away. I can’t remember the last time that I got a mosquito bite. I could under deep hypnosis, because I have probably repressed all those memories, but why bother. The Perseids meteor shower is supposed to peak tonight and with the wind the way it is, their viewing would be ideal, but unfortunately tonight’s forecast looks rather cloudy. Clouds to make for better sunsets though. Maren gets credit for today’s pic.

Stormy Weather

Lime EZ

This morning, Anne went to yoga and I went for a bicycle ride. She had set an alarm and had gotten up early, while I just blithely rolled out of bed after she left. I had made arrangements to go cycling with CJ, a neighbor on the beach. When we hooked up this morning, he confirmed his willingness to still ride.

I hadn’t checked the weather, but I should have. The original plan was to ride out to the lighthouse, but when we got to the Dancing Crane coffeehouse, we heard thunder and there were dark clouds to the west. We ordered coffees, which we sipped without any great sense of urgency. I was of the mind to let the storms roll over us, while we were having coffee, but the weather wasn’t moving as fast as I had thought and after a while we grew restless and decided to take chance it and race the weather back home.

The new pavement through the Res has an extra wide bike shoulder, but only on one side of the road. We rode with the traffic on the way out, but I decided to try riding against the traffic on the way back. I found that seeing the cars come at you was disconcerting. I’m used to always riding in the direction of traffic and even though I have rearview mirror, seeing the cars come at you was a little bit scary. Especially, when some of them weaved across the line and on to our shoulder. All of this was happening while I could see ominous black clouds in my bike mirror and they were gaining on us.

We made it dry through Brimley, where we kicked the speed up a bit, but the storm finally caught us, with just a few more miles to go. It got dark and there was thunder. Most cars had their lights on, which wasn’t all that reassuring. I was just starting to feel drops, when we turned off of 6 Mile. At that point I was so relieved to be off of the road with the fast traffic that I really didn’t mind the rain anymore. Which was a good thing, because at that point the storm was beginning to pass us. It began to grow lighter, but also to rain more hard.

We both got soaked. CJ had invited me to tour his new house, which is pretty fancy, with a three-story “lighthouse” tower, but I told him that I would take a raincheck on that offer. That got a chuckle out of him. He turned off at his driveway and I continued on. When I got back to the cabin, Anne, Harry and Bubs were there to greet me. Anne had been worried about me. Really, we were pretty lucky, because after it passed over us, it blossomed into a full fledge thunderstorm, with high winds and hail. I’ve been hailed on before while biking and it is no fun at all. Those helmet vent holes that let the cooling wind pass through also let hail through too. Expecting another round of storms tonight. 

A Superior Sunset

A Superior Sunset

It rained last night and it was a pretty good rain at that. We are on the sleeping porch, where there is no insulation, so the rain falls hard on the roof, making quite the racket. I was awakened and decided to get up to pee. I got as far as the doorway between the great room and the kitchen, when I saw the telltale light peeking out from beneath the bathroom door. It was occupado. I could then hear Bubs humming. It was too wet to want to venture outside, so I decided that I didn’t really need to go and headed back to bed. Climbing back into bed, I heard the toilet flush, so I kept a listening ear for the distinctive rattle of the hollow core doors. I soon heard it bump, but then I heard Bubs call out, “Who’s there?” and then, “Who the hell is there?” I can only surmise that she must have bumped the bathroom door by accident and thought that it was someone else knocking. I am convinced that Bubs hears pretty well. She just has problems understanding.

After the rain quit, the wind came up and for a while this afternoon, we were under a gale warning. They were predicting 40 knot wind gusts. We lucked out though and the bad weather missed us completely. It’s still kind of windy out, but not dangerously so. It’s almost a beach day.

Following up on yesterday’s mosquito post, I read in the new New Yorker today, a book review of Timothy Winegard’s new book, The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator. He is the author of the NY Times article that I quoted from yesterday that I guess he wrote as sort of a promo for his book that comes out next week. The book review takes exception to Winegard’s habit of blaming mosquitoes for everything bad that has occured in human history.

I looked up mosquitofish. They are indigenous to the Mississippi River valley, but are considered invasive on the Great Lakes. Where they’ve been introduced, it has been with mixed results. They frequently displace other predators and often disrupt the ecology when doing so. Still, I could order a twenty pound bucket of them from Amazon and have it delivered here this week. Just in time for the next mosquito hatch, that will be resulting from last night’s rain. 😉

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Sundown Salty at Anchor

Much of the country, from the Midwest to Eastern Seaboard is in the grip of a scorching heatwave. Today, NYC is expecting a high temperature of 100 °F, while Saint Louis is looking at a heat index of 110 °F. It is high summer, mid-July and as such, a single weather event such as this is not all that exceptional, but it is not just an isolated occurrence. It is part of a increasingly clearer pattern of climate change that in this case has been also aptly dubbed global warming.

NPR had an article on this heatwave and how it is affecting people in northern latitudes more adversely, than individuals who live further south. Basically, this is because northerners are not as well prepared to deal with this kind of heat, as are American who live further south and have had to deal with it on a regular basis. In Brooklyn, our son Dan does not have air-conditioning, while in Saint Louis, our friend Joanie fortunately does. It is certainly hotter in Saint Louis than New York, but having the means to deal with the heat makes a difference.

In 1980, when Anne and I first moved to Saint Louis from Michigan, we were ill prepared for what turned out to be an exceptionally hot summer, even by Saint Louis standards. Neither our apartment nor our black car had air-conditioning. We were young then though and lived in a nice enough neighborhood that we could safely leave our windows open at night. We survived. 112 fellow Saint Louisans were not so fortunate and died heat related deaths. Their deaths did serve to spur city officials to take corrective measures, so that during the heat wave of 1995 only 31 people died from heat in Saint Louis. That same year, in Chicago, almost 700 Americans died from the heat.

Boulder, CO

Male Western Tangier

This is a very wet year. The entire Mississippi River valley is in flood. The height of the Great Lakes are expected to be at record levels. As our gaze turns westward, the implications of this very wet spring are also becoming apparent. When the spring rains and expected higher than normal summer temperatures combine, the rain will fuel vegetation growth, which will become fuel for fire. We saw this last year in Glacier. It rained most of the days that we were there, but come August the place was a tinder box and many notable landmarks were destroyed. Our planned visit to Rocky Mountain seems to be similarly cursed. At least we’ll get to see this “Notre Dame” before it too is burnt.

Today was an epic day of driving, almost 900 miles. Much of the day was spent dodging yellow thunderstorm boxes or not. This weather was all across western Kansas. The most interesting episode entailed having to emergency break on ice. It had hailed, but to such an extent that it looked like snow. Anyway, we made it. We won’t be camping in the Rockies. It’s too cold. The motel is inexpensive, but nice. We saw the tangier in the parking lot after dinner. I’m ready to leave the Midwest storms behind. We’ll explore Boulder and the mountains tomorrow.

We’re listening to Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The thought is what better story for a roadtrip than a book about a roadtrip. Kerouac’s story even covers some of the geography that we traveled today. We’re only a quarter of the way through the book, so there are still many more miles to travel yet on the road. Long day.