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Photo I Like Uncategorized

Still Cold As Hell

It’s still cold, cold, cold.  At least the latest (guffaw) “Storm of the Century” glanced by us, dropping about an inch of powder, after the regional meteorologists bent over backwards and lost their shit playing Chicken Little and pledging a foot of heavy wet snow.  I love wearing sweaters, but this is getting a little old and getting there fast.

So, despite the recent over-abundance of scantily clad women on this blog–(okay, there were about 2, maybe 3–at least I’m trying)–I offer this balm to the season, straight from some kid on Tumblr.

tumblr_lo1va7iUCa1qdrotro1_500_original

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Photo I Like

Bonus Picture–Bikini Ski Girl

I’m always harping on my kids about wearing “weather-appropriate clothing,” unlike the kid from up the street who I see trudging home without a coat, regardless of temperature–stubborn silly boy.

I should have posted this last week during the Olympics…too bad.  Found on Pinterest.

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Photo I Like

Random Photo Found via Google Search 3

Random photos from the internet to you, via me.

Vintage-Motorcycle-Girls-Wallpaper-Bikers-Picture-Dekstop-Background

About these posts and the photos in ’em: http://wp.me/p3AOvB-FN

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Uncategorized

The Weather-Tainment Industry

IMG_0060It’s snowing outside–actually, it’s not–but I could have written that a day ago, or on almost any day in the young year of 2014 as we slog our way through the coldest, snowiest winter in recent memory.  As of Wednesday, Feb 11, we have enjoyed just 2 days with temperatures above freezing, both of which were accompanied by nights in the low twenties, with much of out time spent below 10 F.  This isn’t particularly bitter weather, especially if you’re from–say–Minneapolis or Calgary or Murmansk, nor is it particularly extreme for us, except that it has been nearly constant ever since the spooky night of our Christmas Party–December 21, when temperatures climbed through the day and maxed out close to 68 at midnight before crashing hard and fast enough to score a (barely, but still…) coveted White Christmas.

IMG_0054The constancy is what gets us.  I live in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, in northern Appalachia, at the eastern edge of the American mid-west.  Geographically, we’re often grouped as part of the Middle Atlantic States–although it takes me a 6 hour drive to smell saltwater.  Our weather reflects the best and worst of all these divisions–hot, humid summers, rainy springs and autumns, fierce winters, occasional drought, blizzards blown down over the great lakes from Canada, and every ten years or so a N’or’ Easter storm that blows up from the south and can deliver snow by the foot.  It’s a crapshoot, but the one thing we’ve come to rely on are the respites–a few cold days, maybe a cold week, for example, is usually followed by a minor melt.

IMG_0056This year, it has just been nasty, and I have to admit that for the most part I have enjoyed it. In my selective–and possible masochistic–reckoning this is how all winters are supposed to be, and how they always were: seasons of relentless cold and giant piles of snow.

What I have not enjoyed is rampant commercialism of the weather reporting industry, both nationally and locally.  Teasing important weather-related news, branding weather as an entertainment feature, exaggerating situations to shock and awe patrons, and even running commercials featuring narrative and imagery from past storms to scare potential viewers into watching “news at eleven” newscasts has reached a shameful zenith, and I fear it will only become worse.

IMG_0039The Weather Teases have been around for a while, and they strike me as both the most dangerous and the most important.  It’s as simple as any news tease: an anchor or meteorologist pops up in a commercial and offers up some cryptic tease, often phrased as a question, of information that viewers ought to have earlier.  For example, “Will local roads turn dangerous as temperatures drop?  Find out at eleven!”  If someone has someplace to go, that’s important information being withheld, in the name of drawing viewers.  If the answer is “No, the roads will be fine,” the broadcaster is guilty of being sneaky and deceptive, but I don’t see a potentially dangerous result.  If, on the other hand, those h0015BE3Ddropping temperatures mean ice on the road after an evening of drizzling rain, people need that information–maybe to get where they’re going early, maybe to get kids home before things get worse.  Those TV Talking Heads shouldn’t be teasing between commercials during Wheel of Fortune–they should be telling us the facts, baby, “Look, compadres–it’s been raining, temps are dropping sharply and the winds are picking up.  It’s getting slippery and it’s going to be worse.”

The next one is more of a pet peeve than a cynical, possibly dangerous practice, and that’s the sudden fashion to report “wind chill factors” rather than actual temperatures.  Every boy who ever broke out of his plastic bubble knows it feels colder when the wind blows–but that TV meteorologist, who used to do traffic on a local FM station–ahem–will have a much easier time holding your attention if he skips telling you about the actual 20 degrees thermometers read in favor of a hyperbolic windchill of +3 degrees–wind chill factor. That sure makes us sit up straight in our seats, eh?  So cynical.

Next up, this is for you, Weather Channel.  If you haven’t noticed, The Weather Channel recently began a policy of naming winter storms, you know, like they name hurricanes, and then copywriting those names.  Though it hasn’t worked out very well (the idea has failed to resonate with audiences, i.e. nobody gives a damn), one can see why they would try this.  People love that hurricane thing–especially when particularly fierce storms turn out to have the same names as our ex lovers and in-laws–damned right Isabelle tore a path of death and destruction through the Dominican Republic; they should see what she did to my heart!  Folks also got a big charge a couple of years ago when a modest storm dumped a bunch of snow on Washington, DC and the media pinned the headline “SNOWMAGEDDON” over the whole thing, as if frozen zombie corpses were roamng the streets of the capitol while Jesus lifted all the pure, clean snowmen into heaven–a gross over-reaction by any accounting, but a perfect precedent for potentially profitable pandering to the public during future storms–and using the hurricane model (copywritten!) releases the dullards from actually having to cook up another catchy name…where do you go from there?  Snowzilla?  The Snow Ness Monster?  The Snow Death?  Snowsquatch?  It thrills me to no end that this marketing plan has been met with complete and total indifference by American consumers.  This year they came up with “The Polar Vortex” which doesn’t sound that monstrous, but certainly has the appropriate ring of a 1950’s science fiction thriller.

Of course I’m making a hopeless argument that few folks care enough to support–most people are sane enough, and restrained enough, to simply ignore this crap, like it’s background static, and get on with their lives.  Not me.  I have to complain about it–but I always believe the ticket to a good bitch-and-moan is a viable alternative to the status quo–and this one is easy: stop reporting weather and news in general as a marketing tactic–stop the “there’s a bad man in a neighborhood that any minute now is going to kick in a door and kill everyone inside–details at 11pm.”  That might have worked before the internet, but when I’m watching TV and the talking head comes on and says “a severe ice storm is bearing down on the region–find out where it will hit the worse at eleven” I’m not waiting until eleven-damned-o’clock to find out if I’m doomed.  I’m headed straight to the internet.  TV stations are going to learn or continue to lose viewers.  As for the storm names: guys, just stop it.  You’re embarrassing yourselves.

Inappropriate, extraneous, irrelavant, possibly sexist, definitely superfluous winter bonus: I did an image search looking for an illustration of a broadcaster with “details at eleven” and, oddly enough, the first picture through the filter was the one below.  Score.

g-travel-us-hawaii-oahu-honolulu-waikiki-girl-1983

 

 

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Photo I Like

Random Photo Found via Google Search 1

I love photographs.  I could roam around flickr all day, and I have.  For this “feature” I will do a random search of the internet, pick the coolest picture on the page, and share it with you.  Occasionally, if all of the images from the initial search–now, what’s the technical term?  Oh!–if all of them suck melons, I will either scroll down until I find a suitable photo, or substitute one from the hundreds that are clogging up my hard drive. For no good reason at all, these pictures are going to appear on…let me think…um, how about Wednesdays?  And Sundays, at least at first.

Random 1

Some notes on these photographs:

  • This blog is for personal entertainment, not commercial reasons. I derive no income from this site.  Not a penny.  
  • The pictures in this feature are obviously not mine, and I have made no effort to secure the rights–I’ve posted them because I like and enjoy them.  If any of these are yours, let me know and I can add an attribution or remove them, as appropriate.  Thanks!
  • I’m a man–with blustery, testosterone-stained, primitive, often immature, and generally not-fit-for-company tastes and preferences.  I like flowers and mountains and little baby animals, but I also like pictures of beautiful women, old motorcycles, stupid trucks, and so forth.  If the photo most appealing to me from a particular search is a bikini-chick in high heels riding an old Indian motorcycle, I’m going to go with it and welcome a dialogue re: my neanderthal sensitivities and the relevant socio-political implications of my actions. Just saying.
  • Likewise, it is highly unlikely that there will be an equitable inclusion of oiled-up muscular hunks to balance out any typical man stuff that appears in this feature.
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My Poetry Poetry

Lightning Trai-ku

A pencil-stemmed girl
Stands fist raised on a table
Curses defiance

Goblin black stormclouds
Enshroud peaks, squash alpenglow
Pour, blow, flash hate love.

She cackles at the wind
Bring it, motherfucker, yes
You surly bastards!

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My Poetry Poetry

Morning Portrait, 8800′

Image

Morning Portrait, 8800′

Strong, slight sundressed girl, all sinew, all arms and legs,
steps from the den of  cool last night, sweat and woodsmoke,
dawnlit, shoeless, wincing into sub-alpine August;
She squints, fidgits, runs fingers through thick twists,
tangles of gold from straw and
squares rope over bone shoulders towards the east.

She is twenty-three years old, a woman rubbing sleep from her eyes,
calming morning medusa-strands with a plain ragged ribbon.

She wears freckles, no paint:
No hips to speak of, can’t do without a belt;
a thumb to forefinger encircles her wrist,
you can read her collarbone from a mile off.
Yet those shoulders lugged sixty pounds,
twig figure legs, quick on the slopes,
laughed at switchbacks, through scratching, fragrant sagebrush,
gold splash mules ears, lodgepole, aspen,
and rock to get up here.

She can work
the red handled pump
with one slim arm,
mumbling that
strength is all angles.

she bends to caress blue columbine,
straightens, shuffles, wrinkles toes in dirt and pebbles.
She grins,
bats an eyelash, strikes a blue tip on the door jamb,
sweeping arc to spark to flame,
a hand cuppped against the breeze,
lights her cigarette.

Still a work in progress, I did about 17 drafts of this back in the day, with at least one more to come.  Probably many more.