Monday, January 23, 2012

Complaining About The Weather

Everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.

—Attributed to Mark Twain—

Most regions of our country are currently experiencing severe weather and quite a few bloggers are commenting on it. It seems that weather reports on the evening news are getting longer and longer, as if we’re all still farmers and need to know when to go out and plant the back forty. Well, I don’t know any farmers and I don’t need to know if it’s going to drizzle in Gilliam, Sherman, Wheeler or other counties where people are few and a good time is had by dressing farm animals in people’s clothes.

As far as I’m concerned, rain is rain, and I don’t need a twenty minute broadcast to tell me I’m gonna get wet. I see little difference between rain and rainstorms, rain and showers or rain and sprinkles. Even if I decided to rely on weather forecasts to determine if my wardrobe on any given day should include an umbrella, the forecasts are so often wrong that it would be a waste of time.

Snow seems to be a big problem in my corner of the country, not that we get much. It does snow here but not enough for anyone to get used to it, so when flakes fall logic and common sense go out the window. Here in Portland we’re as far north as Minneapolis and Montreal but Japanese trade winds keep us fairly warm in the winter. I’ve only built snowmen once or twice since I’ve been here and the poor things looked like the result of gruesome genetic experimentation.

Mrs. Chatterbox and I moved here from Southern California in 1980, the year Mt. Saint Helens blew. I took the eruption personally for a few months, a sign that I should hightail it back to the land of palm trees and balmy Santa Ana winds, but we dug out of the falling ash and stayed.

Then came the day when I decided to get an Oregon driver’s license. I’d been driving for years and was cocky enough to assume I could ace the test, but there were questions on the written exam I hadn’t seen before. Such as:

Circle the answer below that is the most correct.

#A… It’s safest to drive when rain turns into snow.

#B… It’s safest to drive when snow turns into freezing rain.

#C… It’s safest to drive when freezing rain turns into ice, and then it rains, followed by more freezing rain.

#D… It’s safest to drive when ice turns into freezing rain.

#E…All of the above.

#F…None of the above.

What the heck was freezing rain? It sounded like a nickname for margaritas. I remember staring at the question and thinking then, as I do now, if any of this shit starts falling I’m staying the F*#&K at home!

Last week that’s what I did.


  1. Haha! We have a saying here in Texas: "If you don't like the weather, stick around 5 minutes and it'll cahnge." And it usually does. I take everything our weatherguessers say with a grain of salt. (And speaking of a grain of salt, I prefer my margaritas 'on the rocks', just in case we ever cross paths in a bar somewhere.)


  2. Oops...that should read "change". I think I'm typing challenged today. :)

  3. If you've observed my blog(s) for any length of time, you'll know weather is one of the most common topics. It's because everyone knows something about weather.
    I moved to Northern California from the Bay Area in 1973. I can honestly say no two years have been alike, weatherwise, yet the folks who tell us about it on TV continue to compare each year to normal. and how it is different.
    Anyhow, I think what's happened is media weather folk are paid by the word.

  4. And here in Olde England we're having the barmiest, no that should read balmiest, winter on record!

  5. well, don't keep us in suspense, which is the correct answer?

  6. The weather where I am is miserable -- except when it isn't... But then it soon will be ...

  7. None of the above.

    Oh, wait a minute. You said Oregon. It's all of the above

  8. Too funny. I think you just needed a good excuse to stay home. Can't say I blame you. :)

  9. There are three seasons on my calendar. Golf season from April thru Nov. when I spend half my life poring over weather reports. Winter, when I never watch a weather report -- it's cold, what more do you need to know? And February, the month a I go away to CA, AZ or FL, and I don't watch the weather then, either, b/c I KNOW what it's gonna be -- sunny and warm.

    On another subject: What are you doing with your driver's license? Driving around looking for D.B. Cooper?!?

  10. When we moved to Ohio from NC I had much the same reaction you did to what they call a "wintry mix" - stay home! After a while I got tired of my coworkers laughing at me & learned to drive in it. But that doesn't mean I like it!

  11. I wish I could just stay home when it rain/snows/sleets out. They need to get us some of that telecommuting stuff.

  12. When I moved to The South about 12 years ago, my co-workers explained to me that they have four seasons here, too: 1. Almost summer; 2. Summer; 3. Still summer; 4. Christmas.

    I then, in turn, explained that back in Buffalo we only had two seasons: 1. Winter; 2. Road construction.

  13. I got a kick out of your comments about tv weather reports. Being a former TV news director, I can relate. Here's a reasons why-when you hire meteorologists you want to get your money's worth-when you have more than one on staff, you have at least two opinions and models to discuss,
    weather is relatively easy to cover, when you invest in dopler and all of the software and tracking packages available, you want to use them and probably the most persuasive reason is that advertisers love to sponsor weather. The longer the weather, the more time to sell.

  14. Hehehe It's damn hot in my part of the world .... around 35C but had a little rain relief yesterday.

  15. Bet you didn't write that on your answer paper.


  16. Move to south Louisiana, where the seasons are wet and hurricane. So, how do you drive in a hurricane?

  17. I'd say F, none of the above. So your decision was correct.

    As for TV weathercasters, when I lived in Phoenix the weather didn't change for months. The TV weather guys we hired were famous for their oft-repeated phrase: "High pressure dominates."

  18. It's been cold in L.A., but supposed to warm up some. It's been too cold for me lately.

    Funny about the driver's license thing. When I moved to L.A. in 1991, I figured I'd been driving for 30 years and would have no problem getting a new license. I failed the written test first time. Went back and studied the darn book and was okay after that.
    But I sure felt stupid when that happened.

    I haven't been by before but now following.

  19. Hi Stephen. In Sydney here i think it snowed once. The weather report said it was "Soft hail" but I figure that it was snow but the weather guy had never seen snow so he called it soft hail.