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Dry County – prayers for rain

ImageLast Year I wrote extensively about the drought conditions here in Kansas.

Luckily, we had a very wet winter and spring this year, catching us up on our annual precipitation data, but since the beginning of June, the rain has stopped (maybe even longer, I’m just relying on memory, not real data here).

As much as I dislike hot weather, I dislike drought even more. I feel as though I, as well as my plants and yard, get my energy from the rain. And this year is shaping up a lot like last year.

More than just feeling better when it rains, I was really hoping for a wetter year this year to help replace some of the trees that died in our yard from last summer’s conditions. Despite my efforts in setting up automatic watering systems and taking garbage barrels of water to our parched trees, I simply couldn’t keep up.

This year, my strategy was to get cheap, small trees from Walmart and Home Depot to at least lower the financial risk (we spent about $1k last year and lost every one of the trees we planted in addition to others throughout the yard). This year, our investment is only around $150 and we have about twice as many new trees as last year.

Anyway, here’s some actual data from NOAA that illustrates our wet spring + dry summer:

Current Condition: Abnormally Dry

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Year to date: KC at ~100% or better precipitation

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Spring Data (April 1 – May31): Already Drying up (~60%)

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(I guess the rain stopped earlier than I remembered)

Although there is no data available for the current period, I don’t think we’ve had so much as a shower since May 31.

 

 

ps- just to clarify, I don’t live in a dry county – that would be intolerable.

 

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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Tuesday Classes

Again, it looks like a major winter storm is coming in just in time to cancel class for tomorrow. We’re under a winter storm warning with the expectation of significant snow accumulation:

from NOAA

Updated Feb 25, 2013, 8:10pm CST
… WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM CST TUESDAY…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM CST TUESDAY.

* TIMING… LIGHT SNOWFALL HAS BEGUN LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THIS EVENING AND PERSIST THROUGH THE DAY TUESDAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED LATE TONIGHT AND TUESDAY MORNING. THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DIMINISH BY TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS… WIDESPREAD AMOUNTS OF AT LEAST 6 TO 10 INCHES ARE EXPECTED THROUGH THE WARNING AREA. HEAVIER AMOUNTS OF UP TO 12 INCHES ARE EXPECTED FROM THE SOUTH SIDE OF KANSAS CITY EASTWARD THROUGH CENTRAL MISSOURI. THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE FROM THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE KANSAS CITY METROPOLITAN AREA EASTWARD INTO CENTRAL MISSOURI… GENERALLY ALONG A LINE FROM PAOLA… KANSAS TO HARRISONVILLE AND SEDALIA… MISSOURI.

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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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You will soon witness a miracle

On friday I had lunch at Panda – something -or-other at the mall. Along with my orange chicken and spring roll I got a fortune cookie with fortune the likes of which I have never before seen: “You will soon witness a miracle.” That’s a little off-putting. I mean, miracles only seem warranted when something really bad has happened. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Then, I totally forgot about it. However, last night, I was reminded of that amazingly powerful cookie when the weatherman showed the extended forecast. Rain, cool days with high temperatures that might allow some time outside. Amazing!

I’ve made so much noise here complaining about the heat and lack of rain leading to the end of the world as I saw it that I thought it was my duty to write now.

There is a change in the air. The weathervane has spun about and a cool breeze is settling across our little patch of the midwest. Mary Poppins has floated into town with her miracle-filled carpet bag stuffed chock with cool mornings, thunderstorms and the chance of a drenching rain later in the week.

With a spoon full of sugar she is attempting to nurse our lifeless grass and trees back to health. I only hope that she has magic enough to bring back the dead (I can’t recall any resurrections in the original) But I did have a dream last night that there was a hint of green grass poking through the ground in our yard, so I have my fingers crossed.

I still have a horribly dreary outlook for the region here and all the dead trees and miserably large landscaping I am imagining, but there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a dark stormcloud on the horizon.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Hot weather and drought conditions continue

It’s still hot as the blazes here in Kansas. Spending July traveling to rainy, cooler places has really made me want to pick up and move away from here as soon as possible.

Our soil has long since cracked open and started to blow around as loose dust whenever the wind picks up. I hear the actual dustbowl was much worse and really did include giant dust storms like those I imagine on Mars. So we are by no means there yet. Although, is comparing today to the absolute worst conditions on record really much to feel grateful about?

A look into the crystal ball:

The weather say that we are in for a break in the heat sometime in the next few days. With some luck it’ll get down to the low to mid 90s (and even one day predicted to be 89 degrees!) Unfortunately, the cooler conditions don’t appear to be bringing rain with them.

So, if you are getting rain – go out and take some pleasure in it. Let it soak into your skin and drip down your face. Splash in the puddles and sing in the rain. It’s the stuff of life! 

 

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Rain

Not much, but we did actually get some rain last night. I saw the proof this morning when I fed our (outdoor) cat. I can’t say that I believe things are turning around in a meaningful way, but I do have some hope now.

Keep your fingers crossed for us here.

By the way, today is day3 of P90X. I haven’t done the workout yet, but I’m dreading it as I don’t have a muscle in my body that isn’t screaming in pain.

 

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The word ‘desertification’ keeps coming to mind

Here I am moaning and complaining about the weather again. But I just can’t stand these deathly hot, dry days one after another after another.

I’m reminded of a Star Trek Next Generation episode where Captain Picard wakes up in another man’s life. In this life he’s married and a naturalist who discovers that his planet is suffering from a world-wide drought and, in fact, this life experience is a window into the culture of an extinct world. This isn’t a very good explanation – check it out yourself. The episode is called “Inner Light.”

Please don’t let this drought be the Midwest’s Inner Light. At least not while I’m living here.

 

OK, in other news, I just posted another article to AppCampus about how I think video games can be harnessed to improve education in the sciences (or perhaps any subject).

I also need to put together the work we did here on the Blackjack program (codecademy project) into a neat posting for that site’s message board. I think the whole code with sufficient notation and some commentary should be a valuable contribution there.

 

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Continuing to fry in the Heartland

I’ve given up on going outside much. The heat has remained constant except for a small window of milder temperature in the mornings. The forecast going forward is still entirely three digit temperatures (100 today, then 102,103,102,103…). The only salvation is late in the week when we get a veritable arctic blast that brings us down to the low 90s. Luckily, the cool air is also bringing the first chance of precipitation in what feels like years.

By the time that change in the weather rolls around we will have given up and sought refuge elsewhere. Since we met more than ten years ago, we’ve been saving up for years to go abroad. This week we’re flying to Germany with our son to tour the ‘Castle Road’ from Cologne down to Munich  – we did our best to make the trip as ‘touristy’ as possible for the benefit of the little guy. And I have never in my life been happier to hear that the a vacation will be cold and rainy.

What brings this latest whining about the weather though?

It’s mostly because I’ve been starving for exercise. Yesterday I had to run on a treadmill while my son was at karate and it was pretty yukky. I forgot my earphones, so I didn’t have anything to listen to or watch while I ran – I could barely even see into the karate studio from where the treadmill was located – so there was nothing for it but to concentrate on the run. That wasn’t something I really wanted to do given that I haven’t run a bit since getting my mountain bike and I could feel from the start just how out of shape I am.

I think this is the worst rambling post I’ve ever written. And that’s saying something, so I’ll cut this off right here and try to post my work on the mastermind puzzle and start my day in the real world.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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