Tuesday, May 24, 2005

You don’t need a weatherman to know the way the wind blows

It would not surprise me if some of the left-wing radical groups, similar to those that made their presesnce known in the late 60s, start agitating again given the political climate in the country, but this isn't about the SDS or the Weather Undergound. It realy is about the weather. I sometimes think weathermen are fairly useless. In this part of the country (south central Missouri) one can never really believe the forecast, but one can’t ignore it either. The farmers here, most of whom raise hay to feed cattle (row crops are difficult in these parts), are very much interested in the long-term forecast, because once a field of hay is cut and the hay is drying on the ground, they really don’t want it to rain. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes and it will change” is frequently heard in these parts, and it is generally true. We are on the fringes of tornado alley, and this area has had several small tornadoes in recent years. Storms that came up so sudden that Doppler radar didn’t even pick up the tornado. We can hear the tornado siren where we live, but it didn’t even blow when the last tornado blew through the area a half-mile from our house. These storms here tend to blow up in the late afternoon. The day starts off sunny and bright, and by 3:30 or so thunder is rumbling in the distance. Almost every time we have lost power because of a thunderstorm, it has occurred right at dinnertime. R finally bought a small propane camp stove so we wouldn’t have any more half-cooked dinners left on the stove (everything is electric in the house except the heater). My ancient clothes dryer finally broke, and the appliance man who we used to call to fix these things – The Tinker – has retired. In any event, I’ve had the drier 25 years, and I bet it was 15-20 years old when it was given to me. We went looking for a dryer recently and were disgusted at what we found. Even the top-line models, approaching $1,000, only offered a one-year warranty. What does that say about the quality of the product? Not a whole lot. Right now, sheets on the clothes line that stretches between the porch and the barn are flapping gently in the afternoon breeze, but I note that it is clouding up, so I better head on out there and reel them in.

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