Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut’

 

I Still Look At The Weather

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

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Learning to forecast was fun. I still find it enjoyable, looking at weather maps and charts. California weather is currently very stable. Days in the 70s, nights 50s. Passing clouds.

Nowadays I use weather.cod.edu for most of my raw and mapped data. It is a nerd-o-riffic weather site run by the College of DuPage in Illinois.

Our next chance for rain comes a week from today. Everyone, including me, will tell you we need it. Southern California must maintain a delicate balance. Even in a drought, nearly all rainstorms here are potentially flooding rainstorms! It doesn’t take much.

The more interesting weather is in the Northeast. I guess all the TV people are talking about the potential for a storm Wednesday? I would be.

The 00Z GFS starts precipitation early Wednesday and continues through the day, heavy at times. It’s the heaviest travel day of the year and this system will impact DCA, PHL, NYC, BOS and everyone inbetween.

Judging by the 850mb temperatures, I’d favor mostly snow in Connecticut–though mixed precip isn’t out of the question. Windy. Stormy. Crappy.

The spaghetti plots through early Thursday are reasonably tight, signifying the model is impressed with its results.

Hey, it’s Sunday. Maybe your decisions can wait. Please, wait as long as possible.

If your options are limited, it might be time to think of alternatives.

No weather forecast is infallible. The ones for SoCal are easier.

The Sound Of My Neighborhood

Monday, October 20th, 2014

IMAG1578_1There’s a moving truck out back. A neighbor is leaving. I’m not used to seeing this kind of action. My neighbors were farther away in Connecticut. Everything happened discretely. Shhh. New England.

I’m more connected with the outside here. That makes little sense since I’ve got a lot less outside to play with.

The four windows in my office are wide open. I’m on the patio daily. There are sounds. In Connecticut we spent 23 years hearing nothing but nature.

I like hearing the kids playing. They ride their bikes and generally have fun below my window.

Sometimes I hear kids crying. I have a child. I have that experience. It still upsets me.

At night I’ve heard loud family fights somewhere in the extended neighborhood. I now know the “F” word works in Mandarin.

Mostly, the night is quiet. This is an early-to-bed area.

When I cut audio tracks in my former closet “studio” the windows go down. Blinds too. I’d wake the neighborhood.

Once or twice a month cars let loose on Irvine Blvd, over a half mile away. The speed limit is conservatively sixty, but it’s an inviting few miles of sparsely traveled open road to test your ride. In some cases they’re also testing their tires.

We are the next to last home before a farm owned by UC Irvine. We are separated by a high berm, fence and lots of flowers and shrubbery.

Pack behavior howling from coyotes happens nightly. There’s a bunny population explosion every spring. Bunnies are scarce in October.

We hear the Disneyland fireworks. Anaheim is 14 miles north. They’re in the background here, noticeable at 9:30 sharp. You can set your watch to Disney.

In the summer they’re nightly. This time of year, just a few times a week. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the sound.

The Illustrated: How Does My Garden Grow?

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

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Steffie picked a lemon earlier today. It came from one of the two little lemon trees (very pretty) near the patio. Wow! We grew that.

We have a small outdoor space. I’m the plant wrangler. Most of our plants are thriving. A few are suspect. We need more flowers!

Back in Connecticut there was a rush of color as plants flowered over a short period. Here, something’s blooming year round.

The flowers attached to this entry are in bloom now. In most cases photography makes them look larger than actual size. They’re all clickable for a larger view.

Facebook And Birthdays

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Because of Facebook I’ve heard from lots of friends and viewers in Connecticut. Facebook’s great reminding you of upcoming events. It fails pretty badly when it comes to managing that influx!

4  Geoff Fox

Let me back up for a moment. Most people assume their friends stream by on the Facebook timeline. Yes… but!

I stopped using my “Fox on Fox” page because Facebook was only showing my posts to 5-10% of the people who liked me. Some meteorologists and TV stations who steered viewers to Facebook pages now find Watches and Warnings are poorly distributed.

facebook-logoFacebook assigns values to your friendships. If Facebook thinks two people really don’t engage it lowers the frequency they see each other. Overall, it probably works fine. That doesn’t mean it’s great every time. And, since the users are not Facebook’s real customers (advertisers are), our problems aren’t that important.

For my birthday I’ve gotten hundreds of greetings. Counting private messages, wall posts and folks who weren’t allowed to post (Facebook rules), but wished me Happy Birthday in a reply to something else, the total will be north of 500 and south of 1,000 by Sunday. I want to acknowledge each one.

If you think they’d be displayed on my wall one-after-another you’d be wrong. Only the last half dozen or so appear. Beyond that you have to navigate to a page of links. Then you open a page for each in order to reply. Finally, you navigate back to the page of links.

It takes three times longer than it should!

So, I’m working on it. It might take a while. Worth it. I am very appreciative of each one of you who has taken the time to write.

I miss you too.

John Rowland, Alan Freed and CBS

Friday, July 11th, 2014

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Oh, John Rowland. You never cease to amaze me.

Governor John Rowland was a moderate Republican from Connecticut. He went to prison for his thievery in office.

I met him a few times. He was charming. Worked crowds well. Likable.

Once at Brass Mills Center he was mistaken for me. He gave her the autograph anyway.

I’m not in Connecticut to really hear about this, but from what I’ve read (especially the excellent piece by Ed Mahony and Jon Lender in the Courant) he was selling his opinion and access to his radio show.

There’s nothing wrong with espousing your opinion. There’s nothing wrong with selling access and support. What’s wrong is doing it secretly.

We allow commercials. We allow infomercials. They must be disclosed as such.

Here’s why Alan Freed’s in the title. Back in the 50’s Freed was hugely influential as one of the first rock and roll disk jockeys.

Freed’s career ended when it was shown that he had accepted payola (payments from record companies to play specific records), a practice that was highly controversial at the time. There was also a conflict of interest, that he had taken songwriting co-credits (most notably on Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene”), which entitled him to receive part of a song’s royalties, which he could help increase by heavily promoting the record on his own program. However, Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows insisted Freed co-wrote “Sincerely”.

Freed lost his own show on the radio station WABC; then he was fired from the station altogether on November 21, 1959. He also was fired from his television show (which for a time continued with a different host). In 1960, payola was made illegal. In 1962, Freed pleaded guilty to two charges of commercial bribery, for which he received a fine and a suspended sentence.- Wikipedia

Freed was the whipping boy in the payola scandal. He was destroyed. New laws and rules were implemented.

From the FCC:

Federal law and FCC rules require that employees of broadcast stations, program producers, program suppliers and others who, in exchange for airing material, have accepted or agreed to receive payments, services or other valuable consideration must disclose this fact. Disclosure of compensation provides broadcasters the information they need to let their audiences know if material was paid for, and by whom.

Rowland is responsible, but so is CBS. Guarding the public airways is part of the licensee’s responsibility. It was they who entrusted WTIC to him every day.

CBS actually signed a consent decree in a payola case in 2007. They should know the rules. They are on the hook.

This will be very complex. I hope it’s well reported. I want to follow along.

Now It’s Tropical Storm Arthur

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

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Invest 91 became Tropical Depression 1, which is now Tropical Storm Arthur. I can’t not look!

Early season storms are usually wimps. Not always. Remember Andrew!

Intensity guidance, among the poorest prediction guesses we make, says Arthur will briefly become a hurricane on Friday. I expect no hurricane force winds onshore.

The spaghetti strands continue to be tightly clustered. A good sign, especially since the impact to Connecticut (where many of my friends still live) should be minimal, but still significant.

After grazing the North Carolina coast Arthur will be picked up by a midlatitude front and ushered to sea. Friday’s New England rain will be enhanced (intensified) by Arthur’s moisture. That’s especially true in Eastern Connecticut and more so in Rhode Island and the Cape.

By Saturday Arthur’s east of Cape Cod and steaming away. The weekend is saved in New England and elsewhere!

Remember: Though I do follow tropical systems and post when I can, you should depend on a meteorologist who works fulltime watching your weather. I am flattered people still value my opinion, but I shouldn’t be your ‘final answer.’ – Geoff

I Missed The Anniversary

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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Yesterday marked one year since we’ve been in California. Good grief a lot has happened!

Actually, the best way to tell this story is to start months earlier. We decided to leave Connecticut not long after I left FoxCT. That decision set everything into motion. Unfortunately, it s-l-o-w-e-d the clock. Things dragged on as we had one foot out the door!

It wasn’t until a few weeks before departure that the clock resumed, now at double time!

The number of things you have to do before you leave is mind boggling. We are attached to so many accounts and businesses. Everyone needed to know.

Meanwhile, we moved to California a few days before our house was ready to close. Officially we probably counted as homeless.

before-and-after-autoWe drove 2,862 miles, all with me at the wheel and Doppler on Helaine’s lap. Contrary to the smart money, I didn’t get a speeding ticket.

Nebraska is much too large!

This year has gone a lot faster than last. We’re very much into our new surroundings. We already feel like this is home… even though we know few of our neighbors and still need the GPS for many in-town trips.

The amount of life reconstruction necessary in a move like this is crazy. We needed a new everything. We had to find doctors and dentists, dry cleaners and supermarkets, even the best pizza place (we found some of the worst first).

No California pizza compares with anything made in Connecticut. Full stop. End of story.

I’ve settled in to being semi-retired. I don’t know what that means either, but it’s good. I’m working for UC Irvine Extension and slooh.com. Each is fun work in its own way.

I definitely miss being on television. In a perfect world I’d be filling-in or doing weekends in LA or San Diego. If you’re news director of a station, consider this your opportunity to drop me a line.

However, even without TV, this move has been crazily wonderful. Helaine and I have ditched winter and moved closer to our daughter. We couldn’t be happier.

All in one year. Wow!

Another Broadcast For Slooh

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

I hosted another broadcast this morning PDT for Slooh.com. Near Earth Asteroid 2014 HQ124 won’t hit Earth, but it will be in the neighborhood the next few days. That’s good reason for us to go live.

The image at the top of this entry shows some of the asteroid’s movement through the sky. We captured this with Slooh’s telescope in Chile. You’re seeing an object the size of an aircraft carrier from millions of miles away!

After the broadcast I stopped to ponder our own technological achievement. We had participants on from the East and West Coast, plus England and Australia. We used images taken in Australia and Chile.

We had the right experts and pictures with lots of insight, coordinated in Hartford, CT where our producer/director sits.

We’re about to make a huge technological leap which should bring up the quality of our transmissions greatly. Noticeable change.

It’s all pretty exciting and, for me, nerdy fun.

May Gray, June Gloom

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

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Even Californians complain about the weather. We should be ashamed of ourselves!

We have one of those potential kvetch times on-the-way. It’s the seasonal California May gray and June gloom. We’ll be waking to cloudy skies for most of the next week. They disappear by noon. This type of weather happens sporadically through summer.

In the case of coastal California, the offshore marine layer is typically propelled inland by a pressure gradient which develops as a result of intense heating inland, blanketing coastal communities in cooler air which, if saturated, also contains fog. The fog lingers until the heat of the sun becomes strong enough to evaporate it, often lasting into the afternoon during the “May gray” or “June gloom” period – Wikipedia

We’re over 10 miles inland. It’s not as bad as for coastal dwellers. Of course, they live on the California Coast. They’d better not complain. Ever. About anything.

This weather scenario wasn’t something we were looking for in Connecticut. Here, it shows up nicely on the forecast models. At the top is a BUFKIT readout from tonight’s 00Z GFS for KSNA, John Wayne Airport in nearby Santa Ana (Clicking the image will give you a much larger, much more readable look).

BUFKIT is an amazing program for visualizing weather data. It was developed at NOAA and is free, as is the data it uses.

With maps you see a large area for one specific time. With BUFKIT you see one specific place over a period of time. Go ahead–reread that.

There’s a lot going on, but what I’m looking at is at the bottom of the image. The lines are isohumes–lines of equal humidity. The cloud producing marine layer isn’t thick. On most days it only goes up 2,000 feet. It produces low, dense overcast. Sometimes there’s drizzle.

The marine layer forms in the evening and fades through the morning.

Every area has its own weather quirks. They all follow the laws of physics, often through interaction too complex for humans to fully understand. Take this afternoons clouds.

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

PatslogoI remember the fall of ’98 like it was yesterday. Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, spent the summer flirting with Connecticut. He was using us to make his ‘real girlfriend,’ Massachusetts, jealous.

Gov. John G. Rowland of Connecticut and the owner of the New England Patriots scheduled a news conference at the Capitol today to announce an agreement to move the National Football League team from Massachusetts to downtown Hartford, a spokesman for the Governor said this morning. – NYTimes 11/19/98

“It will happen,” I said at the time to anyone who asked, “when I grow a second penis.”

I actually didn’t say penis.

Our governor, Hartford’s mayor and a bunch of other prominent Connecticut residents were played. Kraft saw us as bumpkins. We were.

By the way, I will never root for the Patriots as long as Kraft is associated with it in any way. I am still bitter. It may have been good business, but it was bad faith.

los-angeles-angels-of-anaheim-logoWhere were we?

Oh, yeah… I’m reminded of the Patriots story because of something going on down here. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are going through contentious negotiations over the team’s lease with Anaheim, their stadium’s owner.

Angels owner Arte Moreno wants the Moon and the stars. The City of Anaheim doesn’t want to get fleeced. The prevailing wisdom is the current lease has been a lot better for Moreno than Anaheim.

Now, Moreno has pulled a Kraft!

Angels owner Arte Moreno met with officials from the City of Tustin last week to discuss the possibility of building a new baseball stadium, a team spokesman confirmed Saturday.

One potential site would be the decommissioned Marine Corps Air Station, which would be accessible via the 5, 405 and 55 Freeways and is across the street from the Tustin Metrolink train station. LATimes 2/15/14

Tustin is the next city north from here. It is not the only stranger being kissed while Anaheim looks on.

Amid tense negotiations with Anaheim, the Los Angeles Angels baseball team has said it talked with FivePoint Communities, the developer of homes surrounding the Great Park in Irvine. What kind of talk, no one knows – or will say in much detail. OCRegister 5/2/14

I could walk to the games! We’re around a mile northeast of the park.

I’ll grow a second penis before any of this happens.

Moreno is playing hardball, but he doesn’t want to move ten miles farther from Los Angeles. The Angels are best served staying right where they are with a little stadium upgrade. It’s all about money.

I hope Anaheim remains firm.