Friday’s Storm: Ruh Roh!

My threshold for weather worry has been raised since I’ve been off the air. The potential for Friday goes beyond even that new threshold!

Nor’easter: yes
Big snow potential: yes
Power outage potential: yes
Snow/sleet/rain mix: that too!

This far out I’m making use of the GFS and ECMWF (European) models. They have similar solutions.

You can’t expect them to fully agree… at least I don’t.

Much of the state is in line for one to two inches of liquid. We’ll see rain, sleet and snow at times. Snow totals are impossible to pin down today–Tuesday. Our low pressure system is only now emerging east of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Northern Mexico!

The system moves northeast from Mexico to the Carolinas, hitting the beach early Friday morning. From there the trajectory bends left a little, allowing the low to pass south of Montauk Point, Long Island Friday evening then steam toward the Canadian Maritimes.

As the storm hits the ‘warm’ Atlantic its central pressure drops like a rock. Bombogenesis! Classic Nor’easter.

This will be a 24 hour event (maybe longer). Snow will be heaviest in the north. Winds will strongest in the east. Outages seem likely.

Friday looks to be a sloppy, slippery, difficult to deal with day.

I’ll update as we move through the week.

Here’s To Diners

Unless you’re within driving distance of I-95 and north of the Mason-Dixon Line (plus South Florida) you really don’t know what a diner is. I’m so sorry. You’re missing one of life’s true pleasures. Really.

Any meal, any way, 24/7/365. Baking on premises. Coffee bottomless. Greek spoken (fluently).

We had them in Queens. I loved them in Philly and South Jersey. I’m still smitten here in the Land of Steady Habits.

They are where road warriors have lunch. They are where the drunk and stoned have a bite and some coffee at 3:00 AM. And the Twin Pines Diner is where I had lunch with my buddy Bob this afternoon.

There are lots of tasty diners in Connecticut, but Twin Pines in East Haven is the benchmark for what diners are all about.

I walked in a few minutes before Bob and was taken to a small booth. The waitress came by, dropped a twenty pound menu on the table and waited for me to say, “Coffee, please.”

God, I love diners.

After a short grammatical discussion whether an item was “turkey bacon” or “turkey, bacon” (the latter), Bob ordered it. My meal was more predictable.

“How was the omelette,” Helaine asked when I came home?

The menu was superfluous. I might as well have walked in with a note pinned to my jacket. It’s always

  • ham and cheese omelette
  • rye toast
  • potatoes

As we ate I realized the real reason I love diners. They’re the best place to have a conversation with a friend… and where everything’s baked on the premises.

Doppler And Treats

We are all creatures of habit, none more than Doppler. That’s especially true when it comes to her visits to the front lawn.

We’ve just come back from Doppler doing a number one. The expectation was a three (one plus two).

“She’s working the system,” Helaine said.

That’s because Doppler knows an excursion to the lawn is always followed by a treat.

Once we come back into the house and I remove her leash, Doppler sprints to the family room where she waits in her crate for the reward. If I take too much time, like today when I began to chat with Helaine, Doppler will come into the kitchen to better gauge the hold-up.

We all know the drill. Doppler stands under the edge of the kitchen table looking up, wistfully. As soon as I begin to take her treat from the bag she turns toward the family room and hits the accelerator. There’s not enough traction on the hardwood floor.

It’s a cross between Fred Flintstone’s feet and some ‘drifting’ from a Vin Diesel movie.

We’ve seen it a thousand times. It never gets old!

Saturday Night Snow

I hadn’t touched on this because it seemed such a non-factor, but with very light snow falling at a time I thought it wouldn’t reach the ground…

Oxford: KOXC 030145Z 28007KT 4SM -SN SCT039 BKN045 OVC050 M06/M12 A3005

Danbury: KDXR 030153Z 26006KT 2 1/2SM -SN BR OVC026 M06/M08 A3008 RMK AO2 SNB00 SLP191 P0000 T10561078

I should acknowledge it.

The latest guidance says less than an inch of snow statewide. It should be gone by sunrise.

No big deal.

When You’re The Server Wrangler

Though this blog belongs to me, it doesn’t live with me. resides on a computer somewhere in the suburbs west of Philadelphia. I rent a tiny sliver of the server which is shared with countless others.

I pay the hosting company to handle the operating system and play traffic cop if one of the tenants uses more than his fair share of the resources. I handle the rest, including the code that runs my site.

About two weeks ago the server stopped allowing me to upload new files.

Uh oh.

I poked around and found that though I have unlimited storage space (I’m using around 10 Gb of storage) there is a limit to the number of individual files. Sneaky.

I am allowed 262,144 files. That should be plenty. Unfortunately a quick check showed I was at the limit.


In a case like this there are a few go-to geeks I lean on. Not this time. This was going to be my challenge!

My server is headless, meaning there is no pretty graphical screen like you see on your computer. My only means of communication is through a terminal program.

Think Matthew Broderick in War Games!

This is where Google is indispensable as a tech support tool. A half dozen keywords hinting at what I wanted went in, a site with exactly the code I needed came out!

du ~/*|sort -n

Those characters commanded my server to count the number of files in each of its directories, then list them starting with the directory containing the most files.

Within seconds I found the problem. A caching plug-in, a tiny program to make this website faster for you, had gone nuts! It had spawned hundreds of thousands of files and never cleaned up after itself.

Two minutes later after an uninstall/reinstall I was 184,783 files short of a full load. Problem solved… at least for now.

From Hobby To Business

I’ve been making websites for years. It’s a creative process and I enjoy it a lot. It’s going to be my new occupation going forward. Things are coming together piece-by-piece. I’m putting together a portfolio of my work. A new website,, is nearly complete. My goal is to put together sites for small businesses […]

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We Are The Jetsons

You’ll forgive me if this entry isn’t perfect.  I am in bed.  Helaine is asleep next to me.  Doppler is at the foot of the bed.  The TV is on softly. I’m using a tablet and tracing my words withTouchPal. Not as good as a keyboard,  but functional. It’s easy to become jaded. The technology […]

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Bless You

Let’s start with an important medical advisory. Keep away from my house! I have a cold. Helaine has a COLD. I can’t remember her ever having one like this. She can’t either. She has the cold all others will be judged by! Bless you. How many times have I said that today? Is there a […]

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Everything But Snow

Wednesday will be a stormy day in Connecticut. This is a big systems and it will be tossing its weight around! As I type this (Tuesday at 4:00 PM) there are three Tornado Watch areas, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, scattered Winter Storm Warnings and all sorts of flood and wind warnings from this singular system. […]

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We Need This Law

You would think with all the laws we have that we have enough. Nope. There’s one we don’t have which we desperately need. Let’s call it the Truth in Pricing Law. It would keep advertisers from hiding or lying about what you’ll pay for what you buy. If you watch ads on TV, subscribe to […]

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