What The Weatherman Does

I’m in Palm Desert tonight at the KMIR studios. I predicted strong winds for this evening. Now I’m watching them play out. Over the course of a few hours Thermal has gone from calm to gusts around 30 mph. Edom Hill was near 50 mph. The wind has slacked off there.

Weather was our lead story tonight. Fair call. People are interested in unusual weather, which my boss properly characterized as ‘nuisance weather.’

My problem is how to properly forecast and report a storm like this? Some open spots will have reduced visibility as sand blows across roads. On I-10 cars will have trouble staying in a single lane.

It’s the desert equivalent of flurries! Enough to care about. Not enough to fear.

We will have plenty of days like this through the spring and again in the fall. The wind will blow. Dust will kick up.

No one will be stranded at home tonight, but plenty of people would rather not deal with it. “Wait until morning,” I said.

I’d like to think not going nuts is something I do well. That’s what I tried tonight. My job is to be proportional.

Chutzpah Times Two

Years ago both the banker’s move and Indiana’s might have passed with barely a whimper. With the Internet it’s much easier to drum up indignation.

Chutzpah
chutz·pah ˈho͝otspə,ˈKHo͝otspə
noun informal
shameless audacity; impudence.
synonyms: audacity, cheek, guts, nerve, boldness, temerity
“it took a lot of chutzpah for her to walk in on Owen’s bachelor party”

Twice this past week I’ve looked at news stories and said, “Yeah, that took chutzpah.”

The first came from America’s bankers who’ve threatened to withdraw support from Democratic senatorial candidates because of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and tougher regulations on-the-way from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Where’s my violin?

Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party’s tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.

Bank officials said the idea of withholding donations was not discussed at a meeting of the four banks in Washington but it has been raised in one-on-one conversations between representatives of some of them. – Huffington Post

So, in spite of the civic minded BS banks have passed out over-the-years, donations are just a way to buy candidates… not that it wasn’t obvious before. Tying contributions to specific congressional action takes chutzpah. That it’s done in-the-open shows the banks think/know they’re above the law.

The second chutzpah moment comes from Indiana where the Religious Freedom bill was signed into law this weekend.

The law asserts that the government can’t “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” and that individuals who feel like their religious beliefs have been or could be “substantially burdened” can lean on this law to fend off lawsuits. – CNN

In Indiana you can refuse service to someone because they’re gay or transgender if that would substantially burden your religious beliefs. Talk about being on the wrong side of history!

On ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos tried to get a definitive answer from Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Pence refused to answer two “yes or no” questions posed to him by Stephanopoulos over the potentially discriminatory ramifications of the bill, including whether it would allow a florist to deny services to a gay couple, as its supporters maintain.

Governor Pence said he didn’t expect the harsh reaction this bill is receiving. Seriously? Is he deaf? You could hear the opposition lining up from here in California.

Years ago both the banker’s move and Indiana’s bill might have passed with barely a whimper. With the Internet it’s much easier to drum up indignation.

It would be nice if the bankers and Hoosiers were forced to reverse course with no room to save face. It’s the least you can do for this much chutzpah.

Summarizing Sunday

I’ve been feeling so guilty during my dad’s visit to SoCal. Last time I was a man of leisure. Now I’m a working stiff. My time with him is limited. Not today!

He, Helaine and I met our friends Farrell and Vered in Riverside (the midway point) for Sunday brunch. They chose ProAbition Kitchen & Whiskey Lounge. Wise choice!

Breakfast was great. Service was great. Company was greater.

We headed home so both my dad and I could nap! By six we were in the car and heading to the Orange County Great Park. It’s an immense, semi-developed, mired in controversy, park in Irvine. It sits on what was once El Toro Marine Air Station.

The park’s focal point is a tethered helium balloon. For $10 you get to see the world from 400 feet. Interesting. Maybe not as awe inspiring as I had hoped.

However…

There’s always a however.

However, the staff in the park could not have been nicer. Because of construction, the nearest parking lot is a walk beyond my dad’s capabilities. I asked a woman driving a golf cart full of cleaning supplies if she could give him a lift. Absolutely.

On the way back one of the balloon ride staff delivered us right to the car.

They don’t have to do that. They’re probably not supposed to do that. They saw my dad’s need and were gracious.

Did I mention I brought my camera?

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Help Identify My Varmint

Last night as Doppler and I walked out the door, I saw tracks. They’re within a foot or two of our front door. They’re in our personal space.

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We live near a farm, orchards and just plain wilderness. One evening Helaine and I walked past a coyote standing between parked cars. I have taken Doppler for a late night walk and been freaked to see a skunk alongside some bushes. It all comes with the territory.

Last night as Doppler and I walked out the door, I saw tracks. They’re within a foot or two of our front door. They’re in our personal space.

Usually there would be no tracks to see, but this varmint must have walked through the mulch while the sprinklers were on.

So, what is it? I have no clue. Any help in IDing it will be appreciated.

Planes Crash, But This Is Different

Germanwings-Airbus-A320-200

I never had a fear of flying. Still, the French crash of the Germanwings Airbus has me totally freaked out.

I remember the EgyptAir crash from 1999. The airline tried to hide the suicidal cause, if memory serves.

And now I worry this is why MH370 was never found. An airline cockpit is an impenetrable cocoon.

From NPR:

Although uncommon, such incidents are not unheard of. Since the mid-1970s, air-crash investigations have brought to light eight others in which intentional actions by a pilot or co-pilot to bring down an aircraft were either confirmed or suspected.

The Daily Mail asks,

Was Andreas Lubitz inspired by other plane disasters? Germanwings pilot’s actions echo recent tragedies – and could explain what happened to MH370

Is there an industry that has a higher percentage of unhappy employees than the airlines?

I’m still not scared to fly. But none of this is comforting.

This Seems To Be A…

Jens StoltenbergI’m a fan of the president’s. I don’t agree with everything he’s done. We mostly see eye-to-eye.

This evening a friend told me the president had snubbed Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, head of NATO. That’s him on the left. My friend attached a Bloomberg News article.

“This seems to be a f*** up,” I replied, sans asterisks. A few minutes later I added, “It’s wrong. No one is f*** up proof. Not me. Not you.”

This is a simple truth. We all f*** up!

Unfortunately, in today’s supercharged atmosphere, too many people think every f*** up is actually a purposefully evil deed. We are suspicious. We are paranoid. That’s not healthy.

We all f*** up.