30 March 2014

Waiting for the Game

        I am waiting for the Kentucky game later this afternoon. Kentucky will play Michigan in the Midwest Regional Final for the right to move on the Final Four next weekend. I am a HUGE UK fan, and this has been a trying year for us all. The team seemed to falter through the regular season, the players never gelled together and became a unit. They remained a bunch of individuals and the results were not that great. UK fans are the most passionate in college basketball, and that also makes them the most impatient and the most critical. The message boards were aflame with all sorts of solutions to the problems. Sadly, they were also full of unjustified criticism of 18 and 19 year old players who had never been in an environment like this in their lives.
    The most difficult thing for UK fans to do is to sit back and enjoy the game itself. Every foul that is called, or isn't called, sparks a storm of protest and the inevitable accusations that the officials are against us. This is the most problematic aspect of being a UK fan, in my opinion. Too many people spend too much time criticizing the officials, or insulting the other team and coach, to just enjoy what they are seeing.
    The game on Friday night against Louisville was a great example of this. When Louisville jumped out to an early 18-5 lead, there were plenty of UK fans ready to throw in the towel and just be done with things. The fact that the game itself was nowhere near over didn't seem to concern them. As UK mounted a comeback the same fair-weather fans reappeared as if nothing had happened. I personally dislike these people because they are extremely shallow. I myself made some comments about needing to get focused and hoping that the team was not going to fold under the pressure, but I never lost faith in them giving their best effort.
    Sadly, the bad fans make things difficult on people like myself who want to enjoy the game and truly pull for UK to do well. I recently had to delete an entire Twitter list of followers and those who followed me because their negativity was taking the fun out of things. I felt much better after that, because I knew that they would never really understand what I was saying, they were too caught up in their own echo chamber of purity. Anyone who disagreed with them over the slightest issue was automatically attacked, usually on a personal level.
    UK plays in just over 3 hours. I will be watching and pulling for UK to win. Regardless of the outcome, this team has provided some great moments to remember. At this point in the tournament there are no easy games. Michigan is a great team and I hope that it is an outstanding game. I will be a UK fan no matter the outcome! GO BIG BLUE! KICK ASS CATS! WIN IT FOR WILLIE!

28 March 2014

What We Have Become

    As I sit here and write these thoughts down on my computer and am amazed at the wonders that technology has brought to us over the last few decades, I have to wonder what the long-term impacts of this will be. Technology is a neutral item. It can be used for good or bad purposes depending on the person utilizing it.
     I am reminded of the scenario from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and the discussions between Kirk, Spock and McCoy over the Genesis Device. The device is seen as a benefit to everyone, and yet the question is raised about its use as a weapon against those with whom the holders of the weapon might disagree or be in conflict with. The question is not answered, nor should it have been. It is an eternal dilemma that we all must face at various times throughout our lives. Spock summarized things rather nicely by pointing out that the Genesis Device is neither good nor evil, it simply is and that the intent of the user determines how it will be perceived by everyone else.
     The emphasis on things, and not people has become a central facet of our daily lives. In the grand scheme of things this is nothing new. The invention of the telephone freed people from the necessity of directly interacting with others face to face. What we are experiencing today is simply a continuation of that process. The art of human interaction seems to be taking multiple hits, but I don't think it can ever be totally replaced. It is sad that we have lost so much in order to move forward, but sentiment is something that seems to be sorely lacking in today's world.
     I work with technology on a daily basis. I use technology in my personal life as well. I try to draw the lines rather clearly between the two, although I am not always successful. I cherish my time with other people. I enjoy the chance to talk and interact with them on a personal level. When I am with friends, I make it a point to NOT check email, or tweet about what we are having for dinner to the world at large. The time spent with friends is far too valuable to waste on technology when ti should be focused on each other.
    I don't know what the answer to this tangled issue is. I suppose that we each have to remember that communication is a wonderful thing, and that it has categories such as interpersonal and technological that we have to deal with. So long as we remember that the entire world is not comprised solely of tech gadgets, I think that we will weather the storm and continue to look out for each other. That's my opinion and hope, at any rate.

26 March 2014

March 26 and a Change of Pace

     This Wednesday morning started out very cold once again. I woke up feeling about 80%, but made it to the office on-time as always. Wednesday is the day when I normally travel to the client's office to take part in the weekly status meeting. This morning I decided to not make the trip. The combination of cold weather and not feeling well convinced me that it was in my best interests to simply have them call me when the meeting kicks off and I can present my information that way. It is not often that I miss these meetings because it remains important that I maintain good relations with the client and appear there as often as necessary.
    One of the team I work with has managed to maintain a desk at the client's office, so that takes some of the pressure off as far as mandatory appearances is concerned. I normally work most of the day on Thursday, so they will see me at that time. Even if I still feel the same tomorrow, the weather will not be as cold and unpleasant and that will make the trip there and back more palatable for me.

24 March 2014

MH 370 and the Fear Factor

     My heart aches for the families of those who were onboard MH 370. I cannot imagine the anguish that they have gone through over the past 2 weeks and counting as no CREDIBLE news has been received about their fate. One has to assume that they are no longer alive, but why remains the mystery.
    The constant theorizing about what happened to the plane has become a cottage industry. CNN has lost all remaining credibility as a news organization due to their constant promulgation of bizarre theories about what happened. Since there has been no actual wreckage or evidence, conspiracy theories have run amok. This is a tragedy that CNN has turned into a farce in a desperate attempt to race to the bottom of the journalistic barrel.
     One of the most insidious aspects of this entire story is the way in which it has been twisted into a tool to instill fear among the population. Because nothing has been proven, the talking heads chatter on endlessly about "terrorism". In the post 9/11 world, it is far too easy to take any tragedy and insert the word "terrorism" into it in order to generate ratings and to more importantly, keep the sense of fear alive among us. It is this use of fear that concerns me the most. We have endured this way for nearly 13 years. Terrorism is a nice way to keep our attention focused on something that really does not exist in an everyday sense to most of us. It rears it's ugly head from time to time, and I am NOT discounting it in the least. I simply do not believe that it is something that should be used as a fear tool to control public discourse, nor should it be used as a means of advancing policies that run contrary to our values that made this nation great.
     I am terribly sad about MH 370. I hope that the answers are found. Until they are, CNN and the rest of the mainstream media should stick to reporting FACTS and not innuendo and rumors and vague conspiracy theories. Spare us the insanity or just HUST THE HELL UP!    

12 March 2014

March 12 Here comes the cold again

     I just stepped out of the office for a smoke break and hate to report that the wind has picked up outside. This is the leading edge of the front that will send temperatures tumbling nearly 50 degrees overnight. The forecast high today was to have been 70 degrees, but is isn't going to make it with all the cloud cover we have. Tomorrow will start out brutally cold once again with a low near 20 in the morning. I am so tired of Winter right now, but at least the cold snaps are getting shorter. I hope that is a sign that Spring is finally on the way.
    Naturally, I have to travel to the client's office tomorrow morning via bus in the cold. There is nothing I can do, I cannot afford to put the trip off because there are too many things that I have to do there. I am not looking forward to freezing again. I will just have to dress warmly and hope for the best. It will barely make it above freezing here tomorrow if we are lucky, but at least we are not forecast to get any snow, at least as of right now.
    Once tomorrow is finished I can focus on Friday and the upcoming weekend. Once again it is not a big-event type of weekend but I will be able to get some things done and do some cooking as well. I think that it will be time to prepare some chicken breasts to get us through the weekend and also to provide some lunches for the nest week. I will be glued to the TV watching college basketball and waiting for Selection Sunday to see where UK will be playing. Sadly, I cannot see them lasting through the first weekend of March Madness.
    Just about 90 minutes left here at the office as I listen to the wind howling outside the window. I am definitely going directly home after work in order to relax. Perhaps I will do some more writing, I think that the urge to write about something other than the weather will be strong this evening.

11 March 2014

March 11 and the 3-year anniversary of Fukushima

     It was 3 years ago that the world watched in stunned horror as Japan was struck by one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded and then was at the mercy of Mother Nature as a killer tsunami swept onto the coast. There seemed to be no end to this tragedy as hours passed with images of towns being destroyed by the onrushing water.
    We didn't realize at the time that an even greater tragedy was unfolding in Fukushima at a nuclear power plant. While there was damage from the earthquake, the real damage was done by the tsunami, which crippled the cooling system at the plant and initiated a meltdown once the backup power systems had failed. We were witnessing the start of a nuclear meltdown, although the information was not made readily available at the time. We were too caught up in seeing the destruction of the tsunami that was clearly visible to the naked eye.
    I remember being stunned at the images of the tsunami. It was hard to comprehend what I was seeing. The typical Irwin-Allen type of B-movie tidal wave was replaced by an ugly wall of debris creeping over the landscape miles from the ocean.
    I don't remember Fukushima being mentioned until the following day. It ins't as if I knew that there was a nuclear power plant in the affected area right along the coastline after all. The initial reports talked about how things were under control and it wasn't until the world saw footage of the explosions rocking the reactor buildings that we all began to realize that something was terribly wrong there. All of the reassuring messages in the world could not erase the images of those explosions. I know enough science to realize that there was not going to be an actual nuclear detonation as we would see from an atomic bomb going off, this was visually not that disturbing, but on a deeper level it was very alarming.
    I remembered back to my years in college when Chernobyl happened. There was no live footage of what went on there that we could see, and we were left with all sorts of mental images of what must have happened. At the time, the nuclear industry went into hyper-protective mode here in terms of Public Relations to convince us that we were all safe. Something like that could NEVER happen here, we were told, because Chernobyl was the result of reactor experiments that had gone wrong. Three Mile Island was still reasonably fresh in our minds at that time as well. What we witnessed from Fukushima was not the result of bad decision-making, it was the result of a man-made structure being left at the mercy of Mother Nature. No amount of effort could stop the meltdown in Fukushima because the entire area surrounding the plant was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. There was simply no way to get people and resources to the crippled reactors in the early hours after the tragedy.
    I do place a good portion of the blame for the after-effects on TEPCO and the Japanese government. I will always believe that there was a concerted effort to give the barest minimum of information in those first few days. The normal rationale for this would be to avoid panic, that is a joke when the world is seeing what is going on to try and "prevent panic".
    The after-effects from Fukushima are still being discovered. 3 years later and we still do not know exactly how bad the damage is, or will be. The story of US Navy vessels sent to help in disaster relief being exposed to huge amounts of radiation, and the resulting sickening of the sailors reminds us that this is a tragedy that will not end for decades. The effects of Fukushima on the Pacific Ocean are still largely unknown due to the sheer vast size of the Pacific. The spread of the contamination will probably astound us, but somehow I think that now the efforts are focusing on once again "preventing panic" although this time on a global scale rather than a regional or national one.
    It is this conspiracy of silence that bothers me more than anything else. WIthout credible information, how are we supposed to determine the best way forward from this ongoing crisis? When the after-effects of exposure to radiation that can be traced back to Fukushima becomes more apparent, I think that the entire dangerous experiment with nuclear energy will finally come to an end.

10 March 2014

Cosmos

t     I am old enough to remember the original "Cosmos" with Carl Sagan. I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing a few years ago. I was not sure what to think initially when rumors began about re-doing the series. It seemed that the only thing it would accomplish was to provide more impressive graphics than the original, and I wondered if that was enough of a reason to start this.
    When I heard that Neil DeGrasse Tyson was going to be the host of this new series, my interest definitely picked up. I have been very impressed when I have heard him speak, he brings an element of "cool" back to science that it has sorely lacked.
Last night was the premiere and I have to say that I loved the show. The memory of Carl Sagan was delicately and gently preserved. It was stated that without his influence the new show would never have happened. I was actually surprised to learn of the personal relationship between Tyson and Sagan many years ago. That was a brilliant touch to help close out episode 1.
     The emphasis that this new series places on humans is very important in this day and age. I caught the reference that Tyson made to the "thought police" during the segment on Giordano Bruno and his struggles with religion and science. I think that there was more than a slight rebuttal to the current anti-science stand that religious conservatives are taking today with their rejection of Evolution and their attempts to substitute the sham of creationism.
    The relatively short time frame that humanity has even existed really put everything into perspective. All of the achievements and knowledge that we have amounts to almost nothing on the cosmic scale.

09 March 2014

Why writing is so important to me

     Writing is something I do because I love it. I cannot just sit and write because I have to, it is always because I want to write, I feel the need to write, and there is no joy until I actually start to write. Writing is the voice in my head that lets me know that there are things that I need to focus on. There are times when this can be rather difficult, times when the ideas just won't make it from my mind to the screen through my fingers on the keyboard. Those are the times I dread. Those are the times when I feel the worst about myself and everything around me. The lack of an outlet for those inner feelings just poisons me on the inside.
    There never seems to be enough time to get everything written down. Ideas fly through my head and then are seemingly gone forever. This drives me to write every chance I get. I don't expect to solve the problems of the world, or to cure diseases or end poverty by writing. It just feels like something that I have to do.

March 9 and Learning to cope

I am at home on a sunny Sunday afternoon while Hal is at work. As I have talked about, I have learned how to manage my money better over the past several years, but that has resulted in me spending a lot of time at home rather than going out. It still seems rather boring most of the time, although I know that it is the best course of action for me top take until things are completely taken care of in terms of bills.

I cannot remember the times when friends have called and suggested getting together on a weekend to go out and have a good time and I have had to politely decline in order to save as much as I can. The number would be easier to remember if I had counted in the past because now I seldom get those calls anymore. They know that I will be politely declining the offers and staying home anyway. I cannot help but wonder if things with those friends will ever change as the result of my actions must have put a strain on things. I always explained to them about my situation and when they still called they were understanding, or at least they claimed to be.

Of course, this brings up the question as to whether or not those friends are worth the effort of reconnecting with once things are resolved here? I have to admit that a part of me says it is time to move on from them and acquire new friends that hopefully won't be as silently judgmental. Perhaps I am over-analyzing the situation, perhaps not. In a few months I can put the theory to the test and see what happens.

The main thing is that I learned how to survive without the constant circle of friends around. I have become much more self-reliant as a result, and there is certainly a part of me that cherishes the independence as well as a part of me that misses the interaction. I think that the biggest decision I made was the one to let them make up their own minds and to not be calling them simply because they were not calling me. This is that hard-to-define moment when the friendship itself is evaluated. It is a mark of the value I place upon those friendships that even makes me debate what to do. I realize that a friendship is a two-way relationship at heart, and if the connection has been severed at the other end, how much time and effort do I take in trying to restore it?

08 March 2014

For the first time in forever

It finally feels like Spring outside this afternoon. Not the unusually warm day that happens from time to time during Winter, this feels like the first taste of Spring! It is wonderful to see the sunshine and feel the warmth while the birds are singing outside. I know that we will have more cold weather in a few days, but a day like today gives me hope that SPring is finally on it's way at last!

07 March 2014

Taking some time for me

Today is Friday, March 7th and I am at the office as always, or so it seems. The difference is that today I am actually leaving work EARLY this afternoon. I finally decided that I have been too wrapped up with the job and have been neglecting myself as well as Hal. I made the conscious decision to leave early this afternoon. It wasn't difficult since I usually put in plenty of extra time at the job and the boss had no issue with the request.

The very thought of having most of Friday afternoon to do what I want is rather liberating. My plans will definitely include Hal, but I plan to just go home early and surprise him. It has been too long since we both had time off together, and I want to make the most of it since Hal works Saturdays and Sundays.

I have no idea what we will do this afternoon and evening, but it will be nice just being together. I really need to do something like this more often. I am guilty of becoming a slave to my job and always trying to improve things at work. I know deep down inside that this is a futile effort, but it does keep me motivated most of the time. However, it does take a toll on the rest of my life.

I don't really care about the weather forecast for this afternoon. The main thing is to be with Hal and enjoy some extra time together.

03 March 2014

Vladimir Putin - RWNJ Heartthrob

When one takes it as given that RWNJ will be opposed to any stance that President Obama takes on any issue, it should come as no surprise that Vladimir Putin is the hero-type candidate that RWNJ would love to have running for office in this country. Putin has a strong track record of hating on every group that RWNJ love to hate on.

Putin absolutely HATES the LGBT community and has been at the forefront of getting laws passed that are draconian in their treatment of the LGBT community. Putin justifies this by an appeal to xenophobic nationalism wrapped in religion. Just like RWNJ want this country to be.
Putin has established a cult that “outsiders are to be feared”. Non-Russians that are not totally subjugated to Russian demands and desires are to be viewed as constant threats to the nation. Another trait that RWNJ love to implement here.
Putin stresses a strong military above all else. So what if people live in poverty? That just provides a larger labor pool from which to draw more soldiers. Just don’t ask Putin or the leadership to provide any support or family members to the effort. Another RWNJ trademark.
Putin does not allow dissent from his opinion. RWNJ cannot do anything but disagree with President Obama, they long for the days of monolithic Imperial Presidents like GWB where dissent was frowned upon.
Given these circumstances, I would not be surprised if the RWNJ candidates for 2016 begin copying Putin’s style of rule, or promise to implement them if elected. RWNJ need a strong hand to lead them in order to stay united in their persecution of everyone else. It gives them a sense of belonging and a warped, weird purpose for their miserable little lives.

Russian Aggression

Vladimir Putin couldn’t wait until the rest of the world departed Sochi at the conclusion of his Nazi-style Olympics in which he tried to show the rest of the world that Russia was an advanced and civilized nation that was ready to assume a leadership role on the 21 century. Vladimir Putin wanted everyone gone as soon as possible so he could begin his campaign of aggression against the Ukraine, an independent nation that emerged from the shambles of the old Soviet Union. Putin has tried to take conflict to a new level by inserting Russian soldiers into the struggle by simply removing their insignias and badges. When the Ukraine calls him out on this, he states that these are not Russian troops at all. I suppose that in the old USSR, that this type of lie would be believed, but the rest of the world sees right through this deceit. Putin has his own grand designs of rebuilding the USSR with himself in control. This is something that the TRUE civilized world finds unacceptable.

Putin has the advantage of geography. Ukraine is next to the new Russian Empire headed by Putin. No amount of protests from the rest of the world can make up for that. Without a concerted effort that would invite a broader conflict, there is no way that the rest of the world can assist Ukraine militarily to defend itself. Despite the fact that this would play right into Putin’s hands at home with his own terrified domestic audience, it would play upon the historic Russian fear of being the victims of aggression. The rest of the world will have to find another way to counteract this aggression because there is no stomach for a wider war between Russia and NATO. Since Ukraine is NOT a member of NATO, the treaty does not apply to them.

There is an historical parallel to this. Nazi Germany began by taking small steps of aggression in order to gauge the resistance that would occur. In 1936, Germany “militarized” the Rhineland, a section of land that had been declared military-free at the end of WWI. The other powers failed to react, and in fact, claimed that Germany was only reasserting itself over it’s own territory at that time.

In 2008, as the world prepared to watch the Beijing Olympics, Putin and Russia began a limited war against the tiny country of Georgia. The rest of the world protested, but once again, the situation was geographically in Russia’s favor and nothing was done. Putin learned from this the same lesson that Hitler learned from the Rhineland, and that was that taking unjustified military action against a weaker neighbor that was geographically isolated from any source of help would not risk dire consequences.

Hitler next turned his eyes to Czechoslovakia. He incited the ethnic Germans against their neighbors and then tried to appear as the savior that prevented a wider war by absorbing those ethnic Germans into Germany (and taking their territory of course). This action left Czechoslovakia a ruined state that was later annexed without protestation by the rest of the world.

Putin is now in this phase with Ukraine. He has tried to appear as the “protector” of the Russians living in Ukraine. When the Ukrainians overthrew a corrupt government that was friendly to Russia, Putin began to agitate the ethnic Russians living in Ukraine and inciting fear among them that they were being persecuted. After the fires were lit by Russia, they then put their troops stationed in Ukraine by treaty into action against the Ukrainian government and it’s people. “Spontaneous” rallies called for reunion with Russia. Historical precedent for this is Austria in 1938 by Nazi Germany as well as the Czechoslovakian crisis.

The rest of the world once again failed to act either militarily, or economically against aggression. I am not calling for war, but we have to realize what we are dealing with here. Ukraine is too isolated from sources of help for direct military action, but economic pressure and punishment of Russia is definitely an option.

What do I see when I look at Putin and Russia. I see Hitler and the 4th Reich.

I am working from home today due to the weather. The promised snow has arrived, although it is difficult to tell exactly how much has fallen since we live on the 17th floor and I am NOT venturing downstairs to find out. Suffice it to say that everything is snow-covered when seen from above.I can say that the snow is still steadily falling as of 0730 this morning. It seemed to have snowed quite a bit overnight, but wasn’t really coming down when I went outside to the balcony for a smoke about an hour ago. Apparently, the pace has picked back up since then.

I will see how much longer the snow falls here. Obviously, there are no plans to get out at all today. Since the weather is supposed to remain very cold through tomorrow, I will make up my mind about telecommuting or not for tomorrow sometime this evening. Chances are that if the government is open tomorrow that I will go into the office as well, since that means that the roads are considered passable.

This is the view from the 17th floor this morning. 3rd day of March. Unbelievable. I wish that this winter weather would just go away! Spring is supposed to be here in less than 3 weeks, but it seems forever.

02 March 2014

Another Winter Storm

I am beginning to think that this Winter will never end. Here on the evening of March 2nd, we are waiting for yet another winter storm, this one called Titan to slam into the DC area after midnight. The forecast is rather ominous, and the Metrobus system has already taken the step of shutting their system down for tomorrow. Once that first domino fell, the others began to quickly fall into place. The Federal Government announced that it would be closed about 2 hours later.

Local Weather Alert

Winter Storm Warning for Arlington/falls Church/alexandria, VA

From 12:00 AM EST, Mon., Mar 03, 2014 until 6:00 PM EST, Mon., Mar 03, 2014

Other affected areas: 
District of Columbia, DC;  Prince Georges, MD;  Anne Arundel, MD;  Augusta, VA;  Rockingham, VA;  Greene, VA;  Madison, VA;  Culpeper, VA;  Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park, VA;  Fairfax, VA;  Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, VA;  Southern Fauquier, VA;  Western Highland, VA;  Eastern Highland, VA;  Western Pendleton, WV;  Eastern Pendleton, WV


Issued by The National Weather Service
Baltimore/Washington, MD

Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 1:49 PM EST

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 PM EST MONDAY...
* PRECIPITATION TYPE... FREEZING RAIN... SLEET... AND HEAVY SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS... UP TO ONE TENTH INCH OF ICE... THEN 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW.
* TIMING... RAIN CHANGES TO FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET FROM NORTH TO SOUTH AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT... THEN BECOMES HEAVY SNOW LATE TONIGHT AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY.
* TEMPERATURES... DROPPING FROM THE LOWER 30S AROUND MIDNIGHT TO THE MID 20S LATE TONIGHT... THEN LOWER 20S MONDAY.
* WINDS... NORTH 10 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH LATE TONIGHT AND MONDAY.
* IMPACTS... HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DUE TO ICE AND SNOW OVERNIGHT AND MONDAY. BOTH THE MONDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON RUSH HOURS WILL BE AFFECTED. POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE WITH THE COMBINATION OF ICE AND HEAVY SNOW.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
THIS WINTER STORM WARNING IS FOR HEAVY SNOW... SLEET... AND FREEZING RAIN AND MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE AND SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY CAUSE POWER OUTAGES. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL... KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD... AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
This is a forecast that is probably the very worst for this area. The timing of the arrival for Titan would make the morning rush a bigger nightmare than normal, and this area knows from experience that storms during rush hours are the preludes to disaster.
With this forecast brooding over us today, I drove in to the townhouse office and picked up my laptop in order to work from home tomorrow. Sadly, since I am not a government worker, I do not get a day off and am expected to work my normal hours. At least I can work those hours from home tomorrow and avoid going out in the snow.
Everyone knows that Spring is less than a month away and I will be very glad to see it arrive!

01 March 2014

Can't catch a break from Winter

Local Weather Alert

Winter Storm Watch for Arlington/falls Church/alexandria, VA

From 12:00 AM EST, Mon., Mar 03, 2014 until 6:00 PM EST, Mon., Mar 03, 2014

Other affected areas: 

District of Columbia, DC;  Montgomery, MD;  Howard, MD;  Southern Baltimore, MD;  Prince Georges, MD; Anne Arundel, MD;  Charles, MD;  St. Marys, MD;  Calvert, MD;  Augusta, VA;  Rockingham, VA;  Shenandoah, VA;  Page, VA;  Warren, VA;  Clarke, VA;  Nelson, VA;  Albemarle, VA;  Greene, VA;  Madison, VA; Rappahannock, VA;  Loudoun, VA;  Orange, VA;  Culpeper, VA;  Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park, VA; Fairfax, VA;  Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, VA;  Stafford, VA;  Spotsylvania, VA;  King George, VA; Northern Fauquier, VA;  Southern Fauquier, VA;  Western Highland, VA;  Eastern Highland, VA;  Western Pendleton, WV;  Eastern Pendleton, WV

More

Issued by The National Weather Service
Baltimore/Washington, MD

Sat, Mar 1, 2014, 9:59 AM EST

Local Radar Map

Updated Mar 1, 2014, 3:35pm EST

Weather in Motion®   |   Enlarge Map

Get WeatherReady

Prepare for Winter StormsKeep Safe During the StormDriving in Snow & IceAre You at Risk For Winter Storms?Get Live Traffic

... WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON...

* PRECIPITATION TYPE... FREEZING RAIN... SLEET... AND SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS... POTENTIAL FOR FIVE OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET WITH SOME ICE ACCUMULATION FROM FREEZING RAIN ALSO POSSIBLE.

* TIMING... FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET LOOKS TO BEGIN OVERNIGHT SUNDAY WITH SNOW... HEAVY AT TIMES... LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY.

* TEMPERATURES... IN THE LOWER 30S OVERNIGHT SUNDAY... MID TO UPPER 20S FOR MONDAY.

* WINDS... NORTH 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* IMPACTS... POTENTIAL FOR HAZARDOUS TRAVEL OVERNIGHT SUNDAY FROM ICY ROADS... BECOMING SNOWY FOR MONDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW... SLEET... AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

A Quiet Saturday

I just returned from a trip to the Post Office. I mailed off my monthly bills and that is all over with until April rolls around. The strange thing that happened was that the Post Office has suddenly moved from one location in the local strip mall to another with little advance notice. The old Post Office was a large building located at the end of the strip mall. The new location is much smaller, and is cleverly hidden in the middle with only a small sign to indicate that it is there. Imagine the parade of people like myself hustling to get a parking space near the old Post Office, which is still clearly marked, only to find that we are in the wrong place! The notice that is taped to the door gives the address, but it would have been much more helpful to indicate what store the new location is next to, in my personal opinion.

At any rate, now the monthly bills are paid and I can relax knowing that in just over 3 months I will be finished with a large bill that has been taking a big bite out of my paycheck for over 5 years.