Warning: I feel a rant coming on.
Does anyone else have a problem with today’s weather forecasters’ obsession with the Wind Chill Factor, or am I the only one? It’s getting so bad that I can watch an entire weather forecast, and if my attention wanders for one second, I miss the the actual temperature.
Note To Al Roker and his biddies. (Freudian slip. I meant buddies, but they do go on like a bunch of old biddies, don’t they) Sorry, but I warned you this might be a rant, Now where was I. Oh yes, Note to Al Roker and his buddies:
I do not want to know what it feels like outside. Call me old fashioned, but I just need you to tell me the real temperature. I’ll find out how it feels when I actually go out.
(For my West coast readers, who may not know about such things, according to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, “Wind chill temperature is a measure of the combined cooling effect of wind and temperature. As wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at a faster rate, driving down both the skin temperature (which can cause frostbite) and eventually the internal body temperature (which can kill). The Wind Chill Temperature index is the measure of this relationship.”)
Do you see that top set of numbers, the ones in the black border under the word temperature? In the old days, that’s all we needed to know.
But you know, all this histrionic hype may actually work to my advantage. Yesterday I was actually worried. Listening to the news, I began to picture the Arctic Express as a frost-breathing dragon bearing down on the House of Mars. But I had to go out and slay it. Rafael Miranda, my Sunday meteorologist said if I didn’t shovel the snow that fell overnight, it would freeze to ice. I got up my courage, quadruple-layered up, and waddled to the door.
Hey! I wondered, Is the Arctic Express Monster masquerading as a beautiful day?
Rafael had done me a favor. The real temperature could never measure up to his hype. I was pleasantly surprise. So much so, that when I was finished, I decided to go to the gym. When I arrived there I had another pleasant surprise, the always (pardon the word) wind-chilled parking lot, felt no colder than it did on any other winter day.
Only the sight of poor Mighty Mouse reminded me of how cold it was.
He was even wearing icicles on his old boo-boo
Back home again, Mighty had a message for Al Roker.
“Never mind how the cold feels. I’m out here all the time and I’m dressed for it, but I’m lonely and cramped down here.”
“When will this path become my driveway again? I want to go home?”
I didn’t have the heart to venture a guess. What do you think? April? May?
This winter and its snow deluges prompted a couple of Weatherman/politician verbal fisticuffs recently. A couple of week’s ago, Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal, complained that the Weather Service fell short in warning the Peach state of the impending storm that paralyzed Atlanta. And last week New York’s new mayor defended his decision to keep New York City schools open based on an inaccurate weather report. Al Roker was swift in his meteorological defense in both cases, even tweeting all the way from the Olympics in Sochi to deBlasio. The gist of both defenses was Whatcha talking ’bout. We told you so.
Well, let me defend Al. I heard him on both occasions, as well as his cohorts on ABC and CBS. Both cities were warned. However, might I venture an explanation and perhaps a suggestion? Cut out all the various weather forecasting models, the European model, the Canadian model, the GFS model, all these whatever forecasts spit out by super computers somewhere up in the clouds. Or is it The Cloud?
I myself fumed one morning as good ol’ Al went through four models, yes, 1,2,3,4 of just whether or not we would get “significant” snow. Yes, eventually the weather service hit upon the right one, but it reminded me of my high school approach to answering essay questions. Scribble down everything you know and maybe you’ll hit on the right answer
Do you think they have a model that can predict when I’ll have full use of many essential components of the House of Mars.
Whaddya think, Al? When do you think I’ll be able to dry my clothes outdoors?
When will I be able to actually see pavement on my walk?
When will I get my driveway back? April, May?
‘Cause I’m feeling cramped in my present driveway.
Monday through Friday, 7:00 – 7:25 AM, you’ll find me in my recliner, cup of coffee in hand and cat in lap. That’s because I’m addicted to the Today Show, and for those twenty-five minutes of news, Matt, Savannah, Al & Natalie are my friends,
After that, with the show devoted to other stuff, they’re background noise, as I try to get one housekeeping chore or another out of t he way before I go to work.
But last week, my curiosity was stoked by the steadily growing throng of pre-adolescent and adolescent girls staking their claim to Rockefeller Plaza so they’d have prime viewing space to see a band called One Direction – 1D for those in the know. It started out on Monday, exponentially increasing each day, until Friday, the morning of the concert, the hysterical crowd stretched from Fifth to Sixth Avenues and 48 to 50th street with an estimated 18,000 girls filling every square inch and their screams rising up to at least the tenth floor of the office towers penning then in . Mind you – maybe 300 of them might, just might be lucky to get a glimpse of the boy band. But for each girl, being able to add their screams to the other 17,999 was worth it to them
It brought to mind Beatlemania, and I couldn’t help contrast my viewing experience in a much quieter, less connected era. I loved Paul, John, Ringo, and George, (and yes, in that order), but let’s just say I was an armchair fan, making due with watching their three celebrated appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. “Ladies & Gentleman, Four fine lads all the Way from Liverpool – The Beatles”!!!! And the girls in the audience would scream every bit as frantically as the 1D’ers,
Now, the Ed Sullivan Show was a viewing staple in my house,
but, after sharing the Four Fine Lads with my parents and brothers for their first two appearance, unlike the 1D girls, by the third go round, I was determined to have a solitary viewing . So I quietly slipped away to watch the TV down in the basement room, where at least if I couldn’t scream, I could unabashedly let those tears run down my cheeks. I’ve never figured out why the sight of young rock idols brings forth involuntary tears in adolescent girls.
Don’t ask me why but my father came down a few minutes later. Knowing him, he probably just wanted to keep me company. And what timing! He settled into an armchair just in time for “Ladies, and Gentleman, all the way” etc, etc. Out trotted the Beatles, their hair bouncing and flouncing with every step. They immediately launched into Love, Love me do. (I don’t know how I remember these things – I just do.) Well, they hadn’t even gotten as far as “You know I love you” when Daddy hauls himself out of the chair and marches to the door in a huff, proclaiming over his shoulder as he left the room.
” I can’t watch these sissies with that long hair.” Long hair?” Now I ask you? This is how they looked at the time.
At any rate, Having been raised to be respectful, ( and wanting to live at least fifty more years) I refrained from asking “Who asked you to come down here in the first place?’
Which brings me back to last Friday morning, and 1D. Being curious as to just what kind of hunk of boydom would motivate 18,000 girls ,with fall closing in and with it an end to sleeping late, to get up at God knows what hour to come down and join these seriously die-hard fans who’d been sleeping on the streets of New York for five days, I had to see them, and hoped they’d begin their concert before 8:30 when I’d have to leave for work.
Ah, I was in luck. the screams grew in intensity as I bent over the bathroom sink, brushing my teeth. I straightened up and padded barefoot into the living room, toothbrush in hand, as Matt Lauer, serving for me as a twenty-first century Ed Sullivan, yelled into his microphone, “Here they come, One Direction!’ I grabbed my glasses for a good look as, five young men, in their late teens(?), early 20’S.s (?) in disparate types of out on the street dress, emerged from 30 Rock and bound up on stage. My attention was drawn to one, who had a flannel shirt tied around his waist, a la yours truly when I get hot raking leaves in the fall leaves.
As the cameras zeroed in on him, I took in his scruffy beard, somehow out of keeping with his youthful face, and his carefully trimmed short hair. I turned on my heels and returned to the bathroom. I didn’t say a word, but a thought was resounding in my head, “Short hair! I don’t want to watch this.”
And then the echo of a long ago voice – “Who asked you to come out of the bathroom?”