Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Agony and Ecstasy

I'm still trying to find my BodyClock equilibrium I guess...I can't seem to find a tread of a viewpoint, or a theme to pursue here...I've gotta quit whining about the weather...Cliché Warning: "it is what it is"...I'll also refrain from whining about My Generation's incessant butchering of the English Language. "60 is the New 45"...Shut Up!

For the time being, I'm afraid I'm reduced to observer/consumer status. Some more BodyClock resetting and I'll be ready to boldly snark on my observations again...

Today began with a slight drizzle when I fetched the Daily from the driveway. Back in the kitchen, I busied myself preparing a pot of French Roast. When I looked out the window a minute later, it was pouring rain.

In the afternoon, we did errands on dry roads and under sunny skies. About 4:30PM I saw a tweet saying that the CHP had closed Interstate 80 over Donner Summit due to snow, spinouts, and accidents. I checked the webcams, snow on the ground in Truckee and 4-5 inches at Pass Level.

A few minutes later my Twitter feed touted a Tornado Warning for Butte and Glenn Counties. This got my attention, and I tuned in Sacramento's NBC affiliate KCRA3-TV.

KCRA3 was wall to wall on the tornado story. They had Mark Finan in the studio in front of the Doppler Radar Map...south and west of the offending storm cell, LiveCopter 3 HD was feeding stunning video live when they caught a tornado touch down in a rural area southwest of the little hamlet Durham. The ropelike funnel was backlit by the sun and was throwing up showers of water from standing puddles that were everywhere in the wake of the passing storm cells.

Tornado near Durham
Soon KCRA3 added a third asset, their reporter Richard Sharp, was driving north on HWY 99 towards the storm streaming live video. Almost seamlessly, the three jelled into one organism. Finan was the Ringleader, prompting chopper pilot Dann Shively where to look for rotation in the Wall Clouds based on the shear signatures in the Doppler images, and asking Sharp for corroboration from his vantage point. This was excellent television, organic and compelling...I predict a Local Emmy.

As if by magic, funnel clouds began to slither down from the cloud deck. These were hypnotic images, like snake charmers' cobras, dancing luridly down towards the ground but not quite touching down. That's a good thing because by now the storm had changed course and was now heading due east between Oroville and Paradise where there are more farms, ranches and related infrastructure.

During the time the storm was still headed northeast, the anchors in the studio were talking by telephone with a NWS Forecaster from the Oroville NWS Office who said South Chico was inline to get hit by the rotating portion of the big cell. I phoned Chico Dupre and got his voicemail. I emailed him next, and went back to watching the story unfold. I was so enraptured that it didn't occur to me to DVR the show.

I finally got a reply from Chico Dupre. He was fine and all the action was about five miles southeast of his place.

KCRA3 stayed with the story until 7:15PM or so when the Warnings expired and the storm moved into the foothills and lost it's punch.

I made crookneck soup for my Mom and turned on the Giants' game. They were behind but soon tied the game in the 3rd with some heads-up base running. The Marlins scored three more runs in the 9th only to give up four Giants runs in their half of the 9th to send it into extra innings. In the 12th, a sacrifice fly to right field lead to a play at the plate that left Rookie of the Year Giants' catcher Buster Posey writhing in pain on top of home plate after the base runner "ran through" him. He was helped from the field favoring his left ankle. Posey never had the ball, so the run was the winning run. Replays showed Posey rolling his ankle badly. My medical opinion is severe sprain at the least, with a fracture or damage requiring surgery a likely possibility.

There's your Agony

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