Friday, July 26, 2013

There Goes The Neighborhood!

Well it’s been ten days since I repopulated the DaveCave, and California’s Heat Wave followed me across the Big Valley and right up the hill. In fact Truckee ran hotter than The Inland Valley and the Ancestral Digs for nine straight days!

            I ran into Reno for some BBQ parts, reprovisioning and a tank of gas after a week of baking, being careful to pick a day where the weather promised some relief from their string of 90°F+ days, and a chance of Thunderstorms to boot!

            Well the humidity made up for the slight slacking of the temps…fortunately my errands didn’t include any heavy lifting…I picked up a new BBQ and headed west up the Truckee River Canyon in time to make it home for the 4:05PM SF Giant’s Double Header.

            Thursday I headed into town to dry my laundry and hit the library for some internet connectivity. The sky to the north and east was as dark as midnight. On the car’s AM radio I could hear a steady crackling of lightning strikes.

            The parking lot at the library was packed. This meant that all three AC Outlets upstairs in the ‘Internet Peanut Gallery’ were doubtlessly occupied…I opted to run on battery power from the shared parking with the Truckee PD. It was hot but breezy, 85°F according to the car’s external thermometer…I let the car run with the A/C blasting until I had both computers started and the clouds parted bathing the front seat area in blindingly bright sunlight that made it all but impossible to view the laptops’ LCD screens.

            I had the Dell up, running and connected to the library’s Internet Access Point, read my mail and started streaming KSFO from San Francisco before my nine year old COMPAC finished starting up. I paused Carbonite and tried in vain to get logged onto the library’s wireless network. There’s a very specific dance to get onto the network, and it’s a little complicated to do the two-step with the old single core Centrino™ processor doing one. thing. at. a. time…

            I run the old machine for iTunes, and I needed to update some Podcasts…I bailed…I’ll dig a little further back in my iTunes library tonight and hit the library before lunchtime tomorrow.

            I headed back to the DaveCave and the radio was still crackling like a campfire. I was listening to Reno’s leading News/Talk station KKOH 780AM. At 3PM, it’s Local Talk. Dan Mason the regular afternoon host was on, but he was having a heck of a time getting any conversation going because the Emergency Alert System (EAS) kept interrupting with the latest NWS Weather Warnings…Flash Flood Warnings, Severe Thunderstorm Warnings…local doomsday if you will…

            Twitter on my phone kept me up to the second…because of the seven second delay the radio stations use, I’d see the tweet from @NWSReno a few seconds before the EAS klaxon would grate away at my radio’s little speaker and parrot the latest trouble spot.


            Finally, KKOH went off the air for twenty or so minutes…likely a lightning strike took out the power at the transmitter site. KKOH,  missed out on the Alert and the scoop…I turned on the tube and tuned in Sacramento’s CBS affiliate KOVR 13. Their weatherdude, Dave Bender was on the story…here’s his radar pix:


            Around 5:30PM PDT @D3PIO ( CalTrans District 3 Public Information Officer) tweeted: “ETO for I-80 reopening near state line is now 8:30 p.m.” That’s when I heard the first thunderclap. We got a few kernels of hail in the ¼ inch range, but not enough rain to fully wet the front deck…

            Well lookie here…CalTrans got the Interstate open at 10PM PDT Mountain life, never a dull moment!