Ponderings and Musings

Blue.

Things have calmed down on the weather front here in the Sonoran Desert. While quite chilly, as the daytime high was below 70ºF today, the sky was beautiful and the birds were chirping. A complete turnaround from the weather yesterday.

When we moved here three years ago, we went nearly 45 days without seeing anything but sunny skies. This year has been a complete 180º on that front.

Things should be fairly quiet on the weather front through Friday. It looks like another storm system is going to move through on Friday, bringing high winds and rain, with snow on the mountains again. It’s not completely unheard of at this time of year in this location, but it’s not very common.

We are scheduled to fly on Saturday morning but I’ll be keeping a close eye on the winds. It’s not a lot of fun to go up there and just bounce all over the place. I’d rather save that energy for a smoother day where we can enjoy all the beauty General Aviation offers.

Point of No Return.

Here’s a live performance of Nu Shooz’s “Point of No Return” from 1986. I’ve always loved this song; and the bump up in tempo for the live version is quite enjoyable. Another gem from my senior year of high school. I used to crank this up on 93Q, The Number One Hit Music Station in Syracuse, N.Y.

I think the interwebs has the lyrics wrong… I hear this in verse one:

“I was your friend, and you were mine
You’ve been around for a long, long time,
I’ve known you then, but not like now,
something has changed and I don’t know how… ”

“Genius” on the Google search, whatever that is, has it all wrong. Bandcamp has it right.

Lead singer Valerie Day seems like a lot fun, it’s a shame I never met her during my days in radio. This track is from Nu Shooz’s album “Poolside”. I usually listen to it while out on the Great Plains during storm chasing season.

https://nushoozorchestra.bandcamp.com/track/the-return-of-point-of-no-return

Easter.

We don’t usually do a big deal around Easter dinner. In the past Earl and I have had some sort of picnic regardless of the weather; this weekend in Arizona it’s rainy. We had a couple of friends over and had a very nice Easter celebration today.

Reach out and tell loved ones and friends how important they are and how much they contribute to your existence.

It’s Friday.

Last night’s sunset.

This week has been busy with meetings at work. My calendar has been quite jammed with all sorts of events, all of it important, I’m sure. As I get older I realize I take more and more after my father. When supper time comes, I don’t want to think about it; I just want someone to tell me what we’re having and if they need assistance assembling supper I’m there to help, otherwise I’m ready to eat at 6:00 PM.

I know June, I sound like I’m right out of the 1950s. I’ll talk to the Beaver.

When you live in a home with four other men and no one wants to cook, you figure things out. I declared to Earl I’d take him to a place down the street that we enjoy. It’s called “Serial Grillers” and they have several locations in the Tucson area.

I snapped this photo from their parking lot. The sunset was gorgeous and it made me smile. It was a good way to bring Thursday to an end and it made me smile. The smile continued through the work day today, where my calendar was clear aside from a semi-weekly touch point with my team. Smiling made me productive and I cleared my to do list for the day.

It’s a great start to the weekend.

To See.

It’s been about five years since I was first told I needed glasses. At that event I was basically told I should wear glasses when working on the computer and the fine local optician on the north side of Chicago helped me find a pair of glasses that fit the bill. A year later I went and got another eye exam, continued the trend of occasionally needing glasses, found myself a snazzy pair of glasses and off we went. A little while later I moved to progressive lenses and tended to wear them only when I felt I needed to wear them.

On Tuesday I had my biannual FAA mandated medical exam. As a private pilot of a certain age, I maintain a “Class 3” Medical Certificate, meaning I need to meet FAA health standards need to prove this every two years. I went to the same doctor I visited back in 2022. He is very nice.

Well, it turns out I should be wearing my progressive lenses more than “when I think I need them”. I’m lucky I had brought them along for the eye exam portion of the ordeal, because I definitely needed them to get through the whole.

It is now documented that I must be wearing my prescription glasses when I’m flying an airplane.

Earl and I went flying last night. While touring the area by airplane I remarked, “wow, I can really see what’s going on up here!”. It’s amazing how well I can fly an airplane when I can see things.

It’s like my vision has gone from standard definition to Ultra 4K.

50 Days.

As of today I have 50 days remaining in my countdown to my 2024 Storm Chasing Adventure. Instead of thinking that I’m going “storm chasing”, I’m thinking of this trip as a “Storm Hiking” trip, because I plan on integrating some hiking to keep the blood moving while I’m inbetween supercells. The supercells will always win if there’s a battle for my attention, but hiking keeps me sane and allows my mind to relax while building up my physical stamina. It’s a win-win.

Even though it’s been well over 300 days since my last storm chasing trip, I’m still processing what went wrong and what went right with my 2023 adventure, as I don’t want to replicate my mistakes and come back to Tucson wishing I had done X, Y, and Z and not feeling satisified with the trip. I was a bit too contemplative on last year’s trip. I listened to too many self-help type podcasts, I was too entrenched with social media, and I was too concerned of not losing my productivity momentum, even though I was on vacation. Plus, last year’s trip took place during an unusually quiet time for storms in May. This year’s forecast looks much more promising.

I’ve been pulling away from social media in general since the beginning of this year. Continuing that trend going into my “storm hiking” trip in 50 days shouldn’t be hard to continue; the only caveat is that I will still follow a feed or two so I know what other storm chasers are doing. Seeing their take on the forecasting models I’m looking at helps me be better at figuring out where to position myself for a storm.

I’m a bit surprised at how fast the year is passing by. After a January that seemed to go on forever, here we are at the end of March. We’re already into springtime in the Northern Hemisphere and work oriented folks are already looking at the end of the first quarter. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!

Oddities.

When moved to Tucson three years ago this past Sunday. It’s been a great three years and I certainly love living in the Sonoran Desert.

When we first moved here it would be well over 45 days before we would see any rain. It was hot. It was dry. And the world around us appeared very brown. So desert like. I loved it.

Fast forward three years later and the world around us is very green. Storm system after storm system seems to be moving through our area on a fairly regular schedule. As a weather dork it has been a fascinating study.

They say we may get another storm passing through the area this coming weekend. I guess we’re also finally seeing an end to our drought.