Rain, Rain…

It’s been beastly hot here for the last few days and now we’re facing several days of severe thunderstorms…this current system starts in Washington D.C. and goes all the way down to south central Virginia. Lots of warnings about trees and wind and flooding.

Which means we may lose our power more permanently (it’s been flickering off and on) when the brunt of it hits here…

…so y’all know the drill: if it looks as if the lights are on and no one is home, the situation will be exactly opposite: we’ll be home sans electricity.

So leave your comments, they will see the light as soon as we do.

An Equinoctial Blizzard

Well, it’s not really a blizzard. But still…

Spring arrived last night, but you wouldn’t have known it by looking out the window this morning here at Schloss Bodissey. We’ve had snow-covered daffodils quite a few times in the past, but not usually so much, nor so late in the season.

It was quite warm at ground level as the snow came down, but the temperature up there in the empyrean was frigid, so the snow was actually dry until it hit the ground. Nevertheless, by lunchtime it was melting rapidly. As I write this it’s still snowing fitfully, but melting faster than it accumulates.

From what I read in the news, people to the north and west of us got it much worse. I read one prediction saying that Garrett County, Maryland might get as much as two feet (60 cm) of the stuff. Ugh!

Bad Moon a-Risin’

Looks like we’re in for nasty weather.

There’s a nor’-easter coming up the coast right now. We’re not in the crosshairs for the snow and heavy rain — Boston and New York will get those — but we are supposed to get strong winds tonight and tomorrow, with gusts as high as 50-60 mph (60-95 kmh). I can hear the howling starting outside the window even now.

The weather alert is warning about widespread power outages, so if we disappear from view for a while tomorrow, you’ll know why.

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!

A Giant Ponzi Scheme Exposed

Here’s a seasonal change of pace from Seneca III.

A Giant Ponzi Scheme Exposed

by Seneca III

This morning I awoke to an almost monochromatic world of whiteness. During the night, silently and gently, Granny Weather returned after many long years of absence and laid her soft blanket upon us — a real English winter has returned.

As I sat looking out from my study with my mug of morning coffee in hand I said to her, “Welcome back, but where have you been, and why?” knowing that that was really a rhetorical question born of a deep cynicism that has been festering in my soul ever since a certain Mr. Gore sentenced Polar Bears to a pseudo death and began lining his pockets via his investments in carbon-trading companies… soon to be joined in various ways by a horde of similar predators and parasites.

But, dear readers, that would appear to be the way of things. So, as we move further away from the conjunction of the eleven and two hundred-year solar cycles and, after another coffee, it will be on with the snow boots and out with the yard brush and shovel to make a small impact on my patch of what millennia ago was a vast, semi-tropical carboniferous landscape populated by wondrous creatures now extinct.

Climate does change — it always has and always will, so one must be pragmatic and just get on with it.

— Seneca III, soon to be walking up to the Pub in a refreshingly redecorated Middle England this 10th day of December 2017.

For links to previous essays by Seneca III, see the Seneca III Archives.

Sturm und Drang

A big orange and red blob is heading our way, according to the Nexrad radar image. That means boom and bang in the sky, water pouring down the driveway, and high winds in the trees.

It probably won’t knock out our Internet, but you never know. Lately it seems that whenever a bird drops a doot on the phone company’s server box, our Internet connection goes down.

So if you don’t hear from us for a while, you know it’s another “Oh, no! Not again!” moment here at Schloss Bodissey.

King Lear Is Headed to the Heath. Again

Update 7:58pm EDT: We had a LOT of very heavy rain with thunder, but no wind to speak of. Yet the DSL connection went down yet again, for several hours. Then it came back — for now.

Severe weather ahead. Which may mean the thin string they use to hold together the tin cans that comprise our connectivity will break yet again. If that happens we won’t be able to let in any comments. Again.

It could be worse: I looked at the map and Harrisburg, PA has a tornado warning to its immediate southeast. The nomenclature goes up in severity from “watch” to “warning”. As in our severe thunderstorm warning here in Dogpatch.

Stay dry, y’all.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I don’t know if this weather page will stay but it gives you some idea of the unstable conditions we’re facing.

Because there’s a lot of thunder about, some random bolt (no, not Andrew) may well hit one of the boxes responsible for our internet connection.

Well, y’all know the drill. If it looks like no one’s home… we done been hit. Again.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We’re in the path of a line of storms that’s part of the severe weather system moving up the East Coast from the south (it’s far worse to the south of us). Y’all know what happens when a bolt of lightning strikes ten miles away, or the wind gusts to 10mph — we lose our Internet connection. So if we’re missing in action for the next little while, you’ll know why.

They don’t care. They don’t have to care. They’re the phone company.

Well, that was a fun three days of forced vacation.

Words can’t describe my level of annoyance with the phone company. Or rather, no words that meet the PG-13 guidelines for this blog.

It happened the middle of Tuesday afternoon. A line of moderate thunderstorms passed to the north of us. We could hear the thunder, but the storm was two or three miles away. No big deal — it didn’t seem necessary to put up one of our weather warning posts.

Then the lights flicked on and off for a split second. Just a blip — it wasn’t even enough to reset any of the electric clocks in the house. But the internet went out. Natch. The phone kept working, but no more DSL.

I had to go grocery shopping. When I came home, the internet was still out, so I called the phone company and didn’t oprima nueve para español. After going through the usual rigmarole, the tech had me reboot the modem, unplug and replug the modem, etc., etc. He checked the status of the server, and said there were no malfunctions at that end. There was nothing else that could be done remotely.

I spent an hour or so on the phone with two levels of technician (the lowest flunky and then his supervisor), and could get no help except that they would send someone out on Saturday April 1. That’s when I got annoyed and had the flunky put me through to the supervisor. I try not to give guys at the lowest levels a hard time, because they really can’t do anything more — they are constrained in their responses. So I told them I was speaking for the recording (because they record everything), and then proceeded to give an earful to the higher-ups who might eventually listen to the recording. I didn’t get obscene or anything — that’s not my style — but I was, shall we say, emphatic.

The most I could get from them was that they would escalate the ticket, so that the local area supervisor out here in Bigfoot County could make a decision on whether or not to pay attention to our measly little problem. But all the technicians in our area (probably all two of them) were booked up until April 1, so we couldn’t expect any help until Saturday at the earliest.

And that was that.

I had a few choice words to say about the phone company after I hung up. And then we hunkered down to wait.

I used other means to put a message through to Vlad and Henrik, who were eventually able to put up posts and approve comments.

Then this afternoon the internet suddenly and mysteriously came back to life. The technician never showed up here, so whatever was done to fix it — a problem that couldn’t be fixed remotely — was done remotely.

Later today I’m going to call the phone company and try to find out why they were able to do something they said they couldn’t do, and why it took three days to do it. But I can’t spend too much time on it — I’ve got a heck of a lot of work here to catch up on.

[Additional choice words about the telephone company redacted for violating Gates of Vienna’s standards of decorum.]

Power to the People — NOT!

Our electric power suddenly went out late yesterday afternoon for no apparent reason — no snow, no rain, no wind, no nothin’. And not just here at Schloss Bodissey, but throughout the whole neighborhood. It came back on sometime in the middle of the night.

That’s why there was no news feed last night, and why no comments have been approved. It’s also why I’ll be behind the eight ball for a while today.

A Plague Upon This Howling!

We’re in the midst of another one of those weird weather systems. This one affects most of the East Coast, and includes heavy wind and severe thunderstorms. So please be aware that we may disappear from view if a cloven pine happens to topple on a power line somewhere nearby.

The first wave of sturm und drang passed over while were at church for the Ash Wednesday service. It was already blowing up a gale when we left home, and the wind strengthened even further during the service. Ours is an old church with a high ceiling and tall windows, and the sashes rattled and shook ominously throughout the service. (In an aside, the priest advised us to consider it the Holy Spirit.)

Afterwards, while we were having coffee in the parish hall, a black mass moved in from the West, and the full force of the rain began in earnest, while the wind continued to blow. Fortunately the wall of cloud and rain passed over without inflicting any serious damage — just a dead branch or two visible alongside the road on our way home.

But that was just the first wave. There’s another wall of blackness coming our way, bearing with it the possibility of tornados and other monstrosities. So if your comments start going unapproved during what should be the prime time of the day, you’ll know why.

Over the Hill and Through the Woods…

This afternoon we will be traveling across the frozen tundra to the dentist. It’s a long trip and requires a brief stop at the health food store.

There are posts here which will draw comments. Those comments will sit, unmoderated, until we return in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on road conditions.

Never fear, gentle readers, we will return (providing there are no mishaps, though I am taking my go bag as a precaution). Letting in comments will be the first order of business.

The Russians Hacked Our Weather

Update 10:54am EST: It looks like we got about 4-5 inches (13 cm), nothing serious. There’s no significant wind, and no ice. So, all in all, it seems to be an ideal snowstorm — pretty to look at, not too deep, and not dangerous. It’s going to get very cold tonight, though.

The devious schemers in the Kremlin have figured out a way to hack into the climate on the East Coast and send Siberian-style weather our way. Is there no limit to the perfidy of those evil Tatars?

I think it’s time to open a congressional investigation into the “fake weather” generated by Vladimir Putin and his Moscow minions.

Seriously, though…

The snowfall here has been light so far. If it continues this way, we shouldn’t have a problem. However, if this low-pressure system decides to dump a big load on us, or if some of that nasty freezing rain moves in, things could get ugly here at Schloss Bodissey.

So — if Saturday afternoon rolls around, and we still haven’t approved any comments, you’ll know why. Just picture us huddled in front of the propane heater, waiting for the electrician (or someone like him)…