Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Meaty Urulogists


Worse, twice in three days.

You see the fancy images on your TV. You hear terms like "dopplar radar" and "NEXRAD," but it's all a ruse. A sham to convince you that the huckster on one channel is better than the snake-oil salesman on the other. The actual forecasting of weather in Texas probably involves chicken entrails and rolling lizard bones in a cup.

No, I take that back, because I think those methods would have a higher accuracy potential.

Case in point: Saturday morning, as I prepare to attend my 9:00 am Aikido class, I dutifully check the instant weather channel on my Dish Network satellite connection. "Sunny to partly cloudy and warm - chance of precipitation less than 10%." According to a local weatherman, "less than 20%" is just a statistical hedging of the prognosticator's bet, and their way of saying, "it's not going to rain, but don't quote me." Not content with a single source of the local forecast, I check in with a local radio station and they confirm the previous report.

Always enjoying an opportunity to take the motorcycle out, I load up my Aikido uniform on the passenger seat, and take out the rain-suit that usually resides in the left saddle-bag to make room for a pair of heavy sandals to wear while training outside. Being warm, I also remove the large windshield in favor of catching the breeze during my ride. Naturally, shortly before class ended, the skies darkened and voluminous clouds rolled in seemingly from nowhere and launched pomeranian-sized raindrops between tremendous bolts of lightning that bounced the power off-and-on again around the neighborhood. I waited for hours after class was over for the rain to settle into merely a standard soaking before resigning myself to fate and setting off for home by the shortest possible route. Once home, I checked the weather channel again: "Sunny to partly cloudy and warm - chance of precipitation less than 10%." Grumbling, I poured all 10% out of my boots on the front porch.

The following day, Father's Day, the weather forecast was grim: "Thunderstorms likely - chance of precipitation 80% - Severe weather possible." I spent most of the day outside in the abundant sunshine.

During the week, my workday morning ritual usually consists of the radio alarm clock going off at 4:00am for my wife to get up, put coffee on and do whatever it is she likes to do without the demands that two young boys and a needy husband put upon her. At 5:00am the alarm goes off again and I lay in bed until 5:08, when Brad Barton, one of the more respected meteorologists in the area comes on the radio to give his best guess for the day. Thus armed with information and the cup of coffee my wife presses into my hands I decide on whether to take the bike or the truck to work. Monday's forecast was sunny and warm, high around 94°, with winds shifting late evening and chances of storms not arriving until after midnight, because they were still way up in Kansas wishing they could find some feature in that bland, cornfield of a state to knock over. So, confident that I had a free ride until at least after I got home from work, I pulled on my remaining dry pair of shoes, took the bike out of the garage and headed off to the office. Sometime around 2:30 in the afternoon, I could hear hurried conversations outside my office door by my coworkers asking each other if the windows were up on their cars, because it looked as though it were going to start raining at any moment. While certainly dark and threatening-looking, the weather was windy at worst when I finally left for home around 3:30 and pulled out of the parking lot. While the rain may not have made it as far west as my office, it was most certainly waiting for me on the easbound leg of my ride, where it ambushed me and several other incredulous bikers with painful, welting drops that felt more like hail than water. Water-skiers will tell you that water feels like concrete at 60 mph. Imagine what it feels like when it hit you square in the face at 70. That watery, full-auto firing-squad assailed me until I finally reached my exit and could ride slowly on the side streets of my neighborhood.

I arrived home red-faced and numbed from the overload of pain in my face, hands and chest, and after stripping off my wet, clinging clothes, collapsed on the sofa until I regained feeling in my battered extremities. I got up, got dressed again and looked out the window to see the sun sheepishly peeking out from clearing skies.

When my boots are dry again, I'm going to use them to kick a meteorologist in the groin ... hard.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, the Weatherman.....the only job where you can be wrong 90% of the time and still not have any fear of being fired....lol....I feel your rain, I've been caught off guard by my weather guru quite a few times this riding season....but hey....nothing beats a good facial every now and then....lol


June 22, 2004  
Blogger HeadCheese said...

Call me a dreamer, but when the weatherman said today's weather would rate an 8 out of 10, and there would be no rain, I once again fired up the bike and rode in to work.

The only difference is, I made sure to repack my rainsuit and reinstall the windshield this time...

June 23, 2004  

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