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Saturday, April 11, 2009
on the tyranny and glory of 1's and 0's
Listening to:Throne of Blood, a samurai MacBeth from 1957
Reading:lil o'this, lil o'that
Weather:43, overcast
Dang internets. The web has been fucking with me all week in a variety of ways. I got my first blue screen of death error on an XP machine at work. WTF? And the various social networks I am (and probably you are) plugged in to kept wonking me out.

But I got a couple of interesting and welcome webby surprises, too. One was a really groovy shoutout through FB from a highschool classmate of mine. I have probably blogged about my bizarre highschool amnesia before, so I'll keep that long story short, but this classmate is one who I not only remember very well but also thought was really a cool person. We didn't actually hang out much, but we had some close mutual friends, and had boyfriends who were in the same circle of friends. I though she had a groovy strong personal style and was smart and interesting. We found each other on FB and she sent me a wonderful message telling me a bit about her life (which has really lived up to that highschool girl's promise) and an incredibly sweet assessment of the coolness she saw in me back in the day. This is one of those things that just makes your day, and probably would not have ever happened in the pre-web age.

And the other webby surprise was a comment apparently from Josh Fosbrink to one of my posts about a year ago where I ragged on him rather harshly for doing a pretty sorry job of impersonating a local weatherman. You see the weather is not merely small talk here in rural Preston County WV. And he is clearly not someone who has actually studied meteorology. If he had he would know that zooming in on and naming various little towns where it is currently raining this morning is actually completely useless to every single person watching the local news. We are already looking out our own windows to see whether it is currently raining (which, BTW is a form of PRECIPITATION, a clever and meaningful weather word which Mr. F has only used about twice in his tenure at channel 12). What we need to know from a weather forecast is WHAT changes in the weather will occur today and this week, and WHEN will they occur. For example, showing the predictor model blast through the next 12 hours in a fraction of a second, and then prognosticating that it will snow later today is pretty close to useless. Try this, instead: tell us WHEN it is likely to start snowing. Knowing, for example, that it is likely to start snowing around 6pm could help us choose to get right home after work today rather than stopping at the grocery store where there all bread and milk will suddenly become more sought after than a hit of black tar heroine on Holland Avenue. But if it is not likely to start snowing until after midnight a stop at the store for eggs might be in order since a 2 hour delay means actual breakfast in my house. And this is just one tiny glimpse into why accurate and thoughtful local weather forecasting actually matters around here. Don't get me started on there's rarely a mention of the weather systems forming in the west or north that are heading our way and how predictable their impacts are likely to be here. Suffice it to say glib chatter with the morning anchors is no substitute for actual cogent analysis of the upcoming weather. Sometimes I get more useful weather info from Don's offhand segue comment, seriously.

I know, you're thinking, ouch, what's with dissing the poor schlub who probably doesn't make squat for money and is probably a nice enough guy? Cuz of the times I've been completely schneidered by a completely bogus forecast that caused me frozen pipes or a hellish drive home or whatever. Don't worry, I've learned my lesson, I get my weather forecasts from the web now when it counts. Local weather is mostly just fodder for watercooler jokes now.

The saturday morning samurai movie has ended on IFC and now American Splendor is on. I love this movie!! Paul Giamatti was born for this role, yo.

permalink posted by cat 9:46 AM

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on the tyranny and glory of 1's and 0's