Clearly we have moved into the schizophrenic part of autumn.

Here’s the high and low temps for the next 7 days in my little Michigan suburb:

Up! Down! Up! Down! I should be losing weight from this.
Click to embiggen.

Yes, I’m blogging about the weather. Sue me. It’s content.

This seemed appropriate today.


Not that you’d know it by looking at the weather reports. Yesterday was pretty warm and today it’ll be in the low-50’s, but we’re slated to drop back down as the week continues. Still, compared to the past few months this is practically a heat wave. Of course once summer gets here and it’s unbearably hot we’ll all sit around and bitch about that too because that’s just the kind of assholes we human beings are. There’s about a two week period in the spring and fall where the weather is perfect and then the rest of the year we bitch about it.

As an aside, I’ve been waiting most of a year to use that graphic.

If you think March’s weather has been fucked up, you’re right.

You see this picture up here? That’s a mapping of the Land Surface Temperature anomaly for the week of March 8 – 15, 2012. It basically shows all the spots in North America where the temps were either abnormally high or low. Needless to say, March has been a record smashing month for anomalous temps.

The unseasonable warmth broke temperature records in more than 1,054 locations between March 13–19, as well daily lows in 627 locations, according to Hamweather. Cities as geographically diverse as Chicago, Des Moines, Traverse City (Michigan), Myrtle Beach, Madison (Wisconsin), Atlantic City, New York City, and Duluth, (Minnesota) all broke records for high temperatures in recent days.

The intensity and scope of the heat wave is clearly visible in this map of land surface temperature anomalies. Based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite, the map depicts temperatures compared to the average of the same eight day period of March from 2000-2011. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than the 2000-2011 base period are blue.

via Historic Heat in North America Turns Winter to Summer : Image of the Day.

And it’s not just that a bunch of records were broken, but that they were broken in some particularly amazing ways:

Records are not only being broken across the country, they’re being broken in unusual ways. Chicago, for example, saw temperatures above 26.6°Celsius (80°Fahrenheit) every day between March 14-18, breaking records on all five days. For context, the National Weather Service noted that Chicago typically averages only one day in the eighties each in April. And only once in 140 years of weather observations has April produced as many 80°Fahrenheit days as this March. Meanwhile, Climate Central reported that in Rochester, Minnesota. the overnight low temperature on March 18 was 16.6°Celsius (62°Fahrenheit), a temperature so high it beat the record high of 15.5°Celsius (60°Fahrenheit) for the same date.

Emphasis added. Here in Ann Arbor we broke several high temps with several days getting into the low 80’s. Usually in March we range in the low to mid 50’s during the day. Spring-ish weather, but not friggin’ late June to early July weather like we’ve been having.

Today we’re back to normal with the high only supposed to reach 50° which is right around where we should be. The next several days are also going to be a little more normal so things appear to be settling down here at least. It was very weird having to turn on the A/C in the apartment for a couple of days in friggin’ March.

Is that a giant dick or are you just forecasting the weather?

I’m sure this is totally innocent and not an attempt by someone at the news station involved pulling an on-air prank. I can totally see how no one would see how anyone could possibly construe it to be an image of a giant phallus.


And, yes, it’s totally in-dick-ative that I still have the sense of humor of a 13 year old.

Via Internet Today.

Fourth coolest summer on record for South Eastern Michigan.

I was remarking to the wife the other day that it seems like this year’s summer has been unusually cool. As it turns out it’s more unusual than I thought:

At Big George’s Home Appliance Mart on Ann Arbor’s west side, air conditioning units aren’t exactly flying off the shelves this summer. Attendance is down at Buhr Park Pool in Ann Arbor, and fewer customers are visiting the Dairy Queen on Packard Street for ice cream cones in recent weeks.

Traditional summertime staples are seeing a downturn this year as temperatures rarely top 80 degrees.

Just how cool has it been? We’re at the tail end of the fourth coldest summer recorded in Ann Arbor since 1880, University of Michigan meteorologist Dennis Kahlbaum said. 

The average temperature for June was down 0.8 degrees; average temps were down 4.6 degrees in July, according to National Weather Service data.

We generally only turn the A/C on when the temps get over 90 with high humidity. I’d guess that we’ve had the A/C on for perhaps ten or twelve days total for the whole summer. Late August and early September are usually well into the 90’s during the day with nights not dropping far into the 70’s, if at all. Not this year. Nighttime temps have been as low as 43 degrees and We’ve been closing the windows and using the comforters on our bed. Which isn’t to say the weather hasn’t been enjoyable, but it sure is strange. It’s like we never made it far out of late May or early June weather.

According to which meteorologist you talk to it’s either the fault of El Nino or the North Atlantic Oscillation. The upshot basically is that in our region the jet stream has been unseasonably low allowing for cooler Canadian air to come rolling on down. Meanwhile out on the west coast it’s been unusually high making for some record heat. Of the two I think I’ll stick with the unusually pleasant weather we’ve been having even if it did pretty much rule out going swimming at all this year.

One thing is for sure: You can bet this’ll get the local global climate change denialists yapping about how this proves Al Gore is all wrong. 

One of the advantages to reading ***Dave’s blog…

… is that it acts like my own personal weather forecast. ***Dave talks about the weather fairly often and when he does I know that within four or five days we’ll be experiencing the same weather here. For example, here’s what he wrote four days ago:

While the Eastern US is snowed under, we’re facing temps here in the 60s-70s all week. Yeesh.

We missed out on that snowstorm here in Michigan, but it was bitter cold here at the time he wrote that. Today? Today we’re supposed to hit 64 degrees. Granted we start to cool down tomorrow, but we’ll remain in a relatively balmy 45 to 53 degree range for the next few days.

The really nice part is that when it’s miserable and cold here all I have to do is check in with ***Dave to see if there’s any relief coming to raise my spirits. By the same token, whenever ***Dave says things are ball-shrinkingly cold where he’s at I know to prepare myself for some bad weather. Thanks ***Dave!

It’s a might bit chilly out today…

Local Weather Alert for Ann Arbor, MI –


Brrrrr. Wish I could go back to bed.

Back to the daily grind…

Despite my best efforts I didn’t become filthy rich over the two weeks I had off from work so today finds me back behind my desk doing that voodoo that I do, also known as work. I had one voice mail waiting for me and it was from the old lady that doesn’t understand the concept of voice mail who calls every so often looking for “Mike and Cindy” only to wonder why I never say anything after the initial message and beep. Today’s message was: “Oh, I’m sorry. This is the wrong number. I wanted to talk to Mike and Cindy. [short pause] Hello? [longer pause] *Click*”

I’ve not been keeping up with my RSS feeds so I have a couple of thousand entries spread across the blogroll to dig through which should occupy some of the downtime today. We’re surprisingly slow support-wise considering we just got off a two-week break. I thought there’d be a ton of issues to deal with, but so far I’ve only gotten a couple of calls.

Other than that the only other news is the amazing lack of snow we’ve got here considering how much we had at Krismas. We had one day were we broke a record high of 60 degrees and the landscape has looked more like spring than winter since then. We might be getting more snow later this week, but it’s pretty bleak looking out there at the moment.

Lastly the next semester of college classes start next week. Not looking forward to it as it means I’ll be going from work to school Monday through Thursday nights every week for 15 weeks, but it’ll get three more classes out of the way. Decided to go ahead and take the PC Hardware class even though I already know 90% of it (been building my own PCs for years) as there’s still that 10% to fill in the blanks with. If nothing else it’s an easy A. The Windows Server 2003 and ISA classes will actually be new to me, though, so those should be fun. Speaking of classes, my grade for last semester was a solid A giving me the first 4.0 GPA I’ve ever had. Kind of cheated in that I only took the one class and I knew most of it already, but you take your accomplishments where you can find them.

Winter’s chill has arrived.

It’s not winter yet, that won’t officially happen until December 20th, but you could have fooled me over the past couple of days. After a surprisingly balmy Halloween and first week of November the jet stream has finally shifted and took us from a high of 64 this past Monday to a high of 44 the next day. The skies have gone grey and cloudy with occasional showers that have had a snowflake or two mixed in and today we’ve already hit our high of 40 degrees. Fortunately the furnace here in the townhouse works pretty well and the place seems decently insulated enough considering its age. For the rest of the week the best we’re hoping for is a warm up to 53 degrees by Friday, but there’s more chances of snow as we go along.

Shouldn’t be too much longer and we’ll get our first dusting of snow. Or perhaps it’ll be like last year and we’ll get dumped on in November and then have a relatively snow free Christmas. Either way it’s coming and it’ll be interesting to see how well Ann Arbor handles plowing the streets. Living in Canton was fantastic as the streets were cleared almost immediately whereas Hamburg, being the boonies, was lucky if the streets were cleared within a couple of days. I suspect this being Ann Arbor that it’ll get pretty quick attention.

In the meantime I need to decide how I’m going to use my Krismas lights. We’ve got a few windows with outlets nearby that I can stick some in and our “backyard”, such as it is, has a wooden fence around most of it that might be a good spot to put a string or two. I should probably do that before the snow starts flying in any serious quantity. I probably won’t, but I really should.

Lazy weekend recap.

I had a half-productive weekend with Saturday being the productive day and Sunday being the lay-around-enjoying-nothing-in-particular day. The weather Saturday was fabulous with highs in the 60’s and gentle breezes which made the trip up to my grandmother-in-law’s place that much more enjoyable. We finally made it back up with a new graphics card and monitor for her PC as her old graphics card wasn’t displaying the color red for some reason and her old monitor was, frankly, tiny. When you’re a 94 year-old computin’ granny you can use all the screen size you can manage. The whole job took about a half-hour, but we were there for almost two hours because she had taken the time to make us a lunch that was really fit to be a dinner. She and Uncle Mike presented me with a debit gift card to say thanks for all the PC work I’ve done for them lately (we were up a couple of weeks ago doing additional work on several other relatives’ PCs).

Then we spent the rest of Saturday visiting with our good friend Eric Paulsen. Some of you may remember Eric as a frequent contributor to SEB in the past including holding status as an Official Guest Bastard. He was laid off from work around about the same time I was the first time (over two years ago) and has, like us, had to move back in with relatives to survive. Unlike myself, however, Eric has had a harder time finding work and we lost touch with him for awhile. Turns out he’s living more or less on the way to my parent’s place, which is also not far from where Anne’s relatives live in Davison, so we called him up and hung out with him for the rest of the afternoon. We went out to dinner with Eric at the local Subways before we headed home for the night. All in all it was an enjoyable and productive day.

Sunday I got to take advantage of the debit gift card I received. The monitor I gave to Anne’s grandmother was the 17” model I carted around with me to LAN parties which meant I no longer had a gaming monitor as I’m not about to try to log the Dell 21” CRT I have on my desk over to my buddy’s basement for his LAN parties. I did that once and getting it up and down the basement steps, both there and at home, damn near gave me a hernia. With some of the recent deals on flat panels Anne said I could combine the gift card with a little money from our checking account and pick up a new flat panel monitor that will replace the 21” Dell on my desktop and still be light enough to tote around to LAN parties. The 21” CRT will go up to my parent’s place to replace the 21” monitor they already have that is starting to give up the ghost. The display is unusually fuzzy on their 21” and it shifts the screen occasionally for no apparent reason. So I’m getting one of Samsung’s newer models: The Samsung 2053BW 20” LCD. The viewable area is actually slightly larger than the 21” CRT I’m giving up and it has a resolution of 1680 x 1050 which should be very nice indeed.

And that’s about all I did all weekend. The rest of Sunday was spent either playing on the PC or watching Episode II and III of the Star Wars prequels on SpikeTV because I hadn’t seen them in awhile. What were you folks up to? Anything interesting?