Category Archives: Nature’s Fury

The Thaw

Generally I like winter.  The snow is always pretty, even if it makes a mess of things.  The cold isn’t too bad as long as you dress for it.  I think if anything it’s the short days that get me the most now.  The snow is all melting and parts of the yard are seeing sunshine that haven’t seen it in weeks.  Really feels like the calendar is starting to turn now.  Of course I’m sure there’s going to be another cold snap this week that will put us right back where we were.

I was out shoveling the drive last week when the snow came through.  It was dark because it was after Luke went to bed.  But I had my russian hat on, my snow boots, and several layers.  But you know what?  Despite it being 4 above zero and 15mph wind, it didn’t effect me too much.  I felt like I was wearing a space suit, haha.  I enjoy shoveling snow on some level because it’s peaceful, and it’s a time where you’re very unlikely to be disturbed.  Not many people will bug you for fear of becoming part of the snow shoveling team.  So it’s somewhat therapeutic for me.

As spring approaches, I’m reminded I’m going to have to do something about my lawn mower.  I’ve nursed that thing along the last year about as well as I can.  The spark plug wire is toast and is held on by wire.  The deck is rusted and the handle is barely attached after numerous repairs, and despite cleaning out the carb several times, I just can’t get it running smoothly.  A friend at work is selling a self propelled mower for $100.  That’s a little more than I want to pay for a used mower, but it is a nice one… that will probably be the route I go.  My yard just isn’t really big enough to “need” a rider, and I enjoy the exercise I get from mowing.  Kinda like shoveling snow I guess.

I haven’t done much gaming lately.  For some reason I’ve been feeling super nostalgic lately so I’ve spent an unusual amount of time on Google Maps going through the street view of old places I haven’t thought about in ages.  Thought about typing some of those memories out here on the blog, but for some reason this just didn’t really feel like the right place for those.  I dunno maybe.

I’m slowly working on my “project” still tweaking it a bit to get it to do everything I want.  It may yet be a while before I’m ready to show it off.

Still got half the day left on Sunday here.  Got the neighbor girl’s 5th Birthday part to go to, but other than that, I’m relatively free.  I don’t have any thing else planned, and no plans to plan anything.

Just Another Snowy Day

Well despite the weather, today was pretty routine.  Up early to record School Closings from my basement with a hot cup of coffee.  Then off to work.  I had to leave a bit early because of the weather, but the roads weren’t too terrible.  There weren’t a lot of people out, so I didn’t feel bad driving 45 mph the whole way.

On the way home, the the weather was certainly worse.  The wind picked up to about 20 mph and started blowing all the snow around.  I got to put the 4×4 to the Jeep to good use.  I was glad it worked well because we’d been having issues with it recently.  But I changed out the fluid and adjusted the shifter linkage and it seems to work great now!  It was about the smoothest repair I’ve had; on that Jeep for sure at least.

Back at it tomorrow.  I’ll probably take the Jeep again, though the weather is supposed to be much more mild.  The hi-ways are probably sure to be clear, but I bet it’s still a mess in town.

For now, it’s off to bed!

Ahhh

What an exhausting week.  Work pretty much sucked the life out of me, but you know what?  I got to sleep until 8am today and it was magnificent.

We got a little bit of snow last night.  Only a couple inches, but enough for me to take it pretty slow coming home.  As I was putting along, I came across a car that had slid into the ditch.  The person following behind me and I both stopped to make sure nobody was hurt.  There was only one guy and he said he was fine.  He was a foreign guy and had a pretty good accent that sounded African of some sort.  He wanted us to help him push his car out of the ditch.  I told him that wasn’t going to happen.  There was no way we could push that car up an embankment like he slid down.  And I wasn’t about to get trapped under a stranger’s car.  I called 911 and they dispatched somebody.  I told him it was best to wait in his car until they got here.  As I was walking away, he climbed back into his car and hopelessly continued to try to drive out of the ditch.  The car wasn’t there this morning when I headed back to work, so apparently he made it out somehow.

I had a lot of fun playing some Guild Wars 2 with Andrea and Mom tonight.  Been a couple weeks since I’ve actually PLAYED.  I log in from time to time and do some trading post stuff which is fun, but it’s nice to have a group of people to run with.  We spent the entire night in just one map, Snowden Drifts, I think it was called.  There is just so much darn stuff to do in that game.

I have been missing playing Guild Wars though.  The original.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because the Canthan New Year holiday just started.  Or maybe it was because I was listening to the soundtrack at work.  But it was (and still is) such a great game.  The crowd is starting to thin out considerably there though.  But there’s still a small collective in all the old hubs.  Just sad to think that that game will never be the same bustling place is once was with 70+ districts in Lion’s Arch during the holidays.

Glad the weekend is here.  Looking forward to a more normal week next week.

Let it Snow

I think the key phrase in the song “Let it Snow” is “Since we’ve no place to go…”  Without that qualifier, the song could take on a whole different tone.

We had a nice little snowstorm roll through Saturday afternoon and evening.  Probably had around four inches by morning.  And it was great!  Usually I dread snow, because it means cancellations, idiots on the road and potentially getting stuck.  This time though, I literally had nowhere I needed (or wanted) to be.  It was timed perfectly!  For the first time in a long time I didn’t have to go in to work on Saturday, and nothing to do Sunday.  So as the snow fell, I just enjoyed watching it all pile up, while Luke and I dreamed about playing outside on Sunday.

As per usual, when the snow starts falling, people start freaking the heck out.  At about 8PM, church cancellations started to roll in.  Thanks to the internet, here I am, with three inches of snow on the ground, able to record audio here at home on my laptop, transfer it to the radio station, load it up and cue it up to play.  Without a single person in the building.  I just had to marvel at the technology and that it was even possible.

This morning I got up and had breakfast, then relaxed a little bit.  Wasn’t long before Luke was up too.  First thing we did was look outside at the snow.  Luke was excited and instantly wanted to go outside.  I remember the same thing when I was a kid.  I was ready to get the sled out the moment the first flake hit the ground.  All said we got about 4 inches here, maybe 5.  Enough to have some fun.  Before that though, we had to eat breakfast.

I got Luke all bundled up with two pair of socks, two shirts, sweat pants, snow pants, his coat, and his mittens.  He was as cute as he could possibly be.  And ready to GO PLAY!  He was pretty timid at first.  This isn’t first time he’s played in the snow, but it’s definitely an unusual experience for him still.  I got the snow shovel out to start on clearing the driveway, and he got excited to help.  He would hold on to the handle as I pushed the snow to the edge of the driveway.

“Luke helpin’!” he’d say.

“Yep.  When you get older, I’ll let you do it all by yourself!” I told him.

Andrea came out and hung out and did a little work herself.  After I was done with our drive, I went and shoveled my neighbor Chris’s drive, because he just happened to have a turkey for us in his smoker.  A pretty awesome (and tasty) Christmas gift.  I felt like it was the least I could do to give back.

The snow was certainly the highlight of the day.  The rest of it we spent inside and we played with toys and had some good food to eat.  I didn’t get any Wii Fit U in today, but I shoveled two driveways, so even though I don’t get a stamp for it, I’m going to say it counts!

B.G. Willers Podcast – Melting Snow

The storm has finally moved on!  I’ve been a bachelor for a few days so I cranked out a podcast.

Topics:

  • Winter Storm Agatha
  • Vectrex… again.
  • Backlog of games grows
  • Andrea got Guild Wars 2!
  • EA Wants Games to Cost $69
  • Podcast Music
  • Mystery Song

DOWNLOAD HERE

Impending Doom

Agatha

I’m ready for it.  Bring it on.  I have plenty of beer.  I have Spam and bread.  I have a wiener dog for company.  I have 4 stacks of firewood.  So even if we lose power for a few days, I can handle it.

At work we took it upon ourselves to dub this coming storm, “Winter Storm Agatha”.  We’ve been using that term on the air on two radio stations and on the work Facebook pages.  I’m curious to see if people just assume we know what we are talking about or not.  Haha.  I figure if the Weather Channel can unilaterally name a blizzard “Nemo” we can call this one Agatha.

One of two things will ultimately happen.  One, I get out of work before it gets really nasty tomorrow, get home, and likely snowed in Thursday morning.  Or two, things get too nasty to drive home after work Wednesday and I end up getting stuck at the radio station.  I’d much rather be stuck at home than at work.  But we’ll just have to see what happens.  I really don’t want to get the Cutlass stuck anywhere, so I’m not going to take any travel chances.  I’m just going to stock up on creature comforts and food on my way to work tomorrow and hope I don’t need any of them.

My gut always tells me they over exaggerate these storms.  They seem pretty certain this will be a fairly significant event though.  So we’ll see what actually materializes.  Dad said it best when I was talking to him on the phone tonight, “They’ve narrowed it down.  We are for sure going to get somewhere between 2 and 22 inches of snow.”  Haha.

Hunker down.  Agatha beckons!

Why I Hate People

meteor

So early this morning a ten ton space rock slammed into the atmosphere above Siberia.  It streaked across the sky then exploded with the force of an atomic bomb miles above the surface.  It was an amazing sight but also somewhat tragic as around 1,000 peopled were injured by shattered glass from the enormous shockwave it created tearing through the air.  Now for thousands of people it has become difficult to heat their homes and businesses with no windows in weather that is well below freezing.

But taking away the spectacle and tragedy of the event I found myself appreciating one fact.  For once, at long last, here’s an event that no one can point fingers on.  This meteoroid had been circling the sun long before humans even walked on the earth.  From the moment the universe was created, that ten ton rock was destined to crash down to earth today, whether there were humans here or not.  So we can’t blame it on global warming, politicians, corporations or policies.  There are certain forces in our continuum that are beyond our ability to control, and this was a shining (literally) example one of them.  A tragedy of inescapable fate.

But even I underestimated human arrogance.  It didn’t take long for political figures to call for more robust sky searching and a plans to seek and shoot these things out of the sky.  Commentors on the stories cried of the injustices of cutting science and exploration program budgets that could have PREVENTED this!  I find it hard to believe that some people think so highly of the human race.  That we are only a few misplaced intentions away from solving any problem that stands in our path to Utopia. Doesn’t anyone ever reflect on our utter insignificance in the universe?

I think people just don’t fathom the scale involved here.  The sky is a big place. The sky is measured in degrees, and the total area of the sky is about 40,000 square degrees.  By comparison the moon is only about 0.5 degrees across, which gives an area of approximately 0.2 square degrees.  So the moon takes up only 0.0005% of the sky.  That’s one-twenty-thousandth of the sky!  And you thought the moon was pretty big!  And it is.  It’s 2,150 miles wide and it’s 239,000 miles away.  Let’s compare that to this meteor that is guestimated to be (generously) 60 feet wide.  So the moon is 189,000 times larger than this meteor.  Therefore if we would have discovered this meteor as it came within the orbit of the moon around earth, it would still only appear in 1/3.8×10^10 of the sky.  That’s 1/38 billionth of the sky.  In other words… it would have been remarkable to have seen this thing coming.

Now let’s talk about the speed.  This thing entered the atmosphere at 19 miles PER SECOND.  Let’s say IF you caught sight of this tiny little thing at the same distance of the moon’s orbit, you would have almost exactly 3.5 hours until impact.  That’s 3.5 hours to detect it, calculate the trajectory, inform missle command, evaluate the probability of hitting a populated area, program the missile guidance, launch the missle and intercept the meteoriod.  Does anything happen that fast at your job?

Let’s face it.  Our lives here are insignificant and fragile.  We can no more prevent our demise than we can take credit for our existence.  That’s not a “God” thing, it’s just a sum of the forces at work in the universe.  On most days we can blame each other for most of our problems… but today was not one of those days.

I Love Fall

I think Fall is my new favorite season.  Not sure if it’s the rewards from all the gardening all summer, or if just that this summer was so brutal that the relief from the heat, and knowing that it won’t be coming back any time soon is liberating.

We spent the weekend with plenty of company.  Friday night Dad, Carrie and Jake came up.  Dad and Carrie were heading up to the K-State game, so we watched Jake and their dog Wally for the weekend.  I had to work Saturday but Jake, Andrea and Luke came in a little bit before I got off and Jake was able to do a little recording.  We went to a friend of ours’ wedding after that and Jake tolerated it while Luke was ready to play the whole time.  Both boys were well behaved though.

When we got home Jake wanted to play GoldenEye.  He’s probably the only person I know that has had the desire to play GoldenEye in a decade or so!  Haha.  I turned on the “all guns” and “invincibility” and he went to town.  It was fun watching him.

Andrea’s sister Catrina came up last night and we played some Texas Hold’em and then a little Friends trivia until I just couldn’t stay awake any more.

Luke had me up earlier than I wanted to be this morning.  It was okay though, I really appreciate the mornings more as I get older.  I fixed Luke up some oatmeal and let the dog out.  Overnight quite the frost had moved in and it almost looked like snow.  The final nail in summer’s coffin.

A little later, as everyone else started to wake up for the day, I cooked up an awesome breakfast of french toast, potatoes from the garden, and bacon with some piping hot coffee.  It’s hard for a day to go bad when it starts off like that!

It was a lot of fun having a full house, and with the colder weather outside, it felt kinda cozy.  It was quiet after everyone took off and I found time for a little nap after playing some GoldenEye for myself.  =)

We took down the barrier to the kitchen for a while tonight and let Luke run back and forth between the kitchen and the living room.  You gotta stay with him or else he’ll get into the dog food and water, or the trash, but he was having so much fun rolling his cars on the kitchen floor and just running around enjoying his new freedom.  It’s so amazing watching him.  How everything is brand new, and he just wants to play and learn.  There’s so much innocence there, that it’s hard not to see him a pure and good.  That’s when he’s in a good mood at least.  It’s easy to feel differently when he’s in “destruction mode”. Haha!

I also got all the pumpkins harvested after last night’s frost took out the vines.  Luke had a blast playing with them all.

Super great weekend for sure.

Sunshine and Rain

It’s been incredibly dry around here lately.  Probably 3 or more months since any significant rainfall and 100+ every day.  So these rain clouds were a welcome site!  These pictures came from about a week ago, but we also got a nice steady shower this morning!

It IS Rocket Science

These guys have some balls… As if simply shooting a box of metal off of one planet and hitting another isn’t complicated enough, check out what’s about to go down on August 5th.  If they pull this off I would have to say they are all certified grade A bad asses.