Desierto norte de Chile

Monday, February 26, 2007

Home cookin'

Jason and Leslie's wedding on Saturday was great fun (except the minor fender-bender when some random guy in the parking lot backed up into Andrew's car... ugh!). I enjoyed seeing some of my Carolina friends -- Mike, Andrew and his wife Beth, Melanie and her boyfriend Dave, Kristen, Caroline, and of course Jason and Leslie. The ceremony was held at First Presbyterian Church in Durham, and the reception was at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. I got to spend Sat. night with Mike & Kendra in Mebane, and then we joined Charles and Mom and Dad at Hope Church in Raleigh Sunday morning. I received some cool gifts (shirts, the 2nd season of the Cosby show on DVD, a guidebook to Guatemala, and the 2007 Rand McNally road atlas). Today and tomorrow I'm visiting with my parents. Tonight we're having ham, collards, white potatoes, sweet potato fluff, and cornbread. Mmmmm.

Last weekend, SoM hosted ten prospective graduate students, and fortunately I was able to join them in Thursday and Friday's activites. The storms anticipated for the weekend panned out about as expected, I guess, with several tornadoes reported in the TX panhandle and southwest Kansas. Western Oklahoma, once again, largely missed out on this event. More storms are possible on Wednesday, but with the same concerns for surface instability (due to marginal moisture return from the GoM). Stay tuned, this year could be active early!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Storms tomorrow?

The first moderate risk of the still-young severe convective storms season has been issued for western okla. In stark contrast to my historic pessimism about storm possibilities, I think they've got it mostly right this time. At least they are justified in the moderate risk ... if storms do form tomorrow, they will be mighty intense! Perhaps a better and more enjoyable component to tomorrow is the general good mood and buzz that will be echoing through the NWC halls tomorrow. Call it a cultural curiosity, but I'm excited to see how everyone else reacts. :) Throw ten visiting prospective graduate students into the mix, and we have ourselves a very nice day on tap. The img. posting is from the SPC day 1 outlook. 15% hatched area for tornadoes (not shown). We shall see.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oklahoma winter chill

Ugh. After a brief flirt with 72F (22 C), Oklahoma has plunged back into winter's icy grip. Biking, walking, jogging, heck even sleeping (with not-so-efficient [i.e., drafty] windows) are all made more difficult when the temp doesn't get much above freezing for over a week. The map at left is the morning wind chills during my jog. 4F isn't exactly balmy (18F temp + 15 mph wind = 4F wind chill). Ugh.


** UPDATE ** I realized that I did not give my reason for going to Guatemala. Matt and I are partnering with a group called "Mission Discovery", a christian agency that works with the poor in and around Antigua (which is about an hour outside of Guatemala's capital). We'll be spending a week building homes, working with children (maybe teaching a bit of english even? wouldn't that be exciting!), and simply serving where needed. I really do not know any more details about the trip, other than I am very excited to be going, and that the opportunity to work with the poor carries great significance in my book.

Anyone know anything about Guatemala? My friend Matt Haugland and I will be going there in just over a month for spring break. Tips, suggestions, alerts, and "must-do's" are all welcome.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Oklahoma winter warmth

Today's high in Norman is at least 71F, and could be slightly above that. Oh I love the warm winters of Oklahoma. Off to enjoy a jog in the heat.

Also, you guys might find this article from MSN news interesting. I applaud the author's frugality; it is a challenge to us all to live below our means.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


It's been forever since the last post -- let me give an update and offer a partial justification. I'll also look ahead to the coming few days.

First, on Mon. 22 Jan, my Gateway laptop died on me. After ordering a new one from Dell, it finally arrived Tue. 30 Jan. While I tried to make the most of a tech-free week, ultimately I realized just how dependent I am on this device for school, work, and even play. I was able to post an entry on Jan 24th, but was basically offline for 9 days.

Second, on Wed 31 Jan (just a few hours after my Dell arrived), my OSLEP course on global warming began. It is an entire semester class offered in 5 days, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Tomorrow (Sun 04 Feb) it ends, and I will be glad. The course has been great for many reasons: excellent content & timeliness (IPCC 4th assessment was released on Friday 02 Feb); great opportunities to befriend people from many different backgrounds (meteo, geog, env sci, art, journalism,poli sci, etc.) as well as several different countries (US, England, Australia, and Canada); and a favorable time structure both to facilitate in-course discussions and also to start & finish the requirements for a 3 credit hour class in only 5 days. (Not entirely true: we had a pre-course set of readings, including "An Inconvenient Truth", and will have a post-course group paper due at the end of the month).

Third, I have just plain been busy! Not a real excuse, but valid none-the-less for me. Many of the blogs I read regularly have posted about this in some form or another: what do you post about when nothing really is going on, and you don't have anything really significant to pontificate about? Effectively, you just turn to silence instead of rambling on about something meaningless.

A few things I'm looking forward to about this week:

1- being done with the OSLEP course. see above-- the course has been great --but I get home each night exhausted.
2- start of regular weather briefings. I want to remember what it's like to critically review forecast models & make decisions about temps, rainfall, and (probably later in the semester) severe convective possibilities
3- continued connections with friends, and meeting new ones
4- superbowl party with wildwood folks. should be great, and i love preparing foods to serve the group.
5- wednesday chats with ryan (my kraettli roommate) and thursday chats with trey. also thursday night bible study. this semester we're hitting up the sermon on the mount. regardless where you are spiritually, the sermon on the mount contains some of jesus's most-quoted sayings, and I believe it reveals a great deal of how God views sin and our behavior.
6- frisbee on friday. this friday i missed out (mostly due to OSLEP, but it was bitter cold too). have i mentioned before that frisbee is perhaps the best sport known to man?
7- zach barnes. we need to catch up. you get a line in my top-13. hope all is well in cz-land.
8- finding my mailbox key. i lost it last night at 2.30 a.m. when i went to the post box to get the package my mom had sent. seriously, we didnt get home from the OU groundhog's day party till very late (> 2.00 a.m.), and i somehow dropped the key (not on a ring b/c we were going to get it copied, thus up to this point, we left it taped it to the wall). it's somewhere on the ground between my apartment door and the mailbox (about 100 feet). small, brown object: shouldn't be too hard to find, considering the ground is only full of millions of other small brown objects. there was a funny sight last night at 2.30 though -- as i grabbed my flashlight and spent ~15 mins scouring the ground for the key. wonder what the neighbors thought?!!
9- warmer weather & no snow. it's been cold now for about a week. ugh.
10- finalizing my plans for spring break.
11- going back to NC on 24 feb to see my family!! should be a great fun time! plus my friend jason douglas is getting married in durham on that saturday (24 feb) and i'm eager to reconnect with him and any mutual UNC friends who can come to the wedding. it's been 3 years since i went back and saw them (spring 2004, their senior years).
12- SoM's visiting student weekend, 22 feb - 25 feb. whoop! always a great weekend of good fun and visits. chance to meet new people ... could I ask for more?
13- finishing up my bedroom organization. way too many things + small closet space = tight quarters. many wall hangings + no time = amazingly cluttered bedroom, a problem i hope to rectify soon. perhaps next weekend?

So - that's a brief summary of the past 10 days. my apologies for interspersing capitals and non-capitals; does anyone else struggle with that? is it even a problem? just curious.

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