Sunday, September 15, 2013

I think the drought was kicked in the tush

The air has been buzzing with Chinook and black hawk helicopters today as stranded people are rescued.  Unfortunately, my parent's sump pump seized up the other day and was unable to keep water from soaking sections of the basement, requiring removal of carpet and moving furniture.  I was privileged to perform some minor gutter surgery and discovered how not to scale a roof.  The proper way to get onto a roof is to hire someone who knows what they're doing.  I just about slid off the garage roof on account of not being aware of my surroundings, particularly the slippery thin green residue atop the shingles hiding in the shade of a tall honey locust tree.

Saw some crazy pictures on TV and linked a few below.  Many of the farming communities east of I-25 are now feeling the full swell from the rain in the foothills a day or so ago:

Some people take their jobs seriously while others take it a step further; case in point:

The systems engineering side of me totally geeks out when I see well designed systems perform their indicated operations in stressing environments as spec'd.  It certainly boosts my confidence to see the end result.  Go Go Firetruck!

Friday, September 13, 2013

When it rains it pours

It has been raining straight for the past 5 days, but today soaked them all.  Pictures can remind us that Mother Nature is not a force to be reckoned with.


According to the USGS, many areas affected have experienced a 100 yr flood.  Dams overflowing, highways washed away and whole towns (Lyons, Longmont, Loveland, .. - is this a cruel alliterative pattern or what?) cut off by torrential flash floods make for dramatic headlines, but also uberly excited weather anchors.

One weather anchor tonight shared some interesting statistics that put the recent and unusual weather into perspective:  In the past 24 hours, Denver has received as much rain as it does on average from January to June for a given year.  Six months of rain in 24 hours?!?  Does this mean a lower water bill?  Not likely... 

Another interesting perspective: Colorado is known more for the amount of snow accumulation than rain, yet if this precipitation were to fall as snow based on water content, a conservative estimate would equate that to 80 inches just in the city of Boulder and still more up in the canyons.

As the work day progressed, I heard rumors about the latest road closures.  After lunch it was getting ridiculous and so I planned my route home, only my plan A lasted a total of 10 minutes before I had to switch to plan B.  That lasted a measly 5 minutes, landing me on plan C.  That lasted a good 20 minutes until plan D ultimately became necessary. Through it all, this comedy of errors reminded me of the following scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail of a father explaining to his son why they have the strongest and most stable castle in all the land:

The landscape on my commute home is made up of rolling hills and farm fields; however, today it resembled more the look of a swampy bayou where instead of cyprus trees, giant cottonwoods stood half concealed by dense low hanging clouds.

In retrospect, I for one would like to extend my deep appreciation for all those who have been paying their tithing, in full.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Celebration Time

Where Fire meets Ice:

Monday, September 9, 2013

In the name of cheap

I heard that Trader Joe's announced their 4th store in the Denver metro area.  This is all good and dandy; however, I would like to start a petition to bring the Aldi's grocery chain to the front range.  That's right, with ever increasing inflation and cost of living, this country could use a couple more stores where a dollar feeds a family of 8 for a week.  Who's with me?  Say I.


In other news, how about some white castle Colorado?  If you build it, they will come ...