Weather and Traveling

I had originally intended to go via I-70 / Eisenhower tunnel / northern route to Florida. It adds about 6 hours and a couple of hundred miles, but I’d not taken that route for a decade or two, while I’m “very familiar” with the southern route via I-10 / south Texas. (I also like the I-40 middle route as a change some times…)

Why “originally”?

Well, because it is snowing in the Colorado mountains. We have a shot at getting “Snow in June”… just a couple of days to go.

But, for me, I do not want to be slogging through snow in the mountains. Looks like the desert path for me. Again…

Now, even if I get past the snow, there’s a line of severe weather / tornadoes / large hail from Oklahoma toward Chicago. Some of it baseball sized. Don’t want to hit hail that large doing 70 mph (when it is in wind that may be that fast too…)

Another “push” to the desert route. (Though San Antonio had some flooding from a 9 inch dump of rain… so one hopes it’s drained off quickly).

So, in short, there’s a wall of “interesting weather” between California and Florida and I’m “threading the needle” between bits of it. Oh Joy… /sarc;

The Colorado DOT has a nice set of live web cameras on the freeway. Doesn’t help much if you see clear, then the storm hits and dumps a load of snow 7 hours later as you are going through… but a nice insight all the same. I snagged a screen capture of “right now” on the approach. I’ve also got a saved image from “a while ago” from a news report, so you can see how things change over just a part of a day.

30 May 2013 Eisenhower Tunnel

30 May 2013 Eisenhower Tunnel

I picked that up from here:

Where the caption says:

Snow closed I-70 between Silverthorne and the Eisenhower tunnel, pictured here, on Thursday morning, May 30, 2013. (Colorado Department of Transportation)

This is what it looks like on the DOT page if you click on a camera. This is Hermans Gulch a bit after the tunnel reopened and on the Denver side:

Hermans Gultch 30 May 2013

Hermans Gultch 30 May 2013

So snow on the center divide, but the lanes are open now.

There is an “Eisenhower Tunnel Tour” you can click on in the right hand panel of that DOT camera page. It gives a selection of cameras, in rotation, around the tunnel. Right now: Moving, but a bit sloppy… and more snow than in Hermans Gulch. On these images it is hard to see if light snow is falling. On The Weather Channel, they are showing active snowfall and saying it is falling now.

At any rate, not worth the risk just to avoid Arizona. (Arizona has become one large speed trap. I counted 9 speed cameras on one section of freeway through Phoenix last time I headed out, and on the way back came through I-40. There I was headed into a setting sun, so took just a second to look down and grab my ‘shades’. Looking up, the freeway had gone from 70 mph speed limit to a posted 35 at the border station (truck check). I barely avoided getting a ticket from the TWO banks of cameras laid out to catch folks who are a tiny bit slow about making a near panic slow down… )

Though I might try a different route through Nevada / Utah / New Mexico… Need to check for snow in New Mexico ;-)

Who would have thought that getting to Florida in late May / early June would require thinking about snow and chains and road closures and… (Yes, I know, it can snow in the Rockies any time of the year… but I was promised Global Warming would make that just a distant memory…)

Regardless of how I get to “middle of Texas”, it looks like I can get past below the tornado block that is ranging from about The Panhandle on up over all of Oklahoma and on up toward Canada. There’s a little “gap” north of Oklahoma that opens some times. I’d planned to scoot through one of those gaps. But with the Colorado route toast, I’m not so interested in “the high road”. Then again, maybe I-80 could get past the snow… though north west Nevada had “freeze warnings” on this weather page yesterday:

This page gives a nice ‘look ahead’ at where there is likely to be a mess about the time you get there: ;-)

We will see how the trip shapes up as I point the nose at some direction and “see what comes”. I’m still tempted to do the I-80 / tornado alley run, just for something different. Though prudence is nagging at me that the Desert Southwest would be a lot more reliable… But isn’t that the choice we always have? Novelty and adventure vs ‘safety’ and boredom?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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65 Responses to Weather and Traveling

  1. Power Grab says:

    If you all happen to get to OKC on a Saturday around 3:00 pm, give me a shout.

  2. Judy F. says:

    The I-80 route might not be too bad since the bad weather is now all headed east. We had three days of severe weather with rain, lots of lightning, a small funnel and three hailstorms. Now all we have here is wind, so you might get good gas mileage with a good tailwind. Plus, you can take advantage of cheap gas in Wyoming. I will say that the Colorado Mountains are beautiful this time of year, so I-70 is nice when it is not snowing, and it should stop snowing one of these days. Or you could take I-80 to I-25 and drop south and go through Santa Fe if you haven’t been there. There is a lot of lovely scenery to see, no matter which route you take. Enjoy it all.

  3. Confirmation that Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC know nothing about Earth’s constantly changing climate.

    Cape Girardeau, MO is ~100 miles S of St Loiis and ~160 miles N of Memphis, TN. Hope to see you soon.


  4. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Oliver Perhaps he knows more about his planet (don´t know which yet) :-)

  5. Zeke says:

    Yet another resource, used in the trucking industry –

    Have a good trip. Things usually melt off around 9AM and traffic runs through and clears the slow lane by around then. So you can always sleep before going over a pass. Overpasses stay frozen a little longer than the rest of the road. Enjoy the beautiful country.

  6. Climate_Science_Researcher says:

    If you believe that planetary surface temperatures are all to do with radiative forcing rather than non-radiative heat transfers, then you are implicitly agreeing with IPCC authors (and Dr Roy Spencer) that a column of air in the troposphere would have been isothermal but for the assumed greenhouse effect. You are believing this because you are believing the 19th century simplification of the Second Law of Thermodynamics which said heat only transfers from hot to cold – a “law” which is indeed true for all radiation, but only strictly true in a horizontal plane for non-radiative heat transfer by conduction.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics in its modern form explains a process in which thermodynamic equilibrium “spontaneously evolves” and that thermodynamic equilibrium will be the state of greatest accessible entropy.

    Now, thermodynamic equilibrium is not just about temperature, which is determined by the mean kinetic energy of molecules, and nothing else. Pressure, for example, does not control temperature. Thermodynamic equilibrium is a state in which total accessible energy (including potential energy) is homogeneous, because if it were not homogeneous, then work could be done and so entropy could still increase.

    When such a state of thermodynamic equilibrium evolves in a vertical plane in any solid, liquid or gas, molecules at the top of a column will have more gravitational potential energy (PE), and so they must have less kinetic energy (KE), and so a lower temperature, than molecules at the bottom of the column. This state evolves spontaneously as molecules interchange PE and KE in free flight between collisions, and then share the adjusted KE during the next collision.

    This postulate was put forward by the brilliant physicist Loschmidt in the 19th century, but has been swept under the carpet by those advocating that radiative forcing is necessary to explain the observed surface temperatures. Radiative forcing could never explain the mean temperature of the Venus surface, or that at the base of the troposphere of Uranus – or that at the surface of Earth.

    The gravitationally induced temperature gradient in every planetary troposphere is fully sufficient to explain all planetary surface temperatures. All the weak attempts to disprove it, such as a thought experiment with a wire outside a cylinder of gas, are flawed, simply because they neglect the temperature gradient in the wire itself, or other similar oversights.

    The gravity effect is a reality and the dispute is not an acceptable disagreement.

    The issue is easy to resolve with a straight forward, correct understanding of the implications of the spontaneous process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Hence radiative forcing is not what causes the warming, and so carbon dioxide has nothing to do with what is just natural climate change.

  7. Ralph B says:

    While not as scenic (I remember the most exciting thing was looking at the power lines going from horizon to horizon) the price of gas/diesel in Texas is cheaper. You would probably save some cabbage going the southern route.

  8. GregO says:


    Ah, the life of the migrant engineer… if you take the southern route and pass thru Phoenix shoot me an email – lunch, dinner, crash on the couch; mi casa is su casa. Traveling weather here is just awesome – hot and dry and clear as a bell.

    How long are you in Florida? I do the migrant thing too but just between So Cal and Arizona. Have a nice ride!

  9. Doug Jones says:

    Hey, Ed, if you’re looking for some novelty, swing through Mojave on your way south, visit us at XCOR, we can add some eeevil CO2 to the atmosphere with a rocket engine, and I’ll give you the five dollar tour. Email me at “randome” at “” and also at djones at to let me know if you can make it.

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks for all the generous offers, but it is unlikely I can accept. When I “make a run” I tend to be in “productivity” mode rather than vacation mode. As it is, I’m likely to arrive one day late for the start of the contract (it’s OK, I’ve already arranged it). So my “style” on a x-country run is a bit “rough”. I have been known to drive for over 24 hours straight; stopping only for gas and eating on the run. Especially when I’m getting a late start.

    Last time I did the Southern run, for example, I made my first rest stop at a ‘maintenance exit’ somewhere near the New Mexico Texas border when I “hit the fatigue wall” and needed sleep. Pulled the car off and slept about 3 hours. Then proceeded to Dallas… They call me “Buns Of Steel” ;-)

    On another occasion, starting from Orlando, I did 25 hours to Dallas in one go… I’m also a “night person” so do my best from about 5 pm to 5 am on the road. Which means I will tend to be passing by about the time you are all asleep or at dinner… (Roads are more empty then, the air is cool and the car runs well, especially in the desert, and the cops are few and far between…)

    I am trying to get out of that “habit”, as it is a bit wearing, and I really ought to be doing more to “enjoy myself” and less to “get ‘er done!” fast… and had planned to push for that this trip. But my planned Tues departure has now slipped to Friday, leaving me all of 3 days to make the distance. Or slip the schedule.

    So, in short, I’d likely be a bit rumpled and cranky and not particularly good company, fidgeting about needing to make 500 more miles by midnight…

    But “we’ll see”. I’ve put in the call to say “Need to take you up on the offer of later start date” and tomorrow I ought to have the answer. If it’s “slip a week”, well, then I’ll have time to be leisurely ;-)

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    …..The blessings of being “retired” in these “interesting times”, working occasionally it´s enough for being happy…

  12. crosspatch says:

    I like the I-40 route. Some interesting things to see: Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, at Grants, NM there is a whole mock uranium mine constructed underground as a museum for people to tour. In Albuquerque there is the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. At Palo Duro canyon amphitheater outside Amarillo, watch The Texas Show, a play performed in the evening and worth seeing sometime.

    When you get to Dallas, you can cut over to Houston on I-45 and continue on. One fun stop after Houston is near Lafayette, LA. Take a tour of the Tabasco factory.

  13. crosspatch says:

    The “scenic route”

    But I would cut down to Houston from Dallas.

  14. Zeke says:

    crosspatch says.

    Those are all convenient stops.

    But look at this, right on your way out of Sac-of-tomatoes through Nevada:

  15. Tim Clark says:

    Hah….Be a man and spend a night in Tornado alley – Wichita-
    My safe room in the basement is mostly cement enclosed (4-foot entrance) and well stocked – as it doubles as the wet bar storage area / by design!!

    Gotta love that flying glass ;<)

  16. j ferguson says:

    Eldorado KS. Two motels in town, one was the cathouse serving (better word might be servicing) the Wichita market, the other wasn’t. But that was in 1980. Things may have changed, and besides it’s likely north of your projected route.

    FWIW, we’re going to ground – Del Ray Beach – this fall.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, To Do Kansas, or not … I’d need a safe room for the Merc too (or a get-a-way alert… figuring I can do 130 mph in it I can likely outrun a tornado… as long as the road is open…)

    At any rate, I’m doing “final pack” as all other issue have been dealt with. I’m leaning toward “Northern Route” as it is all of 4 hours longer ( 230 some odd miles, so some part of it is also slow… at least per Yahoo Maps…) but I like cooler and I’ve seen that desert way too many times… It’s also likely that, with present timing, I’d hit Texas just about sundown… so would get caught by their silly “slower at night” speed limit.

    Besides, I’ve never seen a tornado up close before ;-)

    (At least, not a real one. We get little “toy tornadoes” here. One knocked down a rickety old shed / barn that was listing about 20 degrees already in My Home Town about 40 years ago… Made the news, though ;-)

    At any rate, this is my last comment. Time to pack the laptop. Next posting / comment will likely come from Utah / Arizona longitude tomorrow… Then we will know which way worked. (Sometimes it depends on the traffic report locally and which way gets me out of town before a half dozen hours of traffic jam… )

  18. crosspatch says:

    Oklahoma has some tornado shelters on I-40. There are also some in Kansas on the turnpike.

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    Oklahoma: Why not to build concrete houses? Or is it because of Big Construction and Big Insurance?

  20. Gail Combs says:

    Oklahoma: Why not to build concrete houses? Or is it because of Big Construction and Big Insurance?

    Best bet is to build on the east side of a hill. Tornadoes generally come out of the west run up the hill and “bounce” over the house. (From experience of my ex-husbands family who lived in tornado alley.)

    If you live where there are tornadoes you have a storm shelter. either a basement or a closet that is reinforced.

    Some houses down south were built of concrete because of hurricanes. Brick is popular in my area.

  21. Power Grab says:

    I had a long layover in Chicago in December a few years ago. Snow delay. You know the drill.

    I ended up sitting next to a fellow who said he was an Israeli officer who was stationed at Tinker. Among the things I asked him, I asked what things in particular were different about Oklahoma, compared to elsewhere. He said that elsewhere people build with stone. Here, they use wood. He thought that was odd.

    I had no answer. I had never thought about it. Looking back, I would guess that we build with wood because we traditionally have plenty of it.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    Many folks DO build concrete houses ( I looked into it once). It’s just cheaper to rebuild and the risk to any given person is small enough that most folks just accept the risk and expect houses to be disposable. Nothing at all to do with “big anything”; just personal choices.


    The Middle East has been denuded of trees. They used wood in the past. (Cedars of Lebanon and all…) We use wood as we have lots of it, and it works well, and many folks here came from a N. European background where they also use wood (not a tropical termite problem…)

    We also use wood in California since it is one of the best materials for quake survival…

    Well, I’ve gone to ground in a Motel 6 in “Middle of nowhere Nebraska”, having done 1/2 of the N. Route trip in one bit push of about 27 hours. We will see what I can do with tomorrow ;-)

    For now, I’m “thrashed and had” so going to take a quick shower and sleep a while….

    Tomorrow I run Tornado Alley, but if I’ve timed it right, There’s a gap there tomorrow (while the Southern Route has convective “issues” showing…)

    Now, time for some sleep… I did a 2 hour nap in Utah, but it’s not the same ;-)

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like I chose wisely… This map:
    presently shows “severe thunderstorm activity” over just that part of Texas I’d have passed through today…

  24. gallopingcamel says:

    There is a delightful Irish pub that you will love. The “Pub Grub” is totally awesome!

    It reminds me of Lavery’s in Belfast except there is no sawdust on the floor.

  25. Ralph B says:

    GC, Where is this Pub Grub? I went to the Pub and Grub in Kenosha (sp?) Wisconsin back in ’82. But from my understanding you are in FL (as am I some of the time…overseas currently) so I am assuming it is in FL as well. My residence is on the Gulf coast and always looking for interesting places to try.

  26. jim2 says:

    In 2012 the EPA released farmer’s personal information to radical environmental groups. The US government is trampling on the Constitution and is out of control. It is time to impeach and/or fire a bunch of these people.

  27. punmaster says:

    How do we impeach them or fire them? Congress will certainly not set limits to their own behavior. Reining in the various agencies requires a President and Congress which believes in limited government. We haven’t had either in a long time. Currently, the only alternative appears to be long legal struggles against the agencies, and most of us don’t have the resources for that. We would like to think the courts would adhere to the 4th amendment but we have seen time and again that is not happening.

    I am not saying we can’t retrieve our country from the hands of the power hungry Constitution haters. I am saying it will take longer and require a greater commitment than some realize. When a fair percentage of the citizenry believe government has money to spend, and they cannot be convinced otherwise, the struggle is obviously uphill.

  28. jim2 says:

    Yep, it’s a sad situation. Half the population has been bought off by “benefits” that render them mindless sheep; sitting around watching videos, facebook, twitter, having welfare babies, and doing dope. Then we have idiot republicans trying to bring in more immigrants who are overwhelmingly for more welfare from a place that isn’t even their country.

  29. gallopingcamel says:

    Ralph B,
    Clearly you appreciate the finer things in life such as “Fish & Chips”.

    Here is the link you need:

    My personal favorite is the “Beef & Guiness Pie”. Awesome. Maybe we can organize some kind of welcome there for our esteemed leader.

  30. Ralph B says:

    Would be nice to do something like that but I am out of the area right now (not a snow bird, working overseas). Maybe after he gets settled we can organize some sort of hootenanny.

  31. Gail Combs says:

    jim2 says:
    2 June 2013 at 12:15 pm

    In 2012 the EPA released farmer’s personal information to radical environmental groups. ….
    Farmers were up in arms about that several years ago. The personal data from the Agricultural Census could be had by ANYONE just by requesting it via the internet! I verified that fact at the time BTW.

    The Ag census is a very detailed multiple page inventory similar to what Germany did before WWII…. link

    The story came out when the USDA was sending an Ag Census form to anyone and everyone who got a gardening catalog, farm magazines, horse magazines, used a vet for Coggins or other animal testing… At that time the states were trolling all the lists they could get their hands on to “Voluntarily Sign-up” anyone they could in their state for a Premise ID number. The Premise ID number is permanently attached to the deed of the land and allows search without warrant according to the scuttle-butt. The USDA refers to Livestock owners and land owners as “stakeholders” not property owners. Legally a “stakeholder” is trustee holding the property belonging to another. When farmers sign up for a Premises ID they are signing a contract granting the govenment rights by removing our property rights and granting them to the USDA. During the skirmish between farmers and the USDA the information was moved to a computer based in Canada and is not subject to FOIA requests.

    What is DEPOPULATION?: NEVER HEARD OF A “DEPOP TRUCK”? CHECK OUT PAGE 429 UNDER THE “Protocol for Euthanasia of Backyard Premises”

    The National Animal Identification System – Who Wins and Who Loses

    Roger McEowen, Leonard Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law: “Legal Issues Associated With National Animal Identification Plan” November 2006 issue of Kansas Farm and Estate Law

    Confidentiality of information. A primary concern of livestock owners is the degree and scope of access to confidential records that would be collected with respect to livestock on a particular farm or ranch. The major question is whether collected records could be accessed by other government agencies (such as the IRS), animal rights extremists, or even other livestock owners. The USAIP does not answer this question. Instead, the USAIP merely states that “only essential information will be reported to the central database” and that “only sate and federal officials will have access to the premises animal identification information when performing their duties to maintain the health of the national herd.” Neither USAIP nor APHIS discloses how the program will restrict access to certain federal and state officials or identify the safeguards necessary to protect the data from public disclosure.

    Producer liability. Another significant issue is whether a national identification program will increase the possible legal exposure of livestock producers for events that occur after the livestock leave the farm. While livestock producers are responsible for the livestock they produce, and the USAIP does not change any existing liability rules, enhanced traceability may provide the ability to more readily track problems quickly and provide documentation to determine whether appropriate methods and measures were followed to avoid disease contamination. That could result in greater potential liability at the producer level. Conversely, enhanced record keeping and documentation of events concerning livestock can make it easier to defend against baseless charges.

    Worth the read:

    A summing up by a Junior in high school (I hope she runs for president)

    Legal Def. Premises bottom of pg 492 Habendum pg 201 Property pg 495 Stakeholder pg 479
    Source link

  32. Gail Combs says:

    On privacy and the government:

    Statistics: Achilles’ Heel of Government

    by Murray N. Rothbard (1961)

    ….Hidden Costs of Reporting

    Secondly, the great bulk of statistics is gathered by government coercion. This not only means that they are products of unwelcome activities; it also means that the true cost of these statistics to the American public is much greater than the mere amount of tax money spent by the government agencies. Private industry, and the private consumer, must bear the burdensome costs of record keeping, filing, and the like, that these statistics demand. Not only that; these fixed costs impose a relatively great burden on small business firms, which are ill equipped to handle the mountains of red tape. Hence, these seemingly innocent statistics cripple small business enterprise and help to rigidify the American business system. A Hoover Commission task force found, for example, that:

    No one knows how much it costs American industry to compile the statistics that the Government demands. The chemical industry alone reports that each year it spends $8,850,000 to supply statistical reports demanded by three departments of the Government. The utility industry spends $32,000,000 a year in preparing reports for Government agencies…

    All industrial users of peanuts must report their consumption to the Department of Agriculture…

    … Not only do statistics gathering and producing go beyond the governmental function of defense of persons and property; not only are economic resources wasted and misallocated, and the taxpayers, industry, small business, and the consumer burdened. But, furthermore, statistics are, in a crucial sense, critical to all interventionist and socialist activities of government….

    only by statistics, can the federal government make even a fitful attempt to plan, regulate, control, or reform various industries – or impose central planning and socialization on the entire economic system. If the government received no railroad statistics, for example, how in the world could it even start to regulate railroad rates, finances, and other affairs? How could the government impose price controls if it didn’t even know what goods have been sold on the market, and what prices were prevailing? Statistics, to repeat, are the eyes and ears of the interventionists: of the intellectual reformer, the politician, and the government bureaucrat. Cut off those eyes and ears, destroy those crucial guidelines to knowledge, and the whole threat of government intervention is almost completely eliminated.….

  33. compuGator says:

    I haven’t read any words from you identifying your destination, but this might be more-cheerful news since you were last under contract here in the Lightning Capital of the continental U.S.A. (none other than Florida’s poetically named Interstate-4 Corridor):

    The blog of the Orlando Beer Guide proudly announced (03/01/2013):

    The latest edition of Draft magazine lists “The City Beautiful” [that being the official motto of Orlando predating Disney] as one of its TOP “25 unexpected beer getaways”. Draft had this to say about Orlando’s deepening beer culture[:]

    “Orlando now has more quality options for food and drink – including beers of character- than two adults could comfortably explore in a weekend, let alone one night away from the theme parks – say, if a babysitter were found for the tots.”

    The includedcover photo identifies it as a cover story in the Draft magazine March/April 2013 issue.

  34. gallopingcamel says:

    Gail Combs says: 3 June 2013 at 6:12 pm
    “On privacy and the government”

    How true! Bad though things are, it can get much, much worse. In the early 1970s, the UK introduced VAT (Value Added Tax). My little company (30 employees) suddenly had sixteen volumes of confusing new regulations backed up by crippling penalties for non-compliance. The huge burden of paperwork affected every financial transaction, no matter how small and the paperwork burden was carried by the tax payer.

    This cancer has spread throughout Europe and even into Latin America. Can the USA remain immune?

  35. gallopingcamel says:

    Thanks for that. Once we know where “Himself” will be located let’s try to organize some kind of welcome. He is already familiar with the Orlando area:

  36. gallopingcamel says:

    Florida is a wonderful place for all kinds of reasons once the swamps were drained and someone invented air conditioning.

    There are plenty of excellent places to eat here. For example, if our leader re-locates to the Tampa area I heartily recommend Bern’s. It is a little expensive but you will never forget the experience:‎

  37. Ralph B says:

    GC, is right up the road from me…EM can don his camo shorts and fit right in.

  38. Ralph B says:
    Just came across this…pretty cool to see the whole US weather. Getting some pretty good rain now in SWFL…hope EM has some good wipers. I remember my dads AMC Hornet with vacuum driven wipers…wonder if the old Benz has them.

  39. Larry Geiger says:

    Come on down.
    It’s raining.
    It’s been raining for a month.
    It appears that it’s going to be raining into the forseeable future.
    Note to whoever runs the climate: FLORIDA. IS. NOT. SEATTLE!!!!

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, I’ve a lot to say… but the WiFi at Motel 6 doesn’t like WordPress Logins and I can’t even post a comment without logging in (as I need to log in to approve that location / IP…) Sigh.

    At any rate, I got here Monday late afternoon, and I’m done with my second day of work now.

    As I can’t use the company network for personal things, and the hotel is not cutting it on wifi, I’m perched in my car near the first Starbucks I found. (Shortly to go inside and sample the ‘wares’…) But just thought I ought to let folks know why there had been a drought of comments / articles from me. It may stay that way a bit longer until I get a more stable and usable WiFi…

    @Larry Geiger:

    That is correct. In Seattle, the rain is cold ;-)

    OK, I’ve got about a dozen article ideas in my head AND need to catch up the Admin side of the blog AND do my homework for tomorrow and…. So I’m going to go inside and check out the espresso selection ;-)

    Clearly their wifi works ;-)

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, I’m here now, and steak & kidney pie or shepherds pie are both favorites (though bangers and mash is good too and so is leg ‘o lamb and…)

    @Ralph B:

    Well, one could always Hoot and Nanny a couple of times ;-)

    @Gail & Jim2:

    I think the only real hope is for the EU to implode so spectacularly and soon that the USA is shaken enough to stop following that lead… Do not expect government to ever self limit.


    Well, I’m presently seated in a Starbucks patio across the street from Celebration, Fl. and just a stones throw from I-4 (which I was driving upon jjust a bit ago…)

    Yes, I’ll need to make a Beer Survey ;-)

    @GallopingCamel & Gail:

    I saw one statistic that the “compliance costs” of regulation was over $1 TRILLION/ year and greater than all income tax revenues…


    I am presently working “hotel row” on highway 192 in Orlando / Kissimmee between mile marker 4 and mile marker 16 depending on what is interesting and / or cheap and / or has working WiFi (a constraint just added…)

    I have a “permanent address” at a friends home, but the room is being refurbished. Eventually I’ll “have a place of my own”, likely in a month or so. My intent is that I’m here now, and only returning to California “for visits”. (The spouse is hoping to join me in about August). We will see. So far the contract looks like it will be stable for about a year, but it IS contract work and when anything goes “bump in the night”, contractors are the first to go. That said, my guess is that this will be at least through September.

    An update on the trip:

    Due to severe weather warnings and flooding in San Antonio, a record F-5 tornado (in Oklahoma and a snow bound I-70 in Colorado, I “took the high road” of I-80 with a stop in Nebraska. Next day was a “straight through” to Orlando. Then sleep, and at work at 8:30 A.M. Tuesday for 8 hours… Yes, two 36+ hour days “back to back”, then to to work after one night sleep. Impressive, even if I do say so myself. (May I never EVER EVER do that again!… ) It was incredibly “draining”, but was needed. Now, after two work days and two nights sleep, I’m feeling “almost human” again. Access to the internet now found, I’m ready to start getting things “back to normal”.

    I have a series of photos from Nebraska to Florida showing cloud variations. To be the basis of a posting about the effect of humidity. (“Water vapor feedback” does not make it warmer, it makes it cloudier and eventually rainy…)

    I’ve also got a 1/2 dozen other observations about things to type up. So hang in there just another day or two and more entertainment will be on the way. I’ve got the car fueled up for the week (it was on “reserve” this morning… I arrived near the end of a tank…) and groceries in the “kitchen box”. Still have some financial things to do (like pay the credit card bill that’s about $2 k now for the trip… Love the SLC, but climbing mountains at 80 MPH and up to 8300 Ft elevation it is not very efficient. It’s about 2 tons and I had it loaded, so got about 12 MPG…) So I’ve to one or two more days of “catch up and fix up” and then this weekend will have “pool side time” to make some of those postings.

    For now, it’s nearing time for me to go to bed again, to be ready for work tomorrow.

    The rain has stopped, the evening is cuddly warm, and all is well with the world ;-)

  42. jim2 says:

    Obama’s ex-consultant says cost of regulation is just 10 B. I’ll like to see his spreadsheet!

    “The cost of that single hurricane may well be more than five times greater than that of a usual full year’s worth of the most expensive regulations, which ordinarily cost well under $10 billion annually.”

  43. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; Glad to hear your trip was as boring as it was long. The only thing worse then a long boring trip is one that is not boring. Catch up on your rest and job orientation. I’m sure that we can survive a few more days without your entertaining posts. The reduction in comments has allowed me to catch up on other reading. ;-) pg

  44. CompuGator says:

    You might be able to drive some better-than-usual bargains along U.S. 192 near Cow Town (i.e.: Kissimmee, in Osceola Co., Fla.), juding from recent front-page feature stories in the surviving local daily’s recent series: “Road to Recovery: Osceola’s tattered tourist strip“.

    #1: “Region’s other tourist strip struggling to recover from downturns, decay“. By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel. May 4, 2013.

    #2: “Can Osceola’s tourist strip take back its hotels?“. By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel. May 6, 2013.

    #3: “Scaled-down Convention-center projects do little for tourism corridor“. By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel. 6:23 p.m. EDT, May 5, 2013.

    Not sure why the dates don’t conform to the claimed order, nor why the URL styles are different. Perhaps with the passing of 1 month, the series has been partly moved into a publicly accessible archive, instead of being marked ‘stale’ and thus inaccessible without pay-per-view arrangements.

  45. CompuGator says:

    What fortunate timing!

    Tropical Storm Andrea forms in Gulf of Mexico [:] System will bring torrential rain and threat of tornadoes to Central Florida“. By Arelis R. Hernández and Mark Schlueb, Orlando Sentinel. 8:39 p.m. EDT, June 5, 2013:

    Hurricane forecasters issued advisories Wednesday evening showing Andrea’s center is expected to move quickly across the state in a northeasterly path, bypassing most of Central Florida. Still, the area can expect up to 8 inches of rain–with the possibility of isolated tornadoes–by the time the storm is expected to clear the state Friday.

    A tropical storm, moving northeasterly from where it is now, “bypass[es] most of Central Florida” only in the most restricted sense. I could accept that more easily for a northnortheasterly path. Maybe a compass with more than 8 points is too challenging
    for modern “journalists”.

    At the time I posted these comments, the storm center appeared to be at a latitude near Sarasota (Sarasota Co.), and a longitude near Panama City (Bay Co.): a little W. of the Alabama/Georgia line. But radar images show a really broad right-wing of ‘rain bands’, stretching to the Atlantic coast, which began to arrive in Orlando at 1 a.m. EDT (05:00 GMT), more or less. Central Florida will initially be getting what might be called the storm’s starboard-bow quadrant (i.e.: from dead ahead at 0 deg., around to starboard beam) at 90 deg.), the worst one for nasty weather, including tornadoes wrapped in rain.

  46. pyromancer76 says:

    Your own personal “all Is well with the world” is wonderful to read. Your company is fortunate that you’re willing to sell them your Herculean talents/capacities — Florida’s gain, California’s loss (continued and deeply impoverishing). Anyone born and raised American should be familiar with the golden rule of limited government, but, but, but it takes a long time — living through failure after failure of “plans” to reduce — to actualize realize that no “government” will ever reduce “itself”. WTF — perpetuation of power, income, secure retirement, status, control, king-of-the-world, top-of-the-ant-hill?

    Like p.g.sharrow said, boring travel is good travel. Your readers await your comfortable return to (almost) normal. We enjoy your take on where, when, how it is not well with the world, or with science — and we need your version of entertainment.

  47. Gail Combs says:

    glad to hear you arrived safe. Too bad it is Just-in-Time for the seasons first tropical storm. We are in the batten-down-the-hatches mode here in NC getting ready. (Power goes out if it gets windy-w-rain)

  48. clipe says:

    Gail Combs says:
    6 June 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Hmm… it’s 6 June 2013 1:50pm EDT where I am so this is a test.

  49. clipe says:

    UTC. Disregard.

  50. Verity Jones says:

    Glad to hear you are settling in. All’s well with the world on this side of the pond too. Summer arrived late last week and as i type I can hear the children splashing in ‘a pool’ in the back yard. Sun is shining, sky is blue, birds are singing and nature is playing catch up. We all feel the huge ‘sigh’ of relief and contentment at the arrival of warmth and sun.

    I look forward to forward to your stories. You always paint such great pictures with words.

  51. John Robertson says:

    Glad to hear you made it safely, was starting to wonder.

  52. Chiefiio,
    The bad news is that the first thing to get cut when times are hard is training. As my part time employment involves training I am am now 80% unemployed thanks to Obama’s war on prosperity.

    The good news is that I am available for a night out at Meg O’Malley’s any time time you and your family are available. As the “Main Stream Media” delights to explain, unemployment is a wonderful thing that enables us to spend quality time with friends and family. If you don’t want to make the trip to Melbourne, fish and chips would be great too:

  53. Chiefio,
    Don’t get discouraged by the rain. The beautiful weather here over the past ~6 months has suddenly been replaced by the “Rainy Season”. From here on there will be no problems with brush fires. The brunt of Andrea passed to the north of us but we still got roughly six inches of rain in the last 24 hours in central Florida. No serious problems but nobody is playing golf as they are all “Fair Weather Golfers” here. My buddies from the Cairndhu GC in Ballygally (Northern Ireland) would have played today and loved every minute of the “Soft Rain” and 40 knot gusts.

    You may find the next five months of unrelenting heat and humidity a little trying. Just remember that it will be followed by at least six months of delightful weather.

  54. JP Miller says:

    Chiefio, I am joining you shortly as a Florida resident. We sold our house and will be on our “last plane” out of California in a week (we lived a few miles from you there). We moved to California in 1992 for the lifestyle: weather, food, wine, really smart people, fun work. And, it was all that. But, the idiocy that has consumed too many of my generation has concentrated its lethal effects in that beautiful State and we simply could not put up with them consuming tens of thousands of $$ of our money every year for NOTHING: trains that will be empty; too many government employees doing too little. The recent law that requires stores to charge for grocery bags was the proverbial “straw,” metaphorically at least. Or maybe it was being stuck in traffic for 30 mins last night as Obama motored to a fundraiser at Vinod Khosla’s house (co-founder of Sun Microsystems). How so many smart people can be so stupid is beyond me. Well, actually, I know the reason — smart people are used to getting their way. Using police to implement their view of the just society is the easiest — or at least the most obvious (if not only) — way to do that. They cannot imagine any other model for a “just” society. So sad.

    We’ll be a little south of you, but will enjoy a State that keeps its spending in check and understands that less government is better government.

  55. gallopingcamel says:

    There are plenty of people in Tallahassee fighting like tigers to waste your tax dollars. Governor Scott was “turned” from blocking the “Sun Rail” project that will not only waste a billion tax dollars for its construction but even more for subsidizing its operating deficits over the next 40 years. Not enough people in the legislature learned from the horrible example of Portland, Oregon.

    There is good news. After blowing a billion dollars on pilot solar power projects there will be no full scale “Roll Out” of these technologies of “Wealth Destruction” in the foreseeable future.

  56. JP Miller says:


    Count me as one who will let Tallahassee know that governments were not created to spend our money, but to give us a legal system that allows us to protect it from scam artists… like they have become.

  57. JP Miller,
    Welcome! We need folks like you and Chiefio.

  58. Ralph B says:

    Outside of the big cities FL is pretty red. From my experiences government services are actually pretty good. I love the way trash pickup is done and the DMV is way way way better than MA. So far the biggest downer for me has been home owners insurance. I am not in a flood zone but even with the highest deductible the premium sure is premium! Water is expensive as well but in my locale we have good city water…no sulfides. I don’t like the water there in Orlando. Electricity is reasonable. What I like the best…my caged in pool and lanai. I spend most of my time out there…so nice watching the eagles, mocking birds, scrub jays, and yes rabbits. I have a troop of them that hang out in the yard.

  59. E.M.Smith says:


    I think that he meant $10 B per regulation ;-)


    I did a posting on the 192 cost pattern last time I was here. I’ll find the link some time… the further from the park (and the “arrival from the west” point) the lower the prices, then when outside the “driving to the parks” range, they start to rise again.

    The “really cheap seats” where I stayed about 10 years back are belly up. The “a bit pricy” then are now “the cheap seats” and you can get a week for about $140 if you look a bit (or $20 / day…) It’s actually cheaper than renting an apartment.

    Enjoyed the way the local weather forcasters reported the “Tornado warnings” with a kind of “Gee, how cute, not like a hurricane, but still, interesting” sort of attitude. In the midwest “tornado” was dive in the basement and pray. Here it’s “just not up to hurricane, but something to notice, I guess…”


    Well, for you and for P.G.: There was SOME interesting excitement on the trip. Just not sure it is worth a posting… I’ll work though my travel log over the next few days and see ;-)

    I’m not quite back up to full speed on the posting (damn Motel 6 internet sucks) but I’m off to a new hotel this week. So things ought to pick up.

    I have a “someday” posting slowly forming in the brain… on “Planning” vs “self organizing systems”. But it’s a complicated topic and hasn’t ‘gelled’ yet…


    Yes, I swapped to UTC some years back, since folks were “here” from all over the globe and a lot of the weather data was UTC and…


    But I like storms! ;-)


    Well, I’m now a few time zones closer to Europe! IFF this contract works into a longer term one, I’m hoping to make a flight to Europe in a year or so… We’ll see.

    Yes, “warm is good” ;-)

    @John Robertson:

    It’s easy to wonder, but most of the time it is some small practical matter that’s “the issue”. Like today: Spent about 1/2 the day trying to find a Sears store. Didn’t write down the address and just figured “it was about here”… Not effective use of time, so things waited a while…

    And Motel 6 has internet that is blogger hostile… so I can’t work from there.

    And the SLC had a water leak so I spent the dry of the morning sealing the corner of the windshield with “silicone goo” (that worked… no more drip in my lap in the rain ;-) ah, the joys of a 32 year old car and 32 year old rubber seals…)


    Likely about 2 weeks until I’ve caught up all the things that need tending. (Like setting up the bank account to get the direct deposit that was just set up today…) Then I’ll be up for that pub grub club ;-)

    FWIW, I love rain… I deliberately went out in it today when the storm was dumping…

    @JP Miller:

    I have to admit that actually getting my groceries in a bag was a small pleasure ;-)

    They even have “bag boys” who bag the groceries for you and even pick up the bag to hand it too you (or if a full cart, put them all in it and offer to take it to your car…) Ah, service!

    Gasoline is about $1 / gallon cheaper. Other things are also “way cheaper” too. All that hidden tax in the price bump is gone.

    As I pointed out before, just the “train to nowhere” and the “Sacramento River into a hole in the ground” was going to be $10,000 debt to my family. Instead, the spouse is taking early retirement (so is now a net draw on the State as they pay her pension) and we are NOT signing up for that $10,000 of debt. We can always visit if we want…

    @Ralph B:

    I think you will find that “expensive water” is a relative term. In California, with a dinky lot and not much watered anyway, we had water bills more like electric bills in some places. Frankly, I’ve not run into anything here that’s even close to California prices.

    And don’t get me started on the $0.30 to $0.97 / kW-hr electricity in California…


    OK, you’ve got two new postings to read, it’s after 1 am, and I need to get ready to do laundry and swap hotels tomorrow, so “time to go”.


  60. Verity Jones says:

    @EM and gallopingcamel
    when you do manage to get together, if you are able to do it somewhere with half decent wifi, I’ll happily join you for a beer via skype ;-) That would be fun.

    I can’t believe it. It is Sunday morning and I am sitting writing this in the garden. There isn’t a cloud in the sky; there is a gentle breeze and our wifi reach is sufficient, so I’m contemplating a second coffee. Wonderful!

  61. Ralph B says:

    Now with the closing of SONGS (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station) that will have further upward pressure on CA electric rates. If this is a permanent departure then you probably picked the right time. I didn’t realize water was so expensive there as well…should have though with all the water rights fighting going on, assumed that was purely ag related.

  62. E.M.Smith says:

    @Verity Jones:

    Well, an interesting idea… and a new word / phrase.., “To skype a beer with” someone ;-)

    Eventually summer DOES come to the UK / Emerald Isles… just hope it lands on a week end ;-)

    @Ralph B:

    Is SONGS down permanently? Last I’d looked (years?) it was just boiler tube “issues” being worked post “repair” that wasn’t quite…

    The water situation in California is just insane. 95% of the fresh water is dedicated to agriculture at incredibly cheap prices per acre / foot (one acre covered a foot deep). The pittance left over goes to the cities, where it is sold at prices that make one willing to drink wine instead ;-)

    Yet, any drought hits, we are ALL admonished to cut back our water use as though it all depends on us looking at old poo in the toilet to get through it,,, when a full on 50% cut in domestic use would be all of 2.5% on a Statewide basis. The reality is that were we not growing cotton and tomatoes in the desert we could have water at 1/2 the price in the cities. Oh Well….

  63. Ralph B says:
    It wasn’t the U-tubes it was the regulators and their activist buddies.

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