Garth & Baytown Tx.

Here I sit at Garth & I-10 in Baytown Texas. A bit over 1/3 of the way from Florida to Silicon Valley. In a Starbucks.

There has been light drizzle from middle of Louisiana to here. Sunday a Cold Norther is going to make this place cold, I-20 and I-40 further north, likely snowy. I decided to “bug out” in order top pass this longitude before that Canadian Latitude air froze the mist into snow.

I’ll likely break at the 1/2 way point (about 36 drive hours). I’ve done that before and it works well.

The Banana Boat was cranky for a while. A change of points and fussing with the ‘gap’ has to purring at 80 MPH now (though a bit rumbly still at low speed, likely running a bit advanced on the timing.

With luck, by Sunday Night I’ll be in Silicon Valley, or able to smell it from where I reach.

This weather, IMHO, is ample proof that “Global Warming” to-date has been a simply longer term weather cycle. If not “Where’s the Heat?” Really. If, at any time, you are cold or return to prior lows, that heat is gone. Where is it?

Look at a map of North America. Cold and frozen. So have we ‘left’ Global Warming? Did the heat magically teleport to Australia? Simply put, there’s no mechanism in the AGW thesis for magical heat to appear and hide and appear again. It must be stored somewhere, or leave. No storage spot? Then it left and there is no Global Warming, just transients.

Well, with that, I’m back “on the road again”…
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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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28 Responses to Garth & Baytown Tx.

  1. philjourdan says:

    Yea, I am on OTRA tomorrow. Short trip (by your standards), but the forecast is for snow, then ICE! Guck! I am planning on it taking twice the time.

  2. R. Shearer says:

    If you look left, can you see the San Jacinto monument.

  3. gallopingcamel says:

    I used to teach at Lee college in Baytown:

    Click to access fiber-optics-summer-2016.pdf

    I guess this means I won’t be seeing you at Morimoto’s in the near future. I will be emigrating next July so please let me know if you are planning any more trips to Florida.

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    Well the heat didn’t get to southern Australia. In Adelaide the Jacaranda trees bloomed a month late because they had to wait for the soil to warm.–not-everyone-is-happy/news-story/00fb5d40259d145d4bfd91d83ab8e09d
    Claim is the delay was a drier than usual Spring – B.S. it was wetter than average until mid Nov. Indeed we had one of the wettest years ever, which kept the minimum temperatures up. Melbourne residents also talking about their long cold wet winter.
    Perhaps the missing heat is at that uninhabited, weather station free area in the outback which shows high temperatures. Warwick Hughes ( errors in IPCC science) often mentions it.

  5. M Simon says:

    In 1979 the snow in Chicago was piled 10 ft. high at the end of winter.

    1979 was at the end of a cooling phase. 2016 is the start of a cooling phase.

    It will take 4 or 5 winters like this one – but I think the warmist hysteria will see further decline. It will be interesting to see how they try to hide the decline.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @a rest stop in New Mexico. Home tomorrow, so brief comments due to tablet…

    There was a heck of a dust storm in El Paso! Like snow, only brown.. Sprinkling and cold in N.M. but at least you can breath the air without a towel…

  7. John F. Hultquist says:

    Yesterday (12/16) Flagstaff had gusts of 64 mph. The high sustained was 48 mph.
    Every once in awhile the wind slows to 8 or 10; but it has been very windy for a couple of days.
    The site has been wonderful to look at as this Arctic Outbreak pushes south. That push over OK/TX is not the only place to look. Gulf air is pushing into the eastern Great Lakes. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has South wind at 7 mph and a temp of 38°F (1:51 EST; 12/17). There isn’t much going on in CA.

  8. LG says:

    @ John F. Hultquist.
    In case you had missed it, has offered their own version of almost-real-time global weather updates and forecast for over a year now.


  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    I had not seen Windytv. Thanks.

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    A little lesson on why temperature records are unreliable and comparing records is risky.

    The first official weather station in Denver was set up in 1871 in down town Denver at what is now Larimer and 16th street – this is low ground just east of the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek. This would be approximately where the 0 deg F reading is on this image.
    It then moved to 19th and Stout the location of the Main Denver Post Office in 1916 (about 1/2 mile east of the original location). The office location again moved to Stapleton Airfield in Sept 1931 (near the location of the -3 deg F reading in the image) about 4.5 miles north east of the original lower down town location. The observing location then move 2x more around the Stapleton airport location in 1969 and in 1982. The first slightly south east of the airport, the second slightly north east of the airport just south of where I70 and Quebec streets meet today at 10230 Smith Road.
    The observation post then moved out to DIA in 1995 (the current location and the site reporting -14 in the image) approximately 18 miles away on the high plains north east of the original Denver NWS office and in an entirely different micro climate.

    Taking all that into consideration, the 1909 low record is not at all comparable to the 2016 record.

  11. Another Ian says:


    “Well the heat didn’t get to southern Australia. In Adelaide the Jacaranda trees bloomed a month late because they had to wait for the soil to warm. ”

    Scotch thistles only getting to flower in SW Queensland in December might be conveying a similar message. And it wasn’t lack of moisture. Others of the ilk – Mexican poppy, Maltese cockspur. saffron thistle are doing similar

  12. Alexander K says:

    I just checked out – great site, seems very accurate and I like the range of climactic factors one can select.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, I made it. There was a heck of a lot of wind and sand storm in El Paso and on to New Mexico. L.A. had wind and was colder than I’ve had there before. Some snow of Tejon Pass / Grapevine (a road)… Now I’m ready for a long nap…

  14. Larry Ledwick says:

    Good to hear you are home safe!
    See ya when we see ya.

  15. John F. Hultquist says:

    What a difference a day makes. See comment above at 7:54 pm.
    Early evening on 12/18 Sunday:
    Winds across New Mexico and Arizona are funneling toward the Gulf of California.
    8 to 12 mph and generally out of the North.

  16. Bill s says:

    OTRA huh
    Start with the fact that I found that the words bass and teats made it through the smut filter at work.
    So I just thought it might bring you a jolly if I mentioned:
    You bass teat. How did you get me addicted to Shakira – in Spanish no less!
    And you can still drive thru the night!
    My jealously knows no ends.

  17. Bill s says:

    Sorry to any of you non Steven king readers. Substitute “turds” for “teats” if that be the case.

  18. John F. Hultquist says:

    Regarding a topic of a few months ago:
    Venezuela—President Nicolás Maduro’s government deployed 3,000 troops to the southeastern state of Bolivar on Monday after people desperate over the government’s elimination of much of the country’s currency looted stores and homes over the weekend.

  19. E.M.Smith says:


    To where are you moving, if I might ask?

    I hope to be in Florida again (by air only!!) before July, but “we’ll see”…

    @Graeme No.3:

    Ah, a neighbor down the street had a Jacaranda. Wonderful flowers… (Yes, I’m fond of purple / lavender ; -) Sorry to hear it’s been cold. Maybe the heat all ran off to the Sahara…

    @M. Simon:

    Sadly, I think it will only end when the money ends… With luck, about 6 months after Jan 20th…

    @John F:

    There was a fateful moment in Las Cruces… I was just out of the El Paso dust storm, into the 40 MPH ‘wind in my teeth’, and sitting in a Starbucks thinking “Maybe heading north to I-40 in would be better?”. As a weather map showed 0 F as the low predicted for Flagstaff, I decided to just ‘press on’ into the very stiff headwind… Later saw some dozens of folks were wrecked on I-40 from snow and wind… Sometimes it is the little decisions that matter…


    That windy TV is interesting…


    Nice lesson: My main takeaway? Denver is brass monkey land….

    @Bill S:

    Yes, it did bring me joy! ;-) And you are welcome… ( I think Shakira et. al. have a little extra ‘something’ in Spanish… Maybe just less worried about getting the language right, or just ‘being at home’ in a more sensual culture lets a bit more cut-loose happen… In any case, it IS addictive…)

    Yes, I can still do ‘all nighters’. For most of my stops it was a couple of hours in the rear seat. I had the car packed such that a minute of moving bags with handles and I had a (short) bed in the back seat. Not good for more than 4 hours (stiff bent legs / or cold) but good enough. I think I made this run in about 67 hours total. Would be faster but I started at 8:30 PM after being up all day. Making a start on full sleep I could likely cut another 7 hours of sleep and make it in about 60. (Once did 56 with 3 drivers in rotation and one night in a hotel, so a theoretical 48 is possible. I think it would take 2 drivers sleeping in shifts in the car and no hotel stops, though.)

    FWIW, I’m thinking I’m done with cross country in cars older than my kids… From here on out the emphasis will be on flying, maybe a train once ‘for the experience’, and MAYBE a drive in a much newer car. Why? Seems I have “wobbly shaft”…

    I was constantly adjusting the timing on the points. At first, about once every 3rd tank. Then down to ever tank. Then noticed that while adjusting the points, sometimes 0.016 was better, another time 0.018… Inspection / observation while setting the points in New Mexico showed that the distributor shaft could be wiggled sideways more than the gap in the points… my distributor shaft was wobbling… thus the bad milage, sometimes working well, then not, sometimes at high revs stabilizing more… etc.

    Now if it died in the Middle Of Nowhere Texas, how long to get a distributor shaft for a points ignition 1979 Euro Model Mercedes? Eh?

    Figure the bad mileage added about $250 to the gasoline cost, or enough to cover a plane ticket. (Now that I have the Banana Boat home … a plane ride would not have helped move it, or the load of boxes…)

    So hopefully my next trip will be with a newer laptop that actually works and via air.

    @John F.:

    Yeah, when countries start playing games with the currency, time to have been gone for a year or three… Why I USE currency for almost everything possible, but don’t HOLD currency long at all. It is just a “medium of exchange” not a “store of value” so isn’t actual money, just currency; which means “exchange it as fast as you can”… I think my average cash holdings is about $100 most of the time, though it can peak to $5000 when I’m shopping for something (like a car…). IF the government every started making noises about dumping the $100, I’d likely hit the American Express office and load up on € and Swissy travelers checks…

    So Venezuela dodged the violence / war via beer shortages, but is now in the terminal phase of food riots and monetary collapse. Oh Joy… Shows what happens when Central Authority tries to micro-manage the economy… We have about 5000 years+ showing a free and open market works, and about 200 years showing “managed markets” and socialism doesn’t. You’d think folks would notice…

  20. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like you need to send the distributor out to a good old fashioned auto electric shop and have them put new bushings in the distributor. High mileage does that to standard points ignition distributors. Easy fix for someone with the right equipment and experience, and the distributor will be good for another 200K miles.

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    If it has been that way too long might need to replace the distributor shaft (or have someone repair it), the can get grooved where the bushings ride, and on that old of a car might be a challenge to find a replacement. Might have to have to find a lower mileage distributor in a junk yard or have that shaft R&R’d. Depending on how it is build could be difficult or simple depending if the points cam and gear can be removed.

    Might be able to have someone build up the worn area with weld, brazing or metal spray and then re-machine to the proper dimension. Some of the older hot rod shops in Ca can probably do the work no problem.

  22. Gail Combs says:

    Just got the Black 3/4 ton diesel truck back from the mechanic. I have wanted to take her into our Tranny guy since ~July but Hubby couldn’t see why. (I drive it mosty so I notice the little changes.) FINALLY had our general mechanic look at it and Yup the funny noise and the symptoms I noticed are due to a tranny problem. So it looks like we are taking the Dually up to Richmond VA to pick up an antique radio and TV left to Hubby by a high school class mate. We could have gotten the entire machine shop but had no way to get tons of equipment out of the basement without gobs of money and an insurance policy.

    Mean while I hope our tranny guy has not retired. He has rebuilt about four trannys for us so far.

    Dodge put in too light a tranny for the Cummins engine so it needs a rebuild every decade or so.

  23. EM – the distributor shaft is almost certainly worn round and not scored (or even much smaller than it originally was), so a possible quick fix would be to add some packing to bias the shaft the odd 20 thou or so (drill and tap holes through the top bushing/outer case at around 120° spacing and screw in some PTFE grubscrews with locknuts to hold them in place, providing such positions are accessible). New bushings may be a little hard to source and if you go that way you’d probably need to find someone with a lathe to turn up what’s available to the right size. It’s such a common problem with an old distributor that I wonder why a sprung shaft bias widget isn’t installed as a standard, but then by the time it gets to be useful the motor is well past the year’s guarantee and they can sell you a new distributor system instead. Or a new car.

    Alternative sneaky fix is to take a hacksaw cut along the length of the bush and add shim to the outside, then re-insert it. Shim available from beer-cans if nothing else (around 70 microns for the Aluminium cans, or 2.75 thou, so one layer takes up 5.5 thou and you may need 2 layers). You may need to cut wooden drifts to get the bushing out and back again. A hacksaw cut is around 0.7mm wide (27 thou) so will allow you to shrink the bore by around 10 thou. May be enough….

    The joys of keeping old cars on the road….

  24. E.M.Smith says:


    I have a much easier fix. My mechanic has a lathe and drill press and more, plus several kinds of welding gear. When needed, he machines any unavailable parts. So I only need to take the car to him and “apply money” ;-)

    I’m tempted to ask if the electronic ignition distributor from later models is a drop in replacement…

    OTOH, it is nice to have an EMP proof car…

    This is the old 230 engine ( 4 cyl in line) and they made millions of them. Ought not to be hard to find parts to fit. Bosch distributor… uses the same points as the old VW, so I’d not be surprised if the same distributor were used in both…

  25. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. Been in a couple of those dust storms. One in Arizona (before I-40 was complete, so on Route 66) caused us to experience the pleasures of Earl Scheib! 29.95 special!

    The other was in California and I had a rental car, so I did not care. ;-)

  26. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – re: 67 hours
    It helps a chevy van. (instead of suitcases and a back seat).

  27. philjourdan says:

    @Gail – Bring the Duelly to Richmond and drop it off at Weaver Transmissions (just off of I-64, just after the I-95 split). My wife thought she had tranny problems, and a mechanic (at the dealer) told her the same. Weaver told her it need the fluid flushed and refilled. And it was fine after that.

  28. Gail Combs says:

    On the Tranny THANKS!

    Our tranny guy just took off for Texas for a two month hunting trip…. Shades of Scalia….

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