Monday, November 24, 2008

All Things Chaser

Finally, there is a cool place where you can browse dozens of chaser related items, such as DVDs, t-shirts, photos and more all under one roof. Recently opened,, is your one-stop shop for chaser related stuff. Just in time for the Christmas shopping season! If you want to be notified of new releases, you can enter your email (at the bottom of the page). You can help a fellow chaser by posting a review of their video. It is the perfect place to find SDS treatment. I am actually debating on selling photos through Chaser Supply. It's something I've never done before, so we will see I guess.

The person behind this great idea? Scott Bennett. Not long ago, he introduced a new service to the chasing community, called It is basically a chat program exclusively for spotters and chasers. Often, special chats are held. Before potential chase days, forecast discussions are held. It is like reuniting the chaser and spotter community. So far, I have immensely enjoyed it. You must give it a try! Hurry and sign up before SpotterChat becomes "invite only". Tonight, SpotterChat has reached 300 members, and growing!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I just don't get it...

Why is it that some people go on TV and then get their panties up in a bunch when someone writes about them? Isn't it something that they should expect to happen? It was public TV for crying out loud. If you don't want to be criticized then don't go on TV. It's that simple. You're just simply asking for it.... everyone will talk about a certain individual who was on TV. Look at reality shows. Classic example. I attack actions, not people. My newest "friend" obviously did the latter... he failed to answer my questions regarding safety and made immature personal lashes. Sorry if I offended him, but that still doesn't give him a reason to retaliate in such a manner. Instead of stooping to an all-time low, why doesn't he use the blog he just created and talk about why he does what he does and how he is coming along. I have no problem with research. Then maybe, just maybe, people will start to show a little more respect for him.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

7 °F

Friday. It was the day of an uber snowsquall in a small Ontario town, Arkona. 76 cm, or 30 inches, of the white powder fell in a period of 24 hours due to classic lake effect snowsquall bands. My friend George Kourounis went out and managed to get some great photos of it all. I recommend visiting his site.

It was also the night of very cold temperatures across the region. A forecast low of 7 °F was in order and 12 °F for Saturday night. I was out taking my dog for her walk and I couldn't believe how cold it was. It was more like a damp cold, the kind that goes through you no matter how many layers you are wearing.

I thought they were predicting a warmer than normal winter, but so far it is only mid November and it feels more like mid January.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What gives? Framing photos

When you want to print your photos in its proper proportion, you will run into issues. You look in every photo/framing store you can think of and you look up your nose. No where can it be seen... a 8x12 inch photo frame. They sell 8x10 and 11x17 and 8.5x11 but what about 8x12's? What gives?

Needless to say, I had quite the fun time this weekend trying to find something to put my photos in. I had to buy 11x17 frames and leave a black border around the photo. A little bit more costly than I'd like.... maybe it's all part of some marketing scheme. "Buy my 8x10's or pay more for bigger!". You know... since most photographers use cameras that have the 2:3 ratio.

I honestly see no appeal in 8x10's. What do the photo lab people do? They distort the image by squishing it to make it fit, and if you were to do that with a portrait of somebody or an object you recognize, you will notice the distortion.

Guess there is a monopoly to be had even in the photo industry. Shame.

What next? Irresponsible chasing on TV?

First of all, the Storm Chasers show on Discovery is well worth watching. Probably one of the best shows I've seen in recent times that is chasing related.

Next up? Wannabe yahoo chasers on TV. Not something I would like to see. I apparently just came across some info regarding a Wife Swap episode of a storm chasing family and a safety family. That should prove to be interesting! The "storm chaser"? Richard Heene. Ya you heard me, I just called him out. Seriously, this dude apparently loves to make chasing storms priority number one, over school and other important life issues. They have a megaphone to wake up their entire household to go chasing and they sleep with their clothes on. I can understand being really passionate about chasing, but come on? To make the kids skip school so they can chase tornadoes? Sounds like to me they have their priorities mixed up. I came across some videos of the family and they all need a wake up call.

I really have no idea what this guy is trying to accomplish, something about researching magnetic fields around storms (he thinks mesocyclones affect magnetic fields locally). He's been featured on several news segments, which make me think he is just in it so he can be on TV. He has no website that I know of and isn't anywhere to be seen on any of the storm chasing community sites such as Stormtrack. I guess that is a good thing because he would probably get criticized on there like what I am doing now.

Heene states that the risks is all in the name of research. You can tell that is a load of BS right there. He rides a motorbike into the storm. Here's a news segment. My point? People like him on TV make us devoted, safe real storm chasers look like idiots in the general publics' eyes and we need to end this nonsense.

A while ago, many of us received an email from Heene. A Stormtrack thread erupted in its wake.

We should take his so called magnetic field and repel him off the plains. Sorry Heene, this post had to be made.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Storm Chaser Gear for Dummies

You know you're bored when you start creating lists like these.

Storm Chaser Gear for Dummies

Camera - To take pictures of the blue skies while the chaser over in the next state has the tornadoes.

Video camera - To gather proof of chaser hordes wherever the DOW and TIV are. Also used as a way of having proof you really were inside that tornado.

GPS - To plan escape routes to get away from the DOW and TIV hordes. Also used to find where the nearest Dairy Queen or Sonic is.

Tripod - Used as a road block.

Ham radio - Used to report BSC (big scary clouds) while spotting.

Cell phone - To call mom when you are peeing your pants from freight.

Sunglasses - To make those big scary clouds seem darker than they really are.

Laptop - After consuming plenty of junk food on the road, the chaser develops a laptop.

Nose plugs - A must have if your chase partner eats an Allsups.

Spotter Network - A software tool to see where the chase crowds are headed.

Baron Mobile Threat Net - A software tool to find out where the heck your supercell is since it is no where to be seen.

Cooler - A hail storage container.

Light bar - Used to stir controversy among the chaser community. Sorry Stormtrack, but I just had to throw that one in there :-)

Disclaimer: These lists are intended for humor purposes only. They do not have any relation to the various for Dummies books.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Weather Instruments for Dummies

On a November evening, I sit and ponder what to do during the winter season. This is a start. Oh dear, it's going to be a long winter....

Weather Instruments for Dummies

Anemometer - If it's missing, it's very windy out.

Visibility Sensor - If you can't find it, it's very foggy out.

Precipitation gauge - If it's flooded under, it's very wet out.

Thermometer - If you're sweating, it's too damn hot; if you're shivering, it's too damn cold.

Barometer - If you have high pressure, go see your doctor.

Hygrometer - If you think you're melting like the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz, it's too humid out.

Ceilometer - If you get sunburned, there's obviously no clouds.

Doppler - Purple means the sky is falling. If it's rotating, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

Eyes - Used to detect real time weather conditions used by those who can't afford to purchase fancy weather gadgets.