Go Home Weather Channel, You’re Drunk

My weekday walking path.
My weekday walking path.

I am a fan of the English language. I am always learning new words and how to use them. A friend of mine recently reinforced what a hodgepodge of words makes up our language. English is filled with powerful words. However, for some inexplicable reason, people don’t find those words powerful enough. Qualifiers are added to make something sound more substantial. The late George Carlin once went on a rant about weak words like “nice.” Conversely, words such as awesome, spectacular, incredible are now used to describe the routine and the mundane.

My point? Ever since hurricane Sandy, there is now a movement to name every major storm that materializes. The term “super storm” was coined and The Weather Channel is now naming blizzards.

According to the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center website, “The use of easily remembered names greatly reduces confusion when two or more tropical storms occur at the same time. For example, one hurricane can be moving slowly westward in the Gulf of Mexico, while at exactly the same time another hurricane can be moving rapidly northward along the Atlantic coast. In the past, confusion and false rumors have arisen when storm advisories broadcast from radio stations were mistaken for warnings concerning an entirely different storm located hundreds of miles away.”

There is much more about the history of naming tropical storms here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames_history.shtml

A quick Google search for “naming winter storms” returns results that indicate that this practice is appalling to folks across the country, especially meteorologists.

Blizzard, nor’easter, perfect storm are all words we’ve used for decades to describe storms. These are strong powerful words. Storms are common occurrences that creatures around the globe have had to learn to live with since the dawn of time. The word “storm” is powerful and stands alone. Here in California, that word is overused and sensationalized. Forecasted winds stronger than 10 mph and some sort of precipitation in the offing call for panic-inducing calls to go to “Storm Tracker 7” on the local news. “Let’s go to the ‘Storm Desk.’” Vomit-inducing if you ask me.

The ground shakes here. We don’t name our earthquakes. The big ones are commemorated with the year they occurred. Someone will get punched in the face if they call a quake “Earthquake Steve.”

I grew up in the snow. I spent three years in Iceland. I have survived every blizzard, nor’easter and North Atlantic whatever I have encountered. I live four hours from Lake Tahoe. I can send the snow a postcard and I can visit it when I want. I just don’t have to live in it. We get wind and rain and the world is coming to an end according to local meteorologists.

What was wrong with the name “Hurricane Sandy?” Was “Super Storm” coined because it happened to New York? Look, I grew up in western New York. I love New York City. There is no disrespect intended for the people killed, injured or otherwise affected by Sandy. However, would we be naming blizzards and coining new terms if Sandy happened somewhere other than New York? No New Yorker would have come up with an idiotic term to name a storm.

Me during my Friday, February 8, 2013, walk. Looking a little slimmer I might add.
Me during my Friday, February 8, 2013, walk. Looking a little slimmer I might add.

Are they upset the Mayan calendar was wrong? Why are they always looking for ways to sensationalize everything? Is The Weather Channel irrelevant and they are trying to justify their own existence? This is just another example of “infotainment” masquerading as news and Chicken Little is in charge.

I understand that language must change and evolve over time. Words are added and words are retired. Living in California means I have to put up with stupid, manufactured words (hella, hyphy). We already have words for what’s going on with the weather. Here’s a strong word that’s used on signs all over the world. Stop.

Okay – that’s the end of the rant.

Here’s what’s going on with me. Eight-pound weight loss is holding steady although I have not managed to drop any more. I’m still trying to get a grip on my dietary restrictions since I have to manage both my gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health.

I have been walking much more lately. I missed a few days this past week because of work commitments. I have been hitting three miles per walk regularly. I’d be feeling pretty good if my chronic back problem wouldn’t act up two miles in.

My weight loss is pretty evident in my face and it appears that my belly is shrinking. I am results-oriented. I have to see some sort of progress or I tend to get frustrated and develop a strong desire to quit. I am determined to make this work and seeing early results is a big help.

My back problem is caused by lack of core strength. Funny because the issue that I had corrected with surgery is where the core begins and both my doctor and my surgeon have warned against heavy lifting. What to do…what to do. I’m enjoying my walks but I am at the point where I need to increase the intensity in order to lose weight.

I am not 100 percent. I am close. No real pain, just some occasional discomfort. I know that having surgery was the right thing to do. There is improvement in many regards. The older you get, the longer it takes to heal. I am not a patient man, I just don’t move as fast.

As far as the diet goes, more fruit is great. I love fruit. It’s just that cookies, candy and chips taste great too. I do miss potatoes. The egg substitute is pretty good. The Jimmy Dean Delights breakfast sandwiches are very good. The high-fiber pasta isn’t bad. Brown rice is the only substitute that doesn’t trip my trigger. Tried some Greek yogurt the other day, it wasn’t bad. Atkins breakfast and snack bars have become part of my daily intake.

I haven’t wrapped my head around lunch yet. Once I figure that out I’ll be on my way. I do know that microwave meals are not the best things to eat. Even if it says Lean Cuisine, it’s all processed and I am learning that processed=bad.  I do miss my deli meats – pastrami, bologna, salami, ham and the like.

I haven’t been sleeping well the past several weeks so that will be the next thing I address. I’ll be having blood work done again soon so hopefully my cholesterol has come down to a reasonable level.

For all of the folks affected adversely by this latest storm, I wish you well. Stay warm and dry.

2 thoughts on “Go Home Weather Channel, You’re Drunk

  1. Thank you for your comments on the weather channel’s new practice of naming every US winter snow storm. What’s next, numbering all the snowflakes? I grew up in New Jersey and western Pennsylvania in the 1940s and 1950s and we had rain and some snow in the winter. No one worried much about it back then… Now, in the San Francisco we have fog-tracker. All hype all the time, I guess…

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