Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 November 2010 enough wind stop whistling

We’ve been under a high wind advisory or a high wind watch/warning since Monday morning. The light breezes that exist much of the time have been replaced by Force 7 to Force 10 gusts on the Beaufort scale with sustained winds at the Force 5 to Force 6 level. That equates to the 25-63 MPH range. These winds carry quite a lot of force.

These winds are also very noisy and can cause some discomfort. I’ve written before about listening to the wind roll over the ridge crest then pour down valley. Because of the nature of this air mass and the intensity of this low-pressure cell there are no intervals between one pour-over and the following ones. There is a change in velocity with a corresponding change in the pitch and volume of each gust; but the underlying wind velocity is great enough to provide a constant rumble and low moaning.

We can, and do, look at local temperature data from other weather stations. This morning the cluster of 10° + temperatures in the mountain valleys and foothills demonstrated the effect of downslope compression and heating on airflow through mountainous terrain. It’s fun to see something studied play out in real time.

The storm has made it difficult to maintain our internet connection. Comcast acknowledges that they have a hardware problem between our home and the down valley node. Lately, whenever it rains we lose service for an indeterminate length of time. We, then, have to call Comcast, listen to the advertising bullshit that is stacked ahead of any hope of talking to a live person in order to report our loss of service. Then we have to call the business office at another number to secure an offset for non-service on our bill. Our down-stream neighbor succumbed to the hype and changed from a landline to Comcast VOIP service. Now, when he loses service he also can’t call to report the loss of service. We still retain our landline for exactly that reason. We refuse to use the Comcast VOIP or cell service. Our Verizon cell service requires a booster linked to our router and cable modem in order to connect at home. So losing internet service also means we lose cell service. The Comcast tech will come out tomorrow and find nothing wrong with our modem or connection, barring rain. We’ll continue to call when we lose service and demand refunds. And no one can understand why we are dissatisfied with our cable/internet providers.

On Tuesday and Thursday, I have a long gap between classes. Normally at 1400, the lecture hall that I listen to art-history lectures in is empty and I can sit there and study or work at writing. It’s quiet and I enjoy the quiet. As my hearing loss grows worse background noise becomes more problematic. Crowd noises are particularly annoying.

Today, a mob from some unknown class flooded in and split into groups. There were in excess of 100 of them and they all began talking loudly. Someone behind me even cranked up some sort of music player, volume maxed out, of course. They’ve been jabbering and babbling for nearly an hour now. The silence is gone. Even the roar of the wind would be preferable, highly preferable! It is time for me to sit here and whistle loudly.

I spoke about Vietnam and my part in it for Dr. Baxter today. The only question any of the students asked was about people spitting on returning veterans. I hope I allayed that myth for a few people. At the end of my presentation, I read my poem “Hey Doc!” The class was polite, there was some applause when I finished. Dr. Baxter said he enjoyed the poem so I gave him the copy I read from in gratitude for a well-taught class. That piece is hard to read silently. It had never been read before a live audience.

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