February 2021

One month of 2021 down and I have to say that it doesn’t feel a whole lot different than 2020.  The same light at the end of the tunnel that was promised in 2020 is still on the horizon, so I guess we’ll just stay stuck in this land of limbo for a little while longer.

The board will be having our quarterly meeting early in February, the week before the normal monthly meeting.  The main intent of the first board meeting of the year is for the board to set priorities for the year so we can focus the club’s efforts on a goal (or two).  The agenda has been published on the website, so if anyone has any questions or input on the topics, please reach out to me or any of the other board members.

I wanted to give a couple of public “Thank You” shout outs.  First, a huge thank you to all those who have already paid their dues for 2021.  The financial support coming in is what will be sustaining the club in the short term.  We’ve also picked up more new members, despite the pandemic, so things are looking good!  As a reminder for those who have yet to re-up their membership, at some point after the February meeting, we’ll be changing the password for the site.  We’ll reach out to everyone who hasn’t yet paid after the February meeting. 

Another THANK YOU goes out to Bruce Hage who stepped up to do the demonstration for the February meeting and to Bill Schulz who has agreed to do the demo for March.  If anyone would like to do a demonstration for April or May – OR – if anyone has a demonstration they’d like to see, please contact Russ or I and we’ll try to find someone who can do the demo. 

When the year started, I made a list of all the things that I needed to get done for the club to move from one year to the next. Updating Facebook events, scheduling board meetings, sending updates to the AAW for new board members, and a whole list of tasks to complete. I’ve been working through them and have crossed many of them off the list. The biggest one remaining are the website updates to consolidate all the great work that was submitted for the 2020 president’s challenge and get the pages ready for the 2021 challenges. That’s proving to be the most difficult and time consuming, but I should have it done, soon-ish. That’s a long winded way to say if you have completed any of the 2021 challenges already, please remember to send a note to Dan Augstin and I, along with a picture, so we can make sure the completion list is current and I can get it posted in the correct gallery. We’re not looking for professional photography, a clear snap from your phone will suffice.

As I was writing this, there was a TV show on in the background, more just for the noise than for anything that was actually being shown. At one point, I looked up and saw a weatherman standing in front of one of those green screen maps, so I figured I’d tune in to see what was happening on the weather front. (No pun intended.) As I watched this man work to earn his money and prove that he had “science” to back his forecasts, I couldn’t help but smile. To paraphrase what I think he was saying, it was going to snow in the next couple of days. It might just rain, or it might be a mix of rain and snow, and it could be a LOT of snow, depending on how the storm tracked, but some kind of water product was going to come out of the sky. Probably. May be. I smiled because with all that training, all that technology at his disposal, and all the pretty graphics to generate his learned forecast and his forecast boiled down to it may or may not rain, or snow, or whatever. It made me wonder about becoming a weatherman. It doesn’t appear that a person has to actually be accurate in what they forecast, because there are always enough variables listed to provide “plausible deniability” if they’re wrong. They can tell everyone a “Saskatchewan screamer” or an “Alberta clipper” or even the dreaded “Snow-pocalipse” was going to bury the entire city in 30 feet of snow, then nothing happens, they can just say there was a shift in the jet stream, an unexpected stalling of a high pressure system in Kansas, or an expansion of the isometric bars that caused the storm to veer away. Apparently anyone can be a weatherman, but to be able to be called a “meteorologist” the person had to have completed specialized training. The guy I was watching was a card carrying meteorologist! He was still wrong, but he was a pedigreed kind of wrong.

Something about this job doesn’t seem to be quite above board. Get it wrong and you still get paid. Nail the forecast 100 days in a row and you get nothing extra. Being a hot chick might get you hired at one station, but the station across town will always hire the old white haired guy or the used car salesman every time. I’d also imagine that no matter who they hire, all the gag reels out on the internet about green screen mishaps would cause panic to a good number of meteorologists when the camera turns on. What an odd way to make a living!

I went back to writing this letter.

After awhile, curiosity got the best of me and I went out to check the weather forecast. Apparently we’re supposed to get 2.9 inches of snow (which is an oddly specific amount of snow) on Monday to coincide with the February monthly meeting. Or not. Could be more, could be less… Good thing we’ve got the online meetings!

Until next time, thanks for reading and please remember to try to be and do better.