Monday, April 30, 2007

Site Maintenance

Real-time weather station information on the Hood River Weather site will be intermittant this evening as I re-install the station software. Hopefully this will eliminate the occasional temperature and rainfall spikes that have been occuring for the past few weeks.

Some historical graphs will be zeroed out initially, so it will take a while for the data to fill back in. Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Taxing Times

As usual, this week's Hood River Weather poll (on taxes) has absolutely nothing to do with the weather in Hood River. Unless you count weather in with death and taxes as things that are certain to occur in life. Benjamin Franklin probably meant to include "weather" in his quote, but just didn't have the room.

Typical spring weather continues in Hood River, with some sunny days, some rainy days, and most everything in between. We still haven't had a warm spell into the upper 70's or 80's, but those won't be too far off.

I've received several emails regarding Apple computers vs Windows based computers (see previous blog). Apple clearly has led the way for years with their innovative graphical interface, ease of use, and being less prone to malware and computer glitches. Since they have almost totally controlled what hardware and software runs on the OS, there are far fewer system conflicts. Windows machines, on the other hand, are less expensive, available in far more configurations, and have been opened up to many thousands of hardware and software developers. Which, of course, makes them potentially more unstable.

Anyway, here's a cute Mac vs PC ad that is making the rounds:

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Thanks Again, Microsoft

I finally broke down this weekend and did a clean reinstall of Windows XP on the desktop computer (the one that also runs the weather station software). Seems like Windows machines inevitably slow down over time, and this machine was getting intolerably slow.

So, after backing up data, reformatting, reinstalling XP, and reinstalling all the programs, we're back in business. Except that now the weather station software is introducing these occasional weird spiky things into the data. I'm gonna watch this for a day or so and if it doesn't improve on it's own I'll resort to stronger measures.

I can't help but wonder if Apple computers slow down over time and need to have the operating system re-installed?

Friday, April 6, 2007

From Brrrrrr To ... Nice ...

Mid-70's and sunny this afternoon. The record high for this date, 79 degrees, will probably hold. A slight east wind. This pattern in Spring thru early Fall typically brings warming temperatures. A great afternoon to be outside.

And possible thunderstorms this weekend! Hood River's thunderstorm season is April thru June (with the occasional stray event in July and August). We seldom have more than 5 thunderstorms per year, and mostly less.

What a shame. There are few things more awesome in life than a good thunderstorm (those in which you and your belongings survive).

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Not quite a record low temp this morning (29 degrees versus a record of 26 in 1972), but cold enough. And I take some responsibility for causing it, since I pushed the vegetable garden season a bit by planting artichoke, lettuce, onion, and broccoli starts last weekend. They're all pretty hardy though, and hopefully they will live long and prosper (at least long enough for me to eat them).

It's not unusual to have below freezing temperatures here in April; the historic average "last freeze date" for Hood River is April 20th. That's for the city elevation of roughly 500 feet above sea level. Higher elevations can have frost well into May or even early June.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Religion and Politics

In anticipation of Easter, this week's Hood River Weather poll dives head first into one of the two taboo subjects that must never be discussed in polite company. Since the poll has already violated the politics part, religion is next. So much for polite company...

I have always found the study of the world's religions fascinating. We are (mostly) all trained as we grow up to think that belief in a supernatural Deity or Creator (that can't be proved or disproved and is to be accepted on faith) is a primary virtue. (We especially are trained to always capitalize Deity or Creator).

I myself prefer to find (and try to practice) the common threads that run through religions. For me, some of those common threads are: There is something much bigger than ourselves, and we are all a part of that, as is everything around us. One should strive to live a moral and ethical life. Our beliefs should make us kinder and more empathetic, rather than divide us. And if our beliefs help us face our own and other's mortality, so much the better.

Other than that, I just don't know. I'm not so sure that we humans can ever really know (with our wonderfully complex but finite minds) what is spiritually "true". We can absolutely feel and insist that we do, but that could very well be wishful thinking. Plus, one can never prove a generalized negative, such as "there is no God". Given that, agnosticism feels right to me (and is, at least for me, an honest and humbling position). But I certainly could be wrong. I do know for sure that being alive and part of this Universe is an awesome blessing and absolutely amazing (with hardly ever a dull moment). Not to mention that, at least physically speaking, we are indeed Stardust.

Oh, the weather in Hood River? Great, if you like rain and cool temps with occasionally warm sunny days, which I do.