Delightful to Frightful

Anybody searching for proof that South Dakota’s weather is bipolar need look no further than Saturday morning’s forecast.


We didn’t quite hit 70º yesterday, but came damn close. 68.7º, to be exact. It was so warm that Tara and I took a walk around Canyon Lake wearing nothing but t-shirts! Well, okay…we had pants on, too. It was weird because the lake is half iced over, yet it felt mild enough to have a picnic and toss around a frisbee if you were so inclined. Then we came home and I washed my car. After that, I gassed up the snowblower. Because, record high notwithstanding, the weather’s about to go from delightful to frightful. They’ve issued a Winter Weather Advisory and we’re expecting anywhere from 2-5″ of snow.

Not that I mind. I love the cold and snow. Plus, it’s been a lot milder this past month than it was a year ago. We really haven’t had much weather of note since our blizzard two months ago.

If you’re wondering how I know the exact high temperature within a tenth of a degree, it’s because I bought myself a weather station and set it up last weekend. I have always had a fascination with weather and climatology and decided at the age of 8 I wanted to become a meteorologist. Ten years and one Introduction to Meteorology college course later, I realized that a whole lot of math was required. I just wanted to look at clouds and stuff, so that was a hard pass.


I have to admit, the weather station is pretty nifty. I can see all the stats right on my phone. When I attended high school in South Dakota lo these many years ago, I filled up spiral notebooks with weather information culled from the mercury-filled, wired thermometer on my bedroom wall. Now it’s all transmitted wirelessly, with colorful charts and graphics and historical information down to the hour. Highs and lows, rainfall, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, solar radiation, UV index, sunrise/sunset times, moon phases, etc. About the only thing it doesn’t do is brew coffee (I’m hoping for a future software update to resolve that). I have my data going out to Weather Underground, a nationwide network of personal weather stations. Teenage me would have been amazed! I’ll never be more than a backyard hobbyist, but it’s pretty fun anyway.

Thank you for all the feedback on text justification, both here and on Facebook. There was an overwhelming consensus for left-aligned text, so I’m trying that out. I’m always willing to change things up, whether that means packing up all my worldly possessions, quitting my job and moving 1,200 miles away, or redoing my blog layout.

Super Bowl Sunday, eh? Wish I were more excited over the teams, but the Chiefs are division rivals and I spent too many years ostracized by 49ers faithful as a Broncos fan in the Bay Area to ever get excited about them. Don’t get me wrong: we’ll watch the game and have all the usual snacks that go along with it. Any excuse for guacamole and Bloody Marys, right? I just have no vested interest in the outcome.

The past two weeks at work I’ve hardly been in the office because of interviews with about a dozen different people, from Custer to Hill City to Deadwood. Finally, this week I don’t have any scheduled…

…but I’ve been called for jury duty.

I wish I were excited about this. Democracy in action, civic duty and all, yadda yadda. It’s just not something that thrills me, especially with deadlines looming. My supervisor is totally supportive, at least. I have to call a number tomorrow to confirm that the trial is still a go, and if so, report for duty Tuesday morning. There’s not even any guarantee that I’ll be selected. Twice in the past I’ve been called, but never landed on a jury; the first time, in San Jose, they whittled down a large pool of potential jurors to seven before they were all set, and never got around to questioning me. The other time, in Vancouver, the parties reached a settlement before they ever called any jurors and we were dismissed. I’m hoping for similar luck this time around, but fully expecting I’ll be called. If so, the trial is estimated to last for three days, so I suppose that isn’t too bad.

Maybe I’ll just walk in there and tell ‘em how excited I am to serve on a jury because I want to see the bastard fry. Even if it’s a jaywalking case.

18 thoughts on “Delightful to Frightful

  1. You have your own weather station? I am in awe of you and your ingenuity. I’d love to have that sort of information at my fingertips. I don’t know what I’d do with it exactly but it seems cool. I found you via Allie Potts, btw. “Hi!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark, we’ve had the same bipolar weather this winter as well. It’s been on the cold side here, however, tomorrow it’s supposed to go up into the high 50’s, maybe even 60. I’m going to NYC tomorrow, so I won’t be wearing my winter gear. Probable just a light jacket; especially since I’ll be doing a lot of walking and I hate being hot.

    Hey, your weather station looks and sounds VERY cool! ” I can see all the stats right on my phone. ” WOW, that’s so neat!!!

    God, I remember in 2018 when the Eagles played the Super Bowl. OMG…Philadelphia sports fans are INSANE. When they won, the fans literally destroyed this city for TWO days. I’m sure you can find several clips of their behavior on YouTube.

    After years and years of not having to serve jury duty, last year I finally had to go. However, I was dismissed about two hours after I got there. Whew!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I watched that video you emailed me again after the Super Bowl. I cannot believe how rowdy and disrespectful those fans got. I thought Philadelphia was the city of brotherly love, not the city of let’s burn everything in sight!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a nifty weather station set up you’ve got going. I was hoping your warm weather was headed my way, but it looks like wet snow all week. I’ve been summoned for jury duty 7 times, but managed to get out of it 5 times. The other times, the closest I got was as alternate on a DUI. I was excused when it was time for deliberation, but I was hoping he’d fry just because his attorney was an asshole!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m curious if you stuck around for the verdict? I’d already decided if I were the alternate in my case, I’d be too invested in learning what my fellow jurors decided and would wait around the courtroom until they came back.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry/not sorry? you can’t use your infant sucklings to get you out of jury duty. Worked for me twice. My husband seems to get called more often than anyone else I know.
    I dig the weather station. I’m just glad my furnace is running. Last week we had “will reach 50+” predictions and I dressed lighter and I froze to joeysicle level because the weathermen were WRONG!
    Very glad you and Tara enjoyed walk, with pants, in nice weather 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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