Peoria Tonight.


Typical Illinois summer thunderstorm…


July 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Winter Won’t Go Away….

Screen shot 2014-03-22 at 4.01.51 PM

The scheduled lows: 16 tonight, 16 Sunday night, 21 Monday night, 15 Tuesday night. (16 F is about -9 C)

Today: ran outside and had to bundle up a bit; leggings, shorts, 2 shirts, jacket, hat, wool gloves plus mittens and that was NOT being overdressed.

Here is what is going on:


From Accuweather.

This WAS what was forecast long-term; we need that warmer air from the Pacific to make it to us and push that jet stream further north where it belongs.

That “dip” in the jet stream is what is giving us such a cold spring.

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local | , , | Leave a comment

unexpected “snow” day

We had the day off due to weather; I suppose the university felt pressure to make a “night before” decision and there *might have* been white out conditions the next day.

Still, from my point of view it was sort of comical; I live only a walk away, there was hardly any snow and I ended up going to the public gym (which WAS open) and lifting (as usual) and walking 5K OUTSIDE. Yes, it WAS cold (close to 0 F) but not that bad if you were dressed for it.

What made this weather interesting is that there was a 40 degree drop (F, about 22 degree drop in C) over an 8 hour period. Now something like this has happened in 1836 in Illinois, back before we had forewarning of such events. I can recommend climatologist Jim Angel’s report on this; it is very interesting.

Other posts
Bruce Schneier has an interesting post on how income inequality can be seen as a security threat of sorts (think: a more equitable society might need fewer resources devoted to security). Paul Krugman points out how unhinged some of the super wealthy have become; some are equating having to pay more tax with…the start of the Nazi lead holocaust?

Why might they become unhinged? Well, when you are that rich, who are going to tell you that your idea is nuts? There is some value to not living in a bubble of “yes people”.

Larry Moran directs us to an excellent post called “Seven things about evolution“. It is a non-technical post; a non-scientist should be able to understand all of it.

Then some scientists describe their trip to the Creation Museum. There is some laughter but some sadness. My wife had no desire to go; she didn’t want to give them money.

I admit that I mostly laugh at them…but then I had to remember that *I* started early life believing that BS. How many will start with that and NOT break away?

So I suppose I ought not laugh too hard even if I am tempted to dismiss most of the visitors as “the hopeless who’ll never amount to anything.” They might be ruining some potentially fine minds.

January 28, 2014 Posted by | economics, economy, evolution, Illinois, science, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Tornado: Oklahoma’s and in general

This Charles Cook video is just over 5 minutes and tracks the tornado from the time it started to form (but hadn’t touched down as yet) until it hit the ground and started to do damage.

It is hard not to watch.

Popular Mechanics has a “quick and dirty” as to how these things form to begin with.

1 | Supercell
Tornado-spawning thunderstorms, called supercells, arise where a current of low, warm, moist air traveling north from the Gulf of Mexico flows underneath a higher, cooler mass of air traveling east. Shear from these opposing winds causes the entire supercell to rotate slowly.

2 | Updraft
The low, moist air is warmed by sunlight, making it increasingly buoyant. The moist air breaks through the cooler air above and rises. As it does so, vapor condenses into water droplets—dumping the heat of condensation back into the rising air, warming it and further feeding the updraft that will ultimately power the tornado.

3 | Downdraft
The updraft is counterbalanced by a downdraft of sinking air, which is cooled by rain. This cool, sinking air next to warm, ­rising air produces a pressure gradient in the bottom 3000 feet of the atmos­phere, lending a spiraling motion to the updraft—which will become the tornado.


Surf to the link to read the rest and to see the cool diagram.

NASA has some views: close up (from space) and a “global” view:



As far as the situation on the ground: FEMA has an informal “Waffle House” scale to see how close the area is to recovering after the storm:

When the main US federal emergency agency arrives at the scene of a disaster-hit area, one of the first places it turns to is the local Waffle House – and not just for its officials to grab a quick bite.

Craig Fugate, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, came up with the idea of the “Waffle House index” as an informal way of measuring the impact of a disaster. The chain, which has a large number of branches in tornado-prone areas, has a robust emergency management plan.

The index has three levels. If the local Waffle House is up and running, serving a full menu, a disaster is classed as green. If it is running with an emergency generator and serving only a limited menu, it is a yellow. If it is closed, badly damaged or totally destroyed, as during hurricane Katrina, it is a red.

There is only one Waffle House in Moore, the suburb worst hit by the tornadoes. The restaurant, located at 316 SW 19th Street and which normally offers a southern-tinged menu that includes grits, hash browns, and sausage and egg biscuits as well as hamburgers, was closed on Tuesday.

But the Moore tornado was classed as a yellow on the Waffle House index because managers were hoping to get it up and running soon. “It is a yellow because we are hoping to get a generator,” said Kelly Thrasher, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based restaurant chain. “Once we have the generator, we will be able to serve a limited menu, maybe a full one.”

May 22, 2013 Posted by | science, social/political | , | Leave a comment

“Worthless and Weak!”

(about 2:20 into it…this is from Animal House). 🙂

Workout notes
Weights only.
Pull ups (5 sets of 10); rests were hip hikes and Achilles exercises.
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 185 (improvement) 7 x 170
rest was rotator cuff.
incline: 10 x 140, 8 x 140
rest: 3 sets each of crunch, twist, sit back, vertical crunch.
Note: I realized that I was NOT curling my torso on the vertical crunch; when I did it became much more challenging!
rows: 3-4 sets of 10 x 65 (dumbbells, each arm; I lost count)
military press: 3 sets of 12 x 50 seated (dumbbell, each arm)
dumbbell bench press: 7 x 70 dumbbells, 10 x 65 dumbbells. The 70’s were NOT pretty.
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
curls: dumbbell: 10 x 30, pulley: 10 x 57.5, machine: 10 x 70.
side plank, back, etc.

Note: on one of my sets of incline presses, someone noted that my last rep was better than the two prior to that; it was because I concentrated. My mind is sometimes undisciplined.

Note; body weight was 186 on the doctor’s scale afterward and I got 4 x 185 on the bench. In 1985, I got 11 reps with my bodyweight (230 at the time) and I’d like to match that some day.

Peoria weather More rain; a line of storms have just parked itself right over us. This has been one really wet (and chilly) spring.


May 3, 2013 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Peoria’s Rainstorm


This is the speedway just down the hill from our house (perhaps a mile away) By Jason Caldwell.

lots of water

Toulon, IL (30 miles north of here) By Bill Cinnamon.


The lightening last night. It was loud at times. By Vickie Smith Williams.

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 5.35.12 AM

The culprit.

It hasn’t moved much:

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It is almost parked right over us.

Yes, it is supposed to drop to 31 tomorrow night.

From a satellite (visible light)

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 4.21.18 PM

We are ok; our basement is a bit damp but isn’t the swimming pool that I feared it would be. I have the fans running.

April 18, 2013 Posted by | Peoria, Peoria/local | , , | Leave a comment