Friday, March 31, 2006

Weather: Showers illuminated by lightning.

So, the weather was nice walking home at 5:30, and walking down Liberty St. I bumped into Lorcan and Marina on my way home. They were thinking about going for a jog, and I was going to the "Y" to get some swimming in. (I have to worry about my girlish figure, don't you know.)

There were dark clouds threatening to the west when I got to the "Y" to start swimming at 6PM. Swam for 30-40mins (I finally got a pair of goggles at the CCRB on campus for $4!) and then took a nice, long shower. By the time I left (~7PM), it was raining. I went back into the locker room, changed back into my swim trunks, packed my jeans (with the cell phone I'm borrowing from Solomon until May) into my backpack, and went back out to brave the potentially-heavy rainstorm. As I was prepared (somewhat of a boyscout) for the weather, I had brought a waterproof jacket with me. This I draped over my backpack (carrying my data-laden laptop) for the slog back to the apartment.

Well, I started on the 2.5 blocks home, and the water seemed to come down harder and harder each step I took. By the time I was back at Liberty St, my boots were soaking. It seemed as if I was reaping the benedictions of the rain goddess, there was so much rain. A monsoon would have had a hard time matching the volume of rain that fell in that short period of time. By the time I got back home, my boots and socks were as wet as if I had walked through a river, and my shirt was soaked in front.

I got inside the building, took of my boots and socks, went back outside, poured the water out of the boots, wrung out the majority of water from my socks, came back inside, and (with wet and quickly fogging glasses) walked up the stairs, and rang the bell for the apartment. Luckily, Curt was in, and got the door (thanks, dude).

I wish I had my camera with me, because there was a lot of amazing water sheeting across the pavement going on. After divesting myself of the worst of my wet clothes, I stood outside and watched the lightning show for a little bit, trading lightning storm stories with Curt. Lorcan had earlier mentioned gin and tonics on his deck to watch the lightning. Unfortunately, I wasn't about to go back out into the rain for some G&Ts (yes, you can call me a wuss).

Next time, if a thunderstorm is threatening, I will return to the apartment first, collect my water shoes, drop off all electronics, and THEN head off to swim at the "Y". Of course, I probably would have gotten as wet walking home as I was when in the pool if I had done this, but at least I could have taken my time to get home... (Okay, if that last sentance didn't make sense, because of lack of context, then I understand - it doesn't make much logical sense to me, either, but I think it conveys the point... somehow.)

Weather: Changeable

So, it was supposed to be rainy today, with lots of thunder and lightning. Work is going very, very, VERY slowly. I'm finding that I am not making very much progress - I'm fatigued for some odd reason, too.

Correlation values for different variables.... How to relate (modeled) water temperature to trout abundance... How to relate (measured) water temperature variance to changes in flow... All these things I am trying to figure out (somewhat unsuccessfully at the present time)...

It's approaching 3:30PM, and I need a pick-me-up... (As I'm in the habit of using too many ...'s when I'm tired...)

A slightly odd juxtaposition: Charlotte Church singing "Voi Che Sapete" in the Institute of Fisheries Research building's attic offices, and (OMG!) a smattering of sunlight through the obliquily-placed window that is my only connection to the outdoors. Occasionally, I hear a guy walking to and from classes singing a song (most likely playing on his music device). Of course calling it "singing" stretches the notion slightly; belting-it-out is more like it. The acoustics of this part of campus ensures that there is a definite "ringing" quality to all noises above a certain decibel, and (let me tell you) he surpasses that point easily. He's not that big of a guy, either; slighly about average height, somewhat atheletic build, long hair, mutton chop sideburns, wears a black trenchcoat (apparently regardless of the weather), but obviously has good (nay, GREAT) breath support. That he can apparently carry a tune at that level of volume is also amazing.

What is odd about the whole thing, though, is the complete and utter lack of any reaction from people passing by on the sidewalk. Not a glance, not a comment regarding his singing (disparaging, or otherwise), nothing. It's like watching that scene from Schindler's List, the one with the girl in the red dress. You feel like the only person in the world who notices the person, who, to you, is so obvious. Perhaps they are thinking, "Don't look at the crazy loud man walking this way." But they don't look at him as he passes, nor snigger to each other if traveling in a group, which is also odd.

I think he works at the Pizza House restaurant in town (there can't be that many people with his hair styling, build, gait, and face in this town).

Weather: Rainy

Okay, so today is the opening day of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Hopefully, THIS is not the reason why people are talking about global warming (call it climate change if you want). Hopefully, it isn't because of a transient computer animated phenomenon characterized (in the trailer) by a small rodent chasing after an acorn.

On the flipside, hopefully this will cause some media attention to linger on the subject of global warming for a period of time longer than the film is in release. (Seeing that this is a family film, the time of release might actually last through May, when all the summer blockbusters come out). Maybe I'm just getting up on my environmentalist high horse, but I do think (and many scientists - social and physical - are making the same point) that something crazy is happening with the weather. Eventually even regular economists will have to realize that global warming will affect natural resource stocks and flows including many non-fungable goods, such as water, land, and clean air. I would like to see the paper on that!

Okay, so to come back down. Back to work. I don't know what to do for lunch, though...