Saturday, January 31, 2009

Communication In Its Purest Form

From time to time, when I'm really sort of bored at work, I enjoy perusing the comments sections of our local media's web sites. All are truly forums unlike any other in decent society in that practically every discussion devolves quickly into an anonymous and sociopathic argument about either illegal immigration or politics. In fact, sometimes I enjoy getting the battle started with witty comments about former Nuggets Coach Bill Hanzlik's poor instructing ability, Kathy's meager forecasting or your mom's shitty cooking. Predictably, this rubs some people in the commentariat the wrong way from time to time. Observe commenter "jodestar" and her utter disdain for all things Flip:

- - - - - -
jodestar Photo jodestar wrote:
Nobody cares that you want Kathy Sabine fired, so quit posting that link. You must be a pretty pathetic person to wish and promote that someone looses their job. If you do not like her then do you watch the news when she is on.
- - - - -

Obviously I don't watch the news when she is on . . . I watch the weather. That aside, I was concerned about jodestar's not so subtle anger with my egregious use of the 9news comments section(s). I responded with the following letter:

Dearest jodestar,

I am deeply sorry to hear about your disgust with my shameless self promotion. You're absolutely right that it's a disgrace, but, as the newest weather blogger on the scene, I feel I need to draw a little attention to the site from time to time. I don't think I'm that rabid of a promoter - I've only mentioned the site 12 times during the course of the last 6.3 weeks in the comments section of That's not even twice a week.

Nonetheless, you seem concerned and that makes me sad. Have you even visited the site? I don't hate on The Frail Minx (read: Kathy) completely . . . just mostly. And it's not her being I object to; it is her poor forecasting. Obviously you are very fond of Kathy as a person and that's cool if you like tightly wound (allegedly) people who are terrible at predicting accurate amounts of snowfall (also allegedly - but my stupid online journal will prove it so within the next two years). That's your business.

But you, as a beautiful citizen of the West, deserve an accurate forecast. You deserve to know who's telling you the truth and who's just not very good at their job. It might determine the course of your day . . . nay, your life. Am I wrong? Are we gonna split hairs here?

The answer is no, jodestar, I am most definitely not wrong. In time you will see this. Please continue to visit and leave any further concerns you have in the comments section. I'm doing this for you, jodestar . . . can't you understand that?

I Love You,

Flip T. Washington

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Execution of Nick Carter is Nigh

Word from inside the 9News headquarters is that Nick "The Brick" Carter has finished off his "last meal," which consisted of the full fried chicken plate from the Welton St. Cafe and one large pepperoni and pineapple pizza from Two-Fisted Mario's. He is said to be in a calm, reflective state as his final broadcast nears. According to my source, "He's mainly just puttering around the weather center. He looked at (and tenderly touched) the double doppler radar screen a couple of times. He also tried to get in the station's helicopter but he couldn't fit. He gave Marty (Coniglio) a lingering hug and multiple fist pounds. He hasn't said a word to Ashton (Altieri) - he just stares menacingly at him. But he seems to be resigned to what's going to happen. We'll see what goes down I guess."

According to multiple sources, Nick will be allowed one shot of good whiskey right before he goes on to calm his nerves. But he will, in all likelihood, sneak a couple more. This may lead to an emotional and/or angry sign-off which hopefully includes him unleashing a torrent of profanity while heaving Sabine's red umbrellas off of the "weather deck" and onto Speer Boulevard. Please, if you happen to catch this during the evening broadcast (or when driving by the 9News sudio), be sure to take a photo.

Goodbye, Nick. May Mother Nature have mercy on your soul.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nearly Headless Nick

Man oh man, as first relayed to me by longtime FKS reader, British meteorology buff and avid dogger Sir Gilmore P. Knobstain . . . Nick Carter is no more. Well, he's no more after Friday at least. I'm speechless. Not really. Although when I started this fine, weather-focused blog, the idea of any of our local meteorologists getting canned never really crossed my mind. Local media people in Denver are usually like Supreme Court Justices in that once they have the job, they'll usually stick around until the bitter end (see: Palmer, Bob; Green, Larry; and Zapollo, Ron). I'm not passing any judgment on them for doing so, it seems that's just the way things go in these parts. Hell, I envy them. If I had a job as cushy as theirs and lived in a state as bad-assed as this one, I'd never leave either.

But that's neither here nor there. Our focus should be on middle-aged Nick in his time of peril. When I heard this news I initially tried to conjure up any images or opinions I had of Mr. Carter (a two time winner of Westword's Best Local TV Weathercaster). The only thing that came to mind was that he always seemed a bit too jovial when on camera and that he has really ballooned into a giant man over the past few years. Given these . . . well, I guess you'd call them traits, he'd probably make a good Santa Claus at a mall going forward. That'd show up Ernie Bjorkman and his new, humble, pretty awesome reinvention as a vet tech.

Also, as was pointed out by a number of astute FKS readers, he really liked to wear giant coats - no matter the time of year.

Billy Axelrod opines: "His bobbing for donuts schtick or whatever it was called was funny." I don't remember said schtick, but the idea of a rotund man in a giant coat bobbing for apples on television does indeed sound disasterous and possibly entertaining or creepy. If anyone has video of this, send it over. But based on my search for a picture of Mr. Carter, I'm guessing such a video is not likely. He seems to have removed nearly every piece of photographic evidence of himself from the net. The only one out there seems to be on his bio. Is he hyper-ashamed of himself? I don't know. I hope not.

Denver Post commentor "Ottis Williams" thinks Mr. Carter's weight may have had something to do with his contract not being renewed:
Is Nick Carter the kind of heavy guy? His pic in the story doesn't look like what I see now, if I am thinking of the same guy. I am in no way criticizing him if that's the guy; I'm heavy as well. I did wonder, as I watched the parade of eye candy weather people and anchors show up on local channels over the past 18 months, how Nick would do given he seemed heavy compared to others. That's a sad commentary on our society. He's the ONLY person whose contract wasn't renewed?
He could be on to something here. It is a sad commentary on our society when we'd rather watch attractive women (and Kathy) present the weather than oafish dudes with permagrins. But the weight issue is something that I'll enjoy blindly speculating on later.

But let's stack Nick up against his colleagues and see where he stands. Carter's been here 24 years. Ditchfield's been here one. She's also a giggly and self proclaimed St. Louisophile who probably enjoys rainbows and has no seasoning. I'm not saying Carter's a savant, but I'd much prefer the meteorologist with 23 more years of Colorado experience than a rookie who has a cat named Cody.

Altieri's been here two years by way of the Midwest and is "a proud Eagle Scout." He also fancies himself a chubby storm chaser with the "call sign" WX9USA. He loves the Michigan Wolverines but went to Central Michigan. He worked in Des Moines, Iowa before coming to Denver . . . which seems like a very natural progression. He has the face of an ugly baby. I'm not sure he can be trusted. Also, he does claim that he won Westword's Best Weathercaster award in 2008. I don't believe him.

The matron saint Sabine and her obedient squire Coniglio aren't going anywhere for now, but, given what's happened to Carter, they probably won't be around too much longer. They're not exactly spring chickens. Kathy is rapidly getting through her cougar years and will soon be referred to as a saber tooth tiger. Coniglio reminds me of Quagmire from Family Guy so I hope he hangs around.

What's the point of all this? I don't know. I lost track of the angle I was going for many paragraphs ago. I think, ultimately, Nick Carter was the victim of the reality of today's local television news in that if one wants to remain on the air, one better look relatively youthful. He surely didn't make that much money given his position on the pecking order, but maybe he made significantly more than Ditchfield (aka Ditzfield) or delicate Ashton. Whatever the case, Colorado's losing one of it's most experienced meteorologists and that's probably not a good thing . . . unless you like to see "experts" screwing up forecasts . . . and I do.

Anyway . . . via con dios, Nick. Good luck with the aviating, the weight losing and whatever else you're going to be up to. And, if you get the chance, please get really drunk before your final weather forecast Friday. That would be truly memorable.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eat Shit, Old Man Winter

We did it! We stood in front of Old Man Winter (real name: Ronald Dinklin), cocked our collective fist back and punched him right in his stupid, wrinkled, gray-eyed face. When he hit the ground we pointed at him and chortled. Someone may have spit on him. Billy Axelrod then dropped the hammer and curb-stomped him. And we laughed. Oh how we laughed.

We probably shouldn't have though . . . because he's going to get up and he's going to punch us back - maybe as early as tomorrow. Kathy, and every other meteorologist within this state's borders, say the temperature will plunge 30 degrees in the next 12 hours with a decent likelihood of rain, snow or the two mixed together.

So what. It was worth it. Four consecutive days of temperatures at or above 65 degrees in the middle of January is on par with moderate to good sex (not that I am capable of either) - it makes you feel confident, happy and alive. And hell, a high of 40 tomorrow is still probably going to be better than what 54 percent of the nation will experience. It was a run for the ages and forever shall be referred to as "The January Sixties (Aught) Nine."

Lastly, kudos to Ms. Sabine for correctly predicting 71 and a record on Wednesday. Spot on, you frail little minx. But I shouldn't be surprised. She's not bad at predicting when precipitation is not involved. She should move to San Diego.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21 Will Be the True Historic Day

This, friends, is a moderately poor example of what 68 degrees looks like in the heart of Denver in mid to late January, aught nine. It was a historic and powerful day full of hope, clean air and co-eds wandering around in tank tops. The high pressure system that is sitting over the West is forceful and controlling and I'm loving every single second of its presence . . . particularly when I see what's going on in the Midwest and in our Nation's capitol. I don't know what else to say really. It's nothing short of a pleasure to be wandering about in short sleeves this time of year. It doesn't make any kind of sense and that is precisely what makes it so enjoyable. Colorado's weather is rife with schizophrenia and that's one of the main reasons I like living here. Mother Nature will give you a deep, sensual and tongue-filled kiss one minute and then kick you square in the balls the next. The unpredictability and violence is sexy. At least in my eyes.

Tomorrow's going to be even better . . . at least according to thy Sabine:

You probably already know that 71 would best the record of 70 set, I believe, in 1950. What you probably did not know is that Ms. Sabine might be either a robot or a ghost or extremely thin; the evidence of this is clearly visible when viewing her right arm in this photo. It's like seeing an X-ray of her doing the wanking motion over the state of Texas. Well played, ghost Kath.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mother Nature Doles Out a Lap Dance

I've spent the better part of 35 minutes trying to get a screen shot of the Spanish Weather Channel's forecast for Denver over the next 48 hours to post in its entirety at the top of this page. The fact that I have failed (at the modest task which was my charge) has left me feeling down. That I don't know how to do this makes me feel like I'm developmentally disabled when it comes to my understanding of screen shots or copy/paste protocol or women. How am I ever going to make it in the weather blogosphere if I can't take images from I guess I'll have to continue to rely on the slaves to the weather model who claim to be our local meteorologists. I am convinced, particularly after Monday's fiasco, that they are spineless cretins who do not care about our safety or our good times.

Nonetheless, this weekend should be moderately to extremely soothing, particulary when it comes to January weather. There is much discussion of "abundant sunshine" and "unseasonable temperatures." That qualifies as filthy, mid-coitus talk in my book. Look for the citzens of Denver to be partly antsy with a strong chance of wandering around outdoors and remarking on how great the weather is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


"We live and die by the models," Fredin said. "The models underestimated the instability, which you can't detect until it is almost on top of you."

Snow Total Follow-Up

My apologies to Billy Axelrod, of Loveland, Colorado for not including his measurement report yesterday. Billy was deputized as an official FKS weather spotter two weeks ago. The ceremony included whiskey, painted ladies and cocaine. Ice water was also available. Here is his report from Monday, January 12 - submitted at 4:18PM Mountain Standard Time:

I regret to inform you that one man cannot stick a tape measure in the snow, fire up a cancer stick, and take a picture all at one time. The good news is I took multiple measurements throughout the region (well, in the parking lot of my residence) and measured 3 5/8'' of snow at 7:15 this morning. Areas covered in Kentucky bluegrass were subject to wind and children frolicking and carbon dioxide emissions, therefore, no measurements were obtained. I am comfortable and fully satisfied with the parking lot measurements.
Thanks again, William. I'll monitor the official FKS weatherspotter wire a little more closely the next time it snows (tomorrow perhaps?). And regarding your issues measuring, smoking and taking pictures (aka handling the money, driving the car and talking on the phone), I thought that's why you got married. If Mrs. Axelrod can't help, then maybe it's time to start experimenting with the timer on your camera. I can not solve your problems, sir, only you can. Still, you're a good man . . . and thorough.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The 32-load plastic Tide bottle stands a robust 9 inches - photo taken at 9:12AM on Monday, January 12

I freely admit that the only two forecasts I saw last (Sunday, Jan. 11) evening were Mike Nelson's on 7News and Marty Coniglio's on 9News. Both of these gentlemen predicted no more than a light snowfall (maybe an inch or two - see photo in previous entry) . . . although they did caution that the morning commute could be made a little slower. They were right about the commute, as I'm sure those of you who are forced to do such a terrible thing found out right away. Mine, which is tame by anyone's definition (an estimated 3.89 miles) took almost 40 minutes. During this commute I saw a woman next to me using one hand to eat and the other to hold her phone while trying to navigate the icy streets. All I could do was shake my head and sip my whiskey.

What I find to be pretty shitty, however, is 9news throwing this little jab at CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) in their story about this morning's storm:

The early morning snowfall caught the Colorado Department of Transportation a little bit by surprise a spokesperson said.
Yeah, they were surprised because none these meteorologists predicted the severity of the storm. This is what pisses me off. There's absolutely no culpability on the part of 9News. All too often people get riled up at CDOT for not keeping the roads clear during/after a big storm. But most of the time CDOT is at the mercy of the forecast. If the forecast is for light snow and then it dumps almost five inches in five hours, they have to scramble and, by that point, it's too late. I'm pretty sure if old Nelson or Coniglio would've said something about four to six inches of snow falling so quickly, CDOT probably would've had their plows at the ready, guiding you merrily to your place of employment.

But that didn't happen. Neither Nelson nor Coniglio made any such claims and the result was an exceedingly slow commute. I can only hope that you used the confusion and poor driving conditions as an excuse to go chill out at a coffee shop or bar for an extra 15 minutes before punching the clock. Because if you didn't, you're a sap.

I do need to give credit to 7news, however, because they sort of threw Nelson under the bus (and rightly so) with their story about the morning snow storm. Check out these beauties:

"Horrible," said Russel Smith who has lived and worked in Denver his entire life. "This was the worst drive yet. And it was made even worse because we weren't prepared based on the information given by forecasters," said Smith.

"It was ugly," said Patty Gonwa about her commute. "I was not prepared based on the forecast. They said it wouldn't hit until mid-morning. And then, it wasn't supposed to get bad, maybe one to two inches. And this is, well, more than one to two inches," said Gonwa. "They were dead wrong."
That's what I like to see. While 7News doesn't come right out and blame their own meteorologist, they do have the courage to quote people who know the real story. I can respect that. 9News's bullshit, on the other hand, I can not.

Lastly, here are the snow totals if you're into that kind of thing.

Inching Along

Hi. How's it going? Good. Great to hear. Hey, listen, if you have to commute this morning, be aware that Coniglio predicted some snow. So did the rest of them. I know, I know . . . but let's just see how this plays out.

I watched an egregious amount of NFL playoff action this weekend and, in accordance to my rules, drank an egregious amount beer. But now I feel really terrible. Every time I pass gas it smells like stale Red Bull and Vodka. I didn't have any Red Bull or Vodka over the weekend which leaves me confused and concerned.

Have an awesome week.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Headed for a Blow Down

Ignore the part about ignoring the people laughing. If you don't find women who look like extras in "The Office" getting blown down by the wind in a parking lot to be funny, well, I don't want to know you.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's Not a Tomer

Like American children (or so I'm told), the snowflakes falling in the heart of Historic Lower Downtown Denver on Saturday afternoon/evening were obese. But they were also quick. They came and went rapidly and at all hours of the day - like the action at a good whorehouse (or so I'm told). For some, the plump afternoon snow brought feelings of coziness and wonderment. For others, it brought lust and a thirst for bourbon. But it was here for everyone and that's really what counts in the end.

As far as those predictions were concerned, I can give everybody a pass except Tomer and maybe Gaguilera. It's honestly difficult to give them too much shit though because I really have no idea exactly how much snow fell around the Denver Metro area. Downtown, where there is no grass - only body heat and streets - I'd say maybe 11 to 13/16ths of an inch fell. I know because I shuffled through it at 1:43AM Sunday - high on beer, good music and Nuggets victories.

An official FKS weatherspotter, a Mr. Langenbrewer from Littleton, texted me about seven hours later (a bit too early on a Sunday morning I should add) to report only an inch there. I think he used a stick of string cheese to measure, but I can't be sure because there was no photographic evidence of this measurement. But at least he reported it, because no other official FKS weatherspotters did and that, quite frankly, is a little disappointing . . . but also understandable. It's the weekend. People (myself and Langenbrewer excepted) have better things to do than measure snow.

Still, Tomer, you can't just say 0-3 inches. I've thought about his prognostication some more and just become more disgusted with it the more I think about it. It's lazy. I imagine his reasoning is that Metropolitan Denver and its suburbs add up to a rather large geographical area and within that geography are pockets of varying elevation, wind, cement and everything else that might effect levels of measurable snowfall. That's very true, but it's still no excuse. You take the time, Tomer, to study each area (be it the Western Slope, the Northern Suburbs, Pueblo, Peetz, The Highlands, East Colfax, ElBro, etc.) and give accurate predictions for each. That's why you got into the Colorado weather game, isn't it Tomer? To be the best? Well, dammit, be the best. Your bio says you like a challenge! Don't settle for wide-ranging and broad predictions. Strive to achieve perfection . . . or at least to within an inch on either side of it.

Gaguilera - Don't give me that look . . . you know what you did. I saw you on the evening broadcast changing your forecast from a dusting (see previous entry) to 2-4 inches in and around town. You second guessed yourself, sir, and that's a sign of weakness. More than that, you guessed second, and that is simply inexcusable in your profession. Trust your gut - not other meteorologists. Resist peer pressure, Dave! You were right on with your initial forecast yet allowed the opinions of others to alter that keen instinct of yours. For shame.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Snow Forecast Round Up

What's up, Natives, Texans (gross) and Californians? The lack of posting has been quite uncouth, I know, but shit's been happening and it's hampering old Flip's schedule. Said shit isn't horribly interesting, but the crux of it is I picked up a debilitating chest cold (probably from that vagabond) that put me out of commission for a few days (I coughed so hard and intensely the morning before New Year's Eve that I sharted in bed). Luckily I rallied and even foolishly smoked a cigarette as aught nine was rung in (under extremely mild temperatures might I add). Good stuff . . . although I'm pretty bummed that this will be the last of the "aughts" for my lifetime. At least we can still say "back in aught one, two, four, etc." ad nauseum for the foreseeable future. Like, "Remember when Kathy Sabine completely blew forecasting the great Holiday Blizzard of aught six? It's amazing she still has a job!"

Anyway, the prognosicators of atmospheric conditions are back at it and are predicting a few inches of snow. Here's a quick round up of the various local forecasts for your pleasure:

9News (Altieri) - "The cold front responsible for the snow will move over Denver and the Front Range around midday on Saturday. Once the front passes, temperatures will drop rapidly and snow will start to develop. Most of the snow in the metro area will fall during the late afternoon or early evening on Saturday. The 9NEWS Weather Team expects 1 to 3 inches of total accumulation for most metro neighborhoods. Locations along the Palmer Divide in Douglas and Elbert Counties could see up to 5 inches while the foothills see up to 6 inches. Northern Colorado including Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley will see 1 inch or less."

Channel 4 (Gaguilera) - "A cold front arrives early Saturday morning and will drop our temperatures back in the 30's. There is also a chance for light snow showers around the metro area but it's not expected to bring any accumulation. Sunday's high will only be in the 20's."

**Ed. Note - Nice! Right off the bat we know one of the big dogs are going to be dead wrong. My money's on 9 News. Altieri inspires no confidence.**

7News (Hidalgo) - "Another cold front will move into the state on Saturday morning, spreading snow into the mountains and colder temperatures across the plains. Afternoon highs in the metro area will be about 25 to 30 degrees colder than Friday. There will also be a slight chance of light snow across the plains and in the metro area with the passing of this storm on Saturday afternoon."

Fox31 (Tomer) - Eat a fat one, Fox, for making us watch your stupid video forecasts. Tomer, who I bet is very awkward around women, thinks the cold front's going to blow in during the overnight/early morning hours and with the snow following in the afternoon/evening. He says 0-3 inches which is a no-no here at FKS. If you want to be a money forecaster when it comes to snowfall, you need to be accurate within two inches. Three is too wide of a margin. Especially when you're throwing zero in there. What the hell? Grow a pair, Tomer! Either stick to your guns and say it's going to snow 1-3 inches or go with a trace to no accumulation. It can't be both you geeky bastard.

KWGN 2 (Who Knows) - You people are lazier than Fox. There is virtually no words on their page. Just pictures and video. Shameful. Anyway, here's their guess:

I'll be back Sunday to check up on these goons. Until then, you can find me at either a sports bar enjoying NFL playoff football or at the Grizzly Rose enjoying the melodious tunes of The Randy Rogers Band and Cross Canadian Ragweed.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't send off one final Mile High Salute to Mein Shanny. While things have indeed been mediocre in terms of wins this past decade, the man did deliver two world championships to this title-starved city and I will never, ever forget that. That overly tan, rodent-looking football genius brought much joy and pride to this city and for that we should all be thankful. Actually, you don't have to be. But I always will be. Happy trails, Mike.

(Nobody chews zebra better than Shanny)