Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crust Stations

This bad ass weather data collection station/monument to science and technology is located on the Mesa/Delta County lines on Highway 50 in Western Colorado. I stopped the Flipmobile right in the sight line of the middle camera angle . . .

for a good 14 minutes hoping that my image would appear on cotrip.org, which is, all in all, one heck of a fine website. Not only that, but friend/consultant to FKS Sammy Soda was on standby to capture the image permanently via the "print screen" button on his keyboard. Alas, it was not to be.

It's my fault. I was anxious to get back on the road as I had to meet with my chief mountain weather spotter (which is what I'd want my Native American chief name to be) in Vail for beers and intensive discussion regarding the chances of various football teams around the country . . . as well as the snow conditions on Vail mountain (which I'm told are marginal). But as I drove off I thought about how weird it was that this weather station sits at the top of a hill in an otherwise barren and dusty landscape in what many call The Stinking Desert. I'm amazed that it even works given the climate. I am fascinated by its very existence. But I'm glad it's there. I give a tip of the cap to CDOT for keeping an eye on oft-forgotten Western Colorado.

But then I also thought that not so long ago, there were probably people wandering around the very same spot trying to figure out what to kill for their next meal. People who lived off the land and were in tune with nature . . . because they had to be. Those folks would have made killer meteorologists. Experience, familiarity and true necessity beats a computer model like a rented mule any day of the week in my opinion. Sabine wouldn't have lasted a night.

So the dream to have my image captured on a Department of Transportation traffic camera and also get a screen shot of said picture remains just that. But after seeing the work of FKS reader and roving weather spotter Johnny Gnomez, I think you'll agree that nothing is impossible . . . if you try. You'll recall that a month and a half ago, I issued a challenge and promised booze or Mexican food or both if one of you got a photo of lascivious behavior involving the city's new official weather monitoring station. Well, we've got our first entry. Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . don't get too excited and just scroll down the page to look at the photos . . . they are (sadly) safe for work. But that definitely doesn't diminish their sheer excellence. Have a look:

Presumably before his first full body scan at airport security

Mr. Gnomez describes this photo as the spot where the official Denver weather station stood for the past 15 years (much to my chagrin). And I think I should disclose that he sent this picture to me well before that fellow tried to activate his testicle bomb on the plane from Amsterdam to Detroit the other day. I'm fairly certain that if you go out to DIA tomorrow and snap photos of a garden gnome (who is raising his glass and sitting on a barrel of what I presume is whiskey) with the mighty blue mustang, you're going to quickly find yourself on the wrong end of some strenuous questioning by serious people wearing mostly black. Timing is everything.

Here she is . . . in all her glory. *Sniffs air* Smells like new weather station! This beauty, says Mr. Gnomez, is in the middle of City Park Golf Course near hole number 12 - just south of Adams & 26th. Wait a second. They spend all this dough on a fancy new official weather monitoring station and then stick it smack dab in the middle of a municipal golf course? That is a recipe for disaster. Some serious drinking followed by the desire to destroy things is generally what occurs on muni courses. I should know. I think it stems from the frustration of the slow pace of play, but I always like to blame my poor golf game, temper and alcoholism on outside factors and not myself.

That's neither here nor there. People are definitely going to hit golf balls at the weather station and I find that both worrisome and amusing. I'm also wondering if I'm going to be able to resist the urge to dent this beautiful piece of machinery the next time I'm out there. I'll let you know how it goes when the snow clears.

And here is the coup de grace. Go ahead and check out the last of those bulleted points . . . just to the right of the boozing garden gnome's left shin. That's right, it's Mike "The Tornado Dance" Nelson. He is the sole meteorologist being thanked for his support of this new weather station. This means the ban of Channel 7 (aka denverchannel.com) is officially off. Mike cares about us, dammit, and he's the only one. Apparently Kathy, whom I'm pretty sure took the chief meteorologist job from Mr. Nelson at 9News, didn't really care about having an official weather station closer to town. For shame.

But let's not dwell on the negative. Let's congratulate Mike for his incredible foresight and passion . . . and for his magical "Tornado Dance":

Mike Nelson's Torndao Dance

Char | MySpace Video

And I would also like to take a moment to thank Johnny Gnomez for an incredible effort. You went above, beyond and to DIA to capture the entire weather station saga. I am completely stunned by your dedication to the cause. You're carrying a lot of good karma with you into 2010, and that's never a bad thing. Bravo, sir.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope 2010 takes you into her bosom and nurtures you completely. I also hope that there are a lot of big storms.

Raising my glass of cheap champagne,

1 comment:

Billy Axelrod said...

Bravo Johnny G., brav-fuckin-o. There will soon be a time when Flip will be looked to for gut insticnt atmospheric condition prognostication which coincides with the end of the Mayan calendar and you sir will be the sword in his sheath. Well done.