djonn: (holly)
Le sigh.

As most of the immediate universe is probably aware, Portland (Oregon) is presently the recipient of what are -- for us -- absurd amounts of snow. (I finally ventured out this evening with a ruler; depending on my choice of spot, I got measurements of 4" to 8" of fine crystalline snow, all accumulated today -- and it's still coming.)

What this means, of course, is that my usual choice of local TV station has been broadcasting nothing but weather coverage since oh-dark-thirty or so this morning, telling us as often and as repetitively as possible that (a) it is snowing outside, (b) the weather is going to be nearly as difficult tomorrow and into Monday, and (c) unless we're absolutely crazy, we should all stay home and watch the TV weather coverage instead of trying to drive anywhere.

Of course, this being the Internet age, they're getting email from folks who want their regular programming back, because they already know that it's snowing, it's going to keep on being snowy, and their TV anchors are obsessed with this information. In the interests of fair play, they're reading these emails on the air -- and explaining, oh so earnestly, that they simply must keep up the weather coverage because it's a Valuable Public Service, and it's terribly important that they give us all of the vital weather information they can....

....and then following this explanation with fifteen minutes of user-submitted Youtube-style faux news video in which local residents report from various parts of the metro area that it's snowing, it's still snowing, it's cold, and they are thrilled that the TV station is giving them their fifteen seconds of fame.

I think my cognitive-dissonance meter just exploded....

(And for this we're getting digital TV so the local stations can broadcast unceasing weather coverage on two or three channels at once?)
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djonn: (holly)
Woke up this morning to a white world, with more snow falling.

Now, it does snow from time to time in Portland. But this particular snowstorm -- which hit, apparently, between 4:00 and 5:00 this morning -- took the entire metropolitan area by surprise; none of the weathercasters had predicted anything remotely as dramatic, and the morning radio team reported that they'd had dry, bare streets when they rolled into their studios at 3:30 AM or so.

This meant that the area's two largest school districts, Portland and Beaverton, were still running on "open, normal schedule" through much of the morning commute, and only at 7:30 and 8:30 AM, respectively, did they go on air and announce they'd be closing. (In both cases, many school buses were already on the road by the time things started to get dicey.) Perhaps not surprisingly, some parents called into the radio station sounding greatly aggrieved -- "How dare they put our children in danger!!!! We will besiege the School Board with our pitchforks and tar and feathers and blast the Superintendent!!!" [That paraphrase isn't nearly as far over the top as you probably think it is....]

While I sympathize with the frustrated parents, I can't really fault the school districts -- which had closed for a day a week or so ago during a weather non-event where forecasters had projected snow that didn't in fact show up. This time, the forecasters (as one of them admitted on the radio) were "gun-shy", had expected the relevant weather system to fall apart before it got here, and universally projected another non-event -- and the district decisionmakers, relying on those projections and the dry-at-four-in-the-morning streets, initially declared business as usual and sent out the first wave of buses.

Me? I suspect I'd best hit the Web and renew some books. Somehow, I don't think I'm going to get them back to the library today....

Have You Heard This?

"Changing from bad to good's as easy as...taking your first step!"

-- Kris Kringle (to the Winter Warlock)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town

April 2017

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