Monday, January 31, 2011
Post No. 1400: There's a snowstorm coming?
Anybody hoping for a perceptive distillation of all the wisdom I've gained in putting 1,400 posts up here on Second Effort hasn't been here very often.
Today I actually had hoped to be less shallow than usual; however, circumstances dictate otherwise and, like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, I am going to try and stick to the weather or my health as topics of conversation.
Here in Chicago, we are supposedly in the crosshairs of a Major Winter Storm. I've not seen the TV or radio announcers' scripts, mind you, but I can hear them capitalizing "Major Winter Storm" every time they say it.
We're supposed to get anywhere from a dusting of snow to three inches today. The real excitement is supposed to begin tomorrow afternoon and continue into Wednesday.
I have observed that weather forecasters in Chicago are always making breathless predictions of impending storms. On the TV news the anchors join right in: "We're on Stormwatch tonight in Chicago...." Then they cut to a live remote manned by the least senior reporter, usually on an expressway overpass or at O'Hare. The reporter gravely intones the precautions being taken by IDOT and Chicago's Streets and San and the Department of Aviation. An interview of a representative of at least one of these organizations is shown during this segment which concludes with the junior reporter scanning the sky anxiously for some hint of the promised storm.
This latest storm may be different: The announcers are talking accumulations of 12 to 20 inches by the time we're done. The Tribune says, "The National Weather Service has issued an unusually dire blizzard watch, calling a storm expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon over much of northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana 'dangerous, multifaceted and potentially life-threatening.'" If they're even half right, this will be a major inconvenience. But half-right won't shut anything down. If we really did get 18 or 20 inches, though... that might be a different story.
My Long Suffering Spouse, like the little girl in the accompanying Sally Forth cartoon, is really, really hoping for a Snow Day. (Yes, kids, sometimes teachers hope for Snow Days just as much as you do!) As you may have gathered, I am skeptical. Nevertheless, instead of distilling wisdom today, I am resolved to move as much paper off my desk as possible... just in case I find it more prudent to work from home for the next couple of days.
Sally Forth cartoon written by Francesco Marciuliano and drawn by Craig Macintosh. I obtained this image from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, though I read it (in print!) this morning in the Chicago Sun-Times.