Highway 60

I’ve probably mentioned this before on this blog – but this being my 1,730th blog entry in nearly seven years, it gets a little time-consuming at times to recollect: have I talked about this before?

Our area experienced some colder weather – nay, cooler weather – for the first time this fall. We here in the Tampa Bay area always seems to get that first cool snap sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I have no trouble resting in the summertime, and when it’s cooler in the winter outside – that’s also not a problem. But when the temperature is right at that point where it’s neither too warm or too cold – for me, that’s when it’s about 60 for a low or so, it disturbs my body to where sleeping becomes a problem. 

It’s like there’s a flow chart going on in my head. When I go to lay down, I make an assumption based on the predicted weather for the night whether it’s going to be cold or warm. If it’s warm, I go to sleep with no blanket. If it’s cold, I put a heavy blanket on top of me. I also have a fan nearby to stay cool when needed.

When it’s about 60 out, I go to lay down – and I usually progress to the point where I’m too cold. So when I pull my heavy blanket on top of me, it now gets to the point where I’m too warm below it. Usually, I’ll do some sort of trade-off where I keep the heavy blanket on me, but turn a fan on, thinking I can somehow find a balance – but it often doesn’t work, and I lose hours of sleep in the process.

When it’s warm, I’m happy. When it’s cold, I’m happy. When it’s in between, it’s rough on me.

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The Big Chill, Sort Of

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I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season, and that it has brought you into the new year with happiness and good health.

Here in Tampa Bay, we’re beginning the new year of 2018 with the coldest weather the area has seen in nearly eight years, with highs this week in the low 50’s and lows between the upper 30’s to the upper 40’s. There was even thought we’d get snow flurries in the days ahead, but those forecasts changed as the computers continued to analyze the forecasts as they do. Numerically, those figures don’t sound as bad as what most of the country has been getting, we have a little equalizer called humidity. Plus, we usually get cool weather for a day or two and it goes away, but this “cooling trend” is forecast to last five to six days.

If you watch local news, they tell you to bring in your pets and cover your plants when it gets this cold. I usually put my cat Harry in this covered patio area of my house when I go to bed, which has air conditioning as does the rest of the house. The heat isn’t too effective back there, so I bring Harry in and give him full privileges on those occasions.

Did I mention he misbehaves, and has a bit of a different sleeping schedule as I do?

Oh yeah, it’s snowing in Florida right now.

The Big Chill Of 2010

Some of you in the Tampa Bay area may have noticed that it’s a wee bit cold out.  Well, what we consider to be cold.  I’ve seen it colder here, but don’t get me started on that whole Global Warming nonsense.

Actually, it’s been colder than this wave we’re currently getting.  Here’s what I shot off of local TV back on January 9, 2010 off of the FOX, ABC, and NBC stations.  Sheena Parveen, who currently works as the lead weatherperson on one of the big Philadelphia stations, leads off on WTVT’s coverage.

You Call THIS A Polar Vortex?

It’s been a little cold across most of the eastern and central part of the country. The high in Tampa, Florida yesterday was a 49, but as I point out to my friends to the north, it was a humid 49. It was our first sub-50 high temperature in over three years.

But compared to some of the colder weather back in the 80’s, this was nothing.

On December 26, 1983, I remember going to McDonalds with my mother and one of my aunts. It was one of those mornings which you had to wait in the parking lot for your breakfast because it was taking longer than normal to prepare the “fast” food. We swung by the old Indian Rocks Bank time and weather scoreboard that would swing around Indian Rocks Road back in the day…the thermometer read 20 degrees.

Then there was January 28, 1986…some of you may remember what happened that day.

By the night of December 23, 1989, a Saturday night that became Sunday morning, I was working at a local radio station, WTAN in Clearwater, Florida.  I went in at 9pm for my midnight to 7am shift which consisted of taped programming for the first six hours and running records for a gospel show in the final hour hosted by one of the nicest men I’ve ever met in my life, Rev. J.T. Gardner.

The reason why I went in at 9am was two fold. One, there were fears that night that the Bay area would get freezing rain, if not some snow. Secondly, the board op before me was throwing a party, and I threw back a few beers. By midnight…let’s just say it was a good thing I didn’t have to speak on the air that night. I was sloshed!

Now the good part about working there was there was a 45 minute period or so between commercials, so I’d just let the tape run while I had a small timer on me to keep track of when I had to get back to the studio to play the next set of commercials, cueing up the tape for the next 45 minute on-air period. Sometimes, I went to the Pick Kwik on Ft. Harrison and Court Street and got a few snacks or whatever I needed to get through the night.

But on this night, I used that period to sleep off my drunkeness.

By 3am, I was fresh as a daisy. I bundled up and went outside of the station which was then located off of Pierce Street where the bridge to Clearwater Beach sits now. I could look up in the street lights and see snow flakes, melting before they hit the ground. One of the local stations was running a movie called “Deadly Game” and updating the plummeting temperature. It had gotten to 24 degrees that night, with a wind chill below zero.

There was no heat in the studio, so it wound up being the only night in my short radio career I worked with a blanket around my body to keep warm.

So pish-posh to your polar vortex, hype meisters. I’ve seen colder.