Saturday, April 15, 2006

Nice Weather We're Having

Radio from Hell
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This innocuous looking item has been the cause of many sleepless nights for your poor BloomingtonGirl. It is a Weather Alert Radio. For those of you living in areas in which the weather doesn't cause you to fear for your life, you have probably never even heard of one of these evil things, much less considered purchasing one. For the rest of us unlucky people, or at least people like ourselves who can't get used to their new location’s deadly weather, the Weather Alert Radio is a must have.

My husband recently purchased this thing after we realized that it was possible - indeed probable- to sleep through the town’s tornado siren. To be sure, there are many times when the loud violent thunderstorms that are oft harbingers of their funnel-cloud cousins do the job of the Weather Alert Radio. But, being the cautious folk that we are, we wanted that extra protection that only a Weather Alert Radio could offer.

So, what does this device do? Glad you asked. The Weather Alert Radio is programmed to sound a startling and jarring alarm when there is a threat of severe weather in your area. When you hear the alarm, you push a button on the top and you immediately get the National Weather Service's latest local alert for your area. You can program the radio to alert you to flooding, thunderstorms, snow storms, mud name it. The thing that we were interested in, of course, was the tornado warning.

At first we didn’t realize that we had to remove those threats that we didn’t care about, so we had a couple of nights of being woken up to be alerted to snow that was coming the next day. I jumped out of bed and was reflexively heading to the basement when I realized that I would probably be safe in my bed since the snow wasn’t coming until the next afternoon. After that, my husband removed the snow alert and other non-important items from our radio menu. Now, we get only Severe Thunderstorm Alerts (completely annoying if you ask me...I mean, I KNOW when we are having a severe thunderstorm. Plus the you get a new alert for each new thundertorm cell so you might get one after another), Tornado Watches (also annoying...this is just a warning that weather conditions are such that a tornado could form - so that might be anytime here in Indiana, right?) and Tornado Warnings, which essentially mean get into the basement or for those in mobile homes, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

Lately, we have had many impressive thunderstorms. I used to enjoy these light shows until last summer when one blew up our chimney and knocked out a bunch of our small appliances. Now, I cower in my bed when there is a bad one. We have a futon couch in our master bedroom on the first floor so that we can bring Jack downstairs when the storms are bad. The other night, the lightning made me so nervous that I developed a back ache from tensing up so much. I brought Jack into the basement in advance of the tornado warning, which, of course, we later got. It might have been a bit irrational, but I just can’t stand these storms anymore. If you have been hit once, you know it can happen again. We haven’t gotten lightning rods yet because we haven’t been able to decide whether we will stay in this house long term. Plus, it isn’t proven that lightning rods actually help anyway.

Anyway, we are starting to wonder if the prudent route is to build a one story house of bricks a la the third little pig with the sleeping quarters in the basement. A sort of bunker if you will. That way, you can just go to sleep and not worry about the stupid weather.

In other news, Easter is tomorrow and we do the Easter Bunny thing with Jack. He put out a carrot for the Bunny before bedtime tonight and is very excited about getting something from the Easter Bunny in the morning. I have to say that I feel completely rediculous promoting this silly myth. Santa is one thing, but a Bunny? It is such a stretch that I feel like an idiot lying about it. On the other hand, it is magic to see him so excited.

That’s all of my rambling for now. I have to go and make some pie crust.

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