Tag Archives: clouds

Lying Weather App

Looks like clear sailing ahead!

Looks like clear sailing ahead!

One of the first things I do when I wake up is check my iPhone 5S’ weather app, especially on long run days like yesterday. I need to know the temperature and the rain chances, so I can dress appropriately (or, occasionally, convince me to go back to bed).

As you can see from the above screenshot, it looked like gorgeous conditions for my scheduled 10-miler. Finally! It’s been so hot and humid that we’ve wondered if fall would ever arrive. I was stoked!

Oh oh!!

Oh oh!!

As I jogged through my first mile, I could see bright skies to my right. However, to my left, coming from the north, were those distinctive dark clouds that signified one thing: Rain.

Could the weather app have been misinformed?

Yep . . . and so was I.

Who’ll stop the rain?

Who’ll stop the rain?

Drizzle began during mile two. The Mister texted me, asking if I wanted him to pick me up. Easy answer: No, thanks. I needed to finish what I started.

Note the demarcation line.

Note the demarcation line.

I continued to hope the precipitation would stay light, because the conditions were awesome. Crisp temps with occasional wind gusts and a cool rain—what’s not to like?

Well, a cold downpour isn’t on my list of favorites. But that’s what greeted me starting at mile three and continuing until I returned to our house soaked and drippy, thankfully with 10 miles under my fuel belt.

It’s always a good feeling when you set a goal and attain it no matter what the conditions. In fact, persevering makes you stronger, helps you believe that you will be ready on January 19, the date of Houston’s marathon/half marathon event.

And you never know when that experience can come in handy, as it did for this year’s wet and cold Aramco Houston Half Marathon. It’s all a great learning experience.

Want to know the knowledge I gained yesterday? Not to trust the iPhone’s weather app!

Not Fishy At All

Wavy and fluffy

Yesterday morning’s waves (Nikon Coolpix S6200)

As you probably can tell, I love clouds. When I’m outside, I’m always gazing up and marveling at nature’s fluffy show.

Stretching for miles and miles (Nikon Coolpix S6200)

Stretching for miles and miles

But I’ve never seen anything quite like the last two days. The wavy, billowy pillows looked simply amazing as they blanketed the sky in the Houston area.

According to Eric Berger, who covers science for the “Houston Chronicle,” these are altocumulus clouds. All I know is that they not only looked great in the morning . . .

Last night’s beautiful pink sunset (Nikon 1 V1)

Last night’s beautiful pink sunset (Nikon 1 V1)

. . . but they also appeared spectacular during sunset’s glow.

Berger says there’s a special “fish” term for this kind of sky. Need a clue to the name? Easy! When you see these unusual-looking clouds, you can’t help but exclaim . . .

Holy mackerel!


The sky looked so interesting during my walk yesterday morning.

The clouds looked so interesting during my walk yesterday morning. (iPhone 5)


I love the patterns.

That before long . . .

The sky is gray and white and cloudy.

They made me start singing this Paul Simon song!

They made me start singing this Paul Simon song!

Sometimes I think it’s hanging down on me.

Lounge Chair Photography

I get a peaceful, easy feeling when I look at our pool.

I’ve learned that when you’re in a funk inside the house, it’s best to just go outside and sit in a lounge chair. The peacefulness of the backyard always calms me.

I see a good moon a-rising (looks like a little dot above the tree here)!

Naturally, I carried my iPhone 4S, opting to shoot using the Camera+ app. It’s easy to add a border and text that way.

No clouds in my coffee . . . just in the sky.

Before I knew it, my mood had turned from stormy to sunny, and I was ready to face the rest of my day with a smile.

But I sure was glad that it already was 6 p.m.!

Camera+ Clouds

The Camera+ caption says it all.

I always get a window seat when I fly, because I love taking photos of clouds. Last Thursday when I traveled to Chicago to visit my family and attend my high school reunion, I decided to change up my photographic cloud game: This time I used my iPhone 4 and the wonderful photo app, Camera+.

Yep, the wing WAS in the way!

What’s handy about Camera+ is that if you put a border around your photo (and who wouldn’t want to do that?), you can add a caption. That definitely helps you remember details about the picture, which is especially handy for those of us who are getting, shall we say, a tad forgetful as we near age 60.

They're so fluffy (name that movie!)!

I’d say both the iPhone 4 and Camera+ did a great job up in the air. They almost made me forget that I don’t like flying. Unfortunately, I’m not quite that forgetful!

The Jinx Family Flies Again

Only we would be on a plane that needs to park on the runway.

Would someone please remove that “kick us, airplanes” sign from our backs? Our family really is tired of encountering problems every time we travel . . . which isn’t very often.

As my #2 son succinctly put it: “We suck on airplanes.”

Yep, sadly we do.

My #1 son texts on his iPhone 4 to pass the time.

Check out these previous posts for evidence of our past plane problems here, here, and here.

I wonder if the other passengers would have been trying to book other flights if only they had known about our reputation. As in, oh, oh, here comes the Jinx family.

My #2 son wishes we were back in Houston.

For awhile, I thought we actually were going to have a trip that was almost flawless when it came to air travel. Sure, the Mister and our #2 son were delayed about an hour leaving Houston for Columbus, Ohio, because the plane was waiting for passengers and then their luggage. But leaving from Columbus to return to Houston seemed easy-peasy. Almost too easy.

As we were on the small Continental Express jet, I watched the flight attendant give her safety spiel. I remember thinking, “Could we finally have a flight where nothing goes wrong?”

We started to taxi on the runway and prepared for takeoff. I settled back in my seat, anxious for the moment when I could turn back on my iPad, when the captain spoke to us.

“An alarm has gone off in the cockpit. We’re going to pull off to the side of the runway and check it out.”

Oh, oh! Not something someone who hates to fly likes to hear.

Long story short, we went back to the terminal, deplaned, and walked back inside. With express jets, passengers board outside up a flight of steps. We had to go back down those steps, grab our carry-on bags, go up the stairs, and sit and wait for another hour until a new plane could be brought in. And then we had to ride that same travel merry-go-round one more time.

This was much better than our six-hour delay in Kansas City last summer. But it just figured that the Jinx clan would get kicked one more time.

Next time we fly, I’m checking to make sure nothing’s been taped to our backs!

Up in the clouds . . . I think

My #1 son blocks my view of the great outdoors.

As I’ve posted before, I’m a huge cloud fan. I never can get enough of photographing the fluffy stuff, either snapping away on the ground or in the air.

Usually when we fly, I make sure I have the window seat so I can take photos. However, this time I was with my #1 son on our way to Ohio to meet his dad and brother, and I put his comfort ahead of my photographic needs. So, of course, he totally blocked my view, both with his head and by keeping the shade closed. Saddened me greatly.

The moon is visible.

But on the way back to Houston, I made sure that I got a window seat (my three guys all sat in single seats). With my Nikon D300 and Nikon 24-120mm lens at the ready, I intermittently snapped away while reading an iBook. At first, the skies were clear.

A double cloud layer

But before long the clouds started to roll in.

Patchy clouds

There’s just nothing like looking out the window and feeling like you’re in another world.

Fluffy clouds

Fluffy clouds are all you can see for miles and miles. It’s so easy to get lost in your thoughts without a care in the world.

Terra firma appears once again!

Fortunately, just when you’ve entered an alternate universe and begin to forget your identity, the clouds part, and Texas appears below.

That means that before long we’ll be on the ground and soon headed to our house . . . back to our rain-soaked yard and several loads of laundry. It’s just life’s way of hitting you with that reality 2 by 4 and saying, “Welcome home!”

Final Glimpses of My Chicago Trip

My brother's dog Root Beer

I still have some photos from my long Thanksgiving weekend back home to Chicago that I’d like to share. Here are a few favorites.

The mansion's “security system” keeps an eye on the place.

Someone is building a mansion down the street from my brother’s place. They have carvings of different male and female heads attached to the front of the building. Doesn’t this one look like the ghost of Christmas present?

Stained glass classes up a restaurant

My mom and I went to a breakfast place that had stained glass pieces over most of the windows. They really spiced up the decor!

First the sign . . .

. . . and then the “guard dog!”

This one was just plain funny!

’Tis the season for lit decorations

My low-light photography skills came in handy as the decorations started to light up my brother’s neighborhood. I especially like the bokeh’d lights dotting the background!

The view from high above

Of course, my absolutely fave pix were taken from the airplane, as I flew home to Houston.

The Houston area starts to come into view.

As my visit to Oz Park reminded me, there’s no place like home!

What’s in the Clouds?

9342-cloudsOr rather who is in the clouds?

As you can see, I’ve changed my header photo for April. I took the photo, because I saw a face in the clouds on the right side. Whose face is it? Comment and let me know what you think!

March Madness ends tonight

Does it really matter who wins the NCAA men’s basketball title? Really? The Mister beat me out for top family prognosticator with his North Carolina pick (he has them winning the championship). His first question? “What do I win?”

“It was for pride,” I said. He seemed unimpressed. I would’ve been thrilled to have won. Darn you, Villanova!

Sportline ThinQ pedometer

Sportline ThinQ pedometer

Steppin’ out

The #2 son had an important disc golf tournament this weekend, Texas States at Tom Bass Park in Pearland. I tagged along with him for 18 holes Saturday afternoon and 24 holes Sunday morning taking photos. But I added something to my usual equipment of the Nikon D300 and beloved Nikon 70-200mm lens . . . a Sportline ThinQ pedometer. I’ve always wondered how many steps we take during these tournaments, and now I know: About 10,000 for 18 holes and 14,000 (about six miles) for 24 holes. Aren’t you glad I’m always willing to take the blog hit in the name of technology?

Pearland's presidential fever

Pearland's presidential fever

More Pearland presidents

More Pearland presidents

Mini Mt. Rushmore plus

Pearland ain’t anywhere close to Mt. Rushmore, but when you drive down Hwy. 288 just past Beltway 8 and look to your right, there in a field literally in the middle of nowhere are presidential heads. Six of ’em, just sitting there enjoying the view of cars whizzing by day and night. Apparently, this is the planned Presidential Park and Gardens WaterLights District . When it’s done, 42 of our presidents will be watching the highway. And people like me will be driving down the feeder road, (safely) stopping, and taking photos.

Why is the first President George Bush among this first set of presidents? This is Texas, y’all. That’s how we roll.

A good upshot by #2

A good upshot by #2

Speaking of disc golf . . . .

Did you really think I wasn’t going to mention how #2 did at the tournament? Out of the 36 in the recreational division (33 were adults), #2 had a tremendous final round (second best in the division) and moved up nine places to finish tied for 11th! He won $63 in plastic (discs, that is). I managed to keep my photographic focus mainly on the disc golf action. Mainly but not always, of course.

Those cute purple wildflowers

Those cute purple wildflowers!