Tag Archives: rain

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!

A Wet and Not-So-Wild Weekend

Avoiding eye contact with people, aliens, and cameras

Can you tell that the kid isn’t a morning person?

The best-laid plans of mice, men (dads), and moms too often can get waylaid by the weather. That’s what the Mister and I experienced as we tried to enjoy our first Sam Houston State Family Weekend with our younger son last Saturday.

Come along for the ride as I recap most of our unusual day.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

One of the highlights of our visit was checking out the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and grounds (the Mister and I are history buffs). 

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

Before we entered the building, our son got to test his skill with a tomahawk. Good athlete that he is, he hit the target twice and probably would’ve sliced off at least a toe with his third effort.

Sam lived a colorful life.

Sam lived a full and interesting life.

After the kid’s weapon wizardry, we went into the museum to learn more about his university’s namesake. All three rooms were packed with photos, paintings, artifacts, and information; it was fascinating!

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

What most intrigued our son, though, was a talking diorama of the injured General Sam Houston interrogating Mexican meanie Santa Anna after his defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.

Note the sword behind Sam

Check out the sword behind Sam.

More specifically, it was the sword behind Sudden Sam that sparked the kid’s interest. Oh, how he wanted to touch it! I told him to fight that urge, as I turned away. Next thing I heard was a loud, female, somewhat robotic voice saying, “Get out of the diorama!”

Yep, the kid had touched the sword, which set off a sensor. Embarrassing yet so funny that I’m sure we’ll be reliving that moment again and again and again. Hey, son, get out of the diorama!

Bowers Stadium

Bowers Stadium (note the ominous clouds)

After we ate a catered lunch and dropped the kid back at his dorm (supposedly to study), the Mister and I walked to Bowers Stadium to watch SHSU hopefully defeat rival Eastern Washington (they were nationally ranked #4 and #3, respectively, in the Football Conference Subdivision).

Along the way, it was drizzling a bit. Unbelievably (for me), I actually had not only found two ponchos (just in case) but also remembered to bring them with us! Really, folks, that’s pretty miraculous when you’re suffering from CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff) disease.

Again, note the clouds.

Again, note the clouds.

Once we got to our seats, that drizzle turned heavier. On went the ponchos just in time, as the dark skies opened up with torrential rain, thunder, and scary lightning. Naturally, we left our metal seats and looked for an overhang. All of them were packed with soaked people.

When the announcer said the game would be delayed for at least an hour, the Mister and I decided to bag it and spend time with our beloved baby boy at his dorm. Eventually, the storm moved out, and SHSU came away with a victory, by the way.

A crowded desk

A crowded desk

Although we would’ve loved watching the game, we enjoyed being with the kid more. He insisted we watch the first season of “Seinfeld” (he’s become addicted).

Father and son get the comfy digs.

Father and son get the comfy digs.

It was just like old times with our son . . . except for the cramped quarters and soggy shoes and socks. While the Mister napped, the kid and I had fun tossing around his Tigger ball. Later we threw a little football and mini discs. Just like home, except that the mess stayed while I left. I liked that part a lot!

After we had eaten dinner, made a Walmart stop, and enjoyed some great SHSU volleyball, it was time to bid adieu to our bearded boy and drive the 90 minutes back home. As I hugged him tightly, I was glad we got the chance to see how comfortable he is in his new environs, as well as enjoy some of what makes the campus unique (thanks to General Sam).

Next time we get the chance to see the Bearkats’ football team in action, at least it will be indoors against Stephen F. Austin State, the Battle of the Piney Woods, at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

No ponchos necessary!

Rainy Day Players and Photographers

My younger son lasers in his birdie putt amid the raindrops.

My younger son lasers in his birdie putt amid the raindrops.

According to the Southwest Handicap Mini’s fearless leader, Eric, it should never rain on Tuesdays during the 18-hole disc golf tournaments. So we were all surprised when Mother Nature had the audacity to defy Eric and briefly dump some drops on our heads during this week’s contest at Community Park in Missouri City.

Mike keeps the basket in his sights.

Mike keeps the basket in his sights.

As much as I don’t like getting my photographic equipment wet, I went with the flow (literally) and just kept on shooting while hoping for the best. When I looked at my pics in Photoshop later, I loved how my fast shutter speed had captured not only the action but also the rain.

Glen hams it up with his no-look putt.

Glen hams it up with his no-look putt.

Talk about your spray and pray!

Withering Wildflowers

This doesn’t look pretty at all.

With the Houston area in a severe drought, all the pretty wildflowers have just about disappeared. In fact, in the master-planned community next to mine, they’ve started mowing them away.

A gaggle of black-eyed Susans

Only a few wildflowers have been thriving. One is the black-eyed Susan (no relation except when my younger son accidentally hit me below the eye with the edge of a cabinet door when he was a toddler; I looked like I had been in a fight).

Soaking up the sun

These wildflowers seem to enjoy the adverse conditions. I like them, despite their name, because of their cheerful yellow color.

Morning glories trumpet their purple beauty.

The only other wildflower competing with the black-eyed Susans are lovely purple morning glories. Those purple and yellow colors will have to do until we get more rain.

Anyone want to join me in a rain dance?

One-Word Wednesday

Raindrops trickle from our gutter yesterday; it only rained a couple minutes, though.


After 148 days without substantial rainfall, Houston finally is getting a soaking today!

Rain drips from the roof.

Wind-Swept Roses

Darn the wind and the rain!

At about 6:20 this morning, our power cycled off and then quickly came back on. I looked out the window and stared at the trees being whipped by the wind gusts and drenched by the sudden, short-lived downpour.

Today’s winter storm had announced itself to the Houston area in a noisy fashion.

Our rose bushes have lost most of their pink and red color.

After awhile I took the garbage to the curb and walked back to the house. I abruptly stopped, my eyes drawn to our formerly glorious Knock Out rose bushes. The majority of our blooming roses had met their untimely weather-related demise and now were mere petals among the mulch.

It was sad to think that all their beauty would be blown away due to the 24-mph wind we’re now dealing with, amid temperatures that have dropped from 69 degrees at 6 a.m. to a chilly 36 before noon. The expected low is a very unwelcome 22 degrees.

The wind is too fast for my shutter speed!

Another wind-related casualty? My ability to keep the few roses still hanging on in focus as I snapped photos in gusts that took my breath away! Stay warm and safe, my friends!

My Very Own Sorcerer’s Apprentices

My #2 son thinks discs are handy for everything—even bailing water from our patio!

My #2 son should’ve seen “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” with us Sunday.

#2 tries to sweep the water away. (1/320 at f/1.6)

If he had, he might have been tempted to work some magic when the Mister asked him to help get the water off our flooded patio after a heavy downpour later that afternoon.

The broom and water make for fascinating photography. (1/400 at f/1.6)

Unfortunately, #2 had to use his own muscle power to push the accumulated water away.

The broom flies through the water like magic! (1/50 at f/4.5)

While #2 reluctantly worked his own magic, I felt like a sorcerer in my own right.

The broom moves so fast! (1/20 at f/7.1)

Thanks to my own photographic apprentices, better known as the Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm lens, I was able to speed up the action using a slow shutter and make it seem like #2 was making fast work of his chore.

#2 continues to wield the broom. (1/100 at f/2.8)

All the time I was snapping merrily away, that well-known “dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum-dum dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum-dum” music from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” part of “Fantasia” pounded in my head. In fact, I was shooting to the rhythm of that melody!

Working with my apprentices, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. My #2 son who had to do all the labor by himself? Not so much!