miraje: (Default)
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OMG, do you really want to go there?

1. Garden City, KS
2. Ingalls, KS
3. Syracuse, KS (two different places)
4. Swink, CO
5. Pueblo, CO
6. Colorado City, CO
7. Dalhart, TX
8. Brewster, KS
9. Winona, KS
10. Deerfield, KS (two different places)
11. Holcomb, KS
12. Glencoe, OK
13. Greensburg, KS (two different places)
14. Haviland, KS
15. Pratt, KS (two different places)
16. Ames, IA (three different places)
17. Blanchard, OK

I know I'm missing some. I only know about those early moves from memory snippets and what my parents have told me. This also doesn't count all the places my mom lived after the divorce.

My favorite? Probably Ames. Although I love love love our house here in Oklahoma, I liked Ames as a place to live much more than I do here. Least favorite? Probably Dalhart, TX, although I don't remember much about it. All I know is that the four of us were crammed into a tiny apartment and I pretty much had the sense that none of us were happy there.
miraje: (feet)
The July 4th war zone ambiance has started already. It's nice to be able to watch a fireworks display from the comfort of my front porch I guess. This is the first state I've lived in where any average Joe can walk into a fireworks stand, buy the BIG shells, and shoot them off anywhere he damn well pleases. I don't even think you need a permit or anything. In Kansas, you had to have a license/training to shoot the large shells off, and usually city displays were the only places you'd see them. Even for woosy stuff like fountains, black cats, and sparklers, the town I lived in required people to take them to designated places to shoot them off. They weren't allowed in city limits. Plus, I think they were only allowed ON July 4th or the few days around it. In Iowa, NOBODY could purchase fireworks or shoot them off except for cities. I was too young to remember what Texas and Colorado were like.

But Oklahoma? Last year there were two big fireworks displays within a quarter mile of our house, and I think they were better than the Norman one we drove 20 miles to see.
miraje: (cool lightning)
Uh oh. Poor Iowa can't catch a break. :(

My grandparents are right in the middle of an area that could see tornadoes later today. Kansas apparently can't catch a break either.
miraje: (wtf wide eyed cat)
There's a pretty scary looking storm headed for Byers (where my Dad lives) right now. The circulation doesn't look very organized, but spotters have reported a large tornado near Greensburg and Haviland. Dad and Vickie are in the basement right now (thank god they have one now) and are waiting it out. Just in the last couple of scans it looks like the worst part may go just north of Byers. Hopefully it stays on that track.
miraje: (cool lightning)
The last couple of days have been an adventure. A friend that graduated from ISU in meteorology with me is in grad school at the University of Alabama-Huntsville now, and she and two friends came to Oklahoma on Friday to go storm chasing for a week. Friday night just before they arrived at my house I watched Greensburg get wiped out on radar, although I didn't know quite what I had witnessed yet. Seeing that massive circulation go directly over Greensburg had me fairly worried, but the reports of where the tornado went were conflicting at the time.

Anyway, Elise and company got here pretty late, so we didn't talk much until Saturday morning. After looking at the severe weather setup, they decided to come back to my house that evening to stay another night, so I sort of invited myself along on their storm chase. Unfortunately for us Saturday was an awful day to go chasing despite how many tornadoes actually occurred.

We had three main problems that day: )

So we went home without seeing any tornadoes, but I wouldn't call the day a total waste. I got to see my Dad and hug him and talk to him about what was going on in Greensburg, and seeing the rural tornado damage was a surreal experience. It was also surreal driving around so close to Greensburg. Helicopters were flying all over the place even while there were storms going on, and just knowing that the devastated town was just a few miles away was sobering. Less than 24 hours earlier a beast rolled through that area and left its mark all over the landscape. I wish I had taken more pictures, but it seemed that we were always in a hurry to catch up to storms. I tried to take some pictures from the car, but they're blurry as hell.

Moving on to Sunday, I spent the majority of the day studying for my Radiation final. Elise and company went chasing out in western Oklahoma and Jeremy was working midnight shifts, so I had a fair amount of time to myself during the day to study. The final was at 8am the next morning, and I felt as if I did rather well considering how distracted I was by everything.

And now, I have a reason to be elated. I got the final grades back from Radiation, and I got an A!!! I needed that on so many levels. Today I finished my IT Skills semester project, so I only have one more project to complete to bring an end to my first year as a graduate student! I'm so ready for a break, even if it's going to be a short one.
miraje: (Default)
It's gone. Completely and totally destroyed. One of my old homes there is probably gone. The elementary school my sister went to is destroyed. The high school is half missing where I saw my former classmates graduate (we moved to Pratt from Greensburg when I was a freshman). The John Deere dealership where my Dad worked for several years is gone. My best friend from Greensburg's parents owned a bulk foods store on Main Street, and Main street is nothing but piles of bricks and wood now. There was a drug store on Main that made sodas the old fashioned way by mixing the syrup and soda by hand. Gone. There was a restaurant on the corner that had the most elaborate Christmas theme you could ever imagine...trinkets and decorations everywhere. Gone. Antique stores, gift shops, churches, cafes, the library, the hospital....all gone.

Worst of all, people died. Others were seriously hurt. There are probably people who died in the basements of their homes, and no one will find them until the debris is cleared away.

And I watched it happen. I was here at home following the radar while I was talking to my Dad on the phone. I was telling him what was happening, and it didn't look as if it would happen this way. The tornado was headed on a course that would take it just east of town, missing everything completely, and then for some reason it made a turn to the northwest and levelled Greensburg. I couldn't have ever imagined it would be this bad.

I'm still in shock I think. It's just unbelievable. And to think that I only lived there for a year and a half. I can't imagine what my friends are going through who grew up there or whose parents still live there. Almost every single person in this 1400 person town has lost not only their homes, but probably their jobs as well. How do you rebuild an entire town from there? And you want to know something else? If my Dad hadn't moved us to Pratt in 1998, he'd still be living there. Working there. And now he'd be lost and confused and possibly hurt or killed. He moved us to Pratt just because he wanted my sister and I to go to a better school.
miraje: (badger badger)
We have cable tv now. This could be a big blow to my ability to do anything productive at home. Homework ain't gettin' done at home no more! I seem to get more accomplished in my TA office anyway.

This is cool.

Oh, I'll be driving 230 miles to get home (home home, not here home) so that Dad can replace the front brake pads on my car. The mechanic that did the "24-point inspection" about a month ago told me that I had about 5% left of them, but they wanted $180 to change them. HELL NO. The parts are only around $50, so if I pay for the parts and give my Dad some money for his time/trouble, then I'm still saving money even if I drive to a place four hours from here to get it done.

PS: How the hell does Mapquest get that it takes over six hours to go 230 miles??? Yeah, sure, there are towns along the way and we're not talking interstates here, but damn. I speed like a maniac and only stop when I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. There's really not much to see during this drive anyway, believe me. Well, that is unless you like digging for crystals in the salt flats or staring at cattle. Yes, I've done both. Shut up.
miraje: (car)
This must be the summer of relocation or something. It seems like half or more of you guys are moving or have moved, and that even includes me! It's odd that this is a transition period of sorts for so many people at the same time. And then the ones that aren't moving are either changing schools or changing jobs.

If you want to hear about something totally strange, [livejournal.com profile] weirdtab had a dream last night that she was stranded in Pratt, Kansas in the middle of the night. Ok, that's my hometown. She lives in Maryland and I don't think has ever been to Kansas in her life. We've never even met. Furthermore, Pratt is not some kind of metropolis that everyone has heard of. It's a dinky little town of 7,000 people out in the middle of nowhere. She must have been playing internet stalker and was looking at my Facebook profile recently or something. Well, it's amusing in any case.
miraje: (Default)
I want to be home right now!!!!!!!!!!! There have been 17 tornado reports from that area tonight, and a lot of it happened before dark, so I could have chased them!! The closest one was 5 miles south of my hometown. The rest were a county or two away, but damn it!!! Reports are coming in that three towns--Attica, Danville, and Argonia--(all three of which I've been to before on more than one occasion) were hit by tornadoes. Pictures of the damage should be up on the internet sometime tomorrow, so I'll try to find some and post them in here. There was one point in time when there were seven on the ground at once. Holy FUCK, I remember why I love Kansas again!
miraje: (Default)
If you were in an online photo contest, and the theme for the week was "Wide Open Spaces," would you submit:

Picture A )


Picture B )

Decisions, decisions...

Edit: Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a horizon straight when you're dealing with a locale as flat and horizontal as Kansas? Neither of those horizons are straight now that I look at them. I should have used a tripod. Eh well.
miraje: (Default)
I left here for Ottawa, KS, yesterday at 1:30 pm and didn't get home until 2:30 am. I. Am. Exhausted. I drove for about 85% of that time, and I really didn't even end up anywhere other than where I started. That's kind of depressing, actually, considering how badly I want a vacation. Spring break will not get here soon enough. Anywho, my Mom got her car. The reason it took us so long was that my Dad was having trouble getting it started once he got it to Ottawa. He didn't feel right giving it to Mom that way considering that he promised her that it ran fine, so he ran over to a parts store and spent about 80 bucks on an alternator and a battery to try and get it running again. Being the super mechanic that he is, he fixed it. Then I ended up following Mom and Dan home just in case they had any car trouble.....and I was the one that was having problems. Go figure. It wasn't a major problem, mind you, but a problem nonetheless. The window on the driver side slipped off its track and wouldn't roll up properly. I fought that thing for a good five minutes to get it back up again, and now I'm afraid to roll it down. It's an electric window, so I have no idea how hard that will be to fix. I'm not too concerned about it until later this spring anyway. Oh, and Dad chewed my ass for having a gas can in the back of my car. "It's not a real smart thing to do." Then he just laughed, shook his head, and said "Not cool" when I told him that it leaked onto the carpet too. I know he loves me sometimes. *grin*
miraje: (Default)
Water is condensing on the interior side of my window and freezing. FREEZING. Dat's not somethin' you see in Kansas. National Weather Service says it's -3 degrees outside. The wind chill's probably somewhere around -15. It's really fucking cold out there, folks. It's supposed to get down to -8 before it warms up again in the morning. I pity the poor souls who would rather stand in that and freeze to death than go without a smoke. You know you're addicted to something when you do shit like that.
miraje: (Default)
Out of the last roll of film I shot in Kansas, there were really only two that I thought were good enough to post online. There were other decent ones, but either my scanner butchered the shit out of the colors and contrast to the point where I couldn't fix it in PS or I couldn't get rid of the grain without completely smearing the picture. I think I just need to learn more about exposure times to where I can be out in the middle of nowhere like I was and be able to know how long to expose the film without having to look it up. Eh well, the more grainy pictures I take, the better I'll know the camera.

Here's the two pics if you're curious. )
miraje: (Default)
I have a mountain of chocolate chip cookies sitting in front of me right now, and the milk in my fridge is two weeks past its expiration date. I would consider this a dilemma. However, I happen to also be a fan of dipping cookies and graham crackers in hot tea, and that is something that I do have. Dilemma no more!

I'm leaving tomorrow morning to head home for part of my Christmas break, so this is probably the last update I'll make in awhile. I still have snow sitting on top of my car, so I'll be conducting a little experiment tomorrow to see how far south I get before it melts. If it's sunny tomorrow, my bet is on Newton or Hutchinson, since highs down there have been in the 50s lately. Me? A weather nerd? Never.
miraje: (Default)
Ok, so I took the state quizzie thing. I answered the questions honestly and ended up with Maine...I've never been there in my entire life. Anyway, just to try an experiment, I did it again and answered every question with something related to prairies and buffalo and Native Americans and shit in an attempt to end up with Kansas as my perfect state. Which state popped up? IOWA. I may just be going to all the wrong places in this state, but uhh, where the hell are the prairies and buffalo here? All I've seen is a hell of a lot of corn, farms, towns, water, and forests. You want prairies? Take I-35 from Emporia to Wichita. You won't see anything but grasslands for 75 miles.


edit: I don't mean to bash Iowa. Aside from the happy little fields of dreams..err, corn, I think it's very beautiful in many parts of this state. I really think that people get the wrong idea about what's out here.
miraje: (Default)
For lunch today: cucumbers, green peppers, and baby carrots in pure apple cider vinegar. I can feel the acid eating away at my esophagus (wtf, I can't spell) as I type this. I need to find a basic beverage to drink.

14 days and counting until I can say "bye bye Kansas" and "hello Iowa." This summer has not gone by fast enough.
miraje: (me!)
Yay for Independence Day. Yay for a state that has legalized fireworks. Yay for trying to set the countryside on fire. Yay for the sounds of a war zone all night long. Yay for burning the shit out of my hand with a sparkler...and those are the SAFER ones. I suck at this lighting-the-fuse-in-the-dark thing.

My town doesn't have the whole big she-bang that a lot of places do. Nope, they just open up the small lake area and the airport and tell everyone in town to shoot off their boomers in those two places. It's not allowed in city limits, so the entire town clears out around dark and bombards the "allowed areas." The smoke gets so thick out there that you can hardly breathe, and you get pelted with falling debris. Oh, the joys of July 4th...
miraje: (me!)
I'm back home from harvest. I LOVED being outside all day in the country in the sunshine. It was awesome. I also saw some stunning thunderstorms while I was there. I took pictures. I'll post some when I get them developed. The high plains is a truly unique place in this country. There's no place like home!

Wizard of Oz jokes aside, I really did enjoy it out there. Very fundamentally speaking, I was paid $70 a day to do some gardening. How much fun is that?!
miraje: (Default)
Since I'm going to be gone for several weeks, I'd like to get these done now.

Happy Birthday Beccau!
Happy Birthday Phooka!
Happy Birthday Sugarplumkitty!
Happy Birthday Woolf!
Happy Birthday Ascoolasyou!

Now picture me riding off into the sunset on a green John Deere tractor, wearing overalls and chewing a piece of wheat straw. I'll see y'all in July!
miraje: (Default)
I miss Iowa State more than words can express. I feel like the progress and movement that my life had over the time that I was at school has come to a screeching halt because of summer. I've had absolutely no contact in the last month with people that used to see several times in one day. The things I did for fun just flat out do not exist here. All I can think about is what I'm going to do when I get back to Ames. My life and activities won't have any direction at all until I get back up there into my element.

This is NOT happening next summer. I may come home for a week or two, but I'll stay in Ames for the rest of the time.


miraje: (Default)

February 2010



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