Suck it Tea Party nerds … I get free (State sponsored) weather info
It has rained every day on my home, for the past several months. The ground is starting to develop a business plan for selling bottled water.
R A I N S
People always say, well mostly people who have to find a reason to talk say, “Well, WE need the rain.”
I never understood that until a year or so ago, but I remembered how I once passed the time at my grandparents house by reading “The Farmer’s Almanac.” Loads of stats there on things like rainfall, moon phases and why women cannot get off the phone with their sisters after you tell them her sister wore a pretty dress at dinner that night.
That last one wasn’t in there.
Anyway, there was a serious rain deficit since 2010 here in Middle Georgia. The yard was starting to turn brown, and big patches of dirt were showing up. I didn’t want the dust bowl to swirl around my Mustang, and I started to worry last September or October.
Now, being a writer/reporter/editor, over the years, I have written/read/assigned/edited my fair (and not so fair) share of weather stories.
Mostly these revolve around three weather events:
- It hasn’t rained.
- When is it going to stop raining.
- OH DEAR GOD IT IS GOING TO SNOW AND I HAVE NO BREAD AND MILK!
But, also, two-plus decades of award winning journalistic experience taught me at least one valuable lesson – HOW to get free stuff or use taxpayer services.
So, I called the extension service here, (actual name University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service) which is really just one guy that was happy to get out of the office, to come out and tell me why my lawn looked dead and what could I do to keep the dust bowl away.
He told me several things. I had to aerate the lawn, which boils down to poking holes in it. I needed to put sand on the grass to build it up and keep the weeds down. Top of all, I just needed to fertilize it.
I nodded, nodded and nodded some more and took notes in my reporter’s notebook and reviewed in my mind how I just hate grass.
Of course, the Extension Agent cost me nothing to give his advice. I had somebody aerate the lawn, threw the sand advice out the window and paid somebody to fertilize the ground.
Then the rains came.
And they CAME.
They are still coming, and in the process I have become my Grandfather.
Everyday I have gotten into the habit of checking a taxpayer supported website for my rainfall information needs – http://www.georgiaweather.net/ … and it was great. I could in a moment find the amount of rainfall to date (like 55 inches plus so far … way up from the 27 or so inches this time last year … and insanely much more than the 19 or so inches this time last year) or the amount of water retained in the ground – called the water balance and really the most important figure. All sorts of great info on the weather …
And then the free ride stopped. Something happened to the weather station. UGA tells me they have alerted – get this – “the phone company about the lines that run to it.”
WTF … TPC … THE PHONE COMPANY. What can they do about it? I need my rain info, dudes.
Personally, I think a Tea Party nut went down there and let go with a 12 gauge at the complicated, government run, tax payer funded weather station.
Something is up. It has been 36 hours and I cannot get my weather stats. The National Weather Service isn’t that accurate, and frankly Weather.com sucks.
Listen, I didn’t pay state taxes all those years to not be able to have rain info piped into me in a flash. GET ON THIS UGA.