Good morning and greetings, super moon fans. Well, the weather last week was nuttier than a holiday fruitcake, as it went from two days of rain to picture perfect weather a couple of days later. One day I was strolling through the fog and early morning drizzle, feeling for vacationers who had hoped for a couple of beach days along our kelp-lined shores. But then, before I could say, “Where’s Eddie Snowden?,” the temperature was warmer than my feelings for actress Thandie Newton, the star of DirectTV’s Audience Network drama “Rogue.”
And my admiration for this morally compromised undercover detective continues to grow like the morning glory surrounding my home since I’ve learned the series has been picked up for a second season. I believe the late Andy Warhol was on to something when he said, “When I got my first televison set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships.” Tune in, turn on, drop out with no commercials.
Yes, I have many friends from the TV world. And I’ve learned so much from watching. Just like Groucho Marx. “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
And I’m excited about my summer reading list, as I’ve got a couple of books lined up that I am chomping at the bit to read. But I’ve learned that man cannot live by TV alone, although God knows I’ve tried. Or as comedian George Gobal once said, ‘If it weren’t for electricity we’d be watching television by candlelight.”
Let’s get back to the weather. In a story written by Seth Borenstein for the Associated Press, scientists say the jet stream, that river of air high above Earth that dictates much of the weather and reality television programming for the Northern Hemisphere, has been, like this post, unusually erratic over the past few years. The polar jet stream dips down from Alaska, goes across the United States or Canada, and then across the Atlantic and over Europe, It is fiscally responsible for most everything we experience on the weather front and on “The Housewives of Tahrir Square.”
Two weeks ago, the jet stream was responsible for record downpours that led to historic flooding in Canada and the Chicago Blackhawks winning the NHL Stanley Cup. Then there was the record-breaking heat in Alaska, where temperatures fluctuated between 94 and 15 degrees in a three week period and led to this joke.
An Eskimo was tapping on some ice looking for some fish when a voice said, “You won’t find any fish under there.” The Eskimo just ignored it and carried on tapping. Again, the voice echoed saying, ‘You won’t find any fish under there.” The Eskimo shouted, “Who are you, God?” and the voice replied. ‘No, the ice rink manager.”
The jet stream usually rushes rapidly from west to east in a mostly straight direction. But lately it’s been wobbling and weaving like Mel Gibson behind the wheel, wreaking havoc as it goes. The more the jet stream moves north and south, the more changeable and extreme the weather, thus giving Weather Channel personnel a reason to grow and smile.
The extreme weather continued in May, as early California wildfires fueled by the Miami Heat contrasted with more than a foot of snow in Minnesota. One day Seattle was the hottest spot in the country, while Maine and Edmonton, Canada, were warmer than Miami and Phoenix. This is what we refer to in the business to as thermometers gone wild. And speaking of which, if you were in Death Valley over the weekend, where temperatures hovered around 130, give me a call.
The fun and games continue as the winter of 2011-12 produced little snow while 2012-13 was chocolate blizzard city. A French dip in the jet stream and high pressure caused Superstorm Sandy to left turn and smack into New Jersey, a maneuver so rare and unusual as that happens once every 714 years, depending on traffic on the George Washington Bridge.
But when it comes to weather extremes, tornadoes take the cake and the ice cream. Over a recent 12-month period, the nation experienced a record 1,050 tornadoes. That was followed by a 12 month period where there was a record low for these killer twisters. But there’s no need to panic. It’s just the jet stream playing mind games. Or in the words of Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.”
Moving along, last Sunday the biggest moon of the year rose over Monterey Bay. But unless you were a pilot or wearing infrared night googles, you wouldn’t have been able to see this supermoon from the westside because of cloud cover. So today I’m showcasing my favorite harvest moon rising. This blessed event took place back in January of 2009. I was shooting from the cliffs at Cowells Beach across from the Municipal Wharf. Surfers were out in force as the late sun was lighting up the water. When that glowing orange sphere peaked up over the mountain, it was quite a rush. Just another fantastic night on Monterey Bay.
I’ll end our lunar discussion with this. Two guys were walking home from a bar. One says to the other, “What a beautiful night, look at the moon.” The other replied, “You’re wrong, that’s not the moon, that’s the sun.” They start arguing until they come upon a drunk walking in the other direction. They stop him and said, “Sir, could you please settle an argument? Tell us what that is up in the sky that’s shining, is it the moon or the sun?” The drunk look at the sky and then looked at them at said, ‘Sorry, I don’t live around here.”
On to some late night humor. “NSA leaker Edward Snowden somehow managed to get out of the U.S. with all their information. Now where is he? He’s in Russia now, going to be in Ecuador or wherever. He remains at large. Now what are the odds out of 350 million Americans, the only one the government wasn’t watching was him? In the middle of all these scandals, President Obama got some good news today. The IRS ruled that he can write off the first half of his second term as a total loss.
“President Obama gave a big speech on climate change. He believes global warming is getting worse because apparently he’s sweating a lot more during his second term. Yesterday, the Supreme Court opened the door for same-sex marriage to resume in California. Apparently, the judges were really swayed by that Liberace movie. Tourism officials in Paris have launched a campaign to make Paris friendlier to tourists. First step? Kick out the French.” – Jay Leno
“You folks know anything about climate change? I used to know a little bit about it but I don’t care anymore. There’s nothing we can do about it. But on the bright side, I’ve got a closet full of short-sleeved shirts I don’t otherwise get to wear.” – David Letterman “Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have named their newborn girl North West. The baby was named after the direction in which it will try to escape.” -Conan O’Brien “It was just announced that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have named their daughter North West. Or as Southwest Airlines put it, “Please don’t have a second child.” – Jimmy Fallon
So that’s our final blast for June 2013. Time continues to go by faster than I can change channels. We’ll catch you showing basketball fans what good TV theatre was all about on the night of NBA draft. Aloha, mahalo and later, David Stern fans.