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Beau's Journey » 2008 » November

Archive: November, 2008

November 14, 2008: Thermograph has arrived!

  I am trying to gather everything together for my "farm" weather instruments.  So, I ordered a thermograph for my instrument shelter.  The instrument shelter will be about 150 feet behind the house – towards the fields on the south side of the property.  My anemometer and wind vane will go there as well – on a 30′ tower. 

  So, I got everything put together.  Now I will have to give it some time and see if it keeps track of the temperature.  I know, very exciting.  🙂  What I really want to use this for is those extremely hot days – 100+ and those extraordinary cold days – below zero.  🙂  I can have a recorded log of the event.  I should say that the thermograph goes outside in the instrument shelter.  So, it will record outside temperatures.

Thermograph that arrived today.


Now we play the waiting game.  🙂


November 14, 2008: Moving towards some solar…

  Well, after a quick trip to Chicago – via rail – we are back home.  We missed our 4 PM train yesterday.  So, we made it home at 3 AM this morning.  It was actually fun, though because it was a much nicer train!  So, all in all – a good trip to Chicago.

  It is raining this evening.  Raining and windy!  FALL weather!  Which I love.  🙂  I would love it even more if the rain would change to snow flurries on Saturday.  😉

  Looks like we are heading for an arrowhead show tomorrow.  The show is at Kentucky Lake.  Joey is into arrowheads more than I am.  I enjoy looking, though.  I enjoy finding them on the farm.  So, tomorrow it is off to Kentucky Lake.

  We are moving closer and closer to the beginning of the building project.  🙂  I am more than excited.  Hoping they can start next week or the week after.  More likely the week after.  Which is also Thanksgiving week! 

  I spoke with the solar guy from Illinois today.  Jason is his name.  MAAPS is the company.  We are going to get a solar hot water heater and start a solar electric project.  See images below. 

  The solar hot water heater panels will go on the garage roof – facing south.  The solar panels will go in the back yard – most likely behind the garage.  100% sunshine in this area.  Should work great!

We are going to start with 10 solar panels.  Should be about the size
pictured above.

Example of the solar hot water heater. 


  Course we use a lot of electricity.  I mean a lot!  With all the weather equipment – emergency management equipment – and so on.  🙂  So, it will offset a small amount of our usage.  We are hoping that with the new administration and the energy crisis that just MAYBE they will actually do something and give better incentives for people to go solar.  Illinois already offers a 30% rebate program and the federal government will give me a 30% tax credit.  This will help with the costs.

  More importantly we are hoping to build onto the system over time.  EVENTUALLY perhaps we can make enough solar energy to pay for our electric bill.  It would take a lot of panels, though!


  Radar this evening.  Rain rain rain rain.



“It’s An Emergency”





"If we don’t act now everything will crumble"

Does anyone remember a couple of months back? The near panic and extreme urgency which surrounded this measure? Politicians returned to Washington, negotiations took place over a weekend. Paulson claiming that this "needs to be done in the next few days". The celebration when the package was passed. Hints that we were surviving on a day-to-day basis.

Two months later, we still haven’t figured out how to spend it.

What a freakin surprise. 


November 12, 2008: Footer plans are finished…

  I picked up the footer plans this morning at Paducah Blueprint.  They have been handed off to Tony and will next be given to the guys that are going to put the footer in!  So, we are one step closer. 

  For some reason I thought Thanksgiving was next week!  I guess I am one week off.  That is good, though.  Means we have more time to get started.  Hoping they can start next week or the week after.  That is the plan.

  Mother nature may have other plans, though.  It looks like we have entered a stormier period.  Wave after wave will move through the region over the next 2-3 weeks.  That means unsettled weather – possibly severe weather – colder – warmer – colder.  Rollercoaster of sorts.  November weather has arrived!

  Leaving for Chicago this afternoon – shall return on Thursday evening.

  Check out the cold air advection on Saturday.  Cold air pouring into the region.



November 11, 2008: And then there were two!!!

  Well, now we have the second house plan for the farm.  I am glad.  Wasn’t sure how soon we would have this ready.  Mother finally made a decision and I think we are ready to move forward.  We met with the builders tonight.

  It looks like they will be starting on the footer in about 2 weeks.  If the weather is nice.  That is.  Looks wet and stormy to me.  🙂  So, we will see how fast everything moves.  Once they start on the footer it should take about 2-3 weeks to finish that.  Then the framing will begin.





This is the basic layout – it will be changed a little bit.  But the basic concept and idea is what we
are working towards.


November 10, 2008: Cold weather ahead!!!

  Well, cold weather is coming!  Rain, as well.  It looks like a wet 24-48 hours ahead – perhaps all week for that matter.  We could even see a few snowflakes this weekend.  A bit early to forecasting that, though.

  Check out these 850 mb temperature maps.  You can see the cold air pouring into the Central and Eastern United States day after day.  We should see some brief warm spells, but mainly cold weather is forecast.  We will see how the long term models handle the pattern change.  Perhaps we will actually have winter this year!

http://www.beaudodson.com/blog/blog47.htm  – scroll down to the bottom for the latest maps.  Blue is cold.  😉

  Spent most of today working on homework and house plans.  Working on my weather equipment.  Trying to figure out what wires I need – the length of wires – what instruments I am going to use on top of the hill – and towers. 

  I bought a 30′ tower today to use for one set of weather instruments.  They will go to the south of the house.  I need to figure out where, so they can pour a concrete pad for both the tower and my instrument shelter.  I shall work on that tomorrow…my dad and I are going to drive the tower up to the farm.  The tower comes in three sections – each about 10′ tall.

  I am waiting to hear from one of my friends on the other tower.  It is 50′ tall and will go to the northwest of the house.  This will be for the emergency management antennas and camera.  That is the plan at least.  We shall see!

  We have a meeting tomorrow night with the builders.  Working on mothers house, as well.




October 9, 2008: Brrrr

  Is it winter yet?  Sure feels like it.  Cold – dark – cloudy – windy.  Just my kind of weather.  Temperatures were in the middle 30s this morning at my house.  It appears we will fall into the 20s tonight.  Rain will move in on Monday night and Tuesday.  Cold rain!


Danielle looks cold yesterday at the ballgame.  I think we were all cold!



















After the game



November 8, 2008: Dylan’s Football Game

  Well, they put up a great fight but in the end it just was not enough.  GREAT game, though Dylan!  We are ALL VERY VERY VERY PROUD OF YOU!!!!







Dylan running for a touchdown







November 7, 2008: Met with builders today

  We met with the architect and the builders this morning at 7:30 AM.  I believe we are going to start within a couple of weeks.  Looks like the guys who are putting the footer in will start within 2 weeks.  That is the plan at least!  It will take them 2-3 weeks to finish that part of the project.  The frame will then go up after that.  Sooooo it appears we are now very close to starting the house project.  🙂  I am excited. 

  Tomorrow is Dylan’s big football game.  We are driving to St Louis for that (close to St Louis).  It is about 2 1/2 hours away.  Leaving in the morning at 8:30. 

  Looks like more rain on Monday night into Wednesday.  Could be some locally moderate showers.  Hopefully we pick up some decent rainfall.  We are still below normal for the last few months.

  Nice day today, though!


November 7, 2008: Dakota’s Blizzard…

  Someone online posted this photo from the Dakota’s blizzard that hit yesterday.  Not sure who took the photo, but I was impressed!  Jealous!!!




























  Regardless of who you voted for one thing is for sure – HISTORY has been made.  This has been an historic night for the country and the world.  Make no mistake about it – change is coming.  Whether could or bad – change is coming.

  I am proud to be an American tonight.  I am proud that America could elect someone that isn’t the same old cookie cutter politician.  Is he perfect?  No.  Is he what the nation needs at this time?  We shall see.  Is he going to do everything he promised to do?  I doubt it.  Will he be able to rally the nation – inspire the nation – call the nation to look deep into its soul?  Yes, I believe he will. 

  Barack Obama has already inspired millions of young people to vote.  He has brought to them something they never realized that they had.  The power to change a nation.  The power to vote.

  President Obama is our new leader – our new president.  One wonders what the next four years will hold for this man.  Good times and bad.  Smiles and laughter – tears and crying.  Challenges yet unknown await all of us.  We do not know what tomorrow may bring, but we do know that our next president will need the support of those who votes for him and those who did not.  We don’t have to support all of his beliefs, all of his decisions, or abandon our party of choice.  What we can do is challenge ourselves to see the world through a different set of eyes.  Through the eyes of the young people – the next generation.  What we can do is try to undo the mess that the republicans and democrats have created over the last eight years.

  A generation of kids and young people have been INSPIRED by his words and his story.  Let’s hope that all of this inspiration is used for good.  Let’s hope that our world relationships can be repaired.  That the years of hate towards America will someone find some healing.  That the world will see that we can change – we can elect new people to carry the torch of liberty and national unity. 

  I believe, we can all agree, that we hope President Obama and his team can handle whatever crisis awaits the country and the world in the coming months and years.  And there will be many dangerous days ahead – many trying days ahead of us – many troubling days ahead of us.  Nothing will come easy in the coming months and years.  But, when it is all said and done America will continue to be a GREAT nation.  American will continue to lead the world when it comes to the fight for freedom for all people and all nations – for all colors and creed.  America has been and will always be a beacon of light on a hill.  Millions come to our shores in hopes of finding a better life – a dream.  That will not change today or tomorrow.  America is more than just one man.  We the people are America.  From the east coast to the west coast – from the sandy shores to the mountains.  We are America.

  The political landscape swings.  This is nothing new.  It swings to the left and to the right.  For now, the country has moved to the left.  For now the country has spoken and has given the democrats the opportunity to lead.  To show us what they can do.  What they can change.  Can they fix the economy?  Can they help bring affordable health care to those who can’t afford it?  Can they help bring the American dream to millions of new people?  Can they end the war in Iraq and do what is best for that country and the Middle East?  Can they continue the fight on terrorism – in Afghanistan and elsewhere?   Can they lead us into this brave new world?  Time will tell.  For now we should just be happy that America has once again been able to successfully carry out a democratic election.  We should be happy that we have once again shown the world that we can lead.

  Congratulations President Barack Obama – this has been an historic night.




  Some AP photographs…










  Congratulations Tony!   I am sure President can’t be far off!!!!




November 3, 2008: Happy birthday Deena and mother :)

  Happy Birthday to my mother and my sister.  🙂  Their birthday is today.  We all went out to eat yesterday and then hung out at Dione’s house.  I think everyone had a great time.

  Dione took these photos…


Deena and mother


Happy Birthday


Beau – Dylan – Tony


Mariah and Danielle




Birthday Cookie


Mariah and Sparky


Sparky Bee

November 2, 2008: Dylan Football Photos

  Here are a few photos of Dylan from Saturday’s game.  Tony has a lot more photos…but here are a few shots of Dylan.  The next game will be on Saturday…near St Louis!

Dylan is number 31









Dylan ran this one over 60 yards.








Tyler, Payton and Danielle


Dylan in the white shirt





November 1, 2008: Introducing a threat for severe weather – Wed/Thursday

  We large storm system will pull into the Central United States on Wednesday and Thursday.  At this time it appears that a squall line will push through the region – most likely on Thursday.  Too early to know the extent of the severe weather threat, however, it does appear that wind fields would support damaging winds, hail, and possible tornadoes. 

  The inhibiting factor is the lack of deep moisture, however, it is fall and we don’t normally need a ton of moisture to produce severe weather.  So, we will keep an eye on the system and see how it develops.  This would be our first severe weather threat of the fall season and the first event that we have seen in recent months – for that matter.




  Dylan played in the first round of the IHSA football playoffs today!  They scored over 40 points and most of that in the last two quarters!!!!  AMAZING GAME!  CONGRATULATIONS DYLAN.  Their next game is Saturday.




October 31, 2008: Halloween…Beaudracula

  Halloween night was fun.  We went to a Halloween party dressed in costume.  🙂  Got in pretty late and had to get up early for the big football game.



Joey and his friend Ressey, from Murray


Beau, Ressey and Joey
All of us



Sparky was a bee 🙂