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Beau's Journey » 2009 » August

Archive: August, 2009

August 31, 2009: Five lessons about the way we treat people. Number 4

Fourth Important Lesson. – The obstacle in Our Path

  In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

   Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

   Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

August 30, 2009: Five lessons about the way we treat people. Number 3

3 – Third Important Lesson – Always remember those who serve.

  In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

  ‘How much is an ice cream sundae?’ he asked. ‘Fifty cents,’ replied the waitress.

  The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. ‘Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?’ he inquired. 

  By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

  ‘ Thirty-five cents,’ she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins.
‘I’ll have the plain ice cream,’ he said.

  The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

  You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

-Author unknown

August 29, 2009: Five lessons about the way we treat people. Number 2

2. – Second Important Lesson – Pickup in the Rain

  One night, at 11:30 p.m. , an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960’s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

  She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached.

It read:
  ‘Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away… God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.’

Mrs. Nat King Cole

August 28, 2009: Five lessons about the way we treat people. Number 1

A friend sent me this email today and I thought it was pretty cool 🙂

1.  First important lesson – Cleaning Lady.

  During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read    the last one:

  ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?’
Surely this was some kind of joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times.  She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name?

  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.  Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. 

  ‘Absolutely, ‘said the professor.  ‘In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, event if all you do is smile and say ‘hello.’ 

  I’ve never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy.  

Author – unknown

August 22, 2009: Coyotes!

  Well I knew we had coyotes up at the farm – but we finally got them on the camera.  NOW if we could JUST get that cougar!!!!






August 19, 2009: Siding – lots of rain.

  Well, it rained a lot last night.  We had 2 inches at the fall.  But, in Lone Oak we had less than a quarter of an inch. 

  The siding is moving along quickly.  I think they will be finished with the siding next week.  🙂  ZOOM ZOOM!

  Aid conditions were being put in today, as well.

SIding is moving along


Front of the house



Back of the house






Tree is a little ragged



August 18, 2009: Paducah Sun

  The Paducah Sun did an article on the heavy rain threat for today and into Thursday.  Looks like some areas will receive very heavy rainfall totals. 

Click for article


Towering cumulus over Paducah


5 PM – Paducah, Kentucky

August 18, 2009: Latest house photos :) No homework today!!!!

  Well, it is nice not to have any homework!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just enjoying the day – running errands – watching the cumulus clouds build outside.  Storms are developing in the heat of the day.  Looks like our best chance for severe weather will be on Thursday.  Big cold front is coming.

  The siding on the house is going up.  Also the third floor observation deck is almost finished.  Should be some great weather views!!!!

  Click image for larger photos…

Siding is going on 🙂


Joey up on the observation deck – top of the house


Hatch coming out of the top of the house onto the observation deck



Tony coming out the hatch – observation deck


Joey and Tony – observation deck


Joey and Tony – observation deck – should be great for storm watching


Observation deck 🙂  Looking southwest


Looking southeast


Looking southwest




Living room – front door – dining room to the right


We actually DOOOOO have a kitchen – I know some people think we left
the kitchen off the plans.  😛


Living room – dining room


Tony caught under the stairs 🙂


Kitchen to the right and dining room to the left




August 17, 2009: WOOHOO :) School is OVER!

  Made a 90 on the final test.  SCHOOL IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 17, 2009: The big test day

Going over everything one more time…

August 13, 2009: We made it back home! Latest house photos.

  Well, we made it back home.  I don’t know if it was a long week or a short week.  So much going on.  🙂  Seemed like it went by fast.  It was so nice to meet all of my friends that I have talked with for the last three years.  One more test to go and then I am finished.  Looks like that test will be on Monday morning.  Hopefully it goes well.  🙂

  Congratulations Deena and Tony – looks like they found a house – it is further north almost in McCracken County.  Several acres with a pond.  Pictures that Tony sent me look great! 

  We went up to the farm this afternoon and the house is coming along nicely.  Looks like the decks are nearly complete.  They were working on the weather observation deck – and sheet rockers were finishing up their work.  Everything is moving along.  The electricity should be turned on tomorrow.  That is the plan.  🙂 

  Some photos – click for larger images

All photos are here beaudodson.smugmug.com/gallery/8313343_GCJFo/50/607240506_Pexs2#619127369_nqaiJ

Looking northeast towards the house



Second floor deck – off of the master bedroom


Second floor deck.  The master bedroom window is there on the right


Looking east – the weather observation deck is almost complete on top
of the house.



Deck on the second floor – should be some awesome sunset views.




Joey standing on the second floor deck


Ground floor deck – hot tub is covered up.  Cover blew off during the last
wind event.


Master bedroom.


Master bedroom


The weather room


The weather room




This leads out to the weather observation deck on the third floor roof


Bar/counter on the third floor family room


Bobby and his crew were working hard today


August 10, 2009: Day of class review

  Was a long day.  Fun, though.  Met a lot of new people.  Ton of broadcast meteorologists here.  Lot of on-air personalities.  Reviewed class-work most of the day.  Will do the same tomorrow.  🙂

  Tony said the electricity will be turned on at the house on Wednesday or Thursday. 


August 9, 2009: :)

  It was raining when we woke up this morning.  Warm drops.  Tropical rain.  No thunder, though.  Looks like a lot of cumulus clouds, though.  We should have a chance for rain almost daily down here in Starkville.

  We had to run to Wal Mart for a few items – then walked around Starkville a bit.  Lot of old houses – pretty cool looking houses. 

  We are going to Cowbells tonight – meeting up with other classmates there.  I don’t believe I have ever been to Cowbells.  🙂


Mississippi State University

Down from the hotel 🙂

August 8, 2009: Arrived in Mississippi!

  Not a bad drive.  About 5-6 hours.  We stopped for BBQ in Tennessee.  It took forever to find a BBQ place.  We actually drove from Lone Oak on Highway 45 all the way to Starkville, Mississippi – on the same road!  It goes forever 🙂

  The BBQ place was good.  We did see a pickup truck with some antlers on top of it in the parking lot.  I don’t know how they had them attached.  Looked like it was a permanent fixture, though.


BBQ in Tennessee 🙂  Pappy John’s BBQ  –  close to the TN border


Arrived in Mississippi


A few storms around – this wasn’t a storm – but a cool cumulus cloud.


Starkville, MS





August 8, 2009: Leaving for Mississippi!!!

August 8, 2009

I will be leaving today to finish my meteorology degree for OEM from Mississippi State University.  After three long years of homework, tests, and quizzes – I will finally be wrapping up this program from Mississippi State.  Encouraged by several of my friends including the great Kent King I started the program in 2006.  I had no idea how much work it would be.  I had no thought on how quickly three years would pass.

Kent taught me that no matter how big or small the dream – no matter how difficult the task – no matter how long it takes – you have to finish what you start.  You stay in school.  You keep learning.

Kent knew the extreme personal battles that I fought to overcome during the late 1990s and early 2000s and never blinked, showed concern over believing in me, or reason to allow those battles to stand in the way of what I wanted to do or what he saw me doing.  He simply said don’t worry about it – we all make mistakes and we all fight personal battles.  Don’t rubberneck at your mistakes – keep moving forward.

So here we are.  It is 2009.  Kent has sadly left us and is now watching over the weather from a much higher position than any of us.  And I am still clicking the radio button and telling spotters what my radar is showing.

I will be leaving for Mississippi today to finish my college reviews.  Then I have one large test to finish the program out.  Hopefully by the middle of the month I will be finished.  Instead of my title being Meteorological Specialist – which is the title Kent gave me – I will finally be able to sign my forecasts "meteorologist".  That was his idea.  I guess he believed that would be my encouragement.  And he was right!

I think Kent would be proud.  As proud as I am excited.

I think my friends in Canada and here in America – and all of my family will be happy, as well.  They have all encouraged me – cheered me on – helped me reach my goal!  One more goal almost completed!!!!! 

I will be off the radio through next Thursday.

Beau Dodson
Meteorological Specialist for the McCracken County Office Of Emergency Management


August 7, 2009: Well – this is it

  Well, this is it.  The day before I leave for Mississippi.  One more goal about to be fulfilled.  I have to say that I had doubts about going back to school.  My friend David C. from Canada made me – literally – write down my goals back in 2003.  Just about every goal that we wrote down on paper has been fulfilled.  I am sure there are a few that have been forgotten or overlooked.  There have been a few that we failed at.  But, for the most part – we succeeded.

  Truly unbelievable.  I mean really – the starting point of all this was that I was not even free to be in America.  Let alone accomplish what we have – with much help, support, cheers, and tears – over the last six years. 

  I am fortunate to have had a support group like I have had.  An amazing set of friends – a supportive family – a lot of work – and a determination to do the impossible.  All of that mixture adds up to goals being met.

  If you don’t have goals then you will never know where you are going.  That is just the way life is.  A day will turn into weeks – a week will turn into months and months will quickly turn into years.  Then you will look back and wonder "what the heck happened to all that time." 

  I have to be honest and say that I have felt a bit lost over the last few days.  No homework.  No studying.  No tests.  I have a lot more free time.  I feel a bit sad.  A bit excited.  A bit – well lost.  I actually just sat down in the chair today and wondered "what am I going to do now."  We have the house to finish.  We have to move in.  I could learn to relax.  That might be a starting point!

  I am day dreaming about sitting in one of the chairs on the deck and watching the sunsets in the coming months up on the farm.  A warm summers night – crickets chirping – birds singing – little bit of wind blowing the evening air around.  A few deer wondering around the corn fields.  That sounds peaceful to me!  I look forward to that first sunset!!!!!!  Sigh.  I smile just thinking about it.

  Then there will be the first snow.  The first thunderstorm.  There will be a lot of firsts – well I say "firsts" but really I grew up there.  So, it won’t be the first – first!  But – hmmm a new first?  So many memories!  I just can’t wait to make a lot of new memories.  That is what this is all about.

  Anyway – back to today.  I am getting ready to leave for Mississippi to finish out my broadcast meteorology degree.  Three long years in the making.  Many many many classes and tests later!  Here we are.  Almost finished with the entire program.  Just one more test.  One test to go.  One more round of questions!  Then – I am finished!!!!!!!

  I am excited. 

My first day of school – way back hmm somewhere
around 1975?





August 7, 2009: More family photos

  Hot outside.  Muggy, as well.  I guess summer has returned.  🙂  Oh well – I knew July was too good to be true!  One of the coolest July’s we have seen.  Back to the 90s for the next few days.

  Couple more photos from the farm 🙂


Easter 1978 – after a long winter.  Easter arrives 🙂  Joey says we look like
LIttle House On The Prairie kids.


Deena’s first day of school


Hmm looks to be about 1973?  🙂  Family farm – grandmother Blanche and
my two sisters


Complete nerd-ville 😛  I was on People Beat for my interest in weather!  Go
figure.  That is Sam Burrage to the left.  He did the People Beat segments.

August 6, 2009: Building on a dream :)

  A look back at some photos from the farm!  I am sooooooo excited.  🙂

One of the first photographs of my grandmothers house up on the farm.


My mother beside the old well – we discovered this well a few weeks ago (once
again).  🙂 


My mother up on the farm.  Snow!


My mother – front of my grandmothers house – family farm.

MY mother and her puppy dog.  I think my mother has always had a puppy.
This is in front of my grandmothers old house on the farm.


My mother in front of grandmother’s house.  They had ice storm back then,
as well!


My mother riding her bike.  Family farm back when she was little.

Ice storm on the family farm.  Looks like some pretty thick ice!

My mother riding horses up on the farm place – not sure how she old is in this


My mother in front of my grandmother’s house.  Snowman!!!!! 


Family farm – looking north.  Snow!


My mother beside my grandmother’s house on the farm


Looks like mother’s first day of school?  🙂  Family farm.


Front of my grandmother’s house.  Mother playing in the snow.  Did it used
to snow more?


More snow on the family farm.  I see a running theme here.  🙂


More fun in the snow up on the family farm.  🙂

A shot from above – family farm back in the 1960s.

My grandmother’s house.  Family farm.


My grandmother – front of her house on the family farm.  That house is no
longer there.


My mother playing weatherman?


This is where the house is currently being built.  It used to be a pony


This pony barn is gone now – this is where my house is being built.  Looking
west.  You can see the Oak Tree that still stands.


More snow!  My grandmothers house on the farm.


My grandpa Joe holding Deena.  Family farm.  Around 1970.


Me at my grandmother’s house – backyard up on the farm


My grandmother mowing the grass up on the old farm place.


More snow – family farm.  Grandmothers house.


In front of our old house up on the farm


Dione – easter egg hunt up on the farm.  Behind my grandmothers house.


My sister Dione and me.  That is our puppy Jody. 


Halloween – up on the farm.  Looks to be around 1974


My sister Dione – first day of school 🙂


My dad teaching Dione to wide a motocycle – family farm.  Looks to be around


Dione in our old house on the farm – we used to get the white Christmas
Trees.  🙂 


My sister Deena. 


Hmmm Easter?  Maybe around 1976


Easter on top of the hill




Ice storm!  Up on the farm.  Front of our old house.  Looks to be around 1976


That would be me.  🙂  Real ball player!


It did used to snow 🙂

THe way the hill used to look 🙂  Back in the early 80s.


My sister DIone riding a horse up on the family farm. 


Today 🙂








August 6, 2009: Kitchen table has arrived

  Well, the kitchen table and chairs have arrived!  Now, I need a place to put them.  🙂  If I win that dream home from St Jude’s Hospital then I can store them there.  😛 


August 6, 2009: Hurry up and wait




AUGUST 5, 2009: Finals are finished – grades are in.

  Very long night of severe weather over our region.  Large swatch of 60-70 mph winds over our counties.  Some damage.  Very heavy rainfall, as well.  Record daily rainfall set at Paducah.

  Finals are over and both of my classes are finished.  Made an A in both classes.  So, I am happy about that.  Now I have to go finish school by atttending next weeks college review.  Will be leaving for Mississippi on Saturday.  Then one big test left.

  Almost there.


August 2, 2009: Finals are over

  And that is that.  Finals are over.  Classes are over.  Will be a few days before grades are in.  Now just one big test at the end of the program.  🙂  Yay!



August 2, 2009: Front page of the Paducah Sun :)

  Made the front page of the Paducah Sun.  Trying to break a record so my sister Dione will start asking for autographs.  I think I am one article away from reaching my goal.  😉

  There is discussion on the new ice storm rating system that I am going to use this coming winter season for emergency management.  It is called SperryPiltz Ice Damage Index forecast

  This is a damage forecast index – NOT a travel impact index.  ANY freezing rain or drizzle can be deadly to those out on the roads.  So, just keep in mind – a little freezing drizzle on cold road surfaces can cause extreme danger to those who travel.  This index is just for damage potential.

  Click for actual size to read article

Click for larger article

Click for larger article

The SperryPiltz Ice Damage Index forecast chart

New Ice Storm Rating System – will be using this for the upcoming winter storm season.

  This isn’t a perfect system by any means.  However, it will be one more tool that emergency management will be able to use in forecasting damage potential for impending storms.  We will see how it goes.

August 1, 2009: !!!!!! One final down !!!!!!

  Oceanography final is finished.  Made an 88.  So a B.  I can live with that!  A in the class.  I can live with that, as well.  🙂  ONE FINAL TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Then ALL of my classes are FINISHED.  That leaves the big exam in a couple of weeks!!!!!