Cyclone Road


Saturday, June 26, 2004

I saw Michael Moore's documentary this afternoon. Moore distorts some facts, uses blatant emotional appeal, and presents President Bush and other members of the cabinet in unflattering ways to make his point. But he also makes a very powerful case that things in this administration have not always been what they seemed.

Moore presents data that is already public record, but which has never been asssembled into a coherent narrative. It is a striking, poignant, and incredibly important film. If you feel like you're not getting the whole story these last few years, this documentary offers powerful evidence that your feeling was correct.

Apparently, a lot of people feel the same way. Farenheit 911 is shattering box office records for documentaries. Yesterday, when my friends and I initially planned to see it, the movie was sold out for the whole day and had been for hours. So we bought tickets for today's matinee, and, arriving thirty minutes early, found the auditorium already packed.

Here's one piece of information that will disturb (I hope) people on either side of the poitical fence: only 1 member of Congress (both House and Senate) out of 535 members, has a son or daughter serving in Iraq.

One member of Congress out of five-hundred thirty five.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Approximately 25 tornadoes in five states (OK, KS, CO, NE, TX) on eight tornado days.

27-March (4 in OK)
12-May (7 in KS)
16-May (2 in NE)
20-May (1 in CO)
21-May (1 in NE)
22-May (2 in NE)
29-May (7 in KS)
1-Jun (1 in TX)

I still haven't looked at most of my video. With my other project going full steam and a serious deadline approaching, reports and imagery will probably wait until winter.

We weren't very good on May 24th, but as time passes I feel better and better about it. Our decision-making was sound, just had bad luck. Did a lot better on the 29th, though our north Kansas tornadoes weren't nearly as photogenic as Harper County. May 12 was the highlight for me personally, a front row seat at every tornado, racing one across the highway, and general tornadoesque frolicking all around. My last chase was June 1 when my truck suffered major hail damage in northwest Texas. So I missed some big days, but you can't chase them all. I'm always grateful for the time I'm able to spend in the plains.

I agree with MikeU that the tornado count is becoming less meaningful for me. On both May 12 and 29, I filed reports saying I saw X tornadoes, only to see later damage surveys count X+Y, bascially increasing the number I had used for the same events. Considering that the definition of a tornado has become a matter of personal preference anyway--and there's nothing wrong with that--I think 'tornado days' and imagery have eclipsed these numbers for me.

Most importantly, the season was incredibly fun. Some catch phrases from 'ought four':

"Better call Doug!"

"Tomorrow is always better" [man did this turn out to be true or what??]

"Save as many as you can" [from Day After Tomorrow previews]

and last but not least,

"What county are we in?" [an inside joke that won't make sense until people see my May 12 video]

So, what else is there to say? I can't wait for October!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I chased a storm in extreme eastern Illinois near Paris that was RITOR'd for a while, then another between Danville, IL and Crawfordsville, IN that also rated a tornado warning. Neither storm was visually impressive, though the first had a well-defined lowering late in its life.

The second storm produced a non-tornadic needle funnel and a persistent area of rotation before becoming disorganized.

Obviously I'm back in Indiana and have been for some time. Haven't updated the blog because when I quit chasing, I really quit. Over the course of the late summer and winter I'll begin compiling my reports and post full photographic results for all my chases during May along with anything else I see this month or in the Fall season.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I'm waiting in the lobby of the Denton Best Western for A1 Auto Glass to arrive and fix the the truck. I'm hoping the seal around the moonroof will hold tight and I won't have to return to Indiana immediately for the balance of the repairs, but it looks like my visits in Texas will be cut short.

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