Friday, August 27, 2010

Thinking about screaming to Dave Ramsey

By November, my house will be paid off.

Having an abundance of concerts in the past few years has allowed me to get way ahead on mortgage payments. I could pay it off now, but I think I might buy a car first. This will be the first time since my pre-college youth that I will be 100% debt free. I might just call Dave Ramsey and scream "I'm debt free!" This is one of the most important milestones of life. Wanted to do it before I turned 50, but whats a few months?

I've often thought about selling this place and moving to a more isolated setting with a bluff view or on the water, but I'm pretty happy with my place. I thought about reopening it as a Bn'B. I thought about building a smaller cabin in my woods and renting out the big house. Any ideas?

It will always be worth more than it's appraised value since it's a unique historic house, hand-hewn in the 1830's from red cedar, (moved and reassembled in the '60's), and location location location... it's on 4 acres in the largest stand of big oak forest within one mile of the largest undergraduate college in the state.

Not a bad spot.

Bottom pic: the back patio under the solarium is where I spend most of my time in the summer. 100% private, I like that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

TN River gorge - pictures of morning and storm clouds

Morning in the TN River gorge. It was a calm serene morning. Osprey and blue heron were fishing. I was amazed by the lack of boat traffic for a Saturday. We definitely found the nicest and least populated part of the TN River gorge, near Raccoon Mountain, about 12 miles outside of Chattanooga.

I took these pics with a cell phone, so they are not very sharp, (click to enlarge).

Later that day, I saw it coming.

The thing most boaters don't want to see on the open water: a severe storm... except me of course, I like storms. On the radar, it looked like it would be brief, so I didn't put up my full canvass, a mistake.

By the time I saw the wall cloud dipping down, seeming headed right for my boat, I decided to drop anchor and hide in the cabin.

The wind then started picking up and serious waves started hitting the boat. I could tell my anchor was slipping because the waves were catching me broadside. Not good. Rain was pouring in from under the top canvass and every time I went out to put up the side canvass, lightning chased me back into the cabin. At times the boat was rocking pretty violently with white caps slapping the boat around. Quite a ride!

I was OK after the anchor caught and turned the boat into the wind which I estimate to have hit 55 mph with near zero visibility in heavy rain.

It was a great storm.

I love the summer.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tennessee - the Hottest Place on Earth ... for a moment

Heat Index: 130.8ºF.
KNQA: Millington Municipal Airport, TN, United States [54.9°C, 130.8°F], Aug. 3, '10

For weather nuts... I noticed that at one point, Millington, TN was the hottest place on Earth as measured by Heat Index. Heat Index is the measure of dewpoint (absoCheck Spellinglute humidity) and temperature, resulting in 'apparent temperature' or 'how hot it feels.' At the time on Aug. 3rd, Millington was reporting a temperature of 105ºF and a dewpoint of 80º. This (with fractions) resulted in a heat index of 130.8. Note that Millington was far from the highest temperature, but desert locations can often have a heat index lower than their actual air temperature. The usual places that have the highest heat indexes like Africa and the Middle East were dark (night time) at the time of Millington's report.

Find weather extremes like dewpoint and heat index at (Some of the extreme readings displayed are occasionally due to malfuctioning sensors ... i.e. today's Crocket, TX 100º dewpoint and 198ºF heat index - obviously false readings). The Millington reading was in the ballpark within readings from the region at that time, so I think it was authentic.

Personally, I love hot weather. Today, there was a heat advisory in effect for TN. I was outside all day, playing guitar in the shade, by a fan, with occasional pool breaks. It was 95ºF here today with heat index well over 105º.