Chris Kridler's Sky Diary: storm chasing, photography and rainy-day tales

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The Storm Seekers Series, storm-chasing adventure books by Chris Kridler

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dispatches: April 2007

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26 APRIL 2007
Cool new shirts: I've just added a new design to the Storm Stuff Store: "Tornado Preservation Society." The tagline says "Twister Documentation Team," with a Sky Diary logo on the back. Various shirt styles (and a hat) are available. Check it out.

25 APRIL 2007
If the hat fits: So you've probably heard the poem that starts "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple." It follows with the narrator saying she'll also wear a red hat that doesn't suit her. It's a joyful paean to individualism. So a bunch of women have taken it upon themselves to turn it into an anthem of conformism in the form of the Red Hat Society, in which all the members wear purple and red hats. So when I am an old woman, if I live that long, I'm going to have to wear something else. Maybe black. Because the conformists have really ruined purple for me. I bring this up because, inexplicably, today is Red Hat Society Day. Fortunately, it has other redeeming qualities, such as the anniversary of the publication of the paper that first described DNA and the birthdays of Edward R. Murrow and Ella Fitzgerald, who might've worn red hats, but not because anyone told her to.

15 APRIL 2007
Desperate chase:

After the squall line, 15 April 2007
I attempted to chase storms today with fellow chaser Cheryl Chang, but mostly, the car just got a good washing. A squall line swept across Florida, but what we saw wasn't all that interesting: not much in the way of structure or lightning. The prettiest view was from behind the line, where the sky suddenly became riddled with blue and the sun shone through. We saw that side of it in Orlando, then headed back east and through the line again, gave up and had lunch. Oh, well. Tonight, though, the wind is amazing. It sounds like the ocean in the trees.

13 APRIL 2007

Lightning, 11 April 2007
The sound of thunder: It was great to hear it the other night, as the storms sped through. It didn't look like much from our house (note the photo of the bolt obscured by buildings and trees; click for another). But it was great to hear the rumbling and feel the breeze.

11 APRIL 2007
Spring: Ah, the lightning storms. The flowers. The sweet smell of taxes.

Spring candy: tulips
That's what I've been doing for the last three evenings. All the while I've been thinking about other things, like the approaching storm-chasing season and how much I'll get to use my tax-deductible cameras. In other words, will there be storms, or was the outbreak I missed last month going to be it for the year? Who knows? Tonight, the radar shows a little excitement creeping across central Florida, but I have doubts of its photographability by the time I meet it or it meets me. My doubts are a natural expression of my storm-chaser pessimism. It's ingrained. I don't ever believe I'll be in the right place at the right time on the right storm until I have the pictures in hand and the memories in mind. Sure, it happens occasionally; I just don't want to jinx it. Storm-chaser psychosis. May... I'm ready for May...

3 APRIL 2007

A corner of Celebration
Prioritizing: I had a booth in the Celebration art festival over the weekend. It's a pretty place, that Disney-designed town, with little architectural gems everywhere. It also feels a little insulated from reality, other than the reality of not selling much. A painter whose booth was near mine says her sales of inexpensive prints have really dropped in the past couple of years, but she's still selling multi-thousand-dollar paintings at the same rate. Her theory is that the rich people can still afford to buy art, while the poorer buyers can't afford so much. I just heard a story on NPR about auctions of expensive real estate still going gangbusters while the rest of the market stinks. Could these be the real manifestation of the rich-get-richer policies and society of the past few years? Anyway, I won't be doing many more art festivals, at least for now. I'm trying to reprioritize; I'll find other ways to share photography while focusing on writing. Theoretically. I say this as the puppy and the dog crawl all over us on the couch, rasslin'.