Adverse weather is not something we experience very much of here in Southern California.

Usually, whenever there is the slightest hint of moisture in the air our cadre of well coiffed weathermen, meteorologists (I forgot they have advanced training in meteors), start proclaiming armageddon and calling it the “Storm of the Century.”

However, the past few days have actually brought some wild winter storms to the area (see KTLA, KNBC, KCBS, The Signal and Los Angeles Times).

Weather has been a mess elsewhere too — across the country temperatures have plummeted as we seem to be deluged by some kind of nuclear winter (fortunately, without the nuclear part, but the result seems similar). Even Las Vegas is dealing with its biggest snowfall in 30 years!

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has now closed the “grapevine” portion of Interstate 5 (Castaic through Lebec) and also, quite surprisingly, the Antelope Valley Freeway (14) from Soledad Canyon in Santa Clarita through 10th Street in Palmdale. Several other major freeways have been shut down as well.

It’s been a wild few days.

Fortunately, I quite literally just missed getting stuck in this storm. I was teaching at DeVry in Bakersfield on Tuesday, December 16. In the afternoon, when I drove to campus, there was a light dusting of snow atop some of the higher points in the Grapevine. However, there was no immediate danger or impediment to my progress.

Here are some photos I took that afternoon with my Palm Centro and sent them to my Twitter account using a service called TwitPic. (Note: My orginal desire was to embed the images from my TwitPic account into this page and avoid duplicating them. Unfortunately, that only worked for a short time before the image seemed to expire — so I’ve gone ahead and uploaded the photos to WordPress):

December 16, 2008
Snow on the Grapevine (Interstate 5) @ Pyramid Lake: December 16, 2008
December 16, 2008
Snow on the Grapevine (Interstate 5) @ Lebec: December 16, 2008
December 16, 2008
Snow on the Grapevine (Interstate 5) @ Gorman: December 16, 2008

Later that night, after finishing my classes I headed home. As I approached Lebec at roughly 11:30 p.m., the steady rain that began 30 minutes earlier in Bakersfield transformed into sleet. By the time I reached the Tejon Pass (elevation: 4,144 feet), I was driving into a steady flow of snow.

It got fairly dense at one point, and I became slightly concerned as I was driving my Scion xB and had no chains. Mercifully, the snow began to dissipate once I made it through Gorman. I continued onward and made it home without any problems.

Photos from that adventure follow (taken, as before, with my Palm Centro):

December 16, 2008
Snow on the Grapevine (Interstate 5) @ Tejon Pass: December 16, 2008
December 16, 2008
Snow on the Grapevine (Interstate 5) @ Tejon Pass: December 16, 2008
December 16, 2008
Snow on the Grapevine (Interstate 5) @ Gorman: December 16, 2008

Hopefully my luck will continue the next time a big storm blows into Southern California! Either way I will be sure to post some pictures and/or video from the experience. Stay warm!

One year ago today, September 19, 2007, this blog was born into the online world.

surprise-happy-birthday-giftsAt the time I launched it I wasn’t really sure what to expect or how this experiment would play out. Overall, I have enjoyed writing this blog, though I certainly wish I was able to contribute to it more regularly.

However, my philosophy is “quality over quantity.” I would rather wait to post something substantive than just add more noise to the already overloaded Internet. Hopefully the posts I’ve made have, in some way, contributed positively to the individuals who have read them and, perhaps to the larger academic community.

Statistically speaking, here is some basic info about the blog:

  • Total views: 7,169
  • Busiest day: 126 — Wednesday, January 23, 2008
  • Views today: 14
  • Totals
    • Posts: 38
    • Comments: 34
    • Categories: 16
    • Tags: 858

Developing this blog has been educational and inspirational — I find myself constantly looking for information to distribute or knowledge to share using it.

I have used it twice as an educational repository and tool: once for an English class at DeVry University and another time for my UCSB Extension course. Both times enabled me, and my students, to explore the power of blogging on multiple levels. I hope to continue contributing to it and finding unique and clever ways to leverage the technology.

Speaking of which, WordPress is an amazing tool — bravo to those who make it all work. I have never before experienced such a seamless and mutlifaceted web-based content management system. Using WordPress has definitely been a significant part of why my first year blogging was so positive.

In any case, I am looking forward to “year two” and outdoing my effort in “year one!”