Winter 2014 has been brutal and its not finished with us yet!

Brace yourselves, here it comes again…maybe?

imagesThe news and internet have been all abuzz this week because of what is being said about a weather system heading toward the Northern Kentucky area next week.  According to Kentucky Meteorologist Chris Bailey, who updates the Kentucky Weather Center’s website, http://www.kyweathercenter.com, Kentuckians (and the surrounding “ians”) are in for a wild and hard weather ride next week. Some even saying we very likely could see a repeat of the “Bluegrass Ice Storm” which occurred in February 2003 and could bring up to 12-inches of snow in one day.  Below is a recap of the notorious 2003 storm.

For areas in southern Indiana and north central Kentucky, freezing rain began to occur late in the afternoon of the 15th as temperatures began to drop on what was already a dreary rainy day.  By late evening the freezing rain had changed to sleet, and varied between sleet and light freezing rain throughout most of the 16th as well.  Accumulations were that of mostly sleet with some freezing rain amounting at one to two inches in most locations.  For areas farther south in the Louisville CWA, the freezing rain prevailed throughout the 16th with little sleet, temperatures falling into the upper 20s, giving reports of an inch in ice accumulations along Interstate 64, from Frankfort to Winchester.

Most property damage for counties of southern Indiana and north central Kentucky was due to having to restore the power and clean up from the tree damage caused by the weight of the ice.  In Nelson County, for instance, about 2,200 residents wound up without power after the storm.  However, the hardest hit areas were in and around the cities of Frankfort and Lexington, where ice accumulations measured 1 ¼ inches on exposed streets, sidewalks, and branches. Here, an estimated 125,000 residents were without power for up to five days or more, trees were destroyed, branches cluttered the roads, and sections of Interstate 64 were periodically shut down during and after the storm.  A 78-year-old man in Lawrenceburg tragically lost his life after sustaining injuries from a falling, ice-covered, tree limb.  By the time the Bluegrass Ice Storm was over, 280,000 customers had their power knocked out, more than 3000 power poles were destroyed and nearly 800 transformers needed to be replaced.  The total cost to area utilities was about $47 million, with another $26 million used by local municipalities to clean up the damage.

(Found at – National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office @ http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/?n=top10winter)

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Taking a City Down

If you live in an area that does not have the joy (rolling eyes) of experiencing annual white winters and all the crap stuff that comes with it, be glad….be extremely giddy and grateful.

Snow and especially ice can quickly take a city to its knees. In the northern states, communities depend on weather alerts and advisories from the national weather service which help local authorities gauge the impending weather and determine how safe it is for its citizens to venture from home. Unfortunately for communities which are not accustomed to this type of weather, they cannot possibly be prepared enough to deal with such weather; as was witnessed on numerous news stations showing the effects of snow and ice on Atlanta, GA. Although the city did not receive massive amounts of snow, it along with the freezing rain and ice was enough to cause havoc and bring the city to a standstill.

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You’re Kidding…Right?

This week an Atlanta news station even reported “Atlanta weather: Thousands stranded after snow, ice storm; Gov. Nathan Deal blames weather service.”

I’m not sure why the Governor is blaming the weather service and should probably take a very close look in the mirror and those around him. I live in Northern Kentucky and even I heard and knew, via news and weather channels, that the Atlanta area was the target of an impending snow/ice storm.

Personally I believe that: 1) either the government and local authorities did not have enough experience to deal with this type of situation; or 2) the government and local authorities did not take the weather advisories seriously.  I tend to believe it was the latter, why?  Because if your area is issued a “winter” weather advisory as the greater Atlanta area was at approximately 3:30 am on a weekday…why would: 1) they still allow children to be transported to school; and 2) didn’t they recommend non-essential workers to stay home?

Well, now that I think about it…they may not have enough experience to adequately deal with winter weather phenomenon’s like they experienced this week; but still that is no reason to blame others.  Man up, don’t point fingers…state that you were ill prepared, realize that crap like this happens, make it a point to educate those in critical roles in emergency preparedness and move on…knowing you are ready for the next event like this, should it ever happen again.

Next Week For Many “ians”

Weather Forecast for Tues/Wed, Feb. 4 & 5, 2014

Weather Forecast for Tues/Wed, Feb. 4 & 5, 2014

If we do indeed experience what is being said is coming our way it looks like the Tri-State of Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio is in for a good foot or more of snow accompanied with sleet and ice buildup.  This means the grocery stores will be jammed packed, the essentials like bread, milk, and water will be scarce, kids will miss more snow days which have to be made up and tacked onto the end of school, extending the school year, gas prices will jump by 10s of cents per gallon overnight, some may lose power which could last days, and lastly…there will be a bunch of cranky people everywhere you look.

I say “what can we do about it?” Nothing! So, instead of getting all worked up about “a day off,” why not make some cocoa, fire up Netflix, and spend some quality time with the fam!

See ya next week when I blog about the “great storm,” (if it happens.)

You know you’re from Northern Kentucky when…

 

Northern Kentucky Counties

Northern Kentucky Counties

 

A little geography history about NKY

 

Northern Kentucky is composed of three major counties (Boone, Kenton, and Campbell) which sit directly south of Cincinnati, OH and are in a crevice that is surrounded by the Ohio River. In addition to the 3 major counties, some also include Grant and Pendleton as part of the Northern Kentucky area.

 

 So, with that said: You know you’re from Northern Kentucky when…

 

  1. You measure the distance in minutes.
  2. Up North to you means Ohio.
  3. You know a lot of people who have hit a deer.
  4. Your school classes were cancelled because of cold.
  5. You have had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day.
  6. You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition. (Example:”Where’s my coat at?”)
  7. You think of the major four food groups as beef, pork, pop, and chili.
  8. You carry jumper cables in your car.
  9. You know what “cow tipping” or “opossum Kicking” is.
  10. You only own 4 spices: salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ketchup.
  11. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
  12. You find 10 degrees F “a little chilly” and wear shorts, flip flops and t-shirts until it gets below 50.
  13. You know all 4 seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.
  14. You know what Ale-8 is.
  15. Your idea of a three-way is chili over spaghetti topped with shredded cheddar.
  16. You have been to California, Florence, Verona, and Over-the-Rhine in one day
  17. Indiana is about 20 miles away, but it takes about four hours to get there.
  18. It’s too cold in the winter, and too hot and humid in the summer to ever stay outside for very long.
  19. You have referred to someone as a cake eater or pig farmer.
  20. You have heard people say they don’t like crossing the river and they were talking about the Licking not the Ohio.
  21. Chocolate and cinnamon, not peppers and beans, are in your chili.
  22. You can drive 30 minutes in any direction to hear a different accent than your own.
  23. You can accurately judge people’s social status by which Kroger’s store they shop at more often.
  24. You can go to any church festival in any neighborhood on any weekend and see at least five people you either work with, went to school with, or dated.
  25. Any carbonated beverage is a “pop.”
  26. You honestly believe that Pete Rose should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Okay, well some do.)
  27. You have more stadiums, Coliseum, and arenas than you know what to do with.
  28. Either you or someone you know went to school with Shaun Alexander, David Justice, or George Clooney.
  29. You know what a pony keg is.
  30. You have ever bought a crave case for a carload of drunk people at 4 in the morning at White Castle.
  31. An all-boys or all-girls school does not seem that odd to you.
  32. You know what cream ale is, and you think that cream soda should be bright red.
  33. You think Ohioans don’t take a test to get their driver’s license.
  34. You know that the Cincinnati airport is not even in OHIO! Also that the airport symbol (CVG) stands for Covington, KY and the airport is actually in Hebron, KY…not Cincinnati nor Covington,
  35. There are many tri-state areas across this great nation of ours but the one that always sticks in your mind is Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.
  36. 36. During a taste test you can tell the difference between the following chili’s: Skyline, Dixie, Empress, and Gold Star, and have almost been in a fist fight over which one is the best.
  37. You go to “Cookouts” not “BBQ’s”.
  38. Anytime anyone asks you where you graduated from, you answer (without hesitation) your high school, not your college.
  39. You take a leisurely summer drive through a suburban neighborhood and you see 5 or more corn hole games being played!
  40. You have had to take a different road because the one you were on was flooded.
  41. You have been at a Waffle House and watched someone put ketchup on their scrambled eggs and hash browns.
  42. You add an “s” to the end of grocery store names, such as Kroger(s), Meijer(s) & Wal*Mart(s).
  43. You can buy milk or beer by driving your automobile through a drive-through pole-barn.
  44. You refer to the animal shelter/dog pound as “the SPCA”, much to the bewilderment of people who have not lived in a city with this independent, non-government organization.
  45. You believe LaRosa’s is fine Italian dining (WITH GREAT SPAGHETTI SAUCE) and carry a “Buddy Card”.
  46. You know what brats, metts and goetta are.
  47. You have considered decorating your house in a UK theme, and know that a buckeye is a useless nut.
  48. A hoagie is a piece of cube steak with pizza sauce or mushroom sauce and cheese. Not a deli meat sandwich.
  49. When you say please in an attempt to get a person to repeat what they just said.
  50. When asked where you’re from, you say Northern Kentucky, instead of just plain old Kentucky.
  51. You can honestly say that Rodger Bingham lives only a half hour away from you at most.
  52. Only when you’re from there can you CORRECTLY pronounce Crittenden and Corinth.
  53. When you tell people you’re from Kentucky, and they don’t believe you due to your lack of an accent.
  54. There are about 20 malls in a 20-mile radius.
  55. You can drive 10 min. north and be downtown Cincinnati, or 10 min. south and be in farm country.
  56. You have a water tower that actually says “Y’all” on it. If someone asks where you live and you say, “You know where that water tower is…” and chances are, they know.
  57. You have million-dollar mansions less than a mile from acres of trailer parks.
  58. When there’s a yard sale every weekend…even when it’s cold.
  59. You got overly excited about the chance to drive 70 mph on the highway.
  60. You are able to use the term “Three Way” in a non sexual context.

 

– author unknown

 

 

 

The Boy and life as a cart-go-getter.

Well it is official, my youngest is employed and I feel old!

Luke's Shirt

Kroger’s New Slogan

A few weeks ago The Boy became gainfully employed at a local grocery store as a bag boy and cart-go-getter, and has his first month of paychecks under his belt.  Let the life lessons commence…Life lesson #1…be responsible and get a job.

His first check was a whopping $14.18 but he didn’t care because it was his money, earned by his hard work.  I knew this check would not be enough to open his personal checking account, so I had the clerk cash the check for The Boy to have some pocket change.  And, being the super great awesome mom I am (blushing), I asked the teller to transfer the necessary funds from my savings to to open the account. Life lesson #2…learn how to manage/budget funds and balance your checkbook.

O.M.G…What a Miser

The Boy absolutely loves having his own money, but won’t spend it on anything and expects that I continue to purchase his Oreo Shakes from McDonald’s.  If I say he has to pay for it, all of a sudden he decides that he really didn’t want one in the first place. Hopefully this will be a trait that remains with him throughout his life (buy your own stuff).

Blue Truck

The Boy’s Truck

Oh what a harsh, harsh world we live in.

For the last year or so all The Boy  has talked about was getting a job so he could pay for his auto insurance and drive the little blue tuck that Gramps and JMAK (The Boy’s brother) bought him.  Life lesson #3…pay your own way, pay your own auto insurance.

Unfortunately, reality has been a little hard on him.  He recently learned that in order to afford  the maintenance, fuel, and insurance for the truck, one needs to work more than 12-14 hours a week, and at this point his average is roughly 14 hours a week.  Life lesson #4…life isn’t always fair.

He is on the “School to Work” program at school, (it used to be call work release when I was a kid) and he is dismissed 1.25 hrs earlier than non-working students.  With this school approve program in place, we’re hoping he’ll be able to work more hours each week.  Life lesson #5…hard work and dedication pays off.

Hard Working Fella

@ the doctors for meds

@ the doctors for meds

As a “Cart-Go-Getter & Bagger,” The Boy has to retrieve shopping carts from the parking lot, no matter the weather.  While at work…getting carts, he has found himself in snowy, slushy, cold, and rainy weather…yet never complains.  Last week it hit him like a brick wall.  After fighting a head cold for about 10-days, he finally told me his throat hurt and it was hard to swallow; so needless to say we made a trip to the doctors and the verdict…strep.  Life lesson #6…sometimes ya gotta work, even when you’re sick.   Here we are a week later, he’s feeling more like himself and has declared he dislikes being sick. My reply…duh, who does?

So now the cycle continues…he works, deposits checks and is saving up for his insurance deposit (while sparingly making small purchases for himself).  Once he has enough “cash-ola” for the deposit, I will take him for his intermediate drivers license and he will “finally” be able to drive alone, without a fully licensed driver with him.  That is a day I don’t want arriving too quickly as it will only confirm that The Boy will be an independent semi-adult and have no reason to rely on mom for much more than food and housing for the next year :-(.

New Chapters…to be written???

Instead of thinking about losing my youngest to his chapter of independence, perhaps I should consider the fact that I too have reached that stage in life that I have often thought about during my 32+ years of raising children.  That thought being…I too can be independent and do those things that I could not while rearing three kids.  Not really sure what those “things”will be, but I always my Bucket List for ideas.

Gosh, being a parent is a truly wonderful experience leading up to a sad realization.  If we do our job right, they won’t need us for much…other than to let them go and to always love and support them unconditionally…for the rest of our days on earth.

 

Saving our future generation and innocent victims.

Texting while driving

Texting while driving (Photo credit: Mr. Jason Weaver)

The Research

A year ago I wrote a research paper on adolescent drivers and the factors which distract them and lead to deadly accidents.  My research paper Drivers of the Adolescent Brain is eye-opening with horrific statistics.

Just this last week alone this nation has lost 15 people (mostly children) in three vehicle accidents which were related to texting.  Please educate your children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren on the dangers of texting and driving as they cannot hear it enough.  We value their precious lives and the lives of innocent victims.

English: A sign that states "No Texting W...

English: A sign that states “No Texting While Driving” in West University Place, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s News Article

The article below can be found at http://www.cnn.com.

(CNN) — As Chance Bothe, then 21, was driving home from college last year into the southeast Texas city of Ganado, he was focused more on texting a friend than he was on the road.

“I need to stop before I have a wreck and kill myself” was the message he sent shortly before his truck tumbled down a 20-foot ravine, his father said.

Bobby Bothe, 57, got a call at Dow Chemical, where he works, and thus began what turned into a months-long, multimillion-dollar recuperation for his son.

At the hospital, he ran into a friend’s daughter, a nurse. “I told her, ‘I don’t know what to do,’ and she said, ‘You pray.’ ” He did.

Man plunges off cliff while texting

SUV flips into pond, killing 6 teens

5 teens die in fiery crash

His son had suffered a compound broken leg, broken ankles, broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken sternum, a broken neck, a broken nose, crushed eye sockets, a crushed forehead and a fractured skull, Bothe said.

“They told us he wouldn’t make it, they said he’d be blind, he’d never walk again.”

After more than three weeks in a coma, Chance Bothe regained consciousness but initially recognized neither of his parents, Bothe said.

Bothe knows that many parents of young drivers are not so lucky. That was underscored by three crashes in three days this week in which 15 teenagers were killed.

In Illinois, four Chicago-area teenagers died Tuesday morning when their car plunged into a creek. They were students at Wilmington High School, the school superintendent said.

In Ohio on Sunday, a sport utility vehicle veered off a two-lane road into a pond, killing six of eight teenage occupants. The vehicle was meant to carry five people.

In Texas, an SUV carrying five teenagers collided with a gas tanker Sunday. All five young people were killed, and the tanker driver was seriously injured. The teen driver failed to stop at a stop sign, authorities said.

For survivors, recovery can be long. With such severe injuries, Chance Bothe was hospitalized for seven months. Now, the 22-year-old man has plastic eye sockets, metal rods in his legs and a rebuilt nose. “He’s a little bit slower than he was” but is working on a ranch, attending online classes from home and planning to take his message of survival to high schools around the state, Bobby Bothe said.

It’s a message the father supports. “I don’t want no parent to ever go through this,” he said. “You gotta know, my son is everything to me.”

6 teens killed, 2 injured when overcrowded SUV flips into pond

Teen tragedy: 5 die in fiery collision with tanker truck in Texas

Though traffic fatalities have seen a historic drop in recent decades, young drivers remain at highest risk.

Motor-vehicle crashes are the top cause of death for people ages 15 to 20, according to 2007 figures from the National Center for Health Statistics.

In 2010, crashes killed about 2,700 people ages 16 to 19 — more than seven per day — and resulted in nearly 282,000 others being treated for injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a fatal crash, the agency says.

The weekend crashes in Ohio and Texas fit even higher-risk profiles:

— Both SUVs were packed with other teenagers, which in itself is a risk factor. The more teenage passengers, the more likely a crash will occur.

— None of the six teens who died in the Ohio wreck was wearing a seat belt. In 2011, 54% of high school students said they always wore seat belts, the lowest rate of any age group, according to the CDC.

— Failure to focus on the task at hand also may have played a role with the 19-year-old driver in Ohio. “The lady driving was playing around when she was driving,” said Asher C. Lewis, one of the two survivors of the crash, according to his account in the traffic crash report. “She was swaying and speeding. I think she was driving on purpose like that but I’m not sure why. It felt like she was driving like 80 mph.” Teen drivers are more likely than their older counterparts to speed, the CDC says.

— The Texas driver’s age — 16 — put him and his passengers at heightened risk. Accidents are more likely to occur during the first few months after a teenager has received a driver’s license.

— The Texas driver was male: In 2010, the death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was nearly twice that of females.

— Both wrecks occurred on the weekend: More than half (55%) of teen deaths from motor-vehicle crashes occur on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the CDC says.

Texas holds a dubious distinction related to crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, young drivers were involved in 187 fatal crashes in 2010 in the Lone Star State; the next highest number was 113, in Florida. Ohio had 71.

Still, the trend for younger drivers — as with drivers overall — is toward safety. The 1,963 drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in motor-vehicle crashes in 2010 represented a 46% drop from the 3,617 who died in 2001, according to NHTSA.

There are proven ways to limit the carnage, according to the CDC. It cites graduated driver licensing systems in which teens’ abilities to drive are expanded over time from the initial stages, when driving is restricted to low-risk conditions.

Some parents are equipping their vehicles with tracking technology, which they can use to monitor their children’s driving habits in real time.

“Parents are very nervous,” Ken Muth, a spokesman for American Family Insurance, said in a telephone interview. “Our agents hear it every day. Putting a 16-year-old behind the wheel on their own is a very frightening thing for a parent.”

The company offers parents the option of installing a webcam on the rear-view mirror of the car used by new drivers.

The camera records what happens inside and outside the vehicle but saves the recording only when it senses a sudden movement such as hard braking or a sharp turn, Muth said.

The video is provided to the parents on a secure website, the equivalent of a driving report card for their kids, he said.

“They can sit and review what happened in that incident and use it as a learning tool,” said Muth. He noted that the service is free for a year, and the insurance company is not privy to the information collected.

Muth credited the program for reducing risky driving behavior and said teens tend to embrace the technology after using it. “They develop trust with their parents, become better drivers and get more driving privileges.”

Chris Mullen, director of technology research at State Farm, noted that the insurer set up a website last fall to aid beginning drivers and their parents. One of its programs — Road Aware — helps drivers learn to recognize and anticipate road hazards in front of a video screen rather than on the road.

“This is not a skill that’s automatic,” Mullen said in a telephone interview. “It has to be learned.”

Forty-three percent of teen driver crashes are due to a failure to recognize hazards, she said.

In another example of help from technology, a teenager can activate an app on his or her cellular phone and then put it in their vehicle’s cupholder, where it will score the driver’s abilities based on acceleration, cornering and braking, she said. “It gives you feedback on the drive you just took and allows you to score it,” she said.

Chance Bothe’s near-fatal texting is common, according to CDC statistics. In 2009, distracted driving was linked to more than 5,400 deaths and about 448,000 injuries. Cell phone use was cited as the major distraction in nearly 1,000 of the deaths and 24,000 injuries.

Nine percent of U.S. drivers said they texted or e-mailed “regularly or fairly often” while driving.

Not all of those messages may be worth sending.

“It was just a curve coming into town,” Bobby Bothe said. “And he never curved. Just kept going straight. If the creek would have had water in it, he would have drowned.

“Three of my buddies seen it happen; they went to him and they drug him out of the truck and the truck was on fire and it blew up as soon as they got him out,” he said.