Tag Archive: a theory

The Snow Theory

For the second time this week, we have Impending Winter Weather of Doom in the KC area.

The first time was yesterday, which was a total bust. We were supposed to get ice. In preparation, Tony and I went out and got the makings of chicken stew – we had everything set up so that we wouldn’t have to leave the house at all yesterday. We did not, in fact, leave the house at all.

Neither, however, was there any ice. I maintain we probably saved the area the ice storm through sheer preparedness.

Tonight, we’re under another Winter Storm Watch – this time for snow, the predicted amounts of which keep rising every time I see the forecast (which, being Midwestern by location/birth/education etc., is a frequent occurence)(it’s a bad idea to live in the Midwest and not check the forecast at least twice a day). The poll of customers at work today netted me guesses in the 2-8 inch range. I’m guessing it’ll be in the low to middle portion of that range.

Q: Why assume it won’t be a bad storm?

A: Because the customers at work were still referring to it as snow.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed through several years of weather watching/dealing with the general public: if the impending storm isn’t going to be too bad, people talk about the snow. As in “how much snow will we get?” “Has the snow started yet?” “Hey, it started snowing,” and so on.

There’s a certain level at which the weather conversation shifts. When an impending snow storm is going to be *bad*, no one talks about snow. They talk about “it.” As in “is it going to be bad?” “Has it started yet?” “*resigned sigh* It started. I hate it when it gets like this.”

So far as I can tell, it’s like the general sense people have is that the weather is out to get them at some point, and it’s almost like they’re trying to avoid thinking about the oncoming mess by refusing to call it what it is (i.e., snow/sleet/ice/whatever). Moreover, the worse the storm is going to be, the earlier the word use shifts from noun to pronoun.

Anyway, my theory at the moment is that tomorrow evening’s snowstorm won’t be that bad because it’s “snow” in the minds of the populace, which ultimately means we’re looking at 6 inches or less. “It” tends to mean 8+ inches – that sort of point where the snow stops being pretty and starts being an unholy pain in the ass.

I’ll update y’all on Thursday with a report on whether or not I’m snowed in.


ETA as of 1:30pm, Wednesday: it is in fact dumping snow outside. When I went out this morning, the sales clerks were saying variations on a theme of “has it started yet?” – meaning this storm is likely to be worse than my optimistic outlook last night.
Here’s what it looked like about five minutes ago:

I’ll update if it gets interesting.


ETA: as of Thursday when it stopped snowing, my suburb had officially gotten 7.2 inches. I’d say my theory was dead on. [/dork]

A propos of my deodorant

You know the situation that happens when you’re looking for something and can’t find it, no matter how hard you look, only to figure out after five minutes that the “lost” object was exactly where you thought it was, right in front of your face?  That happened to me this morning.

I was running late getting myself ready after waking up five times to my alarm because I was having a very strange dream involving a dreambear inside of the living room of my dreamhouse, which was a very old, neat house, and my attempts to keep my four (!) dreamcats out of the dreambear-infested room.  So I woke up (finally) during the fifth iteration of the sleep alarm beepings, realized I was running late, groaned, swore, threw myself through a shower and so on.  Everything was going fine (lateness aside) until I couldn’t find my deodorant.

What happened is this:  I mentally pictured the deodorant (tube? container? package? whatever) sitting on the counter:  white packaging, spring-ish green top.  And I looked.  And looked.  And looked.  And I thought “I don’t have time for this.”  And I got irritated and wondered if one of the cats had knocked it onto the carpet.

The deodorant was nowhere to be seen.

And then I thought very clearly about where I always put the deodorant when I’ve finished using it and peered very closely at that spot on the counter. 

Lo and behold!  My deodorant was exactly where I thought it was.  The problem:  I switched deodorants a few weeks ago and the tube/container/package/whatever is now cream rather than white.  The entire problem that I had, for five solid minutes, was based on the fact that I was looking for the wrong color.

So after thinking about this situation this morning during the sermon at church, I’ve come to a theory:  when I’m unable to find something and it’s sitting in plain sight, my inability to find said object is because I’ve become selectively colorblind, thus rendering the lost object invisible.  My issue this morning is that I was looking for white, thus rendering me blind to the yellowbrown undertone that changed the white container into the cream-colored one I *should* have been looking for.

My Theory of Selective Colorblindness could apply to most lost objects.  Lost keys?  Colorblind to silver.  Lost pen?  Colorblind to white and blue (or whatever color(s) your pen happen(s) to be).  Lost glasses?  Probably just blind, period.  But you get the idea (I hope).  I doubt recognizing this problem is going to help me find anything any more quickly anytime in the future, but at least it can help explain why I can see the “lost” object six-ten times before it registers in my brain that the thing I’m looking for and the thing I’m looking at are, in fact, the very same thing.

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