Snow Rollers in Idaho | The Blog of Record

Source: Snow Rollers in Idaho – The Blog of Record.

Snow Rollers

Snow Rollers

Snow Forecasting in McDowell County, NC, USA

My father, Don Smith, was a weather forecaster in the Air Force. As part of a project during this time he researched snowfall inMcDowell County, where he was from. With only two exceptions over the entire period that records had been kept, he discovered that McDowell County gets significant snow accumulation only under a very specific set of circumstances.

  • The Jet Stream must track down into the Gulf of Mexico and then angle up between Asheville and Charlotte. (The closer it passes to Asheville the more we get. Any further west and the mountains block most of the snow. The further east it passes the less we get. Due to the angle, the storm clips the southern Appalachian Mountains and snowfall for McDowell County tapers off to nothing by about Charlotte.)
  • There must be a low pressure area (clouds with precipitation) that forms or strengthens in the gulf and then rides the jet stream to our location.
  • As the low pressure system passes over us the air temperature must be at or below freezing at ground level and all the way up to the cloud layer. (If it’s freezing above but warm at the surface we get rain. If it’s warm at the surface but the ground is frozen we get freezing rain. If it’s warm above but freezing at the surface we get hail as the precipitation starts out as snow, melts to rain, and then refreezes.)

As noted above there were only two exceptions to the above pattern when my father looked at the records. One of those exceptions was a massive storm that came west over the mountains from Tennessee. The storm was so massive and moved so fast that it didn’t expend all its precipitation climbing over the Applachian Mountains so McDowell County got snow. The other exception was a Nor’Easter that came from the east. If my memory is correct the Blizzard of ’93 was also a Nor’Easter and counts as a third exception.

Nebo is Famous!

My cousin Chris Jones who graduated from MHS back in the 80s sent this to his mom (my aunt) who in turn sent it to me. It’s an interview with Danny DeVito about a movie called Death to Smoochy in which Mr. DeVito mentions Nebo, NC!

The conversation starts about 3 minutes in and ends about 6 minutes in. 

Nebo is famous!

Sneakers (1992) Movie Guide

Sneakers (1992) Movie Poster

Sneakers (1992) Movie Poster

As a graduate school requirement, my wife and I were given the option to create a detailed movie guide. After much time and effort, we have achieved the following movie guide for the 1992 movie, Sneakers starring Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Mary McDonnell, and Ben Kingsley.


The activities in this guide align with the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). Focus areas are in computers, information skills, and technology literacy. This study guide is intended for grades 9 – 12, but can be used with other grade levels. These activities can be modified as needed by the teacher based on student aptitude and prior knowledge. Sneakers is rated PG-13 for brief sexual references.

This movie guide is 17 pages long and follows Gavriel Salomon’s Interaction of Media and Cognition and Learning (1979) model called AIME, the Amount of Invested Mental Energy. Teachers should follow the AIME strategy when implementing this study guide to maximize the educational learning potential and understanding for students.

Movie Overview

Sneakers is a light-hearted heist movie with plenty of comedy and romance about computers, hacking, ethics, government espionage, security, secrets, cryptography, deception, betrayal, and little black boxes. The characters model critical thinking skills and creative thinking about technology. On an ethical level, it’s an account of how computers have changed our daily lives both for the better and for the worse.

Despite the fact that its debut was back in 1992, Sneakers has aged surprisingly well. The surveillance techniques and other technical aspects that appear in the movie can still be found today nearly two decades later. One wonders how this movie got so much so right so early.

Plot Synopsis

Marty is the leader of an unlikely team of professional computer hackers that hire themselves out to company executives in order to test their company security systems. This happens to be a real job called Sneaking (as opposed to Hacking, Cracking, or Phreaking) hence the title.

Based in San Francisco, the team is contacted by two NSA agents who want them to steal a top-secret black box containing a homemade computer chip capable of breaking any secret code. The team decides to accept the job and eventually acquires the black box.

Once they discover what the chip is capable of doing, they become entanglement in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse between the National Security Agency and organized crime who also want possession of the chip. They end up handing the chip over to the wrong people and must recover it to clear their good names and prevent themselves from going to jail inside the high-stakes world of government espionage.


Photo Gallery

Is God Constant and Unchanging?

Ever heard the phrase, “All change is not improvement but all improvement requires change”? I see God wanting to bring about a new creation on planet Earth. I don’t see the current world as the culmination of perfection, so I think there is room for improvement.

I hear people occasionally say that God is constant and unchanging. But is this so? If God is 100% constant to the point that he will not or cannot change, then how do we as Christians explain away Exodus 32:14 (quoted here in context)?

7 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

9 “I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”

11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ ” 14 Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

“Relented” in verse 14 sounds like a “change” word to me. Moses even violated God’s direct commandment to leave Him alone to accomplish His divine wrath in verse 10, but God does not hold it against him.

There are other nebulous passages too like Abraham’s pseudo-sacrifice of Isaac. God told Abraham to kill his son, but stopped him at the last moment. So I don’t think God is 100% constant and unchanging in every situation. God certainly let Moses sway His opinion of the Israelites – though some bible scholars see this as more of a test of Moses than a reflection of God’s personality. Personally, I fail to understand why it must be one or the other. I think this beautifully illustrates both the character of God and Moses’ love for his people. God brought this out by putting Moses in this situation. Thus, I think it’s clear that God is more complex than a mere description of His being constant or unchanging accurately reflects.

Furthermore, until Jesus’ return, I believe God uses human beings to accomplish His will and it is God’s will that I consider improvement. He in fact chose us to partner with him in transforming and restoring our world for Him and to Him. We can do nothing apart from Him, however, but he does use us. Therefore, until Jesus’ return, we are the vessles of change in our world.

Barack Obama and Greed

A vote for Barack Obama is NOT a vote for socialism. That’s what you’re really saying and it’s ridiculous. So is saying that Barack is a muslim (He’s not. His father, who shares the same name with him, was), that he’s the messiah or antichrist (As if changing your vote could prevent the tribulation and doom’s day), or that’s he’s a communist (Where did that come from?!). The Republicans even tried to paint John Kerry in 2004 as French! (I’m certainly no fan and actually voted for Bush in that election, but come on. This can’t be true and it turns out it wasn’t.)

When you hear Barack’s comments about sharing the wealth, don’t think “socialism” think “Robin Hood”! The greedy rich have abused their wealth to gain power and abused their power to increase their wealth at the expense of this nation and her people. This has gone on for the past 3 decades and especially the past 8 years. That’s why we have a financial crisis on our hands. That’s why the real estate market collapsed.

Barack is merely saying enough is enough and the buck stops here. He’s going to correct this oversight, plug the loop-holes, and (hopefully) give the greedy their due. He is not stealing people’s hard-earned money, he’s taking away ill-gotten gains. He’s for the lower classes and the middle classes instead of the rich and powerful. That makes him extremely dangerous to them and they have fought tooth and nail against him from day one. Barack is a real American and the real deal. John McCain is the puppet of the right having given up everything that he used to stand for (honor, dignity, service, honesty, and being a maverick reformer) in order to win this election. I actually like John McCain, or should I say, “liked” as in before he sold his soul to be President.

I don’t know about you, but I make under 40k a year. My wife makes a little less. And we’re hurting bad. We barely make enough to pay minimum payments on our bills. The recent spike in gas prices left us nothing extra for our newborn daughter. We’re even attending graduate school right now so that 1) my wife can keep her job (the degree is a job requirement), 2) we can make more money (as teachers we will each get an approximate 10% pay increase), and 3) our existing college loans will remain in forbearance until we finish our schooling. While some of our debt is our fault, some of it is not and we’re being penalized by our debtors for making and having less money – specifically credit cards and Bank of bleeding America. It’s simply not right to tax us more than people in a higher tax bracket who make more and can live on less. We have less to work with and can barely make ends meet. That’s unjust and even Warren Buffet says so.

Thus, there is a real problem right now in America that’s splitting the country into the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots”. It’s called greed and it’s a deadly sin by any standard, but it’s also an invisible sin. The executives at AIG who went on a spending spree after the American people bailed out their company should be held accountable. Even Alan Greenspan expressed shocked disbelief that banks, operating in their own self-interest, didn’t protect their shareholders and institutions.

I don’t know what your concerns, priorities, hopes, or dreams are, but I have lots of the former and very few of the latter right now. The American people desperately need change and that change will not likely come from John McCain or the Republicans. Actions speak louder than words and John McCain’s actions have not been for the lower or middle classes. In fact, Obama, in his few years as a senator, has accomplished just as much important legislation for the average American as McCain has in his longer stint as one. I just don’t think McCain will fix this country. He’s hot-head and quick on the trigger. I don’t like the thought of him holding the big red button that could trigger World War III when he’s a heartbeat away from eternity. Sarah Palin doesn’t inspire much confidence in me either, red dress or not.

Homemade Vegetable Beef Stew

Homemade Beef Stew

Homemade Beef Stew

1 pkg Stew Beef
2 16oz Tomatoes
3 pkg Frozen Mixed Vegetables
2 16oz Sliced Potatoes, Drained
1 16oz Corn, Drained
1 16oz Sliced Carrots
1 8oz Peas
1 Onion, Diced
3 stalks Celery, Chopped
1 pkg Beef Stew Seasoning

Combine ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 3 hours and then on low for 3 more.


Combine ingredients in a pressure cooker. Set pressure to 10 pounds and when it starts to vent steam, reduce heat to medium-high for 1 hour. Afterwards, turn off the stove and let cool naturally which takes about 30 minutes.

Yum! Best with cornbread! Great for freezing too!