Life in Tornado Alley

Closer Call
Life in Tornado Alley

Last night was an interesting night to say the least.  In the morning folks were talking about the potential for serious storms, but in Oklahoma we tend to take that with a grain of salt.  From the months of March through June pretty much every week there is some severe thunderstorm either hitting or looming on the horizon.  Living in “Tornado Alley” gives you a strange relationship with the weather.  It is something you fear at least a little, but also something that you get used to.  There are close calls and then there are close calls so when you hear a storm is a few miles away, you get to the point of being able to look at a map… knowing the general topography and deciding that will never make it to me and going on about your business.  Last night was not really one of those nights, because the storm in question was a bit of a sidewinder.  At first it looked like it would miss the suburb of Tulsa that I live in, so I was milling around upstairs not thinking much about it.  Then I got an urgent series of messages from my wife saying that they were watching it out of the window of the church and that it was coming straight for town.  I of course did the most Oklahoman of all things that I could do… I went out on the front porch and tried to see the storm.  In the above picture I circled the area of the cloud that was starting to lower, and moments after taking this photo I watched it slowly rope its way downwards towards the ground.  It was at this point that I started to take things deadly serious.  The below video that I found linked to a local news site shows the same area as I pointed out in the picture, but as it was actually lowering.

The problem is… if a Tornado hits our house we are probably dead.  The conventional wisdom is that you need to get to an interior room, as close to the center of your house, with no windows and doors.  The way our house is laid out this room doesn’t really exist.  We do however have a very tiny laundry room crammed between the garage and the hallway outside of the bedroom.  From the garage side there is a steel core door, and from the other side a wooden one.  So I proceeded to hang out on the floor of our laundry room crammed between the washer and the dryer with a thick blanket to pull over my head if things went really bad.  I tried to gather the cats, and as any cat owner will know… the best way to get your cats into an area is the shut the door.  So I shut myself in the laundry room and within a few moments the cats were scratching at the door so I let them in and shut it again.  I had the bedroom television blaring so I could somewhat tell where the storm was, and this is when it shifted course drastically again.  This time instead of coming straight for us like it seemed, when it hit the reservoir it shifted go to more straight east than north east and ended up passing just to the south east of us.  Since I mentioned it last night, we are fine just was a much closer call than I was used to.  Had the Tornado continued on its course it would have hit us, but instead it went off and hit a neighborhood about a mile and a half from us.  I spent the rest of the evening watching the weather as the storm picked up strength and hit other communities.  Unfortunately this is going to be the norm for the next several months as we make our way through another “Tornado Season”.  Huge apologies for missing the raid last night, but when shit like that is going on… I kinda need to prep to duck and cover.


Life in Tornado Alley

I originally had a post for this morning talking about “chasing unicorns”, but I feel like I want it to have its own full post, and with the happenings of last night I felt the need to talk about that instead.  So instead I am going to talk about another one of my Craigslist dealings.  I am cheap… and if you have read this blog for very long you will know that I really hate having to pay retail price for something.  I’ve gotten countless laptops, desktops, and gaming systems from Craigslist, but using the local site is an absolute craps shoot.  Some days there are amazing things out there, and then there are weeks or months of absolutely nothing.  When I get something stuck in my head that I would like to have… I tend to start searching Craigslist for it.  Recently one of those obsessions has been a Wii U and I had it in my head that I wanted to try and get one for under 200 bucks.  The bane of my existence however is that apparently on the Tulsa site no one EVER removes anything once they have sold it.  So you always have to start every discussion with the same message “Hey do you still have X thing you posted on Craigslist?”.  Last week I thought I had found my Wii U.  It was not in the Tulsa metro but was within easy driving distance… was $180, came with a pro controller, and I believe a single game.  The problem is by the time I contacted the guy he already had someone coming to look it at 4pm that day.  After not returning a text asking if they did in fact buy it… and the person still not having removed the ad from Craigslist… I was back at the drawing board.

The only problem is at this point the obsession set in completely.  I don’t have a clue why I decided I needed a Wii U, but apparently it was one of the more important things in my life for a period of days.  There was a point where I had text conversations going with four different sellers, trying to talk them down to the price range I was willing to pay.  All of them had positives and negatives… and none of them were willing to go all the way down to $200 for this reason or that.  The biggest problem in Tulsa is that everyone thinks their stuff is worth more than it actually is.  Then my wife suggested that I contact this one newer seller that had a bundle of stuff they were trying to sell for $300.  I had completely ignored it because it seemed so far out of my target price.  Amazingly enough after a few back and forths I got them to a $250 price tag for a very new looking system and four games:  Mario Kart, Hyrule Warriors, Splatoon, and Bayonetta 2.  All of the games being ones that I would have eventually picked up for myself…  except Bayonetta.  I figured if nothing else that game could potentially be traded off for something else, or it might surprise me.  Once I got the unit it actually ended up being a better deal because also installed on the system was Super Mario U/Luigi U and Megaman Battle Network 4: Blue Moon.  So a total of six games and a unit with no scratches that I could see for $250.  While the price was not as low as I was hoping I think the end value of the deal was worth it.  At some point I am going to pick up the title that ultimately made me want a Wii U in the first place…  Mario Maker, but I want to spend some time playing the games I just got before going down that road.  Now I need to keep my eyes peeled as we are junking for some of the Wii titles I never actually played.


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