What’s A Person To Believe?
AS I LEFT HOME THIS MORNING to go to worship in the Chapel at St. Arbucks I checked my phone to see what the temperature was. It said it was 31 degrees outside. Just to double check I turned on the Weather Channel.
I had to wait five minutes as they ran ads for all of their strange non-weather related, no matter what they say, shows until they actually said something about the weather. 30 degrees.
On the way to the Chapel I passed a drive-through bank that has a twenty foot high electronic sign that tells the time, temperature and non-stop ads for the bank. They posted up there that it was 36 degrees out. I don’t think that the sign’s altitude had anything to do with the difference – and I sincerely doubt that the world heated up by five degrees since I left home – two blocks away.
This is the core of the problem: None of the many thermometers around here ever agree. Is this a worldwide problem or just a local bugaboo? Is there some meteorological quirk here in Terre Haute (French for “Watch out, it’s slippery.) that makes our thermometers engage in Improvisational Weather Data?
The attached photo is one I took a few months ago in front of a local supermarket just five minutes from us. I don’t really think that a difference of four or five degrees is, in and of itself, all that important – unless, of course, I’m sick in bed and the thermometer under my tongue is saying that I either have a cold and a temperature of 101 degrees, or a temperature of 106 and M&M candies would melt in my hand or anyplace else my fevered brain might put them.
However, I do truly doubt that, although we have had a cold winter, the temperature on the day I took this photo was really 104 degrees below zero. I would have noticed.
Since I started writing this rant the temperature reading on my phone has gone up to 34 degrees. There are still six inches of snow on the ground, but at this rate of warming, it should be gone by August.
I can understand that the temperature can vary from location to location, but Terre Haute (French for “Square Donuts”) is not that big a place that the thermometers should be spitting out different readings every two blocks.
There is an intersection just one block from where I am sitting that has four of these thermometers flashing time, temperature and ads at all who pass by – two banks , the supermarket from the photo I’ve posted, and one Methodist Church. I’m going to drive past there to check on what they all have to say about this. I’ll be right back.
OK, I’m back – and sure enough they all have different temperatures flashing – except for the market. Their sign is dark. I guess they are staying out of this one.
The banks differ by four degrees and the Methodists are firmly in the middle.
Now, I can accept that the church’s sign might wander a bit – thermodynamically speaking. After all, with them it is basically a matter of faith. But with the two banks I expect a bit more precision. If they can’t give me an accurate time and temperature how reliant should I be that they are up to snuff on their bookkeeping? A degree here, a degree there. A decimal point here, a decimal point there. These people are as reliable as Punxsutawney Phil, that nasty little creature.
Oh, my – I should really apologize. I’m just in a bit of a foul mood. This winter has turned me into a curmudgeon.
I want to make a promise to you all. I will be in better spirits when the temperature – the REAL TEMPERATURE – hits 70 degrees and stays there for awhile.
So help me Jim Cantore.