A Violent Windstorm on the Beaufort Scale

(Reblogged from Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, from January 22, 2012.)

Yesterday I woke up to a violent wind storm. I walked up to the house for breakfast and found Grandpa Bob had been blown over in the driveway and he was struggling to get up. A gust had blown him straight over backwards. He was embarrassed but not injured at all. (I hope to be able to take a fall like that at 93!)

Growing up in the desert, wind was my least favorite weather. I’ve been blown into a ditch on my bike and had countless teenage hairstyles ruined by wind. It is kind of exciting to see something so powerful, though. We had gusts at 66 miles per hour, making it a “violent storm” on the Beaufort scale (see below), just between a gale and a hurricane. In the Pacific northwest, and especially in cities, this intensity of wind blows trees into houses and causes pretty radical damage. Stuff around here is built for wind. You might lose your roof and you will definitely lose anything that isn’t “nailed down hard,” as we say, but the plants and other structures will be fine.

Here are a couple of very short videos I took. Turn the sound down–they are loud. Can you see the sandstorm about a half mile away in the first one?

The Beaufort Wind Force Scale, according to Wikipedia:

Calm > 1 mph

Light air 1-3 mph

Light breeze 4-7 mph

Gentle breeze 8-12 mph

Moderate breeze 14-17 mph

Fresh breeze 18-24 mph

Strong breeze 25–30 mph

High wind 31–38 mph

Gale 39–46 mph

Strong gale 47-54 mph

Storm 55-63 mph

Violent storm 64-72 mph

Hurricane  ≥ 73 mph

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Creating a New Home, Phase 1

(Reblogged from Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, from December 8, 2011.)

Reanna and I moved from Eugene to Joshua Tree in early November. We were there about a month before leaving to visit her family, and our primary project was starting to set up a new living space: an early-1960s Kenskill travel trailer. We will see how this arrangement suits our needs in real life, but the idea of living in a trailer suits the idea of our needs quite well for the time being. I have lived in trailers off and on throughout my life, and while I found nothing glamorous about it, I really appreciate how cheap and mobile they are. Cheap is very appealing now, with large student loans to pay off. Reanna has been interested in the tiny home movement and travel-trailer renovation for years (check out Tumbleweed Tiny HomesTiny House Blog, and a couple of trailers), so her vision is the engine for this project.

The first phase was creating a space for the trailer and a little yard for us. We did this in the “north 40” of my parent’s property. Here are some before, during and after shots (all photography and editing by Reanna):

Before, Looking Northwest: From left to right you see the sauna/bath house, our trailer in its old spot, Uncle Bill’s shed (to be moved), Grandpa Bob’s workshop (to be made into sewing palace), and the old goat pen.
Before, Looking Northeast: In between the fence and the structures, you can see a pile of 2,500 pounds of plywood and other stuff, the remains of an 8′ vert ramp. Then left to right, an 8′ trailer, Uncle Bill’s shed, our 24′ trailer, and the sauna/bath house.
During, Looking Southwest: Behind me you can see the 8′ travel trailer that served as my bedroom in high school. We gave it away to a local a few days later. It actually made me quite sad to watch it limp away.
During, Looking North: The pile of plywood on the right was the last third or so of the landfill.
After, Looking Northwest: The plywood is gone, 24′ trailer in its new place. You can see we’ll have a nice little yard in between the trailer and the bath house, once we move Uncle Bill’s shed.
After, Looking Northeast
After, Looking West
After, Looking North: Here’s the best shot of the trailer. My friend John lived in it while he did his undergrad. It had been his grandparents’ and parents’. He gave it to me in the late 90s, when I lived in it for two years. It’s got an unusually nice layout, with big windows on the kitchen/dining room side (the right), bedroom in the middle, and bathroom in the back.
Weatherizing in a Wind Storm

Every Heavy Thing in the Yard on Top to Hold it Down

Still to do: seal it up to prevent further water damage, prep for paint, paint, put in new flooring, fix plumbing, furnish, move in.