July 31, 2018

Another big monsoon storm hits the Valley of the Sun. Another “meh” monsoon storm hits the area around the Richard hacienda in Gilbert. Here is what it looked like in one part of the Valley.

This monsoon storm started as it always seems to do: It’s after 5 PM and I’m busying myself in the salt mine known as “The Client Who Shall Remain Nameless”, which reared its ugly head once again this week, dropping the equivalent of a load of bricks onto me and my beleaguered team. I’m convinced that, like a case of herpes, this client will never go away. Oh, it might retire into remission for several weeks (in this case, just three), but then all of a sudden I’ve got the same dick-head VPs on my tail wondering when I can fix this and give them that – all, of course at no charge. And all of this nine – count ’em, nine! – months after this client first went live on our software. Foolish me: I thought I worked for a for-profit company.

But I digress. My apologies for prattling on. I just wonder if by the time I’m supposed to go to Vegas in December – without my laptop! – whether or not I’ll be rid of this client and their incessant demands. But who are the true idiots here? They know they have my company over a barrel, and believe me, they’re milking it for all it’s worth. Me? I’d tell them to go screw. But that’s just me. For that matter, were I not just a few short years from retirement I’d tell them all to go screw. Maybe they’ll tell me to go screw. Now that would be a mixed blessing!

But I digress. Again.

So there I am, playing the role of working stiff, when what was just a minute prior a bright, late afternoon office room almost instantaneously plunges into an ominous shadow. I look out the window and see these odd-looking blue-gray clouds sliding under a gray-brown sky.

“Uh oh”, says I.

I head out the front door and get a call from Tracey. She says she’s just leaving work and heading out of her parking lot right into a wall of dust moving towards her. I go out the front door and feel a little rustle of wind, but know from the look and feel of things something’s coming. I don’t see anything resembling a wall, but the sky has sure turned a sickly brown and I can already taste the grit in my mouth. (I’m not surprised, by the way – I had just backwashed the pool and washed down the back patio and tiki bar the day before, so of course we’re going to get a dust storm!)

I head out back to take a look at things, and all of a sudden the wind starts thrashing:

I immediately hear a couple of crackles and I know the palm trees are getting hit hard from the north. I hear a snapping sound behind me and know the el grande mesquite is getting thrashed as well. I head back out front and forget to unlock the security door but leave it open. The wind is blowing hard now, and the neighborhood is shrouded in a thin brown haze. A big gust hits and I grab the door handle just before it locks me out. (Now that would have been interesting!) There’s no thunder, no lightning. The world is a swirling, shifting, gusty brown. I check the radar and we’re surrounded on three sides by red and yellow, but outside of the wind and dust there’s nothing really happening.

Fifteen minutes later, it’s over. The storm has passed to our east and south. But the big palm tree in the southeast corner sure took a beating:

Throughout the night we’d see plenty of lightning to our north and east, but the north storms appeared to travel west above us, and the east storms traveled southeast of us. We got fifteen minutes of steady rain, so I hopped into the 94-degree pool and soaked it all in (literally) until that ended. And that was that. Across other parts of the Valley, things were much worse: that storm to the north of us that moved west ended up causing quite a bit of damage and numerous power outages in Scottsdale, north Phoenix, and then points west of that.

But that’s what typically happens around here: for some unknown reason our part of Gilbert always seems to get spared. Could be the topography, could be the vibes. Whatever. But plenty of folks got slammed in the Valley of the Sun last night – just another example of how amazing and unpredictable the monsoon season can be around these parts.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 20:56 | Comments (0)
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