Monday, March 29, 2010

The Sucky Floods of Spring (and Fall, and Summer, and Winter)

Well, it's a sucky spring day in Bend -- 45 degrees and pouring rain. Which in itself isn't remarkable or even worthy of comment, except that it reminds me of another reason why Bend truly, deeply and profoundly sucks: the floods.

I'm not talking about the Deschutes River going on a rampage. In bygone days it used to do that from time to time, but it was tamed by dams many decades ago.

No, I'm talking about the flooding of Bend streets that happens every time we get any appreciable amount of rainfall. Hell, the streets here flood any time we get much more than a heavy dew.

The reason is that the people of Bend are either too cheap or too fookin' STUPID (or maybe a combination of both) to install an adequate, functioning storm drain system. We have a few grates in the streets, yes, but they're basically just holes in the ground. There's no system of pipes to carry the excess water away, so it just backs up and creates a lake wherever there's a low spot in the road.

That's my Bend -- a town of vast ambitions and half-vast thinking.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

False Spring and Real Suck

Last month old Blackdog had occasion to spend a few days in Portland and the area around Salem. The weather was generally sucky (it poured rain almost the whole time) but it was SPRING over there. The grass was green, the trees and bushes were putting forth buds, the daffodils and crocuses (croci?) were blooming. It sucked big-time to come back to Bend and know we still had three and a half months of winter to endure.

Bend typically experiences a false spring in late January or February, and this year the false spring was springier than usual; we enjoyed a succession of sunny days with temperatures pushing up toward 60. Predictably, the newbies mistook the phony spring for the real thing and started planting primroses and violas. We old-timers know better: In Bend you don't put your tender annuals out until Memorial Day weekend -- and even then you'd better check the weather forecast every day and be prepared to cover the plants if frost threatens.

In March, the weather in Bend promptly returned to its normal suckerrific mode. As I wrote this yesterday it was 38 degrees and snowing lightly. Overnight, the temperature went down into the teens.

Today Mrs. Blackdog made a trip to Salem on business. She just phoned to tell me the cherry trees are in bloom over there. Damn.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Surprisingly Un-Sucky February

In a surprising and welcome development, February turned out to be a far less sucky month in sucky Bend than January. Blackdog actually recorded more days of sunshine (15) than days of suckiness (13).

There even was a stretch of eight sunny days in a row, from Feb. 15 through Feb. 22. Temperatures also were unusually balmy, with highs in the mid- to upper 50s during that spell. (The weather for the Olympics in Vancouver, BC was much the same, which meant a dearth of snow and cross-country skiers splashing through slush.)

Unfortunately, but inevitably, the high pressure ridge that kept the clouds and rain away for much of the month has moved off, and the forecast is calling for typically cloudy, drizzly, sucky Bend weather this week. That's the one predictable thing about the Bend climate: If we don't get enough suckiness in February, we'll make up for it in March, April and May.

February Totals

Days of Sun: 15
Days of Suck: 13

YTD Totals

Days of Sun: 22
Days of Suck: 37