Email me at midwesternmeso (AT) hotmail [DOT] com

Please note: All images and videos on this blog are copyrighted by myself and may not be used without written permission. Any persons or entities who do not seek written permission will be held liable for copyright infringement(s) and will be subject to monetary compensation not to exceed $150,000 USD. (In pursuant to 17 USC Section 504(b) and (c), 17 USC Section 505.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Greensburg "Ecotown" Show on Discovery Preview

EDIT: Video has been taken
down and is no longer available

Man Breaks into Kwik Shop in Greensburg

And evidentially works for FEMA. I just read this off of Anita's blog. Wow. KU students also arrived last week with an arts center they built for Greensburg. It will be up and running by the anniversary of the tornado!!!

Darin and I plan on being at the premiere of Brian Schodorf's documentary of the tornado on May 3rd in Wichita, then hopefully somewhere in Greensburg the night of, which is set to air on PBS.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

South Dakota Supercell

This is a pic of the final one of the day on 9/16/06 after a pair of tornadoes in SE SD. Andy F., Scott C. and maybe Freddy P. should remember this one!

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Video

I have had this one done for awhile, just haven't uploaded it, because youtube takes forever. It's a brief timelapse of the Beatrice, Nebraska supercell on April 15, 2006. A day I'd like to do over! The one time we got to use wxworx, it fails to show warnings. We trailed it very early in it's life, near Marysville, KS and thought letting it evolve more would keep us from getting cored or falling beind(it was high-based at the time) We thought we could set up a few miles ahead of it and "wait" for it to produce, or develop more. We ended up seeing the dusty tornado from about 10-15 miles away, approximately 7 miles north of Beatrice (Luckily Scott Kampas informed us or we might not have known! and who we were going to meet up with, but missed our turn). We then repositioned east to Sterling.......

Thanks to the band (who just called it quits),Modern Girlfriends and especially River Jones and his music label (which is based out of Phoenix, Arizona )for letting me use the song. He has been so kind as to allow us to use any song on his label in the future!

For you chasers in Oklahoma, a young high school girl who lives in Edmond has talent that any girl her age would envy...her band is called VideoPhonic and honestly, she has one of the best voices I've ever heard. Her music is very dark and catchy, hence the "Dark pop" genre she claims. Check out her myspace profile and listen to "Over" or "Teach me." I'm not kidding, the band is beyond gifted...I give her 3 years before she reaches the top!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Must Be National "Copyright Infringement Day"

Mike just emailed me this.

Edit: Looks like Mike did license it, but was unaware of what it was for.

First the Hurricane Katrina pics, then the books, the Chevrolet billboards AND commercials, and, a MAJOR network with his photos as a background! Oh....whoops forgot about that retarded CBS home movie deal a couple of years back! Thanks to these copyright lawyers taking a larger-than-normal cut for something that is virtually effortless, maybe requires a little reading on some new statutes or perhaps some typing to be done by their secretaries (usually already mostly done on a nice fill-in-the-blank template), Mike never sees a dime.

So he's basically employing these over-priced lawyers, who make it seem like they are preparing for a 2 week murder trial lol! If you're a lawyer and reading this, you can't bullshit me, I've grown up with one :). I've seen and heard what other lawyers do or have done. My father, however, was not like this, in fact I remember him leaving a "firm" a long time ago, because of his morals and the honest person he really is. I don't know who is more by-the-book, my father...or my mother! Anyways, while Mike's scraping for rent, those lawyers probably didn't even have to do that much work...just made a call to the judge and offer him lunch next time he/she is in town and to ask how his grandchildren are doing at the prep school. That's really how it works...just in case you didn't already know ;).

If I were Mike, I'd go broke just to have a chance to take a chunk out of their capital, but he somehow can deal with it. Stock footage and photos are at an all time low, the market is over-saturated or crowded with shit and the good shit is overlooked or never seen thanks to this. It's a good thing I enjoy shooting photography and occasionally video...if I were in the field, I'd be making plans for a career change. Mike will go broke before he gives up chasing or his photography, however, he's one of the talented few who stand out among the rest (and the over-rated!) and can make enough to live on doing so.

So go buy his book which I'm sure he doesn't make much off of anyways. He worked on it with the late Eric Nguyen, another legendary name in storm chasing. Every photo I snap from here on out, is all thanks to he and Mike.. to Eric's work and his unselfishness... the time he took to explain basic stuff to me...stuff that I now know is annoying to get asked 100 times!

When I can get a little extra cash, I'm gonna pick it up. Amos Magliocco has written a review on it here.

The photo above is of a high-based, non-severe, shelf cloud on 9-13-05, I believe, near K-7 and 119th Street in Olathe, just a few miles from home. It was on my old laptop's hard drive, which I assumed was damaged, but wasn't. I recovered my only still photos of tornadoes! I found tons of photos I hadn't processed, so I'll be doing that and adding them here soon. to go steal some copyrighted video on youtube from unsuspecting videographers...I'll just add a trendy-pop song to it (copyrighted of course!), spam websites about it, which in turn, will hopefully yield me more subscribers or most-viewed video in a category!

Copyright Infringements

Well with all of the fresh Stormtrack members flooding in lately, (some of which who I'm sure just took their first skywarn class and probably have seen more tornadoes than Gene Moore) another admitted thief (with a high iq, I assume) shows up and tells people not to freak out, but he kind of stole some shit from you guys! No worries, when he pawned it off for nothing, he gave you credit for it!! Not only that, but he wanted to let you know "thanks" because he's gonna be on THE TV! I'm not sure how he could get in "good" with a station without saying they were his. (Which he swore he never did!) Hey buddy, go buy some cameras, drive to the storm, and document it just like the rest of us!

Recently, I've (we've) had some of our stuff stolen...but that could never compare to the theft of what Mike Hollingshead has had done to him over the years. KSN in Wichita illegally redistributed our Greensburg footage to Brian Schodorf (donated, because that's how they give back to their communities!) for his independent production airing soon. I guess KSN didn't expect us to be already talking to Brian! They also stole Brandon Ivey's footage (which both ours and his were obtained off of a CNN feed, which in our contracts is specific in airing for 10 days only, no redistribution/broadcast only!) from 2006. Brandon told me he sent them an invoice for the footage (which was about 1/4 of what I'm sending them) and they claimed extortion! Oh...right...we're the criminals here and just want what's rightfully we're now involved in extortion! Storm chasers are involved in some serious organized crime these days! Ron Woods will be getting an invoice soon! So will Sean Wilson, who I guess never really thought it was wrong to use one of my photos to promote his business on his website! Learn to s-w-i-m. I've always been the type of guy who do this for me, I'll do this for you. I'm not going to do something, if there isn't a return. I don't give two shits if my name is in the credits, paper, tv, or layed out in smoke signals. That doesn't get me to the next storm.

If you can't tell by my tone in my writing, I have lived and learned. Selling video or working for the media = a pain. Not to mention the cut-throat business it is. I don't even watch tv!! It just gets in the way of the underlying reason of why I chase. I'll be good to go on funds in a year or two, so I'm happily stepping aside.

Okay, I haven't ranted for awhile...but chasers don't need to get bent over by their own. (Or is he a chaser? many on there now who aren't...)

Cynical Dick

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Atlanta Tornado .....?

Here is video of CBS broadcasting live during the SEC tournament in Atlanta Georgia where a tornado supposedly hits downtown. I just got home from chasing rain/dogshit/poop/crap/garbage in SC KS and heard. Thanks to Doug Mitchell for the link.

Supposedly The Weather Channel never cut in, and even being based in Atlanta. Shock there? Hell no, I want to see STORM STORIES EPISODE #34 ABOUT FLOODING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA for the 84th time in a row. I love it when they rescue that cat. (Note: I don't watch storm stories, nor the weather channel) Better tune in tomorrow, gardening season is almost upon us!!

More later.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Chasing Today/Tonight

Darin, his girlfriend and I are heading out to chase near the KS/OK border here in a bit. Just hoping for a high-based LP before Medicine Lodge, KS. We'll see if we can make it out there in time....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

St. Patty's Day.... Cold-Core?

Well, for 2 runs at least, the GFS has been showing a closed low setting somewhere up in Kansas for Monday, March 17th with very cold h5 temps aloft and a pretty intense vortmax near the center as pictured 144 hours out (0z run).

We'll see if it happens, I'll be on Spring Break, and Darin's girlfriend will be up here as well, so we'll definitely be chasing (assuming there is something to chase).

Other than that, I've been sick as a dog, with strep throat and the flu lately (and slept about 16 hours a day) so sorry if I haven't emailed you back. :( A few pics from yesterday, while waiting for my appointment to see the doctor at the walk-in clinic.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sun Halo Pictures

My first ever! I have been waiting over two years to see this, and it finally happened. I just happened to look up on Thursday and there it was. I couldn't believe it!!! I floored it home and grabbed my camera and for the next three hours I would take photographs (and skip a class ;)). These are a just a few...more soon, I hope.

This Last Weekend in Pratt and Greensburg (Part II)

I forgot to add, that we all stopped at the infamous Greensburg well, where that 3rd picture that says "Caster Iron" with the tornado, was at. "Ecotown" was there filming, so we stayed out of their way and chatted there for a bit as well. Either Greg or Mickey talked to someone there to sell the Storms of 2007 DVD's there!!

They had permanent markers there on the donated monument, where you could sign your name, so we added all of ours to it. There were already a LOT of signatures on there. If you ever drive through Greensburg, it's just a couple of blocks south of the Kwik Shop there. Here is a picture of Derek Shaffer (left), Shane Adams (middle) and Darin Brunin (right) with Mickey in the background there.

Back to the event in Pratt...

People started to show up early, as Greg, Mickey, and Jim were still setting up. The KAKE crew was one of the first to show up and they interviewed Darin and Greg before the show.

At around 6 p.m, the show finally started, with Mickey doing the introductions before handing it over to Greg, with his presentation on "Positive Contributions from Storm Chasers." He then presented the check for over $3,000.00 which was from last year's sales. Here are a few photos (that I'm not too proud of, due to the low lighting situation)...

After that, they showed a few chapters, including the Storms of 2007 intro, followed by an intermission. When that was over with, Mike Umscheid began his presentation on the Greensburg supercell, and was given a standing ovation by the crowd!!

The May 4th Chapter was then played...I couldn't watch it. I mostly hung out in the lobby with Shane, where the booth was, and the area for the free refreshments that the High Plains AMS provided. After that chapter, the May 5th chapter was shown, and the event was closed with Mickey thanking everyone for coming out.

A lot of tears were in the eyes of the people who attended (which was 3/4th's Greensburg residents) and I noticed Darin was a little disturbed about something by his facial expression. I asked him what was wrong, and we went outside so I could have a cigarette, and he told me a resident had come up to him and told him, "That night, while I was watching KAKE television, I was working, running a nursing home in Greensburg. When I heard you say it was a "monster" tornado, it was at that time I decided to get everyone in the basement...and just in time. Thank you." Darin also told me that when he was thanking everyone for coming out, a man turned around and said, "Thank you for saving our lives." While we did nothing more than what anyone else would do that night, that type of stuff just goes to show anyone who storm chases/spots...that is the reason why we are all out there. That is the ultimate reward for such a simple task that we all are capable of.

I couldn't help but think about how I swore I would never report again, after watching certain NWS meteorologists bash chasers. What if I would have stuck to that? What if Darin didn't report that tornado, when KAKE lost contact with Lanny Dean? It's just something not worth pondering over, because it didn't happen.

We hung around a little bit afterwards and chatted with Anita and Rick, giving her a hug and thanking them both for coming out and helping spark the idea of raising money for them and their fellow residents. We cleaned up fairly quickly, then we all headed downtown and had a couple of beers and some infamous pizza tacos at one of the establishments there.

I had a great weekend, and it was great to hang out with everyone and meeting new people I hadn't before.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

This Weekend in Pratt and Greensburg

We had a pretty good time this weekend, arriving in Pratt, KS late Friday night. Derek Shaffer, Darin and I headed out towards Wilmore Saturday morning, but could never find the exact spot, so we headed towards Greensburg around noon. Along the way, we stopped in front of, what used to be, Daniel's house. Pretty sad scene there...everything's gone. All we could see was a concrete slab of what used to be a home, tree stumps, and a trailer for a semi. I found a little toy football embedded into the ground, which made me think more about how these storms really do affect people and their lives. I tried to imagine what it was like that night, and couldn't.

We then headed into Greensburg where things didn't look as bad as they did last 4th of July. The stoplight was working, the Kwikshop was remodeled (with a mini-grocery store inside!)...a bar was on the west end of town. I could tell that a lot of the people in town were starting to get back on their feet, gathering their expressions with smiles on their faces. Morale seemed a lot higher than just two months after that night.

We toured a bit around town noticing a DOW parked on the south side, a few blocks south of the main junction, and were immediately curious. After driving on the outskirts of FEMAville one time, Darin wanted to let Josh Wurman, Justin Walker and others know about the event that night, so he and Derek walked out to greet them (without disturbing the filming taking place) and came back about 10 minutes later, while I tried to find a way to get a hold of Anita. They came back and said Wurman pretty much snubbed them, and brushed them away pretty quickly. I guess his notorious arrogant attitude rings true! If I were him, I'd hand over senior forecasting duties to Justin Walker!!

After that we pulled into the Kwik Shop and an elderly man started up small talk with me about the wind and the mild weather. After pumping gas, we waited about 10 minutes, when Mickey Ptak, Greg Stumpf and Shane Adams pulled up. We chatted for a bit and coincidentally found Anita's daughter there, who would take us to Anita's house where we would chat for half an hour or so, before heading back over to Pratt to set up. It was great hearing the stories from Anita and her husband, Rick and to finally meet Anita!!! Rick's story of him running from the highway patrol to get his animals and vehicle can be found here (part I), here (part II) and here (part III). If you like stories with humor and a good ending, I recommend reading it!!

We then stopped at McDonald's in Pratt for a quick bite when Darin got out of the car and pointed behind us, and low-and-behold it is Mr. Stewart, the elderly man we picked up on the west side of Greensburg that night!! Derek and I approached him inside and asked him if he remembered us, and he didn't at first lol. I think he sort of remembered, but not totally...he told us he was heading to the event after he had an ice cream cone and was going to pick up his friend. He told us stories about Greensburg and didn't seem too coherent (as he is at least into his 80's) but we enjoyed his nostalgic memories and he explained to us that his house on the southwest side of Greensburg was currently getting fixed and that he was tired of living in an apartment there in Pratt. Twice a week he delivers fliers about events to Greensburg and Pratt residents and "Project Greensburg" was on there. We left and arrived at the community college and set up.

Jennifer Ritterling, Matt Gerard and Jim Johnson showed up to help us out and it was much needed. We set up and people were already coming in at around 5 p.m. 30 minutes before the doors opened.

Running out of time.......I'll post the rest with more pics later today...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Project Greensburg

It went well tonight!! Not sure on the total numbers yet, but well over $1,000.00 raised!! Very tired, but is a quick photo of Natasha Trelfa of KAKE TV in Wichita (a KU grad ;-D), she made Storms of 2007 look 100 times better ;). Here is KAKE's story on Project Greensburg, including video.
Much more later today...

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midwesternmeso AT hotmail (DOT) COM

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