Jim Andrews

How did I get into weather?

I first feared thunder and lightning. Then, fear gave way to curiosity and even fascination. Naturally, understanding became a quest and a love.

While living in the Midwest, Montana and even Japan (yes, I even weathered a direct typhoon hit outside of Japan back in the late 1960s), my fascination with thunderstorms and love of snow were stimulated by the weather in these areas, as these happened often enough only to whet my appetite.

Lack of interest in doing other things led me to narrow career choices to weather, geology and forestry. By the end of my freshman college year, weather it was.

My college was that of my father, Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind. I once followed the football and (naturally, as child of a Hoosier family) basketball. I have always loved "shooting a little hoop," but my days as a sports follower are behind me.

I do walk and ride bikes (in fair weather), and I have jogged in the not-too-distant past. I do insist on keeping physically active. I am no "homebody".

No, not home, but out-of-doors. This is my "entertainment center". At the top of a mountain, deep in a lush forest or on a storm-tossed seashore.

I can turn my head to the sky scanning for clues as to coming weather. Or tilt it to the ground looking for rocks! Yes, rocks are to be found in every corner of my house, even on the stoop.

My first music records were stamped on vinyl (there I go dating myself) and would have been early few (forgotten titles) pop singles ("45s") followed "classic heavy metal". Say, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin;oh, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I am not much of a music listener these days, although I do have a love for good Bluegrass, some Celtic and also Andean music.

I stay away from social media, although I do have a personal email account. Computer access is at work, so I leave all of that behind when not at work.

I have no TV in my house, nor any means of watching any movies. I would much rather read a good geology book, one that opens my eyes to mysteries as to what lies beneath my feet.

This leads me to one weird talent: I can read and walk. At least when walking in a familiar area. I have literally walked my way through many books, magazines and papers. At least in warmer weather, this allows my three-mile walk to/from work to be like a library visit.

I am wont to have more than one book "going" at any one time. One of the later reads that stands out is "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins.

Oh, by the way, I am right-handed, but I can hold the book in either hand!

I cannot say that I ever held a weird job. I had a summer job with a garden center and a short stint as a weather data curator at Purdue. Otherwise, AccuWeather.com is it. Weird? Well, at times it can be. Weird or not, coffee usually helps to key me up for the job. However, I can, and do, drink tea sometimes.

I do not label myself, although I have been called "professor." I see this as a misnomer, as my C.V. is far too thin to deserve such a label. A seeker of truth more befits were I am now, although this, too, has a lofty air about it. Maybe I should simply call myself a (sometimes inattentive) student of life.

I am loathe to single out any one person as most influential in my life. My mother and father are necessarily top candidates. Outside of family, I find great meaning in the wisdom of people like Thoreau, Twain, Jefferson, Washington, Jesus and Muhammad.

The best time in life is right now, whether I recognize it or not. Well, for that matter, today should also be my favorite day of the year, too.

More Jim Andrews