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It might have been just a EF0 tornado (the lowest, least powerful one, rated on the EF scale), but for parts of the town of Wolcott, Connecticut it was bad enough.

The National Weather Service’s New York office has confirmed that a weak tornado touched down in Wolcott.

The “EF0″ level tornado touched down at 12:50 p.m, the National Weather service tweeted at 4:39 p.m. The small tornado had an estimated wind speed of 80 to 85 miles per hour and spanned about .62 miles, according to its preliminary findings.

A level 0 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale is a week tornado estimated to reach 65 to 85 miles per hour in a three-second gust, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The National Weather Service sent a representative to investigate with the help of Wolcott Emergency Management officials.

“The path began near the intersection of Minor Road and Center Street where a tree was uprooted and facing west” and finally lifted near Stagecoach Lane.

The tornado caused “intermittent tree damage” and “continued along a path to the northeast to Wolcott High School,” blowing “large fixed sports equipment” across the field and knocking down a fence, according to the report.

“Several trees were also topped” and the tornado knocked down several other trees to the northeast on Kalko Drive, the National Weather Service reported.

Here are some of the clouds yesterday afternoon after the tornado had passed through Wolcott. Luckily, we were spared here in Marlborough from any severe weather……this time.

It was a last minute decision to attend the 100th Anniversary Convention of the American Radio Relay League. For those who do not know what ARRL is, it is the mother of HAM RADIO for the world!

Lets go back a few weeks when one of my good friends who I have not talked to in years got a hold of me to reconnect to see what I was up to these days. He has been a Ham Radio operator for decades and wanted me to attend “Field Day”, a world wide contest to see who can make the most ham radio contacts in 24 hours. I went to a location in Portland where his club was set up and was calling CQ to the world. The radio bug bit me as it did years ago, but this time it bit hard! With the convention coming up in a few weeks, what a better time to study to take the Technicians Test to become a licensed ham radio operator, as they were giving the test for free at the convention.

Well, to make a long story short, I studied hard for about 2 weeks, and passed a 35 question exam to my surprise. Forty eight hours later the FCC announced my new call sign. It is KC1CHW! I am now a official ham radio operator!

For now I will be clear on your final, that’s Kilo Charlie One Charlie Hotel Whiskey, 73′s!

Here is a picture of some of Volunteer Examiners (VE’s) who gave the Ham Radio exams of the Convention.

 

 

 

Here’s an image that I took from my last trip to Iceland. The black volcanic sand on the beach just south of the Jokulsarlon Lagoon in the south of Iceland has hundreds of these ice cold gems. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world I have ever been to. You might say it’s “really cool!”

Toski visits the TPC

Two golfers of Polish decent met together for the first time at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Ct.

One was a man who loves the game, started playing when he was 15 years old, played on the High School Golf team, and even got a hole in one once.

The other was a world class professional, has 11 professional wins including the Masters, U.S. Open, and a PGA Championship!

That man is Bob Toski. A leading golf coach and teacher for professional golfers on and off tour.

Bob showed up at our FOXCT television set  for a “quick” interview last Thursday morning. Not only did he give a great interview, but stayed for a long while after telling golf stories from years gone by.

It was a honor and a privilege to met the man I had followed on television for many years!

Oh, his real name……is Bob Algustoski who is 87 this year.

 

 

When you start seeing the Metlife Blimp you know its Travelers Championship time!

Here is a shot of Snoopy 2, one of two blimps that Metlife have getting those great aerial shots of the golf tournaments that we all enjoy.

Welcome back to Hartford Snoopy, and welcome back to blogging after a long rest Alan! Yes, I am back!!!

 

 

 

It’s Saturday February 1st and coming home late in the afternoon I spotted a very familiar cloud formation in the Southwest.

Moving quickly across the sky at about 20 mph this ever changing cloud vortex in the sunset light was the first one of the year that I had spotted.

Within 10 minutes it was out of view from my location. Never the less, a great start to cloud chasing this early in the year!

 

I shot this image I little while ago during our frigid cold snap.

I was looking for a different way to shoot my favorite subject in the winter, ice crystals!

Here is a shot of ice crystals with the setting sun low on the horizon, as it backlit the crystals.

 

Me and Mr. Mandela

A chance meeting with a world leader was just not what I anticipated on January 20, 1993. It is still remarkable even today almost 20 years later.

The place was Washington D.C., in front of the Capitol building waiting for the Inauguration of our 42nd President, Bill Clinton.

I was a photographer for the New Britain Herald at the time, covering the Inauguration and its festivities that followed it.

The photographers who were actually covering the event had to go through security at 6am in the morning, a full 6 hours before the swearing in ceremony. After waiting in line since 4am to make sure I had gotten a good position I had finally made it to my position by in sub freezing temperatures. Before me was a sea of hundreds of chairs facing a patriotically decorated Capitol Building.

I was all alone when I noticed a man all by himself dressed in a suit taking a seat in the middle of all the hundreds of chairs right in front of the inaugural stand. This was at 9am, three hours before the proceedings were going to start. What a great image I thought to myself as I fired off a few frames of film. Now, I had to make my way down there to get his name to make the picture caption complete.

I walked over and stood next to him, and introduced myself and said it was an interesting picture of him with all the empty chairs around him. He said he liked to be out in the open as much as possible. He said his name was Nelson. Nelson Mandela.

I did not know a lot about this man, but I did recognize his name and where he was from, and his history of being in prison for 27 years. He motioned to me to sit with him while he waited for his family to arrive. We talked for about 10 minutes about what a great day this was to see an inauguration of an American President and the freedom we have here in the United States. His family arrived and my short time with “Nelson” was over as he introduced me to his family. As I stood up to leave I shook his hand and asked If I could take a picture of him. He said of course, and took two frames of his gentle face.

Little did I know he was going to be the President of South Africa a year later, holding the position for six years.

The Clinton Inauguration proceeded, and I got some great images throughout the day.

As I write this twenty years later, it is not the Clinton Inauguration that I remember as much, but the short quiet time that I spent with a gentle, quiet man, with a great smile. Nelson.

 

 

 

 

 

I had a busy week spreading “the word of astronomy” this week!

Thanks Westport Astronomical Society for hosting me at their monthly meeting, talking about the worst things an astronomer has to contend with.

We even saw a rocket launch from Wallops, Va. from atop their observatory. Nice showing of people too!

Secondly, I wish to thank the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester for hosting me in their monthly lecture series about beginners astronomy.

Another great night, showing the attendees, wonders of the night sky that they can experience for themselves at home!

Hybrid Eclipse

The sun played a cruel hide-and-seek game with me this morning.

I took a drive down to Old Saybrook this morning to see if I could get a clear shot over Long Island Sound of the Hybrid Solar Eclipse this morning.

Arriving at 5:00am the skies looked pretty good right down to the water level. By 6:00am clouds appeared, it was getting worse, and continued to do so while the sun was struggling to show itself.

About 10 minutes after the sun had risen I caught a glimpse of it in between the clouds and managed to fire off a few frames.

Here is what I captured. Shortly after, a rain shower started driving the few of us early risers that were by the Dock-N-Dine restaurant back to our respective cars and leave.

I am glad I managed to get anything at all!

 

 

 

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