2022-05-02 – Awkward Compatibility

In order to keep up with the latest and greatest technology, I do a different equipment set update each year:

1st year: Computer upgrades
2nd year: communication upgrades
3rd year: photography/videography upgrades

This year, I ended up doing mostly communication upgrades, with a focus on cellular technology. The main driver in this process was the acquisition of sprint buy T-Mobile. A short while after that acquisition, T-Mobile started forcing customers to change equipment, whether they were fully ready to do so or not.

So my planned (computer) and unplanned technology updates for 2012 are as following:

  • New laptop (Dell 5515 touch with Windows 11)
  • Mobile hotspot (T-Mobile MiFi)
  • New phone (Apple iPhone 12 pro)
  • New tablet (Samsung 8 inch android tablet)
  • New vehicle tracker/Wi-Fi (T-Mobile Sync Drive, 2 units).

Upside: save the iPhone, none of the T-Mobile gear cost a nickel — effectively a free upgrade over the next 24 months

Downside: lots of reconfiguration and some compatibility issues between the MiFi and my Wyze cameras. The latter is been particularly annoying. I’ve spent hours and hours trying to solve the problems by downgrading the Wi-Fi security, clearing cache, doing factory reset, and a variety of other things to no avail. All the work I did last season getting a five camera mobile security system running has been totally destroyed by the upgrade process. I am miffed.

This evening I will go through the packing list and make sure I have everything packed and ready to go for the trip. I have had some equipment changes lately, so my 2019 daily checklist will have to be updated. I can pack using the marked up edit copy then print the 2022 version at my local Office Depot. This is all just part of a pre-trip ritual, but sometimes it gets old.

28 May 2013 – Wet ‘n’ Wild Ride Home

Heavy rain and nautical twilight level darkness (well before sunset). I experienced fat raindrops, pea-sized hail (reported to mPing only), and multiple lightning strikes less then 1/4 mile from my position (by the 5-count-per-mile method). Happy to be indoors, in case I lose power.


Looks like storms will train through my hometown a while longer:


Also have multiple warnings on these storms:


Wow’ MyWARN looks like a slot machine when the coins drop.


We even had a Tornado Warning briefly:





01 May 2013 – CHASE 2013 – DAY 1

01 May 2013 – CHASE 2013 – DAY 1 – Oklahoma and Texas

06:15 – Wake; morning chores;; pack bags

07:30 – Drop bags at Holiday Inn; return rental car

08:00 – Return to Wyngate via shuttle; eat breakfast.

08:30 – Walk to Holiday Inn; meet other chasers; do introductions and safety briefing,

10:30 – Pack vans, grab cameras and head for Wichita Falls , TX then toward Abilene.


12:50 – Rest stop then lunch 20 minutes later (just north of Wichita Falls, TX).

13:20 – Continue southwest from Wichita Falls on US277.

15:12 – stop at Munday for bathrooms, fuel, food. Continue southeast

17:15 – turn back north from Albany on US283. Storms with 55,000 foot have developed along I44 in southern OK, with the line spreading into our area. We are in a severe storm watch box.

18:00 – sky stop. We see a storm with a hard back sheared, take photos as it evolves.

20130501-135701.jpg18:30 – depart south on US283 as the cold outflow breeze of the storm invades.


Air being pulled up into the storm
Air being pulled up into the storm, near Throckmorton, TX, 01 May 2013

19:35 – we duck south, bit by bit, trying to keep out of monster (2.5-inch or larger) hail. At one point we can to the hail roar of the storm. (Hail roar is the sound of large hail hitting the ground, cars, rooftops, etc. It can sound like thunder only it can last for minutes at a time.)


20:30 – We stop west of Albany,TX, where we witness a spectacular display of spider lightning. I have embarrassing camera issues here, because I miss a control setting. Our team leader helps me figure it out, but I miss the best part of the lightning. To add insult to injury, the Storm Prediction Center indicates an unfavorable weather pattern (for storm chasers) for at least three days. I feel terribly frustrated.

Still, I captured a little bit:

Spider Lightning,
Spider Lightning, 01 May 2013, just west of Albany, TX

22:30 – We depart for our hotel after a fast food dinner at the Dairy Queen in Fort Griffin.

23:00 – We check into The Ridge Motel in Breckinridge,TX.
23:46 – turn in for the night. I’m exhausted physically and emotionally.