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Welcome From The Chief Editor

Ahhh! You just know (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyways) that summer is here. Birds are singing. Kids are playing, home during their summer break from school. Mosquitos are feasting on unprotected flesh. On most evenings, you can smell the sweet acrid smoke from barbecue grills wafting through the air. You can usually find me watching the Kansas City Royals baseball games on TV, while my son yells "Go Royals" whenever the crowd cheers.

Where I'm located, dab smack in the middle of the U.S., it's as if someone just flipped a switch. We went from mild temperatures to broiling literally overnight. Of course, in the American Heartland, late spring and early summer bring intense thunderstorms and that literally pop up over the top of you. And they bring severe weather conditions with them, such as tornadoes, hail, damaging straight line winds and flash flooding.

Seems everyone is experiencing some weather extremes. Sammy2fish recently posted in the forum, lamenting the lack of rain up in the area where he lives. California is experiencing one of its worst droughts in history. In Houston, Texas (the home of Texstar), they have experienced some horrendous flash flooding after receiving atrocious amounts of rain when tropical storm Bill made landfall from the Gulf of Mexico. Near Meemaw's location in Southeast Kansas, flooding is a threat after receiving excessive rainfall totals.

Around my neck of the woods, there is ongoing scattered flooding. The ground is saturated, increasing the risk of flash flooding. The high humidity and heat of the day give birth to popup thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Recently, we had a line of very strong thunderstorms pass through in the middle of the night. We had 80 mph straight line winds. Limbs were sheared from trees. Some trees were uprooted completely, thanks in part to the saturated ground. We lost electrical power for most of a day, until service was restored. Over 120,000 electrical customers were left in the dark from the storm, as repair crews hurried to repair the damage.

Of course, without power, there is no internet connection via my cable broadband service. All of my laptops (which are always on) had run out of battery juice before I even woke in the morning. There is no TV. No fans. No air conditioning. No lights.

It's amazing how things you take for granted -- electricity, fans, lights, air conditioning, computers, being able to connect to the internet -- give you a pause when they are no longer available. It forces you to find other things to fill your time, causes you to think differently about how to overcome your new "obstacles," and gives you time to reflect.

No matter where you may live, every area of the world has its pluses and minuses. Some live with the ever present threat of earthquakes, hurricanes, monsoons, and a whole host of other natural disasters.

Wherever you happen to live, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity and prosperity.

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