Using Huginn to get today's weather report.

A common task that people using Huginn set up as their "Hello, world!" project is getting the daily weather report because it's practical, easy, and fairly well documented.  However, the existing example is somewhat obsolete because it references the Weather Underground API that no longer exists, having been sunset at the end of 2018.  Recently, the Weather Underground code in the Huginn Weather Agent was taken out because it's no longer usable.  But, other options exist.  The US National Weather Service has a free to use API that we can use with Huginn with a little extra work.  Here's what …

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Snowpocalypse now?

This is an hour's worth of accumulation, mind you. It started snowing when Lyssa and I were on our way home and hasn't stopped yet. While stopped at a light, we saw a bolt or two of lightning streak across the sky, and our return home was hearlded by thunder.

Yes, DC is known for occasional thundersnow storms.

...another ten to twenty inches???

If you haven't heard by now, the National Weather Service has predicted another blizzard headed for the DC metroplex, this time with up to twenty inches of snow in store for us. Yesterday afternoon the federal government called another code red, meaning that all non-essential personnel weren't supposed to drive in. Of course, in our infinite wisdom, Lyssa and I called up Hasufin (who owns a four wheel drive SUV) because we had to make a run to the supermarket to get a few things that we'd run out of (the stuff that spoils soon after you get it). Wholly …

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Snowpocalypse II pictures.

Edited and uploaded at last (the power failure this morning notwithstanding), here are the first round of Snowpocalypse II pictures. While many of the people in our complex spent a good bit of last night and today digging out, we're still plowed in. Our complex is considered a side street, and the state of Virginia isn't going to clear the roads back here until sometime later this week (when more snow is predicted). Plus, a few brainiacs have decided to park right in the middle of some of the roads which have at most a single lane free, so no …

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Snowpocalypse II: Snow Harder

The weather predictions are growing like the tales of Paul Bunyon in the DC metroplex as the second winter storm of the year comes rolling in. They're calling it Snowpocalypse II around here, and people have been getting ready for it for three days now. On Wednesday evening the stores were packed full of people buying groceries and snow shovels in preparation for today, and the moment a few flakes began sifting down from the ominous grey clouds most every agency in the area called a code red: if you're not security don't come in, stay warm, and stay safe …

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The clock keeps ticking.

This past weekend was the annual autumn celebration over at Hasufin and Mika's place, a get-together in which we get together to enjoy the coming of fall.. or whatever passes for it in the DC metroplex. Unlike Pennsylvania, in which Halloween costumes are often designed with wet weather insulation in mind, autumn doesn't actually arrive until the final week of October or therabouts. It tends to stay pretty warm down here right up until the end.

In other words, temperatures in the 70's and 80's right up until Samhain, which is usually in the neighborhood of thirty degrees Fahrenheit, where …

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Better late than never: the weekend in review.

While we didn't get hit by Hurricane Hannah, the DC metroplex certainly felt her wrath late Friday and all day Saturday. I don't want to say that it was raining cats and dogs but not long after waking up on Saturday morning I saw a squadron of squirrels wearing what appeared to be miniature SWAT gear high-tailing it through rain blowing at a forty-five degree angle toward a nondescript white van in the parking lot. Unfortunately, they've moved back in and are busily digging in the coffee and aloe vera plants on the balcony, Lyssa tells me.

I've had a …

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State of the Time Lord.

Well, I'm mostly up and around these days. I'm writing this from my office at work, after braving the ice storm that's buried DC under sheets and sheets of the slick, shiny, scaly ice that's been causing automobile crashes and knocking out power and traffic lights for the past day or so. It started late on Monday night, I'm given to understand (I'd been to the doctor's office earlier in the day and it was actually pretty nice on Monday afternoon), slacked off a bit yesterday, and then really hit us hard last night. I discovered this during my attempt …

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Sometimes the only thing you can do is look on in horror and hope that the shrapnel doesn't reach you.

It's the last day of the common year 2007, and between the rain and low temperatures (hovering near but not quite at the freezing point as of 0730 EST5EDT) roadways in the DC metroplex are, in short, treacherous. I nearly slipped walking down the steps from my apartment building, and my car was limned with a thin sheet of frost that had to be melted away before I was going anywhere. After getting underway, however, I discovered much to my chagrin that patches of Lee Highway in northern Virginia were sheets of ice that gave the ol' anti-lock brakes a …

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