I first heard the term pneumonia weather many years ago from the handyman at one of my old jobs. He is an older man, probably in his late sixties, and we would often take a break together and talk while drinking some coffee.

Having never heard anyone say that before, I asked him what he meant by Pneumonia Weather.

He said it was the ups and downs in temperatures that would lead people to leave the house wearing clothes that are not correct for the climate. So, when it is 70 one day and 40 the next, you might leave the house wearing shorts expecting it to be 70, only to be fully unprepared for the cold. This would in turn lead to an increased risk of catching a cold or possibly(?) pneumonia, although I think pneumonia probably isn’t something you would catch right away.

What is Pneumonia Weather?

After a little research, I found an article on Pneumonia front, which is a term that dates back to the sixties and was used to describe an extreme change in temperature that results in a thunderstorm or other weather occurrence. These would occur around Lake Michigan and Milwaukee and could result in damage to buildings.

Other sources indicate the in the past, people thought that warm weather in winter caused you to get sick. So, parents would insist their children always wore jackets during winter, even when it was very hot outside. It seems that the immune system can be affected by these swings, so there may be some truth to this, although wearing a coat during unusual hot times is probably not the ‘fix.’

Weather Swings in Raleigh

Regardless of the entomology of the term, the weather around Raleigh this year has been so full of ups and downs. It seems like it will be 70 one day and then close to freezing the next, and January is almost finished.

With, apparently, no end to the yo-yo weather insight, it looks like this week with be much of the same. This weekend was cold and drizzly, with off and on rain, but by the end of the week, we are supposed to be back to the sixties.

I am ready for the cold, as my favorite time of the year is when I can break out the thermals again, but it seems I will have a little longer to wait for the nice freezing spell. One issue with these changes is that bugs, like fleas, that would normally go away during the winter months are still present now. As purely anecdotal evidence, which I would like to research when I get some time, I have observed some pretty significant changes in weather around the Triangle over the 20+ years I have been living here.

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For those living in the Raleigh area, it looks like we are in for a nice break from the cold weather. I just checked WRAL and this weekend should be beautiful, with highs up to 60 Tomorrow. The week should be really nice too, well at least up until Wednesday, as they are calling for 60 degrees and up. I must say I am looking forward to the break in cold, even though I tend to like winter/fall months the most.

Really, any excuse to break out the cold weather gear brings a smile to my face. I don’t know why, but I love wearing my thermals. I catch some flack from time to time by my friends who are not in the know. They make jokes about having a flap in the back or being from the 1800’s, but thermals truly are the key to warmth. Thermals, or Long Johns or Long Underwear, depending on your vernacular, are the reason I can walk around most days with nothing more than a sweater or some sort of windbreaker, without being cold. They are truly a wonderful invention and it always amazes me how few people wear them. I almost wish I lived somewhere that was cold all year round, as each fall when it is time to start wearing thermals again, I always feel happy.

Anyway, can’t wait to start enjoying this wonderful weekend. Perhaps taking the dog to Umstead Park might be in order!

The Raleigh area got some snow that started last night at around 7pm. It is still going Saturday morning, but it is more of a icy hail mix now.

I measured between 1.5 and 2 inches in most places, although it was a little lower by the trees. Fortunately, we haven’t lost power yet, well not here in Knightdale anyway. The road in my neighborhood got a pretty good coating too and it doesn’t look anyone has gone anywhere since the road got covered.

While I am not a big fan of the snow, as it looks pretty nice, but before too long it ends up being more of a inconvenience than anything else, it still looks really beautiful.

It is also nice to be able to break out the Carhartt overalls, as they are water proof, fireproof, and really warm. So, breaking out the snow gear is probably the best part of any type of cold weather for me.

It will be interesting to see what the chickens do too, because they haven’t ever seen snow before, not that they would really remember if they did though. I tried to throw the food close to the house where they could see it, so we will see how that goes.

My dog probably gets more of a kick out of the snow than I do and loves running around in it. Hopefully when it lets up some, I can let her run around some more.

Weather, Wrecks, and Supplies

I just checked WRAL, and they are reporting that there were a lot of wrecks in the Raleigh area last night. The North Carolina State Troopers reported that they responded to around 130 wrecks last night between midnight and 7AM around the Triangle. There were several wrecks reported in Cary and Raleigh as well. This reinforces the fact that if you don’t need to drive, than you probably shouldn’t.

I am glad I went and picked up some extra supplies yesterday too. It is always interesting how the Food Lion, or whatever grocery store you use, is always packed the day before a storm. I went during the day and there was still probably 5 times as many people shopping as I had ever seen at the Knightdale Food Lion.

WRAL Weather is calling for an icy mix until at least 10am, with question mark over the rest of the day, so I guess it is possible it might keep on going. I hope ice doesn’t collect on the power lines or cause any trees to fall down, as I don’t want to loose power.

So, last night I was watching the newest episode of Burn Notice on Hulu, when the lead character decided to pretend to be someone from North Carolina.

Having been born and raised in what is considered the South, I knew what was coming next by heart and sure enough, the lead character did not disappoint. His portrayal of a North Carolinian covered most of the basics, from deep southern drawl, tank top, and spitting tobacco juice, he managed to cover most of the preconceived notions of what a southerner is.

For those who haven't seen it, Burn Notice is a television show about a secret agent who gets "Burned" by his operators, which basically means they dumped him in Miami, took his money, and prevent him from getting real work. So, Michael Weston, played by Jeffrey Donovan, goes A-Team style and makes use of his skills to help those in need. Bruce Campbell is also in it, who is the man, as well as the gorgeous Gabrielle Anwar. It is a pretty fun show and one that you can watch in the background, without having to give it too much thought.

Now Donovan’s portrayal of a Southerner didn’t offend me in the least, as he does this with a lot of his other characters, such as acting like a New Jersey gangster. I’ll even go a little further and say that I have a few friends that are a lot like how he portrayed.

However, the generalizations he made are pretty much par for the course for living in the South, as most of the time when non-southerners think of a southerner, they think everyone is backwards, ignorant, racist, stupid, or a redneck. Unfortunately, as generalizations usually are, nothing could be further from the truth.

There are of course many ignorant, racist, and stupid people living in the South, but they are in no more denser of a concentration than anywhere else in the United States. In fact, I would go so far as to say that there are stupid, ignorant, and racist people living all over the World. There is no place that doesn’t have a market share of stupidity and ignorance.

What makes these generalizations so unfair, is that when it comes down to it, Southerners are some of the most friendly people you will ever meet. As a whole, they will bend over backwards for you if you need a hand and even if you don’t. When you get home in the evening, your neighbors wave to you and maybe come over to chat for a bit, and are always there if you need something. So, it is safe to say, that like most generalizations, those made of those living in the South are pretty far off.

To help put this in perspective, there are also a number of generalizations many Southerners make about Northerners, but when I was in New York, everyone I met was about as pleasant as could be and I don’t know that I met anyone who was outright rude. Well, that is with the exception of a cabby who didn’t feel like picking me up, as he knew it was a short fair.

So, whats the point of this little diatribe you ask? I guess that generalizations, no matter if they are based on Race, Religion, or Location are rarely a good metric for evaluating a culture. Instead, people should be evaluated for who they are, not for where they are from or how they dress. All too often, the fact that someone is making generalizations in the first place says a whole lot more about them than it does the group being generalized.

I wasn’t actually born in Raleigh, but I moved up to this area before starting school. By the time I left high school, about all I knew about the history of Raleigh was that it was named after Sir Walter Raleigh. I think sometime in seventh grade or so, I probably learned a little more than this, but it had long since been forgotten when I graduated High School.

So, this is a brief description of the history of Raleigh, for those who might not have been familiar with it.

Raleigh the Early Years

Today, Raleigh, which is the Capital of North Carolina, is well known throughout the state and in many parts of the United States. However, when North Carolina was founded as one of the original 13 colonies, Raleigh did not exist. Instead, the city of Raleigh would not be developed for another 100 years, right when North Carolina was becoming the 12th state of in 1789.

Wake County was created after a man named Joel Lane, who was in the General Assembly at the time, petitioned the General Assembly to take a portion of Cumberland, Johnston, and Orange counties and create a new county. The new county would be Wake County, named after the wife of Governor Tyron, Margaret Wake Tyron.

Joel Lane would prove to be an indispensable voice for Wake County, which was founded in 1770 and chosen to be the place for the capital of North Carolina in 1788. In fact, it is rumored that the first meeting of the courts in Wake County actually happened at Joel Lane’s House.

The City of Raleigh was officially founded in 1972 and named after a European Explorer named Sir Walter Raleigh, who had sponsored the Roanoke Colony in Dare County, which would become known as the Lost Colony. It is believed that the location of Raleigh was chosen because it was close to a local tavern frequented by politicians.

The Capital City Grows Quickly

During the next 100 years, Raleigh and Wake County would continue to grow, with the addition of the Fair Grounds in 1853 and Peace College in 1857, which was the cities first school for higher learning. Raleigh was also the birth place of Andrew Johnson, who was born at an Inn in Raleigh and would later go on to be the President of the United States of America.

Some Other Interesting Historical Moments in NC History:

  • Wral, was the first local TV Station and was created in 1956.
  • The Research Triangle Park(RTP) was created in 1957 and resulted in a dramatic increase in population.
  • The Beltline, otherwise known as 440, was built during the 1970’s and 1980’s, in an effort to ease traffic problems.
  • Bloomsbury Park was built in 1912, drawing crowds with their carousel ride, which would be later moved to what is Today Pullen Park.

Looking to the Future

Today, Raleigh is still growing in leaps and bounds. There is still a great deal of growth in areas all around Raleigh, including places like Apex. The history of Raleigh is still growing and changing though, with many incredibly interesting and historically important places downtown. There are also a number of growing businesses in Raleigh, like Raleigh Computer Repair, in large part due to the decision to revitalize the downtown area.

With the Addition of 540, it is also starting to get much easier to get around and at least one leg of I-540 will become the first Toll Road in North Carolina.