Saturday, February 7, 2015

Messing With Sasquatch: #GoFundYourself

Last year the trend in storm chasing was a bunch of wannabe chasers making police badges in order to add a bit of authority to the various dumbshit weather enthusiast groups they were apart of. This year the new trend is crowdfunding, or what I prefer to call online panhandling. Kickstarter, GoFundMe, matter which site you use the idea is simple. Some noob comes up with either a sad story or try to sell their audience the idea that they are "doing research" or "saving lives." They find enough people to buy their horseshit story and cha ching....they get to chase as many setups as they want to without spending a dime out of their pockets (or their parents' pockets).

Disclaimer: as a preemptive strike I want to go on the record by saying I have no problem with people using crowdfunding as a way of helping themselves out if they have fallen on hard times (ie. medical hardships, crime victims, and those needing help paying their college tuition for one semester). I don't even have a problem with legit storm chasers starting a crowdfunding campaign for a project they are a part of (even though there is one in which one well known chaser is offering a 30 minute one on one chat on skype for whoever pledges $1,000 which I find to be absurd).

Now you're probably asking yourself right now "well Adam is okay with a few chasers doing a crowdfunding campaign, but why is he picking on other chasers who are crowdfunding?" Whenever I hear about a chaser quitting his job just so that he was able to have an "epic" 2014 season and then reality bites him in the ass by having no money and still no job, I have a hard time being sympathetic about his story. And then there was a campaign created by a kid in Mississippi playing the chase to save lives card. He has since withdrew his campaign after he got caught using video of a tornado from another chaser in his campaign vignette without the chaser's permission.

These two examples show to me a sense of entitlement (a trait I despise out of people). Now I love to chase, I love traveling to different parts of the country I have never been to before, I love meeting up with my chaser friends or meeting new chasers while I'm on the road. But I also love having a roof over my head, not going to bed every night hungry, and I love not receiving harassing phone calls from bill collectors. I'm not at a point in my life I can chase anywhere I want to for as long as I want to and still make ends meet. So consequently my chase season consists of 1 maybe 2 Dixie Alley outbreaks, a 2 week vacation on the Plains, and a surprise summer storm in my backyard. Now the point I'm getting at is I refuse to start up a crowdfunding campaign to fund my chase season. If I can't afford to chase a setup I stay home.

Just because I won't do it doesn't mean everyone else will follow suit. If you want to start panhandling people on the internet it is your right to do so. However be prepared for harsh criticism from your peers, and don't be surprised to see this trendy hashtag.....#GoFundYourself.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2015 Chase Season Is Around The Corner

It's February 1st which means that the light at the end of a long, cold, and boring tunnel called winter is near. We have 27 more days until the start of the meteorological spring, and for some chasers (including myself) it will be the start of chase season.

I don't know if the season is going to be an active one or if it will be a repeat of 2014, but for this year I'm cautiously optimistic about getting out and chasing more and to accomplish my goal of documenting at least 10 tornadoes. I cannot be overconfident in my expectations because whenever I am overconfident Murphy's law strikes (it has already struck once two weeks ago when my brakes went out costing me $500 to replace the brake pads, rotors, calipers, and a wheel cylinder). As with every year since I started chasing in 2011 I've made a few changes whether it was adding or upgrading equipment or having new chase partners. This year is no exception.

New Equipment- I finally got a DSLR camera for photography. A Nikon D60 I bought from my good friend and chase partner Wes Carter. He has offered to sell me a 18-200mm lens to go with the camera that I plan on buying in the near future.
New Chase Partners- Technically they're not new since I did chase with them last year in Nebraska on June 3rd, but for this year I'll be teaming up with Christian Johnson, Jake Riley, and April Cullers for my yearly trip to the Great Plains for my chase vacation. Christian and Jake were Meteorology students at UT-Martin and have been chasing together in the Plains and Dixie Alley for several years. A former member of StormChaseTN Christian created SevereWXChasers in an effort to provide daily weather forecasts nationwide and live chase updates while out in the field ( April is a firefighter and paramedic out of Memphis, TN (a great person to have with us in the event we come across a town ravaged by a tornado while chasing). She has also been chasing for a few years on the Plains and Dixie Alley.

This will be my 5th year having KDRMedia handle the selling of whatever footage I get while I'm out chasing. Even though my footage has yet to sell Kendra Reed is the only person I trust in selling my video at a price that's fair for me (not a low ball figure just to have my video and my name tattooed on television screens across the country). I will be live streaming my chases again this year. You can find my live steam at either or on my website Even though a good number of chasers I know have opted not to live stream their chases anymore I will (live streaming has gotten easier and less of a headache for me after switching from ChaserTV to TVN).

And there you go, my annual pre-chase season expectations that I highly doubt I'll get to accomplish. But I'm going to fucking try my best to achieve my goal. After all there's that saying from a famous storm chaser, "Never Stop......" you seriously thought I was going to say that annoying quote didn't you? :P~