Weather forecasting once was a hit and miss affair and when the weather bureau told us we were getting a sunny day, it rained cats and dogs and we drowned.
If the bureau forecast rain, often there wasn't a cloud in the sky and we cooked. But is it any better?
Given the ridicule we heap on forecasters for getting predictions wrong, it's perhaps unsurprising that the language they use is extremely vague.
For example, take last Wednesday's forecast for Orange: 'Possible shower or storm. Chance of any rain 40 per cent.'
Well, we certainly had a 'possible storm'. We had thunder, chain lightning, heavy rain of up to 25mm and large hail. The violent storm brought down power lines leaving about 2000 Orange properties in the dark.
Thursday's forecast was 'partly cloudy, patchy morning fog and 10 per cent chance of rain'. There was no rain and no fog.
Sunday's forecast was partly cloudy, minimum 3, maximum 11, partly cloudy and 5 per cent chance of rain. That was later changed to maximum 10 and 30 per cent chance of rain. There was no rain.
Friday will be 'partly cloudy, minimum 4 and maximum 15 with chance of rain 5 per cent.' We'll see what happens.
Predictions like 'possible storm', 'shower or two clearing' or 'rain at times' cover all eventualities.
But with the use of satellites and computer-based models the bureau's forecasts are still more accurate than what they used to be.
Remember when we depended on granny predicting rain if there was a ring around the moon or if white clouds looked like a cauliflower or billowy cotton.
But really, the only foolproof method is to go outside to see if it's raining or the sun is shining. That way you'll know for sure what's happening.
REMEMBERING A PRINCE
Probably nobody can match my meeting with Prince Philip when the Queen and he visited Orange in April 1970.
There was an official function at the Amoco Hall, now the Function Centre, and the invited guests were in two circles with the Queen walking around one and Prince Philip the other.
Taking Press photos I concentrated on the Queen and when she stopped to talk to one of the guests I moved back to get a wide photo and stepped on Prince Philip's foot.
"Watch it there," he said.
So what do you say when you step on a Royal foot? I mumbled something like 'terribly sorry' and pressed on with the photos.
WE'RE ALL PARKING MAD
Most car parks in Orange are like ant hills with cars and pedestrians usually going in all directions.
They're really places to stay away from if you can because of aggressive drivers hunting for a parking spot while others bang open their doors and hit the side of the car next to them. Speeding is another problem.
Many drivers think they're in the Bathurst 1000 the way they tear around and it's a wonder there's no collisions or pedestrian run over.
Parking in a mine field comes to mind.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
A wife asks her husband to go to the supermarket and get a carton of milk and five avocados. He comes home with six cartons of milk. Wife: "Why did you buy six cartons of milk?" Husband: "They had no avocados."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: