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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

The hot topic other than lightbars.....NOOBS VS THE VETERAN CHASERS!!!

So I had this huge 1000+ word post on this subject saved as a draft for a couple of days but decided to junk it. Why? It was too negative. Even for me.

There seems to be a lot of confusion and discussion about what qualifies a chaser as a veteran at some point. How about instead we look at what triggers this alleged right of passage?

The root in no longer being a noob lies not with the quantity but more so with the quality. There are noob spotters and chasers who claim to have decades of field experience but for some reason have nothing to show to back up their claims. Not surprising really. Success is measured as a comparison to your peers. It applies in sports, business and yes, chasing. Tornado counts drive me nuts and I don't think is a true measure of a chasers ability. OK, listening closely now? I determine a chaser to be successful by the number of times they can CONSISTENTLY get on the best storm of the day. If it produces a tornado, great. If it doesn't but is was still the best storm to be on, they get a gold star for the day in my book. I'm not talking about the fleas and leeches who need Spotter Network to get to the storm by following chasers who are consistently successful. Whoops, I just let the secret out of when a noob transitions to being no long being a noob. Not necessarily a vet, but no longer a noob. BE CONSISTENT!! How does one get to be consistent? BY MAKING GOOD DECISIONS ON A (wait for it...) CONSISTENT BASIS. Everything from forecast, to driving responsibly, to documenting what you observed. Good decisions on every facet.

This leads into the next part of the transition. Respect. As much as the entitlement generation hates to hear this, respect is earned and not given. The chaser subculture is very close knit and is quick to smell a fraud. Some of you reading this have been chastised and ostracized for doing just this. What you do one time can tarnish your reputation and creditability for years. Right? My advice is to keep you mouth shut, read more, chase as much as possible, and let your consistent successes speak for you. The respect will follow.

So to keep on the path where this is all going in relation to crossing over to being a veteran chaser, I think the transition lies in this: respect from your peers. At some point, the chaser subculture will no longer see you as an annoyance. They will come to expect success from your efforts on a CONSISTENT (there is was again) basis. It may take years (especially depending on what that first impression was), but keep plugging away at it. In the mean time, stop the "I'm not a noob!" whining. It costs you about a year of additional noob time for every occurrence in my book.

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