'CCO weather guy finds perfect place to 'geek out'

  • Updated: March 12, 2011 - 4:35 PM
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Mike Augustyniak

Some people -- perfectly rational people who go to work and hold jobs -- believe that weather reporters can actually affect the weather. If true, this means they have awesome powers and should be feared. Burnt offerings should be made. But think about it. If you had the power to affect the weather, would you go into the job of weatherperson, where your influence might seem a bit obvious?

Meet Mike Augustyniak, 33, cheerful morning weather guy for 'CCO TV. He's been here three years, and thinks it's a great place for any meteorologist "who likes to geek out over weather," because we have it. Brother, do we have it.

So, volunteer, or native? "I'm one of them there outsiders. I grew up in a town outside of Albany called Rotterdam, and lived there for 30 years."

So you were steeped in Dutch culture? The lack of Dutchness in Minnesota must have been a shock. "Well, there's still a tulip festival every Mother's Day, but the town is mostly Italian and Polish."

Still, plunging right into the Scandinavian deep-freeze must have been culture shock from the sophisticated East Coast. "When I first got here, it was really kind of overwhelming. Albany is not a larger area, city populated by college students and government hacks (laughs), not a lot going on in terms of the arts or festivals. So when I got here it was a major headspin to be a newcomer and see all the different things to do. More than Manhattan, there's this sense of civic pride, to do things, keep the locals entertained. New York is so over itself, it can't be bothered.

"I grew up in a beach culture, but out there the beaches are two hours away. To have them in the city, protected by the city, cared for by the people -- it's damned impressive. But sleep and work schedule don't allow me to do some things -- if we could have some events that ended at 6 so some of us can get in a show before bed, it would be great."

What says this is Minnesota, besides the lakes and trails and getting stuck in the snow?

"I've done a lot of traveling, and there's not a feeling walking around any other city or state as there is here, the feeling that someone has your back -- whether that's true or not -- that, combined with the joie de vivre that people have. But I'm not one of those people who say hey, it's great that it's 20-below. You can still ski when it's just zero, you know. When your nose hairs freeze and your teeth ache, it's not necessary."

So do something about it, Mike! Oh, right, you're mortal. They can't change the weather after all. Or so they'd like us to think.

JAMES LILEKS

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