I write this post not on a desktop computer or a laptop — although I have one at disposal at home and the other while on the road. Nor is is composed on a Motorola Droid X — a smartphone capable of producing decent copy and adding a photo to any of my various blogs news sites.

This is written on a new Applie iPad, a notebook sized slate with a screen and a list of built-in applications (and many more available apps) to — if the ads are correct — extend my creative capabilities to new heights.

The iPad is my birthday present from my wife (what else do you give the 63-year-old with everything?).  It’s cheaper than any laptop and costs less than many smartphones, especially if you choose the low end model with just Wi-Fi and no 3G. AT&T is not available in this area anyway and my Droid becomes a 3G “hot spot” so I can use that if necessary.

The iPad, however, is a journalist’s dream come true. It’s an instant research device. At the moment I’m waiting for my wife to get off work so I dropped in early on Casey Clinger at Pizza Inn to use his Wi-Fi.  I hit about a half-dozen web sites to pick up information I needed, made a few phone calls to double-check with sources and then switched to a notepad with an on-screen keyboard to write.

Today’s topic, of course, is the weather. The weekend snow and sub-freezing temperatures that forced postponement of this weekend’s Christmas parade and cancellation of Monday’s schools.  Winter has arrived with a vengeance with a disturbing parallel to last year.  The Christmas parade last year was postponed twice last year before they pulled the plug.

Reported Channel 7:

Winter is not officially here yet, but it sure feels like it.
School was either canceled or delayed in most counties in the New River Valley on Monday.

Some sections of Floyd County had up to five inches of snow over the weekend.

The main roads in Floyd County are mostly clear, but some side roads remain icy and snow covered.

The temperature was about 20 degrees around lunchtime in Floyd on Monday, and big wind gusts made it feel even colder.

The snow also kept law enforcement busy over the weekend.

State Police responded to more than 260 weather-related crashes in a 15 county area of Southwest Virginia.

One fatality was reported in Wythe County.

We’re still under a severe weather watch.

This could be a long winter but I’m hoping new tools like the iPad will make my job easier.

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