• Tag Archives cold
  • The Hereford Queen

    Winter                                                               Full Moon of The Cold Month   0 degrees

    Here’s a picture I took with my cell phone at the Great Western Stock Show.  That’s the Hereford Queen in white, all white.    Hereford Queen

    Confusing.  Yesterday I had cold symptoms that I had to knock back for Kate’s party.  Thank you Dayquil.  Today most of the symptoms are gone except that nagging, worn out feeling, the sort you get when your body has other things to do than help you be alert.

    Today marks the end of Kate’s second full work week of retirement, one in Colorado and one in Minnesota.  We’re still sinking back into it, realizing the nuances.  Probably won’t be clear for a year or two.  We need a full garden and holiseason cycle, too.

    This has been a cold winter already and it will get yet colder tonight, though not as cold as last night.  A fire, a book, supper, TV and bed.  That’ll put this cold back in the bottle.

    This was a busy week with the Target tour on Monday, the Woolly Meeting at Scott’s in the evening of the same day, getting ready for the Legcom and holding the meeting, then the last minute prepping for Kate’s party, the Expressionist tour yesterday morning, then the party in the evening.  That’s a lot for this guy in terms of outside obligations.  Next week looks a bit more subdued, though Monday looks like a lot going on, again.  This means I can get back in the Latin groove, push myself toward finishing Vanished.  It’s a keeper and I’ve a good bit of it done already.

  • Expressionists

    Winter                                          Full Moon of the Cold Month

    A cold stretch coming up.  The night of Kate’s retirement party predicted to be -22 with a high of 3 during the day.  I have disposable cameras to buy, chipboard for small signs and a couple of things to print out.  That last may be a problem.  My HP laserjet printer, one I’ve had since the late 90’s, you know, back in the last century, seems unwilling to accept a new toner cartridge.  I’ve changed these out many times over the last 10-12 years, so this is a puzzle.  My other printer, a Canon color printer, is also down right now.  I’m going to take a stab at solving those while I’m out buying cameras and chipboard.

    I’ve got my tour for tomorrow morning patched together.  We’ll start with Monet, the impressionist Haystack, to ground our further adventures in expressionism.  Where the plein air impressionists wanted to show just what their senses saw, color as created by light bouncing off of objects and received by painterly retinas, the expressionists gave up the senses to the camera and tried to depict that cavern measureless to man, the human mind and human feeling.  Using the formal aspects of painting in new and unusual ways, color, bright color, chosen for its expressive nature rather than its sensory veracity, flowing lines not always stopping at the borders of one object, compositions set flat against the canvas, shoved up toward the front with all the Renaissance experiments in perspective abandoned, the expressionists wanted to evoke feeling and the swirling inner life of the individual.

    Some of my favorite pieces in the museum are in our expressionist collection:  Beckmann’s Blind Man’s Buff, Kandinsky’s Study for Improvisation V and the Egon Schiele painting to the right.

    Well, back to the tour work.

  • Ukraine to open Chernobyl area to tourists in 2011. No. Really.

    Samhain                                                  Waxing Moon of the Winter Solstice

    Kate woke me up, wiggling my ankle.  There’s no dog food.  Oh.  I’m not at my best just after I get up, but in this case I had to throw on some clothes and step outside, to the back of the truck and hoist a bag of dog food, 40#, carry it back inside, slit it open and pour the next week and a half’s worth of food for Vega and Rigel into the bin.  It was a sharp surprise, the difference between the bed and the outdoors.  It was -12 out there.  Geez.

    The headline on the sports page this morning was great:  Roof Da!  I’ve not seen anyone take up my many worlds hypothesis as an explanation, but it might be that the cosmologists and theoretical physicists haven’t seen my facebook post yet.

    These are the times that try men’s snowblowers (Women’s, too, for that matter.)

    OK.  Here’s a headline I never expected to see:

    Ukraine to open Chernobyl area to tourists in 2011

    This takes adventure tourism to a new place.  You’ll glow.  You’ll shine.  You’ll see your inner self.

  • Working At It

    Samhain                                                Waning Thanksgiving Moon

    All day today at the Sierra Club finishing up the first round of interviews for the new policy position.  A bit much for me in terms of people interaction, though very interesting in terms of the people I met.

    Afterward, I had to eat dinner in the city because we ended at 4:3o, the gut of rush hour.  I knew I needed a good hour and a half, so I chose the Red Stag, a full sit-down meal with dessert.  The Red Stag serves local beef, lamb, vegetables and I imagine, fish, though I don’t know that for sure.  The food is excellent.  I had the grilled lamb on chopped leeks with carrots and kale.  Following through on my decision to eat more vegetables and fruit, I have also chosen to eat only half of what I would have normally of the entree.  That means I have a small box of lamb and leeks with one whole carrot of the six on the plate in the fridge.

    This time I made it up the driveway with no problem thanks to the quarry derived granite grit I put on the slope yesterday.  The night has turned colder, heading down perhaps below 10 degrees by tonight.  9 degrees Acuweather describes as extreme cold; 4 degrees, predicted for tomorrow night is extremely cold.  These folks are not from here.

  • Extreme Cold?

    Samhain                                         Waxing Thanksgiving Moon

    Cool today, even cooler tomorrow.  Then it begins to get chilly near the end of next week, just in time for Thanksgiving.  The accuweather folks call 9 degrees, the predicted low for November 24th, extreme cold.  Hmmm.  Can’t wait to see the adjectives in January.

    (now this is extreme cold)

    Got a good nights sleep last night, feeling pretty good today.  Just some residual thrumming, a low grade event.

    I continue uninterested in the Vikings.  I’m taking this a Sunday at a time, but I feel my football habit beginning to weaken.  Hopefully, by the end of the season it will drop off and leave me alone.  On the other hand the Gopher’s basketball team…

  • Small Towns

    Beltane                                             Full Planting Moon

    As a cold winds down, the body’s defenses leave sludge from the war behind, most of it right now parked  behind my cheek bones.  I don’t know whether I really haven’t had a cold in two years or whether my memory isn’t what it was, but I know it’s been a while.  I remember why I don’t like being sick each time I get sick.  It feels yucky.  My plan is, next cold, 2012, just in time for the apocalypse.

    A classmate from Alexandria High wrote on my facebook wall inquiring about my health.  Larry Maple has gone to a lot of effort planning a big reunion for our class, our 45th, this fall.  To have someone from home ask about my health created an unexpected warmth.  In a small town like Alexandria people know you, know how you are, care about how you are.  These small gestures, inquiring about health, being aware of a child’s graduation or birthday, remembering communal events create a web of concern that is community.

    (Larry volunteers here, as did my Dad.)

    In the teenage years this scrutiny can seem overwhelming and intrusive, invasive, so it’s no surprise that many small town teens, myself included, can’t wait to leave and to leave for a more anonymous environment like a big city or a big college campus.  As we age, though, those small gestures can make the actual difference between health and illness.  Then, the small town doesn’t seem invasive, rather it seems supportive and caring.

    Of course, neither end of the continuum is the truth.  Small towns are networks of caring; they are also webs of prejudice and rigidity where your past never leaves.

    To the weed front.  With hoe and clippers.

  • Cold Weather Merit Badges All Around

    Winter                                     Waning Moon of Long Nights

    Warm up coming.  Low this a.m. only -16.


    The consensus among forecasts and forecasters has some snow coming to us tomorrow and Thursday, perhaps enough to cause problems for the commute, but not enough to bother us at home here in the northern ‘burbs.  Another consensus has that snow followed by more arctic air, with windchills Friday clocking in at -20 to -30.  Again there is a consensus that the next week should see a real warm-up with temperatures perhaps rising as high as 30 degrees.

    Each Minnesotan will get a cold-weather merit badge mailed out by the Association of Weather Warriors (Aww) sometime around the summer solstice.  Suitable for the car window  or now in lapel pins as well.

    How does it go?  There are many cold Minnesotans.  There are many bold Minnesotans.

  • Welcome, North Pole Air Mass!

    Winter                                    Waning Moon of Long Nights

    Each year around this time we begin to get the full slump of arctic air, air not held back by the jet stream or weather nwsc1410patterns here in the upper lower 48.  Turns out it’s cold up there at the north pole even with global warming.  That means we get these stretches of what people in Sun City would call cool weather.

    Right now the trend is up.  The low last night was -16.  This does not,  however, qualify as a grab the beach towels and sunscreen sort of warm up.  Nope, this is a Minnesota heat wave where cars start again, that kid with his tongue on the lamp post might be able to get free and ma can slide the clothes off the line since the clothes pin will open again.  It’s not so much of a warm-up that Ole has to bring his pick-up in off the lake or that Peder has to give up on that snowmobiling idea.

    The trend, to be more accurate, is up briefly, then back down again.  Oh, well.

  • More cold. More often.

    Winter                                      Waning Moon of Long Nights                -13 (low -25)

    Well, we did hit -25 again, this time at 6:49 a.m.  The sun seems like an exercise in futility, but even with the high albedo of 100% snow cover, we still get solar gain.

    Try to imagine what we’d be like here without the sun.  That’s the reason all those folks spend so much time celebrating nwsc1310the daylight side of the Winter Solstice.  If the sun kept disappearing for longer and longer chunks of time, and the temperature grew more and more severe, then, if  you had little understanding of astronomy and believed the sun’s return depended on the favor of this god or that, you could have come into the time of winter solstice hoping, but not being sure, that the sun would return.

    Think how happy you would be with even this weak soup of solar particles.  At least there is light, and, thank Brigit or Apollo or whoever, it seems like there is more light.

    More cold.  More often.

  • Clarifying. Stimulating. Oh, All Right–Damn Cold.

    Winter                             Waning Moon of Long Nights

    As Bilbo said, I have been there and back again.  Up here in the land of the midnight hobbit it remains cold, -7 now at noon.  On days when the high is below zero you know for sure you live in a cold part of the world.

    I can look out the window of this room though and see beds where daffodils and tulips, iris and dicentra, liguria and lilies lie, apparently dead, but actually taking  a long winter’s sabbatical from photosynthesis.  Their presence, more than anything else, convinces me that the blooms of yesteryear are not figments of a hypothermic crisis, but rather the wonder they are.

    The deep cold does not stop life here.  There were many folks at at the grocery store, a normal crowd for a Saturday.  An active snow storm, a severe one, can cause folks to stock up and sit tight, but the cold is part of the territory.  You deal with it, much as I assume the Bedouin do the heat.