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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Does Anyone Else Have Spring Fever?


picture of thermometer

Much to the chagrin of the global warming prophets of doom, 2008 was the coldest year since the beginning of the decade. This winter has been downright harsh and cold, not just here in the USA, but also in many other countries. We had several unseasonably warm days last week with record-breaking temperatures, which did nothing but fuel my spring fever. This week, though, we're back to normal temps for this time of year. Brrr!

In my second semester French classes right now we're doing a unit on weather. Part of that involves the students' becoming more familiar with Celsius temperature readings. Here's something that will help them and others understand relative temperatures. Although it lampoons dwellers of various parts of the country, it seems to be particularly hard on Wisconsinites.

(degrees Fahrenheit / Celsius)

+50 / +10
* New York tenants turn on the heat
* Wisconsinites plant gardens
* Airmass too stable for supercells

+40 / +4
* Californians shiver uncontrollably
* Ohioans sunbathe

+35 / +2
* Italian cars don't start

+32 / 0
* Distilled water freezes

+30 / -1
* You can see your breath
* You plan a vacation in Florida
* Politicians begin to say they're worried again about the homeless
* Wisconsinites eat ice cream

+25 / -4
* Boston water freezes
* Californians weep pitiably
* The cat insists on sleeping on your bed with you

+20 / -7
* Cleveland water freezes
* San Franciscans start thinking favorably of LA
* Green Bay Packers fans put on T-shirts

+15 / -10
* You plan a vacation in Acapulco
* The cat insists on sleeping under the covers with you
* Canadians go swimming

+10 / -12
* Politicians begin to talk about the homeless
* Too cold to snow
* You need jumper cables to get the car going

0 / -18
* New York landlords turn on the heat
* Sheboygan residents grill bratwursts on the patio

-5 / -21
* You can hear your breath
* You plan a vacation in Hawaii

-10 / -23
* American cars don't start
* Too cold to skate

-15 / -26
* You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo
* Miamians cease to exist
* People in St. Paul lick flagpoles

-20 / -29
* The cat insists on sleeping in your pajamas with you
* Politicians actually do something about the homeless
* People in Buffalo think about taking down screens
* Every other storm chaser thinks air is too stable for supercells

-25 / -32
* Too cold to kiss
* You need jumper cables to get the driver going
* Japanese cars don't start
* Milwaukee Brewers head for spring training

-30 / -34
* You plan a two-week hot bath
* People in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan shovel snow off roof

-38 / -39
* Mercury freezes
* Too cold to think
* Minnesotans button top button

-40 / -40
* Californians disappear
* Now the car insists on sleeping in your bed with you
* Wisconsinites put on sweaters

-50 / -46
* Congressional hot air freezes
* Alaskans close the bathroom window
* Green Bay Packers practice indoors

-60 / -51
* Walruses abandon Aleutians
* Sign on Mount St. Helens: "Closed for the Season"
* North Dakotans put gloves away, take out mittens
* Boy Scouts in Eau Claire start Klondike Derby

-70 / -57
* Glaciers in Central Park
* Hudson residents replace diving boards with hockey nets
* Green Bay snowmobilers organize trans-lake race to Sault Ste. Marie

-80 / -62
* Polar bears abandon Baffin Island
* Girl Scouts in Eau Claire start Klondike Derby

-90 / -68
* Edge of Antarctica reaches Rio de Janeiro
* Lawyers chase ambulances for no more than 10 miles
* Minnesotans migrate to Wisconsin thinking it MUST be warmer

-100 / -73
* Santa Claus abandons North Pole
* North Dakotans pull down earflaps

-173 / -114
* Ethyl alcohol freezes

-297 / -183
* Oxygen precipitates out of atmosphere
* Microbial life survives only on dairy products

-445 / -265
* Superconductivity

-452 / -269
* Helium becomes a liquid

-456 / -271
* Texas drivers drop below 85 MPH on I-35

-458 / -272
* Incumbent politicians renounce campaign contributions

-460 / -273 (Absolute Zero)
* All atomic motion ceases
* Wisconsinites admit it's getting a mite nippy

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In a fit of spring feverishness last week, I decided to begin my project of doubling the size of our garden beside the house. Because of the economy, we would like to raise more vegetables than usual – hopefully with enough to can and/or freeze.

Here's a picture of the project at the halfway point:

picture of garden widening

Here's a picture after I'd removed all the sod and moved all the border stones:

picture of garden widening

I was able to lift the sod in small squares with my spading fork and move them to a spot in the backyard that was a barren low spot. It was not only great aerobic exercise for me, but it also elevated recycling to an art form. Here's a picture of the sod in place:

picture of sod

This Saturday I plan to till in the topsoil and compost I bought this week. Then I'll cover the garden with a nice layer of mulched up oak leaves. I'll put out pictures of that process next week.

I was pleased that my last blog post drew a comment from Mike the Taxidermist. I e-mailed Kyle the coyote from a link on Mike's website. Here's a link to his comment.

Do any of the rest of you have spring fever? How is it manifesting itself in your life?

quotation...
"Continuity in everything is unpleasant. Cold is agreeable, that we may get warm." - Blaise Pascal

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?


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Talking Turkey


picture of a turkey

I'll start this blog post off with a Thanksgiving weather forecast.

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190° F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34° F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

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Many Americans prefer the traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. It's gotten a bit harder with the passage of time, though, since turkeys have started to figure out ways to elude gracing the table at the family gathering. Here are several ways they've done so:

picture of a turkey gone missing

picture of smart turkeys

For the turkeys who haven't managed to escape the Thanksgiving feasting, I'm sharing the recipe my wife Becka uses for our Thanksgiving turkey. Very simple, and absolutely delicious!

Herbed Turkey Breast (from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

(If you use this recipe for a whole turkey, you'll need more of each ingredient, and you'll need to lengthen the baking time - details given below for each)

¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
6 fresh large sage leaves
1 (5- to 5½-pound bone-in turkey breast)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine the olive oil and garlic. Loosen the skin from the turkey without totally detaching skin; brush about one-third of olive oil mixture under the skin. Space evenly the rosemary and sage leaves under the skin. Replace skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; place in a lightly greased baking dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

For turkey breast, bake at 325° F for one hour. Uncover and bake one hour more or until a meat thermometer registers 170° F, basting the skin with the remaining oil mixture every 15 minutes.

For a whole turkey, bake at 325° F for 3 to 3½ hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in meaty part of thigh registers 180° F.

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I keep telling Becka that she needs to start her own blog - kind of a "Hints from Heloise" type of blog, but so far she has resisted. If you'd like to storm the castle to try to convince her to have her own blog, please say so in the comments.

Speaking of people's starting their own blogs, I'm going to talk a bit of turkey here. Knowing some of you as I do or at least seeing the caliber of your comments to my blog, some of you really need to make a New Year's resolution to start blogging yourself. I plan to do a post next week with advice on how to start your own blog. Those of you who are currently bloggers, please send me your suggestions through my contact form - things to be sure to do, things to avoid, etc. as I prepare that post. I can credit you for your advice, complete with a link to your blog, or you can remain anonymous.

divider

I'll end this post with a link to a fun (read: humiliating) quiz on turkey knowledge. I got only 8 right out of 20 on this one! I'm sure some of you can beat that score! 🙂 Take the quiz yourself by clicking here. Becka (a.k.a. Heloise) got 15 right out of 20!

What's on the menu at your house this Thanksgiving? We're having turkey breast, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn pudding, luscious cranberry jello, a green veggie (yet to be determined), and pecan pie.

I'm taking a Thanksgiving break from posting, so I won't be back at you until next Monday evening. Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Try to come up with more to thank God for than just the stuff He's blessed you with. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Praise service on campus today with the total focus on Christ. Absolutely awesome!

quotation...

"Do what you do to display who Christ is." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

You know you've had too much to eat on Thanksgiving if they have to call in the paramedics with the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the recliner.


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Cool Birthday!


We celebrated our grandson Drew's first birthday this past weekend. I have way too many pictures to pick from, so I will show as much restraint as possible. Here are some of the stories and some pictures....

Grandma and Nora traveled up as planned. They got stuck in a horrible traffic backup in Tennessee, not far from the state line to Kentucky. They got off at the next exit the traffic crept up to to try to find a restroom. Several men from the DOT pulled off to see if they were OK. Becka asked the one man why the traffic was so backed up, thinking he'd say it was an accident since the southbound traffic was flowing fine. He told her that the some of the mountain had caved! Yikes! We were thankful that it had happened before they got that far. He told them that if they continued on the road at that exit, they would come to a gravel road that would eventually take them to Jellico on the other side of the place where the mountain had caved. It was after dark, but they could see well enough to know that the left side of the gravel road was a sheer drop-off! I was very relieved when they called me from Jellico!

On Friday they managed to stay ahead of the snow storm that hammered Ohio. Below is a picture of them at lunch time in Perrysburg, OH, with some of the snow from earlier last week.

What Becka and Nora didn't know was that a few weeks ago I cashed in some frequent-flyer miles to fly up for the weekend too! I was supposed to arrive in Detroit at about midnight, but because of the snow, our pilot was delayed in arriving from his flight from Toronto. So my three hour layover in Chicago O'Hare became a six hour layover! (reminiscent of the theme song of Gilligan's Island ... a three hour tour!) When I arrived in Detroit at about 3:00 a.m. my son-in-law (who was in on my surprise) was there waiting for me. It was so fun when I slipped into our bedroom, kissed Becka to wake her up, and enjoyed her complete surprise!

We all really enjoyed being together on Saturday as preparations were going on for the "friends party" at 5:30 that afternoon. Meg and Jim asked me if I would give Drew his first trim to try to reduce his "baby mullet." Here are a couple of pictures of the process....

"Hey, Grandpa, what are you doing to me?!"

A lot of preparations went on in the kitchen for the food for the party the theme of which was puppies. Nora set up a cookie factory on the kitchen table....

Here's a tray full of the finished product....

Megan made a cute cake she'd seen online....

Drew also got his own cupcake - his first taste of cake! He enjoyed the cake, but he didn't want to touch it.

Drew really enjoyed the presents....

Grandma loved being with her boy....

It's hard to remember his being such a tiny preemie a year ago - he's such a fine, upstanding boy now!

My flights home Sunday were less eventful, and the delay in Chicago O'Hare was shorter than Friday night's delay. What's kind of sad is that 10 hours of my weekend were spent at O'Hare! Yuck! Becka and Nora are driving back to South Carolina today (Tuesday). It will be great to have them home again!

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My recent trip up north, where they are experiencing one of their hardest winters in a long time, reminded me of the horrors of global warming and of an e-mail I received recently about the Northern Lights and a frozen Antarctic wave.

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Yellowknife, named after copper, is the the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories. Here are a few pictures of the Northern Lights over Yellowknife and living in teepees at 37 degrees below 0....

It's beyond cool!

Below are some pictures of Antarctica. In the e-mail I received, what you see below was attributed to a quick freeze of a wave in super frigid air, but according to snopes it's actually the result of melting and refreezing. Whatever the situation, that's one cold place!

quotation...

"It's nice to have the things money can buy, as long as you don't lose the things money can't buy." - Kevin Johns

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?


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You Know You’re a Floridian If…


The past few weeks have had us wondering if we're living in South Carolina or in Florida because of the very high temps. This past weekend we finally got the break we'd been waiting for as the daytime highs moved into the 70s and low 80s instead of the 90s we'd been having! Phew! Right before that happened, I received for a subscriber what I'm posting today. I'm assured that most of this is how things really are in Florida!

You know you're a Floridian if...

Socks are only for bowling.

You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in five minutes.

A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade.

Your winter coat is made of denim.

You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites.

Anything under 70 degrees Fahrenheit is chilly.

You pass on the right and honk at the elderly, but pull over for a funeral.

You've driven through Yeehaw Junction.

You could swim before you could read.

You have to drive north to get to The South.

You know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.

Every other house in your neighborhood had blue roofs in 2004-2005.

You've gotten out of school early on Halloween to trick or treat before it got dark.

You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn't worth waking up for.

You dread lovebug season.

You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane list. They aren't Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances, Hurricane Ivan, and Hurricane Jeanne, but Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.

You know what a snowbird is and you are not crazy about them.

You know why flamingos are pink.

You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.

You were twelve before you ever saw snow, or you still haven't.

"Down South" means Key West.

"Panhandling" means going to Pensacola.

You think nobody over 90 should be allowed to drive.

Flip-flops are everyday wear.

Shoes are for business meetings and church.

No, wait, flip flops are good for church too, unless it's Easter or Christmas.

Sweet tea can be served at any meal.

An alligator once walked through your neighborhood.

You smirk when a game show's "Grand Prize" is a trip or cruise to Florida.

You measure distance in minutes.

You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt.

You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls.

All the local festivals are named after a fruit.

A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level.

You think everyone from a bigger city has a northern accent.

You know the four seasons really are: almost summer, summer, not summer but really hot, and February.

It's not soda, cola, or pop. It's coke, regardless of brand or flavor - "What kinda coke you want?"

Anything under 95 is just warm.

You've hosted a hurricane party.

You go to a theme park for an afternoon and know when to get on the best rides. (Space Mountain during the Electric Light Parade!)

You understand the futility of exterminating cockroaches.

You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee , Ichnatucknee, and Withlacoochee.

You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat, than have a boat yourself.

Bumper stickers on the pickup in front of you include: various fish, NRA, Nascar, Go Gators, and a confederate flag.

You were 5 before you realized they made houses without pools.

You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn't swim.

You get angry when people say " Florida isn't really part of the SOUTH."

You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas.

You know what the "stingray shuffle" is, and why it's important!

You recognize Miami-Dade as "Northern Cuba."

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Our daughter Megan sent us some new pictures of grandson Drew the other day. Here are a couple of our favorites from that batch.

Drew discovers his feet for the first time...

Drew being pleasant while modeling some clothes he'll need when colder weather hits Michigan...

Grandma and I are thrilled that Megan and Drew will be coming to spend a few days with us at the end of next week, right before Grandpa's birthday! I'm sure I'll have some more pictures to post during and/or after that visit.

quotation...

"Worldliness is temporal living, making love choices for things that will pass." - Dr. Bruce McAllister

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

How do you get off a non-stop flight?


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Think Cool!


This week it's been oppressively hot here in Greenville. Yesterday, depending on which thermometer you looked at or what weather report you heard, the temp hit anywhere from 101 to 103 degrees. It is supposed to do the same today and tomorrow, but they say cooler temps are coming this weekend - like 90 to 95 degrees is cool?! I guess in comparison, it is.

I've heard several people joking about moving north. I remind them that several weeks ago it was the northernmost states who were having 100+ degree temperatures, and do they *really* want to endure their winters?! I thought of an old classic to share with you today about a Southerner who moved north.

Diary of a Southerner who moves to Montana

December 8: 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and my wife and I sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snow plow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14: Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snow plow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for my wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. My wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my bottom on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurts like crazy. My wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at my wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should have bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20: Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Snow plow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to go to the bathroom. By the time I got undressed, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think he's lying.

December 23: Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. My wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, nuts?! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

December 24: another 6". Snow packed so hard by snow plow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the guy who drives that snow plow, I'll drag him through the snow. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight my wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the snow plow.

December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the stuff tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snow plow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to shoot the television.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.

December 28: Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WIFE is driving me crazy!!!!!

December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars. My wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31: Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8: I feel so good. What are those little white pills they keep giving me? Why am I tied to the bed?

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Today our grandson Drew is five months old. The doctor says for most baby milestones - sitting up, teething, etc. - it's best to think of him still as being 6 weeks younger than he is since he was born 6 weeks early. Jim is a real sports enthusiast, loves baseball hats, and is glad that Drew is finally big enough to wear hats. Megan sent us a couple of pictures we thought we'd share on the blog.

Jim and Drew in their ball caps

Drew happy to be with Dad

quotation...

"Rather than being pessimistic about life changing, be optimistic because it's God making the changes." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
Frostbite


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