Winter, With a View to Spring

By: Bogon , 4:54 PM GMT on October 30, 2016

NOAA Geostationary Satellite Server
Northern Hemisphere Rainbow Composite

The National Center for Atmospheric Research

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Cooperative Institute for Meteororological Satellite Studies
Morphed Integrated Microwave Imagery at CIMSS (MIMIC), version 2
Total Precipitable Water - North America, Last 24 Hours

GFS 72 Hour Forecast: Mean Sea Level Pressure, 6-Hour Precipitation and 1000-850 MB Thickness

NOAA Satellite and Information Service
Office of Satellite and Product Operations
Satellite Products and Services Division
Northeast Pacific

Northwest Atlantic

Western Europe from EUMETSAT

US National Ice Center — Naval Ice Center
Northern Hemisphere Snow & Ice

500 hPa Height Anomalies

Madden-Julian Oscillation
TRMM rain rates (shaded) overlaid with 200 hPa Velocity Potential Anomalies
 Negative anomalies (divergence) are cool-colored contours;
 positive anomalies (convergence) are warm-colored contours.

Forty Day Wheeler & Hendon Phase Chart

La Nada

Previous Entry

Pink Magnolia (Bogon)
with a hint of March Madness
Pink Magnolia

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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213. Bogon
5:12 AM GMT on February 22, 2017
For several days now temperatures have remained consistently above freezing. I want to take out the plants that have overwintered in the garage, so they can get sunshine and rain. My mind says it's too soon; we can still get freezing weather. The forecast says this warmth will continue for the foreseeable future (~10 days). That's long enough to do the plants some good. I just have to remember to drag them all back inside, if the wind changes out of the north.

    *    *    *

Tonight Wife and I went to hear this guy speak.

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212. Ylee
5:05 AM GMT on February 22, 2017
After all, we lived just fine without WU for 50-60+ years, I'm sure we could all survive..........
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211. Bogon
6:54 PM GMT on February 21, 2017
Quoting 210. ycd0108:

This place is already 'not the same'.

You got that right. I'm still cooking up comments, but I'm already distancing myself psychologically. It's not at all clear that I want to continue here in the absence of the features and people that attracted me in the first place. I mean, I don't need to do this. I have already said much of what I had to say. There seems little point in endlessly recycling and refining. I could free up time for something else. Life goes on.
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210. ycd0108
5:35 PM GMT on February 21, 2017
"Wow, this place won't be the same without WUnderphotos."
This place is already 'not the same'.
I'm guessing that most blog authors are backing off and wondering if it's worth the bother to even cook up a comment.
Whatever comes out of the new regime
it has been fun!
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209. Bogon
9:51 PM GMT on February 20, 2017
Wow, this place won't be the same without WUnderphotos.

Just for the heck of it I clicked over to the Main Gallery and took a look around. It was business as usual. Photographers are still snapping away. There was no sign of impending doom, except one person has uploaded a string of pictures that are all entitled "Save WUnderphotos".

When I first heard that photos are getting the axe, I uploaded a couple that had been sitting on the camera for a while. My intention was that they would be my last upload. It didn't matter that they were a few days old. That has always been my biggest gripe about the rules here at WU: photos must be current in order to be shown on the gallery. To me a good photo is a good photo, regardless of when it was taken. In other words, beauty is eternal.

There is also an attitude among some of the photo aficionados, which they go to great pains to disguise, that I might call photo snobbery. The guys who shoot pictures every day with their large format cameras and their thousand dollar lenses look for beauty of composition etc. I think that (on this site, anyway) there is definitely a place for documentary photography, shot by people with a cheap camera, no tripod and no time to set up the exposure and focus. They get one chance to point and shoot, and what you see is what you get. "Here's a mudslide. I gotta go."

There is also the question of location. I mean, we don't all live next to Mount Shasta or the Tetons. Anybody can take a pretty neat photo at the Grand Canyon, right? I have been there two or three times, but I was not there today. Today I was on my back porch, and I did not take my camera.

Still, after visiting the Gallery, I found myself wondering. Maybe there's time enough to win one last AC, if only I wait for the perfect sunset or walk down the street to search for the perfect pink tree. Or maybe I could snap the ultimate daffodil. I have surely taken dozens of daffodil pictures by now, and they're all pretty much the same; but maybe this could be The One! Essence of daffodil. Daffodil the archetype. The apotheosis of daffodil.

Nah. I'm not that much into photography. Apparently IBM isn't, either.
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208. Bogon
9:06 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
I think that's just a regular low, ycd, spinning over the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

Here's a pretty good satellite view that has both your house and mine in it.

I thought I might find someone willing to jump down it, Ylee. :o)

Guess I must have asked YouTube the wrong question, or didn't ask nicely enough. Thanks for finding the missing ingredient. That version is quite a bit different. I'm going to have to listen to it again.
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207. Ylee
4:47 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
All hail Bogon, King of the Rabbit Holes! :' ))) I found the original version.....

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206. ycd0108
4:05 PM GMT on February 19, 2017
'Medicane' on EUMETSAT?
Our February is turning out just fine - steady soaking rains with a few sunny breaks. Overnight lows mostly just above freezing. There are still patches of snow and the plowed up piles of snow mixed with gravel are just gravel now.
Seems to me that the satellite imagery was what got me interested in WU blogs well before I signed up as a member.
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205. Bogon
9:22 PM GMT on February 18, 2017
Ycd (202), I cast my vote for your credit card as the handiest tool of all. Of course, its utility will be limited somewhat by the resilience of your bank account. :o)

Bug, the Three Kings of electric blues guitar:

Ycd (204), sometimes I come up with an idea for a topical blog header, but then I think, "What would I do for weather info, if I close this blog?" All this information is available elsewhere, but having it all in one place saves a lot of surfing.

I also like the wide-angle view. Weather forecasts generally try to zoom in to your local area. Building up the big picture is harder.

Granted, this is all northern hemisphere. In that sense it is 'local'. That doesn't worry me, because southern hemisphere weather is effectively decoupled from ours. It's a whole other season down there.

    *    *    *

Earlier this week we were treated to a preview of cool March wind — or maybe it was just February wind, which back in the day, when winter started earlier and lasted later, would not have arrived for another couple of weeks. This morning our weather was pretty nice. We have the heat off and the door open. For a while I sat on the back porch reading, until the westering sun drove me to seek shade. It's growing cloudy now with sprinkles in the forecast. Sunday and George Birthington's Washday promise to be sunny and mild.

What began as a poorly founded suspicion has now been confirmed: spring is happening. We have daffodils. The pink trees are back. Not just a blossom or two; they're going whole hog.

Thirty comments ago I opined that February is one of my favorite months. This is why. Some of the nicest weather anywhen. No bugs. No weeds. No sweat.
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204. ycd0108
5:37 PM GMT on February 18, 2017
I like to have your blog somewhere I can find it because the satellite presentations are better than what I use on EC.GC.CA.
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203. palmettobug53
4:56 PM GMT on February 15, 2017
Well, I'll be. I had no idea B.B. wasn't the author of 'The Thrill Is Gone.' It never occurred to me to question it. The song IS B.B. King. On the other hand, singers and songwriters switch and swap all the time, so I really shouldn't be so surprised.

BTW, saw B.B. live here in Charleston back in the early 70's. It was a fabulous experience. I was the only white person there but it didn't stop me from enjoying the heck out of it.

That was interesting reading about Digby, wasn't it?
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202. ycd0108
4:56 PM GMT on February 15, 2017
Magical video.
I'm only about 1/2 way through it and I want to tune my old guitars after yo these many years. Break
The Tractorous is small but it is still a "Mighty Machine".
'Course you need a big bag of 'Handy Tools' to keep it running - especially a valid credit card. Hydraulic hoses are not cheap.
I haven't broken any hoses lately but I can see the 'wear-and-tear' ongoing.
Wish I could have had the little machine with me yesterday instead of the shovels but once the Syrians arrived the snow was moved out of the road in jig time.
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201. Bogon
3:53 PM GMT on February 15, 2017
If you have the time, here's a deeper look into part of Jerry Jemmott's backstory.

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200. Bogon
3:01 PM GMT on February 15, 2017
Sandi, I followed bug's link to the wiki. Digby was born a month before my mom. He graduated from Sandhurst, which I gather must be rather like one of our military academies (e. g. West Point), so, no, not a draftee.

Thanks for the information, both of you. I wasn't sure whether the character in the movie had any basis in fact. In the movie the umbrella toting character died in Arnhem. The real Digby died four and a half decades later in Kenya. Quite a life!

It looks sunny in most of Europe today. Unfortunately there's still a lot of cloud swirling over sandi. In places it's hard to tell whether you're looking at white clouds or white snow on the ground.

Ycd, in your case it must be doubly white. I hope the tractorous holds up. That sounds like a handy tool.

    *    *    *

The other day, as I was watching the video linked in #184, I found myself listening to the bass line. I decided to explore further. The first thing I learned is that The Thrill Is Gone was not written by B. B. King. The credit goes to two guys, who had a hit in 1951, the year I was born. Surprisingly, my search on YouTube failed to turn up that original version of the song.

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Members of my parents' generation, who might once have had a chance to tap their foot to that tune on their radio, never had a chance to upload it to YouTube. Thus the internet has temporal as well as geographic and cultural limits.

The second thing I learned was the name of the guy who played bass alongside Mr. King. Bass players seldom become famous, even though their musical role in a live performance is arguably more critical than the lead singer's. I know I spent much of my early life listening to hit music on a transistor radio that could only reproduce overtones from a bass guitar. That's one of the things that make live performances a joy and a revelation: unlimited frequency response! You can feel the bass in your bones.
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199. ycd0108
5:10 PM GMT on February 14, 2017
I watched "A Bridge Too Far" last evening and wondered about the umbrella.
Gotta get rolling here to move snow so we can move furniture today.
Happy Valentines.
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198. palmettobug53
3:08 PM GMT on February 14, 2017
Well, I'll be darned! "Digby" was quite the hero, brolly and bowler and all. You don't get a DSO for nothing.
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197. sandiquiz
5:21 PM GMT on February 13, 2017
I saw your comment in my blog on the umbrella touting Englishman in the film "A Bridge too Far" .
The character was actually based on a real person, who became a Major and was awarded the DSO.

Look up Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter DSO - definitely not draftee :)

'Wearing the red beret of British Airborne, Digby leads ‘A’ Company in repulsing the attack while carrying an umbrella and firing his gun. Figuring that any British soldier knew that only "a bloody fool" of an Englishman would be mad enough to carry an umbrella, he uses it as a helpful identifier in the turmoil of battle.'
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196. Bogon
1:15 PM GMT on February 13, 2017
Same here, Ylee. Eighty degrees and windy yesterday, fifty-five today. Up and down like a yo-yo. Historically speaking, we could still get freezing cold and big snow in March. The way things look now, as long as zonal flow persists, that scenario seems unlikely.

Gotta go do yard work. Roses need whacking. Should have done it a week ago. Things are starting to move.

On the European satellite daylight reaches the top of the photo now. Even Laplanders are getting low, feeble sunlight.
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195. Ylee
5:44 AM GMT on February 13, 2017
Saw my first dandelion today; been warm here too, though it gets a bit below freezing every 3-4 days.
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194. Bogon
6:29 PM GMT on February 12, 2017
The appeal of plugging into a starship is easier to understand, ycd, though once the technology matures, the feeling might degrade into something like what I tried to express in #184. Probably still more fun than a vacuum cleaner, however.

I became a fan of Larry Niven's short stories while I was in college (early '70s). For a while I bought his paperbacks whenever I found a new one on the shelf. Jerry Pournelle came later. Oath of Fealty was not their first collaboration. Pournelle wrote some sci-fi of his own as well as a column for Byte magazine called "Chaos Manor". There is still an operational web site of that name. Been a while since I last visited, so I can't say how active it is these days. Larry and Jerry are both old enough to start slowing down.
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193. ycd0108
4:17 PM GMT on February 12, 2017
"And why would you ever want to jack into a vacuum cleaner?"
Makes me wonder Bogon:
"Oath of Fealty" was written long after I had drifted away from science fiction.
In the '50s I read pretty well every SF book our little library could bring in and bought those little paperback books with two stories back to back.
By the '80s whole stores had appeared which specialized in SF and Fantasy books.
I simply asked the kid behind the till to recommend a couple of books and took home John Crowley's "Engine Summer" and something called "The Torturer" which wasn't my 'cup-of-tea'.
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192. Bogon
1:03 PM GMT on February 11, 2017
Sandi, most days, first thing in the morning, I hit the refresh button, so I can load the Eumetsat image in daylight. (If I wait until noon it will be too late; the image will go dark.) As a side effect I get to find out whether anyone left a comment overnight. Voilà! There you are.

You're right, the UK looks cloudy except for parts of Cornwall and Wales. Most days you can see sunny Spain. A snowy white line across the Pyrenees marks the border with France. Today the clouds extend all the way to North Africa.

There's hope to your northwest, where the blue Atlantic is visible through a rift in the cloud deck. The satellite image isn't animated, so I can't tell which way the rift is drifting.

The sky looks gray here, too, but I think the overcast will burn off. The forecast for the Dry Slot says mostly sunny. It's 44° at daybreak. The forecast high temperature today is 70°, which is abnormally warm for February. I would gladly send you some of that, if I could. :o)
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191. sandiquiz
9:51 AM GMT on February 11, 2017
I haven't been by for a while, so thought I would take a visit.

All going on well here, except for the cold weather, which I am now getting totally fed up of! We have had a long, grey, dismal and cold winter. I love frosty days, when the sky is blue, but they have been few and far between these last four months.
Roll on warmer days... it will make us all feel in a happier mood!

Have a good weekend :)
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190. Bogon
5:55 PM GMT on February 10, 2017
Aha! I spy a new disclaimer up above.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

You betcha. I wouldn't have it any other way.

The other day I scrolled down to the bottom of the page and clicked on Site Map. It had been a while since I took the tour. Several pages I visited weren't working, or at any rate were not working as well as they used to. I'm sure we've all gotten used to that sort of thing lately.

One page, which appears to be new, touts Weather Underground as a brand within The Weather Company's product line. Interesting perspective.

    *    *    *

I just uploaded a revised version of the header. I changed one word, namely 'Niña', to 'Nada'. The eastern equatorial Pacific is starting to warm. The blue plume of westward flowing cold water has begun to dissipate. The short term forecast is for more Nada. The long term forecast is murky. Models and meteorologists appear to be leaning slightly toward a reappearance of El Niño this fall.

The MJO is acting up again. In his latest post Steve Gregory mentions how the strong MJO and an associated Kelvin wave could be early signs of a renewed warming cycle in the east Pacific.
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189. Bogon
6:59 AM GMT on February 09, 2017
A row of thunderstorms came rumbling through my neighborhood last night. They brought rain, and tomorrow brings cooler weather. Seasonably cool, not cold — in a few days it will warm up again.

Last week our nation's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter. That might be a good forecast for Pennsylvania. Here in North Carolina it was cloudy that morning. Sir Walter Wally did not see his shadow. I might be willing to discount the adventitious appearance of a few pink blossoms, but thunderstorms are hardly normal winter weather. As signs of spring go, flickering lightning and crashing thunder are pretty hard to ignore.

    *    *    *

LowerCal, thanks for announcing your return. I hope you enjoyed your time away from WUville.

Geez, ycd, I can't think that wiring your body to an appliance would be a good idea. It sounds like a dandy way to get electrocuted. I'm thinking WiFi would be a better option. See, for example, Oath of Fealty.

And why would you ever want to jack into a vacuum cleaner?
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188. ycd0108
8:16 PM GMT on February 08, 2017
Had a vision reading that.
The flaggers were Robots and the heavy equipment ran itself too. The cars and buses still had a 'Greenhouse' with a few human riders but the transport trucks had no cab at all.
From the Wiki article about Sam Delany's "Nova":
"Generally, a person has a total of five implants, two of which are located in the wrists. Since Prince was born with only one arm, he cannot fully connect himself with a machine.
Although the society seems on the edge of a revolution (or some other unspecified major change), the future of the novel is optimistic. As Katin reveals in one of his expository monologues, the problem of labor alienation has been overcome through the use of technology: practically all humans have cyborg socket implants that allow them to interface directly with the machines they use. These sockets are highly adaptable. Characters plug them into everything from small vacuum cleaners to the navigational systems of starships. By directly interfacing with the machines, workers are able to identify with their work, and the result is greater psychological wellbeing and less labor alienation."
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187. LowerCal
7:30 PM GMT on February 08, 2017
Thanks for commenting on my blog while I was away. :^)
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186. Bogon
12:45 AM GMT on February 08, 2017
I would be willing to believe that an autopilot might handle snow and ice, ycd. I'm not so sure about road construction. In North Carolina it's common to see a section of road guarded by flagmen. The flagmen stand on either end of the construction zone and direct traffic with a two-sided sign. One side says STOP, and the other says SLOW. The road in between is reduced to a single lane, and the direction of travel alternates, coordinated by the men with signs, who communicate via walkie-talkie. When the guy on your side flips his sign around to SLOW, it's your turn to go. You may have to drive on the wrong side of the road or even bump along a temporary detour "outside the lines".

Can an autopilot figure that out? I mean, there's a lot of non-standard stuff there. If you get it wrong, you're liable to hit something or fall into an excavation. If you're too slow, the people behind you will quickly grow impatient.

    *    *    *

There was big rain across Alabama and Georgia today. Ahead of the front there is a stiff southerly breeze, and it's really warm. We have the back door open, because the cats enjoy sitting out on the porch.

Daffodils are rising out of the dirt as if by magic. Alongside the street I have spotted exotic fruit trees beginning to bloom. I'm not sure if they
 a) are really hardy,
 b) are really confused or
 c) know something I don't about the ongoing likelihood of freezing weather.
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185. ycd0108
5:24 PM GMT on February 07, 2017
We have had self driving boats and planes for a while now but woe-be-tied the helms-person who relaxes his/her watch.
I too recall enjoying the 'open road' feeling but it's hard to find those roads today.
I wonder how AI would manage the snow and freezing rain conditions here just now.
I imagine the AI unit would simply say:
"If you really have to go out today please unplug me and leave me on a safe shelf in the house."
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184. Bogon
6:00 PM GMT on February 04, 2017
Ycd, those new car advertisements are selling a kind of driving experience that is becoming decreasingly relevant as time goes by. Picture a smooth winding road through incredible scenery (e. g. Big Sur), and there is absolutely no one else in sight. Where are all the tourists and condos? Why aren't there any red lights, cops, school buses or garbage trucks?

I seem to recall a few idyllic scenes behind the wheel, when I was able to roll down shiny new superhighways with minimal traffic to obstruct my passage. Most of those memories were laid down, like, forty years ago. The rest happened in places like Montana. Many of the roads I drive on now are old and patched, and they are full of trucks, tourists (or otherwise clueless drivers, drunks, cellphone users, the blind, halt and lame), soccer moms and harried commuters. When it comes to driving a car, the thrill is gone.

So I, for one, would be happy to turn over that chore to a robotic chauffeur. That's saying something, because I'm a control freak. I like how I drive, because I understand what's happening. I can't say that about just anybody. Besides, I have a pretty good record. I am accustomed to reaching my destination pretty much without incident. I have been honing those skills for nearly half a century.

The last time I heard, self-driving cars still need an overseer. A human designated driver must be present and ready to take control in the event that the robot somehow fails. The artificially intelligent driver is still very much new technology, and there is a good chance that the road can contrive some combination of circumstances that the programmers haven't thought of, or that the mechanical brain can't process in the time allowed. That assumes the gizmo is working properly. With a mechanical device there is always a possibility of mechanical failure, the symptoms of which might not be instantly recognized by a bored human attendant.

In the long run I expect the AI will become much more reliable and fail-safe than any flesh and blood competitor. I'm not sure I can last that long, though. I may not survive the sticker shock.
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183. ycd0108
2:28 PM GMT on February 04, 2017
Mornin' Bogon:
I assume any vehicle that could safely drive itself would have up-link, basically 'Sat-phone' and WiFi.
You and I kicked back on the keyboard in stop-and-go traffic.
I think it should be "All or Nothing" though:
There seem to be a lot of drivers out there who could benefit from A.I. taking the controls.
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182. Bogon
4:09 AM GMT on February 04, 2017
NCDOT says they're starting to build diverging diamond interchanges, ycd. I have not seen one yet.

What will they think of next? The "superstreet" in Holly Springs is surely an invention mothered by necessity. Interstate 540 is a six-lane divided highway, which serves as an outer loop for the Raleigh metropolitan area. I-540 is being built in phased stages using tolls to generate revenue. Traditionally there have been no toll roads in North Carolina, so a certain amount of controversy automatically adheres to this project.

The latest phase of construction ends in Holly Springs. All southbound traffic debouches onto the local highway, which was until comparatively recently a country road. Now suddenly there's a town with a shopping center and two breweries. Through that town pours half the effux of greater Raleigh, which locks up solid every afternoon at five o'clock. (The other half turns left toward Apex.) I can testify to that personally, because two of Wife's sisters now live in or around Raleigh. When we go down there to visit, somehow we always seem to arrive during rush hour. That is a no-win scenario. Doesn't matter which way you go. What matters is when you go.

I had no problem driving yesterday, because it was still early in the afternoon. At that time of day the traffic on 540 was almost as serene as a new car commercial. The "super" road was not so super. It had a bunch of red lights. A new car would not have helped, unless maybe it was one of those newfangled self-driving models. Would a competent AI at the wheel enable me to preserve my serenity?
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181. ycd0108
1:59 AM GMT on February 04, 2017
Before I go off to sample the craft beers I wish to note that our highways here now have a resemblance to the 'Super Street'.
Most of the 'Island Highway' is divided four lane with limited access.
"You can't get there from here!"
The trucks coming in need to go south to go north. It seems goofy but the count of serious accidents has gone way down.
Years ago I almost killed my whole family attempting a left turn off the main line. It was legal back then but very scary.
I had to pull off the oncoming lane to the far left and let the traffic pass before I could make my way to the left turn.
I went to talk to the Highways Department to encourage them to at least put a "No Left Turn" sign there and never turned left there again. The guy at the desk assured me that plans were in place to deal with that killer turn and it only took about 30 years to widen the road and put in the centre barriers.
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180. Bogon
12:39 AM GMT on February 04, 2017
Yesterday (Groundhog Day), while rodents searched for shadows, Wife and I pursued happiness. We sampled three breweries clustered in a small area of Wake County southwest of Raleigh. It's a continuation of our dream to visit each craft brewery in North Carolina.

When we first embarked on this course of action, we probably called it a 'plan'. We were younger then, full of energy and idealism. At the time there were perhaps a hundred breweries scattered across the state. These days there are closer to two hundred, and 'dream' sounds like a better word. People are building 'em faster than we can visit 'em. So much beer; so little time!

We began at Aviator Brewing Company's Smokehouse, because they open by noon. It was probably 1:30 by the time we got to Fuquay-Varina, which still gave us plenty of time for a leisurely lunch. The bill of fare included a flight of ten (10) of Aviator's best brews. The other two taprooms, at Carolina Brewing Company (4) and Bombshell Beer Company (5) in Holly Springs, didn't open until 4:00. These places are located right across the highway from each other — except it turns out you can't actually cross the highway in Holly Springs. Alas, beer consumption fails to render this traffic plan comprehensible. Fortunately Wife volunteered to serve as designated driver. I drove us down. Wife fetched us home.
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179. Bogon
3:56 PM GMT on February 02, 2017
Up at jet stream level winds blow steadily across the Dry Slot from west to east. Just to the north a stationary front marks the edge of colder air, while our weather is warm (by February standards). I can't complain. If I were feeling picky, it could kvetch about the clouds. This close to the frontal zone the sky remains milky white. It would be nice to feel some unobstructed sunshine. Still, the sun peeks out now and again — just enough for a groundhog to glimpse his fuzzy shadow.

I wish I knew more about the rules. Does it count if the sky is mostly cloudy? Can you make the call when the rodent first emerges from its burrow, or must the sky stay solidly socked in all day long until sunset, so that there is never any possibility that the groundhog could see a shadow? Are there degrees of shade, or is it all or nothing?

Shucks, I suspect that it's becoming a moot question, what with global warming. The mild weather we're enjoying now would not be a problem, even if it lasts another six weeks. I could wish it might last even longer. By May it will be getting too hot.

Earlier this week I visited some of my favorite blogs, ycd. I tried to post a couple of comments, but they never showed up. After a while I gave up and closed the tab. Looks like things are working better today.

Yep, Ylee, that's pretty much what happened. It sure would be nice, if the people working on the site gave us periodic progress reports. It should be a featured blog (above the blog list). There is a WundergroundDevs blog, but it hasn't been touched in 264 days. Heck, these days I seldom check the full Recently Updated list anyhow. I use all the time I want to allocate for blogging (and more!) here and on my Favorites.
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178. Ylee
2:29 PM GMT on February 02, 2017
With the blogs acting up they way they've been, I wouldn't be surprised if you said "Screw it, I'm going to go play with the cat!" :' )
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177. ycd0108
2:25 PM GMT on February 02, 2017
Good Groundhog Day Bogon:
CBC says two to one odds for an 'Early Spring'.
Chilly - 5 C. and clear this morning with snow forecast for tomorrow.
Quite the blog hole we seem to have climbed out of for now eh.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
176. Bogon
2:31 PM GMT on January 31, 2017
January, 2017, has nearly run its course. Tomorrow we'll be looking at February.

February (or, as many folks would have it, Febberwerry) is one of my favorite months. It starts right off with Groundhog Day, which is one of my favorite days. Climatologically speaking this week marks the ponderous turning of the seasons from winter toward spring. Winter's worst lies behind us. From now until May each day will be longer and lighter than the last.

It's that bright promise that endears February to me. Also, it's the shortest month. If you don't like February, it'll be over soon.

Admittedly, there's a lot not to like about February. It's hard to spell, hard to pronounce (hence "Febberwerry"), and for some reason it's deucedly hard for me to type. My fingers are all a-fumble. In terms of spring, we Tarheels don't have much to show. Over the next few weeks we can look forward to some of our coldest weather and biggest snows, whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow. Sometimes spring arrives with a bang, heralded by tornadoes and thunder.

I'm hoping for daffodils, a gentler sort of harbinger. Green shoots should be popping now. It's supposed to be warmer today; I should go look.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
175. ycd0108
5:24 PM GMT on January 29, 2017
I got a good look at one our 'Stray Cats' this morning - I'm going to name it 'Blue' - big healthy dark grey Tabby.
Ambled out from under the sun-deck, passed majestically through the silent bird feeders and disappeared into the bush on the trail the grey squirrels use.
We have fed strays before and eventually one we called 'Monty' moved in for a couple of years but disappeared when Jupiter came along. This cat does not look like it needs to be fed.
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174. Bogon
4:35 PM GMT on January 29, 2017
According to the radar it almost snowed this morning. Flurries flew by only a county away, say thirty miles north and a bit farther uphill.

Now the sun is shining in a milky sky. The thermometer is rising toward a high near 50° (10 C). Nothing else has changed, though. Tonight, as temperatures once again dip below freezing, the snow may come creeping back.

Yesterday was topsy-turvy day in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In men's basketball Georgia Tech beat Notre Dame, Syracuse trounced FSU, Clemson defeated Pittsburgh, North Carolina lost in Miami, and Wake Forest almost stole a game from Duke. So, is this an omen? Do these events betoken a new alignment of the stars?

Nope, I don't think so. Yesterday's winners should savor their victories while they may. Collectively they have about as much chance of repeating those outcomes as we have of waking to a foot of white stuff on the lawn tomorrow. All these teams show moments of brilliance. This is the kind of thing that keeps ACC basketball interesting.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
173. Bogon
12:37 PM GMT on January 28, 2017
I'm not suggesting you bring snakes into your house, ycd. If mice can get in, there's a good chance the snakes could get out, which would not make a pet owner happy.

I'm saying that, as long as you're catching the mice yourself, they comprise potential pet food. Free food would make a pet owner happy. Normally he would have to buy animals from someone who grows them for sale.

He might be willing to pay you for your trouble. I'm not sure how your wild-caught "product" would compare, from the snake owner's point of view, to grade-A organic free-range pink mice from a farm.

Mona is adapting to her new surroundings, Ylee, which include our other cat, Spooky Margaret. I'm guessing that Mona comes from a one cat household. Mona and the Spookster are getting used to each other, but occasionally they still hiss and yowl at each other. Mona remains a bit furtive and reticent at times.

I don't know what circumstances prompted Mona's former owner to give her up for adoption. Her experience of the animal shelter was not a happy one. Spaying was part of the process. She still has a shaven patch on her stomach, where the fur is growing back slowly. She's defensive about that. Mona's natural disposition seems to be quite confident and outgoing. We're seeing more of that emerging as she settles into her new home.

UK, my wife came up with the name Mona. I don't know where or how. Maybe Wife and Joealaska both read the same books or watch the same teevee show. If you look at the timestamps, Joe announced the advent of Mona Montana about a week later. Mona Christmas dates back to 2016.

Thanks for the verb 'lollop'. I love it. :o)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
172. insideuk
10:22 AM GMT on January 28, 2017
Mr Bogon.

Would you kindly lollop over to Joealaskas blog and peek at comment #57 please?

You scrambled my brain for breakfast this morning....thank you kindly.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
171. Ylee
8:47 AM GMT on January 28, 2017
One of my cats could photobomb before it was an actual word! She always managed to sneak in the frame somehow!
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170. ycd0108
4:32 AM GMT on January 28, 2017
Best suggestion there so far Bogon:
I doubt it will fly in this house though. The mice have been pretty well out of sight till I set some traps.
I haven't asked Tloml but my own rection is:
Mice are much less of a problem than snakes.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
169. Bogon
3:58 AM GMT on January 28, 2017
Mona is indeed a looker. Sometimes I think she must have the biggest eyes in the world.

Ycd, do you know anyone who keeps pet snakes? They can dispose of excess rodents handily.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
168. ycd0108
11:52 PM GMT on January 27, 2017
Pretty handsome there Mona.
All our cats are feral here - partly 'cause Tloml is very allergic to dander, especial equine and feline. Two of the cats are regular visitors and I think they bunk down in my wood-shed but there is no way to get a photo. Funny thing is: I'm catching mice every day in live-traps in the house. I just now dropped two mice off at the mail-box about 1/2 mile away. Maybe the cats are scaring the mice into the house?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
167. Bogon
9:52 PM GMT on January 27, 2017
Ever since we picked her up (see #120, 123), I have been trying to get a decent picture of Mona Christmas. For a while she moped in the shadows. She's feeling a lot better now.

I'm not saying this is a good photo; maybe it will be good enough for introductions. Alas, Mona is hardly the world's most cooperative portrait subject.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
166. palmettobug53
7:40 PM GMT on January 27, 2017
Yep, all I have to do is crinkle that Temptations bag and Gus is immediately under my feet, yowling like he's not eaten for weeks. I also have to spell out 'num-nums' or he'll start yowling. Around 9:00, I'll ask him, "Num nums? You ready for some num nums?" He leaps up, hollering and running for the kitchen. Oh, boy, is he!

I finally got around to measuring out the rain gauge. We got 4 1/2 inches last weekend.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
165. Bogon
7:33 PM GMT on January 27, 2017
NOAA has posted a nice collection of pictures from GOES-16 to show us what to expect when the satellite goes live later this year.
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164. Bogon
2:59 AM GMT on January 26, 2017
Yep, when it's time for chow call, the cats are usually there ahead of me.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
163. Ylee
5:14 PM GMT on January 25, 2017
What was the old saying about herding cats? :' ) I used to be able to "call" a cat just by turning on the can opener..... :' )
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About Bogon

Retired software engineer. "What is that?", you may ask. It's someone who has time to blog about the weather...

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