“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Winter Doldrums


It has been relatively warm for this time of year, but by Wednesday we are expecting single digits.  Had some light freezing rain Friday but nothing to worry about.  You can never tell with freezing rain until it arrives, because the ability of the weather forecasters to predict the amount appears to be derived from examining the entrails of sacrificed chickens.



The first week of January in the mountains usually brings some snow, as in this picture. But so far, it's just been misty, raining, and cold. I prefer the snow to constant drizzle.



It's dark here in winter most of the time.  Even during the day there are usually low clouds and the sun is down behind the mountain peaks by 5:30.  It doesn't come up til around 7:30 in the morning. I expect Neanderthal man felt the same way about winter. He probably stayed forted up the cave like I do in the house.


Once in awhile there is a blue sky day and we try to go over to the lake for a walk. There's been more rain than usual so far so we haven't been able to do that. I have an elliptical in the family room but it's not nearly so much fun to do a hamster on the treadmill routine as going for a walk at the lake is.

Not much else to tell, since I haven't been doing a lot.  I wait with great interest for the single digit weather mid week.

Addendum later in the morning.


Miss Tulip went on a pretty daunting hike in some snowy mountains of Northumbria. I have a vague recollection of reading about Northumbria in a book about England during the Dark Ages. I didn't know it was such rough terrain.  I thought her post was pretty interesting and the pictures are great.



Also Outback Tania went to the beach with her family down in Australia. Funny to think they are having beach weather (it's summer there) and we are having freezing, dismal weather here.



Sol has a picture of her attic ( at least I think it is her attic) and it looks like a perfect picture for a children's book. Full of mysterious objects and interesting things.  My storage spaces are crammed full of food, ammo, weapons, and such. Not interesting.  But check out her picture, lots of fascinating stuff in there.


Finally, I want to mention that the new season of Downton Abby starts Sunday, 4 January in Georgia, at 2100 on PBS.  I don't know what the show times would be elsewhere, but at least it should be premiering tonight everywhere in the states.


31 comments:

  1. Harry - It certainly looks chilly - and lovely LOL But, you need to source some warmer shoes for when you and the missus are walking outside in those kind of temperatures.

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    1. You're right, Dani. I have a shelf full of boots, but it hurts my hip to have to bend way over and lace them up, so I tend to just wear half boots. Not the smartest thing to do if there's snow. I usually have a full sized set of boots in the vehicle though if we are having snow or ice.

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  2. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Its been cold and rainy here and the battery on the truck died prematurely from the cold (its only a year old) and still under warrenty.

    I hate replacing batteries and why in the hell cant they die in warm weather???

    Two batteries in '14. One came with that old truck I bought in '13 and the battery was old already so it was understandable. The other was four or five years old on the four runner so it lived a normal lifespan and now I got to get another because the damn thing died early (grumble, grumble)

    I hope you guys enjoy the cold front curtesy of Texas. Lots of snow and ice in Permian basin (Midland, Odessa area)

    By the way, four days of constant cold drizzle. Its supposed to end today with sun coming out later today.
    The rest of the winter is supposed to be a similar weather pattern for us. You could say that this a somewhat normal weather pattern for South Texas and if this is normal, then things will start to warm up in mid to late March. I've seen 80 degree days in early April down here and we start using the A/C as early as early April.

    So far no weird winter as far as I can tell unlike last year with those 'Polar Vortex's.

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    1. CC: Don't forget to send me your address again. I found that book "Red Victory" that I wanted to send you.

      Damn cold here today with a lot of wind blowing, and temperatures going down fast. I have beau coupe propane, wood, and kerosene so whatever else happens we shouldn't freeze up here.

      Our weather seems to start in Texas and Louisiana and blow up here, unless it's hideous cold dry air masses coming down from Canada. K and J had a new posting today and they had snow up here, it was really beautiful. I envy them that view they have from the manor.

      I always have my batteries checked no later than mid November. If they don't measure up, I replace them. I also check my coolant in the radiators to be sure I don't wind up with a cracked radiator or block.

      If I was down there now, I'd put on a rain proof jacket and a hat, and get myself a big thermos of coffee, pack my pipe in a pocket with some "baccy" and go find a pier to stand on and watch the waves roll in.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      I trying to finish up another book as soon as I can and I may have as many as three books to get to you.
      Yeah' I check the batteries and the coolant of course but if I get the crappy battery off the assembly line what I am going to do??

      I'm so anal about my vehicles I check the fluids and tire air pressure every two to three weeks and before any long trips out of town. I used to work on diesels those diesels on the boat deck onboard the 'Puget Sound' I'm sure fixed many of the boats you rode on years earlier in Italy.

      Its kinda a surfers tradition to hit the beach and surf New Years day. I drove out and checked it out from the heated cab of the truck. The water temp is 57 degree's and I have a nasty case of arthritis so screw that.

      One of my friends is 61 and he surfed for all of 30 minutes and froze his tail end off New Years day. By the way out of all my surfer friends. I am the youngest in my mid forties. The oldest is 65 or 66 (they make me feel like a snot nosed, bratty kid:)

      Maybe I am spoiled to for not going out to the beach enough in bad weather. The cold wind coming off the water is brutal so I try to avoid it. Now what I like doing is driving up and down the beach 'beachcombing' and looking for interesting debris washing up on the beaches some of which is useful.

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  3. When I lived on Emerald Isle on the Outer Banks I liked to go down to the beach after a storm and see what washed up, especially in winter when no one else was there. I found a big dead shark once. Another time, I went down by the pier and found a big metal box of tools which had obviously fallen off a work truck there. I gave it to the police but I wish I had kept it now.

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  4. I wish we could go hiking more. Here you have to drive 20 to 45 min before you can get to places you want to hike. It's a fun for the whole family.

    I was around someone that came to work with Influenza. I was sweating, saying he was weak, and feverish. I said, "Go home." 2 days later I got it. I went to Urgent Care 5 minutes before they closed on New Years Eve. Now Isaak has it. 2 people don't have it. I almost want them to get a hotel. This stuff is nasty. I'll be contagious until Monday; Isaak's breaking point will be Tues.

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    1. When I saw on your blog that your son had the flu I knew you were doomed. It spreads like wildfire, whatever precautions one make take. I am staying out of town, as the flu is going through Georgia like Sherman's Hordes, and it's particularly nasty. I hope you get over it soon, both you and your little boy.

      I can go hiking by walking out my back door. My land leads up to a mountain ridge that intersects the Appalachian Trail, but there are plenty of other places to hike near the house if you know the terrain. Places like where Miss Tulip was hiking, all barren and exposed, give me the goosebumps. I feel "nekkid" in a place like that, no cover, no place to take shelter.

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    2. n.e.ohio the hospital emergency room was full yesterday. they said they weren't sure what it was but i suspect flu.
      husband went to hospital to visit someone today, hope he didn't bring it home with him.'deb h.

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    3. Deb, hospitals are good places to avoid at the best of times, and when something is going around they are really bad locations to spend time in. I hope he didn't bring home anything with him, but it's hard to avoid .

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  5. It has been dreary here too. Yesterday the drizzle froze and a firetruck hit black ice and overturned. More rain here today and tomorrow. I like exploring attics and basements. It The basement held old iron beds, old toys, tools, etc. Cleaning out the house after she passed away took the entire family months.

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    1. Strong wind blowing here tonight (it's 2:30 a.m.) but Wednesday the low at night is supposed to be 7 degrees, and Thursday it is supposed to be 14. These aren't wind chill numbers, they are actual temperatures. I have some extra work to do in the morning as a consequence. I need to run an extension line down to the pump house, and put a light bulb burning in there. Then I need to wrap the whole pump house (it's one of those small casing jobs) in a heavy tarp.

      I like looking in old attics. My grandma had all kinds of things from WW2 in hers, like cushions that were made with B-24 bombers and B-17's on them, old calenders, really interesting things. Lots of carnival glass, and old magazines too.

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  6. I expect that Mr. Neanderthal would have been out in the snow or drizzle hunting something to eat around the fire that night. It would have been a tough life. We're blessed to have our warm houses to hole up in; I know that I'm very thankful for mine, plain though it is. Dern such weather.

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    1. It's going to be considerably worse here in a couple of days, just above zero on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I am not looking forward to it.

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  7. Is it a good thing I have no idea what downtown abby is? I grew up watching PBS and I know of things like Nova, Are You Being Served, Nature, etc.
    I'm out of touch a wee bit.

    As you probably have read it's been cold here, but I just layer up and head on out. Sometimes that's a better adventure than any other time.

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    1. I think this is the fourth or fifth season of Downton Abby. It follows an aristocratic British family and their estate through the period of 1912 up through 1924 with tonight's episode. I usually don't like the Masterpiece Theater shows much, but this one caught my interest and I have enjoyed it.

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  8. Ha Ha Harry that is Hagrids House in the film Harry Potter! sorry I didnt make that clear. My loft/attic is full on insulation. the only treasure up there was removed before it was filled. the people who lived here before left 2 paintings up there. we sold them at auction for £800 the pair. 600 for one and 200 for the other. I didnt like them. the eyes of the people followed you around the room.

    Sorry that isnt my loft, I wish it was it would be more interesting.

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    1. I'm just easily confused, Sol. But it did really look like something from a kids book or movie, and so it proved to be! So I get poor marks for reading comprehension but good marks for perceptiveness!

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  9. Harry - i think your weathermen and our weathermen trained together. poor jam checks 3 different weather stations for our area daily - they are never the same and none of them are ever right! i keep telling him to get a cape breton weather stone.

    i should send you one! they come with detailed instructions and are thousands of years old. basically, you put the stone somewhere in your yard that it can be seen from a window. you keep the instruction booklet handy. the instructions are pretty detailed - basically - if you are looking at the stone and it is wet, then it's raining. if the stone is covered in snow, it's snowing. if the stone is dry, it's nice out - bahahahahahah! all of the tourist stops here on the island sell those crazy stones!

    so far, we have had a temperate december, mostly grey and some drizzle but the temps have been nice and warm for hot tub dips throughout the day/evening. we are having a bit of a cold spell for a few days and then it will be back to more temperate weather again. can't ask for more than that!

    much love buddy to you and yours! i hope 2015 will be an awesome year for your family! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Hey Kymber,

      (captaincrunch)


      I think living near the coast affects weather. I don't know, I'm not one of them 'clementologist's' but I have been accused of being a "proctologist's' because I am used to dealing with (you know the eight letter word)

      So everyone has 'Pet Rocks' up in Nova Scotia. They went out in the 1970's with Disco the last I heard. The Bee Gee's want their Pet Rocks back Kymber!

      Down here in Texas we just examine fresh 'Cowpies" (you know, Longhorn Dung) to figure out the weather.

      Hey Harry.

      I would like to see 'Ragnar and the Vikings' invade 'Downtown Abbey'. I would pay good money to see that episode.
      (I wonder how long it would take 'Ragnar, Rollo, Loki and the rest of the Vikings to go through 'Downtown Abbey's wine stocks)

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    2. Kymber, my problem is I have to know some days in advance if really cold weather is coming, as I have to take extra precautions to guard against frozen pipes. Anything above 20 degrees F I can handle with just normal procedures. But when it gets down near zero or below zero, I have to take extra steps or my pipes will freeze and that can be disastrous. I think this cold weather is coming down from the arctic so I don't know if it will catch you up there or not, as it's a "dip" and might not make it all the way to your place "on the side" as the main blast heads south.

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  10. Sub zero this morning. Snow tonight. Freezing rain tomorrow. Full time yuck. Trying to both keep the fires burning and prep for travel.

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    1. Freezing rain will put paid to doing much outdoor work. Everything comes to a standstill here when we have to cope with that.

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  11. I often take extra vitamin D in the winter. I just get too depressed otherwise. I don't know what people do when they live in cities that rain all the time, or it's constantly dark. I'd hate that.

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    1. I have read that people can get depressed when it's dark all the time, and I remember years ago reading that was a problem up on the Radar line across the North years ago, because they had such long periods of dark. I have activities I can do inside, such as reloading, but it still gets old and very extreme cold is expensive as I have to heat all these buildings.

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  12. Wish I could send you some of our heat Harry we have plenty to share.

    It was a shockingly hot day yesterday 115F! Bushfires flared up in a few places, with one of them still burning and more hot weather coming on Wednesday. The hot north winds just burn everything. All we do is sit inside on days like that, if we go outside we will fry!

    I prefer the heat to cold, but our winters aren't as cold as yours. I dislike the constant dark dreary days of Winter...

    Stay warm my friend xx

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    1. Tani, it is blowing like crazy outside right now (2:30 a.m. Monday morning) and very cold. Wednesday and Thursday will be single digits according to the weather. Then I see pictures of my Australian friends at the beach or going camping, and I am envious. However, 115 degrees f is unbelievable! I would roast in weather like that, I don't see how you folks stand it down there when that happens. And bush fires, which I think are the same as our forest fires, are my chief dread living up here on the mountain top surrounded by forest. I guess no matter where you live there are pluses and minuses. But those pictures of your family at the beach were certainly alluring.

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  13. Harry,

    This winter has been very depressing, lot's of drizzling, mud, and cold. We had some snow, like where your at it comes and goes. The clouds stay out, every now and the the sun tries to peak out. I'm already over this weather, can't wait for spring to get here.

    Hubby and I both have been piddling inside, we really need to venture outside and cut some more trees. Clean up where crap has blown in. The winds were terrible last night, we thought the porch roof was going to get blown off.

    Try to stay dry and warm. Give your wife a hug, enjoy reading!

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    1. Sandy, I went out today and there were branches down everywhere. I just cleaned all that up from the last wind storm earlier in the week and now I have to do it again. It just never seems to stop.

      We are keeping warm and dry. Very cold weather due here mid week and I have to do some extra things to get ready for that.

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  14. It is going to get cold this week for us.
    I read a book you might like - The Passage. Apocalyptic fiction. It was long (765 pages) but a very fun read. I just got the sequel from the library.

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    1. I appreciate the book recommendation. I'm always looking for good books, especially in that genre. There are so many post apocalyptic novels out there now with digital self publishing. About the only way to find a good book now is to know the authors work or through the recommendation of a friend.

      The cold is here now, and it's worse than we expected. At one in the morning it's about zero degrees.l

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