Sunday, January 31, 2010

Confirm What We Already Know

The month of January is coming to a close, and if you are a resident of the Spokane area, or a regular follower of this blog, you know that the weather has been mild and that there has been a dearth of snow. The statistics back that up as January has turned our to be the 8th warmest on record, in 130 years, and the snowfall has been the 4th lowest amount in that time period, 1.4 inches. February is going to be another rather "nonwintery" month, as it will continue to be very mild. In February the normal high temperature rises from the mid 30s at the beginning of the month to the mid 40s by the 28th, so that means that we will see lots of 40s, and then some 50 degree days as the month goes along.

Today has been one of those days where the energy level just wasn't where it needed to be, especially this afternoon and evening. After church I made a hospital call, and then came home to a spot on the couch, which turned into a napping place. It has been a struggle ever since to get back in gear, and at this point it is just not going to happen. I'll be back at it again tomorrow, starting on the tennis court and ending on the basketball court, with some work at the church in between. Its about time to get more pictures of the interior of the building so that you all can see the progress that is being made.

Folks Are Rollin' In!

It is still only 7:45am, and our church services don't begin for 45 minutes, but the crowd is already gathering. The "Sermonator" is at his post and ready to seize the day. It is another dark and gray Sunday morning, the last one that we will have this month, and it even tried to snow a bit early this morning. It tried, as most of what came down was just rain.

Looking ahead to the weather to come this week it will be more of the same from January seeping into February. Daily high temperatures will be in the 40s all week long, and we will see mostly cloudy skies and a little rain from time to time. The next main batch will come in late tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What, No Football?

Here I sit facing a very gray Saturday morning, and the even gloomier prospect of no football on TV this weekend. I don't count the Pro Bowl...I don't watch the Pro Bowl...No one watches the Pro Bowl! College basketball doesn't really get exciting until the tournament in March, and the Australian Open tennis finals are in the middle of the night! That's way past my bedtime. What am I going to do? I guess I'll have to put in an honest day's work and then run up and down a basketball court for a couple of hours to pass the time.

We are likely to get a little rain later on tonight, very little, and the warmer than normal weather will just keep going...and going...and going. The normal high temperature is now 35 degrees, and we should be in the low to mid 40s right through next week. Throw in a day with more sunshine and we should be up near 50. Most of the time it will be generally cloudy, with a few spits and sprinkles of rain from time to time, but there doesn't appear to be any flooding rainstorms headed in this general direction.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ready For School

Meadowlane Christian School opens with preschool classes on Monday. As you can see from the pictures we are ready to go, and there is a lot of extra room to expand in the future. We are already getting a flood of calls from parents wanting to sign their kids up for next fall. I am still amazed that there was not one stick standing in a vertical direction back on the first of July of 2009.
Today turned out to be quite a day. Tennis this morning started out abysmal. It got better as time went along. My partner and I lost the 1st set 6-0. The next set was a 6-2 win and the final set went 6-0 in our direction. we switch partners after each set, so I guess that the failure of the first set was not all my fault.
When I got to the church I found out that one of our eldest members was in the hospital, and was not doing well. Kay and I went and spent a couple of hours with her. I don't think that she will be with us on this earth much longer, and she just wants to go home to Jesus. I just have to marvel at her faith! As we were leaving the hospital, and getting on the elevator to go down to the main floor, out of the blue, a man asked me what I was doing for God today. I said that I was now working for him, which I think took him by surprise.
I went to the church this morning with the goal of writing the sermon for Sunday's services. It was a little later than I thought, but I did manage to get it done. I think that it will turn out to be pretty good, at least I hope and pray that it does, so show up on Sunday morning at 8:30 or 11:00am to see how it goes!

Friday...I'll Work If I Want To

Friday morning has arrived. It is rather drab and gloomy. More rain will be here by tomorrow morning, but it looks dry today. Today can be an easy day, if I let it. I a have all of my classwork done and turned in for the week. I do still have work to do for Sunday's church services, but I have tomorrow too. There are no basketball games to officiate today, so if I don't want to do much I guess I don't have too. In the end I am sure I will go to the church and probably finish the sermon...for I am "the Sermonator!"

I mentioned the rain that is coming later tonight into tomorrow. Yes, rain, not snow. The temperatures will be staying warmer than the average for at least another week, and perhaps another 10 months. Still no imminent signs of snowstorms, and so the lack of winter 2009-2010 just continues to role along.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Puttin' Out Fires

It has been one of those mornings where you come into work with the idea of getting a lot done. You have your list of tasks that you want and need to accomplish, but when you arrive a multitude of other ventures that need to be attended to pop up and derail your freight train of accomplishment. I am hoping that all of these external fires have been extinguished and I can get my locomotive back on the track and still cross off all of the entries on today's to do list.

The sun is shining brightly this morning, warming the office quite nicely, and the temperatures outside are climbing through the 30s, headed for the low 40s this afternoon. Tomorrow the clouds should be back, and rain will be arriving later Friday night into Saturday. It still looks mild as far as the eye can see, right through the middle of next week, so our weather will not be too difficult to deal with. That has been the story of the "winter" so far.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Looks Like Winter

Rising up this morning and looking out the window brings back memories of winters past. It is not that there is any snow on the ground, perish the thought, it is just that the fog has settled back in overnight and the gloom is another typical aspect of winter in the Inland Northwest. Along with the lack of snow and the warm temperatures, this winter has been noteworthy in the lack of the usual dense fog as well. Last night, as I exited the University High School gym following 2 freshman basketball games, the car was covered with frost. It was just a bit after 9pm. Have you ever tried to drive a frosty car from a cold start while sweating like a pig? You can scraped the frost off of the exterior of the windows, but the condensation on the inside makes it impossible to see for a good 10 minutes.

Today is going to be another day on the run, both literally and figuratively. I start on the tennis court in a few minutes, then run to work, run up and down to the basketball floor for 2 games, run to choir practice, and the time it is all over I will drag myself home. Another day in the life of Brian. As I sit here this morning I am envious of bears, and their opportunity to hibernate in the winter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Well Fed

It was up and out early this morning as Kay and I attended a breakfast sponsored by the local camps of the Gideons. They are the folks that distribute Bibles to just about everyone everywhere. I am sure you have seen their work in hotel night stand drawers. I may fall asleep at my computer, perhaps even in the middle of this message, as the amount of food available was staggering (at least I was staggering after consuming much of the food that was available). I am now back at my post, and back to work, with a full plate (pun intended) stacked up for the rest of the day, culminating in a freshman boys basketball game at 5:30 this evening.

That snow that came down very briefly yesterday stacked up to a whole 9 tenths of an inch out at the airport. That brings the seasonal total to 12.8 inches, so we have broken through the 1 foot barrier. In our neighborhood it was all gone before noon, we got a little less than most other spots, and the entire town was devoid of any snow cover by the early afternoon. Today is just on the cloudy side, and we should get near 40 this afternoon. Sunshine is looking more promising for tomorrow. Later in the week the rains will return with temperatures continuing to run about 8 to 10 degrees above average. Looking farther down the road...a long way down the road...the 3 month outlook for February through April calls for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. I don't disagree with that in the least, as it is a continuation of what we have had, and El Nino, which is behind all of the warmth thus far, will continue to be the dominating factor in determining what the weather will be right through spring. In fact, even farther down the road, the summer is likely to be hotter and drier than normal as well. I say...bring it on!

Monday, January 25, 2010

White Out

As I write this morning there are snowflakes the size of Volkswagens falling just outside my window. It sure looks like winter again, but alas, this too shall pass...quickly. By the end of the day any hint of this occurrence will most likely have vanished as temperatures rise to near 40 once again. The snow will stop falling within a half an hour, and since I type very slowly it has already diminished in intensity quite remarkably. This wintry outburst is but a small blip on the weather screen for this week as we will continue to have warmer than normal temperatures and a little light rain from time to time. High temperatures should be in the low to mid 40s most of the week, and the lows in the 30s. That will carry us through the end of January, one more week to go, and the outlook for February calls for warmer than normal weather again. Oh well, at least this morning's snowfall will carry us over the one foot snowfall mark for the season. We have been sitting at .5 inches for the month, and 11.9 inches for the season since the beginning of the month.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Full House!

As is usually the case, I woke up early this morning and headed off to church. I like to have plenty of time to prepare for the services, and hook up to the coffee IV. Just a little before 8 the phone rang, and on the other end was a gentleman that wanted to know if we were holding services in the new church. After informing him that we are still about 3 weeks away, I told him that we have been worshipping on the new property for over two years, in the house that sits just above the new building, and that we would love to have him come and visit at either of our two services. This must have been an omen for the day as we had a "house full" at both 8:30 and 11:00am, and a lot of folks that were visiting. What a blessing! It is always a lot more inspiring, and a lot easier to speak in front of a crowded room. Between the services we also had a great presentation by John Windler, the son of one of our longtime members, who is a missionary to the native people of Paraguay in South America. What was truly inspirational to me was the passion that he has for taking the gospel to the people who need to hear, and his devotion to sharing his faith.

After watching football...Colts and Jets this afternoon I had a basketball officials meeting from 3:3o to 6:00pm. One of our supervisors/mentors was making and example of where we are supposed to be positioned on the court to get the best view of the action, so that we can make the proper call, and threw me under the bus for being a bit out of position in one of the games that he was observing. I little later though, I got an "atta boy" that made up for it, as I was commended for having great court presence and properly taking the right amount of time to make the correct call and report it to the scorer's table. In the end...its all good.

I believe that I have mentioned before how the weather this winter has been great. Actually, I know that I have. We will probably see some snowflakes fall later tonight into early tomorrow, but there very likely won't be that many. A dusting of snow will be followed by more mild temperatures this week, so the winter that really isn't will keep on keeping on for the foreseeable future. We are a week away from he beginning of February, and in this part of the country the weather starts to shake off the winter blues in February, so this year the winter is very likely to end up much warmer and much less snowy than most.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bumpin' and Grindin"

I was back out on the basketball court this afternoon, and I have just one question. Why do kids feel the need to constantly clobber one another? What is really annoying is that after they have done it, and you blow the whistle to charge them with a foul, they look at you like you have just shot their dog for no reason at all. It is absolutely amazing how some kids think that they have never committed a foul! Fortunately, the coaches today realized that their kids were on the verge of becoming serial killers and got them under control. It makes you appreciate the older kids, high school JV and above, who understand how to play the game.

It was steak night at the Albrecht's this evening. It wasn't high quality steak night, but steak night nonetheless. With the good weather I fired up the grill this evening, and we battled our way through the gristle and connective tissue to enjoy a tasty treat. Tomorrow will be grilled chicken. I really enjoy not having to dig my barbecue grill out of a snow bank this year. Tomorrow, Sunday, will be another decent day. The sun should come out by the afternoon, and the temperatures should rise above 40 degrees once again. later tomorrow night into Monday there is likely to be some light snow, but if it does cover the grass for a bit it will probably melt off pretty quickly as warmer weather re-establishes itself for most of next week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

No Comment

It has been a long time since I have gotten any comments here on the blog. Is anybody out there? Its not that I am all that insecure, just that I sometimes wonder if anyone finds any of this stuff worth their time.

And now for something completely different. I mentioned last night that this would be a day off. It turned out to be a good one. The tennis experience this morning went well. The old adage is that it is better to give than receive, and that is especially true in regards to a butt kicking. For a change I was more of the kicker than the kickee. After playing I had the chance to hang around the club and watch Kay play for awhile. I was impressed! After a restful afternoon with only a brief visit to the church I was out in the basketball court this evening for a freshman girls game out at University High School. Shouldn't that be freshwoman? The game was close, but a foul fest. The young ladies just couldn't help slapping grabbing and clobbering each other. The last couple of minutes were highlighted by quite a few of them fouling out. This later evening was highlighted by chili dogs and visiting with the neighbors.

Tomorrow we will spend the morning assembling classroom furnishings for the pre-school at St. John's, and then I have two games to officiate in the afternoon. I am looking forward to both. The weather will remain on the decent side through Sunday, and then we should see some light snow and rain late Sunday night into Monday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Smells Fishy!

Man...I wish that I would have caught these guys, but I was quite happy to eat them. What a great way to polish off a productive day! Kay found rainbow trout on sale for $2.99 a pound, so she reeled them in. At a total of $4.77 they turned out fantastic.
It was another very nice day today, as the temperatures topped out in the mid to upper 40s. The sun made it feel nice and warm, but it was a little breezy. There is a big storm that is passing south of us, it has been hammering California all day long. This is a typical El Nino type situation where we have a split in the jet stream carrying storms to our south, and others to our north. We sit in between with some pretty tranquil weather. I have mentioned before that our snowfall is way below average, and our temperatures have been way above. The other good thing is that we haven't had near as much fog and gloom as in most winters, so our weather has been a real blessing in many ways.
Now on to Friday. I am taking most of the day off. There is tennis in the morning and a girls freshman basketball game to officiate in the late afternoon. Otherwise...can you say lazy day?

Rolling Along

The sun is shining through the office window again this morning, and it is going to be close to 50 degrees outside again this afternoon. How much more of this came we take? I am even wearing a short sleeved shirt! The weather will be cooling down some into the weekend, and the rain may well be mixed with some snowflakes, but there is still no imminent signs that normal January weather is going to return anytime soon. We must keep in mind that the normal high temperatures are in the low 30s, and the normal lows in the low 20s. So far this month, and we are two thirds of the way through, we are having the 12th warmest January on record in the 130 years that those records have been kept. Over the weekend the high temperatures will be closer to 40 than 50, and like I said before there are a few raindrops and snowflakes that are headed this way, but not a lot of either of them.

Last night I had a boys high school basketball game to call out at West Valley High. It seems I go there a lot. It was actually a "C" squad game, but the quality of play was quite good. The game turned out to be a very entertaining one as well, a one point victory for West Valley over Gonzaga Prep, after being down by as much as 15 in the first half. I have another game tomorrow evening, and two more on Saturday. In between I need to get my school work done for the week and prepare the message for this Sunday's services. I guess I should get off the computer and get to work!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Photo Phinish

I just wanted to show you what a beautiful day we had today in Spokane...the outdoor shot of the church almost looks like summer! These pictures were taken this afternoon. The interior is getting more beautiful ever day too as we move steadily toward the completion of the construction project. We are still looking at the middle of February to occupy the entire building, maybe for Ash Wednesday, while the school is scheduled to open on the 1st of February. All that is left there is for the carpet to be glued down and cut, and the base boards to be installed.
Other than that there isn't much to be said...written...other than the fact that the winter of 2010 continues to be no winter at all, as the temperatures remain mild and the snow remains confined to the higher mountain areas.

More of the Same

We had a little rain overnight, which is now gone, and we should see a little sunshine today. Yesterday's high temperature reached 51 degrees, the normal is 32, and today we should make it into the mid to upper 40s. Looking through the rest of the week there doesn't appear to be too much that will be changing. We will see highs in the 40s, and lows in the 30s, with a little rain coming through from time to time. That includes the weekend too.

My plan is to get down to the new church building this afternoon to get some more pictures. The carpet is going into the offices and hallways so there will be another big change in the way things look. If my mission is successful I will post theses pictures this evening, after our School Board meeting. For some reason I am not looking forward to this meeting. I am not a big fan of meetings in general, and this one could be a long one...there is a lot to do!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Here Comes Another Week

Monday again? Already? Oh well, it is going to be another very busy week. I bet we can all say that. I will be starting off, as usual, on the tennis court this morning, and then it will be off to work. Later today there is a clinic for basketball officials, put on by 3 guys who do NCAA Division One, and have worked Final Four games. It should be interesting. I am also going to try to get a jump on this week's school work too.

Things are a little bit drier this morning, and it appears that it may stay that way today. The radar shows no rain, and the satellite view indicates that we are between weather systems. The bottom line is that we should see some sun at times today, its cloudy right now, and the temperatures will rise into the mid to upper 40s. Not bad!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The More Things Change...

The more they stay the same! Guess what? It is raining out there again! Imagine that. I have heard from more than a few people in the past week that Seattle has somehow moved to Spokane. It is more like Spokane has moved to Seattle. The wet and mild weather hasbeen with us for several weeks, and there is still no end in sight. It isn't that we have had an abnormal amount of moisture, it is that it has all come as rain, and not snow. Throughout the week this pattern will persist, and temperatures will be remaining well above average, and a little light rain will fall from time to time.

Today has been a real blessing. Church this morning went really well, and it was followed by a very nice nap. Since late afternoon Kay and I have been watching tennis on TV, the Australian Open. Since we both play on a regular basis it is a good opportunity to watch the best play a sport that we both enjoy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Party Time!

This morning a bunch of us got together to do a complete cleaning of the education wing of the new church and school building. There was lots of dust, dirt and debris, but once we were finished most of it left the building! We had a great turn out and many hands made the load a lot lighter. As you can see from the pictures it was not only hard work that was going on but a lot of laughing too. The pre-school is set to open February 1st, and all that is left to do in the rooms is put the baseboards in and carpet the hallways. I believe the carpet will be going in on Monday.

As if that wasn't enough exercise I chased, and I mean chased, high school basketball players for a good three hours this afternoon. It started with the West Valley High School JV girls battling the JV girls from Clarkston High School. It turned into a real ugly game, a foul fest, where we must have whistled over 60 fouls...all legit! That took forever. My partner and I immediately hustled off to the school field house to call the boys JV game. The first half of that one was rather rough, but we got things cleaned up in the second half, so things went pretty well. West Valley came from behind to win the game going away. Both games were extremely fast paced, so after about three hours of running my knees are barking at me!

Empty Nesters...Again!

We just put the kid on a plane (see Birthday Girl post from a couple of days ago for pictures), and she is headed back to school in St. Paul, East Dakota. Right now she is probably over Bozeman heading east at 530 miles per hour. That leaves us, Kay and me, all alone again. It was great having her home for nearly a month, and she will be back again in less than 2 more, but it was time for Beth to wing her way back to school and get back to the work at hand.

Beth is leaving from the warm rain of the Pacific Northwest back to the winter weather of the Upper Midwest. Yesterday the temperature in Spokane reached 50 degrees, and today we should be in the mid 40s. St. Paul will top out at about 30 degrees today, which is actually quite mild for that location in the middle of January. More rain has moved into our area as we were sleeping, or trying to sleep, and the on and off wet weather will carry on for several more days to come. There are a few spots enduring some minor flooding, and mud is everywhere!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gonna Get Wet

It is a bit on the windy side this morning, and again abnormally warm. A typical mid January morning would feature temperatures in the low 20s, but today we are 20 degrees warmer than that, in the low 40s! A look at the satellite view over the western United States and the eastern Pacific shows boat loads of warm moist air heading this way which will result in more mushy and muddy weather. Rain will be kicking in later today and last into tomorrow, with a few showers again on Sunday. High temperatures will be in the middle to upper 40s through the weekend, and overnight lows, which won't be very low, will remain in the mid to upper 30s. I still see no impending return to winter like weather anytime soon...WooHoo!

Last night we watch the Gonzaga Bulldog basketball team methodically put down a threat from their biggest and best conference rival, St. Marys of Moraga, California. That is in the East Bay area near San Francisco. The Zags controlled the game from start to finish, and never let the Gaels get get back to even in the second half. A very impressive win! These guys are going to be a very tough out in the NCAA tournament in a couple of months as the younger guys keep getting better.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Birthday Girl

As promised, here are the pictures of yesterday's 19th birthday celebration for our "Sweet Babboo"...Beth. The party was at Tomato Street, a wonderful Italian restaurant on the north side of Spokane. You can see the birthday girl, her entree...Lazzoni, which a cross between lasagna and a calzone...and some of the artwork that Kay and I created on the paper table cloth. They encourage this type of behavior be providing a paper table cloth and a small can containing crayons. These were the only vegetables consumed during this culinary outing, apart from the salads which were adorned with dressing containing 1000s of calories and hundreds of grams of fat. Of course, none of it has stuck to any of us, since this was a birthday celebration and it would be unfair for fat and calories to spoil the party!
That was yesterday, and today life returned to some semblance of normal. I had a circuit pastor's meeting and a bunch of schoolwork to do today, along with another church meeting this evening. Kay had her quilting group to attend to and groceries that needed to be procured, while also planning and executing a Greek dinner of gyros and a couple of different salads. Beth did absolutely nothing! Actually she did play the piano for awhile, and take a bath. She also got a bunch of her stuff packed to head back to school. She leaves early Saturday morning. She will be departing from an almost tropical setting to return to the harsh winter reality that is Minnesota...or as people from Wisconsin call it...East Dakota.

More Like March

The calendar says that it is the middle of January, but the weather continues to resemble the middle of March. There isn't a hint of snow on the ground around the metro area, even most of the snowplow berms are now gone, and the temperatures continue to be well above average. What's more is that there is no imminent end in sight to all of this. I look at it as, everyday that we avoid winter now is one day closer to really getting to spring. The next couple of days, today and tomorrow, will be drier than it has been, but we still might get a few spits and sprinkles. More rain will be rolling in for Friday night into Saturday, and showers are expected at times on Sunday too. Daily high temperatures will mostly be in the lower 40s, right through most of next week, and overnight lows will mostly be above freezing. Right now the normal high is 32 degrees, and the normal low 21.

Yesterday, Beth's birthday, went quite well. I think that she really enjoyed the day. We had lunch at Tomato Street, her favorite restaurant, went to a movie, The Princess and the Frog, and in between all of that did some shopping where we got her a couple more gifts. The shopping part was where I struggled a bit, but at DSW Shoes they had some nice comfy chairs in front of a big screen TV tuned to ESPN, so I managed to endure. I will try to post a couple of pictures of the celebration this evening.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Significant Day

Happy birthday to my daughter Beth! It was 19 years ago today that she emerged onto this earth, head first, and things have been...shall we say...very interesting ever since. In celebration, after my tennis posse returns the favor of kicking butt this morning, we will be going to lunch, doing some shopping, and taking in a movie. There is some question as whether or not I will be subjected to this cinematic sentence, as the flick most likely to be viewed is not considered old man appropriate. The evening schedule is still up in the air, but I am sure that we will find something to do in honor of our "Sweet Babboo".

From the looks of the sky we might be in for some brief sunshine on the South Hill as the sun does rise, but clouds and rain showers will be taking over once again. Yesterday's high temperature was 49 degrees! That was recorded just about the time that I let the doggie out at 6:53am. Today will be a bit cooler, in the low 40s, but this is the stuff we will be having all the way into the middle of next week...quite mild for mid January...pretty easy to take!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quite A Disappointment

This afternoon I was all fired up to officiate a boys JV basketball game at St. Georges High School. But alas, the call came in that the game was cancelled. Apparently, the team from St. Michael's Academy didn't have enough boys to field a team today. One of the guys must have called in sick! That gave me an opportunity to get a little more school work done, and actually come home for dinner. I was not disappointed to find a clean house, compliments of Kay and Beth, and to enjoy a nice bowl of pasta this evening...okay...maybe two nice bowls of pasta this evening.

A quick note on the weather, it remains warm (for January) and wet, and will do so for at least the next week. Winter remains but a bad memory from last year, and every day that the weather doesn't rise up and bite us is another day closer to spring.

Wacky World of Weather

As I arose this morning, and opened the back door to let the doggie out, I was amazed by how warm the air felt. Upon exiting the premises, and driving off toward the church, the car thermometer stabilized at 48 degrees. That was up on the South Hill. Descending Hatch Road into the Latah Valley resulted in a cooling of 11 degrees, down to 37. The thermometer is not malfunctioning, it is just that the valley is sheltered and the cool air, which is more dense than warm, seeped down in overnight while warmer air drifted in above it. All of that has now changed as the valley has warmed up into the 40s as well. A little rain is also falling, and this will be the order of the day. In fact, clouds and occasional sprinkles and light rain will continue to be the order of the week. I don't see any snowstorms looming out there, ready to pounce on us, anytime in the near future.

Monday, January 11, 2010

One Down...Four To Go

Monday is just about in the history books, all in all it has been a productive day. I hope that tomorrow is more of the same. I have a meeting at 8:00am, and later in the day I am off to the basketball court to officiate a high school boys JV game. Speaking of the court, I have been encouraged to write a note about today's happenings on the tennis court. Rather than being the butt kickee, I ended up being more of the butt kicker. How that happened I haven't a clue, but I'll savor the moment nonetheless. In the first set my partner, John, and I quickly went down 3 games to none. Shortly there after we found ourselves behind 5 to 2. At that point I said to John; "we're going to win this set". We got behind 30-15 in that game, and I asked John if I should reconsider my position. He said no, and we played on. The outcome...we came back to win 7-5. The next set also turned out to be a win for my team. We started a 3rd, but had to stop at 2-2 as we ran out of time. As I mentioned before, this type of success is unprecedented. We'll see what happens on Wednesday morning!

The Dead Of Winter

Now that we are well past the holidays, the Christmas decorations are put away for another year, and the college football bowl games are just about over (at least I hope they are), it is the time of the year that I call the dead of winter. From mid January through early February there just isn't a whole lot going on, so you have to make for your own excitement. As age continues to advance it seems that this gets a little bit harder. This is the time of year that you really notice how short and dark the days are. This is the time of year that you really notice how lousy the weather is. Ahh...but this year we are getting a break. The weather isn't all that bad. The days are still short and mostly gray, but the weather has been, and looks like it will continue to be, pretty easy on us. Throughout this week we will be seeing mostly rain rather than snow. Temperatures will be above normal rather than below freezing, and the streets and highways will be pretty easy to navigate. The wettest weather will be coming along on Tuesday, with occasional light rain showers and drizzle at other times. High temperatures will be close to 40 degrees all the way into the weekend, with lows in the low to mid 30s.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Need To Get Back To Work

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you end up being so pooped out that you just have to get back to the routine of the workweek to rest up a bit. That is where I am at. I am still trying to recover from Saturday, almost 7 hours of running up and down a basketball court, and a full morning of church earlier today. I am not complaining, I enjoyed it all, but it all does tend to tucker a fella out!

The sun came out today, and the temperatures rose to near 40 degrees, so most of that ice that accumulated yesterday is gone. That is with the exception of the front of our house, the driveway and sidewalks, which I swear are the coldest place this side of Whitehorse in the Yukon. last year I think it took until the 4th of July for all of the snow to melt off of our front yard, and today while I was taking down the snowflake lights from the front of the house it was a slippery ordeal to get back and forth from the garage and up and down the ladder. No one was injured though, which is a blessing, so I can head for the tennis court tomorrow morning in relatively good physical condition (not necessarily in good physical shape) to receive my regular butt whoopin' from my posse.

Looking ahead to the weather this week it appears as if we are headed back into the mud. The temperatures will be warm, consistently above freezing, and more rain will be coming in tomorrow through Tuesday. It will be staying on the mild side right into next weekend so there is no sign that the winter of 2009-2010 is going to get serious anytime soon. I haven't heard too many complaints about that.

Sunday Morning

It is still a bit slick out there, especially on the side streets, but the drizzle appears to be gone and we will probably see the sun make a few cameo appearances today. Right now all is quiet at the church. The regular early risers are not here yet. It could be that some of our older members may not want to venture out on the streets of Spokane until later in the morning. We shall see.

Today will be a time to rest up a bit from yesterday's action. The Green Bay Packers will be making an NFL playoff appearance late this afternoon in Arizona. I used to be a much bigger fan, I'm still big...but not so much of a fan, but I will be paying close attention to the game later today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Little Bit of Ice

We had a drizzly and slippery day today, just a little. It really hasn't been too bad, so no one was least not that I know of. I made it through the day pretty well, enduring 5 basketball games that I officiated. Speaking of basketball...Kay and Beth went to the Gonzaga women's game against Portland this afternoon. It was a big GU victory, so all are happy.

You will want to stop by St. John's Lutheran Church of Spokane tomorrow morning for either the 8:30 or 11:00am service. It is the Sunday that we celebrate the baptism of Jesus, and I will be talking about gangs. To find out how all of that fits together I guess you will just have to be there!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Busy Day Ahead

It is just about time to settle down for a long winter's nap. Actually, it won't be that long as I will be getting up at 6:30am. That is so that I can navigate my way through the coming snow to my basketball game that is scheduled to begin at 8:00am out in Spokane Valley. I have 2 games in the morning, and then 3 more in the afternoon. These will be 8th grade or younger kids, and after chasing around high schoolers for the past few weeks it should be a piece of cake. Even then, being that I am on the downhill side of 50 I will probably be in fine shape by the end of the day tomorrow...yeah, right!

Today I put the finishing touches on the church services for Sunday. They are going to be really good, so I suggest that you make every effort to be there. This Sunday we are remembering the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The sermon title is "Gangland". If you want to know how that fits in with baptism you will have to show up on Sunday...8:30 or 11:00am...we'll save you a seat!

Gonna Get A Little "Slickery"

Clouds are covering the sky this morning, and the pre-dawn sun is making for a colorful eastern horizon. Remember the old saying; "red sky at morning...sailor take warning, red sky at night...sailor's delight"? Now I don't know how many sailors are around here, especially at this time of the year, but that red sky this morning does portend some not so nice weather ahead. That will come later tonight into tomorrow morning in the form of a little snow, sleet and freezing rain. The worst of it will be centered around the hours of 3am to 10am Saturday, as warm and moist air from the Pacific starts to move in over the chilly and very dry air that is already here. The progression will be like this. Light snow will begin sometime after midnight. That will turn over to some sleet (ice pellets) before daybreak, after an inch or so of snow has fallen. The precipitation will probably turn to liquid around sunrise or shortly after, with ground temperatures still below freezing. That means that the rain will freeze on contact creating icy streets, sidewalks, driveways, trees, cats, etc... There won't be a lot of ice building up, just enough to be a nuisance to those of us that have to get up early and drive 15 miles to referee basketball games at 8:00am. Temperatures should get above freezing by late morning and conditions will rapidly improve. From there a much milder weather pattern will be with us through most of next week so the snow and ice will melt away again. Highs today will be in the upper 20s, tomorrow the mid 30s, then we should be near 40 degrees for several days.

Today is Friday, so there will be some tennis, some work at the church, and some basketball to officiate. When it is all done, I hear there will be turkey pot pie for dinner...good stuff! My main concern at the church today will be unclogging the sinks in the basement. The quilting ladies reported to me yesterday that they were not operating as designed, so I'll have at it in a little while. It could be interesting though, as I have not had the drain opening course in my seminary curriculum yet.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This Just In

Time for some pictures!
The church building process continues to progress. We are in the finishing phase right now, which has about a month to go. As I see it today, all of the sinks are in the bathrooms, the counter tops are done, the woodwork is being installed and the electrical work is moving along. As you can see it is going to be a beautiful building, and a wonderful house of God in the Latah Valley. We have heard from a lot of people who are interested in checking things out when all is finished.
Today was a very good day! A lot was accomplished. I enjoyed a great lunch with friends reconnecting from my Q6 days here in Spokane, and I had the opportunity to watch the entire national championship college football game. It was too bad that the freshman quarterback from Texas couldn't pull it out. That would have been a great story!
Tomorrow, Friday, will start off on the tennis court and end on the basketball court. In between I need to put the finishing touches on Sunday's sermon, and get ready for the Bible class between the services. I only have one game to officiate late tomorrow afternoon...freshman it should be pretty low key. On Saturday I have 5 games to do, so we will see how I feel on Saturday evening!

Another Sunny Start

The sun is shining brightly through my office window again this morning, and helping to warm things up a little bit in here too. The day will go on this way, although I lose the direct sunbeam in my window in the afternoon and I am sure it will be getting chilly again. Tomorrow the clouds will be back, and it looks like the weather will be getting a bit messy on Friday night and Saturday. That is not a good prospect for me since I have to officiate a basketball game at 5:30 tomorrow evening, and a couple more beginning at 8:00am Saturday. Tomorrow's shouldn't be too much of a problem getting to, its in town and if anything is falling it will only be a few snowflakes, but later Friday night we may be getting some freezing rain, and we all know how much fun that can be! Warmer and more moist air will be coming in from the Pacific late tomorrow into Saturday, and as it does it will be forced up over the pool of chilly dry air that is here right now. Cold dry air is more dense than warm moist air so the warm air rises over it producing clouds and precipitation. By Saturday midday the warmer air will push the colder air out, and temperatures will rise above freezing. Its Saturday morning that looks like it could be a bit of a bugger! Oh well...we'll deal with it.

Today I am going to be "doing lunch" with a friend from my TV days, which were not that long ago. It will be good to catch up on what is going on at the old salt mine, and how everyone is doing that is still serving their sentences their. Really, it isn't that bad, but whenever anyone asks me if I miss that job (it happened again last night) I instantly and truthfully say no, not at all! I do miss the people that I worked with though. They are a great group and we had a lot of fun!

I'll have some updated pictures of the new church (interior) to post later this evening. Tonight is the national championship college football game. I don't have a clue as to who to root for!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here Comes The Sun!

It is not quite here yet, not yet over the eastern horizon, but the sun will be shining over eastern Washington today. We are starting off a lot chillier than we have been in past days, right now in the mid 20s. We will see high temperatures near 30 today, tomorrow and Friday, with lows tonight dropping into the teens. By Saturday there is a good chance for a little light snow, but then it will be warming up again. Where have we seen that before...the story of this winter. Its a pretty good story though.

I am headed for the tennis court this morning, and then to a full day of work. I don't expect anything out of the ordinary, but then again, I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary back on Monday morning when I nailed my partner Tuck in the back of the head with a serve! I'll try not to do that again. The outcome was certainly not out of the ordinary...I got my butt kicked again. We'll see how things go today.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Stars At Night, Shine Big And Bright!

No, we are not deep in the heart of Texas...but the stars are out tonight. We know that since we just climbed out of the hot tub (there is a message there to our friends from the Denver area who are right now visiting family in the deep freeze of Michigan). The wet weather has finally departed, and we are in for a couple of sunnier and drier days. All of the mud will be freezing tonight, the temperature is already down to 31 degrees, so we won't have all of that water around to make things foggy and cloudy for a few days.

I had a successful day on the basketball court today. Actually, I only had one game to officiate, a JV game out at Reardan High School. It was a blow out for the home team over an small group (just 6 players) from Sprague-Harrington. My partner and I both stand 6 feet 6 inches tall, so the coaches and players didn't give us any guff. That always seems to be the case. Whenever I work a game the coaches seem to bellyache more to my partner, especially if he or she is significantly shorter than I.


MuddyGush was one of our favorite books back when Beth was a wee little lass. That pretty much sums up the way things are outside after over a half inch of rain in the past 24 hours. The rain will be coming to a stop, and we should actually see a little sun the next few days...not today, but Wednesday and Thursday. The rain is now drifting slowly southeastward, away from us, and the day will be much drier than yesterday. It will be a little chillier through the end of the week with high temperatures close to 30 degrees tomorrow thought Friday, after reaching the middle 30s today.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Much More Mud

Another wet day is on the way across the Spokane area with rain moving overhead from the west this morning. That rain will last into tonight before things begin to dry out. If you are thinking that this winter, so far, has been abnormally wet...think again. The past 3 months have been pretty close to right on the button in terms of the normal amount of moisture that we have received. The big thing is that our snowfall has only been about half of the average to date. We have picked up 11.4 inches of snow so far (which in most cases has almost immediately melted off) versus a normal snowfall through January 3rd of 22.4 inches. Normal moisture...half the snow...hmm...says to me that the average snow level (the elevation at which snowflakes melt into raindrops) has been a lot higher this winter than it has the past two, when we had our snowiest and 3rd snowiest winters on record. You can thank, or curse, El Nino for this change, as it has provided the warmer air to raise the snow level.

Snow will fall in the mountains today, while we get our rain, and then the weather pattern will be making an abrupt change. A strong ridge of high pressure will begin building as today's weather system departs on Tuesday, and that ridge will hang on through the end of week. That means dry weather returning for a few days, and temperatures trending downward a bit. The coldest air will be east of the Continental Divide, much of the nation east of the Rockies will be in the deep freeze, so it won't be getting a lot colder around here. We should see high temperatures around 30 degrees at the end of the week, with fog and low clouds settling in by Thursday and Friday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weekend's End

This has been quite a weekend, with New Year's Eve being last Thursday it seems to have gone on forever. Hey...I'm not complaining. we had a nice day of sitting, and occasionally dozing off, on the couch watching football, and then a big dinner with friends. Most of the prep work was done yesterday making for a stress free day. Now it is just about time to call it a day, and prepare to get back at it tomorrow. The day will start off on the tennis court, but not until 9:30am, and then it will be off to work to begin gearing up for next Sunday. I still don't have to get back at the school work for another week, but I think that I will work ahead a little bit just to ease back into the swing of things.

The weather today was nice, a little sun at times and temperatures into the low to mid 40s. Tomorrow is looking wetter, and there may be some snowflakes mixed in with the rain early in the day, at least up here in the higher ground of town. From there on we should get a chance to dry out through the middle to latter part of the week as a high pressure ridge builds over the Pacific Northwest. That will cool things down a bit, and probably breed some foggy and cloudy weather, but as for snow there doesn't appear to be a lot of that coming anytime soon.


I noticed the stars in the sky last night, meaning that the clouds had cleared away. That led to colder temperatures and as a result the moisture from the past few days turned to frost this morning. The roadways are a little slick. Yesterday we were also remembering the conditions of a year ago, when we were coming to the end of a 3 week stretch that featured 6 feet of snow! In comparison, a little frost and a bunch of rain is a far better alternative, at least in my mind.

The weather today will be quiet, and dry. Clouds will block the sun most of the time, but temperatures will be up near 40 degrees. More rain is coming in later tonight into Monday, and it should turn a little bit cooler through the middle of the week. No major snowstorms are seen lurking out there on the horizon though, so this winter continues to be an easy least so far!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Where's The Coffee?

I am up and going early this Saturday morning, I had to get the big coffee maker going for men's breakfast at church...BIG coffee makers for BIG men! The weather is mild and muddy. More rain is on the way, a few showers into Sunday, and then more substantial rain tomorrow night into Monday morning. Temperatures will reach near to just above 40 degrees today and tomorrow, and the mild weather will be hanging on into next week. I'll talk with you later...I have to go make the oatmeal.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Game Day

New Year's Day was a day for football games and playing games with family and friends. I can't believe how exhausting it is to sit on the couch watching football, around a table playing board games, and eating all day. Its enough to wear a fella out! Most of the teams that I was rooting for (Big Ten Conference teams) won today, and I represented fairly well in the games that we played, mostly Scattagories and Bananarama. For the second day in a row pizza was the main entree of the evening, which is a-okay with me. Papa Murphy's...yum!

Tomorrow morning starts with men's breakfast at church. We meet at 8:30 am for food, and then a Bible study. Come join us! As usual, I will be cooking grits. After that we might do a little bowling, if we can find a bowling alley that will allow us access. I don't have too much to get done at church tomorrow, as I am not the one responsible for leading the services this week, that would be pastor Young, my coach. I've had a nice break in the action this week after 4 sermons in 3 days last week. I'll be back in the saddle again next Sunday, and after a week of downtime I am refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to go...a not so lean, mean sermonating machine!


The combination of nearly two inches of fresh "packy" snow, New Year's Eve, and a glass of "Official Triple Dog dare ya "Moore-Pour" Irish Cream concoction made for quite a party last night on 54th Lane. We had a special guest that we built out on the cul-de-sac. As with any good New Year's eve party this guy wasn't feeling very good this morning after collapsing from all of the fun. Actually, it was a night of rising temperatures and rain that did him in. All of that snow that came down late yesterday afternoon and evening is just about gone. That is the way that it has been this winter...what little snow that we get melts away very quickly. I have said it numerous times before, and will say it again, that's alright with me!
Now its New Year's Day...time for a traditional German breakfast, and then a day long fight over the TV. I want to watch football, and the ladies want to watch anything but. We will be going to visit friends to play games this afternoon and evening, so I will have to be selective about my football. The bowl season so far has been great! My Badgers stomped Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl, and the Idaho Vandals came back in the last second to beat Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise (there you go Jason...are you happy now?) My attention is now turning to the Boise State Broncos as they prepare to battle TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. Go Broncos! (that one was for you Larry!)