Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Digging Out

We made through a "blizzard", although in technical terms it really wasn' least not in Spokane.  In areas to our west and south, the wide open spaces, it was another story, as the new snow and wind drifted some of the major, and most of the secondary, roads closed.  From what I have seen we picked up about 6 inches of snow from Sunday through Tuesday morning, and this morning the temperature out at the airport dipped to a rather refreshing -9!  Up to today this winter is getting off to a start very similar to the winter of 2000-2001, they very first winter that we were living here, in that an early snowstorm (in 2000 it was even earlier, around the 6th or 7th of November) was followed by subzero temperatures.  In 2000 that early November morning was the coldest of the entire winter season...something that I hope will again be the case this winter.  In any event.  The winter of 2000-2001 is most noteworthy in that we had at least an inch of snow on the ground for 114 straight days, from November all the way through the 1st week of March, which is an all-time record.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  We have a church service tonight at 7:00pm, and it is going to be followed by a Pie Social.  If you are in the area why not stop by?  The furnaces are all working well, so it will be plenty comfortable indoors as the temperature outdoors drops toward zero once again.  We will probably only get to about 8 above early this afternoon.  We are going to be spending our Thanksgiving holiday at the home of some friends, Carole and Al, cooking them Thanksgiving dinner.  Carole took a spill yesterday at home and broke her wrist, so Kay and I will be doing a good deal of the meal preparation.  That is A-okay with me since then we get to make everything just the way WE like it.  By the time we get home tomorrow evening the snow will probably be flying again.  Somewhat warmer air is going to be trying to push in from the west, but it will be forced to rise up over the cold and dry (more dense) air that is already here.  Upward vertical motion causes the rising air to expand and cool, which decreases its capacity to hold water vapor, therefore producing clouds and precipitation.  That precipitation (snow) will then continue into Friday with another couple-three inches to shovel up by the end of the day. 

Brady update...I haven't seen much of my little buddy in the past week and a half, but I did receive a picture of the little guy so that I can remember what he looks like.
Handsome little devil isn't he?  I think he get that from his grandpa!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oh Boy!

Snow is falling's going to be a looooonnnnnggggg winter!  More to come.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snow Job

We woke this morning to a fresh covering of snow...about 2 inches that covered everything in a blanket of white.

These pictures are from late morning, after the melting had begun.  By now most is gone, but winter looks like it is kicking in with a vengeance.  Over the next 5 days progressively colder air will be rolling into the Pacific Northwest...that's where we live.  Tomorrow we should get a bit above freezing, but after that we might not see the plus side of 32 degrees until next weekend, NEXT weekend, or even longer.  In fact, by next Tuesday and Wednesday the high temperatures, HIGH temperatures, will only be between 10 and 15 degrees!  During that time there is likely to be a little more snow, probably enough to cover the ground again, but since the air will also be getting progressively drier I don't expect anything major.  At least I hope not.  Either way, it is going to be a long winter!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brady Come Back

Brady Come Back

It has been a long time since I have seen my little buddy...too long.  I am in a funk!  I can't write...I can't sleep...I can't work...I can't eat...alright, I can still eat, and I am probably eating way to much.  Follow the link above for my plea to my buddy to come back across the cul-de-sac once again.  It expressed my feelings perfectly, in the form of the 70s band "Player".  You remember them, don't you?  How did they ever know that more than 30 years later I would have the same lament...Brady Come Back!

You just gotta love their hair...and the quality of the video!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The First Snow

As I arose this morning and descended the staircase to allow our aging doggie her morning pit stop I noticed a curious occurrence outside our windows.  Yes indeed, that was snow that was falling...very little mind you, and from the looks of things we were very near the melting level...but technically speaking we have now experienced our first snow of the fall and winter season of 2010-2011.  There was no measurable accumulation, and the early is just cloudy cold and damp.  That is the way it will be through the rest of the day, and tomorrow is looking a little brighter drier and milder.  We should get back up into the middle 40s. (WHOOPEE!)

Things have been very busy since my last post...oh the rigors of having to satisfy 4 employers.  Nevertheless there has been some opportunity for some fun and entertainment.  Yesterday morning out on the tennis court my buddy, and member of my posse, John opened up a can of "whoop-#%$" on the rest of us, being the big winner of the day.  Last evening I had the chance to take in the first regular season Gonzaga basketball game thanks to my buddy David (not a member of any of my posses).  GU opened up a can of "whoop-#%$" on Southern University of Baton Rouge, LA by scoring 117 points and leading by 50 points at times in the 2nd half.  This morning while I was teaching some of our young folks confirmation instruction at the church my Alma mater Wisconsin opened up a can of "whoop-#%$" on the Indiana Hoosiers (Hoosier daddy?) to the tune of 83 to 20!  Its hard to score 83 points without anyone else on the field let alone with a Big Ten defense out there.

In a little while I will have my time out on the court, as I will don the black and white striped shirt again so that otherwise mild mannered and respectable parents of elementary age boys and girls can unload profanity laced tirades at me and whomever else is out there with me.  Its always good to set a good example in front of your kids, isn't it?  As I was watching the game last evening...I usually pay more attention to the officials rather than the players...I couldn't help but notice how much easier it appears to call college level games as the players involved know how to play the game well, and you don't have near as many rugby type scrums as with the younger folks.  That being said, college coaches have refined the art of screaming at officials to the point that it seems as if that is all that they ever do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Snow Show

Well, here it is Wednesday morning, and another weather system has come and gone without dropping a flake of snow on the Inland Northwest.  Don't get me wrong...that is A-OK with me, as there will be plenty of future opportunities for the ground to be whitened.  Truth be told, even if it were a few degrees colder last night, and the light rain that fell was in the form of snow, the ground probably would still not be white this morning as the total precipitation recorded wasn't even measurable...just a trace.  For today we are now on the sunnier side of the house, with the weather being quiet and cool for the rest of the day.  A little more precipitation will be coming back our way later tomorrow into Friday, but that too looks to be just a few sprinkles of rain rather than a bunch of snow.

I ran across the updated seasonal forecast forecast for the winter...December through February...and there is a little bit of a change.  The "Long Rangers" are now calling for little departure from normal in terms of temperatures with a pretty good bet for above average precipitation.  The change is that the earlier forecast were showing a trend toward below average temperatures, but that is now confined to western Washington and up into British Columbia.  What does it all mean to us?  We are still in for a lot more snow this year than last, but maybe only near to slightly above average amounts.  That would put the seasonal total close to 50 inches, as compared with 15 last winter, and nearly 100 the winter before.

One final note...please keep the noise Aviation Weather is taking their second test of the quarter.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Amazing Feet!

Well...I have come to the end of the weekend, and my size 15 clodhoppers are barking after officiating 9 basketball games in less than 48 hours.  Today was probably the most strenuous, but at the same time the most enjoyable.  After church I had to drive almost to Idaho, just south of the Canadian border is seemed like, to reach Mountain View Middle School.  There I had 3 games of 4th grade girls.  In all 3 games the coaches had their kids pushing the ball up the court on each possession, and very often those possessions ended in a quick turnover that had us heading rapidly in the other direction.  One of the key things to refereeing basketball is to have a good partner, and today I was blessed to have just that.  That means that I don't have to worry about trying to cover for the other guys blown or missed calls, and can concentrate on what I have to do while having confidence that my partner will concentrate on his responsibilities.  I often tell the new guys that your partner is the only friend that you have out there...everyone else pretty much hates your you want to be able to rely on him, while at the same time making his job as easy as possible.  Ken and I made a pretty good team, and after our last game the grandfather of one of the girls came up to us and said that we were the best officials that he had seen.  That makes it all worthwhile.

We had quite a change in the weather today, going from mild and dry to cool windy and wet.  I am afraid that the days of 60 degree temperatures and sunshine are now gone for the season, and probably won't return again until April of 2011.  This week is looking chilly, windy and damp, with high temperatures in the 40s, which is about normal, and we will very likely see some snowflakes in the middle to later part of the week, although at this time I don't see any "major" snowstorms.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another Win For Bucky Badger!

If you are a follower of this blog you know that I am a big time Badger.  That is my Alma mater, and I grew up listening on radio to some of the greats of the past like Rufus "The Roadrunner" Ferguson, Billy Marek and, and, and...oh well...that is all that I can think of because Wisconsin generally stunk back then.  Anyway, they don't stink now.  8 and 1 baby! with another win today, this time on the road against Purdue (or is that Pur-don't) 34-13.  Things didn't look good early, but Bucky Badger got it all rolling on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, in the second half to win fairly comfortably.  Next week we get that perennial powerhouse Indiana at home, and then it is off to Michigan ("The Cesspool Across the Lake") the following Saturday.  Michigan can score a lot of points, but also gives up more per game than their basketball team.

Speaking of basketball...I was out on the basketball court again this afternoon, this time helping to train some of the new guys.  You talk about "the blind leading the blind!"  Sheesh!  But it went pretty well.  I know look forward to going home to actually watch a little football this evening, and then gearing up for Sunday morning here at church, an hour later than most other weekends.  I am headed back out to the court again tomorrow afternoon for my third and final installment of running with the kids tomorrow afternoon.  Should be a fun thing to do on a rainy afternoon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Game On!

This is the weekend in which I will go from two employers to four, and we'll see if these aging tree trunks that I have for legs will be able to carry me through another basketball season.  This evening I will be hitting the court again to officiate 3 games for the season opening tournament of the local AAU branch.  I am working under the umbrella of the Washington Officials Association and the Spokane Basketball Officials...they will be signing the pay check.  Tomorrow and Sunday afternoons I have 3 more games in each case, and in this instance I will be working directly for the AAU...they will be signing another paycheck.  The bottom line is that I will be running up and down the floor chasing a bunch of kids over the course of 9 games this weekend covering about 11 hours worth of time.  All the while I will be getting yelled at by coaches and parents.  Sound like fun, doesn't it?  Actually, it is!

It has already been an active day as I rose up early in the morn to head for the Community College for the Friday morning lab session of the meteorology course that I teach...another employer.  I returned home to the wife and a 4 year old son, as Brady is spending the day in our care.  After choking down a bit of breakfast it was off to the tennis court...I just can't stay out of court...for my usual Friday morning romp with the posse.  I was going to title this post "Grumpy Old Men"...or more appropriately "Grumpy Old Man" as one member of the posse vehemently chewed me out, in front of the wife and Brady, for my somewhat less frequent pattern of posting on this site of late.  I am not going to out anyone, but John was a little testier than normal this morning.  My performance on the tennis court this morning better not be an indication of my performance on the basketball court this evening or I am headed for trouble, and probably a smaller backside as it gets chewed by coaches and fans.  After tennis Brady and I took to cleaning up the backyard.  We have been treated to several days of dry weather so I got my mower out, and Brady got his, and we went to hacking.  Since the last time I mowed the dog, Dixie, has left more than her fair share of lawn treats.  We also raked up a nice size pile of leaves, away from Dixie's dumping grounds, for Brady to jump into.  That boy has a real talent for running full speed and then jumping head first into a pile of leaves.

Right now I am seated at my desk at the church...the primary employer.  We were supposed to have some website and tech training this afternoon, but it got cancelled at the last minute.  Brady is taking his afternoon nap on the couch in our upstairs media/playroom.  That is where we keep the toys that Brady likes to build things with.  That boy has a real talent for napping hard and waking up with an extreme case of "bed head".  I am getting geared up for all of the events of the weekend ahead...which by the my favorite weekend of the year.  This is the weekend that Daylight Saving Time ends, and we push our clocks back an hour on Saturday night.  That makes this the longest weekend of the year, which is exactly why it is my favorite.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Snow Doubt!

Today was just plain beautiful.  It was sunny and the temperature was up around 60 degrees.  Tomorrow is looking pretty good too, back up near 60 again.  Then as we get to the weekend the prospects for rain and chillier temperatures will be increasing.  The real question is; when are we going to see some snow?  I have the answer.

While we may see a few flakes in the air early next week...say Monday or Tuesday, mixed in with some rain...that won't be any big deal.  It's later in the week, actually by the weekend, that it looks like we may well see our first batch of accumulating snow of the winter season of 2010-11.  I know, at the end of next week it will still officially be fall, but around these parts the winter weather almost always begins well before the calendar announces the official change of the season around about the 21st of December.  So my advice is to get all of the fall yard work done this weekend, in between raindrops, and get the sprinkler system blown out before the ground has a chance to freeze.  You might want to look around in the garage or shed to locate the snow shovel, although in early to mid November any snow that does fall will usually melt within a day or two.  With the winter ahead looking colder and snowier than average, due to the presence of a La Nina out in the Pacific, it will be a good idea to have that shovel handy soon, as the snow will likely come early and often this upcoming cold season.

We Win!!!

Now that it is the day after the general election I can confidently claim victory...for all of us.  We can now be at peace as the ridiculous campaigning is over, and we will no longer be bombarded with TV ads that tell us that one candidate or another will eat our children if elected.  Now we can get back to what is truly important in all of our and training for Thanksgiving dinner.

Oh by the way...IT'S GONNA SNOW!   I'll be telling you exactly when a little later today.