Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Hath Sprung

(I am trying an experiment here. I've included the music playing as I compose this opus between brackets for your perusal. Interesting? Or not?)

 <Music: I Can Hear The Grass Grow by The Move>
You know how it is. In the spring a young (and not so young) man's fancy turns to the great outdoors. (Get your mind out of the gutter - I wasn't going there at all! {*grin*}) On the basis of my experience today, it is definite that Spring with a capital S has arrived. The moisture from the rain and blizzards of the last few weeks coupled with the near 80 degree sunny days of recent times has caused green to break out. The grass has started to grow and turn green, the weeds are rioting, with the dandelions adding a splash of color in the front yard. Even the trees are starting to put forth some leaf buds.

<Music: Stop Stop Stop by The Hollies>
It was so nice out today  that I decided to make a big walking circuit of my errands this afternoon. I walked cross town to a bank to make the monthly deposit for the Boy Scout troop (the committee meeting was last night). After that I walked to another bank to sign a form and pick up some papers for L and myself, then walked across town to the credit union to pick up some papers for Mom. It was a wonderful 80 degrees with crystal clear azure skies and just enough of a breeze to keep it from becoming too hot in the sun. The sun here can be very intense when the sky is cloudless. Even though we are in the flat lowlands of Colorado here, we are still at an elevation that qualifies for the high altitude baking directions. {*grin*} Thus higher UV levels than lubbers from down around sea level are used to.

<Music: The Letter by The Box Tops>
My freewheeling mind has forgotten what I was going to originally write about, so I'l just have to make do with what the last paragraph suggests. I was interruted by the phone and then the dog and then ...

<Music: Angie by The Rolling Stones>
First topic, the Boy Scout troop. This town was founded in the late 1800's and the Boy Scout troop that I am on the committee for (and serve as treasurer of) was founded in the early 1920's. It has been continuously chartered and operational since that time with the exception of a three year span in the late 1950's and early 1960's. It is the troop I was a scout in during my youth. The people on the committee with me include several of the scouts I was a scout with. I often feel a bit left out in that crowd since I am the odd man out - I am the only one of the group who did not attain the penultimate rank of Eagle Scout. I opted to leave and go to a science institute at a nearby university and so stopped just short of completing my Eagle. It is also the troop that the Son followed a similar path through. Three of us who were scouts together in the 60's and who now serve on the committee also all had sons in the troop at the same time. That sense of continuity and community is so rare any more. So what kind of organizations are you a part of with that kind of generational continuity?

<Music: I Can't Control Myself by The Troggs>
Second topic, altitude (and cooking). Although we are at a paltry 3,935 feet here, the place in the mountains where L and the Son are is at roughly 9,200 feet. So down here there are only some moderate altitude effects on cooking, whereas up there the effects can be radical at times. Most of the effects are related to the boiling point of water and how it decreases with altitude and air pressure (lower air pressure -> lower boiling points) The relationship is non-linear and can be approximated by a quintic equation. Since I am aware that some of you are math phobic, I'll protect your fine sensibilities. {*grin*} The pertinent data are are approximated by these boiling points of water at various altitudes:
  • 212 degrees F    Sea level
  • 205 degrees F    4000 feet
  • 194 degrees F    9200 feet
You can see that there is a sizeable effect at altitude. Anything that counts on the boiling point of water for thermoregulation is not going to work well at altitude. In fact there are some foods that it becomes impossible to adequately cook by boiling alone. Even if you can, the cook times are much  longer due to the lower maximum temperature reached as the water boils off. Do you do much cooking at altitude? Got any good tips or hints to share?

<Music: Layla by Eric Clapton (non-acoustic version)>
<Music: Hotel California by the Eagles>
I once more got distracted, but I was essentially done anyway. (I cannot hear Layla without thinking of and missing L, so by the time my mind returns to reality, the chain of reasoning is long gone. {*grin*}) How do you like the inline music tags. Are they helpful in following my shifts of mood and thought?


Post a Comment

You know you want to ... so just do it!!!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin