Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Wind ...

True fall has finally blown in. Yesterday, as L left for the mountains, it was turning cool and windy. In the mountains, it was snowing and blowing, which made the ski areas happy, but which didn't overjoy L. {*grin*} Reports are that it continued snowing this morning in the mountains.

In any case, it finally (barely) frosted here last night. I see some blackened leaves on the lilac bush which is a pretty good indicator that it dropped below 32. I haven't gotten over to the garden to see if the few remaining zucchini plants have turned black or not. (Zucchini are very sensitive to freezing. About the only thing known to man that stops a zucchini in its tracks.) Ye olde lilac as a two toned shivering bush:

Today the wind is howling outside like a banshee and the temperature is not going to reach much above 50. The wind is running a steady 25-35 mph with gusts above 50 mph. What more could one ask for to herald the arrival of true fall weather? After all, nothing says fall like cold and bluster. The forecast is for a hard freeze tonight, dropping into the 20s. Of course, in the tradition of this oddly long mild year, the temperatures are headed for the 70s later in the week.

Tonight I need to attend the city council meeting since the second reading and public hearing on the master contract to build the new humane society facility is on the docket. At long last, after more than 6 months of delay, we may finally be on the way to getting the building started. So I'd better get back to work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The weather here has certainly been odd this fall. We have yet to have a hard freeze. Most of the corn is already in the cribs and silos and it has yet to freeze. Many years the question is when the snows will come, but this year it is when will the freeze arrive.
The average date of first frost here abouts is Oct. 10. So far it looks like we may even make it into November before it freezes here. Odd.

I can still tell that it is fall in spite of the late season warmth. The angle of the sun has increased to the extend that what I call the "reflective" season is upon us. Everything in the midday sun has a white-ish sheen that makes some things darn near impossible. Finding errant golf balls for instance - not that I would ever know about that. {*grin*}

Another hint of fall is how fast it is getting dark. I dread the beginning of daylight savings time as it exacerbates the effect. It is already getting dark around 5pm, a world of difference from the 9pm or later in the heady days of summer. I hate the days of December when it is dark by 3:30pm. (Assisted a bit by the infamous "fall back" time change.)

Well, I should get prepared. I am serving as the moderator of a panel/discussion/forum tomorrow from 10am to 4pm. The Northeast Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition is hosting to let people get answers to their disability questions. That's what I get for being a staunch supporter when I was mayor. {*grin*}

Lest I forget, mom's birthday is tomorrow. Since I know she reads here (and thinks I forgot):

Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Poop Carrier

Now that I have recovered somewhat from putting on the first annual Logan County Humane Society 5K Run and Pet Walk, maybe I'll be able to post in a more timely basis. No promises, just a fond hope. {*grin*}

Oh,  are you wondering about the title? Well ... last Saturday when I got the 5K runners on their way and then the Pet Walk people off and going, who should decide to poop within steps of the start? Yep, Molly the wonder dog, as walked by the ever beautiful L. So as I was getting ready to head across the park for the finish line, I heard L yell for me to come and take this.

This was a bag of Molly poop. L didn't want to carry it for the next half mile to get rid of it, so I was pressed into duty as a poop carrier. You can now add poop carrier to my long list of titles. I think next year I am going to recruit some volunteers to line the course and be poop carriers. They'll have to be young or they will be too wise to accept. Either that or they will have to be spouses of the Pet Walk participants. It's amazing the things you will do when you are married!

Here are some pictures from the event. This is what the main site looked like early in the morning before we started setting up:

And here we are just about mid-way through decorating:

But now let's skip over to the start of the 5K. The undistinguished future poop carrier in the green shirt is me explaining the rules and getting ready to start the 5K runners.

They're off!  The young man in black led the 5K from start to finish with a time of 19:40. Probably not surprising he is on the high school cross country team. {*grin*}

But in the meantime, notice Molly stopping to leave the gift of poop in the middle of the walkers?
Yes, that is Molly pooping on the right edge of the picture.

In any case, a good time was had by all the runners and walkers. Here is Molly, L, and friends as they near the finish line:

Then it was time for the silent auction and fashion show. Note how the decorating added class to the pavilion.

I'll close with a couple of pictures of the models strutting down the improvised runway.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Too Much Information

Many years ago when I was a teenager ... Whoops, wrong kind of TMI.

I speak of the TMI from information overload foisted on the buyer by some online ordering systems. When you order online, most sites give you a tracking ID so that you can check the status of your order. Those tracking systems often include a lot of useless information that skirts around the one piece of information I want to know - when will the item(s) I ordered arrive in my hot hands?

For the most part I don't care what day your warehouse finally handed the item to the shipping company. I also do not care that it then languished in Bumf**k, Georgia for a day or more, for example. Nor do I  truly want to know that your truck driver averaged less than 40 mph travelling cross country to a meaningless warehouse in the highlands of Colorado. And I really question the reason it took 36 hours to leave the rural warehouse to head out here to the plains.

What do I really want to know? Plain and simple, the only important fact is the day the item is going to arrive on my doorstep. It is not like my knowing all the other details will change that date. Nor will I feel empowered just because I know all those odd routing details.

I just want to know with certainty the day it will arrive, especially since you invariably ship it in the colorful display box advertising the contents
and then simply leave it on my front door step for all to see without even ringing the doorbell. This gentleman follows your truck around for a reason.

So how do you feel about shipping TMI?

(None of the images are mine, nor do they the local version of reality.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It Must Be Fall ...

... because my musical taste is migrating towards "fall" music.

I don't know about you, but I tend to undergo seasonal modification of my choice of listening music. Summer leads to a preference for springy and funky music, akin to this Mungo Jerry classic:

But in the fall and spring, my taste turns to heavier and more cathartic music like these Jefferson Starship classics:


Of course, come the hard days of winter, there is only one possible salvation: the full 17+ minute version of In A Gadda Da Vida by Iron Butterfly. (Unfortunately, the YouTube time/bandwidth constraints only allow mutilated short versions of this classic to be posted. Trust me, the full version is worth searching out and puts the poor pale mutants to shame.) Here is the full song split into two videos. If you want the full experience. put both together in a YouTube playlist and they will play as one full length song. (It helps to have dropped some serious hallucinogens before seeing the original video circa 1969 contained herein. {*grin*})

Anyone who can listen to the full song and not feel rejuvenated and renewed must have grown up in the wrong generation. Or maybe they were just not exposed to enough hallucinogens early in life. {*grin*}

So how does your taste in music gyrate with the seasons?

Monday, October 4, 2010

What's Your Tipping Point

Over the last month I have been contemplating a purchase, one that is more $$$ than what I consider as trivial but less $$$ than what I consider a major purchase. So I researched and agonized and finally decided on the size and manufacturer I wanted. Then it was time to select a vendor, since it was an item not carried locally.

I narrowed it down to two vendors, one that I had used and liked before, W, and one that many people swore by and many swore at, Y. Y offered the object of my purchasing frenzy for about 6% less than W. But then I looked at the shipping and handling costs - W's was less that $1, Y's greater than $10. Even with the shipping and handling added in, Y was marginally cheaper than W.

I waffled back and for for a moment, teetering on the slippery slope of deciding on Y due to a less than 1% difference in total cost. I fairly quickly decided to go with W because of my past experiences with them.

In physics, a tipping point is the point at which an object is displaced from a state of stable equilibrium into a new, different state. Like adding another coin to this stack:

 In those terms, the difference in price (including shipping) between W and Y was not enough to exceed my experience based tipping point. I really haven't been able to figure out what my tipping point is for this particular transaction, but I suspect that if Y were another 3% cheaper, I would have slid down the slippery slope and tried them.

So what is your tipping point. When does your loyalty due to past experience give way to financial differences? Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Have Proof ...

that having a kid causes gray hair.

Let me present my case, step by step.

Let us begin back in the days of yore circa 1988, before L and I had the Son. Here we are with my brother's two oldest kids:
Note the nice dark hair on my head and face. I was Josh's (the one in my arms) favorite uncle because I was one of the last adults able to lift him up (and because I am his only uncle, but ...).

Then a few years later the Son was born and not much had changed:
But note the lightening already starting. (The flowers in front were from one of my clients in celebration of the Son's birth.)

About a year later and look at how the gray side-burns were coming forth:

Add another year or so and look at the gray as we played on the floor at mom and dad's:

Add another bit and see how the hair on top is turning gray and starting to thin:
I think it was because of all the toys I got to fix. {*grin*}

From there on out it just seems to go faster and faster. Here we all are a few years later:

By the time 2000 rolled around, we were still up for a good dress up occasion, but the white was running rampant:

Of course, the teen age years were yet to come, and with them came still more white (and the Son got a lot taller!):

In the same time frame, here is a better view of the gray taking over. (And no, I don't know why the Son is pointing at the ceiling.)

I'll leave you with this shot of me in my office a few years ago. The thing I am holding is an original art creation sold to benefit the local historical society - I called it "Thing-a-ma-boob".
Notice how gray and sparse the hair on top is? I do from time to time. And it sure seems to correspond with having kids. {*grin*}

(I'm kidding of course - the Son had little to do with the changes in my hair.)
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