weather

Friday Random Thoughts

Twenty five years ago this week I woke up in my apartment in Moscow, Russia to the BBC announcing a car crash in Paris. Princess Diana was rushed to hospital. I ran to the living room and turned on CNN or BBC or whatever. She was soon declared dead. It was sad and shocking.

Another death this week made me sad. It was only after Mikhail Gorbachev instigated Perestroika and the Soviet Union started to fall apart did we realize we would be able to move to Russia. It had always been my husband’s dream to go live there and Gorbie made that possible. He was the hero of the day. In 1990 I was living on Capitol Hill in D.C. and I had an image of Gorbie in my car window. The hand was on a spring so it actually waved. It was awesome. Three years later I was living in Moscow.

You get the idea…. (these are available on Amazon)

Gorbie did a lot to change the world. I don’t think it turned out the way he had hoped it would but he did make a positive difference. Now, of course, Mr Putin is trying to undo it all. There was an excellent obit in the New York Times this week.

I was reading this weird book that just seemed to be going on and on. It takes place in an airport lounge. One guy is telling a story to another guy. They went to college together but didn’t really know each other well. It feels like Mr. A just wanted to unload on somebody and Mr. B just happened to be there. So the story went on an on about how Mr. A saved a guy from drowning and then he became obsessed with the guy only to find out he probably should not have bothered. Anyway, the book is Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson. The Washington Post compares the author to Tom Ripley – “spinning a mesmerizing yarn”. To be honest I wasn’t mesmerized. I suppose if I was feeling more philosophical I could analyze my way through it and read all kinds of existential stuff into it but frankly I didn’t care enough. I skipped to the end. 

I guess I have not been paying too much attention lately but heard recently that there is another NASA space ship scheduled for the Moon. The plan is to establish a presence on the Moon in preparation of sending astronauts to Mars. It will be called Artemis Base Camp. In Greek mythology, Artemis was a lunar deity and goddess of the hunt. I found another book on my shelf “Russians in Space” that tells about the first manned space trip. In 1961, Yuri Gagarin was sitting in a rocket ship getting ready for this historic journey.

“Before the actual liftoff, Korolev, Kamanin and the first future cosmonauts gathered around the communications station to talk with Gagarin. One used call-sign Zarya.

Zarya: Well everything is normal It’s all going according to schedule. On the machine, everything is going fine.
Gagarin: How about the medical data? Is my heart beating?
Zarya. Your pulse rate is 64, and your respiration is 24. Everything is normal.
Gagarin: Roger. So my heart is beating.
Korolev: How are you feeling?
Gagarin: I’m not worried. I feel fine. How are you feeling? Tell the doctors that my pulse is normal.

At 9:07 am they had lift-off. He spent 108 minutes in space. He commented on how dark the night was and how bright the stars. How blue the earth was.

“At 9:51 when the spacecraft emerged from the earth’s shadow the automatic orientation system went into action. It sought out the sun and ‘locked on’ it to orient the ship. As the sun’s rays came through the earth’s atmosphere, the horizon turns bright orange, then gradually shaded through all the hues of the rainbow, to light blue, dark blue, violet, and even black. Gagarin asked himself: ‘Where have I seen such a combination of colors?’ And then he remembered: on the canvases of Nicholas Roerich and Rockwell Kent.”

At 10:55 the space ship plowed into a field and Gagarin landed by parachute near by. The farm workers gathered around in amazement. Gagarin was in very good spirits.

I received my Snow Emergency pamphlet from the St Paul Public Works today. Apparently St Paul plows more than 1,800 lane miles during the first 24 hours of a snow emergency. They compare it to a trip from St Paul to Anaheim, CA. I have to admit they do a pretty good job. I have lived in places where they do a terrible job (Washington DC).

Looks like a touch of orange is already here.

Birthday Week

Looks like six??

I usually post something on Sundays but yesterday was my birthday so I took the day off. I had a nice lunch with my father and then just lounged around. I took my car in for an oil change this morning and walking home it felt like fall. Crisp and cool. Strange weather for August. I’m sure it will change again. Climate change is very strange.

So my toilet stopped working. Well, it runs constantly which is not good. But whoever designed my bathroom was pretty much nuts. They put this counter top right over the toilet so you can’t access the tank. Plus they put in this pressurized mechanism that is all encased in plastic so you really can’t access it. Not to mention the fact that it is a hideous green color. I’ve had to get somebody to take out the counter top and install a new sink and toilet. So I ordered a new sink and it was too small for the cabinet I have so I am going to have a new cabinet as well. It is kind of snowballing. I tried to find a contractor but I ended up with the building maintenance guy because the contractor I talked to who sounded so positive and gave me so much hope, totally disappeared on me. Why are contractors such elusive characters?

I am completely obsessed and overcome with my upcoming retirement. I am constantly planning what I am going to do “once I retire”. Somehow don’t think it is too healthy. Be here now …. and all that. But there you have it. I’m constantly planning and replanning and rearranging all the trips I want to take. And all the projects I have. “Oh, I can do that once I retire”. “I will have time to clean out that closet once I retire”. Totally nuts. So what do I do instead of cleaning out that closet? I let dust accumulate on everything and lie on my couch watching “Brokenwood Mysteries” on Acorn.

Of course I do have to go to work in the meantime…

Anyway, have a good week! Maybe something cool and interesting will happen. (My constant dream.)

Lapham Peak in the Snow

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Kettle Moraine State Forest in eastern Wisconsin covers 30,000 acres.

A long time ago, the area was covered in glaciers.  A moraine is an accumulation of glacial debris, such as rocks and silt.  Kettles are landforms molded by melting glaciers.

Lapham Peak was formed about 10,000 yrs ago by a glacier which made it the highest point in Waukesha County with a elevation of 1,233 ft above sea level. At the top is an observation tower (45 ft tall).  In the late 1800’s the Federal Signal Service Division of Telegrams and Reports established a signal station on the peak to receive meteorological observations from Pike’s Peak, Colorado.  Increase A. Lapham collected the data and relayed it to all the Great Lakes ports to warn them about approaching storms.

Lapham Peak now encompasses over 1,000 acres of cross country ski trails and other recreational activities.

As we entered the area we came upon a deer standing stock still looking right at us as if we had lost our mind.  It was beautiful.

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This is what 12 degrees F looks like.

The Weather

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s funny how memory plays tricks on you.  I could have sworn it never got hot in Denver.  And why would it be hotter there than Oakland, CA?  But otherwise this looks about right.  Lagos was the wettest heat so always felt much hotter and Florida was just HOT.

We are on our 11th straight day of temperatures above 95 degrees in Washington DC.  We are beating all kinds of records.  Climate change, anyone?

Weather plays such an important part in our lives either consciously or subconsciously.  But it is amazing how people adapt to it.  In Bogota it rained almost every single day of the year.  I learned to never leave the house without being prepared for rain no matter what it looked like at the moment.

It took me a while, but in Minneapolis I learned to dress in layers and to wear very warm boots.  Hat and gloves were always stuffed into my pockets.  I was cold the first couple of years I lived there but managed to fix that, so when I moved to Moscow I was never cold.  I had learned.

Lugano was deceiving.  It was in the middle of the Swiss/Italian Alps but the climate was mild.  It never got too cold and there were palm trees growing around the lake.

I will confirm that Washington DC is the worst.  The city was built on top of a swamp so it is wet and humid.  It is in the south but just barely so it kind of thinks it is in the north.  It gets a little snow most years but rarely lasts.  It is in-between everything and has the worst of everything.  Wet, humid, hot, and sometimes cold.

Right now it is just HOT.

The best weather was Mexico City.  Never too hot or too cold.

But then there was the altitude…..

What was your best weather?