Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Thursday - August 06, 2020

Bowling Shut Down

Well, so much for bowling tonight. We ate dinner early for once, almost finishing off the fantastic brined chicken I’d grilled up yesterday, so we were able to leave at the right time for once.

Got up there with hardly any traffic, arrived 10 minutes before practice was scheduled to start. Got the balls out of the trunk and walked across the parking lot, took one step up the front steps, and the place went dark. Total power failure.

Large parts of NJ are still without power from the big terrible storm Tuesday. Out here in the stick we’ve mostly avoided it, but “mostly” is a relative term. Thousands are without power, but not us. Our power was out for 6 minutes during the peak of the storm. But the utility guys are out doing their repairs, testing and rerouting as necessary. So I guess some areas get shut off for a while. Because.

So we sat on the front steps as more people arrived, and we all hung out, chatting and seeing what would happen. Almost nobody was wearing a mask, so I guess we’ll all be dead tomorrow. The alley folks kept coming outside to give us updates, while some of us made calls and checked the news. Most of Warren County was out, from the Pennsylvania border all the way east to Morris County. Some spots were still on. Chuck called his wife, found out that his house had power, and asked her if she could bring over all his extension cords to power the place. He lives 5 miles away ... nobody has that many extension cords. Wise guy! Actually, it was pretty good socialization, everybody has something to say about the storm, and the masks and the rules and our wonderful much loved governor. Plus we all blamed Mary for the outage, as she made meatloaf tonight. The last time she made meatloaf hurricane Sandy hit and their house was without power for a week and a half.

After 45 minutes, 8 o’clock, the boss man came out and said he had no idea if or when the juice would flow again. So we’re all going to post bowl at some point the coming week. If we can. Assuming there’s power then. As we drove home, we saw that parts of Washington had power, about a mile south of the bowling alley. Meh, what can you do? Everybody else probably waited longer and the power came back on. Sorry, we can’t stay there to 11pm when some of us have to be at work before 8.

~~~~ !!! !!! ~~~~

So we came home, ate a little more of that awesome chicken, had a drink and watched a little TV. I’ve got a biga going in the kitchen, as we’re going to auntie’s final pool party Saturday (they’re moving) and she asked us (me) to make a few dozen rolls for the sausage and peppers she’ll be making. I’m the only non-Italian in the bunch, so I’m making some real old school Italian bread dough to make the rolls from. And that means a biga.

A biga is kind of like young sourdough, only made with commercial yeast. Flour, water, and a pinch or yeast, mix it up and let is sit around for 12-16 hours, or fridge it for a day or so. Even commercial yeast will excrete alcohol, acetic acid, and lactic acid, which are the flavors that put the sour in sourdough. It just goes a lot faster, and you get a great breediing up of the good strong commercial yeast. Add the whole thing to a bunch of other flour and water, and it makes flavorful bread pretty quick.

Actually, an Italian biga is almost exactly the same as a Polish poolish, exact the poolish uses a wetter, 100% hydration pre-dough. So a poolish is even faster, but you have to watch it closely and use when it’s just ripe. A biga is only 50-60% hydration, so the thick dough matures slowly. Yeast likes the wet. A biga probably gives you a bit more flavor too, but both are pretty easy ways to make tasty bread with commercial yeast.

Italian bread is the same as French bread, except you add a little olive oil and a touch of sugar. The sugar also kicks the yeast into high gear. Sourdough, poolish, and biga are called preferments, because they are dough that is pre fermented. Which means that the rise time for the whole dough, once you add in the biga, is a good bit faster than the typical 2 1/2 hours. Way faster than sourdough’s 6 - 12 hours.

I’m going to make up a tiny batch of plain dough tomorrow at the same hydration rate, to see how much I need to make a 6” long roll. That’s enough for 2 sausages and some onions and peppers. When I have that dough weight, I can figure out how much dough I’ll need to make 2-3 dozen rolls. I’m making enough biga for a double recipe, but I can spread it out to a triple recipe if necessary. I want a rather soft bread, not a crusty loaf. A smaller crumb would be Ok too. Taste and strength are what I’m looking for. ( Ever try using Wonder bread for a sausage & pepper sammich? It lasts about 3 seconds. )

She’s promised to help, so that should be fun. I think I can make about a dozen rolls per bake. And we’ll make the rolls the night before, so we won’t have to get up before dawn to bake for an afternoon pool party we have to drive 2 hours to get to. Saturday morning is for sleeping late.

~~~~ !!! !!! ~~~~

chicken brine: your typical brine of kosher salt and water, half a cup of salt to 3 quarts water. Slice up a few lemons, smash 5 gloves of garlic, rough chop half an onion, and then add a bunch of dried herbs, a tbl each rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, allspice, and a big handful of peppercorns. Bring to a boil it in a big pot, let it cool, stick a chicken in it, cover, then 18 hours in the fridge. Rinse, pat dry, and then put the uncovered chicken back in the fridge for 2 hours. Get it out, cook it on the grill using offset heat, 400F for a bit over an hour, flipping it a couple times. Super brown, crispy skin, juicy as all get out, and doesn’t need any seasoning at all. Mmm, mmm, good. Next time I’ll use a bit less salt and toss in a bullion cube instead. Moar chiken flava!!

~~~~ !!! !!! ~~~~

Have a drink! While I am partial to Manhattans, made the old way with rye whiskey and cold red vermouth (not in an ice shaker, maybe add 1 or 2 ice cubes to the glass), sometimes something lighter and sweeter hits the spot. I don’t have a name for it, but a measure of golden rum and a measure of Kahlua over rocks tastes pretty good and it still packs a punch. A touch sweeter than a Black Russian, but made with booze that actually has flavor. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/06/2020 at 08:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling BloggingBreadClimate-WeatherFamilyFood •  
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calendar   Monday - August 03, 2020

Weather Or Not, Here We Go Again

It is an absolutely perfect summer day here.

There’s hardly a cloud in the sky, the sun is shining gently, it’s 81°ree; with a gentle breeze blowing. And for once it’s not a sauna here; the humidity is a comfortable 60%. A lovely day.

Tropical Storm Isaias, currently coming up the east coast and right now off the coast of southern Georgia, is expected to soon intensify to hurricane level, make landfall somewhere near Myrtle Beach SC, and then track inland in a beeline right for us, bringing light rain this evening and continuing and increasing for at least a day as the winds rise, possibly dumping 6” or more of rain on us with winds in the 60 - 70mph range. Gee, thanks.

The weather wienies are saying that those of us out here in the Delaware River basin in the western part of NJ are going to get hammered worse than the shore areas, which won’t fare too well either.

Sometimes you just can’t catch a break.


Isaias is forecast to briefly regain hurricane status before making landfall Monday night or early Tuesday on the upper South Carolina coast or in southeast North Carolina.

It’s important to note that impacts will be similar no matter whether Isaias is a strong tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane at landfall.

From there, the storm will sweep quickly northeastward near parts of the Northeast Seaboard to as far north as New England Tuesday into early Wednesday.

!! ~~~~~ !! ~~~~~ !!

Hey, maybe some severe weather will knock back these darn leafhopper bugs, those spotted lantern flies from China. They’ve been all over us this summer, and they show the most amazing ability to just up and die. The little black ones are everywhere, dead. The ones that grew a bit more and became red ( the “fourth instar nymphs” ) are also dying by the numbers, and at this point the adult version of the insect, which looks like a creepy kind of moth, is just starting to emerge. Let’s hope they die off in their millions as well. But not on my patio. We’re getting tired of having to sweep off piles of dead bugs twice a day. Eeeww.


Native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam, the spotted lanternfly does not attack fruit or foliage. Rather, it uses its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the woody parts of plants — such as tree trunks or branches and grape vines — where it excretes a substance known as honeydew and inflicts wounds that weep with sap. The honeydew and sap can attract other insects and provide a medium for growth of fungi, such as sooty mold, which covers leaf surfaces and can stunt growth. Plants with heavy infestations may not survive.

Said Tom Baker, distinguished professor of entomology and chemical ecology, who has 40 years of experience in entomology research, “The spotted lanternfly is the weirdest, most pernicious insect I’ve ever seen.”

Pernicious. Good word. Harmful but subtle. Except not so subtle at all. Our whole outside area, every plant and hard surface, is spotted with the honeydew and the sap weeps. Rain does wash it away, but in a couple days it’s all back again. So far the bugs haven’t tried to get in the house. So far. But they’re excellent jumpers, easily leaping 8 feet at a hop. And they don’t seem to get caught in any of the spider webs out there. At least they don’t sting or bite, or reek like those damn Chinese stinkbugs we had a couple years ago. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/03/2020 at 09:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Tuesday - February 04, 2020

just weathering things

Boy this is some awful winter we’re having. Um, no, not really. It’s been pretty mild since before Christmas. Today, in the dead of winter, it might as well be spring.

It’s the 4th of February, it’s 58° out, and I’ve got the heat off and the windows open, getting some fresh air in here.

I know it won’t last, but gosh. Thank you, I’ll take it.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/04/2020 at 03:15 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Monday - February 03, 2020

Sometimes I Misunderstand The Headlines

“Kate Upton Partners With Canada Goose”

Hey, it’s Hollywood, anything goes, right?

Nah, it’s some climate change virtue signalling BS

Kate Upton is partnering with Canada Goose to raise awareness on climate change with outerwear that gives back.

The model is the face of the Toronto-based luxury brand’s latest campaign for its Polar Bears International Line, which raises money for protecting the threatened bear species and how it is affected by global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, the company announced Monday.

Upton makes her debut as the face of the brand’s Spring 2020 global campaign, supporting Polar Bears International (CNW Group/Canada Goose)

The PBI collection features five spring styles including rainwear and lightweight down options. Fifty dollars from the sale of each jacket , which start at $800, will go to the non-profit Polar Bears International organization. The conservation group provides funding for polar bear environmental research and advocacy. Polar bears were listed as a threatened species in the U.S. under the Endangered Species Act in 2008 because the sea ice habitat of the bears is shrinking as a result of climate change. Canada Goose has donated more than $3.5 million to the organization, the company said in a statement.

The winter coat maker, known for its puffer jackets marked with its ubiquitous red, white and blue patch that cost upwards of $1,000, has been sported by the Hollywood crowd in recent weeks. The brand was a sponsor at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where it handed out hundreds of its limited-edition coats to directors and actors in attendance. The exclusive jackets were gray and designed with deep pockets and a Sundance 2020 logo on its sleeve.

Deep pockets ... seems appropriate when you consider how much they charge for one of their coats.

And I’m sure climate change is affecting the poor little polar bears, giving them warming weather so they don’t freeze to death so often, and more food to eat as well. Also, I have serious doubts is most polar bears are impacted by greenhouse gases.

No truth to the rumor that on weekends Kate Upton prefers to partner with Grey Goose instead.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/03/2020 at 01:37 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsHumor •  
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calendar   Monday - January 13, 2020

How Soon We Forget

Now Global Warming Made The Seas Dry Up???

Hey, remember a month or so back, when Venice was flooding? And how it was CLIMATE CHANGE that was causing it, and we’re all gonna Greta die??

Well ...

Wait, wait ... where the water be at??

Weeks after Venice, Italy, suffered some of its worst floods in more than 50 years and was mostly underwater, its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.

The boats and gondolas that draw millions to the city each year were beached at the bottom of the canals, which resembled trenches instead of waterways, as water levels have dipped, the BBC reported.

Did you get that? “its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.” That’s some top notch professional writing, right there. Two oopsies, one sentence. But aside from being a grammar Nazi for a second, what’s going on here?

The scene of the tourist mecca is a stark contrast to photos and videos of flooded buildings and homes that went viral in November as the city grappled with a surge in water levels.

At one point, 85 percent of the city was underwater, prompting a crisis as officials contemplated how to save historic sites, along with precious artwork and mosaics.

Photos and videos circulated on social media showing intense flooding turning alleyways into rivers and drenching some of the city’s major attractions, such as St. Marks Basilica, which was submerged in more than three feet of water.

Water levels peaked at over 6 feet, the second-highest record ever in Venice. Damage from the floods is estimated at more than $1 billion.

The city is built on a collection of 400 islands and is navigated via canals and more than 400 bridges, according to Sky News. Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but last year’s levels were exceptionally high.

Five of the city’s 10 worst floods have occurred within the past 20 years since record-keeping began in 1923. To compound the flooding, Venice is currently sinking at a rate of a few millimeters annually.

The Italian government has been developing barriers and floodgates to mitigate the damage since the 1980s.

Ah ha. There you go. The place floods all the time, whenever the tide is high and the wind is from the south.

The real problem is corruption, both metallic and ethical. They hired Moses to do the job, but he just isn’t doing the job. No seriously, I’m no kidding. Moses.

The 1966 flooding disaster that led to special laws for Venice launched decades of studies and planning and opened a multibillion-euro tap of funding that would go into housing refurbishment, art restoration and a two-part programme to save the lagoon. One part dealt with acqua alta up to 1.1 metres by bolstering the shock-absorbing effect of the salt marshes and sea fronts while building smaller barriers and localised adaptations in Venice and on other islands. The other part, for flooding over 1.1 metres, when the sirens sound, envisioned the massive dams dubbed Mose (pronounced Mosé), a strained acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (Experimental Electromechanical Module).

The word “experimental” was included in the barriers’ name in a nod to the law’s requirement that the solution be “gradual, experimental and reversible”. This was because solutions to managing the lagoon have historically been found with an element of trial and error. In reality, however, the massive, bright yellow, semi-submerged barriers under construction since 2003 are built on a foundation of millions of tonnes of concrete fixed with enormous piles driven into the sea floor, with no room for changing of minds. Mose also refers to the biblical Moses who held back the tides in Egypt, allowing the Jews to escape the pharaoh – which sets expectations rather high. So, the naming has not been a great boon, and already the flood gates have far surpassed their estimated cost, with more than €5.4bn spent.

Initially expected to be finished by 2011, decades after being conceived, plans were set back even further after a corruption scandal that broke in 2014 – one of the largest in Italian history – and are now only stuttering forward. The dams are still unusable, but now projected to be finished by the end of 2021. When the dams are ready, and a way to fund their €100m annual maintenance bill is found, they will then face their real test: whether they are up to the job – and serious doubts have been raised.
Faced with subsidence under Venice and the threat of bigger tides, the authorities planned gigantic dams to be constructed at the three openings where the lagoon meets the sea. In the decades since, another force has picked up that is much more threatening: sea-level rise. The Venice area is among the low-lying coasts of the world that, like the Netherlands, have been saved from the sea by human effort, via the use of dykes and pumping out water, and much of it is very sensitive to sea-level changes.


ROME–In 1984, long before global warming and rising sea levels were common notions, Venice already was sinking. The future was so dire for the lagoon city that the local council voted to spend whatever it would take to study and then build a high-tech floodgate system to combat the rising Adriatic Sea.

It took nearly 20 years and a starting budget of $1.8 billion to come up with the so-called “Moses” plan. The project is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico or Experimental Electromechanical Module, and plays on the name of the biblical figure who parted the Red Sea.

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s then prime minister, inaugurated the project in 2003 with the promise it would be completed by 2011, which was pushed back to 2014, which was pushed back to 2016, and, at last check, to 2021. Had the project been completed in time, Moses’ 78 massive mechanical gates might have limited this week’s devastating floods, which inundated 85 percent of the city with a tidal surge that topped six feet, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage and putting ancient treasures at risk. Moses likely would not have completely kept out the surge, experts say, but it would have certainly done more than the alternative, which was to do nothing but tally the damage and wait for the next high tide.

Enter Moses, stage right


Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve Venice’s perennial flooding looks like a giant plaything: an oversized hinged yellow Lego.

Central to the plan to protect the city, some or all of the 78 barriers will one day be raised when the sea rises more than 110 centimeters (43 inches), to prevent damaging high tides from pushing into the lagoon city, a world heritage site built picturesquely—but somewhat precariously—upon more than 120 islands. Concerns that high tides are becoming more frequent because of climate change have increased the urgency.

While the concept is simple, its realization has been anything but.

The system of movable underwater barriers, dubbed Moses, has been beset by corruption, cost overruns and delays. Projected at 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) and meant to be completed by 2011, the project has so far cost 5.5 billion euros and is running a decade behind schedule.

It took six years to test each of the four movable sea walls covering the three openings to the lagoon, partly because work was slowed by a 2014 corruption scandal that implicated the three main contractors and sent 35 people to jail.

Work is continuing largely with the original subcontractors now contracting directly with the consortium, which itself has been placed under government control as a result of the scandal.

image  image

But now an experimental new defence system - which has been mooted as the city’s savior for almost a decade - is nearing completion.

If successful, the Experimental Electromechanical Module (Mose) will protect the city of canals from the severe high tides that have plagued it for so long.

Across three inlets that connect the Adriatic sea with the Venetian Lagoon, gates have been constructed on the sea floor.  Housed within these gates are dozens of hollow ‘blocks’ that sit submerged and filled with water.

When tides higher than a metre are forecast, authorities based in a nearby control room activate the defence system.

Within the space of 30 minutes, the water inside the blocks is drained and replaced with compressed air, ‘floating’ them above the water’s surface.  However, one end of the block remains attached to the sea floor by a giant hinge.

Because they are constructed in rows, once fully elevated they form a barrier which isolates the lagoon from the sea.

But the people won’t stop worshiping that damn golden calf ...

In the 16 years since the Moses plan was put in place, the budget to finish the project has exploded to more than $7 billion and continues to bleed money at a dizzying rate. Some of the money has gone to bad management or corrupt contractors who have swindled the builders. In July, workers discovered that the 156 hinges—each weighing 36 tons—on the underwater barriers that were supposed to last a century are nearly rusted shut after just a decade under water. The job was awarded to a company called Gruppo Mantovani, which won the $275 million contract without there being a formal bid. La Stampa newspaper reports that the company used sub-par steel and is being investigated. Replacing the hinges will take a further 10 years and cost another $34 million, according to the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, which is in charge of the project.

More troubling still is that a lot of the money meant to finish the project has been siphoned away by rampant corruption. Several special funds fed by art lovers and patrons of the city that were meant to defray costs have disappeared into thin air. In 2014 after an investigation, Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni resigned and 35 people tied to the project were arrested for bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. The investigation traced some $27 million that had disappeared from the Moses coffers to kickbacks from contractors and foreign bank accounts allegedly used to line the pockets of about 100 people.

I dunno, maybe they should have made these steel boxes twice as thick and twice as long, and mounted them vertically in even deeper concrete bases. That way they’d rise straight up when inflated, forming a nearly solid wall. It would turn Venice into a lake for a short time, so maybe massive pumps would be needed as well, to put the river flow out into the ocean.

Maybe the better solution, like what ought to happen to New Orleans, would be to walk away and let Venice sink back into the swamp. The people who moved there 1000 years ago only did so to get away from attacking enemies. It was not a stronghold. It was a last desperate refuge. And after generations, Venice built a fortune on trade. But two things put paid to Venice: the Islamic invasion that never ended, and some people learning how to build a ship sturdy enough to sail around Africa. Once that happened, around 1500, Venice was over, inside a decade.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2020 at 06:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherGovernmentCorruption and GreedScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Saturday - July 30, 2016


Hope I rolled my car window up. Forget raining cats and dogs, it’s coming down tigers and elephants out there. If I left the window open then I’m going to have a very wet seat, because I’m not going out in this for nothing!

I don’t think so, Tim.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2016 at 07:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 03, 2016

cheesey post

WTF. I’ve got nothing much this morning.

Kitteh is driving me crazy, singing all over the place and trying to climb all over me. We’ve had to up her dosage of the phenobarb because she had another fit the other night. Poor kitteh. Which means she gets two pills twice a day instead of one twice a day. So it’s double the thrill giving the cat her meds. And now she won’t even take the shit when she makes a special effort to grind it fine, mix it with the yummy Lysine paste and a bit of Friskies and hand feed it to her. I think I need to build us a pill gun; a micro muzzle loader made by snipping the needle end of a 1cc syringe off to leave just the open cylinder and the plunger. Pills in Lysine and water in the end, force it (ahem, insert it carefully and lovingly into the cat’s mouth) down her throat and press the plunger. Shotgun!!

The weather outside is really confused; it’s right at the freezing mark and the wind is blowing furiously. Whenever clouds hide the sun, it snows. Then the sun comes out 30 seconds later. Lovely Spring morning. More clouds. More snows. Sunlight. Lather, rinse, repeat. Make up your dang mind already! But hey, last night we had a nuclear thunderstorm. It wasn’t even raining, and suddenly we had The Big Flash. The whole world turned glare white for half a second, even inside the house. So I told the wifey, we’re either about to get one helluva thunderstorm, or else we’ve got about 45 seconds to live until the shock wave gets here from New York City nukes. And then the thunder arrived, and the rain. We had two further blasts like that, and that was it. So not the kind of “Hudson Valley Rumbler” kind of T-storm I grew up with.

Right, so I made some frozen veg last night. Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. About the most boring thing you can stick in a white plastic bag in the frozen food aisle. So I figured I’d jazz it up somehow. Cheese sauce! Yay, that always works. Hit the fridge, pull out various bits and pieces of cheese. Hmm, Kerry Gold, some kind of Irish Cheddar. It makes nice toasted cheese sandwiches, so that ought to work. Half a block of Colby/Jack. That’s my go-to cheese for nachos and salsa dip, so I know it’s easy melting and creamy. Add that too. A chunk of Swiss the size of a cake of hand soap. Well, it melts on burgers, right? Put them all together in a cup, splash on a bit of milk. Because that’s how you make cheese sauce with CheeziWizz, right? And into the microwave ... and the Fail begins. It all melts right up, the milk starts to boil ... pull it out and stir stir stir. And nothing happens. I’ve got yellowy orange hot milk and a blob of goo. Heat it some more, another 30 seconds. Beep!! Stir. Still nothing. WTH? Ok, fine, into an actual saucepan to go on the actual stove burner. Heat gently, stir constantly ... it got worse!l I was left with more oily colored liquid dairy product derivative, and a big off-white blob of something that was quickly becoming chewing gum. And the more I stirred it, the worse it got.

Finally I gave up, poured off the immiscible liquid, cut the blob into two rubbery chunks and plopped them onto the veg piles on our plates. It was terrible. Not even any flavor. Total failure by the curds. Losers. What, the curds lost? No whey! Yes whey, totally.

Thinking it through this morning, I think the “goo” enzyme in the Swiss cheese just took over and promulgated to the other ones, and that was it. Never trust the Swiss!! (and perhaps always keep a box of Velveeta in the back of the fridge. It lasts forever, and no mold on earth ever seems to take hold)


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/03/2016 at 08:37 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherFine-Dining •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 31, 2016

Spring At Last ?

As one of those lucky folks who is up and outside before dawn, I greet each day at it’s coldest point.

And while you’re all colorful and trendy out in the afternoon sun, I’m still wearing my winter parka, heavy wool socks, and those 10 ton Polartec™ lined jeans.

Today was the first day that there was no ice crust on the water in the rain barrel. Which means that the temperature didn’t drop below freezing last night. Huzzah!! Forecast is calling for a sunny day in the high 60’s to low 70’s. Awesome. Break out the sandals and the beach sun screen.

Right. And to work I go.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/31/2016 at 05:50 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 09, 2016

weather wonder

This morning, before sunrise, I was outside in my winter parka, heavy wool socks, insulated hiking shoes, and polartec™ lined jeans and was glad for it. There was a rim of ice on the catch basin here on the patio, but I couldn’t see my breath. So my guess is that it was maybe 37°F. I wore that outfit to work this morning, and by 9am it wasn’t uncomfortably warm, but I did take the coat off walking back to the car.

Right now it’s 82°F here. 2:30pm. At 1:45pm the Weather Channel robot was saying it was 81. Now it’s 82. With an expected high of 79. Hey, that’s robots. Point is, that’s a 45 degree increase in 5 1/2 hours. Yowza. Break out the suntan lotion.

I have no idea why the weather icon over on the sidebar here at BMEWS says it’s only 60-something. I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt, sandals and no socks, and I’m perfectly comfortable. Time to open the windows and get some fresh air in the house!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/09/2016 at 02:28 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 24, 2016

whacky winter

This has been the damnedest winter. After a toasty warm Thanksgiving, we had a couple of weeks of sharp cold. But by the end of December it was Spring-like again. The flower bulbs were starting to come up. I was out on Christmas afternoon grilling a steak without a shirt on. January was fairly mild at first, then it turned cold. Then we had the biggest snowstorm I’ve ever seen here, dropping 30” of the white stuff in one go, with hellish winds to boot. Several freezy days after that, but by a week later it had warmed up enough to rain a little. Days of dark grey overcast and fog. February hasn’t been all that cold but it has been depressing; we got a break in the gloom for Groundhog’s Day which was bright and crisp, then went right back to the gloomy Eeyore weather. And now here at the end of the month we’ve got a real turn up for the books. I swear it’s 70° out. Well, maybe 63. But ridiculously warm for February. And we’re having a thunderstorm. It’s pouring down, and the lights are blinking and dimming as the sky lights up and rips off another peal. I’d better cut this post short and hit the Submit button. I hope my patio kats are warm and dry in their new hotel.

I’m just wondering if it’s actually going to be Spring this time, or if old Mother Nature isn’t just messing us about again.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/24/2016 at 10:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Monday - February 15, 2016


I’ll look around for some content while thawing out after my guard shift ... ga dang, it’s 11°F outside. Oh sure, the weather channel says it’s 15 here. Riiiight. Come on up to my exposed little peak and we’ll compared thermometers. Assuming I can unfreeze mine first. BRRRR.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/15/2016 at 09:34 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Saturday - January 23, 2016

gettin blizzy wid dat

"Outside a wind was rising”

Yes indeed. I slept late - almost to 6am - and we’ve got about 5” worth so far. The snow is coming down with strength, and most of it is falling sideways. Because the wind, right? A good shot of wind makes the old wind chill thingy seem like it’s colder, but it’s a face full of stinging ice crystals hitting you at about 25mph that turn “bloody cold” into “sod this, I’m going back to bed”.

So to fight that urge I’ve chosen Breakfast B, blueberry waffles with brown ‘n serve pork sausages, brisk coffee and OJ, and the pieces are warming up out on the kitchen counter. Meanwhile I’m working on coffee #2 while Miss Dizzy rubs herself around my legs and jumps on and off my lap a dozen times. I set her up with her own chair so she can help blog, but mainly she just wants to get up on the desk to find something to swat around. Like grapes. Not that there are any grapes on my desk, but she did find out about them last night. And we had cheap entertainment watching the cat race back and forth with the little grape branches, and then try to pick up and carry a few of the little purple spheres from one side of the room to the other. Sorry kitteh, you’re not an es-squirrel. No cheek pouch. No way to do it except to open your little mouth as yawning wide as it goes, grab one and run. And drop it. And have to find it. And repeat the process every 8 or 9 inches across the whole living room.

Ahh, I’ve heard the first howl of wind. It’s more like a whistle, but it’s enough so we’re “officially” blizzarding.

We interrupt this somnambulant grey afternoon with rude slug of reality ... it’s not stopping, it’s getting worse ... we’ve got a foot on the ground and it’s hardly lunchtime.


NYC enters panic mode as the white stuff piles up, flooding up and down the Jersey shore.

UPDATE II: Oops they changed us again!


Putting us solidly in the 24-30” group. Well, duh. All I have to do is to step outside. We’re already there and may get more than that.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/23/2016 at 06:49 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Friday - January 22, 2016

let it snow let it snow let it snow

Got My Beep Repaired

The Big Storm kicked off almost exactly at the predicted time, letting us finish bowling (we won one game) and doing a quick run to the grocery store.

Now it’s coming down, and the latest prediction is that we’ll pick up 8” tonight and another 16” tomorrow. The storm is predicted to last until late tomorrow afternoon.

Right. So we’re ready here. Got gas in the cars. Topped off their fluids and checked the tire pressures. Parked them facing out and downhill, so they can be jumped or bumped if necessary.

I’m pretty sure we’ve got enough food for the next 10 days or so. 4 kinds of breakfast meats, frozen waffles, pancakes from mix, plenty of eggs, fresh milk for a couple different kinds of cold cereal, and of course, oatmeal.

Several cans of soup, a couple loaves of bread, 6 kinds of sandwich meat, 2 cheeses, lettuce, tomato, and several jars of peanut butter.

Snacks ... covered from candy bars to chips to trail mix to nuts, berries, and two kinds of grapes. Frozen pizzas just in case.

Fresh salad for dinner, 4 frozen vegetables, chicken, pork rib ends, about 20 ounces of thawed tri-tip steak, a bag of frozen fries and 5lb of Russet potatoes from Idaho. Not to mention the iron rations of canned tuna and Spam. And spaghetti sauce.

And of course drinks. Soda, ice tea, fresh milk, fruit juices, teas and coffee. Somewhere there is also beer.

Dishes are done. Laundry is done. Plenty of towels and blankets. Cell phones charged and fresh batteries in several flashlights. Extra toilet paper on standby.

Garbage and recycling are out. Beer is cooling in the snow. Outside cats fed, inside cats fed, extra kibble and cat food set and ready.

Snow shovel by the door, ice melt in a covered 5 gallon bucket.

If the power fails I can grill, got a spare tank of propane in the garage, and we even have some dry wood in case we need to make a fire in the fireplace.

Yup. Be prepared ... and we are. Our beep is as repaired as it can be. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/22/2016 at 11:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Thursday - October 08, 2015

that time of year

This morning it was wool socks and my winter parka over a long sleeve shirt.

This afternoon it’s shorts and short sleeves, and I’m still sweating it up out there.

Changeable weather, indeed.

At this rate, if the forecast for tomorrow is snow, I’d better start looking for the sunblock tonight.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/08/2015 at 12:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherDaily Life •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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