Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sticking With a Theme

Inspiration is where you find it...from Friday afternoon's 3:08PM Reno AFD:


There it is: Doldrums...we're still becalmed, weather-wise...

It goes a little deeper too...after two weeks of no storms to fight, my enthusiasm is adrift in the doldrums as well.

My trusty old BR350 is running like a thoroughbred, there's more than enough firm snowpack to last another month or two, and iTunes is serving up more than enough Radio Podcasts to distract me nightly...what's missing then?

Thrills! There's no thrills on hard adrenaline anyway...taking pleasure from the delicious home-baked rye bread of my Pastrami and Jarlsberg sandwich, and the adolescent humor of the Afternoon Drive Time Show doesn't give me the same jolt as a fierce storm fight or a big plow project to be shoe-horned into a full night's Work Orders.

On the bright side, this week's Full Moon and clear skies made for stunning visuals on the mountain. As the moon was setting in the west Friday morning, Venus was rising in the east. It was as bright as the two groomers' lights atop the mountain from my view.

Astronomically speaking, this season has been largely mundane. All that early weather obscured the meteor showers, and there's been no naked-eye comets so far. NASA's Shuttle Program has been grounded with fuel tank cracks, on it's way to the mothball fleet.

There's two or three Shuttle missions still to fly before Washington scraps the program. I'm more than a little nervous for two of them. The External Fuel Tank cracks and fix on Discovery were enough to make me wonder, then one of the astronauts got in a bicycle accident and suffered a reported broken hip, so he was pulled for a replacement astronaut...these guys are doing some spacewalking on Discovery's final mission set for a late February launch.

The Shuttle Commander for shuttle Endeavour's April mission is Mark Kelly, whose wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords D-AZ was shot in Tuscon in early January. Commander Kelly is staying at his wife's side until further notice, and has been replaced in training.

Like they always say in the NASA films, Godspeed to you all!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I do find myself a little underwhelmed tonight...the weather has reached monotonous territory around the Tahoe Sierra. I feel like I've been watching the midsummer weather on Bay Area TV...the very textbook definition of monotony...I even saw the telltale signs in Thursday afternoon's Reno AFD!

Searching in vain for a little meteo-stimulation, I looked at the January 90 Day Climate Outlook Discussion. Wadda know? All the new to me acronyms are there in black and white. Some of these weather discussions can be a little dry, and this one in particular is.

The sad thing is it's calling for continued dry weather, and calling the La Niña moderate to strong.

I jumped to the Northstar Weather Discussion Blog and found a tiny ray of hope. It seems the models are starting to suggest that the ridge over the West Coast may be retrograding soon. If the ridge moves west, temps will fall in the High Sierra, and the storm door may open again.

I guess you could say I'm feeling a little like I imagine a sailing ship's captain whose mighty sailing vessel is dead in the water, becalmed by the lack of tradewinds somewhere adrift in the Horse Latitudes.

I've surely been overstimulated by all the adrenaline producing early winter and late fall heavy weather. I miss my adrenaline! Not to mention my Hero Snow!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Well, my streak of good nights does this streak of zero snowfall. I heard the weatherdude on KCRA3 say another week ahead without rain or snow. Tuesday nights steady East Wind put the punctuation mark on his remarks.

My tractor continues to run like a gazelle, the cab of my pickup is finally drying out, and I've deployed sunglasses every morning this week...these are the Good Old Days!

Now, about the weather...I found another Tahoe Sierra Blog, Northstar Weather Discussion. I see more alphabet soup weather cycles cited in this blog...right up my alley!

As is always possible with La Niña events, Winter could end early...not what the boater in me wants or needs...lots of winter snow means wet boat ramps in October!

Skiing is good, the resorts are above the valley fog, but helmets are a very good idea....

My Mountain is still grooming out nicely, and with the East Wind back, afternoon high temps are back to normal...Mid-January is way too early for the Corn Snow and Concrete Regime to set in!

So I guess I'll bone up on the new to me weather acronyms...MJO, PNA, NAO, so I can better understand the forecasts.

Cold weather will be good for ice fishermen...I gotta get a day on the ice in this season!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Good Tired

All this family togetherness, and my lingering chest cold have taken their toll on me today...It couldn't be the frenzy of errands and chores I churned out once the Siskiyou Wing and Sister Sweetly headed home to the Great Green North this morning. Sister K made her exit Sunday afternoon...the better to get home to Hubby and her Birthday Dinner!

So, the trip to COSTCO, Trader Joe's, Smart & Final and Safeway are behind me. The Christmas Tree has been undecorated, moved outside and limbed so that it will fit in the Green Waste Recycling Bin.

I've managed to get an hour of packing some of my books and files in, so that my life may once again be lived in a single location. On my "To the DaveCave" list are a bunch of hobby stuff...Sewing Machine, fabrics, and sewing notions. A bunch of my Builder's Tools and Kayak Building goodies, too. My seedstarting stuff and my seed collection for the Diggins.

Part of the joy of starting your own plants from seed is the extension of your "Personal Growing Season" Over the years, I've learned to start my tomatoes around the Daytona 500...mid-February. I used to warm my seed flats for a few days atop my aquarium, but my last anemone fish dissapeared a few years ago, so I broke down the 30 gallon marine aquarium...the freedom to travel without enlisting an aquarium service has been wonderful, but I miss the atmosphere generated by the salt air and full-spectrum own personal slice of The Tropics, as it were...

Mr Clownfish was over 11 years old when he went missing...I'm guessing that he lived two or three times as long in my little tank than he would have in the wild...not that he ever lived in the wild, Anemone Fish are among the first marine fish to be bred and raised in coral reef ecosystem was raided for my enjoyment!

So, come seedstarting time, I just re-purpose some aquarium heaters to heat some flooded Rubbermaid Totes, and voilà, heated seedbeds! Before you know it, you've got a little garden crowding all your windowsills!

Though I won't be building anything before Summertime, and my sea kayak is already seaworthy, I have developed a re-purposing habit over the years...or more accurately a sort of cross-hobby hybridization habit.

I've kept aquariums since I was a teenager. In the ensuing decades, I've applied aquarium tech to Homebrewing as well as gardening. The old "Rubbermaid and Aquarium Heaters Algebra" made my chilly, second bathroom into a very controlled, consistent Alehouse, where I turned out 10 gallons of all-grain IPA and Porter every three weeks for an entire Ski Season. I filled the extra bedroom with cases of Ale...I finally had to procure a hand truck to move all my "product"

I brewed a batch of "Celebration Ale" and "Porter in the Snow" every three weeks, all winter, and as a bonus, the spent grain went into my three-bin composter and produced a whole cubic yard of the best compost I've ever seen! More hobby cross-pollination.

Looking at the remote sensors this weekend makes me think of gardening and summer sports...damn, it's been warm! Monday's Reno AFD all but promised record High Temps for the Reno/Tahoe Region...they even mentioned that meltwater runoff would be up for a couple of days.

The 6 O'clock news showed heavy traffic coming out of the High Sierra into the valley fog...glad I'm goint the other way Tuesday!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Weekend Well Spent

I have the night off...our early exit from the hill Saturday morning eased my escape to the Ancestral Digs.

We celebrated Christmas at the Digs, though both Husbands were On Call, and one back in Florida for training.

We all have the crud! Chest colds all around! Ugghhh!

It was fun and cliche all rolled into one!

Take-out Chinese Dinner (Hello "A Christmas Story")

I managed to sleep through most of both NFL Playoff Games.

The tree looked great...

I got some nice photos, and it's always great to hang with the Family!