Saturday, December 31, 2011


I saw the best snow of my season destroyed by madness,
melting hysterical naked,
dragging crystals through elite trails at dawn,
looking for a freezing fix...

With my apologies to Mr Ginsberg...

I'm almost reeling from the emotional beating My Mountain meted out last night, or rather Mother Nature's indifference meted out on my innocent self.  After a humbling night...tiptoeing around what's left of My Mountain, I felt like I was slinking outta there this morning at 0830...I may be taking all this a little too personally...

I grabbed a couple of things at the market and took refuge in the DaveCave.

After I steamed up a pair of Caspers Famous Hot Dogs (with everything-hold the relish) for lunch, I heard the bluster of increasing winds outside. Before long the Tweets started coming in...

@SkiNorthstar: "It's snowing in the Village at !"

@sugarbowl1939: "It's snowing! We need your help to keep it around - do your snow dance!"

@skialpine: "It's snowing ! Everyone, share your pics! "

@skihomewood: "It is at Homewood! WooooHooooo! Who's excited?"

Is this My Salvation? Probably not. Freezing temps will however, improve my world by orders of magnitude. The snow will improve everyone's mood and outlook, even if it won't be measured in feet...

To sleep, perchance to dream...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hot To Trot


It was kind of muggy today in Truckee...too warm...too gray and too overcast...thankfully, no rain fell from the clouds. My Mountain hasn't been below freezing in three nights. I'm going to work tonight loaded with trepidation. I'll keep an eye peeled for a half-full glass...

The Reno AFD says a cold front is coming to visit Friday morning...all the TV weatherpeople have been teasing rain chances almost all week. I feel their pain...

Reno says what little moisture there is to this system will stay north of Reno and Tahoe. Rain may fall as far south as Susanville and Gerlach.

I'll be remembering The Prime no harm.

9:37AM Update:
Arrgghhhh! I won't put a gun to my temple...I won't put a gun to my temple...I won't put a gun to my temple...the wind is out of the West...still warm...

My Mountain is Totalled! Rain and fog overnight Wednesday undid twelve days of spot-on grooming...hurry Winter! Better yet....hurry freezing temps!  C'mon Arctic Oscillation....phase change...for everyone! Pleeze?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Heat Wave

OK, this is getting ridiculous...I raised a sweat Wednesday, and I was standing still! In a short sleeve T-shirt and long nylon "running pants". I was standing next to the fuel pump at the Sparks COSTCO filling up the car. I could feel the weight of the Temperature Inversion, and you could see the compressed wood smoke/smog layer laying fetid across the Truckee Meadows.

Smog is probably the wrong word if I'm going to be's probably been a decade or more since I've seen genuine smog in America. Smog implies emissions of pollutants from manufacturing, transportation, and power generation. I recalled real smog Tuesday morning when I watched SpeedTV's replay of April's Chinese Grand Prix, and I was reminded of the horrific scenes from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

The long outdoor shots from Beijing were frightening...during the bicycle road races, I feared for the health of the competitors! This year I saw similar smoggy views from the Grands Prix in South Korea and the new India Grand Prix near New Delhi.

Reno's wood smoke layer paled however to the fantastic vista of clouds hugging onto the peaks of the Carson Range, under towering stacks of lenticular clouds looking like impossibly huge science fiction pagodas. I would not have been surprised to see spacecraft whizzing to and fro like a scene from a STAR WARS Sequel! Backlit by the high clouds it was an awesome tableau..I kicked myself for leaving my camera at the DaveCave.

I rolled back up the Truckee River canyon, and caught a glimpse of the old Lincoln Highway on the north side of today's Interstate 80 near Floriston. As I climbed the hill to the Martis Valley, there were flurries evident over the Sierra Crest. Sadly they were falling over Tinker's Knob, midway between Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley USA...not that they would produce measurable amounts of snow anyway...again it was a missed photo-op...and of course, it missed all the ski areas.

Back at the DaveCave, I stowed the groceries and worked for an hour on the pickup's distributor project before I washed up and laid on the bed for a minute...I woke up at 9PM and pondered dinner...home made pizza? NY Steak on the BBQ? I woke up again at 1:39AM

I was itchin' to write today's blog. I quickly scanned my social sites. Jeweler Facebook-ed that tonight was his first night back in his tractor. I toured the webcams and remote joy...another night of tall temps in Snowmaking City. The Tahoe Basin has been flirting with record high afternoon temps for three days. and it's forecast to continue for a couple more days. Three days remain of December, it looks like Reno will record it's driest December since 1883!

I'd be lying if I said all this waiting on Mother Nature wasn't taking it's toll on my psyche...for solace, I looked at the sober Tahoe Weather Discussion Blog...I was comforted...check it out, good news may be on the horizon. He's a one-stop-shop worthy of a bookmark.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pick Up Sticks

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...

Well, my traditional Christmas observance has passed...making corduroy on My Mountain as Santa makes his always it was a quiet night...enlivened only by the miracle that Jobs made, the iPod.

Radio is dominated by Christmas music on Christmas Eve and Christmas Night. I like a little blast of Yuletide Tunes, but eight hours two nights in a row kills the mood, don't you think?

After a little carol time, I tuned into the Tinfoil Hat Set's fave show, Coast to Coast AM (Art Bell's old show)...not much to hold my interest there, so I deployed the iPod.

I listened to a nice album of Frank Sinatra covers "Dear Mr Sinatra" by John Pizzarelli with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and Steely Dan's 2003 studio gem "Everything Must Go" before catching up on some podcasts of my favorite radio shows.

There's one thing about podcasts...there's no news at the top and bottom of the hour...if there is still news that wasn't edited out, it's old enough not to be news anymore. After two nights and two days of this I end up a little news-starved...even during Christmas news happens, and I'm nothing if not a junky for news.

There's Phobos/Grunt news, it began to trickle out again on the Winter Solstice a couple of days before Christmas. At the time, I posted my Quick Phobos/Grunt Update 5. Universe Today fills in some more blanks and covers the possible recovery of the Planetary Society's Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE)

Should Phobos/Grunt's debris land in Afghanistan as USSTRATCOM predicts, finding the intact LIFE experiment would be a small victory...the little package is designed to survive the heat of reentry, and sustain a 4000G impact, so a miracle is theoretically possible.

Speaking of impacting space debris, there's more on the Siberian fellow who's roof was penetrated by falling parts of Roscosmos' latest launch failure. After escaping with his life because he was out of his easy chair hauling in an armful of firewood, the homeowner fixed the roof himself while authorities wrangled over exactly who would repair the damage.

A Russian Proton rocket had troubles on the launch pad Monday. Fortunately the launch was aborted and the spacecraft is in for repair before it's rescheduled launch.

In my neighborhood, several Lake Tahoe Basin towns flirted with record high afternoon temperatures for Boxing Day. Truckee missed tying the 1976 record of 56°F by a single degree. South Lake Tahoe tied their 1976 record, and Reno will be flirting with record highs Friday and Saturday. Still no relief in sight on the snowfall front...sigh...

The Locals are getting restless and starting to talk. The Sierra Storm King weighs in, and the Sacramento Bee wonders, "Where's the Sierra Snow?"

Sadly, pioneering Surf Swell Forecaster and founding genius of, Sean Collins passed away Monday in Southern California...Godspeed to a true meteo-pioneer.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quick Phobos/Grunt Update 5

Space watchers around the world are starting to pay attention to Phobos/Grunt as it's end draws near.

Australia's News Headlines: "Toxic Space Invader: Failed Mars Probe Phobos-Grunt could crash land in Australia"

USSTRATCOM's prediction for an Afghanistan reentry on January 14th is making news, with the Russian Space Agency saying 200 kilograms of debris in 20-30 pieces could reach Earth's surface.

Here we go again...I think I'll just keep my hard hat hanging on my hat rack. Valentine's Day? Really?

Stay tuned, Folks!

Phobos/Grunt Lost In the Holiday Shuffle

With Christmas crowds on My Mountain, chores around the DaveCave, and Holiday closures, lots of stuff that interests me has escaped through the cracks this week.

After I took Christmas Night off when lack of snowmaking temps lightened the work load, I returned to the DaveCave around 0100, and started looking for some Phobos/Grunt's been quiet all week...too quiet...

Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency continues to struggle. Friday, a Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian military communications satellite failed during it's third stage rocket burn, and crashed in Siberia. Ironically, some debris landed on a house on Cosmonaut Street!

On the Phobos/Grunt front, not much new was forthcoming until today. Russia's National News Agency, RIA Novosti reports that USSTRATCOM says Phobos/Grunt will reenter over Afghanistan on January 14th, around 2:22PM PST

I'm not a rocket scientist, but the Sun has been stirring a bit of late, sunspots are appearing with greater frequency, and a Coronal Mass Ejection emanating from Sunspot 1387 will strike a glancing blow to Earth on December 28th. While not a "Killshot" by any means, the M4 class flare will cause auroras over the poles, and may puff up the atmosphere enough to increase drag on Phobos/Grunt, and hasten it's orbital decay.

CorduroyPlanet's Phobos/GruntWatch is anxious to fire up after the New Year's Celebrations!

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Joyeux Noël à tous.

In what I hope isn't a new Christmas ritual, I was awakened by little Randy's screams of "I can't put my arms  down" over and over. I realized that "A Christmas Story" was blaring away on the Tube. "You'll shoot your eye out kid"...the newest Christmas Classic Movie is 28 years old already!

Tonight, I'll be able to avoid another less desirable Christmas Tradition...the 24 hours of Christmas Music on every radio station. Thanks to the late Steve Jobs, I'll be listening to podcasts from my favorite radio shows instead!

Another longstanding Christmas Tradition just occurred to I have for almost every Christmas Eve throughout the past three decades, I'll be up on My Mountain grinding around in my BR350, while Santa is out indulging in millions of servings of milk and cookies.

Now! Air Line, now! Water, now Ratnik and Snow Fan.
On! Tiller, On! Pumphouse, On! Snomax and Bison.
Now Dash away! Dash away! Dash away all.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas to one and all!