Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Lots Of Sugar

March 1, 2010

Okay, so we dug our way out of the cataclysmic snowfall from the end of last week. The best I can tell, from the most level area of snow, away from the drifts and from underneath the canopy of the giant evergreen, we had about seven inches of snow. But it was heavy because at times all during the storm it was mixed with rain. We got started cleaning just as it was beginning to get dark and during the second half of the driveway, the left hand side auger of the snowblower came detached from the axle. A few years ago I had to replace the broken shear pins with a certain size machine bolt and nut; I have packs of all different sizes and the one shopping bag we found was full of the wrong size…naturally. It took nearly a half hour to find the bag with the right size packs and we were off and running.

Saturday morning, of course was our weigh ins. Ariel dropped another pound, taking him to 201, a total of 12 pounds in 7 weeks. I dropped 5 and am down to 213. That’s a total of 17 pounds. That’s 3 and almost a half bags of sugar, if you want a comparison. How’d you like to carry around all that sugar all day long? It’s not easy, or fun. And I’m not done yet!

I heard this story over the weekend, that New Jersey’s pension system which covers benefits for approximately 700,000 current and retired state and local workers; firefighters, police, judges and teachers, is underfunded by nearly $46 billion dollars. They’re probably totally different entities, but the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had just approved a new toll collection system–cashless tolling–(I blogged about that kind of recently, that cameras would photograph your license plate and your bill would arrive in the mail) that will cost $175 million dollars to complete. It might just be me, but maybe the money that’s being spent to constantly upgrade ways to make us spend money to get to work (some of whom might be able to benefit from the $46 billion dollar deficit) could actually go to benefit them. Like I said, the agencies probably have no bearing on each other except, probably, the taxpayer, who ultimately will end up covering the cost of both.

Yesterday was a right lazy day after a stay over down the shore. We went to catch up with a friend of ours who we’d hope to get together with during or whirlwind New Year’s celebration, but he was under the weather. So we made a trip down, met up with him after he was done with work, had a pizza sent to our room, drank a few beers and before we all fell asleep, he called it a night and left. 

   The view from our room at the Berkeley. Click it.

 Well, it’s McGinty Monday and JL makes a slight departure to keep you abreast of other goings on within the family.

Neither Snow, nor…

February 10, 2010

a vacant mind, etc, etc, shall keep me from writing a blog. Brian, please…!

If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance I’m outside cleaning snow and my delay publish button worked.  And if you’re not reading this, then chances are good that I’m outside cleaning snow. And here I am, checking and sure enough, my delay publish button does work, but I’m also not outside cleaning snow. There really isn’t all that much to have to worry about just yet.  There really isn’t much to talk about either, other than the weather and since a lot of you who read this are experiencing the same thing, there’s no sense in jawing on and on about it.

I really needed something here to attach the nutty newts’ shenanigans from last night and you can get to them, as always at the end of this blog.

Do you remember my mention not that long ago about the Wizard Of Oz and how we were looking into something that there might be pictures of sometime down the road? Well, that’s all coming together nicely. Just thought I’d tell you that.

Yesterday, Haisong Jiang, the security breach guy, plead not guilty to the defiant trespass suit, brought against him when he single-handedly snarled air traffic for over 6 hours because he wanted to give his girlfriend one last kiss good-bye before she boarded her plane. Along with his not guilty plea, his attorney, Washington, DC-based Eric Bruce assured the court Jiang is “eager, ready and willing and able to make amends” through community service. The judge, Richard E.A. Nunes adjourned the case until March 9 at Bruce’s urging so he has time to review the video and documents related to the case. Really? And still, defiant trespass, a petty disorderly offense, carries a fine of up to $500. I still say let the people who were inconvenienced decide his fate.

It’s February and I’ve been looking on a daily basis on the follow up to the naked Eric Williamson coffee caper. But I’m on the case, rest assured.

And here you go, yet another doggie video. I have to give credit where credit is due. I saw this yesterday on the Radio Chick show on It’s a dog, dreaming, with a comical end.


News out of Gobbler’s Knob

February 2, 2010

Animal rights activists want the organizers of the Pennsylvania’s Groundhog Day festivities to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in because the poor critter is being mistreated in that he is “forced” to rise from his hibernation period, which could last into March, simply to uphold the folksy tradition of predicting the status of the coming Spring. “If a groundhog is awakened from hibernation too early, it might not have the energy to find food and survive in the cold winter temperatures,” says Forest Preserve District animal ecologist Dan Thompson, while insisting he’s not a killjoy. While we’re at it, Dan, let’s have a robotic stand-in for the American Flag on Independence Day so the ones we use, made of easily battered fabric, won’t flap in the breeze. Jerk! And to substantiate their argument, they cite how this method of prediction is not always accurate anyway, so why disturb the little critter. Really? How many forecasts made with state of the art technology is 100% of the time accurate? Case in point: a radio and television predicted snow storm this coming weekend; on the weatherchannel .com, clear sunny skies. So, who’s right? Who’s wrong? So, dear activists, shut up and let people enjoy their traditions.

I keep hearing, all of a sudden, that if the groundhog sees his shadow, it’s an early spring. I’m hearing that on television and on the radio. Hasn’t it always been if he sees his shadow it means six more weeks of winter? And didn’t the Best Actress category come either at the end or just before the Best Picture award during The Oscars? I always thought Best Actress, besides best picture, was the most coveted prize.

And finally, the result of Punxsutawney Phil is… “As the sky shines bright above me, my shadow I see beside me… 6 more weeks of winter it will be.” So, I guess that snow storm this weekend is a 50-50 chance. My advice, look out the window and see if it’s snowing.

PS: Here’s a link to the article I wrote last year (from that old blog that lost its pictures…remember that mess?) on the history of Groundhog Day as we know it today. Click here.

Remember Baby Picture Monday?

January 19, 2010

This was day two of being back out on the street for our four mile walk. Don’t worry, I won’t be reporting that every day, just a weekly progress report of how much weight we shed. I have a personal goal of 30 lbs by May, most likely by Memorial Day weekend, our first camping trip. I’d like to be able to navigate the hills without crying from the pain in my feet. I’d also like to work the zipper on my tent without getting short of breath. When I dropped those 35 pounds 2 years ago, I began in January with a waist measurement of busting out of 36. By April, I had space for two fingers in size 34. I’d be happy with 34. Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

Quote of this past weekend: “Do you think there could still be snow?” Let me explain. Saturday, while we were each busy with our own tasks (fighting with the computer, taking down Christmas), I saw that the mail had come and being that I had a piece of mail from the day before that belonged to my next door neighbor, I’d take it with me and walk it over to their box while I was out there. Since it was obvious they already brought in the mail, I ventured down the driveway to leave it on the car in the garage. Off to the side of the driveway, was a fairly large bank of snow. Now, that “blizzard” we had was before Christmas and we really didn’t get as much as other areas, so I thought it odd that this snowbank was there, and rather sizeable. I came back in the house, after picking up a fresh batch of garbage (a beer can, cardboard, newspaper, pizza parlor fliers, plastic bottles, an orange) off my lawn and then my own mail that fell onto the garage floor when I came in to get my garbage poker. I’m not touching that crap on the lawn. I said to Ariel, “There’s a huge snowbank on the side of Barbara’s driveway.” And, after describing how big it was and how stunned I was at seeing it, I immediately followed that up with “Do you think there could still be snow?” to which he replied, “You just saw it, there must be.”

So, look at this, I had a leftover baby picture I completely forgot about. I came across it the other day while looking for something else and since it’s Baby Picture Monday (on Tuesday) I thought I’d show it to you.

Tonight is that long awaited “How To Get Published” meeting and you can bet I’ll be reviewing that. Who knows, maybe there will be that one thing that gets talked about that will make all the difference. And, no, I haven’t begun working on the book again, even though I said I was going to after the holidays were over, but I haven’t been able to work out a schedule yet. But, on the positive side, we did say we were going to get back to walking and generally taking better care of ourselves and that finally got off the ground, so there’s hope for me yet.