Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Early Christmas Lights

Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Here's what I said I planned to get done, back on Sunday:

Remember that picture I took, on Saturday, November 19? Here's what it looked like by the next Thursday. November 24, 2011.

This is the picture I was talking about: Saturday's snowfall. November 19, 2011.

Twas Thanksgiving eve, and we view on the lawn
Eight reindeer, a sleigh, plus a tree and a fawn:
All spangled with lights colored blue, green and red,
And picture of Santa Claus hung on the shed.

Nope. I don't think that's going to outshine Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas."

Christmas yard decorations start showing up before Thanksgiving, though. Which is a good idea, here in Minnesota. Quite a few folks got theirs out before the snow fell.

It's the night before Thanksgiving: time for the first Christmas lights. November 23, 2011.

Christmas lights at the corner of South Ash and 9th. November 23, 2011.

I like the way neighborhoods light up, this time of year. November 23, 2011.

The 'Sauk Centre Gills' visited #2 daughter & son-in-law for Thanksgiving, and I'm just about recovered from that trip. I hope you had a fine Thanksgiving, and will see you Sunday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend's Over: Next, Christmas

Sunday, November 27, 2011. I had a good Thanksgiving Day weekend, spent with my family at #2 daughter & son-in-law's place. I got home with the rest of the 'Sauk Centre Gills' last night.

Some folks have their Christmas displays up and lit, which is a sort of Thanksgiving tradition in this area.

We've had snow, quite a bit of it melted, we've had more snow: all of which is about par for the course here in Minnesota. There's more to say and show, but it's late and I need my sleep.

My plan is to get more done, sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011. Happy Thanksgiving!

I used that picture yesterday, in another blog:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

First Winter Weather; 50-Vehicle Pile-Up on I-94; Nobody Hurt

Sunday, November 20, 2011. Sounds like some folks weren't quite ready for winter driving:
"Saturday's wintry weather is wreaking havoc on some of Minnesota's major roads.

"The Minnesota State Patrol said westbound Interstate 94 near St. Cloud closed Saturday afternoon due to several crashes. The closure spread from St. Cloud to Albany and Freeport. The interstate was closed around 3 p.m. and reopened at 4 p.m. ..."
(I-94 Reopened Near St. Cloud: State Patrol," CBS Minnesota (November 19, 2011))
I heard that about 50 vehicles were involved in the Albany-to-Freeport pile-up. Definitely not good. That CBS Minnesota article has more about yesterday's weather and traffic, and says we had 200 crashes in the state yesterday. The good news is that apparently nobody got seriously hurt: or killed.

Remember that photo I showed, last week? The one that showed a little bit of snow from a Thursday-morning shower?

Snow on the ground, Thursday morning: not much; and gone by the end of the day. November 10, 2011.

We've got a lot more than that, now. This isn't official, but I'm pretty sure Sauk Centre got four inches by the time the snow stopped.

Green grass, and folks already have Christmas decorations out? Maybe they heard the weather forecast. November 18, 2011.

An inflatable turkey. There's a joke about low-calorie holiday eating somewhere here: but I can't quite find it. November 18, 2011.

I spent as much of Saturday inside as I could. Which is saying something, since I generally am out grilling burgers around noon on weekends. It wasn't entirely the weather: I'm not a 40-year-old kid any more, and decided to be sensible.

Cat. Window. Snow outside. "Tranquil" - that's the word I wanted. November 19, 2011.

Mid-afternoon in the back yard. It's Minnesota, so we might be using that table again by next Thursday. November 19, 2011.

Walmart parking lot, Saturday afternoon. Between plows and wind, there wasn't all that much snow to deal with. November 19, 2011.

Today was a beautiful wintry day: bright blue sky, sparkling snow, the works. If the five-day forecast is even close to accurate, that's going to change pretty soon. Which is no surprise. It's like you've heard before: In Minnesota, we don't have climate. We have weather.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Synchronizing Sirens in Sauk Centre

Sauk Centre's emergency sirens go off at 1:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Sometimes they're off by a minute or so: but it's a highly predictable event.

Today's Wednesday, but it's the third Wednesday in November. Which is why I wondered why I'd been hearing the emergency sirens, off and on, through the day.

Another series of wails went up a few minutes ago, and my curiosity got the better of me. I called City Hall and asked 'what's with the sirens?'

There's a perfectly reasonable explanation. They're "synchronizing the sirens," going around town and setting them off: one at a time. I'm not sure why they need to be synchronized, and why that's how it's done: but it seems like a reasonable explanation.

On the other hand, this sort of thing could accidentally train folks to ignore the sirens. On the other-other hand, we're a pretty smart bunch of folks: I figured out that the weather didn't look threatening; and my neighbors probably did, too.

Related posts:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not Much Snow, Charlie Company, and Grilling

Sunday, November 13, 2011. Looks like Friday the 13th falls on a Sunday this month.

Charlie Company is still deployed, I read in the Sauk Centre Herald that the public school is making some sort of change in its lunch schedule, and we got snow on Thursday.

Snow on the ground, Thursday morning: not much; and gone by the end of the day. November 10, 2011.

It wasn't much snow, and it had melted by the end of the afternoon. Or maybe evaporated. Whatever, it was gone. But, for one brief moment: we had snow on the ground! Sort of.

Some sort of bug has been making the rounds. I've heard that some folks got 'strep,' which doesn't sound like much fun at all.

Apart from that, and the sort of thing you can read in the Sauk Herald, I don't have much to report. Except that I was out, grilling burgers, again this weekend. I'm refining my technique, and didn't convert either Saturday or Sunday's batch into briquettes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Autumn's Here, and Daylight Saving Time Strikes Again

Sunday, November 6, 2011. It's that time of year, when pumpkins that didn't get converted into Jack 'o lanterns find their way into Thanksgiving displays. Or, this morning at Our Lady of Angels church, are pressed into service as makeshift doorstops.

The dock's been hauled ashore at the Sauk Lake public landing, down by the campground. Odds are pretty good that we're still a long way from having ice on the lake, but this is central Minnesota: and it doesn't hurt to be careful.

Autumn scene at Sauk Centre's public landing. November 4, 2011.

Folks who go in for yard decorations are probably concentrating on Thanksgiving Day themes at the moment, but as usual some folks are also getting their Christmas lights up now, before it snows.

First Christmas lights: First I've seen, anyway. They look better at night, of course. November 4, 2011.

This is the weekend when we're treated to jet lag, thanks to the 'spring forward/fall back' daylight saving time. Which I think may have been a slightly-sensible notion back in 1918. Today, not so much. I wrote about candle wax, Congress, and electric power, about a year ago, in one of my blogs. ("Ben Franklin and Daylight Saving Time: Even Homer Nods," posted in Apathetic Lemming of the North (November 7, 2010))

As a sort of joke, I came up with a proposal for 'improving' daylight saving time a few years ago. Happily, Congress hasn't enacted a single one of these ideas: each one as sensible as the system we have, I think. Here's what I wrote, back in 2008:

Daylight Saving Time: A Modest Proposal
Posted in Apathetic Lemming of the North (October 26, 2008)
  • Set clocks back 12 hours during August
    • Keeping people quiet during the day could save enormous amounts of energy that would otherwise be wasted on air conditioning in stores and offices
  • Set clocks back ten hours and forty minutes at noon on
    April 15
    • This 10:40 time shift would
      • Remind those who wait until the last minute to file tax returns of the date
      • Give them more than a full business-day's-worth of additional time to get their forms in
    • Ten hours and forty minutes is a large time shift, so clocks should be set forward one hour and twenty minutes at 2:00 a.m.
      • For eight days
        • April 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15
      • To minimize psychological stress
    • Although this stress-relieving measure might not save significant amounts of energy, the psychological effects could make a significant difference in quality of life
  • Finally, replace the evening of December 31 with
    Substance Abuse and Drug Interaction Study Time
    • Instead of over-indulging during New Year's Eve parties, citizens would be encouraged to learn about
      • Substance abuse
      • Dangers of mixing prescription drugs and alcohol
    • This should
      • Reduce deaths in drunk-driving accidents
      • Alleviate the need for expensive security measures in places like New York's Times Square
      • Promote sober, healthy lifestyles among the general public
On the other hand, maybe I shouldn't joke about this sort of thing. With an election coming up, someone might run on a 'more silly rules about time keeping' platform - and win.