Friday, December 29, 2006

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 7

Apparently the Associated Press was a little bit excited about this storm, but so far it is not too bad in in the Northern part of the state. There was about eight inches of fluffy powder to shovel out from in front of my garage, but by the time I finished, the plow had already made it through the parking lot a couple times, so it was smooth sailing from there.

The second wave of this storm is supposed to slide in early this afternoon and last through the night, so we'll see what happens with that one when it happens.

And now, the AP article, um, borrowed from a newspaper. (The first paragraph sounds a little porno-esque... or maybe that's just me.)

Second Blizzard Hits Colorado,
Threatens to Close Denver Airport

Associated Press
December 29, 2006 9:05 a.m.

DENVER -- The second major snow storm in a week pounded Colorado Friday, burying the foothills under another two feet of snow, shutting down highways and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights at the Denver airport.

The storm stretched across the Rocky Mountains into the western Plains, where the National Weather Service warned that the gusting wind could whip up blinding whiteouts.

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens again declared a statewide disaster, putting the National Guard on standby as areas west of Denver got 28 inches of snow Thursday and early Friday. In the city, about 16 inches had fallen by morning. Interstate 25, the main north-south highway through the state, was closed about 60 miles north of Denver.

While last week's blizzard dumped nearly two feet of snow in about 24 hours, making it impossible for airport and highway plows to keep up, snow from the new storm was expected to stretch over about three days.

United Airlines and Frontier Airlines, the largest carriers at Denver International Airport, both canceled 322 flights through Friday morning, but were hopeful that they could soon get back on schedule.

"Right now, we're planning to operate a full schedule starting at noon," United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said early Friday.

Greyhound canceled all trips out of Denver Friday and more cancellations could follow this weekend.

The metro area's light rail trains, buses and public transit planned to run on their regular schedules, though. Maintenance crews covered Denver streets with deicer, but offices still closed early Thursday and residents stocked up on groceries.

With memories fresh of the 4,700 stranded holiday travelers and backed up flights around the country last week, New Year's travelers jammed the airport Thursday trying to get out of Colorado while they still could.

Managers at the nation's fifth-busiest airport drew up snowplowing plans, and airlines urged ticket-holders to get early flights or wait until after the storm. The airport and airlines called in extra workers, and security lines moved relatively quickly. But long lines formed at ticket counters as travelers tried to adjust their plans.

The Frontier line snaked across the cavernous terminal, weaving behind the lines of ticket counters on the other side of the building.

Frontier waived its usual change fee to encourage passengers to catch earlier flights. "Let's try and get as many people out ahead of the storm as we can," Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said.

After running out of bedding for stranded passengers during the first storm, airport managers lined up cots and blankets and urged food vendors to ensure they had plenty of supplies on hand.

In New Mexico, Interstate 40 remained closed Friday morning from Albuquerque to Santa Rosa, with numerous crashes were reported after a storm swept through.

Residents of Cheyenne, Wyo., also braced for another snowstorm. Heavy snow began falling around dusk, and forecasters said up to a foot was expected.

In California, a powerful winter storm left tens of thousands of people without power as winds gusted to near-hurricane force. Forecasters warned of dangerous winds, with gusts over 70 mph, through Friday morning in the valleys and mountain passes.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Blizzard Blog pt 6

Here we go again...

This was taken shortly after I got home from work this evening (so about 6:00 considering it took me an hour to get home today - grr) when it had only been slowing for about two hours. The top two inches or so is new snow, and whatever is underneath that is left over from last week's craziness.

We'll see how this turns out in the morning.
...Taking all bets! 16" Pays 2-to-1...!

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 5

Hokay, so, I'm finally getting the pictures I promised posted here... and it's gonna snow again today.

KUSA - Snow began falling on the metro area Thursday morning as much of Colorado braced for another winter storm with heavy snowfall.

9NEWS Meteorologist Nick O'Kelly says the metro area could get 2 to 5 inches of snow by Thursday evening. The snow will pick up throughout the day.

The storm will intensify overnight into Friday and there could be 9 to 17 inches of snow by Friday morning in the metro area.

Snowfall rates could get up to 2 inches per hour, especially in the foothills along the Front Range.

Nick says by Friday, the foothills could see 18 to 36 inches and the mountain areas 12 to 24 inches.

The storm is expected to continue through Friday and possibly into Saturday afternoon.

Nick says we should expect hazardous driving conditions; many highways could become icy and snow packed.

The storm could also impact travel at Denver International Airport because of gusty winds, blowing snow and drifting.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect from noon on Thursday to 6 a.m. on Friday for a large area, including the metro area, the Eisenhower Tunnel, Boulder and Estes Park. The warning could be extended into Saturday.

The heaviest amounts of snow are expected to be in the areas west of I-25. North winds could get up to 10 to 20 mph with gusts as high as 40 mph. That could create blowing and drifting snow.
Sonofa... This is going to make for another interesting couple of days. Oi.

Get the full 9News forecast for Denver here.

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 4

Pictures!

Betty in the parking lot at work freezing her somethingerother off.
(1:00pm 20 Dec)

Corner of College and Harmony in Fort Collins on the way home.
(2:30pm 20 Dec)

Betty, stuck, up to her eyeballs in a snowdrift trying to get into my condo parking lot. Turns out she gets high-centered fairly easy!
(3:30 20 Dec)

The pretty side effect of 23" of snow: a nice view of a white Longs Peak looking west, just north of Longmont.
(8:30am 22 Dec)

In conclusion, here is my strategy for getting through a blizzard in a rear wheel drive car that does not have good tires: get a full tank of gas (the day before); some weight (like a big floor jack) in your trunk; put a shovel in the passenger seat (scares hitchhikers and good for digging out); don't try to drive through unplowed :( streets; and air-down your tires to about 20 psi (just don't forget to fill 'em back up!).

Looks like I'll get to try out my strategy again sooner than later...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope you and yours are having a wonderful day.

The snow stopped falling, the airport opened, and Christmas dinner is on the stove. There's still plenty of snow on the ground though, and I'll have a few more pictured of my blizzard adventures up soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 3

Well, apparently every single school district on the Front Range is now shut down; Highway 34 is closed; all of our jobs are shut down and questionable for tomorrow; every supplier in Denver that I have called is closed; my mom slid sideways down our driveway (she called); and there are 5-foot drifts on my boss' back porch (his wife called).

We finally decided to shut down the main office a few minutes ago and I'm gonna attempt my (only) 15 mile drive back home with my rear wheel drive, bald tired Mustang now. We'll see how this goes! 8-0

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 2

It's really startin' to come down now.

Looks cold and windy, eh? Here's a shot out the front door of my office at about 9:00 a.m.

Blizzard Blog 2006 pt 1

So, apparently it's supposed to snow like a mother today.

On Monday I was hearing 4-8" accumulation along the Front Range. Tuesday it was 8-12". Now there's a Winter Storm Warning in place until noon Thursday for accumulations of 24-36" in Northern Colorado, 14-24" in the Denver Metro, and 10-18" for a huge swath of Southern Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska as the predicted storm lumbers its way to the northeast.
(Below is a cool 9News graphic to illustrate this.)

If it does snow as much and as hard as they are currently predicting, this will be the worst winter storm since the March 2003 storm that dumped over three feet of snow on Northern Colorado. That storm closed the public schools, and the university [yay for an extra week of "spring" break!], and many buildings and trees were heavily damaged by the heavy spring snow. This time around it's a lot colder and a lot earlier in the season, so the snow shouldn't be nearly as wet.

As of 8:30 a.m., all of the Denver area schools are close, as are most schools on the eastern plains. The list of school and business closures fills up ten (!) printed pages. Of course, right now, there is only about an inch of snow in most places and the roads area really not that bad. I think that most of the districts are just taking this opportunity to kick off Christmas break one day early, and I definitely don't blame them.

Stay tuned for a few more posts as the storm builds and the snow falls. And I sit in my windowless office. :-|

And from the National Weather Service, "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas in Denver!" Click to see a recap of the last several years Christmas weather.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lord Monckton defends science, calls on Senators to resign

On 11 December, The Viscount of Brenchley, England, Lord Monckton sent an open letter to Senators John D Rockefeller (Democrat-WV) and Olympia Snowe (Republican-Maine) in response to their recent open letter telling the CEO of ExxonMobil to stop funding scientists who are skeptical of the climate change "consensus" promoted by environmentalists and the mainstream media.

You can read his whole letter (please do), including works cited and the executive summary of a University of Southern California research paper here: http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20061212_monckton.pdf

In his letter, Lord Monckton,
former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, does some serious calling-out of our beloved leftist environmentalist Senators. He writes:
You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to “senior elected and appointed government officials” who disagree with your opinion. You are elected officials yourselves. If you do not believe in the right of persons within the United States to exercise their fundamental right under the world’s greatest Constitution to petition their elected representatives for the redress of their grievances, then you have no place on Capitol Hill. You must go.
Lord Monckton is a long time and well known critic of the global warming / anthropogenic climate change theory. He continues in his letter to criticize the ignorant environmentalists and their even more ignorant followers by not only challenging the climate change assertions that they seem to believe as Gospel [although, Gospel means "good news," and that is something unknown to these types], but also by calling attention to the fact that the withholding and repressing the critical side of the global warming debate is equivalent to violating the first amendment!

These senators and their ilk seem to believe that if they are unable to answer to the critics of their point of view, they can simply call into question the source of their opponents. I'm pretty sure that a lot of good, unbiased science comes out of private firms who are not funded by the government, but apparently that is too hard for some to believe.

And furthermore, why did it take a British nobleman to call out these United States Senators? Are we so jaded and used to the pathetic rambling of our politicians that we no longer care? Or is it that the critics of this so-called consensus on global warming do not have the backbone to defend themselves?

Of course, it could well be that no one knows about the letters in question. Google News only had nine measly references to this story today. Which obviates the fact that the mainstream media does not care to acknowledge that there is even a debate on the topic. Oi.


... Anyways, back to the climate change thing...

The authors of "On Global Forces of Nature Driving the Earth’s Climate: Are Humans Involved?" [which they apparently expect you to pay $30 for here] conclude that:
“The human-induced climatic changes are negligible. … The global warming observed during the latest 150 years is just a short episode in the geologic history. The current global warming is most likely a combined effect of increased solar and tectonic activities and cannot be attributed to the increased anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere. … Humans may be responsible for less than 0.01°C of approximately 0.56°C (1°F) total average atmospheric heating during the last century”.
Which sounds perfectly plausible to me. Even if the current human activity is causing an increase in global temperatures, we have not been able to accurately measure and study it for nearly long enough at this point in time to come to any strong conclusions. I agree with the USC researchers that the natural ebb and flow of global climate is much more powerful than most people give it credit for. As great as the human race seems to be, we probably can't influence the heavens and the Earth as easily as we would like to think.

So poo on you, Mr. Gore.

Shelby GT500 vs. Roush Stage 3

My Mustang is not nearly this cool.



Check out the Ford SVT site for the GT500 here and the Roush Stage 3 page here.

I will have to look up the price difference between the two. I think the GT500 is around $55,000 and the Roush Stage 3 is closer to $75,000. Ouch.

I don't even want to think about what insurance costs!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No Pony

Just in case you were wondering...

Merry Christmas! ;)

How to Win in Iraq

Really good article / action plan for how the United States can still choose victory in Iraq written by several decorated military commanders and published in the current issue of the "Worldwide Standard" section of The Weekly Standard.

Here is an excerpt:
Victory is still an option in Iraq. America, a country of 300 million people with a GDP of $12 trillion, and more than one million soldiers and marines can regain control of Iraq, a state the size of California with a population of 25 million and a GDP under $100 billion.

Victory in Iraq is vital to America’s security. Defeat will lead to regional conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and increased global terrorism.

Iraq has reached a critical point. The strategy of relying on a political process to eliminate the insurgency has failed. Rising sectarian violence threatens to break America’s will to fight. This violence will destroy the Iraqi government, armed forces, and people if it is not rapidly controlled.

Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. We must adopt a new approach to the war and implement it quickly and decisively.

Three courses of action have been proposed. All will fail.

Click here to read their plan for victory. It doesn't sound fun or easy, but it is something that needs to be done for the same of Iraq, the Middle East, the U.S., and the world.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Live on light!

Breatharians. People who live on light and/or air.

Google it.

What friggin' moron came up with this crap?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holocaust? What Halocaust?

Wacko-fundamentalist Muslim and dictator - I mean, uh, president - of the terrorist state Iran, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is once again claiming that the Holocaust never happened with his new, state-sponsored conference, Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision, yesterday. He also reasserted his belief that "Israel be wiped off the map."

There are many, many articles and columns out there today regarding this idiotic meeting of historical revisionists, anti-zionists, and other crack pots. The ones below are a few that I picked:
It was reported that about 60 protesters chanted "death to the dictator" and burned photographs of Ahmedinejad in the first protests since the he became president 18 months ago. I would guess that there is a pretty good chance that we may never hear from some of those 60 people again.

* * * * *

These events and many that are similar are reported on at least a weekly basis from Iran and Ahmadinejad's rule. These events outrage the vast majority of the world, including the UN, Europeans, and American democrats. Yet the world approach in dealing with this dictator is still appeasement.

It is pretty clear what happens when a crazy dictator is appeased without end. If you forgot, ask the Germans. Or the French. Or the Jews.

Monday, December 11, 2006

CrackBerry

So... Wall Street Journal article on "BlackBerry Orphans," i.e.: kids who's parents spend waaay too much time with their CrackBerry...
Emma Colonna wishes her parents would behave, at least when they're out in public. The ninth-grade student in Port Washington, N.Y., says she has caught her parents typing emails on their Treos during her eighth-grade awards ceremony, at dinner and in darkened movie theaters. "During my dance recital, I'm 99% sure they were emailing except while I was on stage," she says. "I think that's kind of rude."
That is sad times. The article continues...

Some mental-health professionals report that the intrusion of mobile email gadgets and wireless technology into family life is a growing topic of discussion in therapy. They have specific tips for dealing with the problem, like putting the device in a drawer during a set time period every day. "A lot of kids are upset by it," says Geraldine Kerr, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Morristown, N.J. She says parents need to recognize that some situations require undivided attention. When you shut off the device, she says, "You're communicating nonverbally that 'you matter and what's important to you is important to me.' "

Still, like teenagers sneaking cigarettes behind school, parents are secretly rebelling against the rules. The children of one New Jersey executive mandate that their mom ignore her mobile email from dinnertime until their bedtime. To get around their dictates, the mother hides the gadget in the bathroom, where she makes frequent trips before, during and after dinner. The kids "think I have a small bladder," she says. She declined to be named because she's afraid her 12- and 13-year-old children might discover her secret.

Um, if you seriously need family therapy because you can't ignore your office email for a few hours a day, you might have bigger problems. Like lack of a spine to tell your boss that the work-week is Monday thru Friday. But I can't exactly talk, since I have been known to occasionally check my work mail from home on the weekends or evenings -- but not to that extent!

We'll see what happens when I get myself a Treo.

Update: I forgot to include the link to an eleven-month-old NPR story that I heard about this as well. You can find (and listen to it) here.

I still want one.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Geography Quiz

"We've seen Georgia on the map; its purple!"

Well, not on this map, but take this geography quiz anyway and see if you can beat my score. ;) I got 149 -- Rhode Island is really hard to spot on the map!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Grease Remover

No one should watch this.

Unless, of course, they find such things humorous. In which case, they are a sick puppy, and therefore we have something in common.

The following video contains course language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone. (Thanks, South Park)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Best. Pen. Ever.

...and a very nice macro mode on my camera.

Uniball Jetstream pens are hereby endorsed by Matt. ;)

More Cold Things

I'm cold. And it's not just my heart. ;)

The boiler at our office that heats the downstairs - where I am - is not working right this morning. When I got here at 7 it was about 60 degrees in my dang office! Now it's warned up to somewhere around 68, but wowzers, it was chilly in here.

And drafty. My "back door" in my office leaks the (cold) outside air in near the handle. I would fix it with some duct tape, but it gets used way too often for that.

And now, cold things from my trip to Frisco, CO last Thursday.

This is a picture of the stereo and heater controls of the relatively-pimp, champagne colored Buick from work that I drove three hours and 135 miles (one way) up to Summit County (where the ski areas are) to check out a job. When I left Fort Collins at 5:45 a.m., the exterior temperature display (at the bottom of the picture read -1 degrees. By the time I got into Frisco, elevation 9042 feet, the temp outside was -13. Fahrenheit. Thirteen degrees below zero. Burrr! At least the sun was out; and it did warm all the way up to 9 above by the time I left town at noon-thirty.

And this is some mountain that sits to the south-west of Frisco. Maybe Breckenridge Mountain? I thought it was further south, but who knows. If there is a ski resort on this one, it's on the back side.