Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas (natch!)

'Twas a good Christmas at the Geohouse. Plenty of electronic stuff.

I'm nervous today. I'm cooking a rib roast for the first time. Found a good deal on rib eye roast at the local grocer, so the last few days I spent scouring the 'Net for recipes. I liked the way one site described this type of meat: tender, flavorful, and expensive.

So there's no margin of error for today's big meal. My only saving grace is that this will be cooked only for myself, Geogal, and little Geoana. They tend to be forgiving especially when I'm trying something new. Who knows, this might become a holiday meal tradition. Better than bone-dry turkey.

To all of my readers, have a happy (remainder of the) holidays!

(Funny anecdote regarding today's picture. I put on the jacket and told Geogal: "I'm going outside to write something in the snow." Thought for a split-second, then added: "With a stick, not the other way.")

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's 5:05 on this Sunday afternoon and the sun is just about to set.

Must be late December, right near the winter solstice. Yep.

That's OK, the days will start getting longer now. I've got to keep telling myself that. Yet I cannot forget a news item from our local paper which stated: "In Kansas, the coldest winter weather usually occurs in late January and early February."

Oh, great. Like what we're having now isn't the worst of it. I drove to Kearney, Nebraska yesterday to wrap up the last of my Christmas shopping (the stuff I couldn't do online) and was amazed by how quickly skin can go numb in low temps combined hard wind. It was single-digit temperatures all day (and no, I'm not talking about Celsius, either). While the roads were fine (well plowed), parking lots were hit and miss.

Perhaps that's not the best term to use for yesterday. Just kidding, although I did slide just a little around a couple of the parking areas. No contact with other vehicles.

Shout out to little Geosister--Remember that scarf you gave me for Christmas eons ago? It's being used now. And Geodad, some years back you gave me a pair of Thisulate gloves. They do come in handy whenever I venture outside now.

And we will have a white Christmas, as this stuff on the ground definitely won't melt before then.

Friday, December 19, 2008


That's the term I would use to describe last night's meteorological event. There's something unsettling and a bit surreal when ice fog becomes sleet. Punctuated by thunder and lightening.

But as I mused yesterday, bad weather sometimes creates good photo ops just a few hours later.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Arctic, it just continues

Several times this week some friends and acquaintances ask me how I like the cold.

My response: "A 25 below zero wind chill is a bit much."

Pause for laughter. That's also what I hear after saying my piece .

I'm still trying to get my feeble brain around the fact that I was outdoors as recently as last Saturday-- in shirtsleeves, no less.

Sunday that all changed. Very cold. Blowing snow. Frigid.

Here we are, Thursday evening and the stuff is still out there. I think we might have gotten above freezing for a few minutes yesterday. I swear, I have two deep freeze units (one in the garage, one in the basement) and I don't think the interior of either is as cold as it is outside.

But in the midst of all things frosty this splashing of white does make for some appealing-to-the-eye vistas of things I see and take for granted every day. Such as the bare trees, lonely ballfields, and wheat fields waiting to spring their crop when the balmy temps make their comeback.

I'll try to get some photos of the stuff on here in the days to come. Meanwhile, I'm learning how to drive in snow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Arctic, Part II

Got some pride goin' on, here.

Reason: Yesterday morning I drove little Geoana to school then continued on to work. On streets of ice. Ice with a thin layer of snow on top.

It rained Monday afternoon and continued into the evening. Just before going to bed I noticed light snowflakes falling. No surprise, the Weather Channel web site predicted exactly that. And a person I was talking to earlier in the evening warned me of possible frozen over thoroughfares.

I won't lie--I was nervous heading out. I've never truly driven on ice before and I didn't think this was the best time to learn how. But seeing a few vehicles head down my street with no problem eased my angst.

Plus, I silently reminded myself I have a four-wheel-drive truck, not the rear wheel sedan or pickup truck of the past.

Engaged all fours and off we went. Drove slow, drove carefully. No problems.

And now, I have more character. At least until the next bout of inclement weather.


Actually, I meant to blog the past couple of nights, but the MacBook was commandeered by Geogal (uploading a friend's pictures to the Wal Mart web site on Monday, uploading her own pics to Kodak Photo Gallery on Tuesday). No matter, I just parked myself on a chair yesterday evening and watched the latest Netflix offering: Trainspotting.

Yeeesh. Talk about graphic. I wouldn't recommend it for everybody. Good James Bond references, though.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Just go ahead and gloat, everyone.

It's real cold here right now. Waaay cold. Freakin' cold. Frigid.

How cold? This morning it was warmer in Anchorage, Alaska.

I bundled up, went outside to start the truck (these days I have to let it warm up--the little girl and I need some heat while we ride). Upon going out the door to start 'er up, I thought to myself, "It's chilly, but not too bad." Then I walked beyond the shelter of my spruce tree.

Wind. Blowing. Real cold.

I remembered to wear gloves in order to scrape the frost, but forgot about a wool cap. A few minutes later I complain to Geogal that I can't feel my ears.

Specifics? With the wind chill, this morning it was 2 degrees above zero.

But hey, at least these temps keep the killer bees away, right?

And my cold-weather diet seems to have hit the skids. I consume more than my share of strong black coffee throughout the morning and then munch on "made-it-myself" chili for lunch.

I wonder if that's the reason my stomach hasn't felt right the last few days?

Starting tomorrow I'm going easier on the hot bean juice and will make the food intake a little more bland. I'll just think warm thoughts.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Holiday (i)Tunes

Time to blow the (digital) dust off of my Christmas music collection and load it onto the Nano.

It's one of the things I enjoy about the holiday season, these old carols and standards, many of them being sung by the original artist.

Since I can only enjoy these from December 1 through midday December 25th, it makes this compendium even more special. The rest of the year? Not even.

There's just nothing like sitting in front of the MacBook on a summer day listening to one's iTunes library with the shuffle setting turned on, casually reading who-knows-what on the Internet. First I hear Steely Dan's "Blues Beach," followed by Terri Clark's "I Just Wanna Be Mad," Henry Mancini's "Theme from 'Mr. Lucky,'" topped off with Gene Autry crooning: "You know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen..."

Aaaahh, where's the arrow to hit the next song?

For a few days, I can now shuffle away the hours.