Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Air temp of zero, wind chill of brrrrrr

Mother Nature loves to jerk us around up here.  

Early November was true indian summer, even to the point that I was cleaning out gutters at midday wearing jeans and a t-shirt.  That happened on a Saturday.  The following Monday we were hit with well-below-freezing temperatures.  And to add insult to injury there was precip that Sunday evening which froze over followed by a dusting of snow.  So Monday morning was even more cruel as we had to endure the slippy-slide anywhere sand or salt wasn’t scattered.  

Then we have this holiday season.  Christmas Day was sunny with temps in the 40’s.  Nice enough that I could go walking with a medium-sized jacket.  No wind, either.  

That changed.  

Began snowing on Friday afternoon.  Wound up with between one and two inches.  All things considered, not too bad.  

But now we are in today.  Snowed yesterday.  Snow and wind overnight.  Snow drifts this morning necessitating the snow boots and uber-cold weather gear.  Walk out the front door early and sweep off the white stuff.  In a steady wind.  Official temperature was 1 degree with a wind chill of 18 below.  

And tomorrow morning will be even more rough.  Overnight low projected to be 12 below.  That’s before any wind chill.  

However I am thankful we have actual seasons here.  Not just all-hot or all-cold.  And only 16 or so more weeks of cool temps!!

Friday, December 26, 2014


As you gleaned from yesterday’s post I have a new MacBook.  

Which means my venerable 2006-purchased black MacBook is headed for the pasture.  

Actually the latter machine has been in semi-retired status for some time now.  Most of my computing for the past two (if not three) years was in front of the iMac down in the study.  If I wanted portability at home I grabbed Geoana’s iPad.  Don’t give me that dirty look.  Ever since last Christmas when she gained ownership of her iPhone 5C and its capacity to play Netflix and YouTube videos on demand anywhere and anytime she’s made little use of her Apple tablet.  So usually the only time I used the older MacBook was when I took a trip that required at least one overnight stay.  Nothing like an actual computer to connect to the hotel’s wi-fi and keep me abreast with the outside world.  And my own world back in NW Kansas.  

That older Mac still does plenty considering it’s 8 years old.  I can still surf the Net on Safari and use the Eye TV for watching over-the-air idiot box.  iTunes still has my music and Pages will still create a beautiful document.  Yet the machine’s battery has been nonexistent for about four years now and I just had a hard time coughing up cash for a replacement battery.  Plus when I upgraded the Mac to Snow Leopard it seemed to run just a little more slow than when it operated under good old plain Leopard.  Also the internal Superdrive (CD/DVD burner combo) has since died.  And time marches on.  Operating systems become less supported.  New technology emerges.  Having mini-Displayport and Firewire no longer is important.  Time to move into the age of Thunderbolt and USB-3.  

So in referencing the picture above the one on the left now will give way to the aluminum-bodied Mac on the right.  

You had a good run, black MacBook.  Just consider all of the TV markets where you gave Geoguy a look at the local digital over-the-air offerings: 

NW Kansas (in the Wichita market yet served by full-power satellites in places such as Colby-Goodland and Hays-Great Bend)
Colorado Springs
Wichita proper
Rapid City
Dallas-Fort Worth
Kansas City
North Platte (one of the smallest DMA’s you will find)
Oklahoma City
San Antonio
Los Angeles (at least what I could receive at the Ontario airport)
Palm Springs
Minneapolis-St. Paul

Wow.  I dragged that Mac a lot of places.  

A few days ago Geogal asked me what I would do with that older MacBook.  I answered that I didn’t quite know but I was not going to throw the thing onto the scrap heap.  

It still might have some use.  Heck just yesterday morning I set it up to play streaming audio to my older stereo system in the living room.  Christmas music, courtesy of KLUX in Corpus Christi TX.  Their normal format is beautiful music and they are owned by the Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi so I didn’t have to worry about them playing “A Miley Cyrus Christmas.”  

The Mac performed admirably.  I don’t want that to be its swan song.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Christmas post, 2014 version

Merry Christmas, everyone!

It’s evening now.  The dishes are washed and the kitchen is now clean.  In keeping with our recent-created tradition we had prime rib for the Christmas meal.  Due to beef prices being what they are currently we wound up paying more than we budgeted.  Rest assured the rib roast was VERY tender and had a great flavor.  

We had a low-key Christmas.  I only got one pricey gift, a MacBook Air.  No surprise for me since I ordered and paid for it myself.  I also sprung for the extra charge to upgrade the memory to 8 GB.  So far I’m impressed with this machine.  “This” meaning I’m typing this blog entry on my new Mac, using the Pages word processor.  As such you can expect an increase in my blogging since I am no longer limited to the iMac down in the study.  I’ve also decreed Geoana will not be permitted to access her school account on this machine (I still can’t get the Google school account to log out on the Blogger website.)  

Now it’s time for some dessert….

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Book I just finished reading:   Catch–22

Lengthy but well worth the effort.  I can’t remember when I laughed so much reading a book--probably not ever since the The Milagro Beanfield War.   Yossarian lives!!

Book I am currently reading (fiction):  Illusion by Frank Peretti

This one’s on the Kindle.  I’m enjoying the journey since I am apparently very discerning when it comes to fiction.  Novels are easy to find.  Good novels are difficult to locate.  Since everyone’s definition of quality varies I sometimes have trouble locating a tome that is worth my time.  However since Illusion had overall positive reviews on Amazon I decided to go for it.  I’ve read several of Peretti’s novels and like most every writer he puts out the occasional clunker.  Glad my current read doesn’t fall into that category. 

Book I am currently reading (nonfiction):  The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee by Marja Mills. 

Geogal found this one at the local library (which has both fiction and nonfiction books, much to the surprise of our city-dwelling kinfolk).  A fairly easy read, this one does well at holding my interest.  I’ve never been to small-town Alabama but Mills’ prose easily puts the picture in one’s mind. 

By the next literary update I’m sure I will be on some different ones.