Bye-Bye Winter

This is likely to be your last wintery photo from the Scalzi Compound for a while. I took this picture last night before a big rain storm melted most of the snow and washed it off to the nearby creek (causing a bit of flooding as it did so down by the road); now about 95% of the snow is gone and the rest isn’t likely to last the day. There’s a chance of a couple of snow showers tomorrow but all next week the forecast is for mid 40s. Bye-bye, winter, nice knowing you.

28 Comments on “Bye-Bye Winter”

  1. You realize you’ve just invited a freak freeze by jinxing it, right?

    The weather here keeps vacilating (sp?) between beautiful and Just Plain Screwy, but I suppose that’s to be expected. I just wish Scotland would oblige me by keeping its wind and rain to itself.

  2. We’re getting a big melt, and I’ll be hearing about flooding problems by noon, I’m sure. And then snow shower and low 30s this weekend before it warms up again. Just freaking fabulous. But at least we’re better off than what the south got hit with last night.

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    We’re in the midst of a wet blizzard. Witness:

    http://www.crtdot.com/images/march2blizzard.jpg

    The thing in the snow is a war monument of some kind. Beyond it is miles of Casco Bay and the Atlantic. The white stuff blocking the view is snow.

    (I’d do that link up proper HTML stylee but the whatever thinks every link I post is me trying to sell Canadian vye-agg-raahh.)

  4. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    I’m psyched!

    It’s my first day off (entrepreneurs don’t really get those) and my kid’s snow day. So it’s day of grazing, writing, posting, and maybe some sledding.

    Not fit weather for man, furrie or maarsie out there.

  5. Boy are you funny! It was raining here at the “D” (and yes I do hate myself a little for typing that) when I headed to the gym this morning at o’dark thirty. By the time I left at just past sun crack, the snow had started. Visibility is down to less than half a mile. It’s coming Scalzi. Batten down the hatches!

  6. Nathan, that was an option, but we went with the stainless steel edge. We could trade it out for one, though.

    Fortunately my village is on the high ground, but we have many storm sewer issues (we will be rehauling them in a few years, there’s some other projects we need to finish first). Not all of the village has them, and our older open ditches were getting near max when I left. The good news was with all the warm weather in December, we did some major ditch cleaning and repair then (instead of in May/June when we normally do it).

  7. Ah, look, the southerners are talking about the weather again (yawns, outside the winds howl). Whatever. We’re off to help weight test Iditarod sleds today. And tomorrow my wife is riding in the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage. Sunday is the actual start, 8 days to Nome! Whoohoo! Winter ain’t over yet.

  8. Jim, are you making the run yourself?

    Nathan, I forgot to add that with the squeege edge you can’t knock down as many mailboxes, and that’s one of our metrics for the employees. That and they have to time their snow plowing to plow shut the mayor’s drive as he’s putting his snow blower back in the garage. So far this year they’ve been doing a great job with the meager amount of snow we’ve had.

  9. The Southerners!? Hey, we won that war, smart guy. Kindly rephrase.
    — Jeff* in by-God Ohio, soul of the Republic and heart of it all. Ohhhhh, John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave …
    *Yeah, I’m full of it. My great-grandpappy came over in steerage in like 1902 or something.

  10. Steve, I wish. I’m afraid those days are past, my left shoulder no longer functions in any useful fashion, certainly not well enough to make the run. But, hey, who’s complaining?

  11. Jeff, I live in Palmer, Alaska. Hell, Canadians are southerners to me. So far, I think the only regular commenter north of me is Tania.

  12. Yanni, yeah it’s true. A musher named John Suter ran 3-4 times as I recall. It’s been a while though, think early 90’s. He did pretty well, as I remember. These were not your mini-hairballs, they were big-ass full sized dogs. It was funny as hell too, like a sled dog in a sweater.

    Hmmm, I may have a glimmer of an idea for the “Give John’s future novel a scathing review” contest…

  13. What can I say, I’m a bit behind the times with dogs. I haven’t gotten to that part of wikipedia yet! I’ve been so focused on following the Academy Awards trail…oh my gods those poodles look hilarious! Women win, men mush poodles! I love it!

  14. John, don’t put away the snow shovels just yet. I live a few states to the west of you. We just got dumped on. In the spirit of sharing, we’re sending it your way…

  15. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    Snow’s still coming down here in Maine. If only someone would check the spam queue and see my pictures are in there so they don’t get deleted like I was a selling pron of durgs. :(

  16. Yanni: I haven’t gotten to that part of wikipedia yet! After reading your myspace page, I can see why. With all the things you do, I’m surprised you’ve got time to read the Whatever. Fascinating video BTW. The people you meet here, Goddamn, but I love this site.

    Okay, but now I really have to go. Have to find the 10-year old’s snow bibs before we head off.

  17. Wow, I feel like a celebrity – Mr. Wright remembered my name!

    Have fun with the Iditarod. We have been helping out with the Quest for the last few years. The dogs are fun, and mushers are interesting.

    Winter is still here. It’s been -39F every morning this week, but it warms up to about -8 in the afternoon, so it’s not that bad. The Ice Park opens this afternoon, and the single block ice carving finished up last night. The spouse and I will probably throw on our winter gear and check it out tomorrow night.

  18. Nice photo. Is there any way to set the focus on your camera to the “hyperfocal” distance, and make both foreground and background in focus?

  19. We’ve gotten more snow here in central MN in the last 7 days than we have all winter – probably a couple feet at least. Duluth really has it rough, 20+ inches of snow yesterday with a sustained wind of 50 mph and gusts over 60. Whatever god lives in the depths of Lake Superior is full of righteous wrath.

  20. Canada. Alaska. Etc. You people live all over the place. That’s really cool. I’m just in boring ol Pennsylvania. And it’s definitely warm here.

  21. Pat Lundigran:

    “Is there any way to set the focus on your camera to the ‘hyperfocal’ distance, and make both foreground and background in focus?”

    Probably, but I like the current effect.

  22. Just when most of the snow from December and January had melted off here in Denver, we got more. “Mild winters” my butt.

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