Smoke Pall

A little cross link action here… I made a post on the Weathernerds Journal about the pall of smoke moving over the central United States. Please go there for some cool satellite images.

We have clear skies here in Duluth, MN today, but it might as well be cloudy. We did get some filtered sunshine today, but not enough to conjure up any cumulus clouds (Cu). Why do I care about this? Because I forecasted Cu formation today in my aviation forecast. The smoke screwed me over.


First highlight is the removing of the totem pole from my front yard. The previous owner of this house hand carved a totem pole. This pole depicted his family – from bottom to top… his three kids, his wife, himself and an eagle to top it off. I should of taken a picture of it. you can only see the shadow that it casts in this photo (far left). It took some skill and talent in order to carve this pole.

All right, thats enough compliments. Placing this totem pole of your family, in the front yard is, ummm, tacky, maybe even gaudy. The other thing, why the heck didn’t he take it down when he knew he was moving. I certainly had no attachment to it. It had to go.

I mentioned that I plan on taking the totem pole down to one of my neighbors. He also remarked in bewilderment as to why the previous owner carved the pole in the first place. The next day, he mentioned that I wanted the pole down to two other neighbors. One of those neighbors knocked on my door and said, “I hear you don’t want the totem pole”. I said “that would be correct”. So this neighbor and his kid went out and took down the pole. The next day after that, they yanked out the cement footing it was resting on. I now have a four foot deep hole where the pole used to be. Did I mention that the former owner of this house over engineered everything? This neighbor is going to try and track down one of the kids, to see if they want to take the pole off of his hands. Otherwise it’s firewood.

I just worked a quick turnaround. I worked the day shift yesterday, then worked the midnight shift last night. My boss was originally scheduled to work the midnight shift. The “powers that be” decided to make all Meteorogists in Charge (MIC) go to diversity training in Norfolk, Virginia. So 3 weeks ago, I was asked to cover for him. I didn’t want to do this because it destroyed half the weekend, but I was pretty much the only option. So I didn’t put up much of fight, wouldn’t of accomplished much. So I get one day off, then I work my 3 originally scheduled midnights.

I managed to cut the lawn over the past couple of days. I don’t know what I’m complaining about (see previous posts). It only took a couple hours to cut the lawn using the push mower this time around. I’m guessing that I will cut the lawn a dozen time a year, so thats 24 hours a year. I consider that 24 hours of exercise. Its good for me, dammit. The only problem with the push mower is that my hands are partially numb from the vibration.

Air Force One

Air Force One (AF1) paid a visit to Duluth International Airport today. Guess who was working the aviation forecast desk today (rhetorical question). No, I did not receive a direct call from AF1. Actually I didn’t get any aviation related calls at all today. It was pretty dull weather-wise. Besides, I think this was the FAA’s baby. Also, I am willing to bet, AF1 has its own weather unit.

I didn’t get a chance to see AF1 land. All I saw was the tail fin through the trees as it taxied to the terminal. AF1 came in around 3:30 PM, and I was on duty at the time. I did get real lucky and saw AF1 fly off. I was out jogging in the evening, when I saw a scuttlebutt in one of the nearby yards. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that they were looking at AF1 gaining altitude. I stopped jogging. AF1 was on its way to Milwaukee, so it did a bank around me. So I got to take a good long look at it as lifted away.

Yeah, I think I will remember this event, even though in the grand scheme of things, its minor.

If you are curious as to what the local press had to say about the President’s visit, here are your blurbs: Duluth News Tribune | Star Tribune.

Match Making Blues

I subscribed to one of these matchmaking sites a little over a year ago. Got a few dates…and even had a fling last about 4 weeks. The primary picture (the one you see if you browse) I used for this site is of me with the Grand Canyon in the background. This picture had me smiling mildly, but I was at about my maximum weight (225 lbs) and I looked tired from the hike. I also had a picture of me at a campground holding a beer with a 7 day old beard and wearing a black cowboy hat. I looked like a biker dude or a redneck. But for some reason I like the picture. I had this as an additional picture. I definately didn’t want this to be the primary.

Okay, it is now over a year later. I am flirting with the idea of testing the waters again using this account. I want to try a better picture. It is a picture of me after a 5k run. In this picture, I am at about my lightest weight in about 10 years (190 lbs.) and I have great smile because I just accomplished a goal. Plus a friend was taking a picture and she did a great job of getting the “glow” out of me. I submit this picture. They accept it… great. I went in and flagged this picture as my primary picture. Denied! Not only did they deny it, but they swapped in the picture of me holding the beer. Fine. It might be fun to see what gals will take a liking to that picture. A little social experiment. I haven’t paid them any money yet, but I can still see any e:mails that may be sent to me. I shall post if anything of interest happens.

River Tube

The Porsche of river tubing… Trek N Tube. Actually I’m posting this for my own future reference… might just have to get one of these.

Sensational Day

We had a line of Thunderstorms go through last night, dropped a little over an inch and half of rain on us. I don’t mind if it rains at night, especially if the sun comes out the next day – which it did eventually. The thunderstorm did keep me awake for about an hour, but since I had the luxury of sleeping in, that really wasn’t a problem. It was still dripping out when I finally did wake up around 9 AM.

It stayed cloudy and drizzly all morning. This was also fine, because I needed to clean up the house for my brother’s (and family) visit. I didn’t have any of that pesky sunshine, begging me to go outside.

My brother showed up around 1 PM or so. He was highly impressed with the new house, which meant a lot to me. I value his opinion, especially since he is in the house building business. They hung around for about and hour or so, before heading back to their place. They had just spent the past week hanging around the north shore of Lake Superior, doing the family bonding thing. Sounds like they had a blast.

The sun was out by now. So after grocery shopping I went on a bike hike. I biked up to Pike Lake and back… around 10 miles or so. During that trip I scouted out the public boat launch. Looked like a good place to launch my little kayak. Sooo, I after getting back from the bike trip, I grabbed a bite to eat, threw the kayak in the car, and headed back to Pike Lake. I spent about and hour and half paddling about.

The fog rolled in around 8:30 PM. Good timing, my day was complete, let it fog up.

Yeah, about as perfect a day you can expect. The Duluth area is a paradise when the sun is out and the temperature is lukewarm.

If that isn’t enough for you, and you are still feeling down. Gaze upon Laura Ness. She is running for the 2nd District City Council Seat here in Duluth. She would get my vote – if I lived in Duluth and in her district.

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Apple River Fun!!

I tubed down the Apple River today… here is the play-by-play.

I hopped in my car at 8:20 AM and began my drive from Hermantown (near Duluth, MN) to Somerset, Wisconsin (east of the Twin Cities). According to the National Weather Service, the forecast for Somerset was morning clouds and fog then partly cloudy and warm. As I got on the road, it was bright and sunny. Within 2 miles, I was in 1/2 mile visibility fog. I stayed in the fog and clouds all the way down to Somerset… some 160 miles away. On the way there, I dropped by my sisters place to check the latest satellite image. Sure enough, the fog and stratus clouds were being eaten away by daytime heating. So I left a message on my friends cell phone, letting him know this info, then I continued my journey.

I found the gang easily at the Apple River Campgrounds. They didn’t seem to be in hurry to get in the water. It was still cloudy with temperature in the 60s. This was at 11:30 AM. I told them that clouds were being eaten away and we should see sun “soon”. To show my confidence, I began gooping my body with sun block. We got our tubes and hopped on the bus. Once I boarded the bus, I looked out the window and saw my first patch of blue sky. While traveling to the launch site, we saw the sun break out for the first time. By the time we had our tubes tied together, there was only high clouds in the sky – no low clouds in site. We had constant sunshine (albeit somewhat filtered by the high clouds) the rest of the day.

The water was cold, I’m guess around 70 degrees… maybe. The beer started flowing amongst our group of six, I even had a couple (I originally said I wouldn’t have any, so I lied). We stopped at a few sand bars. The Mardi gras beads were being exchanged and boobs were being flashed. I saw a few beer bongs as well. I didn’t see any fights this time down. Last year, during the fourth of July weekend, I saw 2 or three fights during the weekend.

I only saw 2 kids floating down the river this day. Parents are slowly coming around that the weekends belong to the party gangs. The weekdays are more family oriented.

At the Hideaway, one third of the way down, we were able to pick up some junk food. I didn’t play any volleyball this year. Last year when I played, I pulled a muscle in my leg. This was a bad muscle pull. This was a bummer because it happened early in the afternoon, and I had to limp for the rest of the afternoon into the evening (we did two runs last year). I couldn’t walk without a limp for a week and I couldn’t resume jogging for two weeks. Meahwhile today was injury free.

Even though I gooped myself with sunblock, I still managed to get sunburned. My belly and shoulders got the worst of it. I’m hoping it is gone by morning. If it isn’t, that will be a sign that I will peel. Yuck.

Well we only did one run this time around. We didn’t get out of the water until 4:30 PM. If we did a second run, we wouldn’t of got out of the water until after 8 PM. The river is entirely in shadow by this time, which makes it damn cold. Not fun at all. So instead of second run, we went out for dinner.

After dinner in Stillwater, and oggling the St. Croix River, I took off for Hermantown at 7 PM. I was back at my house by 9:30 PM. A successful day.