Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Wow. We here in Oregon are still freaking out.
Hubby finally slapped on the tire chains, I helped dig out the Explorer, we bundled up the kids, and we headed out in the snow yesterday. We finally made it to church -- better late than never -- and the place was practically empty. Maybe we'll get some special points with The Man upstairs?
While we were out, I said, "We're out of the house, we might as well stay out." There was no way I was going to be stuck in the house all day again. So we headed to the mall. That's when a "heated" (a-hem... pardon the pun) argument broke out at the sporting goods store.
"No, it's hail!"
"That is frozen rain!"
What do I know? The argument just confused me more. What the heck is all this stuff? I know what snow is. I know what rain is. It's the cold stuff in between that this native Californian is trying to figure out. And I couldn't help but laugh that some Oregonians were still debating the issue.
Yahoo! News and the other local newscasters are calling it a "Wintry Mix." Now doesn't that sound nice? Like, a little medley of your favorite winter flavors. How nice. But after 8 days, it doesn't seem all that nice.
Wikipedia describes it as "Rain and snow mixed (called sleet in the United Kingdom and other British English speaking countries, but not in the United States where the term has a different meaning in meteorology) is a precipitation consisting of rain and partially melted snow; it is common where the temperature is slightly above the freezing point (0 °C, 32 °F). This precipitation is soft (unlike ice pellets) and transparent, but it can contain some traces of ice crystals, due to partially fused snowflakes. It is usually a transition phase to pure rain or snow."
Hmm. That actually explains things quite a bit. But who knew there was such a controversy to the terminology. The article goes on to say, "Professional meteorologists tend to shy away from using the term under any circumstances, but radio and television weather reporters use it regularly, the same way wintry mix is used in the United States." I didn't know there was a weatherman "slang" that determined some sort of hierarchy in the meteorolgy world. You learn something new every day.
As I was running (and CRUNCH-CRUNCH-CRUNCHing) after my dog in the backyard, who couldn't for the life of her find a soft, comfy place to poop, and was instead slipping and sliding all over the backyard, I was thinking that it was more like a snowy creme brulee. Hard, glass-like surface on the outside (like burnt, carmelized cream), and soft, powder-like snow underneath (like the custard). Like Annie Lennox says, "It's like walking on broken glass."
Whatever it is... I'm ready for sunshine!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
There has been an abundance of snow here in Western Oregon. And that has lead to five snow days in a row. That is almost unheard of in this area. Four inches of snow... and counting...
I finally realized that snow to Oregonians is a lot like rain to Southern Californians. (I can say this because I lived in Southern California for 30 years.) When it rains in Southern California, the natives go nuts. They drive too slow, they constantly discuss the weather, and they try to avoid driving or even going outdoors. Oh, and the weatherman on TV is having a field day. He'll call it "Storm Watch 'o8," and then send a countless number of poor news people to report in different parts of the southland to interview passersby (the few there are) with questions like, "So... how is the weather affecting you today?" or "Wet out, isn't it?" Then he'll enthusiastically show you numerous maps and charts to explain how much rainfall there is, in inches, along with pictures of soaking wet pedestrians with umbrellas, schlepping through the rain just to walk to the local Starbucks.
This is because it hardly ever rains in Southern California, so a weatherman gets tired of the redundant "Sunny, with warm temperatures" forecast. The rain makes his job exciting. On the other hand, the natives are inconvenienced, confused, and wet -- and they hate that.
Oregon, on the other hand, is used to the rain. That is our redundancy, and our weather watchers get tired of the "Cloudy, with a 70% chance of rain" forecast. The natives drive the same whether it's sunny or rainy, because they are used to it. It's all part of life here in the Northwest. We go about our lives as usual, running errands, driving to work, even walking to school in the rain because that's life. That's the usual.
But then a snowstorm hits, and it becomes crazy here. The natives try to avoid driving at all costs -- even closing schools and several businesses due to the weather. The streets and stores are empty, even on the busiest shopping season of the year. Oh, and the weatherman is having a field day. She'll call it "Snow Watch '08," and then send a countless number of poor news people to report in different parts of the area to interview passersby (the few there are) with questions like "So... how is the weather affecting you today?" and "Cold out there, isn't it?" Then she'll enthusiastically show you numerous maps and charts to explain how many inches of snow we're getting, along with pictures of people schlepping through the snow just to get to their local Starbucks.
It made me wonder if the people living in Minnesota or North Dakota are laughing at us: "You call this SNOW?!" It's all relative.
Me ... I'm enjoying it. I think it's absolutely beautiful, and I use every opportunity I can to go outside and enjoy it. Hubby, the kids, and I have built a snowman, had a bunch of snowball fights, and eaten snowflakes off our tongues as they fall. We laughed as the cat tried to catch the flakes as they fall, and the dog runs around frantically with excitement. And when it's gotten too cold, we snuggle under blankets with hot chocolate (and me with hot coffee) while we watch a movie. The Wii has never been used as much, but we've also played board games, baked cookies, and done a lot of crafts. It's been fun, and we're using it as a time to spend together as a family. What could be better than that?
Monday, December 15, 2008
We here at The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly are experiencing technical difficulties with our internet connection.
Please bear with us during this time and use this as an opportunity to browse through our past posts. Let us know which one is your favorite!