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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the Vile Queens Curse: last weekend of 2010

doesn't it seem like a freezing apocylypse happens everywhere the Vile Queens go?  they're presently at halftime in the Eagles stadium, two days after the east coast got shut down by a northeaster.  coming back home tonight or tomorrow.

well, VQs fans in Fargo will have bookend blizzards Thursday and Friday.  same in Barnesville, except their MNDOT road maintenance building burned out this afternoon, they lost two graders and three plow trucks.  the twin cities will be getting freezing rain, sleet, and ice Thursday night, changing to 2-4 inches of snow on the ground for the Friday commute.

just about the time the VQs head off to Detroilet for the last game of the year.  unless half the team is in the ditch, and the airport runs out of deicer fluid for the planes.

and then facing a 7 billion (or as we typed in the news business, 7 (B) billion) dollar state defecit, they send their VP of begging up the hill crying for a new stadium, with one year left on all their contracts and obligations to the state.

you know, I'm thinking the Howling Wilves didn't escape disaster when they shifted from town center developments in Jersey to football players in Frostbite Falls.

headed back to the trainwreck on tv... .

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Scarrrryyyyy Krishhhhhnassssss!

well, not really.  but hope you had a fine Chrismas.  I'm not into the "letters" thing, because it's too much work inventing all that unlikely crap and embellishing it with kingdoms for the ladies and Pope hats for the guys.

history would have perhaps been milder if we had 35 or so sitting Popes at once, right?

light one here.  we buried Mom in April, and snow buried us in December... those are the high points.  Son #3 bought tickets to a stunning Vegas show two months ago, and he flew down for the holidays to pick up an old buddy at tech school and cruise up the west coast.  which has slid out to the barrier islands under heavy rains, and many roads are still "closed, no updates" in Caliphony, and may be that way for months.  oh, we weren't told what stunning Vegas show that will be.  should be a clue.

got a root canal for Christmas, and just found out Mom's sister had a heart attack on Christmas day.  much better all around, thanks.

the Vile Queens have their third snowout in a row; the Philly game in Philadelphia is blizzarded out and set back to Tuesday night.  that's how bad it is.  guarantees they won't be moved to LA, who'd want all that freakin' snow on the beaches?

happy new year, and enjoy yourselves!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Howling Snowpocylpse: 5th largest storm on record

per modern records (1860-on) at the weather service.

17.10 storm total inches in minneapolis, about the same in st. paul, and we are around 17 inches here in the near North Burbs.  22 inches in Oakdale.  going to go higher in west central Wisconsin.

one drift on the south side of the roof probably passed 4 feet deep and could be 4-1/2 feet.  3 foot drifts all along the south side of the house roof, a little less over the garage.

so I had to bust out the Avalanche roof clearer, and in three shifts got the drifts broken, and the roof clear up to halfway up.  the rest, something apparently like our 17 inch storm total, hell, it'll clear.  first wind that comes along will make me feel lots better.

Shawn pushing the blower and me kicking down the drifts, we got the drive clear.  if you want to come to the front door, better wear snowshoes and bring your own St. Bernard for rescue, the drifts after we dumped snow in that direction are up to the 4 foot snow fence for a ways, and we'll let God take it away in his own time.

the plow knocked down my front yard snow fence full of Christmas lights and stuff, so I had to stomp out there and dig it out and shore it up.

and the Vile Queens... man, are they snakebit.  the Giants were to play here Sunday noon... except the airport closed down and they had to bunk in Kansas City overnight.  at 5 am, three rips in the Metrodome room, and it collapsed, with a couple dump trucks worth falling on the field.  they might get the HumpDump fixed for the 21st game, and they might not.  undt ZO, Zigmunt, ve hear you do not want ze roof in new stadium, yawohl?

there's a reason I love Minnesota.

this ain't it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

early Howling Snowpocylpse report

first 8 inches of the Howling Snowpocylpse, before noon… drift in the driveway was over a foot. the half-blower bites 10 inches. I was making slow headway when a contractor with a plow came by, and I spent the best $20 of my life ;)

clearing the way because the night before, as I was making sure we had K1 and charcoal lighter and sale Christmas lights, I called home to make sure wifey didn’t need anything. “Nope, we’re fine.”

this morning… “uh, I made a mistake. we don’t have stuff for the holiday breads for work.”

we got plowed out, pulled all the cars across the street to the park, and son #3 said, “hey, don’t want you freaking out or anything, I’m driving.”

event highlights included sliding off the road coming back, on the wrong side of the highway… getting stuck in the middle of an intersection two blocks from home… and enough raw language to make a Chief Petty Officer turn his head.

but hey, I didn’t freak out or anything.  thanks for taking that over, my friend.  when it was massively obvious the car was not going anywhere two blocks from home, I pulled my parka hood tight and walked a long, long block to a discount store and back with a car shovel for the son and a bag of cat food for traction.

those Minnesnowtans, they’re soft. We North Dakota kids, we take 40 below with the stinging snow blowing UP in stride.

and I slept the whole afternoon ;)

at 7 PM, we're at 15-1/2 inches in North Burbs, with 20 over at Oakdale MN.  the airport shut down before the city buses did, at 11 am.  some two foot drifts here, including it appears on the translucent roof over the high deck at Chez Swschrad.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

do you know what happens when you pay off credit cards?

it would appear they close 'em as soon as the money transfers.

considering the particular outfit that I just got a letter from, which shall remain nameless but there are all sorts of interesting rumors of cranky stockholders and peek-and-tell outfits about this one, there is only one reaction possible.

Halleluia, Halleluia, free at last!

while you are paying them down, it has become commonplace for the issuer to let you get 800-1000 dollars ahead, and then drop your credit limit down so you've only got enough for an emergency bus ticket home.

you know, this is not a bad thing.  leave the big cranky banks in the dust.  wind down personal debt and let those boys go whistle.

not that I want it all cut, but give it a month or so for all the reports to gel in the credit bureaus, and I'll be in really good shape, able to buy Rhode Island on a signature.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

we're back to one remote again

I originally had a Harmony SST-748 one-button remote, until it went nutso a year and a half ago.  dated back to 2003, and I bought it from the (then) manufacturer in Canada.

since then, we've been control-challenged in the swschrad house.  if you were taken over by Pumpkins Cat, and thus had a purring case of "cat paralysis," you could not change volume.

ve Germans, ve must haf ourrr Controllll, und ve must haf Orrrderrrr.

so I got the wife and I house present for Christmas, the Harmony 700 remote, yesterday during the Snowpocylpse (6 inches total with two meterologist freakouts.)  got it charged last night, programmed tonight, works nicely.

if you've never heard of the beast... shame.  this is the fabled One Remote to bring them all, and in the Household bind them.  at this midline price level, controls 6 IR devices totally, by model and brand, and operates them in correct sequence to make your media magic happen.  no touch screen, that and RF control are for higher priced models, as is control up to 15 toys with one button for your defined mode.  and yes, Elfin lords do your bidding at a wave of the device.  you pick your appropriate toys from over a half million models, tell the remote's software what is plugged into where, and it's automatically programmed from the computer into the remote.

nothing else compares.  I expect the RF control on higher end models will work the smart-home type controllers, but that little detail is not on the Logitech website.  shame.

other than that, moved 6 inches of snow, and found an affordable used ATC control module for The Great White Whale online, buying it.  supposedly this is the most common failure in any heat/cooling type issues in the car, which is one reason they are easily ordered online from Ford Parts for just under $800.  there are about $45 in parts in the thing, not counting the electric/solenoid 4 feature vacuum control monster.  I do hope this fixes the heat, I have only 203,000 miles on that car.