Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

While we've had only a few light snowfalls so far the winter temperatures have sure arrived.  We've been hanging out in the single digits below and above 0ºF for some time with no end in sight yet.  On Wednesday Lake Mendota, the largest of the local lakes, officially froze over, helped by this cold snap and light winds.  Much earlier than I expected, and some years it never completely freezes over.

The cold weather will not be friendly to new year revelers out and about tonight.  We won't be leaving the house tonight, but we will be having a few friends over to keep us up until midnight.  Nothing fancy, though my wife will be putting in some work on the food.  I've asked her to not try to do so much, but she enjoys cooking and trying new dishes.  Who am I to complain?

Happy New Year to you all.  The ones I read, the ones I love, all my friends and all of you who take the time to read me.  Whether you comment or not, I can see you're there.  Thank you.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

I woke up late this morning to discover snow outside.  We'd been getting, and continue to get, a steady light snowfall that was supposed to miss us south and east this morning.  It is also overcast, though this picture looks very dark.  I used a filter to try and  lighten it a bit.  My display is still darker than it should be (and I have no idea how to correct it) so it's hard for me to judge.

It's not a lot of snow, just a layer of dry, powdery stuff, but I'm sure it will make many people happy to have a white Christmas.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Solstice!

The Winter Solstice officially arrived at 10:28 this morning here.  Finally, the days get longer from here on!  We have a 4 day weekend here, through Christmas, then back at it until the new year holiday.  I plan to relish every minute away from everything else, and have fun with the times I'm out!

The Harp Twins are playing at the Stoughton Opera House on March 24, 2018.  I would actually like to see their performance, and at 15 bucks a seat I think I may try to get tickets.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lake Monona Ice Views

I've noticed the ice on the lake the last couple weeks as I drive to and from work and I'd been thinking of stopping to take a few pictures.  Well, today as I was running errands I took advantage of the beautiful weather - sunny and above freezing - to stop for a few minutes and actually do it.  This is Lake Monona from Olbrich Park, where the Olbrich Biergarten was opened late this last summer.  The migrating water fowl, possibly including a population of trumpeter swans that I'm told is in the area, can be seen in the distance here if you look close, where the ice meets open water.


And to my right as I stood is again a beautifully framed view of the downtown isthmus and our picturesque capitol building.  I like this picture enough I've made this my background on our computer.


The ice closest to shore is mostly rough from being broken and refrozen, with the water spray freezing on the rocky shore making another nice photo opportunity.  I'm not a total stranger to being out on the ice, but it is much too early to trust it.  At least one overeager ice fisherman has already had to be pulled from the lake.


A zoomed in view to the left may provide a better indication of all the water fowl out on the edge of the ice.  Their noise actually made a quite a dull roar from where I was standing.  The Madison lakes are a popular spot on waterfowl migration routes.


And another zoomed in view of the downtown isthmus area that shows the transition from the broken/refrozen ice, to the ice sheet and then open water.  It's too early to say if the lakes will fully freeze over this winter or not.  On the left you will see the Monona Terrace convention center, a bike destination over the summer, and to the right that bit of green you see is the copper top of the Barrymore Theater, also pictured in my last Atwoodfest post.


You may also click on the pictures to see them full size on Flickr.

On a side note, this last week or so Windows had two updates that took some time to install and ever since then my display is darker than normal.  My new monitor is and has been at 100% brightness, but in my windows display settings there is no longer the choice to change the brightness.  I've tried everything I know to do to remedy this, to no avail.  Anyone have any ideas?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Thoughts, And Cats!

Hamish, top, and Basil
Welcome to winter.  We got our second snow last night and this morning, about an inch is all.  My wife went out and scraped it up off the driveway and walks earlier today and the rest will melt when the sun makes short appearances or may stick around in the corners and shady areas since the outlook is for high temperatures around or just below freezing for the foreseeable forecast.  It looks like we may get a bit more Monday, but nothing to be concerned about.  A white Christmas is still not assured.

20171003_19325620171025_203835Speaking of, I need to get shopping, like now.  We won't be traveling far this year so I need to get gifts chosen, ordered and shipped to where they need to be.  I think we may scale it back a bit this year, not due to lack of funds but we're not going to see them opened and I'm, quite simply, running out of ideas.  I've always tried to put much thought into what I get for presents, especially for the kids, but I just don't feel that inspiration this year.  But who knows?  We'll see what happens when I've been on Amazon for a while later today.

DSC00074We don't have much planned this weekend except for the Packer game, so I am looking forward to plenty of rest, the aforementioned shopping, and there are several little things I can get done around the house.  The Badger football team lost in the Big Ten Championship game and have a tough bowl game to finish their season in a few weeks.  The basketball team is young this year and not quite as dynamic as the past several years.  The Packers may get number 12 back soon but it may be too late to save the season.  On the bright side, the Bucks are looking a lot better this year.  Okay, that's it for sports talk.

20170930_204847Not knowing what to write and not having enough ideas for a This-And-Thats post I decided it was time to post some cat pictures.  After all, we have a ton of them.  They can be so adorable and we always have a camera with us, thus the phones fill up with cat pictures.  I wish I could be so relaxed and content with all my needs taken care of.

So now I present to you our cats, brothers, Basil and Hamish!

I want to remind everyone who reads this via email or notification that my posts are viewed as intended on the desktop website:
Other views get the point across in a convenient format, but not necessarily in the view I crafted.