I don't know whenever I have observed such large clumps of snowflakes falling from the sky. Impressive!
Our generation (as all do) dwindles. Today's newspaper carries the obituaries of two more friends - one was a friend from the 1960s and on, the other a co-worker in the 1990s and early 2000s. They join three other friends whose deaths have occurred in the past three weeks.
The person who will be missed the most, whose funeral I attended Tuesday, was my supervisor in 1980 and 1981. Bill Bloedel was supervisor of loads and stress for the Cessna Single-Engine Division, and I was a group engineer whose group was responsible, structurally, for all taildragger, a few of the current-production models, and out-of-production single-engine aircraft.
Bill was a good and decent person who was kind enough to always let me know what he really thought. From the time he took over the loads and stress organization, without flinching, he let me know that he was not comfortable having a woman in a position of responsibility over a fleet of aircraft - and - that he would be watching me. I went a little bit out of my way to keep Bill informed as to what I had been doing, how I had been handling things (for instance, suggesting that he might like to go through the file of customer inquiries that I had handled during the preceding year), and how I was handling things (for instance, inviting him to accompany me once when I had to fly to a production line that was about 50 miles distant from the main production facilities). At the end of his first six months as my supervisor, Bill invited me into his office and announced, "I told you that I would be watching you - and I have been. I think that you do an excellent job."
When I opted to leave the company, Bill asked if he had caused me to choose to leave. Absolutely not! It was strictly a matter of having been sought by another company that wished to give me a lot more money. Then, drawing a raise slip out of his desk drawer, Bill told me (with a twinkle in his eyes), "Aren't you going to feel silly when I give you a $100 per week raise?" It was annual raise time, but the actual raise fell far short of that number, of course. We both laughed.
Bill lived in rural Derby. We frequently heard Bill speak of the work he did on his small farm. When he had triple by-pass surgery, it was a matter of days before he was back to chopping fire wood. Physically small (I'm guessing 5' 6" tall and, not more than 145#), Bill loved physical work and flying, in equal measure.
Bill was huge in heart. Bill and his wife, Sue, raised (in addition to their own five children) three children who had been produced by one of their daughters. The daughter was emotionally unable to raise the children. Oh! How Bill doted on all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!
The last time I saw Bill, at a bi-monthly retirees breakfast three weeks before his death, Bill was lamenting that his non-existent white cell count kept him from seeing his great-grandchildren as he would wish to do. As little germ factories, small kids can be deadly to a person who, as Bill was, is dealing with leukemia.
I'll miss that quiet, little-big man with the twinkly blue eyes. Rest in peace, Bill.
When Hunky Husband offered his condolences upon the loss of my friend Bill, I told him, "We've come to an age where it is either our friends who will be dying - or us."
Things have been pretty hectic for me during the past couple of weeks, and will continue in that vein for at least another three weeks; but, that isn't the reason I've fallen behind in visiting Slashdot.org. They are Beta testing a new display that I despise! It is all cutesy-wootsy, but few postings are entirely displayed. One must hit a "more" button to see the whole thing. This is a waste of my time and interest. Fortunately, just now the display that I pulled up was the older version - compact and easily read without hassle. So...I'll catch you up on a few items that they've posted within the past week or two.
While on the subject of fracking, below is another posting on the subject - from the same source. (Full disclosure: I have a few shares of Chevron that comprise less than 1% of my holdings. It allows me to get the company reports and, for all the good it does, vote against some of the board members.)
(I was interested to read about Dunkard Township because some of my father's ancesters were born and died there.)
Early Monday (2/10/2014) morning we received an additional four inches of snow - atop the eight-inch snow that had fallen (and not melted due to temperatures that reached highs of under 10 degrees F most days) on the previous Tuesday and Wednesday (2/4/2014-2/5/2014 - Much-needed moisture arrives).
Below is a photo that was snapped early in the daytime. The ghostly images and strange lights do not come from double-exposure; but, from back-lit reflections on the glass door through which the photo was snapped. BTW: The snow on the table is nearly all freshly fallen. I had used the "old" snow in making snow ice cream during the preceeding days.
This morning I was greatly surprised when I went to the breakfast table. Hunky Husband had this display arranged (below).
Although the USA is not alone in suffering drought these days, I tend to follow the conditions in the USA more than those for the world. Below is the latest USA drought map.
The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 7 a.m. Eastern Time. The maps, which are based on analysis of the data, are released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Thanks to Hunky Husband for sending me the NASA report that featured the above map and a video about California's drought, embedded below.
I'm going to let you in on a powerful secret. A secret so big, once you know it, your life will never be the same. Okay, here it is: Buy the problem, buy the solution. Got it? No? Alright, fine, lemme break it down for you. If someone can devise a problem and convince you that it is the cause of all your troubles, then they can sell you a solution. And here's the kicker: If you really believe in the problem, the solution will actually work. For example: If you can be conned into thinking that the reason you're unhappy is because your body is encrusted with evil spirits (the problem), there is an organization that will, for a very reasonable price (considering your dilemma), free you of the pernicious little devils and make you feel like a demigod (the solution). The same holds true with the thorny thicket proposed by another, more established institution: If you can be made to believe that your life is in ruins because you were "born in sin" (the problem), then salvation is just a donation away (the solution). On a secular level, if you can be convinced that the reason you're miserable is because a black guy wants you to get health insurance (the problem), then relief is available through a small campaign contribution (the solution). Got it now? Buy the problem, buy the solution. Here's one created by a pharmaceutical company: She's ready, but he's not (the problem), which forces him to buy a pill to ensure that he's always ready (the solution). This one amuses me because the company assumes it's his problem. But it could just as easily be hers. Why not sell her a pill? Maybe something to make her less ready.
1st Aired: 16 April 2012
Starting in the wee hours of yesterday morning, light snow began to fall in our area. Off and on, all day, it fell. At dinner time (6:00pm), Hunky Husband went out to measure the amount of snow on the ground - 7". The official snowfall in Wichita, at Midcontinent Airport (about 10 miles NW of us), was 8.7". It continued to snow, fitfully, until about 10:00pm. With all of the snowfall, it stayed warm; but, then the cold air moved in. Today, our high temperature is supposed to be 8 or 9 degrees above zero, Fahrenheit - well above the below-zero temperatures seen elsewhere - with winds of 16G34. I've always said that, I don't mind the cold as long as I get some snow to go with it - snow for ice cream!
And, ice cream I've been having. Interestingly, each time I made a bowl of ice cream, yesterday, the top layer of snow was a different type. For breakfast: powder. For lunch: corn. For dinner: flat, sparkly. Before much snow had accumulated, I snapped some photos, a few of which are posted below.
Here in the US of A, many cities/towns have an organization called "Crime Stoppers", affiliated with a national organization of the same name. Here in Derby KS, we have such an organization - about which, although Hunky Husband is a "member", I know almost nothing. I know that, annually, there is a fund raiser. I know that there is an anonymous (telephone) tip line to which one may call in information about activities/crimes they have observed, and they sometimes offer a small reward for information on a particular crime.
I don't belong to the Derby Ks Crime Stoppers (BTW: there is a Crime Stoppers organization in the UK which came up on Google when I looked for Derby - which Google always interprets as being in the UK unless I tell it differently) and have never supported them in any way other than to lend them Hunky Husband and to give them moral support. Today, I'm asking for your help in solving a crime that is too large for the Derby KS Crime Stoppers: Pollution of the earth with carbon-14!
Please call in any tips that you may have to your local Crime Stoppers organization. Your identity will be protected. Citizens of the world: We must help our under-funded astronomers put the arm on the culprit!
BTW: The original Crime Stoppers organization was formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just seven years before I moved to that city. It's web site declares, "There are now more than 1,100 Crime Stoppers programs throughout the world, in 16 countries. And it all started HERE in Albuquerque. And, in addition to the original program, Campus Crime Stoppers is now in dozens of local schools, providing a safe environment for our K-12 students to learn and grow."
Stu reminds me:
Just FYI : There was a historically recorded comet collision with the Earth's atmosphere on 17 January AD 773.
It appears that the Slashdot.Com posting was not completely aware - and that I failed to exercise due diligence before re-posting. At NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) I find Mysterious abrupt carbon-14 increase in coral contributed by a comet abstracted, starting with the following paragraph.
A large and sudden increase in radiocarbon (14C) around AD 773 are documented in coral skeletons from the South China Sea. The 14C increased by ~ 15‰ during winter, and remain elevated for more than 4 months, then increased and dropped down within two months, forming a spike of 45‰ high in late spring, followed by two smaller spikes. The 14C anomalies coincide with an historic comet collision with the Earth's atmosphere on 17 January AD 773. Comas are known to have percent-levels of nitrogen by weight, and are exposed to cosmic radiation in space. Hence they may be expected to contain highly elevated 14C/12C ratios, as compared to the Earth's atmosphere. The significant input of 14C by comets may have contributed to the fluctuation of 14C in the atmosphere throughout the Earth's history, which should be considered carefully to better constrain the cosmic ray fluctuation.