Saturday, January 31, 2015

Welsh Ponies

Snow, No Snow, Snow

I have been watching the snow forecast models for today with an idiotic smile on my face.  Since Wednesday, the weather folks have been saying that Boulder would get anything from no snow to five inches of snow.  On the late news last night, it was announced that Boulder would have a trace to .1 inches of snow today.  An hour ago, the weather lady said Boulder would get 1.7 inches of snow today; she just left the air, again, having made a prediction of .3 inches of snow.  Now, I realize that Boulder sits in a little valley in the foothills of the eastern Rocky Mountains, and we're, generally, a few feet higher in elevation than Denver, which is 5280 feet above sea level.  I realize that because of the mountains and wind currents, it's difficult for completely accurate snow forecasts to be made.  But this is getting farcical.  It's grey and cloudy outside, with 81% humidity and a temperature of 34 degrees (F).  On the plains, to our east, the visibility is listed as 10 miles; but, looking west, I can't see the Indian Peaks.  The National Weather Service says we have "a chance of rain or snow."  Humph!
   I am making a crock-pot full of marinara sauce and home-made meatballs  after I post the blog this morning.  I got a pound of ground bison and fresh eggs yesterday, so I'm ready to start throwing all of the ingredients together.  I found I'd made a mistake working on a friend's genealogy, but, thankfully, it only involved five individuals, so it was easily corrected.  The kits have run in and out a great deal this morning, but they both settled down about 20 minutes ago, so I gratefully closed the patio door.  Roasted, unsalted peanuts are on sale; I got 9 pounds for the squirrels when I purchased the meat and eggs.  I must keep the squirrels supplied during the cold months, just so they'll continue to entertain my kits.   -  And, poor little Simon!  The young grey marmalade tom was walking down the fence line yesterday, just as Lovey leapt up onto the top of the cat tree.  Simon saw Lovey's outline in the window, spun 180 degrees and ran as fast as he could back to his building.  At least Lovey didn't want to chase him and chastise him for daring to walk in her territory.
  In case you haven't realized it, I dislike grey and cloudy weather.  If it rains or snows, I'm fine.  We can always use the precipitation.  But I hate it when it's just a dull grey outside - no rain, no snow, no sleet, no hail - just dreary grey.  I'd much rather be in the middle of a huge storm, of any kind, rather than have to suffer through a dull grey day.  Give me a hurricane, give me a blizzard, give me high winds and hail.  Suffering through a grey day is the worst way to spend time.  I might end up escaping in another book!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pony Photos









Yesterday was cloudy and cool, but not windy.  We're supposed to be cloudy again today, with a high near fifty; but the weather folks say we'll get about a half-inch of snow Saturday.  That's fine with me - I'll be walking Rosie, Tess and Lucy this morning and then Tess this afternoon, as well as twice each weekend day.  Currently, it's 32 degrees outside and the squirrels are bouncing around like performing acrobats.  My kits have decided to sleep instead of play outside, so I have the patio door closed.
  Watched a new episode of How To Get Away With Murder last night, and saw the plot thicken immeasurably... Violet Davis definitely deserved the Screen Actors Guild award that she won this past Sunday.  Her supporting cast is excellent, as well, and I'm going to be hard pressed to decide what to watch next week.  Television networks are always after the highest ratings.  Starting next Thursday night, NBC moves The Blacklist into the time slot opposite ABC's How To Get Away With Murder; then on 19 February, the History Channel adds Vikings into the mix, at the same time.  I don't have DVR or Tivo service, nor Xfinity On Demand.  I'll have to watch one, and then see the others on-line...  And, while I understand why the networks do this, I really dislike it.
   It's still a question as to whether or not Peyton Manning will return as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos this season.  Coaches are still being sought and hired throughout the professional league and the collegiate leagues, so I'll keep my mouth closed until it seems that most posts have been filled.  Peyton, however is going to receive the Bart Starr Award today at the Super Bowl Breakfast, for personifying professional football and for sharing with the community through his Pey-Back Programs in Denver, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Louisiana.
   I'm still looking forward to seeing the Super Bowl commercials, and I have refused to watch all the "sneak peeks" that have been released.  I know that a "GoDaddy" ad has been withdrawn from the broadcast because of negative feedback, but I believe that the .com has received so much publicity from revealing they've pulled the ad that it doesn't matter.  I prefer to see the commercials as they are presented, and to be surprised.  Of course, I'm also looking forward to the new episode of The Blacklist that will follow the actual game - especially since it introduces Ron Perlman as a new recurring character.  This should prove interesting....

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Three Weeks to Third Season of Vikings!

I have truly enjoyed the two past seasons of Vikings on the History Channel.  It is fictionalized history, that follows the saga of a Viking named Ragnar Lodbrok (the last name is pronounced Loath-brook).  He, and his sons, are well known in history for their invasions and fighting in England.  This story also follows Ragnar's brother, Rollo.  Rollo is the person who sacks Paris, then settles down in France, having been given lands by the King to stop raiding in his area.  Rollo's lands become known as Normandy, home of the North (Norse) men, which over time, becomes corrupted to the word Norman; and William the Conqueror is his direct descendant.  The attacks on Paris are a part of this year's series. I am looking forward to it.
  And the third season of Vikings will start being broadcast on Thursday, 19 February!  Hooray!
Vikings logo description


The Seer



Vikings jewelry

Travis Flimmel, George Blagdon, Clive Standen and Gustaf Skarsgard

Cast, by character, left to right: Siggy, Floki, Athelstan, Ragnar, Lagertha and Rollo

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Assorted Scenes

Juvenile ringbill seagull eating a crab

Mount Graham red squirrel

Big horn sheep, Rocky Mountain National Park

Moon over Chincoteague Island.  Photo by Patty Ann Vamvas

Grey squirrel at leisure

The Dedication of Rocky Mountain National Park on 4 September 1915

Boulder News

I spent 90 minutes with my sister yesterday.  Her chemotherapy has been hitting her hard, and she has very little energy and is now completely bald.  I first saw her and her husband near the bus stop when I arrived to walk the dogs yesterday.  We spoke for a minute or two, and then they proceeded on, while I continued to gather Rosie and Tess. It was a bright, warm day (we had a high temperature of 73 degrees), and I had walked the perimeter of the yard with both dogs to be certain there was no coyote presence.  SO I sat up my chair, and was tossing the bone for Rosie and the tennis ball for Tess, when Kathy came out and joined me.  We sat in the sun and chatted, recalling places we had lived and old friends and neighbors.  I was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, while my sister was wearing two sweatsuits, a scarf, a knitted hat, and a shovel-brimmed sun cap over the hat.  She is having difficulty with the regulation of her body temperature, poor thing.  I'll take both dogs over to Kathy's again today, and I hope she'll feel up to joining us in the sun again.
  The Denver National Western Stock Show ended up with the second-largest attendance number in it's history this year - 682,539 people visited the Show during it's 16 days of exhibits and showing.  That's almost 42,659 per day - and that's part of the reason I did not attend this year.  I am not fond of large crowds.
   A small box was left on the top step of the Main Post Office here in Boulder (at the corner of 15th and Walnut) yesterday morning.  When I walked to the bakery yesterday morning for my bagel, I noted a helicopter hovering over the downtown area.  As I walked back, I started guessing where, exactly, it was hovering.  I decided it was over Central Park or the Public Library, and wondered what was happening.  Upon returning to my apartment, and turning on the local news, I heard the bomb squad had closed down four square blocks of downtown Boulder, and had evacuated several buildings, including the RTD bus terminal at 14th and Walnut.  Less than 30 minutes later, an "all clear" had been sent out, with an announcement that the box was empty.  I guess the bomb squad needed some practice.
   I am looking forward to the Super Bowl commercials Sunday.  I have not looked at any of the early releases, which, I think, spoils the fun and surprise.  I will be half-heartedly rooting for the Seattle Seahawks, because I like their quarterback;  I will be rooting against the Patriots because I've never liked them, and I never will - especially while Kraft is the owner, Belichick is the coach and Brady is their quarterback.  What a trio of ogres!

Monday, January 26, 2015

International Holocaust Remembrance Day - 27 January

"The Holocaust, which established the standard for absolute evil, is the universal heritage of all civilized people."

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is today, 27 January.  It was a day that the United Nations declared should be marked as special in the history of our world.  On 27 January 1945 the Nazi-run "camp" at Auschwitz-Birkenau was found and liberated by Allied Forces.  The day is scheduled for all free people of the world to commemorate the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated six million Jews, one million Gypsies, two hundred and fifty thousand mentally and physically disabled people, and nine thousand homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.  This must never happen again in our world.
   I call for world in which every single person can worship as they wish, eat as they wish, and learn as they wish, in a healthy and supportive environment.   Do not condemn what you do not understand.  Strive to be fair and open-minded in all thoughts and actions.  Embrace and discover that which is different from your viewpoint.  Open your heart and your mind.  We need to coexist in peace to heal the woes of this world.   Reach out, open your mind, try to understand others' points of view.  Be gentle with strangers, with loved ones, and with yourself.

Never allow this
to happen again...  Ever.

Seen in Rocky Mountain National Park

Chair Dancing

We have bright blue skies today, and I can see the Indian Peaks.  We're supposed to reach 68 degrees this afternoon.  Somehow, that makes me giggle as I hear about the snow storm heading for New York.  The weather forecasters here spent 4 minutes talking about expected snowfall in the Big Apple - that is usually the topic for local news, on the western slope.  If New York City gets more than 26.7 inches of snow, it will break the record set in 1947.  Not here in Boulder, but at the ski resorts, we are low on snow, having only 10 to 12 feet fall, as opposed to the usual 30 to 40 feet...  That's why I giggle.  If I were still living in Florida, or the metropolitan Washington, DC area, I'd be horrified.  But after 10 years in Colorado? That's nothing.
  Lovey is lying on the top of the cat tree, looking out the window as the squirrels chase one another around like idiots.  Nedi has been in and out frequently, playing with the squirrels, and laying in wait for birds that can't miss seeing him.... but he doesn't give up.
  I spent yesterday doing genealogy research, cleaning my patio, doing dishes, taking out trash and recyclables, and sorting and discarding old catalogs.  I also read half of a book, and spent some time on the telephone with a client, agreeing to spend time with her dog this week.  I couldn't find anything I wanted to have on the television as background noise, so I had "Malt Shop Oldies" on for 2 hours and then another 2 hours of "The 60s Revolution."  I had forgotten how much I "dance" while sitting in my chair when Oldie Goldies are playing.  I'll have to do that more frequently, so I get a good workout while doing research.  -  I'll never forget how I was silently singing and dancing (in my chair) while at work in the EPA Research Library; the song Shout! was playing, and I was doing what the lyrics said, with my arms and head, while silently mouthing the words.  I had my headset on, and was also reading a letter on my monitor.  At the end of the song, I realized I was hearing faint applause from all around my desk.  I raised my eyes and saw 15 of my co-workers standing around me and applauding.  They said it was one of the best shows they'd ever seen....  My face was red for a short while - but I always enjoy music!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Assorted Photos

Reflections of alligator eyes in a Florida lake

Sunrise on Assateague beach

Mouths of lamprey eels

Lesser bird of paradise - photo by Scotty Graham

Moose calf twins

If I had a two-story house, I'd want this for my staircase!


Today is the final day of the 2015 Denver National Western Stock Show and I wish I was present.  I love the livestock, the exhibitions, the shows, the vendors, and the food.  The only thing I don't appreciate is the crowd...  I'm always happy when the Stock Show breaks attendance records, but I hate being in a large crowd.  That's why I don't go to football games or concerts any longer.  Too many people in one place make me feel like I'm suffocating.
  It's beautiful outside today - the sky is a bright blue to the east, the sun is brightly shining, and one can almost see the Indian Peaks to the west (there's cloud cover up there, again).  The squirrels and birds are playing, eating, and singing, and my cats are enjoying running in and out through the patio door.  We're at 50 degrees already, and should approach 60 this afternoon.  When the weathermen started predicting highs in the mid- to upper-60s for Monday and Tuesday, people thought we'd be setting a record high temperature; we won't, though.  The high temperature records for Monday and Tuesday are in the mid-70s, so while we'll be 20 degrees above normal, we aren't setting records.  Even so, 65 to 68 degrees in January, in Colorado, seems a little strange to me...
   I've been working on genealogy for a friend, and finding out how often Ellis Island clerks changed the names of immigrants.  In one family, twin brothers, aged seven, got separated from the rest of the family while going through "processing" and were assigned the surname of Cagman, while the rest of the family was given the surname of Cohen.  They met up again, outside the walls, and found out they'd been given different surnames.  They went back in and tried to get the surnames to be made the same, but it wasn't allowed....  Silly rules.  So the youngest two brothers in a family of six children had a different last name than their parents and siblings.
   I am enjoying re-reading the Preston & Child Agent Pendergast books again - there are always so many twists and turns that I'm always surprised - good reading, if you don't mind a bit of gore!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Views of the Andes Mountains

Sierra Nevada de Lagunas Bravas

Alpamayo, Peru

Cloud-rimmed Andes in Ecuador

Cuernos del Paine, Chile

Nevado Sajama

Corderilla Blanca, near Caraz, Peru

Nevado Tres Cruces

Moonset near Mendoza, Argentina