Friday, December 23, 2005

Today's sky report

I've been giving some thought to what the best Christmas sky would be.  It's easy to say you want a white Christmas with snow on the ground, but when you get up at the crack of dawn to open your presents, what do you want to see when you look outside?  I'm thinking about a perfectly clear sky, where the sun rises like the star it is, showing purple at first, followed by orange and then turning a brilliant blue.

Forecast for Christmas in NH: Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. High 43F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Today's sky report

The dark sky comes early on the shortest day of the year.  Welcome to the winter, where the nights get colder and the days get longer.  That seems kind of weird, but it's true.  Long straight lines of gray gauze-infused clouds pulled my attention towards the orange spot where the sun sunk below the horizon.  Behind me, it grows darker and darker.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Today's sky report

OK young lady in the black Volvo 960 sedan, I see that you don't have an EZ Pass transmitter on your windshield.  And, yes, I DO wonder why you're in the EZ Pass lane, without one.  But, DO YOU HAVE TO STOP?  Were you just trying to make sure the camera got a good shot of your license plate?

And you guys with your tokens, don't forget, time is almost up.

On NHPR's "The Exchange" this morning was the author of "In Praise of Slowness".  I DO have to learn how to chill.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Today's sky report

It's practically balmy today, as the temperature on the house thermometer had warmed up to minus 5 from yesterday's minus 6. The cold helps me appreciate that I get to overnight my car in a garage. When I pulled out yesterday, the car thermometer started off reading 21 degrees. As I drove along, it was like watching an inverse pinball machine as the digit counter fell: 20, 18, 17, 14, 13, and so on until it hit a low of minus 4.

The cold weather made me feel sorry for the guy that delivered the propane
to my house yesterday morning. He's in and out of the truck, trudging across the back yard dragging the heavy hose. I had snowblown a path for him, so his trudge was a little easier, but working outside on a day like yesterday must be brutal. Maybe I can give him a break by pitching cash into the furnace instead of the propane. With the cost of fuel this winter, it might be cheaper.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Today's sky report

The drive to work today started before sun was above the seacoast horizon, but along the way, the big orange orb popped up and made its inevitable appearance. Remarkably, the sky was completely void of clouds. When there are no sky dwelling shapes to attract your attention, you are left to consider the colors. The sky showed exceedingly orange edges bleeding into a gray-blue ceiling. As the morning marched on, the gray became more blue squeezing the orange down past the horizon. Shortly before arrival at work, a small cotton ball cloud took up residence just over the horizon.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Today's sky report

Today, we're going to report a smoke-free sky in honor of the clear air at the Red Hook Brewery during last night's Blog 'n Brew. And speaking of clearing the air, I was one of those few people who read Kreblog's post on a 5:30 p.m. start who's eyes saw 6:30. I really didn't focus on the start time because I was off getting a battery for my watch so I could manage the end time better.

Anyway, we had a small but effective showing, with Granite Rants, Contagious, Lnotes, Seacoast Perspective and, of course, Kreblog. The conversation darted from topic to topic, covering all kinds of current and non-current events. The tall IPA's quenched our thirsts and fortified our opinions. There was some talk of theme B'nB's in the future, although the fez idea may be difficult to pull off (just where DO you buy a fez?). For a group of people who practice the solitary skill of blogging, their conversational skills are outstanding. Can't wait for the next one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Today's sky report

It's pretty interesting how the pace of posting picks up just before a Blog 'N Brew is to be held. Witness recent posts by Granite Rants and even lnotes after some fairly quiet periods. You Who? and Seacoast Perspectives are holding out to see who can be the one with the oldest current post.

There, I've posted, too.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Today's sky report

Uggh…what do you get when you combine a turkey hangover, a four day weekend of eating and drinking, a cloudy, foggy Monday and work? A reason to stay in bed. Unfortunately, the paycheck calls and you roll through the fog hoping that your brain will break clear before the weather does.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Last night's sky report

What a crazy cloud across the moon last night as it lay on the horizon for us to contemplate on our trip home. Kreblog said it looked like the smiley face from Walmart, scaring us both into believing that perhaps Walmart now had superstores on the moon. Because the cloud dissected the moon with a thick, dark line, my take was that the top half of the moon was trying to ascend while the bottom half wanted to stay anchored near the earth. This lunar tug-of-war cause the moon to split apart.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Today's sky report

Does anything say "November in New England" more than a cold wet gray day? The leaves are off the trees (not counting the oaks) and the moisture can't seem to formulate much more than a mist. Makes you hope for snow.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Today's sky report

The jagged edges of the slice of blue between the grey bowl sky and the low horizon clouds appeared to have been made by a "Pull to Open" strip.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Today's sky report

I don't care how many high-def, MTV quick-cut, sepia warm and glowy Christmas commercials they throw at me on TV, it's not really Christmas until I see that little animatronic Santa sliding down the snowy hill in the top of a Norelco razor.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Today's sky report

I got hijacked by the weather this weekend. I'm not a big planner, but I usually start the weekend with an idea of things I want to do, and if the weather is at all cooperative, it often includes some kind of ride on my motorcycle. With a forecast of good weather on both Saturday and Sunday, I got the bikes ready for a possible Saturday ride, with Sunday as the fallback. Well, the fine day on Saturday saw me raking leaves and other sundry fall tasks, to the point where encroaching darkness caused me to come inside. About the only good thing with Daylight Savings time is that if your cocktail hour starts at or after dark, you get to drink earlier in the day.

No matter then, there would be Sunday for a ride. Except that the fog began to roll in on Saturday night and got progressively thicker and wetter. By Sunday, there was rain and motorcycle plans were out. The bikes got pushed back to their storage spots, waiting for another chance. The rain kept falling and by Sunday night it was rather heavy at times. And then, rarest of rare, we had a thunder and lightening storm in November. The fog, which was still around, glowed eerily as the lightening lit it up. Weird weather imitating weird science.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Today's sky report

A few posts ago, I wrote about how bad luck seems to be happening in my wake ( Nothing actually happens to me, it's just that the places I go are affected after I leave. So, it shouldn't be hard to guess where I was the week before last. Not Cancun, but close. I spent a wonderful 5 days in Key West and a couple of nice days in Miami Beach. Of course, with the active hurricane season we've had, I guess I should have expected some wind and rain trauma. We were fortunate that Wilma stalled out a bit (sorry Yucatan), and allowed us to complete our vacation without changing our travel plans. I suppose we should have gotten out of Key West when they called for evacuated of tourists, but our hotel said it would be o.k. if we stayed until the next day (as we had planned). Once the tourists were out of the way, they told the residents to hang around a bit more, so our drive out of Key West (top down, Mustangin' north), was uncrowded and unpanicked. Miami Beach was a bit grayer, but still warm and the ocean was a wonderful 85 degrees. Payback came as we left the 85 degree and partly sunny day in Florida to arrive in NH at 42 degrees and rainy. Ecch.

If you see any reports about Brown's Lobster Pound burning down, I was there Sunday.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Today's sky report

I've been a little busy with vacation and the inevitable crush that comes when you get back to work, so I haven't posted in the past week or two. However, today's morning sky compelled me to rev up the old sky report to provide a description.

I got down to the end of my road this morning and looked left to see if the traffic was clear before turning right. On the horizon, there was a cloud bank, dark and solid. Farther up in the sky, was a set of wispy clouds, appearing like a pulled apart cotton ball. In between was an angled funnel-shaped cloud, giving the appearance that the sky was collecting the wispies and dropping them into the funnel to produce a solid cloud cloth at the other end. As the sun was rising, this whole cloud bank manufacturing apparatus was brilliantly back-lit. I've always wondered how those cloud banks were formed.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Today's sky report

After a solid week of solid gray, I'm ready for a change. Fortunately, my planning corresponded perfectly with the weather. I'll be leaving gray NH for sunny Key West very early tomorrow. It's a lot of fun to jump into a metal cylinder in one climate and step off in another. Shed that raincoat; put on those're in Florida now, sonny (or is that.. "sunny Florida now"?).

I feel kind of bad complaining about the weather when all I've gotten is wet. Many western NH residents have lost their homes, roads or bridges. And I can hear them in Seattle: "7 days of gray? He doesn't know anything about gray."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Today's sky report

I'm starting to get this feeling that there is bad karma associated with the places we passed on the motorcycle tour mentioned in my last post. We were at Lake George the day the tour boat sank. And now I see that Rt 123 in Alstead is mostly gone, a road that we traversed twice in our journey. Floodwaters did the damage. All I can say now is, look out Hancock.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Today's sky report

I spent a long weekend cruising around NH, VT and NY with my motorcycle posse.  Before we go any further, I just want it on record.  Yes, I was in Lake George on Sunday (morning) and No, I had nothing to do with any boats sinking.  My bike doesn't possess that kind of a wake.

Anyway, the trip was slightly planned, in that we picked a meeting place for Friday and we know in what general direction we might want to head.  Beyond that, the five or us made decisions on the spot, such as what road to take, when and where to stop for lunch, gas, dinner, lodging and who should lead and who should follow.  Given that even the most anal/rigid ones of us were going with the flow, it all worked out well.  I'll give some credit to the fact that it was an absolutely gorgeous weekend weather-wise.  You don't really care when you stop or where you go when the sun is shining and there are twisty roads in front of you.  The rest of the credit goes to the fact that we've all known each other for 35 years or more, and there are very few surprises in the group.

The images and impressions that stayed with me include:

  • There is tremendous amount of farm land in western VT.  We stopped for lunch at a little general store south of Middlebury and 4 out of every 5 vehicles that stopped in were trucks, real trucks not suburb trucks.  There were also a good number of farms, especially dairy farms, in eastern upstate NY. 
  • New England doesn't hold the northeast monopoly on twisty roads through mountainous regions.  NY holds it own.
  • Man, those lakes in VT and NY are big, especially Champlain and Lake George.  I've spent a lot of time on NH's largest lake, Winnipesauke and it may have more surface area than Lake George, but it's not as long.
  • Lake Placid is a tourist trap.
  • Lake George is a tourist trap with waterfront.
  • Manchester, VT, is a tourist trap with "outlet" stores. 
  • Crushed beer cans make good holders for motorcycle kickstands on soft ground, so when you have four friends coming in on bikes, you'd better get busy.
  • All the TFQ (too f'ing quaint) towns aren't in VT...NH and NY have their share.

I've managed to get some nice rides in with most of this posse over the past several years, and it's always fun.  It's one of the reasons I own a bike.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today's sky report

I may not be posting too much on this site, but I did put in a couple at I figure this is a good place to write about events in the seacoast area. Enjoy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Today's sky report

It's just not the same at Panera anymore. It used to be fun to go in there, make up names, and wait for the bread DJ to call you out. You only had to know how to spell the name you made up (see my previous post:

Today, hoping to have more fake name fun, I went back. This time, I planned to give a name that was easy to spell, yet which still might garner some kind of reaction. Waiting in line with my lunch partner, it was agreed that she would give a guy's name and I'd use a girl's name. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I learned that they no longer depend upon names to match you to your repast. They now have the vibrating, light-flashing coasters popularized by chain restaurants that refuse to take reservations (the Outback, for example). So, I dutifully placed my order, at the same time struggling with my disappointment over the new and not-so-improved paging system. After she punched everything in, I was delighted to hear her ask for a name. Rather than ask her about the redundancy, I simply said "Sue". She never missed a beat as she punched it in. No eye contact, no quizzical look, no barely suppressed giggle. Nothing. All the fun of fake names is gone. I debated for a minute leaving my order on the counter for a bit, hoping that they would call me out, but hunger took first place over humor, and I picked up my order shortly after the lights flashed.

Incidentally, my lunch partner chickened out on giving a man's name.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Today's sky report

Reports of last night's riotous Blog 'n Brew were circulating in carpool this morning. After hearing the tales of mirth and merriment, I can't believe I selected basketball over beer. I'm sorry to have missed another opportunity to hang with such a fine group of literati (blogerati?). However, I still intend to hand out a few awards, as has been the tradition:

Seacoast Perspective: The Glad You Finally Made It Award
LNotes: The Welcome Back Blogger Award
You Who?: The Do Free Chicken Fingers Match the High Epicurian Standards of My Blog? Award
Contagious: The Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing to An Excess Big Second Toe Award
Raising Two Kids: The Can't Wait to See Your Revenge Award
Granite Rants: The Why Would Anyone Go to South Dakota on Vacation? Award
Mrs. Rants: The Still No Blog Award

4 Kids, Mom, and Dad: The Shortest Time to an Engagement Award
Kreblog: The Simply the Best for Organizing These B'nBs Award
Carpoolguy: The You Better Show Next Time Or You're Out Award

Hope I didn't miss anyone, but I'm sure you'll let me know. See y'all in November, I hope.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Today's sky report

In a departure from my usual rants or wry observations, I thought I'd publish a ride report today.  My buddy called me up on Friday to run an errand for him.  The errand required a trip over to Lake Nubanusit in Nelson, NH, and the forecast for the weekend was beautiful, so of course I said "yes".  I left Sunday morning early on DBZ (my BMW motorcycle).  While the sun had been up for a while, it was probably 45 degrees or less at my house when I departed.  Several layers under my riding suit (the 'stitch) kept me warm, along with the grip heaters on the bike and my winter gloves.  I decided to pound the highways on the way over, taking 101 west until I reached Dublin and then turning north to the lake.  For most of the ride, the sun warmed by back and made the early temperatures bearable.  The air was still and I didn't get involved with any road crazies, which is rare when you're riding. 

In Harrisville (north of Dublin), I pulled into the local general store for a coffee and a bite.  This little general store has been under several owners in the 25 plus years that I have been venturing over to the lake.  The current ownership incarnation has the emphasis on sandwiches and other deli products, but they also had coffee and various rolls and breads.  I chose a wonderful blueberry scone to go with the so-so coffee, and sat outside at a table on the porch while I sipped the coffee.  The one downside to riding a motorcycle for those of us who are used to driving around with a beverage is that you can't do that on a bike, especially when you wear a full-face helmet.  You could also look at it as an upside, because you get a chance to stop and relax when you want something to eat or drink.

Leaving Harrisville, the road to the lake soon turns to dirt.  In that area of the state, the dirt roads are even smoother than the heaved-up paved roads.  My back, just a couple weeks from the visit to the emergency room (see Today's sky report for August 29), appreciated things smoothing out. 

The lake was serene and clear.  I wish that my errand required a trip on the water and I wished that I had more time to spend there, but before long, I was back on the bike headed east.  I resolved to return without touching Route 101.  So, here are the towns you hit in avoidance:  Nelson, Harrisville, Hancock, Greenfield, Francestown, New Boston, Goffstown, Manchester, Hooksett, Candia, Raymond, Epping, Brentwood, Exeter.  Some of the roads were awful - heaved and bumpy.  Some of the roads were wonderful, recently paved and beautifully curved.  For most of the duration of this route, you get an appreciation of just how beautiful this state can be.  Fields, mountains, swamps, horse farms, forests, rivers, lakes, small towns, city views, people in churches, a road race, a drag race, all there for your viewing.  All of it on a 75 mile trip.  Hope my buddy has another errand when the leaves get more colored.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Today's sky report

Remember when you were a kid, and you used to play shadow tag? In this variation, you never actually had to touch another individual to say "you're it", you merely had to stomp on their shadow. Of course, this game is easier in the morning or evening when the shadows are longer, than at noon when it's probably easier to reach over and touch someone than to stomp underneath them with your feet.

Anyway, last Friday I was riding westbound on my two wheeled Beemer (affectionately known as Das Beak Zwei or DBZ) rather early to meet some folks for breakfast. In fact, the sun was just beginning to crest the seacoast horizon. As I rolled up and down the small hills of Rt 101, my shadow would appear and disappear in front of me. With the low angle of the sun, the shadow appeared huge at times, stretching out to 30 or 40 feet. Depending upon my direction, it might be on the right or left or out in front of me. Once, when it was on my left, I got passed by a car that drove over my shadow head. Made me think of shadow tag.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Today's sky report

I've been viewing the last few day's skies through the skylight in the family room. This limited view was brought to me courtesy of a bad back - the first real "ouch" I've had with my back. I would love to have a story like, "...and then I lifted the car off the little girl..." or, "...I knew I shouldn't have tried to bench press twice my weight...", but the truth is, I was bending over to reattach an air cleaner on my lawnmower. What a warrior. Anyway, I stayed home from work today just to cement three days of boredom. I'd rather be bored at work - at least there's A/C at work, as Kreblog points out.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today's sky report - first over 40

I meant to post this a few days ago...I had my first gasoline fill-up for more than $40. It wasn't so long ago when I could be aghast that the cost of a fill-up crested $30. As the prices spiraled ever skyward, I began telling myself that I should fill up more often, just to avoid the heartache of shelling out (what's that mean, "shelling out"? has it got to do with getting gas at the Shell station?) more than $40 for precious petrol. Of course, the best laid plans and all that, found me staring at the "get gas now, idiot" light on my way home from work. I convinced myself that I could wait until after I dropped Kreblog off at the carpool meeting place - no sense in involving him in what would turn out to be a robbery (he of the little Civic "I knew there'd be expensive gas someday" mindset). At the pump, I watched the digit counters fall. There was a brief moment where I thought I might make it - the tank might be satisfied with less than $40. That moment passed, and as the pump clicked, I opened my eyes to see $40.56. Oh, well, I might as well top it off. At $40.90 I was done. Not exactly the milestone in your life you want to pass. Not to give too much away, but I can remember when I first was driving, I could get gas for $.28/gal down on the major highway (no, I wasn't in a Model T).

The next day I rode my bike. Guess I'll have to post again when I have the first over 20 for that.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Today's sky report

For a while now, I thought it might be fun to go into Panera and give a false name. The desire comes unearthed from centuries ago when we used to be required to sign into the library during our high school study halls. Somewhere in the middle of the period, the librarian (Chicken Legs Wollney) would call out the names to make sure nobody signed in and skipped out. Of course we would fill the sign-in with all those great high school characters like “Dick Hertz” and “Mike Hunt”. Chicken legs would dutifully call out, “Mike Hunt. Where’s Mike Hunt”. At that point, the quiet in the library would be shattered by barely stifled laughter.

The deal at Panera wasn’t so much about embarrassing the bread DJ who calls out your name when it’s time to pick up your order. After all, they only take first names so while “Dick” might be fun, it’s just not that funny. So when Kreblog and I went to the local Panera’s for lunch, and I resolved to make up a name. I worked on it while we were in line, finally deciding on Rafael.

After a long time waiting for the rather new help to get my somewhat complicated order into the touch screen, she asked for my name. I replied, “Rafael”. She says, “Rafael……how do you spell that?” Duohh, not so quick on my feet, I missed the opportunity to say, “It’s spelled like it sounds”. Instead, I scrambled to make up the spelling which you are reading here. Lesson learned: don’t make up names you can’t spell. On the other hand, Rafael sounded really good and smooth when the deep-voiced bread DJ called it out. I even remembered it was a clue for me to pick up my lunch.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Today's sky report

OK, this may take a few posts to play out, but the carpool has come up with a new reality show. Fittingly, it's called "The Carpool". The premise is that there's a carpool (ours) that has an empty seat and wants to add a new member. The current carpoolers (Kreblog, Seacoast Perspective and I) will be the judges. We'll start with a suitably large contingent of contestants, let's say 12. They have to demonstrate a certain set of skills each week (to be described below). Each week, we'll knock one or two of them off (fewer if the ratings are high, more if the ratings are bad - less shows to air). So, here's a couple of contests, and feel free to chime in with one of your own:

Vanity Plate deciphering - Since NH seems to have the highest number of vanity plates per capita of any state in the country, each contestant will be asked to decipher some plates. For example, "RDSXGRL". The correct answer is "Red Sox Girl", but extra credit will go to the contestant that can also come up with "RD's Sex Girl".

Fallujah Music Radio Switching - Somewhere deep in the archives of this blog is a post about the music that the carpool doesn't like and an explanation of why it's called Fallujah music. Each contestant will be put in front of a radio and distracted by asking them questions. They have to successfully pick out the Fallujah songs and switch them off in the shortest amount of time. One wrinkle will be to see if they can identify the double switch - when they switch from a Fallujah song to another one.

I'll try to work up some more contests in coming posts, but feel free to suggest your own.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Today's sky report - More UFOs

Kreblog, err, "David" must have been sitting with an artist last week. An artist's conception of the Exeter UFO appeared with the follow-up article in Sunday's Portsmouth Herald. I particularly like the flames. You'd think with all the sky reports I've done, at least one skyward view would have harvested a sighting of a UFO. I guess I'll have to keep looking. At least I live in a fertile area for sightings. This is not the first time UFO hysteria has broken out in Exeter. Back in 1965, several folks saw a UFO:

And we're not done yet. These odd airborne craft are spreading to neighboring East Kingston:

I'd better start working on what I'm going to say to the first alien to disembark...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Today's sky report - ezpass rage redux

So now the long lines at the tolls are the ezpass only lanes.  Open up another one, please - we're paying a premium to drive through (vis-a-vis the token users).  We deserve another lane just for us. 

On the positive side, it was very sweet breezing through ezpass lanes on the Mass Pike and the Tappan Zee Bridge on a trip to NJ this past weekend.  The TZ even had a lane with a high arching reader that let you blow through it at 35 mph.  Which we did...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Today's sky report

Seems a little quiet in the blogosphere this week. Do the computer electrons take vacations like the rest of us, kind of an HTML Holiday? Anyway, the sky report for today comes from Kreblog, who reported in carpool yesterday that the sky all around his house was orange after the thunderstorms blew through. Orange enough to cast an orange light on the cars going by, the side of his house and everything else in sight. Sounds like the same color as the UFO sighted in Exeter last week ( Hmmm…is Kreblog's name David?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Today's sky report

I have a two-parter today - a report from the eminently successful Blog 'n Brew and a short report from my ride home from that event. First the Blog 'n Brew: Once again, Blogmaster Kreblog corralled a bunch of us eCoast bloggers to meet face to face. While this may seem contrary to the general anonymity of blogging, it works real well. You see, bloggers are people who have a need to express themselves, which makes for great barroom conversation - lots of witty thoughts, overlapping, meandering, opinionated, personal, and just plain funny. Anywho, some of the same suspects were there from our last BnB, including:

Granite Rants
Mrs. “I promised I’d blog but I haven’t” Rants

Missing in action was Seacoast Perspective who claimed it was his wedding anniversary but interestingly, hasn’t updated his blog in almost a month. I think he was scared to come. During the course of the evening, he was compared to other famous no-shows such as Snuffleupagus and Weapons of Mass Destruction. And joining us for the first time (for a B’nB) were:

4 Kids, Mom, and Dad
You Who?

After our last B’nB, I handed out a few awards in the post that followed (
Prior B'nB Awards). Contagious, jonesing for recognition, asked that she receive another award after this B’nB. In fact, she had a specific request (my award). So here we go with this month’s awards (drum roll):

Best use of too much information (what a surprise) – Contagious
Most blog groupies - 4 Kids
Most broken blog promises – Mrs. Rants
Oldest last post – Lnotes
Best grasp of local music scene 10 years ago – Granite Rants
Most likely to over contribute for chicken and beer – You Who

And a special Blogger’s Appreciation Award goes to Kreblog, who not only hosts the event but who is also instrumental in helping many of us with our techie blog questions.

And now the ride home. I had taken two wheels to Blog ‘n Brew, looking to beat the heat of the day with a cool ride home. Leaving Paddy’s, I did my usual pre-ride fiddling and diddling around: unlock your gear, insert earplugs, put on helmet, put on glasses, put on jacket, zip tank bag closed, open zippers on jacket and so forth. It wasn’t until I got underway that I finally looked up and saw, A REALLY BIG AND ORANGE FULL MOON. Right then, I knew the ride home would be nice. I threaded my way around the edges of Portsmouth to Rt. 1A. As I headed east, the big moon was in my face and acting like a spotlight – it was bright enough that the scenery coming at me was darkened by the backlight. As I shot past Odiorne State Park, the trees and buildings cleared and I was left with the flooded salt marsh on one side (tide was in) and the ocean on the other. The moon created pools of light on both surfaces. It was easy to see where the phrase “moon river” originates when there’s a wide swath of moonlight streaming across the calm ocean to the beach in front of you.

Because it was summer, I was expecting a bit of traffic on 1A. Not to disappoint me, there were several cars just poking along enjoying the moon and the sea. With precious few passing lanes, I was unable to enjoy the costal curves as you can do in the fall or winter, but the relaxed pace suited the mood of the evening. I turned off the coast at the 101 junction at Hampton Beach and headed to Exeter.

I had expected the temperature by the beach to be significantly cooler. As I traversed the narrow lane of land between the marshes and the ocean, the temperature did cool off some, but it didn’t plunge as I had hoped. Not until I reached the exit by my home did the night air actually begin to feel cool. Thus chilled from the ongoing heat wave, I was able to sleep better.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Today's sky report

Today's morning sky was filled with sun and anticipation. The second in a series of Blog 'n Brews is tonight and who can wait?

Besides the second Blog n' Brew, today is also the 14th annual Ride to Work day ( The idea behind this effort is to promote motorcycling as more than just sport. If motorcycling was used more often as a form of basic transportation, there would be less crowding on the highways, in the parking lots and so forth. Even though the Ride to Work non-profit is based out of Minnesota, I have to believe that this cause might a bigger deal in California or Florida where you can be assured of more days of sun and warmth than in NH. Although, let's not forget that NH has one of the highest (if not the highest) number of motorcycle registrations per capita.

Much like my first day on EZ Pass (see post below), I expected everything to be different on Ride to Work day. Instead of 50 cars to every motorcycle, it would be the other way around. As I mounted my bike for the ride and headed down my small road, I expected to be joining up with other motorcyclist as I got on to larger and larger arteries. We would ride as a pack, kind of like the road into Weir's Beach during NH's motorcycle week. As I reached the corner at the end of my road, all I saw were cars and trucks. Merging on to Rt 101, I was surrounded by cages (cars). Where were my biking buddies? Did they not know it was Ride to Work day? Do none of them have jobs to ride to? After about 5 miles, I saw one bike going the other way. I gave him a nod and a wave, which were not reciprocated - almost as if he didn't understand our solidarity in our work transportation. For the whole 45 minute trip, I may have seen 7 or 8 motorcycles - less than I see on a normal day. What gives? How are we going to change the world if people don't care? Could it be that everyone drove today so they could listen to NPR reports on the Bush's new Supreme Court nominee? They're missing a lot of fresh air…

Realistically, in NH motorcycles should be seen as a hobby or a sport and not as a form of transportation. I have ridden a lot of miles in all kinds of weather, and unless you live 10 or less miles from work, you are going to get wet, cold, baked, burnt or bruised. I generally ride with a full riding suit, which helps deal with changing weather conditions, but even so, there will always be rides where you will uncomfortable. Still, I remember as a boy, trying to justify the purchase of a bike to my mother by saying I could use it instead of a car. I didn't get the bike.

As a footnote to my EZ Pass Rage post, the system seems to be sorting itself out. They have moved the EZ pass lanes to the middle, leaving two lanes to the left for tokens (I'm not sure why they didn't figure this out earlier). Still, as I was approaching the lane this morning, a car was in front of me without a transponder. The man rolled into the booth, nothing changed or flashed and he drove on. Now that's a discount.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Today's sky report

Maybe I should call this one today's nature report. As I was leaving for work on Friday, I saw a (not so) little head peaking up at me from the culvert that feeds the pond to the right of my driveway. I had to look, so I stopped the car, got out and looked down into the culvert. Already thrashing through the weeds and cat-tails, making his way back to the pond was a very large turtle. Not being well versed in all things turtle (necks, soup, the rock band), I'm not sure what type it was. When I described the size (back bigger than a serving platter) and the pointy face to other non-experts, they indicated that it might be a snapping turtle. One on-line guide says:

Snapping Turtle
Size: 8 - 18½"
Habitat: muddy, weedy ponds and marshes
Food: scavenger, eats crayfish, small turtles, frogs, fish, and ducklings
Notes: won't bother you if you won't bother it, but stands its ground when provoked

That seems to fit the bill, given that the pond is rather muddy and weedy and there are plenty of frogs in the pond on which he/she can feast. In fact, it may be the power of suggestion, but could it be that the nights are getting quieter as the bullfrogs are picked off one by one?

On Saturday, as I was mowing around the house, I saw another turtle on the other side of the house (when I say I live in a swamp, I'm not kidding). This one was slightly smaller than the one I had seen the day before, and its back was cleaner, not having any of the residual pond scum on its shell that the previous day's turtle had shown. It made me wonder how far turtles travel and whether or not this turtle was related to the one by the pond. Whatever the relationship, it now sees clear that it will be best to keep our small dog inside or he may lose a nose to the snappers....

Monday, July 11, 2005

Today's sky report: EZ Pass rage

In case road rage doesn't have enough causal factors, the State of NH has finally opened their long-awaited and long-overdue EZ Pass system. As a dedicated carpooler and commuter, I signed up as quickly as I could remember all my license plate numbers (not that quickly). As the time approached for the grand opening, I began to hear of others who had already received their transponders. By last Friday, I was getting very anxious - EZ Pass was scheduled to start Monday (today) and I hadn't received my transponders. It was with great relief that I found the magic package had arrived Friday night. Of course, they only sent me 3 of the 4 that I ordered (funny how they knew to charge me for all four), which means I'll get a chance to interact with their humanless customer service (voice menu hell or email, take your pick). The transponders were quickly installed on all my vehicles and as I traveled through the tolls over the weekend, I dreamed of a day (Monday, in fact), when I would whisk quickly through the tolls, the envy of all the other drivers.

It was with great excitement and anticipation that I hopped in the car today, anxious to show off my new EZ Pass transponder to my fellow carpoolers. Unfortunately, it turned out to be bad karpool karma Monday. Seacoast Perspective called in kid sick and Kreblog showed up at the usual meeting place, but was unable to remove the key from his car. I think his car was jealous of my car and its shiny new transponder and retaliated by not letting him get out with the key. So, as Kreblog headed out to get his car fixed, I headed off to my first tollbooth, the luster of the moment dimming, yet not extinguished.

The ManchVegas merge was unusually bad this morning. People can't seem to get the hang of three gazinta two, no matter how long it's been going on. As I got through that mess without any changes to the exterior dimensions of my vehicle, I started getting excited: no more would I crawl throught the tollbooths. I was going EeeeZeee. Rounding the curve off of 101W to the Everett Turnpike south, images of flying began crowd my thoughts until I came crashing back to earth. The whole damn highway was stopped! Now, this has happened off and on over the past several years as they reconstructed the Bedford tollboths, but it wasn't supposed to happen today. Not on MY EZ day. We crawled, LA freeway style, minutes passing us by like sands through the hourglass or something like that. Signs continued to urge me left towards the EZ Pass lane, but the traffic never sped up. I was depressed right up until I could see the toll plaza and there it was!

A glow filled the horizon over the tollbooth. I could see the big sign over MY EZ Pass lane, at once inviting and taunting. But I couldn't get there as driver after driver zigged left and right in front of me. Could it be they had seen my transponder and were conspiring to keep me from sailing through? Were they all jealous because they still had to hold the heavy metal of the tokens while I electronically paid without ever rolling down my window? Could they just be a bunch of dopes completely unable to figure out how to deal with the changed traffic patterns?

Passing under the EZ arches was anticlimactic. The lane, once I could get to it, was completely empty. I found myself speeding up to 25 mph, although the recommendation was 10 mph. Not wanting to be the first EZ Passer to be arrested for blowing through the tollbooth, I tapped the brakes and there it was: "Go EZ Pass". Need I say more?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Today's sky report

Yesterday I did the border dance on two wheels. It sounds a lot more esoteric than it really is. I motorcycled between Maine and New Hampshire for about 175 miles. It went something like this: NH, ME, NH, ME, NH, ME, NH, ME, NH, ME, NH. I was not looking to take quite so many crossings, but I got lost a couple of times and deviated from my planned route. Which is why I like just exploring come across so many scenes that whiz by that call for further inspection. Most of the time, you roll forward and try to process what you just saw (i.e. a beautiful view of a mountain, a bevy of boats on a lake, a nicely manicured lawn, an ice cream place with a sign that says, "no food") before the next scene intrudes on your brain. Sometimes I wish I could see in real time but process in slow motion, or that I had a mental TiVo that captured what I saw and indexed it for later retrieval. My mental TiVo works, it just lacks labels...

Steamy weather is back - what a spectacular Fourth of July weekend. Three days offering up the best weather you ever get in NH. It was warm, not hot, dry, not humid and sunny, not cloudy. The skies were smiling.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Today's sky report

Yesterday, the sky over looking the golf course (coincidentally called Overlook) was very gray. Occasional showers swept through, forcing us to stay in our carts and drink beer. Fortunately, no lightening was sighted, so we were able to stay out with nature, fending off bugs with our cigar smoke. I played my usual golf game, hitting just enough good shots to keep me coming back. The highlight of the day was near the end, when we began to play bumper cars with the golf carts. I'm thinking of starting a whole new racing series called NasCart - the carts would all be identical so it would be the driver's skill that would make the difference. Instead of a circle, we'd race across golf courses, plowing into ball washers and tearing across greens. The race would cover all 18 holes as many times as possible until the batteries ran out. Drinking would be required....

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Today's sky report

Last night I was driving home right around sundown. As the soft summer sun sunk slowly and silently below the horizon, a massive melancholy moon made its mandated move into the sky.

Let me say it for you: Alliterations are alluring, and assonance can be absolutely amazing, but give it a rest, carpoolguy.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Today's sky report

This morning, the sky was woodgrained with knot-holes. That sounds interesting until you realize that the "sky" was actually the ceiling of my dentist's office. I've always enjoyed different shapes to stare at when people are working on me (dentist, giving blood), and this ceiling fits the bill. It would have been even better if he would open the curtains on the large skylights cut into the ceiling, but I guess when it's sunny, a gleam of light reflecting off a filling might temporarily blind him, throwing off his drilling and causing his customers great pain.
4 Speaking of lights, did you ever notice that all dentists use lights in the shape of an open mouth? Power of suggestion and all that.
4 Speaking of pain, there is no greater pain than climbing into your dentist's chair knowing you'll be there for a while and hearing on the office music, "And now, we will begin a commercial free hour of music here on WHOM". There isn't enough Novocaine in the world to have to listen to that ear syrup for an extended period of time. Even a Fallujah tune would be better.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Today's sky report

"Sponge cloud". That's it..."sponge cloud". Think about it.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Today's sky report

When I went outside this morning to walk the dog, I think I ventured into the middle of a Million Mosquito March. There were all these militant mosquitoes hovering about me, turning my body into their banquet. If I'm going to (be) their banquet, the least they could do is feature me as a speaker. You know, taking responsibility for your children, bzzzzz, bzzzzzz, bzzzzz. Being dissed like that incited me to smack a few of them around, in fact, flattening several of them on my arms and neck. I'd be worried about not being invited back to their next march, but I'm guessing they're still out there.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Today's sky report

Last night as I was driving back to my swamp from playing basketball, I ended up on a ridge in Stratham where you could look to either side and get a bit of a view. Now mind you, a view in the Seacoast is not what I'd call spectacular - no mountains or valleys, just swamps and other ridges - but it got me to thinking. Our last house was on the side of a hill that looked across at another hill with a lake in the valley below. Especially in winter, we had some pretty nice views, and you'd look off to the distance to collect those views. Where I live now (the swamp) also has views, but they're close up, like the pond in front of my house or the row of trees ringing our yard. Your sightline is very short. Since I am an inveterate day dreamer who enjoys staring out the window while I dream, I think the shorter sightlines are affecting my day dreams. I now think about things like expanding the area around me, instead of traveling to and conquering foreign lands. I need to move back to the mountains.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Today's sky report

The other day, there were rays of sun, as thick as legs, pouring through the clouds. It was as if they were trying to hold the clouds up, like the legs of a stool.

As the steam pours into New England, it's important to remember just how much we complained about the weather in May. Second coldest May on record, above average rainfall, only one weekend or holiday day with sun. It was miserable, so rejoice in the heat and humidity of today. And turn on the air conditioning....

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Today's sky report

Today's report is going to be a little retroactive. After one of the longest periods of time with cooler than normal temperatures and a total lack of sun that I can remember (it had to be 8 or 9 days), I walked off the plane in North Carolina last Friday to see sun and feel the warmth of an 85 degree day. It's amazing how your spirits can lift just by the color of the sky and the temperature. My business in NC had me picking up a motorcycle I had bought and riding it north. Never satisfied, I found that the riding weather on Friday was too warm and sunny; my protective riding gear is not suited for the heat. Eventually, clouds occluded the sun and the ride became more bearable. I passed through an area where the rain had just swept through and saw about 50% of a rainbow. Rainbow gawking and motorcycling in traffic do not make a good combinations, so I never found the other half. I made Fredericksburg, VA by dark and stayed there.

The next day, I was out by 7 a.m. and riding in the relative chill of the sunny morning air. The first part of the day was perfect for riding - temperatures in the upper sixties or low seventies. Winding across the Virginia countryside, I could do nothing but smile. The views were wonderful and even the interstates were spackled with colored flowers. A prolonged stop in PA that afternoon allowed a thunderhead to catch up with me. I though I could wait it out in a restaurant, but eventually the desire to gobble distance overcame the lack of desire for riding in the rain. Setting out, the rain had lightened, at least for a bit. With the bike rolling at a fairly constant speed, I eventually caught the beginning of the front, and went through some lightening and thunder. This happened a couple of times, as did the heavier portions of the downpour. With each break in the moisture action, I scanned for rainbows, but alas, they were not evident. I eventually rode out of the rain and whatever parts of my person that were wet, dried off.

After a perfect weather day on Sunday (70's, sunny and dry), which I foolishly didn't ride in, I left for the final leg home. Another gorgeous morning, another afternoon rain event. Ride, rinse, repeat. Dry when I arrived home, I figured the lawn could use some of my attention. But when the sky went black, and the crackles and booms began, my plans changed.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Today's sky report....

....could be like yesterday's or tomorrow's. I'm getting pretty sick of the grey, cold, wet, run-on sentence that May has become. Oh, sure, every so often a ray of liquid gold pours in on us like a tiny snack cake for a man who's dying of hunger, but it's not enough. I WANT A DAY FULL OF SUN. Interestingly enough, there are now studies that say we should stand in the sun for 15 minutes several times per week without sunscreen so our bodies can absorb an appropriate amount of vitamin D ( Here in New Hampshire, we're shopping for multi-tabs.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Today's sky report

Last night, on my way to Blogstock 2005, I drove into the clouds. Heading east, the bank of fog rose ever higher until it completely subsumed my car. In a figurative sense, the evening brightened considerably as I met some other seacoast area bloggers. Loosely organized by Kreblog (, we had Seacoast Perspective ( for a short while, Granite Rants (and future blogger, Mrs. Granite Rants) ( and Contagious ( They are a fine group of entertaining bloggers who make for an even more entertaining evening when you meet them in person. Some thoughts/observations:

* The Black and Tans had it over the Fuggles until Mrs. Granite Rants switched sides.
* They each seem to know what they want their blogs to be, even to the point where they have someone for which they write. I have to give this some consideration.
* Here's my awards (you had to have been there to win):

- Best Writing: Contagious
- Best Use of Photography: Granite Rants
- Best Political Diatribe: Seacoast Perspective
- Most Observant: Kreblog
* Due to my advanced age, I missed a lot of the cultural icons of the 30-somethings that were there. Red Dawn party? Hmmm...I think I must have been raising kids and keeping the TV off in the 80's and 90's.
* Mrs. Granite Rants should definitely get her blog going, as should Mrs. Kreblog. More fun for everyone.

It was a great evening which I hope will be repeated.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Today's sky report

This one should probably be called yesterday's sky report. I was outside all day yesterday at an Experience Rider's Course put on by the State of NH DMV and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (I highly recommend this to all motorcyclists, by the way). When I left my house at 8 a.m., it was 52 degrees and cloudy. When I returned home at 6 p.m., it was 48 degrees and misty. In between, it was never sunny, but it did brighten once or twice, almost as if the day didn't want to be so bad. But throughout the day, the rain come in cycles - it would start with almost a mist, gather strength and turn into a hard rain, and then fade to a mist again. The cycle repeated maybe 3 times. Fortunately, the riding suit I wear makes the wet, gray day bearable - that, along with long underwear - IN MAY!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Today's sky report

I came to work today, pool-less, on my propeller bike (the propeller describes the insignia, not the power train). As I looked up and around, I felt like I was in a cereal bowl. (I think I may have used this simile before.) The edges of the sky all around me were grey, but directly overhead it was blue. In the cereal bowl were tiny, shiny toys moving down the freeway. For fiber, we had the trees. Later on, I learned that the grey all around was caused by fog banks. The supermoist air smeared my face shield, rendering me myopic. I rode on, hoping the smear would disappear, but I fear that eventually I had to clear using what was near (my glove) . Oh, dear.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Today's sky report

What's with all this rain on the weekends? My "lawn" is a patchwork of multiple field greens and swamp growth and it has been thriving on the extra water in much the same way that Popeye bulks up with a can of spinach. It doesn't grow evenly all over; there's too much variation in the species. Just like how Popeye's arms and chest grew while his waist and legs stayed the same, there are some incredibly shaggy portions of grass next to low lying patches of moss. Only with the great equalizer (the lawn tractor) can I get any semblance of order out there. If I ever decide to move, I'm thinking of letting the "lawn" grow and selling the house as "a beautiful county home in a field setting".

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Today's sky report

It never seems to fail. When I forget to cover the grill after barbecuing, it rains overnight. You don't want to put a cover on a wet grill because the resulting black vinyl hot-house is a perfect breeding ground for the rust ants. And then the next sunny morning, you say, "I will cover the grill when I get home. That will give it time to dry out from last night's rain. That will surely kill off any rust ants who have begun to nest in my grill." You become a liar when it rains on your way home. The grill sits through another rainy night, the rust ants cling to the grill and you worry about the cost of replacing the darn thing, even though you know it's good for several more years. It's sunny this morning with showers predicted for later in the day. The rust ants rejoice.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Today's sky report

I just feel like pointing out something I observed in the carpool this morning. At one point, driving south, there was a half-moon about twice the height of the trees on the horizon that was perfectly centered over the road. It was tipped upside down, like a crooked beret. Just sitting there. Framed by the trees on the side of the road. Just pointing it out.

And pointing things out, I can't believe a google of "carpoolguy" brings up a movie created by an "interactive, virtual entertainment studio" run by Corbin Bernsen and starring all soap opera actors. I mean, can't the guy stick to such dramatic hits as "Major League", "Major League II" and "Major League III - Back to the Minors"? Or "Gentle Ben 2 - Danger on the Mountain"? Why does he have to steal my handle?

Thanks to google and IMDB


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Today's sky report

Darn. I went to irregular (less than daily) blogging because I was feeling too much pressure in trying to publish a daily sky report (see Today's Sky Report for Thursday, February 10, 2005: So now I'm feeling guilty if I don't post at least once a week, which seems like it's Wednesdays. I guess I'm just not cut out for blogging. I have things to say, thoughts to share, but I don't always feel like writing them. I guess that's why I'm not a writer. Either that or I have nothing to say that others would read. Or that writing doesn't put bread on the table unless you are moderately or fabulously successful.

Hey, with the low-carb lifestyles of today, can we come up with a better phrase than "put bread on the table"?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Today's sky report

Smokin' hot outside today (80+ degrees), although due to overwhelming business commitments I was unable to experience it first hand. This morning was a nice ride in, carpoolless because I rode my bike. Bike to me does not mean two wheels with pedals and a chain. Bike to me means 1100 cc's of engine. It was reasonably warm (50ish) and very fast. I find that the bike makes a good traffic slice and dice machine which is part of the sport. It's gray out there now and rain showers may wash my bike and riding suit on the way home.

This is a relatively early day in the riding season for my first ride to work of the year. I have the 45/45 rule - it has to be at least 45 degrees for me to want to ride the 45 miles to work. I will ride at cooler temperatures, but not with the ambition of getting to work. I ride around the roads near my house in the cold weather, enjoying the open nature of the bike and dreaming of warmer days. I did manage to get at least one ride per month during the winter. January 1st was a beautiful 40 degree day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Today's sky report

While I was out in a blizzard in Colorado skiing this past weekend, the warm weather conspired to melt the last remaining vestiges of snow. I had a pretty good pile going on the front lawn, where the snow blower would dump it's offerings, so I thought we'd make it deep into April with still some traces. Once again, I underestimated the power of a couple of 70 degree days.

Back to the blizzard - on the four day ski trip, we experienced a spring skiing day (Friday/Winter Park), a mixed sun and cloud day where the snow didn't really soften (Saturday/Breckenridge), a full on blizzard which dumped over a foot of snow (Sunday/Winter Park again) and a winter like day which kept snow coming (off and on) and the powder soft (Monday/Breckenridge again). Quite the variety but the whole long weekend felt more like winter than spring. I AM NOT COMPLAINING. Sunday in the blizzard was probably one of the nicest ski days I've ever had. The snow was falling all day, the trees stood silent sentinel in the gray light, and the powder was some of the easiest turning stuff I'd ever been in. We spent a good deal of time in the bowls and in the trees.

Today it's sunny but not too warm. Spring shows many faces in New Hampshire.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Today's sky report - ice out

When I left the house yesterday morning, there was still a tiny vestige of ice on the edge of the pond, like the ice cube that has almost melted in your cola, but won't quite give up. With the temperatures hitting 70 in Merrimack (cooler at the coast), the ice cube was gone by my evening arrival. So, the official ice out date for my pond is April 6th. I know that Lake Winnepesauke measures ice out as the first day the Mount Washington motor ship can traverse successfully from Wolfeboro to Alton Bay to Weirs Beach. I'm pretty sure my pond wouldn't even fill the Mount Washington's on board water supply.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Today's sky report

The sky presented an interesting phenomena last night. The carpool was heading east as the sun descended behind us. There was a large amount of cloud cover due to the dismal and dreary morning rains which had not quite cleared out. Ahead of us, and slightly to the right, it looked like strands of an incompletely formed colorless rainbow, almost as if the sky and the earth were pulling apart and the strands were the connecting tissue being stretched apart.

Today it warmed up to 60+ degrees - spring may actually be coming, although the snow still lurks in areas that don't get full sun. And, of course, the piles of snow created by the snowblower still run multiple feet deep. You wonder if the snow will ever completely melt, even though intellectually you understand the inevitable marching of the seasons.

Ice out for the small pond by my house looks like it may not happen until 1/2 way through April. I wish I had logged the ice outs for the other 3 springs I have been in the house. I believe last year it was around the 20th of March, but my aging memory doesn't really know. And last year, there was no carpoolguy blog in which to document this annual event.

We actually listened to a fallujah list artist this morning because it was better than the inane chatter which populates commercial radio.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Today's sky report

OK, so I'm a dope. I just did a nice report and while I was allowing pop-ups to enable the spell checker, I lost what I had typed (I didn't heed the warning). Anyhow, I was commenting on how nice the sky was in Florida. I didn't get on-line last weekend, but if I had, I would have reported a number of beautiful skies. Weather was in the low seventies - not hot, but it beat the heck out of the wet snow that fell in NH. What a nice surprise to come home to 6 inches of white cement for my snowblower to chew through.

Today was in the upper 40's. Plenty warm enough for a motorcycle ride, keeping alive my streak of at least one ride every month going back to 2002, at least. Not quite like the record of the guy at Sugarloaf who skied every open day since 1980, but not too bad.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Today's sky report

Just a head's up...the sky will change tomorrow as I head south to Florida. Can't wait for some warm weather. I love snow, really, but I've had a bit too much of it in the past few days and there's more on the way. If I get on-line, I'll give you a FL report.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Today's sky report

Yes, this is a sky report. It was beautiful out back this morning as the white dusting on the trees blended with the washed out blue of the rising sun sky. Later, on the way to work the sky rent a cloud bank and appeared as the jagged edge of torn cloth.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Today's sky report

It was a pretty interesting carpool this morning as we had a copy of the Spin Magazine's readers poll with us. It had some serious Fallujah list impact (see For instance, the hotly debated Linkin Park was on the Worst Band list. So maybe they should be added to the Fallujah list (although since I'm controlling the list, they're still not on it). And if Modest Mouse makes the Best Breakout Act list as number one, should it still be on the list? I'm voting yes because they still sound kind of formalities and weeney. Finally, Franz Ferdinand, currently on the Fallujah list, shows up in the poll on the Best Single, Best Breakout Act and Best New Artist lists but also tops the Most Overrated Artist and Most Overplayed Song lists. Tie goes to the loser, they stay on the list.

If you read the above with any kind of concentration, you'll notice that the Fallujah list remains unchanged. Further carpool discussion shall ensue. Here's the list again:

Pearl Jam
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Stone Temple Pilot
Alice in Chains
Smashing Pumpkins
Franz Ferdinand
Modest Mouse
Tegan and Sara

The sky is getting brighter in the mornings, to the point where my recently smashed Ray Bans are sorely missed.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Today's sky report

It really was pretty, you know. The sticky white snow covered the trees and the ground and made the world look fresh and white. There was a day (when I worked for a utility) where a site like that would make me tremble with the fear of power outages and long work days, but I'm past that now. I can enjoy the beauty of a snowy day.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Today's Sky Report

I'm thinking that the sky report idea has become too much pressure. I'm beginning to feel guilty when I don't write one, and there are many days when I get too busy, or I forget, or I just have nothing to say. So, although I might still use the same title, the content of whatever sky report I write may have nothing to do with what I see when I look up.

Today, the snowflakes are as big as a snowball. I'm expecting fully grown snowmen to fall from the sky any time now.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Today's sky report

The sky had some high clouds, twisting like cotton. Underneath the New England sky, Patriots fans celebrated.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Today's sky report

Today's sky was cloudy, not unlike my brain after last night's eBrew. Last night's snow created wet and slippery conditions, spraying my windshield like that of a boat as the spray curls off the whitecaps on the ocean. Or something like that.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Today's sky report

It's not often that I would be able to say this here in New England, but the last three days have had very similar skies. Blue, blue and blue.

Friday, January 28, 2005

fallujah list

Background: At one point months and months ago, the carpool was getting tired of the constant din of news about the war on Iraq, so we decided that every time we heard the word, "Fallujah", we would change stations. Over time, this keyword was associated with several bands that we no longer wished to hear. The list now includes:

Pearl Jam
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Stone Temple Pilot

Alice in Chains
Smashing Pumpkins
Franz Ferdinand
Modest Mouse
Tegan and Sara

Criteria for inclusion seems to be that at some point, all of these bands were revered by the alternative radio listening public and that for some reason, we can't seem to get them off the radio. As others are suggested, they'll be added to the list.

Today's sky report

The silvery moon in the morning sky was a glimmering coin in a deep blue bowl.

That's how it looked both the last couple of days.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Today's sky report

Missed a week or so. There was one day that went like this:

Pink, orange, blue, gray,
That's the sky I saw today.

Today there were clouds on all visible horizons, making the morning feel like an empty swimming pool when you're standing in the bottom. Pre-dawn, there was an interesting mix of full moon light casting shadows from the west and the dawning sky trying to erase them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Today's sky report

Like a golden brick being tossed on a frozen pond, the sun cracked the sky on this frigid winter morning, sending out splinters of light like the vines of cracks in the ice.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Today's sky report

The sun came up behind the sky looking like a lamp behind a wall of gray paper. There was a soft orange glow where the sun must have been, but no streaming rays.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Today's sky report

I left before the sun was up this morning, so instead of a sky report, I'd like to mention the tendrils of fog that crawled across the road like smoky fingers grabbing at my car.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Today's sky report

I missed yesterday's report, but the only notable was when the flakes fell from the sky like feathers that had escaped from a pillow during a pillow fight. Today, the clouds in the sky fell to earth to the point where you couldn't tell if you were driving on terra firma or you were up in the clouds. I think they call this condition "fog".

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Today's sky report

There are a plethora of possibilities for describing the sky this morning. At first, while walking the dog, a cloud bank appeared as a Rocky Mountain range viewed from the eastern plateau of Colorado. Later, as I exited my road to RT 27, I looked left and saw a cloud formation with the color and shape of the side of a native salmon wending its way upstream. And still later, as I rode in the Civic of my carpool partner, the clouds changed yet again, appearing as herring bones.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Today's sky report

Gray, gray, gray. I looked at the hood of my car. Gray. I looked at the sky. Gray. By the way, what's the difference between gray and grey?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Today's sky report

Yesterday, no report as the snowy conditions shortened my morning. The sky seemed to be dropping flakes as fast as the scalp on that old uncle you never really liked to be around.

Today the sky provided a cornucopia of views. At one point, there was a pink/orange cloud band that looked as if someone had run a neon highlighter across the sky. At another point, there was a twisty cloud, not unlike a band of DNA. And still later, there were some little puffs of clouds like the buttons of icing that provide decoration on a birthday cake. Sure was nice to see the sun today after a few days of gray.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Today's sky report

The sky was a non-descript gray today, so I won't bother describing it. What I will describe is the unrelenting frustration of today's traffic. All down Rt 101, the left lane was packed and going ONLY 70. You couldn't pass on the right during the gaps because the left laners (myself included) were keeping the gaps close. And if that weren't bad enough, the toll booths were more backed up than I've seen in a while. Aaarrrrggghhh.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Today's sky report

First, a procedural note - since the blog software posts a date with each entry, I will be leaving the date out of the title each time I create something (such as the Daily Sky Report). No sense being redundant, no sense being redundant, which is to say, I will no longer be repeating my self by saying the same thing over and over again.

And now, today's sky report. It was difficult to discern the gray of the sky from the fog on the windshield of the car driven by my carpool mate. Once I was able to see past the fog, it was possible to notice the variegated grays of the sky. There was a sharp contrast between the dark and the light grays, like the contrast between good and evil.

Monday, January 03, 2005

No sky report: 01/01/05

To tell you the truth, I didn't really notice the sky this morning. It may have been because I was driving and my car pool partner and I were having a detailed discussion about our Christmas holidays. Lots of days to catch up on. I'll try to get a report in tomorrow.