January 2010

Click here to see the other months in 2010:   January, February, March, April, May, June

New Year's Day A new resolution holds pretty well. But when it becomes old and frayed and damaged by a dozen annual retryings of its remains, it ceases to be serviceable, and any little strain will snap it.

-- Mark Twain (1885)
January 2nd 33 below zero outside my kitchen window and 38 below zero at ground level out my back door this morning.

The Farmer's Almanac predicts the weather for the first week of January to be (and I quote) "Snow, then sunny, very cold". Well, there has been no snow since the day after Christmas and the "very cold" showed up early in the week rather than later, but as the Farmer's Almanac goes, that's pretty close. We'll give them this one.
January 3rd This morning's temperature is just a tad colder than yesterday........35 degrees below zero outside the kitchen window and 40 below zero off the back deck. But unlike yesterday, it's supposed to get above zero this afternoon, maybe even up to +6.

On a chilly morning like this it may not seem like it, but the earth is now at perihelion (ie, the closest it gets to the sun).
January 4th Happy Birthday Allie......
January 5th This is at least the 4th consecutive morning with the temp around 30 below zero, but tomorrow should be a tad warmer.
The Epiphany Also known as the Twelfth Day of Christmas and the final day of the Christmas Season. After today the Holidays are over!

It's five below zero this morning and it's amazing how warm that feels.
January 7th Today is Distaff Day, so all you women.........get back to your looms and sewing machines! Your Holiday rest is over. But since Plow Monday doesn't arrive for another 5 days, us men can hang around the taverns for a bit yet.

There are six ice fishing houses on the lake at the moment. That's the most in several years.
January 8th As per the Farmer's Alamac, today is the best day this month to begin a diet, breed animals, can, pickle, make sauerkraut, plant below ground crops, potty train children, quit smoking, slaughter livestock, and wean animals or children. It's based on Astrology, but you probably guessed that.
January 9th A long distance view of a hardcore fisherman on a cold morning! Click HERE.
January_10th Click HERE. SESAME.
January 11th Today is Plow Monday.......time for the men to get out of the pubs and back into the fields (or wherever their line of work takes them) after their Holiday rest. (See January 7th, above.)
January 12th As per the movie "2001, A Space Oddyssey" (released in 1968), the computer HAL (the first of the HAL 9000 series computers) became operational on this day in 1997. Near the end of the movie as HAL was being disabled, he said "My mind is going Dave. I can feel it. My mind is going." I know the feeling well!
January 13th Geez........those poor Haitians. Having been in Port-au-Prince several times in the last 25 years, I feel a kinship with those poor, good hearted, people. I wish more could be done to help them.
January 14th The word for today is CONTENTMENT. CON-TENT-MENT!
January 15th Jakie and Kaylee (two of my grandkids) are coming up here this weekend to ice fish with their Dad. They should arrive shortly. Are you little guys really going to ice fish???????? Or are you going to sit in my living room and watch movies?
January 16th To see Kaylee ice fishing, click HERE, and/or to see Jakie ice fishing, click HERE. And the weather was warm for them!
January 17th This was my thermometer at 7:00 AM on this date in 2005. It was a tad chilly that morning, though I had seen colder. Click HERE.
January 18th The ice is 16 1/2 inches thick at the moment. That's about average, or maybe even a tad on the thick side for mid-January.
January 19th LBL bird number 90: Northern Shrike. My sunflower bird feeder was almost empty and a Chickadee had crawled under the plexiglass (as happens occasionally) and had gotten trapped inside. The Shrike saw it trapped in there and was trying to get at it (a good part of their diet consists of small birds). The Shrike kept attacking it and was frustrated because it could not get at the Chickadee, and the Chickadee, though safe, was scared to death. I don't know how long that little drama went on before I went out, scared the Shrike away, and freed the Chickadee. It was a new LBL bird and a new lifer as well. Click HERE.

One of the neatest feelings is standing all alone in the middle of the lake on a quiet, dark, night in January. Geez, I love it!!!!!!!!
January 20th I'm leaving for the Cities this morning and will attend Steve Hamilton's book signing in Minneapolis this evening. Then I have a luncheon tomorrow in Rochester and I'll be spending the night with a guy I used to work with and his wife (Dotz & Bev). We're going to visit a homebound mutual friend whose health is poor, and then go out for a steak dinner which he still owes me from a last year's College Basketball tournament. Then on Friday night I'll drive back to St. Paul and spend the rest of the weekend with Lori. BUT, they're supposed to get tons and tons of freezing rain in that area over the next few days, so possibly none of the above will occur. As Bobby Burns once said:

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Oh, and that reminds me. Don't forget that Burns Night (Burns Nicht) is this coming Monday already (only 5 days hence), so you best be gathering the ingredients for your haggis. (Where has the past year gone???????)
January 21st The book signing last night was great! In addition to Steve Hamilton, one of his fellow authors (Kent Krueger) was there as a bonus. Listening to the two authors discuss writing with each other was indeed interesting. If you have any interest in the Northland and enjoy mystery/detective stories, I'd suggest "A cold Day in Paradise" by Steve and "Iron Lake" by Kent. They are both the first of a series.
January 22nd Rain, rain, rain, in St. Paul. What's it doing Up North, I'm wondering. If anyone up there sees this, send me a note, wouldja?
January 23rd My friends Gordie and Norma (who are spending these colder months in Florida) told me that yesterday there were hundreds of Robins in their yard, but today there are none. Do you suppose they have already begun their northward trek?
January 24th The Vikings will NOT be in the Superbowl this year (heh)! However, it was indeed a tense and exciting game.

Note added on the 25th:
This morning I was told by a somewhat disgruntled Viking fan that, "as a Lion fan, I have never had to feel the pain of getting somewhere in the playoffs only to be once again totally let down". He is quite correct.........but I'd like, just once, to be able to experience that feeling, however painful it may be.
January 25th Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

Let us raise our glasses in memory of Robert Burns (my favorite poet) who was born 251 years ago this very day. Just as on St. Patrick's Day when we all seem to have a little Irish blood in our veins, so it is today that we all feel we have a bit of Scottish ancestry in our family tree (or at least, we wish we had). Tonight his life and poetry are celebrated by taking part in a ritual Burns Nicht (Night) Supper. After reciting the above prayer and enjoying the Cock-a-Leekie (Scottish soup), all rise from their chairs for the "Entrance of the Haggis", and the celebration begins. To see what the entire evening entails, click HERE.

In view of the fact that there will be no Burns Supper to attend in this neck of the woods and that the ingredients for haggis would be difficult (if not impossble) to find, I plan to celebrate the evening by grilling a couple of pork chops, partaking of a glass or two of a rather drinkable claret, and privately enjoying a few of my favorite "Rabbie" Burns poems. I presume that you will do likewise.

A few hours later:
There! It took just a tad over two and a half hours, but the snow blowing has been completed and both ends of the resort are now easily accessible. It was fun and it went fairly quickly this time because the snow was the right depth and of the right consistency to blow easily. I wish it was always like that, but sometimes it takes over four hours.
January 26th Winter has finally returned to the Northland........snow yesterday and 10 below zero this morning. Huzzah!!!!!!!
January 27th Though I have had no direct contact with them, and though they have been in their ice fishing houses almost daily since late December, I have heard in a round-about manner, that the persons attempting to spear Northerns on Little Bass Lake this winter are having a particularly poor time of it.   It's not that I'm really against them spearing Northerns, you's just that every fish that they don't spear this winter will still be there for me to catch next spring.
January 28th The temperature is 20 below zero this morning, so on the advice of a friend (the Fire Chief in Rochester) I think I'll go to town and buy some new fishing equipment. He says that will help immensely with the old "cabin fever" problem. Apparently he has used that method before and found it to be quite effective. However, Lori has informed me that she gets more relief from the purchase of a new pair of shoes than from new fishing equipment. Oh each, his own!
January 29th I have nothing to say, just click HERE.
January 30th Twenty below zero again...........that's four mornings in a row.

The Wolf Moon tonite will be gorgeous, and the closeness and brightness of Mars right next door will be an added bonus. Don't miss it.   (Hey Dotz, thanks for the heads-up. By the way, I explained about the Wolf Moon on January 14, 2006. If you'd like to read it again, click HERE.)

Note to my baby sister Beth:   I absolutely did not forget that you turned 60 on the 24th. It's just that I've mentioned your birthday in these chronicles virtually every year since their inception, and I knew that I couldn't mention it again this year without a reference to your new milestone. And knowing how girls are about such things, I thought that perhaps the prudent approach would be to "overlook" it this year. But since you inquired (via Facebook), here it is.......and I'm sorry it's so late.
January 31st Yesterday was a fine skiing day and the Joyce Estates Trail was in beautiful shape.

A comment about yesterday's full moon:   The Wolf moon was, indeed, yesterday (Saturday, January 30th), but it occurred at 1:18 AM, which was actually Friday night.......not last night as mention above. But it was gorgeous both nights anyway. That's for straightening that up Randy.

Click here to see the other months in 2010:   January, February, March, April, May, June

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