January 2012

Click here to see the other months in 2012:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

New Year's Day The Old Year has gone; let the past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time......all hail the responsibilites and the possibilities of the coming twelve months!
-- Edward Payson Powell (circa 1890)
January 2nd The Old Farmer's Almanac predicted this past December in our neck of the woods to be "warm and wet". It turned out to be very warm but also very they got it half right (which, for them, is pretty darned good). They predict the rest of the winter (and in fact, the rest of the year) to be cold and dry. What do you think? Will they be right? Check back here in a month to see how January went.
January_3rd This is the dock that the front porch attaches to and that's a beer bottle setting on it. I'm wondering which "smarty pants" put it there while I was away for a few days. Click HERE.
January 4th I'm still wondering about that beer bottle from yesterday (see above) and I'm trying to pull a Sherlock Holmes. While walking around the edge of the lake, did someone see the bottle laying on the ground, pick it up, and set it on the dock? Possibly, but where would someone have found it? It couldn't have been in the water because the lake is frozen. It could have been in the weeds somewhere along the shoreline, but it's very clean and the label is in perfect condition. It certainly wouldn't look like that if it had been laying in the weeds for awhile, and if someone drank it outside and dropped it in the weeds, it would have happened months ago. Although it's illegal, driving around drinking a beer isn't unheard of in this neck of the woods, but in this weather who would have driven into my driveway just as they finished a beer, then walked out to the dock to leave the bottle there. And it's a Lienenkugel's Creamy Dark, which is a fairly unusual beer. If anyone had been driving around drinking a beer, it would probably would have been a Michelob Golden Draft or a Bud Lite or something similar, but certainly not a Lienenkugel's Creamy Dark. If it didn't come from a car, what are the odds that someone walking around the lake in this weather would be drinking a beer? Pretty small, right? Incidentally, there were no foot prints going to the dock so the perpetrator either came from the lake where the snow had blown off, or put it there before the last snowfall (or soon enough after the last snowfall to give the wind enough time to obliterate the foot prints). Either way, that would make it at least a couple days ago while I was out of town.

Hmmmm........ Where is Doctor Watson when you need him?
The Nones of January Isn't this a neat picture of some old ski tracks with LBLR in the background? There used to be an inch of snow on the lake, but you can see how much is there now. Click HERE.
The Epiphany The temperature was above freezing all night. Is this the cold January that the Farmer's Almanac is predicting???? Our normal low on this date is 3 degrees below zero.
Distaff Day Today is Distaff Day, the end of the Christmas Holidays for you ladies. It's back to work at your looms and in your kitchens. Of course the men still get to hang around the pubs for two more days until Plow Monday but hey, I don't make the rules. This one has been around since the middle ages.
January 8th There are only 17 more shopping days until the 253rd birthday of Robert Burns so you better start planning for your Burns Night supper. Do you have the haggis? How about the neeps and tatties? And the Cock-a-leekie, do you have all the ingredients? Do you have your poetry ready?
Plow Monday The plot thickens: and it certainly appears to be a plot. (See the January 3rd and 4th entries, above.) As you probably already know, my friend Randy has a log home and a cabin on the south end of LBL and, as you probably didn't already know, there is a metal stake that separates the two properties. Yesterday he found, turned upside down on that stake, a nice clean beer bottle.......a "Lienenkugel's Creamy Dark" beer bottle. (If that doesn't sound familiar to you, go back up and reread the entry from January 4th.) The bottle was very clean and the label was in very good shape, indicating that it has been put there recently. Needless to say, he and I discussed the situation at length and have come up with nothing but questions. Which one of us is Sherlock Holmes and which is Dr. Watson, I'm wondering. (Although which is the Putz and which is the Moron might be a more appropriate question.) Do any of you who commented on the earlier entries have any new thoughts?

Concerning Plow Monday: see Distaff Day (above).
January 10th Nothing new, except for a picture from yesterday. Read above if you haven't already done so, and then click HERE.
January 11th I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
January 12th This morning the ground was white (but with only an inch of snow) and the temperature was 3 so everyone is saying that winter has finally arrived. Not to complain, but that's still a lot less snow and a higher than average temperature for this time of the year.
The Ides The weatherman predicted 8 to 13 below zero for the low temperature last night. It was +3 at 9:30 last night and it was +3 at 6:30 this morning, so it probably never got below zero. Oh well..........
January 14th Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and give wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Proverbs (Chapter 21, Verse 6)

PS:   Occasionally a lot of us are of heavy hearts.......
January 15th Here are two vehicles, a trailer, a snowmobile, two portable ice houses, and an ice auger in Mick and Becky's "secret spot" on Pokegama Lake. Jim (my son-in-law) and his three friends are up here fishing this weekend. Click HERE.
January 16th A note to Jim and his fishing buddies:   Remember you guys, fishing in not about catching fish; fishing is about hope. (That's compliments of Garrison Keillor, by the way.)
January 17th Other than the fact that the temperature was six below zero this morning, there is nothing of note today......and that is noteworthy only because of this year's mild winter.
January 18th This may seem a tad over dressed even at 30 or 40 below zero, but it's great if one is walking into the teeth of a 25 MPH wind, even at temperatures a bit warmer than that. Click HERE.
January 19th 25 below zero this morning......beware the Pogonip!
January 20th Today is the last day for you careful, prudent, practical, ambitious, disciplined and patient Capricorns. Tomorrow begins the time of Aquarius.

EARTH-DIRECTED FLARE:   Active sunspot 1401 erupted yesterday, January 19th, for more than an hour around 16:30 GMT. The long-duration blast produced an M3-class solar flare and a full-halo coronal mass ejection (CME) that appears to be heading toward Earth. Forecasters say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives during the late hours of Saturday, January 21st. High-latitude (and possibly middle-latitude) sky watchers should be alert for auroras [ie. Northern Lights] this weekend. The Goddard Space Weather Laboratory predicts an impact on January 21st at 22:30 GMT [4:30 PM CST].
January 21st Geez, these are beautiful some mornings. Click HERE. That picture was taken with a zoom so it only shows the reddest section. The whole scene was still lovely but it looked more like this. Click HERE.
January_22nd Such weather in such a place comes nearer to satisfying my ideal of perfection than any condition I have ever experienced. The warm glow of the sun with the keen invigorating cold of the air is inexpressibly health giving and satisfying.
-- Robert Scott (1911)

Those words of Robert Scott were uttered during (or shortly before) his ill-fated attempt to be the first to person to reach the South Pole. Perhaps that's the same feeling that some of us Minnesotans get when cold weather comes our way.
January 23rd Well I'll be darned......we woke up this morning to find a few inches of snow on the ground. Amazing! I'm going to leave the driveways alone to get a nice snowpack on them (just in case there's another fluke and we get some more snow) but I'll probably blow the snow off of the sidewalk between the house and the duplex.......eventually.
January 24th A late Christmas present is always a delight, and even more so when it consists of two bottles of very dry Spanish Sherry. Thanks Ter!!!!!

There is definitely a critter wintering in the crawl space under cabin 2. It's holed up most of the day and it's out prowling most of the night.
January 25th Happy Birthday Rabbie Burns!!!!!!! Did everyone take heed of the "heads up" on January 8th (see above).......and click HERE.

I'll be darned. The snowblower still works.......but it took until nearly February to find out. Click HERE.
January 26th To all my Michigan kith and kin:
Your state (my former state) became part of the Union on this day in 1837.......175 years ago. When I lived there we were Michiganders, but I believe you are now Michiganians. Is that true? Whatever you call yourselves now, Happy 175th Anniversary to you all.
January 27th What is the point of being on the threshold of retirement, if you don't ever do it?????
January 28th I have nothing to say.
January 29th These words are from the Chronicles entry for this day in 2007, which had a wimpy winter as well. They bear repeating:

Whereas I remember the winters of the 50s & 60s as having much more snow than recent winters, and whereas my Dad talked about the winters of the 30s & 40s as having much more snow than the 50s & 60s, and whereas my Grandfather talked about the winters of the 10s & 20s as having much more snow than the 30s & 40s, and whereas my Great Grandfather etc....etc....etc, I have a request.

I will suggest to my teenage grandchildren that they make an effort to remember what this winter has been like, so that when they remininsce about the tough winters of their youth, they will remember that they had some "wimpy" winters as well (as our ancestors did, but don't seem to recall). My request is that you go, therefore, and do likewise.
January 30th Hah......more snowblowing. Geez......we must have a whole 5 inches on ground already. [Do you detect a bit of sarcasm in that statement?]
January 31st Here we are at the end of another January. The Sunrise is 17 minutes earlier and the Sunset is 47 minutes later than they were at the Winter Solstice, which makes the day just a tad over an hour longer than it was just a month ago. Spring will arrive in a little over 7 weeks, the lake will be completely free of ice in about 3 months, and by then we'll be cleaning cabins, doing yard work, putting in docks, and cruising on the lake. But it seems like winter has just begun!!!! Why, oh why, does January always seem like the shortest month????

By the way, as mentioned above, the Farmer's Almanac predicted that January would be cold and dry. It turned out to be very very warm and dry. I guess one could say, just like last month, that they again got it half right.

Click here to see the other months in 2012:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Click HERE to see the Chronicles for other years.

Click HERE to go to the LBLR Home Page.

If you have any questions or if you'd like something mentioned here, send me an e-mail and let me know.