February 2018

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February 1st   Freezing
cold winds,
biting chills, and
white snow fluffed hills.......
February, sweet and small,
the greatest month of all.
                                    -- Eric Lies

I have no idea who Eric is, and although I like his words I'm not at all sure that I agree with him. Even in the days a few years back when I "loved" winter, I still liked January better than February.......for one thing, because February was getting too close to Spring, and Spring meant tons and tons of work.
February 2nd   Today is Ground Hog Day but here at LBLR it's virtual Christmas Eve. By 9:00 PM this evening Deb, most of my kids and grandkids, and a few "significant others" of the grandkids, had arrived. (The only missing persons are my daughter Teri and her husband Steff who live in San Francisco and my oldest grandson, Josh, who lives in North Carolina.) There are no Christmas decorations to speak of but the living room is full of Christmas presents; they're stacked in every corner of the room. A fire is burning in the fireplace, the TV is off, snacks and drinks abound, and the atmosphere is festive. It's a fine time indeed!!!!
February 3rd   It's virtual Christmas Day at LBLR! The Bangers and Mash along with a side of Haggis (as mentioned last month) were very good and the Christmas festivities were enjoyed by all. Click HERE to see the annual picture of our "Glorious Christmas Mess" which, in my humble opinion, got cleaned up way too soon this year. Click HERE to see our annual family Christmas picture (better late than never, right?). Teri and Steph (Daughter and Son-in-law) are on a Skype session on the iPad (it's difficult to seem them) and Josh (number one Grandson) is missing.
February 4th   Everyone (except Deb) left this morning. Wow! A quiet calmness prevails.
February 5th   Deb and I went for a walk around the lake today (nearly around it, that is) and it was darned windy and cold. That was the first time this year, which is weird because in some years it was almost a daily thing for me.
February 6th   On this day in the year 1952 (66 years ago) Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II. Her father, King George VI, died in his sleep while she was representing him on a trip to Kenya. As you know, she is both the oldest and the longest reigning British Sovereign, recently surpassing her Great Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria in both catergories. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

By the way:   It's 30 degrees below zero this morning.
February 7th   A gentle complaint about the operation of one of our government agencies, if you don't mind:
A little over a week ago I mailed a package "priority mail" (ie, delivery in 2 to 3 business days) to Michigan, and the package still has not been delivered. The shipment consisted of a home-made CD so I made another copy of it and mailed that one out this morning. Since I paid "priority mail" postage on the first shipment I enquired about a refund for that one, expecially if the package doesn't ever arrive. Apparently there is no such thing as a postage refund. Now let me get this straight.......I paid our government to perform a service for me, they failed to perform that service, and my only recourse is to pay them again for the same service with the hope that, this time, they'll actually do it??? Wow! I wish I had a business that could operate like that.
February 8th   Darn, I wish this cold, cold weather would let up. The Farmers' Almanac predicted a very warm February and it has been anything but warm.

Dave B, a regular LBLR customer and hardcore fisherman, after reading yesterday's Chronicles entry, asked me if I'd refund the money he paid for the cabin if he comes up to fish and doesn't catch anything. I told him that I'd think about it.
February 9th   As per the USPS on-line tracking data, here's an update on the CD that I mailed (Priority Mail) to my old grade school pal in Michigan (see the February 7th entry, above):

I mailed it at the Post office in Cohasset the morning of January 29th. It then went to St. Paul, then it went to Detroit (so far, so good), then it went to Minneapolis (???), then it went back to St. Paul, then it went to Grand Rapids, then it went back to St. Paul, then it went to Grand Rapids (again), then it went to St. Paul (for the fourth time), and it left St. Paul last night at 10:24. Needless to say, it's way over due.......and I wonder where it's going this time.

A few days ago I gave up on that one and mailed (again Priority) a second CD to him. Here's what's been happening to that one:
I mailed it at the Post Office in Cohasset the morning of Febuary 6th. It then went to St. Paul, then it went to Grand Rapids, then it went back to St. Paul, and it left St. Paul for the second time last night at 9:05. Again, I wonder where it's going this time. Incidentally, this second CD is still scheduled for delivery today, but methinks it wont make it.

Now I'm thinking that, since even the US Postal Service can't be that dumb, maybe I goofed up the address (both times even) on the packages. Or is there anything else I could have done wrong (other than not sending them by UPS or FedEx) that could be causing this fiasco? It's simply unbelievable!
February 10th   More later.......
February 11th   .......
February 12th   Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

That is the entire text of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution. It abolished slavery. On December 6, 1865, Georgia became the 27th state (three-fourths of the then 36 states) to ratify the amendment; at that point it became the Law of the Land. The reason I chose today for this entry is that on this day in 1901 (36 years after it became law) Deleware finally ratified it. The amazing thing is that, up until this morning, I thought that made it unanimous; ie., all 36 of the states back then had signed up. But what I found out his morning suprised me. The State of Missippi ratified it just five years ago last Wednesday (February 7, 2013). Amazing, isn't it?
February 13th   It looks like our long term cold weather is about to break; tomorrow will be much warmer, maybe even above freezing. This has been a coo-oold February in spite of the Farmers' Almanac's prediction that the temperature this month was going to be way above average in our neck of the woods. Of course the month isn't over yet, but it's nearly half over.
Happy Valentine's Day!!!!
February 15th   I know this is boring you to death, but I'm still amazed by it. Look at the story about the postal service (February 7th and 9th, above). But the saga on:

Package number 1 (Abreviated story):
It was shipped by Priority Mail from Cohasset to Elsie, Michigan on January 29th (two and half weeks ago): So far this has been its route:   Cohasset to St Paul, to Detroit, to Minneapolis, to St Paul, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, to Duluth, to Grand Rapids, and again to St Paul where it arrived at 3:31 this morning.

Package number 2 (Abreviated story):
It was shipped by Priority Mail from Cohasset to Elsie Michigan on February 6th (nine days ago): So far (in its shorter history) this has been its route:   Cohasset to St Paul, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, to Austin Texas, to Detroit, where it arrived at 2:45 AM yesterday.

As you can see, both packages have, at one time or another, been in Detroit, which is at least in the same state as Elsie, and therefore a step in the right direction. If the package that is currently at the post office in Detroit goes anywhere but closer to Elsie, I'll surrender to the postal gods and ship a third one.......but this time by UPS.

By the way, if this fiasco was caused by something I did when I addressed the two packages, I'll print an apology to the Post Office in here.

Noon update:   Aha!!! Since I uploaded the Chronicles this morning, package number 2 arrived at the Elsie Post Office and was delivered to my friend's mailbox, so one of them has finally managed to break out of the loop and get to its destination.......Yippie!!!!!   It was in the mail for nine days and went through seven post office locations before it got to his mailbox. Hopefully before too long we'll see what happens to package number 1, which appears to be in a more serious loop.
February 16th   Another non-entry. Sorry!
February 17th   Here's the final Post Office entry (I promise! Really, I promise):   If you look at the tracking information for package number 1 (see the February 15th entry, above), you'll see that the last entry for the package was that it had arrived in St Paul (for the sixth time). When I got up this morning I saw that, for the fifth time in three weeks, it had arrived at the Post Office here in Grand Rapids. With that in mind I went to the Post Office, showed them a print-out of the tracking information, pointed out that the package was now here at the Post Office, then showed him my ID and asked him to please give it back to me. He was more than happy to oblige and, I might add, very apologetic for the three weeks of sending the package hither and yon all over the American Midwest. He also said that I could leave the package there and he would be happy to send it on to my buddy in Michigan.......but I opted to take the package with me. The thought crossed my mind that I should tell him I planned to send it by UPS, but I just thanked him and left.

For the record, here is its total itinerary:   Cohasset to St Paul, to Detroit, to Minneapolis, to St Paul, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, to Duluth, to Grand Rapids, to St Paul, and finally to Grand Rapids where I picked it up.
February 18th   Hah! It's now after noon and it has been snowing at least since the sun came up this morning. Of course, sometimes it was snowing hard and sometimes it was coming down rather slowly, but it has been constant. Perhaps the weatherman got it right for once. He/she said 5 to 9 inches and I believe that we're over 5 inches and it's still coming down. YES!!!!! And for once, us Northerners are getting it and you Down-staters are getting nothing (so far anyway). Click HERE.
February 19th   Sarah and Aaron A (from Indiana) e-mailed me this morning to double check on their summer reservations, and they're the second ones in recent weeks to do so. Do you know what that means??? It means that, even though we have some cold and snowy weather ahead of us, winter is starting to wind down!!!!! At least people are beginning to think that way, and that's half the battle. We are already a fortnight past the midpoint of winter. Out of the 90 days of winter, there are only 29 of them remaining; two thirds of them are in the past. Spring arrives one month from's a time to celebrate!!!!
February 20th   Hah(!), another 4 or 5 inches of snow last night. It certainly looks like winter around here now, although it's a bit late.
February 21st   Hey Turners/Carlsons/Harlans, have any of you guys ever been up here when the lake was frozen and there was snow on the ground? If you have I don't remember it, so refresh my memory as to the circumstances, if you don't mind.
February 22nd   There's no new snow, but I like this picture; it's from a few nights ago. Click HERE.
February 23rd   We got another six inches of snow again last night. I'm sorry for saying the same thing over and over, but as you probably noticed, I'm amazed and delighted! What's going on with snow down-state?
February 24th   You've heard this a few times before but here it is again. There's a guy who lives in Cohasset who walks from his house to LBLR, down the driveway, out onto the lake, and across the lake to his ice fishing house. He does that before the sun comes up most mornings during January and February, no matter what the temperature is. This morning it was 20 below zero and when I got up at 7:00 I noticed smoke coming out of his chimney. He's a real die-hard! If you click HERE you can see his tracks going across the lake and you can just barely see his ice fishing house at the far end of the tracks.
February 25th   Another 5 or 6 inches last night; geez the landscape looks nice right now. Click HERE
February 26th   Hmmmm....... What do you think made this mark in the snow? It kind of looks like a bird may have hit the snow and them took off again, doesn't it? I doubt it, but it could be. Click HERE
February 27th   Maybe it's the late winter blues, but I have nothing to say today.
February 28th   Today is the last day to fish for Northerns, Walleye, Bass, etc; now it's only pan fish until mid-May. And if you're going to fish at all, you'll need a new license starting tomorrow.

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