A Continuation of the 20+ Years of
February 2020

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February 1st   February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.
-- Dr. J. R. Stockton

What Dr. Stockton had to say is true, but for people who dislike winter, even though it's short, February is a tough month. It's a tough month for a couple of reasons. About this time of the year, winter seems to have been dragging on for months and months. "WILL THIS WINTER NEVER END?!" is a common thought these days. Also, this is the time of the year that cabin fever is raging for those who are prone to such things. As I said on this day back in 2012, there are two seasonal diversions that can take some of the sting out of cabin fever. One is a mid-winter thaw, but that's out of our control, and unfortunely it can fool a person into thinking that winter is nearly over.......and it isn't! The other is going to a local bait store and buying some new fishing equipment in preparation for the spring fishing opener. Or if you're not a fisherman, buy some new camping equipment or some new lawn furniture or yard games. At least a person has control over that one, and if you're currently suffering from cabin fever, I'd recommend it.

PS:   I've tried and tried, but I can find virtually nothing about Dr. J. R. Stockton. The only thing I could find is that he may have been a professor at the University of Texas, but I haven't been able to verify that. Who is he?
February 2nd   Deb and I went to LBLR (Cabin # 5) to spend this past weekend skiing and snowshoeing in the area. It was a fun time staying there, visiting old friends, and bumming around the Northland.......but geez, it felt weird being there as a guest instead of the host. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away.

By the way, there's more than ample snow in the Northland for winter sports. It was great!!! To see a sample of what the snow was like, click HERE. That's the entrance to Hayslip's Tavern in Talmoon. To see Deb as she stopped for a sip of Peppermint Schnapps while we were snowshoeing on Little Bass Lake, click HERE. Great Phun!!! That's LBLR in the background (just like the old days). If those pictures don't make you want to go there for a weekend, I don't know what will. That's just my opinion, of course; many people I know would feel exactly the opposite.
February 3rd   Some people, and I've known just a few, seem to know instictively how to be sad, and they almost always are. That's really sad. Sigh.......
February 4th   Strolling on the lake on a sunny morning at 10 degrees below zero and with no wind, is fun and exhilarating. Click HERE.
February 5th   I have nothing to say on this warm February day.
February 6th   This was a lovely morning back in January of 2013. Click HERE. The sunrise on those clear, calm, and cold mornings were always pretty, even without a blood red sky. That's a nice memory, isn't it?
February 7th   And speaking of sunrises, these Chronicles have documented a lot of them over the years. HERE's a nice one, and if I remember right, I got outside too late to get the prettiest part of it. And HERE's another nice one. This view of it (click HERE) is even more colorful, though not realistic, because it was taken through a telephoto lens and therefore only shows the red area. Both of those sunrises occurred during January. The first one was in 2007 and the second one was in 2012.
February 8th  
to 11th  
  • • •
February 12th   The Twins' pitchers and catchers begin their workouts today. The rest of the team will begin workouts on the 17th. Their first game (against the University of Minnesota) will be on the 21st (a week from Friday). Does that mean that Spring is just around the corner? It's known as "Spring Training", isn't it?
February 13th   The hawk is out! 13 below zero this morning. That's nothing like the cold Up North days (although it's only 24 below zero up there this morning), but it's cold nonetheless.
Happy Valentine's Day! You saw this five years ago today, but here it is again anyway:

"Do you love me?",   she asked.
"Yes.",   he replied.
"Do you really love me?",   she asked.
"Yes.",   he replied.
"Do you really really love me?",   she asked.
"No.",   he replied.
"Do you love me?",   she asked.
"Yes.",   he replied.
She asked no more.

                        -- Snoopy (a.k.a. Charles Schulz)

By the way, today has also been referred to as "Singles Awareness Day".

The Hawk is still out! It's 17 below zero this morning.
February 15th   This was a nice time with the grandkids (Em and Mol). Click HERE. LBLR is off in the distance behind them (toward the left). That picture was taken on this day in 2009, and you can see how little they were then. One of them (Em) is now a senior at the University of Minnesota (currently spending a semester in Dublin, Ireland). The other (Mol) is a Freshman at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Things sure have changed!
February 16th   Today I did some "Cities" skiing for the second time in my life, and again I wasn't impressed.......well, this time mainly because the conditions weren't very good. The first time was on January 6th, and that was on a golf course (if you're interested, see the Chronicles entry for that day). I've never really liked skiing on a golf course, and when the conditions are bad, as they were on January 6th, I like it even less. Today we went to Spring Lake Park Reserve in Hastings. What a great place to ski or snowshoe! There wasn't enough snow to make the skiing good, but in the areas where the snow was deep enough to be tracked, it wasn't all that bad. At times when the snow is adequate I'm sure that Spring Lake would be great. It has several miles of trails through wooded areas and along the Mississippi River, some for classic skiing, some for skate skiing, and some for snowshoeing or walking. I'd love to go back if we get more snow, but time is quickly running out for this winter.

PS:   Luckily we managed to get in a nice weekend of skiing and snowshoeing up north this year. See the Febuary 2nd entry (above).
February 17th  
to 19th  
More later.......
February 20th   Mature people have more fun (or so says my horoscope anyway). Is it true, do you think?
February 21st   The intensity of the sun today is the same as it was last October 20th. Obviously we still have a long way to go for summer to be here, but we're quickly gaining on it. If fact, we've gained 2 hours of daylight in the two months since winter began last December; 45 minutes of it coming by way of an earlier sunrise, and 1 hour and 15 minutes of it coming by way of a later sunset. (As I've said several times before, some of these astronomical tidbits are rather difficult to fathom). By the way, those numbers are for Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.......your numbers may vary.

Here's an interesting PS to the above paragraph: The residents of Barrow, Alaska went from zero hours of daylight on January 22nd to 46 minutes the following day. That's a huge increase for one day! And now, only one month later, they're already up to 8 hours per day as they move toward their 24 hours of daylight which will begin on May 11th and last until mid-November.
February 22nd   Some cold mornings before the sun comes up are delightful, like this one, which was "Today's Picture" on this day back in 2015. Click HERE. Ah yes! Even though it was 5 years ago, I still remember taking that picture.......or at least one very similar to it.
February 23rd   Ice fishing on Simley Lake in Inver Grove Heights.......not unlike ice fishing on Little Bass Lake this time of the year. Click HERE.
February 24th   The "Great Los Angeles Air Raid" occurred on this day in 1942, a mere two and half months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Every year, the Fort MacArthur Museum, located at the entrance to Los Angeles Harbor, hosts an entertainment event called "The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942. To read about it, and the raid itself, click HERE. But if you'd like to attend, you'll have to wait until next year because this year's event was last held Saturday. I'm sorry for the late notification.
February 25th   One warm, snowless, February day back in the 1980s, my friend Justin and I snuck onto a Rochester Minnesota golf course and played 9 holes, even though the course was closed and it was probably illegal for us to do so. We stopped at a local pub afterwards to pay off our golfing bets and to have a beer. While we talked, one of us happened to mention that it would be nice to see if we could golf, at least once, in every month in we decided to try it. But we didn't want to golf in the snow, we didn't want to wear heavy coats (although light jackets would be okay), and we didn't want to wear gloves, so it would mean waiting for exceptionally warm weather for southern Minnesota in the wintertime. To make a long story short, although the task took several years to complete, we finally did it. As it turned out, since March is a snowy month, that was the hardest month to golf in, and that was the last of our 12 months. As a result, we proved that a person can golf in every month in Minnesota, and in decent weather.......but only if he's very patient.
February 26th   On January 3rd (almost 2 months ago) I said this:

The "Stories, Poems, & Anecdotes From the Northland" page on the LBLR website still exists, but there have been no new entries since January of 2015. That's when "Erin's Tumble into the Fire Pit" was added. Sheesh! That's four years ago, and it would be nice to have some new entries added to it. Tons and tons of you regular customers (and Daughters and Grandkids, and in-laws) must have many things you could write about.......and it's an easy thing to do. If you've already written one, write another one! The stories should be short, one or two pages (or even just one paragraph), and they should be connected to the Northland in some manner (hopefully vacation related but not necessarily about LBLR). Small memories written in just a few paragraphs, or even just a few words, make great entries. Many of the current stories are only one paragraph long. For some examples of "one-paragraph" stories, read Em's First Snowfall, or Erin's Tumble into the Fire Pit, or The Firemaker, and there are several others. If you're shaky about the writing, get the rudiments down and I'll help you with the rest. Think about me and we can talk about it. By the way, click HERE to see the complete list of stories.

Since then two people have said they would think about, but so far I have gotten nothing. Come on you guys.......write something! It's easy, it's fun, and people will find your stories and/or anecdotes interesting. And if you have trouble writing it, I'll help you.
February 27th   Reno, Nevada is actually west of Los Angeles, California.......or click HERE.
February 28th   Detroit, Michigan is actually east of Atlanta, Georgia.......or click HERE.
Leap Day   In the Chinese calendar, this date can an only occur in the years of the Rat, the Dragon, and the Monkey. This is the year of the Rat.

Fewer people have birthdays on this date than on any other day of the year. Isn't that a surprising piece of trivia? I also read that a person has a 1 in 1500 chance of being born on February 29th, but I don't know how that was calculated.

Click here to see the other months in 2020:  
January,   February,   March,   April,   May,   June,   July,   August,   September,   October,   November,   December  

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