Almost Spring…

The grill is closed for the day.

Since it seems like it is almost spring – I decided to do some grilling over the weekend and forgot to cover it. This morning I went out in the backyard and had a lovely reminder it is still very much winter. Perhaps I will cover up the grill again after everything melts 😉

And It Snowed…

So apparently Chicago can predict a storm or two correctly. I spent this morning walking through (and snow blowing) a few feet of snow in my driveway/back patio area. Even though it took some work – this morning was fun!

Bracing For the Non-Blizzard (Chicago)

Growing up just south of Buffalo taught me quite a few things:

  • How to always be able to start a snow blower
  • The difference between “Upstate New York” vs. “Western New York”
  • How to not root for the home team
  • How to actually deal with snow

Out here in Chicago I have seen a trend which I call the “ok – it is our turn for the big news story”. Chicago always prepares and hypes up all storms and then after all the schools close down in fear – we end up getting snow that is easily moved by using a broom instead of a snowblower or even shovel. I feel like Chicago has felt left out with all the news and attention on New York’s storms this year so the media can barely hold back their excitement for this attention.

I am sure all the Chicago stations have been gearing up for this “Blizzard which will soon hit the area with all their fancy graphics and catchy phrases but most likely – we will get some accumulation but nothing near what they expected.

What I hope for: a lot of snow. I miss hard core snow blowing where I have to literally push the snow blower with my arms and one leg (oh yes – a hidden talent for extreme snow blowing). I can then go out and build a sweet snowman that will last weeks. What I think we will get – no more than 6-9 inches at most and a lot of hype/wasted time for all the catchy news phrases/imagery.

Brr…

Wow - it is cold!Thankfully I do not have to take the train to work, and walk across the Chicago river on days like today. We have been having highs in the negative degrees the last few days and it has been really challenging to even open the door. It is so cold that A has not had school for the last two days due to them not wanting the kids to have to wait for the bus in the morning. Poor Colby can barely make it out in the backyard for over five minutes.

Funny how I now look forward to this weekends’ temperatures in the 20s (which will crazily be a 30+ degree temperature increase). Time to play a little Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii (oh yeah Doug – I got it so feel free to get it so we can play together!) and think of warmer times!

Another quick note – this is finally the last weekend of W’s term in office…finally! I did not know if or how we would make to this point so some champagne is definitely in order. Best of luck to Obama – he definitely has a lot of work to do.

People's Effort Part 2

Last night we got hit with 4 inches or so of snow. Thankfully either the new gas or my dad cleaning the spark plug over the weekend worked…and the snowblower started up like a champ. As I finished up my driveway I noticed the neighbor that left the small strip of snow next to me the last snowfall – was out shoveling.

I glanced over at him and turned the snowblower the opposite way and did the other neighbor’s entire sidewalk. When I finished with that, I looked at Amy and asked her if she thought I should do the neighbor’s sidewalk on the other side (the one I have issues with) and she nodded yes and we then cleared his sidewalk as well. We got a “thank you” after it was finished, but I will not hold my breath for him to clear the foot or so of my sidewalk next time. Not everyone can sink to the levels of others – thank goodness!

Whoa – That is a lot of Water…

Over the weekend, we got hammered with rain here in the Chicagoland area. About four years ago – when I lived in Des Plaines IL – I had the joyous opportunity of sandbagging around the perimeter of our condo before the big flood. On Saturday, we jumped in the Land Rover and headed to see what kind of shape our old place looked like (Des Plaines got over 7″ of rain on Saturday alone). I was completely shocked to see that there was much more water from the rain and the river than when we sandbagged.

Check out some of the pictures taken with my phone while we were in the old neighborhood.

More information: News article on the flood

Fall is in the Air

This is by far my favorite time of the year. Penn State football, cooler weather, fall golf, and no more bees…what else can you ask for? It brings me great joy to see Joe Paterno on the sidelines every Saturday – he is truly an inspiration. I hate being hot so the cooler weather (50s-60s) is a treat for me. Fall golf is the best. The courses are in great condition, not as many people are golfing, the prices per round are cheaper, and I always play better with my 2 iron after September 1st. Not dealing with nasty bees is a dream come true because if you know me – you know I am not a bee fan at all. Good times!

Jappler Recommends: Wireless Weather Forecaster

If you ever need a gift for someone that is hard to buy for, check out Brookstone’s wireless home weather forecaster. This really cool instrument automatically locates itself geographically, then updates itself using radio signals so that you always have the latest weather report (thanks to accuweather.com). I recently bought one of these and it is really cool. It even has a great magnet back so it easy sticks on the refrigerator door.

Chicago: Cold

I know it is generally cold here in the winter – and even though we had a nice break a few days ago, it is cold here, but man I was shocked to see my Mac Mini’s ambient temperature reporting:

So much for that temperature reporting application!

Back to the Snow

I just returned from a four day trip to FL to visit some family…and to play some golf – both which were enjoyable. I am not much of a warm weather person, but I did enjoy the break from the snow here in Chicago (the most we have seen here in ten years). I am hoping to now get caught up with work. I will note that having my iPhone with me on the trip was extremely key. Not only was I able to keep on top of most of my email, but it entertained Evan on the plane with the video iPod and photo browser capabilities without needing to open a laptop. On the golf front – I played extremely consistent and had a lot of great shots for not being out on the course since November. I feel like this is going to be the best golf year I have had in a long time if I can master my chipping! Watch out!