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For once, the weather moguls didn't exaggerate.  Our upper limit was supposed to be 13 inches.  We're at that now, and we've still got most of a night's worth of storm ahead of us.  I'll be so jazzed if we hit two feet.  When i was a kid, we'd get a couple of these a year, and I miss it.

How're all my northeastern peeps doing?
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First, we have snow! We got six inches of the magic white stuff yesterday morning. Sadly, it rained after it snowed, and then it froze, so...life is very interesting in the parking lots today. Also in my back, which desires me to know that it does not appreciate my surprising it with the winter snow shoveling season in such an abrupt manner. But that's okay, it'll toughen up.

I've been putting in my community service time with my friends' 6-month-old baby. She's an adorable, fun little thing (I know people always say babies are adorable, but the truth is most of them are funny-looking little creatures who mostly get by with giant puppy-dog eyes; this one's actually adorable). I enjoy playing with her, and I'm happy to keep her amused for a bit to let my friends do things like, y'know, eat and shower. Since I've been having some time with her, I've been teaching her useful skills. Thus far, I've taught her:

1: to roar.
2: to hiss.
3: to knock four times (you know what I mean).
4: to say "Cthulhu ftaghn." No word of a lie. I just threw it in there one day because she was babbling and making funny noises anyway, and she repeated it right after me! Frankly, her pronunciation was probably better than mine. Highly impressive.
5: to pet a cat like Blofeld.

I've informed her parents that I'm training her for a career in supervilliany. The father is horrified by "Cthulhu ftaghn," (his exact words were "Oh god no!") but the mom finds it hilarious. The mother (along with those friends who suffer from a debilitating lack of appreciation for Doctor Who) is disgusted with the knocking, but the dad supports my assertion that it's an important life skill. Neither of them see much use in the cat-petting, but they'll learn. They'll learn.

And the roaring? Ridiculously cute. I've gotten her to do the menacing claw hands and everything.
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Okay, y'all know I like my snow, and admittedly it looks like a winter faerieland outside, but this is insane! We're only halfway through October, the trees still have their leaves, and we've got am old-school nor'easter sitting right overhead and dumping half a ton of the wettest snow I've ever seen on us. It is TREE CARNAGE, people. I've seen crap happening to trees out there that I've never seen outside of hurricane footage. Power lines are actually snapping. Somebody's going to die.

But do they call off university classes for the day? HELL no! If you get beaned by a falling branch, you've only got yourself to blame. Because surely the profs would not be so unreasonable as to dock you a grade for missing a day in such weather, right?

Hah, they had to get bawled out by the CDC to allow students to miss days for swine flu when they're put in quarantine. ("We're not going to allow students to play hookie over a measly flu!" "Ohohoho, think again.")

Q@#$#$%&@#%$%&*@#%$@#$&$%%!$%*$&!@#$^* jackasses.

Hey, we have a Homecoming parade today! Assuming the roads aren't blocked. Responsibility whut?

Power's out downtown, in the residential neighborhood behind campus, and in the student housing blocks around the grocery store. We lost power at our place for about two hours last night. Campus is being stabilized by backup generators. Street lights are out along with everything else. And this is supposed to keep going till some time tomorrow. SO WHY ARE WE HERE?

Male Roommate has for some reason decided to stubbornly deny the existence of this storm and sees no difficulty with heading out to buy groceries today. Aha haha ha.
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Melting before it hits the ground, but it's freakin' snowing! We're only halfway through October. Wow, this may be quite a winter.

In other news, Absent Willow Review has asked permission to use my "Winter Goblin" in an issue of their magazine. Absent Willow is produced by the guy who does Tripping the Muse, so it's a reputable publication and rather exciting. :)

ETA: Wow, remember how I said it was melting before it hit the ground? Well, not so much now. Reports say that we may have up to 12 inches by tomorrow. All hail 4WD and leftover ice melt!
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If you haven't heard yet, <a href="http://www.weather.com/newscenter/topstories/todayinweather.html?from=TIWanchor#stormtrack">there's a nor'easter due to hit us from sometime Sunday through Tuesday</a>.  The severity isn't certain yet; depends on the track it takes.  Snowfall amounts of 12 to 22 inches are being bandied about for the northeast at this time, with potential blizzard conditions Tuesday.  It's expected to affect everybody from Georgia on north, from Ohio eastward.  Snowmelt flooding in areas that get this as rain is expected.

Since every weather site I've checked pretty much agrees on all these details at this time, I do in fact believe them.  So lay in the rock salt and shovels and batten down the hatches, my eastern US friends.  February's expected to be "exciting."
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It's SNOWING! And it's STICKING! Huzzah! *does the dance of snow*

That's all I've got. Cheers!

Nor'easter

Oct. 28th, 2008 02:53 pm
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Oh yeah, baby, here comes the weather! You know it's going to be an interesting winter when we start getting hit with these in October.

It's probably insane of me, and anybody living on the Atlantic coast of the US will quite rightfully slap me silly, but I love these suckers. They fascinate me. A cross between a hurricane and a blizzard, nor'easters are one of the world's great storm systems. There's something tremendously old-fashioned about them. Storms like this get into your head, shape the way of life of an entire region. It wasn't so long ago that most of the people in this region were farmers or fishermen, not out of living memory that whole towns could get snowed in all winter with no reliable contact to the outside world, and when one hits, it reminds you that you're not as far as you like to think from those times. Even in this day and age, a nor'easter has the power to shut down New York City for three days and reduce people living in perfectly civilized locations to strapping on skis to make a grocery run. I grew up keeping snow shoes in the attic in case we got snowed in for a week and had to hike to get supplies. We needed them twice that I can remember. After '93, my uncle got rid of them because he preferred skis, and enough neighbors had invested in snowmobiles that getting around in six feet of snow wasn't such an issue.

I know it's not exactly good to be cut off like that. People still need to get places, and travel becomes dangerous. Some people need access to electricity and emergency services to live. But I guess I feel like it can be good for the soul. We get so caught up in modern life; it's good to be reminded now and then that there are higher laws than the ones we like to make up for ourselves. Sometimes we can simplify life if we remember that.
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Oh, indeed it is. Monday, we had temperatures in the -20s (that's about -30 C)--fun to walk to work in. Tuesday, we got about 6 inches of snow that the road crews utterly failed to clean up. Which was just as well, because today we're getting a good old-fashioned ice storm.

Why am I at work, you ask? Because I'm stupid. Well, no, I'm here mainly because my roommates needed someone to test the situation, and also because we're just about out of toilet paper and I had to walk into town anyway to get more. Because driving certainly isn't happening.

Oh! That reminds me of another one for the meme:

1: When you ask me specific questions, like "What do you want for your birthday?" or "What movies would you like to see?" or "Name seven unusual facts about yourself", the answers tend to fly right out of my head.

2: I have the mysterious ability to walk across anything, no matter how slippery it is, without falling. I once towed a friend of mine across campus over two inches of wet ice after he found himself trapped on a sidewalk with no way to get traction. Another time, I had to stand in a puddle of spilled motor oil in order to pick up my motorcycle after it fell over.

3-7: I'm working on it!

In other news, I spent yesterday afternoon rescuing books from a burst pipe in our Earth & Mineral Sciences library. That was exciting: the EMS library is in a different building elsewhere on campus (in the EMS lab building, actually, which makes sense), so we got to trudge though the snowstorm I mentioned (which, really, yay! Trudging through vigorous snowstorms is not a punishment for me) and then spend a few hours wrapping paper towels around damp books, page by page.

This, by the way, is called interleaving. It keeps the moisture from wicking throughout the book, of course, and lets the paper towels absorb some of the water from the book so it dries faster. But more importantly, it's absolutely essential when you're dealing with wet glossy paper to keep the pages from touching. Glossy paper is an effect created by coating paper with a thin glaze of fine clay. If it gets wet, the clay clumps to itself, as clay does, and f you let the paper dry that way, the clay will cement to itself like glue, and your book will be permanently ruined. At that point, there's no way to get the pages apart without tearing them. So you have to interleave the pages to keep the book from being wrecked.

This I mention for the benefit of the bibliophiles on my f-list who may someday find the information useful. Another tidbit: if you're dealing with a completely soaked book that doesn't have glossy paper, throw it in your freezer and leave it there for a few months. Don't wrap it or put it in a baggie, because that'll be counterproductive. Just toss the bugger right in there. The faster the better: if you're able to freeze it before the pages start wrinkling, then after the water sublimates from the paper over several weeks, you should pull it out to find it quite dry with minimal distortion.
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We spent the whole week since Saturday in the throes of a winter storm. It wasn't quite sure what kind of winter storm it wanted to be, so it diversified: we got 50 mph wind gusts, a nice slick coating of ice, more wind, a bit of rain, and finally about two inches of snow.

It wound up sometime last night. When I looked out my window this morning, the sun was shining almost warmly, the sky was as blue as it gets this time of year, and the world was frosted in diamonds and sugar. So I packed my camera and decided I'd take a spin around campus to photograph the place.

Sadly, the batteries died about halfway through my intended tour, but I got some very nice pictures anyway. When I snag them onto my computer at home, I'll post them so you guys can see.
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I let myself fall behind for a while, so I'm only now working out the current trends in blogging capabilities. It matters to me mainly because a number of my friends on LJ are moving away to other sites, and I'd like to continue keeping track of them--and also because I've got a few different blogs, and sometimes it's a pain to keep them all up separately.

But of course I'm finding what a lot of people are: there's no way to take care of either problem with complete satisfaction. I've centralized a lot of my favorite people on Google Reader, but that doesn't access friends-locked posts, and the best I can do with the latter is to CC my various blogs when I make email posts (because of course I don't want *all* the same information on *all* of them, but sometimes I do).

It seems like the thing to do is to decompartmentalize the web a bit. I've seen things that are attempts to move in this direction: OpenID, which is an initiative to use one ID that can get you into many places; and AttentionTrust's attempt to create a user-controlled database of our interests and preferences. Wouldn't that be something, if we could keep such a thing in our own hands, and plug it into shopping sites or whatever? Our own personal internet tour guide. Are there others? Better ways to manage blogs or RSS feeds, for instance?

It's snowing here, and making me very happy. If you're interested, the first camera on the top left is what campus looks like right now.

Also, more art.

Black and white sketch of a guy tinkering.

Black and white fight scene. I did this one to see how good a piece I could do in this style.
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We've got Exciting Weather here in Pennsylvania today, which makes relevant that perennial thought, "Crap, I need new winter boots."

And that means it's time to embark on my annual bitchfest on behalf of women everywhere, the "I just need a pair of decent winter boots, people, is that so much to ask?!" rant.

Seriously! I mean, fine, I have a couple of strikes against me: namely, I am small--I wear a size 5 or 6 shoe, which is at the extreme low end of you can 'reasonably expect it to be available' for women in the US--and I have muscular calves. They're not freakish mutant calves, but they are the legs of a short woman who walks a mile between work and home every day. These are not measurements that women are allowed to come in, apparently. I can easily find boots that fit my legs. They are at least size 7. To my mind, this looks like a boat with a sink pipe attached to it. Do females actually come with feet that big attached to legs like milkshake straws? I am granted the honor of choosing between boots that fit my feet but bunch up around my ankles, or clown shoes that reach my knees.

Ah, but I get ahead of myself! Before I bother worrying about size, I first need to find boots that actually qualify as functional. See, I live in Pennsylvania, the state of meteorological schizophrenia. We're having winter weather today. Is it snow? Ice? Slush? Raspberries raining from the sky? No one knows! So when I look for boots, I look for qualities that cover the wintery gamut: I want a tread that's reliable on ice (that means no felt on the bottom, wtf are you people thinking?!), that won't get soaked in sleet (does anyone waterproof their footwear anymore?), and that stays warm in snow. Oh! And while I'm at it, I admit that I adore suede, it's a beautiful material, but I'd really like a boot that's made of something that won't spontaneously combust the first time it encounters road salt.

And here's where I get completely unreasonable. If someone could manage, if it wouldn't be asking too much, it might be kind of nice for these mythical boots to be moderately attractive. The featureless lump-boots (ugg boots, indeed!) that're so popular lately would probably fit, yes, but they make me look like I have camel's feet and, while they look very snuggly, like stuffed animals for your feet, I don't bring my teddy bear to work, either. Also, they're always made of suede. And while things like galoshes/wellingtons and duck boots are indisputably functional, they're so functional that I fear wearing them will summon a herd of farm animals from nowhere to create a sodden barnyard to tromp around in. What I want is maybe something, you know, foot-shaped. That doesn't look like a silent declaration of war on Siberia.

But, um, people? "Attractive" is not synonymous with high heels. I know heels are super-sexy and all, but 1: not every woman likes or is capable of wearing them, and 2: there's a time and a place! Yes, fine, I'm sure there are women out there who've mastered the art of high heels to the point where they can balance by one 4" stiletto on an egg without cracking it, but for 99% of us, how is this possibly a good idea? And these are perfectly lovely, but I'd go skidding off to my doom the first time I hit a patch of ice. And...wait, what? Okay, that fits not a single one of my qualifications, plus I think it involved drugs. Somebody withhold that guy's bong and drag him bodily out of the 70s, please.

Where was I before the yeti-pimp-boots...? Oh, yes. Money. You can find all the above things so long as you're willing to spend $100 or so, but since I consider that a somewhat luxurious amount to spend on boots, I'm stuck with ugly, defective, or clown shoes.
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It snowed all weekend long. It was awesome! We got 3 or 4 inches on the cars, 1 or 2 on the ground, and none of it quite got around to sticking to roads or sidewalks. Everything's liberally frosted with beautiful white and it makes me happy. Also, it made me sleep really well. For some reason, I sleep wonderfully during snow storms.

Had a completely kick-ass session of our Star Wars game on Saturday (that's the D&D type of RPG, dear new readers, not a video game). Thanks to the work of our Tech, our PCs finally uncovered the Sith who'd been hiding in the Senate (not Palpatine; this is post-movies). While our Jedi dueled her through the skylanes and casinos of Coruscant, my Force-sensitive martial artist discovered that the Jedi who'd turned traitor on us had escaped incarceration (an ex-PC who used to be the Jedi's partner, to make things nice and personal). The two of them proceeded to Matrix-ninja-fight down a series of floating platforms while they fought over a book of Dark Side secrets that everyone was after. Meanwhile, our Tech rescued a starship full of passengers that the Sith had tried to hijack as an escape route, and she and our Noble cleared up the disaster the Sith had left in the Senate building. Something heroic for everyone, with lots of lightsabers and kung-fu action all around, it was the kind of cinematic goodness that leaves you running high for a few days because it all just worked so well.

Watched most of Dragonheart on the SciFi Channel yesterday. It wasn't quite as visually impressive as I remember it being (it's been a few years since I saw it last, long enough for f/x to improve), and the plot was more patchy than I'd recalled, but I loved Draco and Bowen just as much as ever. It's such a sweet movie. I caught the whole thing except the end, which is okay because the end makes me cry.

In college football, I continued to be amused by the inability of anyone to remain in the top 5 for more than two weeks. LSU finally ends up at #1, which I think they deserve (they certainly earned their way to it), and #2 will probably end up being either Kansas or Oklahoma, depending on who wins their game next week. Not as optimal as I'd hoped: I was rooting for some little no-name schools to hit the jackpot so I could watch the collective heads of the sports writers explode on-camera. We've proved the BCS doesn't work, people. Console yourselves with your brand-name teams while you can; sooner or later we'll have a playoff system and your pet schools won't automatically be victorious anymore.

Yes, I'm a Penn State fan. It could be argued that we're a brand-name team. On the other hand, we're a decidedly hated brand-name team that routinely gets cheated. I think if we had a fair shake, we'd earn our victories (though admittedly, not when our guys keep handing the ball to the other team). Maybe I'm wrong, but at least we'd know, yes?

Was awakened at 4 am this morning for a reason I couldn't define. My room looked indefinably strange. Couldn't place it. Looked at my clock to check the time, and the power was out. Looked out my window and realized there wasn't a light to be seen from our hilltop to the next one. The HVAC unit on the hotel that rests not 50 feet from my back door (take note, those of you who may wish to come visit) always whirrs gently in the night, sounding like quiet, stable crickets. It'd gone dead. The fans in my roommates' rooms had shut down, and the almost subliminal house-noises of heating units and hot water pipes were gone. That's what woke me up. Sudden dead silence.

I reveled in the unusual snowy darkness for a little while, then set my watch alarm and went back to sleep while roommates bustled quietly about trying to arrange things so they'd be able to get up and get ready for work if the power didn't come back on by 6 am. It came back on around 7:30, to judge from the time on my clock when I next woke. No idea what happened, but it was neat.
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Ordered some stuff from Adagio Teas, which is an exceptional little tea website. I particularly like their sample tins, which let you try out different kinds of tea for about $3-$5. If anyone on my f-list has never tried Adagio and is inclined to give them a try, give me your email and I'll send you a $5 promotional gift certificate. Adagio gives a seemingly unlimited supply of these things to customers, which I suppose is an excellent way to lure in new blood.

I have the most awesome walk to work. It's about half a mile through a nice neighborhood, along tree-lined boulevards, and small, weird things constantly happen to me. I suspect I could turn this into a slice-of-life LJ if I just described them when they happened. They're not big, impressive things; just small, entertaining things that remind you how good and funny life can be.

There was, for instance, the day I walked past a peregrine falcon perched on a fence post about three feet away from me. He just stared at everyone who looked at him, head held high and arrogant, not the least bit intimidated. I suspect he might've been calculating how best to get to the eyes if any of us got too close, like a little secret agent.
Another day, when a shrub laughed at me, I turned my head to find a blue jay watching me with mischievous eyes. "Hahahahaha!" he went. "Hahahahaha!" I laughed back at him. "Hahahahaha!" he said again. He seemed very entertained. Silly blue jays.
Then there are always the crows. Crows are crazy, intelligent birds. You can tell by watching them that they're aware of themselves and the world around them. They have great presence of mind. I often see them hopping around in the road, strutting proudly off to the side if the car looks disinclined to slow down, or yelling at any human audacious enough to walk beneath their trees (they start looking sheepish if you stare at them and tell them how goofy they are; oh yes, they know).
One yard along the way is chock-full of dandelions and violets at this time of year...except that the violets aren't all normal. Some of them are these lovely white things, shading toward that beautiful deep indigo toward their hearts. They look like little stars fallen to earth. Every year, I notice the white violets have spread a little further.
There's a little pug dog that belongs to a girl living in one of the houses. This dog gets out sometimes, and no fewer than three times have I rescued the little sweetheart after finding her roaming around a few blocks down the street. Once, recognizing me, she ran up and hid behind my leg. And then I often pass various folks from the neighborhood, out jogging or whatever. I've come to know who lives where along these streets by walking to work for the past couple of years.
Sometimes, when it snows, the plows don't get out right away, so we have long unbroken sweeps of white blanketing everything. At these times, I feel as though I'm walking through the past, 80 years ago when people still rode in sleighs rather than cars (I shall have pictures of this phenomenon, if I ever remember to take my camera to the developer).

Many small beauties and adventures, all in the half mile to work.

Today, walking to work, I noticed that one fence post at the corner of a street has a shadow that points in a different direction than all the others. My first thought (after "What the heck?" of course) was that a reflection might be doing it. If the sun reflects brightly enough off windows or something, it can cause a secondary shadow. But no dice. I poked the post, looked around it, to see if it was leaning in a different direction, or if it was an effect of a warp in the concrete sidewalk...no dice there either. It's simply a shadow that points in a different direction than all the rest. Isn't that bizarre?

Continuing into religous/spiritual babble that'll just annoy some of you Seriously, I'm warning you. It would annoy me if someone else inflicted me with it. )
Okay, the mushy embarrassing crap is over now. :)
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It's snowing.  Frigging <i>snowing</i>.  I...I have no idea what to say.  Yes, I still like snow, but we've really passed the sell-by date, here, and it's going to start killing all the buds.

Anyway. This. More of that Anslinger material. This is one of his reports, which I transcribed.

This is a job for LJ-CUT!. )
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First: yeee, snow! We got about four inches, and everything's gorgeous with it. No one was prepared, so when I walked to work, none of the streets or sidewalks had been plowed or shovelled. I could almost imagine sleighs coming trotting down the streets. I planned to take pictures, but forgot to take my camera along...which was just as well, seeing as I was late to work as it was.

Second: does anyone know how to browse through tagged entries when it's not your LJ and they don't have the tags conveniently offered in a sidebar or something? The only way I've found is to click on a tag and look at other entries under the same label, but what if I'd like to see what other tags a journal offers?

Third: art. Geeky comic book superhero art. Once I'm done hiding my face in embarrassment, I'll justify myself by saying it's damn good practice, and in the past month of being absorbed in comics art, I have improved my figure drawing by leaps and bounds. I've been doodling some of our *cough* superhero RPG characters *cough*what?theyneededcostumedesigns*cough* whom I'll scan at some point by way of illustration. Now I just need to break myself of the growing habit of drawing people in over-dramatic poses with over-dramatic muscles.

In news of my personal life...not much. Work amuses me in a vaguely frustrated but not-unexpected way, mainly due to the rampant disorganized half-assery of the librarian whose project we're working on. *ponders creating a 'stabbity death' icon*
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Shoveled out our cars after the storm. Man, my back and ribs hurt, but it was worth it. Yes, I even enjoy shoveling snow, and trudging through it for half a mile. I thought about calling off from work today, but couldn't resist the opportunity to muck about in the stuff.

Whenever we get a good storm, Penn State asks people to submit photographs for online albums. Yesterday's: http://live.psu.edu/still_life/2007_02_14_snow/index.html

And for my own reference as much as anyone's (since they don't store them conveniently in one location), here are some albums from past storms:

October 2005 snow -- particularly nice photos
January 2005 ice storm
January 2005 snow
January 2004 snow
February 2003 snow
January 2003 snow
December 2002 snow

Why do I like snow so much? I lived in one of those ultra-rural pockets where the next population lives a half-hour drive away, and the majority of the population was located on farms five miles outside from borough limits. We got a lot of snow when I was young. I remember a couple of storms so bad that the snowplows couldn't reach us for days. This wasn't a big deal; we knew how to handle it. People kept snowshoes and skis in their attics, in case they needed to get somewhere while the roads weren't functioning. Arrangements with neighbors who had wood stoves ensured that no one would end up freezing to death if the power went out. One year when I was a kid, a neighboring farm actually broke out their old sleigh and ran errands for people who didn't have snowmobiles. Fun times.

But my point is that it was an extraordinarily rural area, full of old farms and fields and forest, and in such a landscape, the beauty of snow was nothing short of heartrending. A friend of mine used to refer to it as Narnia, and in fact that's what it looked like--a fairytale land of glittering crystal and spun glass. I'm happy to sacrifice a bit of convenience for the privilege of seeing sights like these.
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WE HAVE A SNOW DAY! Woo hoo!
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It's been snowing sporadically all day, and that's a particularly good thing today, because I can really use the pick-me-up. For today, you see, was the dreaded LIFECYCLE UPGRADE, which means that our department is scheduled to have our computers and their software turned over and upgraded.

Backing everything up, installing new equipment, reinstalling all our software, and screaming back and forth at each other as we rant about the various things that aren't working properly. At least the IT staff was useful this time.

We got new Wacom tablets. I want to play with the pretties so badly, but they aren't working! I'm distraught. We've tried everything, and all I can figure is that the drivers like to be bastards. Possibly our anti-virus software (which we're unable to turn off) is interfering with the installation. Ah well, I've emailed the corporation's tech support. Hopefully they'll get back to me in a timely and useful fashion.
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Hee hee hee! Wonder how much we'll get this time...? The weather service is being no help at all, throwing out a different range of numbers every time I check. Supposedly there will be sleet, and enough snow and ice and crap that they plan to be plowing for the next two days.

And yet, school will not be cancelled! Tomorrow is the last day of finals, and that means that the university will be open. If the university is open, then that means that at least one person from Administration must be here. And if one person from Administration will be here, that means that the rest of us non-essential peons had better damn well report, because that guy refuses to suffer alone.

On the bright side, this means that trips to the liquor store will be fewer, and it may cut down on public drunkeness.

On totally unrelated news, I've finished the Harry Potter books--well, all the ones that are out yet. Never read them before. I wonder how many of you are still uninitiated in the ways of the Potter? Don't worry, I'm not going to preach about them. They are quite excellent, but if you, like me, are someone who has been reading fantasy/sci-fi for years, then it's not at a level that'll blow your mind.

Further HP blather; no spoilers, even though most of you probably have heard everything major already. )
Still, I'm glad they didn't pick some crap novel to obsess over.

Can anyone tell me whether the Lord of the Rings allusions are purposeful, or just one of those things that happens
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YES! Eight inches of the chilly white stuff. It's glorious! We had a two-hour delay at the university this morning...well, 'non-essential staff' did, anyway. The students didn't get a break. Penn State does weird things with snow delays. Sometimes the students get the day off, while staff have to come in; other time vice versa. We once had the governor call and forcibly shut us down, because the administration tried to hold classes during a state of emergency. Crazy. Anyway, I thought of calling off and just staying home to play, but I decided I'd rather take a half day and walk to work, before the sidewalks were shovelled and while it was still snowing a bit. Just gorgeous!

The roads weren't all plowed yet. They'd only hit up the main township roads. Everyone else had to deal. I don't care. I can drive in snow. I've lived in Pennsylvania all my life (the northeastern part, where it's mostly trees and hills where the sun doesn't touch until March and nothing ever thaws). An eight-inch snowstorm is fun and only marginally inconvenient.

Is it me, or have people gotten wussy about snow in the past few years? I remember when we had...I can't believe I'm doing this...real blizzards. 3 feet of snow, at least, and there were storms in 1983 and 1993 that dumped something like 5 or 6 feet on us. I know someone who lost his car in his parking lot, and couldn't find it until April, when the last of the snow the plows had dumped on it finally melted--totally trashed, of course (this, kiddies, is why you heed the warning when they tell you to move your car from the lot so they can plow). Last year, they were calling a 6-inch snowstorm with a stiff wind a 'blizzard' down in Philadelphia.

I'm sort of expecting us to have the real thing sometime in spring this year. It's overdue. Normally we'd have had one a year or two ago.

Snow just makes me happy. I don't know why. It's a deep-seated feeling, like sunshine. I honestly feel better when it snows; I'm happier, I sleep better, I have more energy.

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