Sunday, December 21, 2008

Guess What?

A week ago Saturday, I received the following picture on my cell phone from my eldest (Sagacitas) with the note "Guess What?".

Looks like we are going to have an interesting Fall.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I think this is true in real life also

Found at xkcd

Winter Comes in Two Days

Don't Worry, It's Here!

The last few days, they've been predicting that today's snow storm would drop from 6 to 12 inches of snow between when it started at midnight and when it finished by mid-afternoon. By last night they had reduced the range to 7 to 9 inches of snow.

This morning I removed no more than 3 inches of snow off the drive and sidewalks before work. When I left for work, it was still blowing and snowing at a rate of around an inch an hour. The streets had not been plowed and it was interesting making turns at the intersections. (When the roads aren't plowed, the intersections build up hedgerows that have to be broken through. People have been known to bottom-out on these hedgerows so their car gets stuck and they lose traction.)

The snow in the parking lot at work was 6 inches deep when I went in and 8 inches deep when I left at lunch time. By lunch, only the very major roads appeared to be plowed, trucks were getting stuck on the side road leading up to my place of work, and I had difficulty getting out of the gas station after filling up my car.

The snow quit around 1:30, by 5 pm the major roads were plowed clean and side street were more-or-less passable. Overnight my driveway has gone from having a couple of piles of snow to being enclosed by 2 foot high walls of snow.

According to the NWS we have received 10.2 inches of snow at the airport. This sets a new record, besting the 4.5 inch snow fall from 1975. It would not surprise me if we got more snow on our side of the city than at the airport.

And more snow is coming over Saturday night, Sunday night, and Monday. We are certainly going to have a White Christmas.

(This entry will be updated tomorrow morning when the NWS publishes the snowfall map for today.)

Snow Map

Yes, that was some snow.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

So, We've Had Some More Snow

Here's the snow from the end of this week:


The main roads are clear. The side street and country roads are packed snow and snow covered.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

West Michigan Snow Maps (again)

Here's the snow so far:

Oh, the joys of "Lake Effect" Snow.

We are currently under a Hazardous Weather Outlook, its raining, and they expect 2 inches of snow over night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Snow (Sleet)

First Snow

Sunday we had the first "Snow" of the season. Right now we are getting freezing rain, so tomorrow will be amateur hour as most drivers relearn how to drive under slippery conditions.

So what have I been up to?

inside shoulder

Note that the white stuff at the top is not attached to the pink ball at the bottom. This is known as a torn rotator cuff. The surgery reconnected the two.

To make it all easier, I received a nerve block on my right arm which gave that old "its 1968 all over again" feeling just like when I broke my right elbow. When I came out of surgery I had no feeling in my right arm and could not control the muscles, just like after my bicycle accident. It was a disconcerting 24 hours until the nerve block wore off. I got good drugs for the pain including a Stryker Pain Pump which was implanted into the incision. The Pain Pump fed some form of 'caine into the surgery site to block much of the pain for two days after the surgery.

By the Sunday following the surgery the maximum dose of Vicodin wasn't knocking back the pain, so I had to supplement it with the maximum dose of Ibuprofin. That did the job until my stomach got upset. One thing that made it possible to sleep at night was the piece of durable medical equipment that my surgeon insisted on to handle icing the shoulder. He ordered a Blue Arctic Cryotherapy System for me to "ice" the shoulder. All I had to do was to load the little cooler up with ice, fill the ice with water, turn it on, and it would keep my shoulder at 40 degrees all night. I still use it the evenings/nights after the torture of my physical therapy.

I've been back to work for three weeks now, have been through three sessions of physical therapy, and can raise my right arm up to about 8 o'clock when making snow angels. I have cut back on the medicine so that I am only taking it to sleep.

This leaves my right shoulder in constant pain during the day, but as I said before the surgery, I was already in constant pain during the day, so what's the difference?

My current level of pain is not that much worse than where I was before the surgery, so I might as well do without the pain meds. I know that pain meds are supposed to help you heal, but by working myself to the limit of the pain I can endure and knocking back the inflammation at night, I have been progressing faster in my healing that the physical therapist expects.

I have been living with this problem for twelve years as an irritation to both my shoulders and for the past three years as an annoying pain in my right shoulder. We kept taking X-rays to check for bone spurs, but it wasn't until I had to sit up in bed to roll over (due to the shoulder pain) that I asked to see an ortho surgeon. The MRI then showed that I had a 3/4 inch tear in the rotator cuff ... the rest is history. Now I just need to heal.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Won't Be Around Much

As of this time tomorrow, I will be at the surgeon's being preped to repair the rotator cuff on my right shoulder. We have no idea when it happened, but I have been in pain for at least the last year and a half. (There are suspicions that the problem may go back six years.)

I finally got around to talking to the doctor when I started waking up every morning feeling like someone had driven a nail into my shoulder. Not that I hadn't been seeing a doctor about it, but the x-rays and such over the last year never found anything that would cause the pain.

This time I got a referal to an orthopedic surgeon which resulted in an MRI. (Yes, I did fall asleep during the MRI, even if it is kind of loud.) The MRI showed major damage in the shoulder, so we have reconstructive surgery scheduled.

Seeing as I'm right handed this is going to cut even further into my posting and commenting while the shoulder heals.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summertime 1968

The following are two pictures amongst the variety of items my parents discovered when cleaning up to move to their condo. This is from the "musical" put on at my Junior High when I was in ninth grade. It was called "Summertime" and was a no-specific-race version of Porgy and Bess. Apparently we had two sets of leads in the musical. This was undoubtedly done to keep as many parents happy as possible.

Summertime 1968 A
(back) ??, dan, ??, jim, scott, cindy, rick, ??, kay, rick, tom, tom, mike
(front) ??, john, ??, ??

Summertime 1968 B
(back) ??, ??, sherry, jim, jim, nancy, rick, mary, kay, rick, tom, tom, mike
(front) ??, john, ??, rick

Yup, I'm in both pictures and I can name three quarters of the people without resorting to looking at yearbooks. It would be nice to find the program for that musical to help me identify every last person.

Updated Added the names of the people I recognize.

Double Nickel

Double Nickel

Yup, that's me. I've reached it.

This year's interesting gifts from the parents include old campaign buttons from things I ran for back in school and pictures/programs from old school plays. I must scan the pictures.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


(Have a wonderful time, wish you were here)

Last Thursday we visited the Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse. Until it was turned over to the Lighthouse Keepers Association, this lighthouse was closed to the public. Now you can climb the three ladders to visit the top. This lighthouse has also been converted from high voltage to low voltage/solar powered and the LOUD fog horn replaced with an equally "green" low power version.

Here are a couple views from the top:

Yesterday we visited the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Although we did not climb the dunes, we did take the trail that puts us at the top so that we had a good view of the lakes.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wow, That was quick

So, I dropped off my Passport Book/Card application at noon on Monday, July 21st, at the City Clerk's office and received my new Passport Book via Priority Mail today.

No special rush processing or anything.

The State Department web site claims to caught up on their back log and promises Expedited processing in under two weeks and Routine processing in under four weeks.

I got mine (with just Routine processing) in 10 days. Something like 4-5 business days between receipt and shipping.


The Passport Cards are only promised in the next two months. They just got that production line going and they still have a back log.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Photo for New Passport

Well, my last one expired back in 1983. That picture looks like a mugshot. At least this one will be a little bit better.

The mugshot from 1978

What I had intended to use to renew my passport in 1994

Yes, there are some signs of aging.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm Having A Root Canal

No actually not me. This is a song by Glenn Bulthuis which goes like this:

Ah-ah-ah I'm having a root canal, oh, oh, oh, I'm having a root canal
Oh you can drill in my face, any time, any place, to replace any space in my mouth
Oh, I'm having a root canal, I'm tellin' ya I'm having a root canal
I can not tell a lie, I am felling rather high, as the plaque, starts to fly in the sky
I'm having a root canal ....

My head begins to swoon, in the waiting room
The chill, the thrill as he begins to drill, drill, drill, drill

Oh I'm having a root canal, I'm telling ya I'm having a root canal
I don't mind telling you all, I'm buying my mother-in-law
A root caaaaanaaaaal .... a root .... caaaanaaaal

I't thrilling, and chilling and drilling and drilling, I'm having a root canal. Hey!
The dentist drill provided an odd accompaniment.

Here is a sample of this song from his Greatest Hits CD.

Glenn is now producing CD versions of his vinyl releases, so I can now buy a copy of his Misled album from 1980 as a CD and don't have to record the vinyl to MP3 myself.

A couple of the songs from Misled that are included on the Greatest Hits are LA Girls/Michigan Girls and Cruzin Down The Beltline.

Yet another update: Be sure to check out his videos and you can see many places around where I live.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary, my Love

Today we celebrate the 28th anniversary of our first date and the 26th anniversary of our marriage. Here's wishing for many, many more.
Update: Well, we celebrated our anniversary with dinner (sans children) at Louis Benton's and a good time was had by all. Note that the menu listed on their web site omits prices. If you have to ask, you can not afford.
And, yes, this picture is from the copy of our engagement announcement that I carry in my wallet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saturday, May 03, 2008

We have another Graduate

Today our middle child, "Merry", graduated from college. She is part of the 4th generation to attend Land Grant University on her father's side and the fourth person to graduate from college on her mother's side (all from this generation). None of her maternal male cousins have gone to college.

At the end of the graduation ceremony we sang the Alma Mater.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Wally Bronner has died (1927-2008)

Wally Bronner was known as Mister Christmas and was the founder of Bronners CHRISTmas Wonderland, a three football field sized store in Frankenmuth Michigan.

More can be found at the Detroit Free Press, the Saginaw News, and Flint's WJRT ABC12.

The Bronner's web site can be found here as well as the history of Bronners.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Second Snowiest Snow Season On Record For Grand Rapids

From the desk of the National Weather Service:
Second Snowiest Snow Season On Record For Grand Rapids

With the addition of 1.7 inches of snow on March 27th, Grand Rapids has had 107.0 inches of snow for the snow season. That moves this snow season into second place for the snowiest ever for Grand Rapids. The snowiest season on record was 1951-52 with 132.0 inches of snowfall. The previous second place season was 2001-02 with 105.2 inches of snow. This also means Grand Rapids now has six seasons with over 100 inches of snow. Two of those six have happened in within the last seven years.

Below is a list the current top ten snow seasons for Grand Rapids: (note the snow season is from July 1st through June 30th on the following year)


Wow. I've been around for almost all of them.

Isn't It Lovely

Last night we attempted to fetch our middle child home from college for her elder sister's birthday.

We got to the college, but were not able to get home until this morning. We tried last night, but it was hard to see the road and slippery. Even this morning there was black ice on all the bridges and throughout much of Ionia county. Note that all of this snow came down between 7 PM and midnight. To top it off, most of the county road commissions are out of salt for the roads.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

West Michigan Snow Maps

Here is what the National Weather Service indicates for last night's snow:

And More Snow

Well we got another 6 and a half inches of snow overnight. Yet another daily record, previous one was 6.3 in 1963.

We now have had 105.1 inches of snow this year, extending the record. A 38.4 inch departure from normal.

Over by the lake at Muskegon, they have had 109.2 inches, but it is not a record. Their record was 140.7 inches in 1977, another year when we had a major blizzard.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Couple Inches of Global Warming in Spring

Its Spring ... I've shaved my beard off and now its snowing outside as evidenced by the mourning dove sitting next to our pool deck.

The robins have been burrowing into the leaves under the bushes to keep warm.

We are currently under a Winter Storm Warning. We have already set a new record for total snow in winter this year (and its not done snowing) with 98 inches. A departure of 32 inches from normal and 21 inches over last year.

I can't wait to see April.