Wow, that 2blog folder is full.

Not only that, but my 1 folder is now larger than my screen.  Time to do some cleanup!

Today’s links brought to you in cronological order, and by the letter J.

Not me!

We stayed in a hotel in downtown Chicago. This place, which I will not name, was not only non-smoking, but smoker-hostile and smug about it.

So, late in the cold, windy weather, I bundle up and go out front to smoke before I go to bed. Two gentlemen are there already, one smoking, one standing behind the valet podium. The man behind the podium had something that caused him to spasm regularly — perhaps ALS, perhaps MS, I thought it unkind to ask. Soon, this person asked the one already smoking for a light. It took them several tries, including one discarded cigarette, but they got the job done.

Then the other smoker finished up and went in.

Then, a car pulled up.

The driver and his wife got out. She went inside, while he gathered up things to take in, all the while watching the two of us smoke. I was standing off to the side, while our spasming friend was back behind the valet podium.

The driver then came up to me, and whispered:

Are you the valet?

The only thing I could do was to shake my head no, and smile an almost-evil smile.

Busy day in the cold, cold north…

Grace and I have been busy.

  • Snow angel (not re-creating selected scenes from Fargo)She made snow angels.
  • We had a snowball fight.Snowball fight
  • She went sledding.Sledding

It is now 14 below. We’re staying warm, watching the game, and eating chili.

Wow, it is cold.

We’re in Antigo, WI. It’s -40 with the wind chill. Do I need to point out that it doesn’t matter whether I say that in Fahrenheit or Celcius? If you don’t count the wind, it’s only 15 below (F).

Why am I here? My airline miles from all the travel I did starting in 2000 were about to expire. Grace hasn’t really seen snow. There was a super-saver fare, and Diane’s father’s 85th birthday is coming up.

Need I point out how painful 40 below is? We packed 5 bags for 3 of us for 4 days, and it’s not enough.

Grace was outstanding traveling. I’ve gotten to spend lots of time with her, and she’s behaving extraordinarily well! The worst part of it all was when the plane was landing, and her ears hurt. She didn’t believe that chewing gum would help, and wouldn’t try yawning for me.

While driving from Chicago to Clintonville, WI, we stopped for provisions. Grace got out of the car to stretch her legs, and walked over to the snow by the parking lot. I stopped her and zipped up her coat, then she walked into the snow and picked some up — without gloves. Presumably to try and make a snowball. That’s her big thing about this trip — she wants to have a snowball fight with me!

She only did that once, go figure! It’s so cold that the snow is really dry and powdery. I had her stomp her feet all the way back to the car, so that the snow she walked in wouldn’t melt and get her socks and shoes wet.

Last night, on the way from dinner in Clintonville to Antigo, we saw the non-wind-chill temperature drop to 19 belowDsc04938. I’m quite certain that that is the coldest I’ve ever experienced in my life, and I am more convinced than ever that I will never choose to do this kind of winter travel ever again, nor will I ever move further from the equator than I do now — about 4100 miles.

Extra innings? No, just an extra outing.

The best photo

We decided to stay an extra day, to take the kids to White Sands.

It also allowed us to split the trip back into two days — a vast improvement over the trip out.

And Grace got to do sledding, without that awful cold that was always involved when I was a child. Lucky girl!

Grace learning about time and pressure -- in a geological sense.She especially liked the sand rocks!

I thought it was interesting how abruptly the mountains stopped.

Oh, and a few bad things about the resort:

  1. It was a pepsi place
  2. Being a casino on a reservation in a state that hasn’t legalized gambling means that they cannot allow alcohol in the casino. How lame is that?
  3. They ran out of hot water the last day we were there
  4. It was cold most of the time

Still, it was quite pretty, except for the lack of ocean.

Now, my revenge is complete.

So, Cy and I played a full 18 holes together today.

Having never played the back 9 before, we were both pretty amazed when I parred hole 10.

Hole 12

And, to make my revenge complete, it needs to be noted that I outdrove him on 15 of the 18 holes.

Just ducky!

Oh, and we took Grace for a walk to feed the ducks popcorn!
Finally, I got to play craps, and we left the table up $450.

Panic, then an interesting round…and as good a happy ending as one could expect!

Why did we go to the mountains for spring break? To let Grace play in the snow!

So, this morning, we joined up with Cy’s sister’s family, and caravanned mostly up the mountain.

The road before it got narrowSeveral miles into the 12-mile trip up, Cy started feeling odd. He had just taken his blood pressure medication, so I told him to pull over and let me do the driving. So, off we start again, with me at the wheel. It’s a new car — this is perhaps the fifth time I’ve ever driven it. Well, let’s make sure it’s known that it is a truck. The two-lane road — actually, more like one and a half lanes — has no guardrail. It’s a mountain, so of course the road twists and turns, often sharply. I’m trying to stay as far from the edge as I can, but there is traffic going down.

That’s when I announce, as casually as I can:

I’m having a panic attack.

Cy’s response?

No, you’re not.

Oh, yeah. Let’s have an argument now! Have you ever tried to shut a stupid fscker up? And no matter how many times I told him to shut up, he just had to have the last word.

snowballFinally, we got to another stopping point. Out we go, and Grace throws some snowballs at Cy while I calm down. We give Cy’s sister, who had stopped to let us catch up, the sleds (prompting the heartbreaking question “Why are you giving aunt Judy my sleds?”) and they continue on their way.

We, meanwhile, let G play for a few moments before we turn around. Let’s face it — we couldn’t go on.

Later that afternoon, Cy went to play golf. I thought it was too cold — and it was, when he started. He played the back nine, but I joined him for the front nine.I started out with 3 balls, marked “Top-Flite 3”. I ended with 3 balls, marked “Top-Flite 3”. I played nine holes without losing a single ball.


The same 3 balls I started with.

And, of course, my revenge is not complete, despite mentioning that Cy lost one on the front nine today…

And, when Judy got back, she told us it was too cold and windy to let the kids play in the snow.Yay! We did the right thing!