Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Blizzard of '05

Look out!We are in the center of this map, surrounded by white. At this point we had close to a foot of snow on the ground and more coming. Apparently there is a lot more to come as the low goes below us and brings more snow from the east creating a typical Nor'easter. The counter-clockwise spin of the low will pull moisture from the ocean and dump it on us as more snow. They say that it will snow until noon tomorrow.

Look out!I went out around 9:30 PM to shovel and cleared the sidewalk and driveway. I am out of shape and came in exhausted. The snow was light because it is so cold but because there was so much snow it was still a lot of work. So I'm taking it easy now and hoping that the wind doesn't make all my work a waste of time. Nero Wolfe will be on in a few minutes. Beth and I love this show and always watch it together. A cold beer, Nero Wolfe, and then off to bed for a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Life Update

Some good news...
  • Michel is doing better every day. Her head is healing, the pain is lessening as long as she doesn't overdo things, and her hair is growing in!
  • We have an aid starting today. They finally found someone who lives nearby and doesn't mind walking to the bus stop. (We aren't exactly convenient for the bus.) They had been trying to find an aid with a car but that, apparently, is very difficult. The aid will start every day at 3 PM and stay until around 9 PM.
  • My beard is filling in very nicely and doesn't itch anymore. I don't know if it is the conditioner, if it's getting softer as it gets longer, or if I'm just getting used to it.
  • I have finished two books and I need to write reviews. I am falling behind in my reading and the pile of books is getting higher.

Make a left at Germany

Scenic RouteHere is further proof that you should always sanity check any directions you get from the web. Go to MapPoint and ask for directions from Haugesund, Rogaland, Norway to Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway. To get from one city in Norway to another, MapPoint will send you on a 1,685 mile journey through England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. The total expected time is 48 hours, not including time spent waiting for ferries. The directions include 116 separate steps, which is a record as far as I know. Reverse the two cities making Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag the starting point and MapPoint will give you directions that are more direct, taking you 11 hours to travel the 476 miles between the two towns. So either Norway has a serious issue with one-way roads or MapPoint needs some revision. Perhaps it is worth noting that MapPoint is a Microsoft product.

Thanks to Language Log for pointing this out.

Edit: The above directions are for the "quickest" route. Changing your selection to the "shortest" route sends you on a trip on the ferry to England, driving west for half a mile, turning around and driving east for half a mile, and getting back on the ferry to Norway. The directions say this trip will take 51 hours!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Separated at Birth

Michel and FriendHere's a picture of Michel and her good friend, Squidward. I picked up Squidward at the hospital gift shop while Michel was still in because they look so much alike. It is less readily apparent now that Michel has some hair back, but the resemblance was uncanny when Michel was bald. For some reason, Dr. Bolognese thought she looked more like Patrick but I don't see the resemblance. Beth made me buy the complete set, so not only do we have Squidward but also Patrick and Sponge Bob.

Michel's recovery continues to go well. The doctors say that Michel can go back to work next month. Meanwhile, she has a hearing about her Worker's Compensation at the beginning of February. Since the doctor picked by the insurance company said that Michel can't work and that her injury occurred at work, I don't understand why the insurance company just doesn't admit they were wrong and start paying again. I hate insurance companies!

I Grew a Beard

The BeardI never liked beards. They are itchy and because beard hairs are coarse and I have sensitive skin they hurt. But Michel likes beards and has been bugging me to grow a goatee. While she was in the hospital I couldn't really whine that the beard hurt too much especially with her head looking like a carved Thanksgiving turkey. So I broke down and grew a goatee for her. I'm not sure I like it because it is itchy and it is irritating my skin so if anyone knows something that will either soften up the beard or toughen up my skin, pleae let me know. Anyway, the goatee is staying because one of my co-workers told me it makes me look younger. You can compare the "Hairy Tom" to the clean-shaven Tom and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

New Year's Day

Happy new YearWe went over my sister's for New Year's Day. It was cold but the kids went outside to play with the dog. From the left, that's Mikey, Laura (my niece), and Beth. The dog's name is Minnie. The dog is a bit hyperactive so she had to stay outside most of the time we were there. Mikey loves the dog but she is huge and scares him. We got through the entire visit without Mikey breaking anything!

New Year's Eve was spent at home. Michel went to bed around 9 PM and then woke up in time to watch the ball drop. Then we went to bed. The consultant who works for me gave me a bottle of Moet but since Michel is taking pain killers (and mixing pain killers and alcohol is never a good idea), we decided to save the champagne for later.