bobquasit: (Default)
Snow's coming down again today - 3-5 inches, they say, but I think it's going to be more like 4-8. Sebastian went out back to play while I did some early shoveling.

I told him that we'd reward him if he wanted to do some shoveling. "How?" he asked.

"Well...with money, I guess!"

"How much?"

"...what do you think would be fair?"

"Fifty dollars!"

"What?!? But I already did most of it!"

"Thirty?"

"That's pretty steep! I don't know..."

"Twenty? I need enough to buy a Hex Bug."

"I'll discuss it with your mother," I said, rapidly retreating.

I'd been thinking more in the $3-5 range. The snow is really light...a couple of inches of dust, so far.

Snow, snow

Jan. 18th, 2011 10:50 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
The forecasters predicted four inches of snow in our area today. There were four inches of powder on the ground this morning at 7:30. I shoveled it all out, but then the weather got strange. Huge fat flakes came pouring down, the fattest I'd ever seen. As for the snow itself...I've been a New Englander all my life. I've seen a lot of snow. I've shoveled a lot of snow. But I've never seen snow like this.

It was exactly like heavy sand. The grains hissed as I shoveled, and flowed down the piles I was creating like water. The sound was beautiful, but it was hard work - and then it all turned to hail or frozen rain (I can never tell the difference). I'd say we got about eight or nine inches, all in all, before it turned to rain and turned our street into a single sheet of frictionless wet ice.

Snow, snow

Jan. 18th, 2011 10:50 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
The forecasters predicted four inches of snow in our area today. There were four inches of powder on the ground this morning at 7:30. I shoveled it all out, but then the weather got strange. Huge fat flakes came pouring down, the fattest I'd ever seen. As for the snow itself...I've been a New Englander all my life. I've seen a lot of snow. I've shoveled a lot of snow. But I've never seen snow like this.

It was exactly like heavy sand. The grains hissed as I shoveled, and flowed down the piles I was creating like water. The sound was beautiful, but it was hard work - and then it all turned to hail or frozen rain (I can never tell the difference). I'd say we got about eight or nine inches, all in all, before it turned to rain and turned our street into a single sheet of frictionless wet ice.
bobquasit: (Default)
...is apparently heading our way in a few days, apparently. We picked up some bottled water and groceries today. The stores weren't crowded, but I bet they will be soon!

I'm trying to think of what I should do to prepare, but I'm too sleepy right now. Good night!
bobquasit: (Default)
...is apparently heading our way in a few days, apparently. We picked up some bottled water and groceries today. The stores weren't crowded, but I bet they will be soon!

I'm trying to think of what I should do to prepare, but I'm too sleepy right now. Good night!

Weekend

Jan. 11th, 2009 10:19 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
It was an interesting one.

On Saturday we had to get up on the early side, because there was a Cub Scout event at the local high school: a Belt Loop Bonanza, in which each kid took four one-hour classes and will receive a belt loop award for each one. It wasn't just Sebastian's troop, either; there were hundreds of Cub Scouts there with their parents, from lots of Massachusetts and Rhode Island troops.

It felt weird to be in a high school. I haven't been in one in ages...it must have been twenty-six years! It was also strange because we had to bring our lunches and eat in the school cafeteria. I don't know...the whole experience was odd, but fun.

Sebastian took a great Wildlife Conservation course that was taught by a women who works at Roger Williams Zoo, an introduction to chess (we played a game together, since he didn't have another kid to play against - he did surprisingly well), and then had lunch. After that he took a course in marbles, and finally a course in Geology that was taught by a guy who really knew his stuff - he seemed like the kind of teacher you really wouldn't want to piss off, but he was very authoritative.

Sebastian was quite good throughout all of the classes. I noticed that some kids, though, were just awful. They wouldn't stop talking, wouldn't pay attention, or constantly interrupted the teachers with pointless statements ("I like jello!") or long comments about the topic which were usually completely wrong. In some cases their parents tried to shush them, but hardly ever effectively. Those kids had real issues, I would say.

Sebastian did get a bit rambunctious at the end, after the classes were over; there was a closing ceremony where he basically ran around and didn't listen to me, but it was over quickly. Then Teri picked us up and we all went up to my parents' place in Brookline to celebrate a belated Christmas. I should explain: we alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas between my family and Teri's each year, and this year we spent Christmas with Teri's family. So we spend a belated Christmas with my family later. We were worried, though, because the weather report said that we'd be getting a bad storm that night. As always, no two reports agreed on when the storm would start or how much snow would fall. It could be anywhere from 4 PM to midnight, and the volume could be anywhere from six to ten inches.

I brought up a yellow bundt cake that I'd baked late the night before, not thinking of the get-together but just for the hell of it. We had roast beef, twice-baked potatoes, gravy, and Yorkshire pudding...I have to tell you, I love Yorkshire pudding with gravy. I only get it about once a year, when my mother makes it, and I really need to learn how to make it myself.

We left at about 8 PM. The snow was starting to come down. It was pretty mild in Brookline, but as we approached the I95/Route 1 crossover, it was getting pretty thick and scary. So Teri decided to stick to Route 1. It's a slower route, less dangerous but big enough to get good coverage from snowplows. It was a long, slow, somewhat scary ride home, because when we left Route 1 we were on some relatively unplowed and quiet back roads. But we made it home safely, woke Sebastian up, and put him to bed. It took a lot of reading to put him to sleep again; at least three chapters of The Black Stallion.

Sunday Teri woke me up and asked me to show her how to start the new snowblower. I got up (slowly), got dressed, and went out to get it. Our shed doors were frozen shut, but with some hard work I managed to get them open. The snowblower started up right away with no trouble, and I used it to clear the five or six inches of snow from our back walk, driveway, and front sidewalk. It only took about ten minutes or so. What a wonderful convenience!

Sunday was a relatively quiet day for us. We did some grocery shopping. Sebastian had been scheduled for a birthday party for a girl in his class, but it was postponed due to the weather. Teri and Sebastian played their DS's quite a bit, and I played them when they took breaks. I also spent a lot of time reading Larry Niven's Footfall, a good large SF invasion book of the massive disaster variety. Not top-notch Niven, but very good.

In the evening, Sebastian took a shower. A little later, we discovered that he'd shut the bathroom door behind him...and somehow, the bolt had engaged. This was a real problem, not least because I discovered this when I needed to use the bathroom.

It was also a mystery. How on earth had the bolt been thrown? It's an old door and a very simple mechanism. There's a latch for the door, and a light bolt that you can throw. Unfortunately, this meant that we were in trouble. There was no key and no keyhole. The hinges were on the other side of the door. The lone bathroom window couldn't be opened from outside, and breaking it would be both dangerous and expensive. Even if I unscrewed and dismounted the door handle, there would be no hole large enough to allow us to do anything at all. I tried using magnets to jiggle the bolt, but didn't have a magnet strong enough to do anything through the thickness of the door. I was able to slide a piece of cardboard between the door and the frame, but all I could do was locate the bolt; I couldn't open it, because there was no way to apply left-to-right pressure of any sort. The doorframe pretty much blocked me from any action. I tried lots of jiggling, but that didn't help at all.

So I threw my body against the bathroom door a couple of times, and on the second time I bashed the door open. We were lucky; the damage was relatively slight. The bolt and latch were badly bent (I neglected to fasten the latch open while bashing the door - to be honest, I was pretty pissed off by that point - I really needed to get in there). A very small splinter of wood was knocked off part of the door. But I was able to bend the latch and bolt back enough to make them work smoothly again, and the door itself doesn't look all that much worse.

Still, Sebastian has been strictly instructed never to close the bathroom door behind him again. I still can't figure out how the bolt got thrown - it's completely inaccessible from outside the bathroom!

Weekend

Jan. 11th, 2009 10:19 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
It was an interesting one.

On Saturday we had to get up on the early side, because there was a Cub Scout event at the local high school: a Belt Loop Bonanza, in which each kid took four one-hour classes and will receive a belt loop award for each one. It wasn't just Sebastian's troop, either; there were hundreds of Cub Scouts there with their parents, from lots of Massachusetts and Rhode Island troops.

It felt weird to be in a high school. I haven't been in one in ages...it must have been twenty-six years! It was also strange because we had to bring our lunches and eat in the school cafeteria. I don't know...the whole experience was odd, but fun.

Sebastian took a great Wildlife Conservation course that was taught by a women who works at Roger Williams Zoo, an introduction to chess (we played a game together, since he didn't have another kid to play against - he did surprisingly well), and then had lunch. After that he took a course in marbles, and finally a course in Geology that was taught by a guy who really knew his stuff - he seemed like the kind of teacher you really wouldn't want to piss off, but he was very authoritative.

Sebastian was quite good throughout all of the classes. I noticed that some kids, though, were just awful. They wouldn't stop talking, wouldn't pay attention, or constantly interrupted the teachers with pointless statements ("I like jello!") or long comments about the topic which were usually completely wrong. In some cases their parents tried to shush them, but hardly ever effectively. Those kids had real issues, I would say.

Sebastian did get a bit rambunctious at the end, after the classes were over; there was a closing ceremony where he basically ran around and didn't listen to me, but it was over quickly. Then Teri picked us up and we all went up to my parents' place in Brookline to celebrate a belated Christmas. I should explain: we alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas between my family and Teri's each year, and this year we spent Christmas with Teri's family. So we spend a belated Christmas with my family later. We were worried, though, because the weather report said that we'd be getting a bad storm that night. As always, no two reports agreed on when the storm would start or how much snow would fall. It could be anywhere from 4 PM to midnight, and the volume could be anywhere from six to ten inches.

I brought up a yellow bundt cake that I'd baked late the night before, not thinking of the get-together but just for the hell of it. We had roast beef, twice-baked potatoes, gravy, and Yorkshire pudding...I have to tell you, I love Yorkshire pudding with gravy. I only get it about once a year, when my mother makes it, and I really need to learn how to make it myself.

We left at about 8 PM. The snow was starting to come down. It was pretty mild in Brookline, but as we approached the I95/Route 1 crossover, it was getting pretty thick and scary. So Teri decided to stick to Route 1. It's a slower route, less dangerous but big enough to get good coverage from snowplows. It was a long, slow, somewhat scary ride home, because when we left Route 1 we were on some relatively unplowed and quiet back roads. But we made it home safely, woke Sebastian up, and put him to bed. It took a lot of reading to put him to sleep again; at least three chapters of The Black Stallion.

Sunday Teri woke me up and asked me to show her how to start the new snowblower. I got up (slowly), got dressed, and went out to get it. Our shed doors were frozen shut, but with some hard work I managed to get them open. The snowblower started up right away with no trouble, and I used it to clear the five or six inches of snow from our back walk, driveway, and front sidewalk. It only took about ten minutes or so. What a wonderful convenience!

Sunday was a relatively quiet day for us. We did some grocery shopping. Sebastian had been scheduled for a birthday party for a girl in his class, but it was postponed due to the weather. Teri and Sebastian played their DS's quite a bit, and I played them when they took breaks. I also spent a lot of time reading Larry Niven's Footfall, a good large SF invasion book of the massive disaster variety. Not top-notch Niven, but very good.

In the evening, Sebastian took a shower. A little later, we discovered that he'd shut the bathroom door behind him...and somehow, the bolt had engaged. This was a real problem, not least because I discovered this when I needed to use the bathroom.

It was also a mystery. How on earth had the bolt been thrown? It's an old door and a very simple mechanism. There's a latch for the door, and a light bolt that you can throw. Unfortunately, this meant that we were in trouble. There was no key and no keyhole. The hinges were on the other side of the door. The lone bathroom window couldn't be opened from outside, and breaking it would be both dangerous and expensive. Even if I unscrewed and dismounted the door handle, there would be no hole large enough to allow us to do anything at all. I tried using magnets to jiggle the bolt, but didn't have a magnet strong enough to do anything through the thickness of the door. I was able to slide a piece of cardboard between the door and the frame, but all I could do was locate the bolt; I couldn't open it, because there was no way to apply left-to-right pressure of any sort. The doorframe pretty much blocked me from any action. I tried lots of jiggling, but that didn't help at all.

So I threw my body against the bathroom door a couple of times, and on the second time I bashed the door open. We were lucky; the damage was relatively slight. The bolt and latch were badly bent (I neglected to fasten the latch open while bashing the door - to be honest, I was pretty pissed off by that point - I really needed to get in there). A very small splinter of wood was knocked off part of the door. But I was able to bend the latch and bolt back enough to make them work smoothly again, and the door itself doesn't look all that much worse.

Still, Sebastian has been strictly instructed never to close the bathroom door behind him again. I still can't figure out how the bolt got thrown - it's completely inaccessible from outside the bathroom!
bobquasit: (Default)
I assume it's the remains of one of those hurricanes that has been hitting us all day.

This morning, when I stepped outside, it was a real shock; a strange, unexpected wet heat. It was like stepping into the tropics. There was a bit of moisture coming down, but it was too diffuse to be called rain.

It continued to rain and be strangely warm and humid all day. Now the rain is definitely harder...but we've had no lightning or thunder, and all in all I'd call it a mild day.
bobquasit: (Default)
I assume it's the remains of one of those hurricanes that has been hitting us all day.

This morning, when I stepped outside, it was a real shock; a strange, unexpected wet heat. It was like stepping into the tropics. There was a bit of moisture coming down, but it was too diffuse to be called rain.

It continued to rain and be strangely warm and humid all day. Now the rain is definitely harder...but we've had no lightning or thunder, and all in all I'd call it a mild day.
bobquasit: (Default)
On Friday Boston was hit with a pretty powerful thunderstorm and violent downpour.

How violent? Violent enough that water came pouring out of several mechanical closets at my work, on the sixth floor. One of them is less than 20 feet from my desk, so I grabbed a video:


That's my voice warning people to avoid the water (although I'm sure they all knew not to touch it - call it a parental instinct on my part. Or maybe arrogance). It was probably safe, but in my old job water leaked out of an electrical closet, and they had to shut the whole building down for a week or two. A maintainence guy told me later that we'd been lucky; there could have been an explosion that would have wrecked the whole building.

Anyway, they cleaned up here and there was no problem. I wish the phone had picked up the sound better; it really sounded like a waterfall run amok inside that closet.
bobquasit: (Default)
On Friday Boston was hit with a pretty powerful thunderstorm and violent downpour.

How violent? Violent enough that water came pouring out of several mechanical closets at my work, on the sixth floor. One of them is less than 20 feet from my desk, so I grabbed a video:


That's my voice warning people to avoid the water (although I'm sure they all knew not to touch it - call it a parental instinct on my part. Or maybe arrogance). It was probably safe, but in my old job water leaked out of an electrical closet, and they had to shut the whole building down for a week or two. A maintainence guy told me later that we'd been lucky; there could have been an explosion that would have wrecked the whole building.

Anyway, they cleaned up here and there was no problem. I wish the phone had picked up the sound better; it really sounded like a waterfall run amok inside that closet.
bobquasit: (Default)
I've been on a Discworld marathon, of sorts.

I quite liked Reaper Man - it was funny, but more moving than I expected, too.

Equal Rites and Sourcery were both very good, and I laughed quite a bit - no small compliment!

I've got to order the next couple in the series from the Library soon - probably tomorrow.

I stayed home today, incidentally. The winter storm warning this morning, coupled with surprising heavy snowfall when I got up, made that a pretty easy decision. I'm not going to drive 20 miles on slippery roads with Sebastian in the back seat - no way. His school closed early, incidentally.

I baked another batch of chocolate chip cookie bars today. I hadn't baked any in years, but decided to make some on a whim last week. Sebastian took one taste, and his eyes got huge. "These are the best brownies in the whole world!" he said.

I use the standard Toll House cookie recipie, with a few slight changes:

1. Double the vanilla extract, from 1 tsp to 2 tsp. That works for almost any baked goods; vanilla is magical.

2. Halve the chocolate chips. I did that, and even so the chocolate flavor is a bit overpowering; since the cookie part of the bar is SO delicious, that's a pity.

3. Make sure to use real butter, and make sure it's unsalted.

4. Instead of using 3/4 cup each of white granulated and brown sugar, I use one cup of dark brown sugar and one-half cup of granulated; it makes the cookies more flavorful and moist. I'm thinking of substituting light brown sugar for the 1/2 cup of granulated, actually.

5. Once I used a whole wheat flour instead of white flour. The results were very interesting; there was more texture and flavor, in a good way. But it wasn't necessarily better, so I don't use whole wheat flour as a rule. If I happened to have some, though, I'd probably consider using it.

6. As soon as I take the pan out of the oven, I put it on a cooling rack and cover it with a large baking (i.e. cookie) sheet. This seals in the moisture. The result is very moist and dense bars - they almost seem like cookie dough - but they are, in fact, completely cooked. And delicious.
bobquasit: (Default)
I've been on a Discworld marathon, of sorts.

I quite liked Reaper Man - it was funny, but more moving than I expected, too.

Equal Rites and Sourcery were both very good, and I laughed quite a bit - no small compliment!

I've got to order the next couple in the series from the Library soon - probably tomorrow.

I stayed home today, incidentally. The winter storm warning this morning, coupled with surprising heavy snowfall when I got up, made that a pretty easy decision. I'm not going to drive 20 miles on slippery roads with Sebastian in the back seat - no way. His school closed early, incidentally.

I baked another batch of chocolate chip cookie bars today. I hadn't baked any in years, but decided to make some on a whim last week. Sebastian took one taste, and his eyes got huge. "These are the best brownies in the whole world!" he said.

I use the standard Toll House cookie recipie, with a few slight changes:

1. Double the vanilla extract, from 1 tsp to 2 tsp. That works for almost any baked goods; vanilla is magical.

2. Halve the chocolate chips. I did that, and even so the chocolate flavor is a bit overpowering; since the cookie part of the bar is SO delicious, that's a pity.

3. Make sure to use real butter, and make sure it's unsalted.

4. Instead of using 3/4 cup each of white granulated and brown sugar, I use one cup of dark brown sugar and one-half cup of granulated; it makes the cookies more flavorful and moist. I'm thinking of substituting light brown sugar for the 1/2 cup of granulated, actually.

5. Once I used a whole wheat flour instead of white flour. The results were very interesting; there was more texture and flavor, in a good way. But it wasn't necessarily better, so I don't use whole wheat flour as a rule. If I happened to have some, though, I'd probably consider using it.

6. As soon as I take the pan out of the oven, I put it on a cooling rack and cover it with a large baking (i.e. cookie) sheet. This seals in the moisture. The result is very moist and dense bars - they almost seem like cookie dough - but they are, in fact, completely cooked. And delicious.

Weather

Jan. 11th, 2008 11:03 am
bobquasit: (Default)
This morning we had a thunderstorm on the way to the train station.

A real, thunder-and-lightning thunderstorm. In the middle of January. When I called Teri more than an hour later, she told me that it was still going on.

And the past week we've had a lot of t-shirt days, with the temperature over 50°F.

Weather

Jan. 11th, 2008 11:03 am
bobquasit: (Default)
This morning we had a thunderstorm on the way to the train station.

A real, thunder-and-lightning thunderstorm. In the middle of January. When I called Teri more than an hour later, she told me that it was still going on.

And the past week we've had a lot of t-shirt days, with the temperature over 50°F.

Jacket Day

Sep. 17th, 2007 03:52 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Today was Jacket Day, the first day of the season in which I felt it necessary to wear a jacket on the way to work.

It was pretty chilly this morning!

Undershirt Day passed, unremarked, a couple of weeks ago. Oh well.

Jacket Day

Sep. 17th, 2007 03:52 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Today was Jacket Day, the first day of the season in which I felt it necessary to wear a jacket on the way to work.

It was pretty chilly this morning!

Undershirt Day passed, unremarked, a couple of weeks ago. Oh well.

Yellow

Jul. 30th, 2007 09:30 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Late this afternoon around 5:30 or so, Teri and I noticed the damnedest thing. The light outside was bright yellow, in a totally unnatural-seeming way. It was almost brassy.

Last night we had an astonishingly violent and noisy thunderstorm, so now we're wondering whether we'll have another tonight. We lost power that night, incidentally; Sebastian woke up and fussed a little about the noise, but wasn't too upset overall.

Yellow

Jul. 30th, 2007 09:30 pm
bobquasit: (Default)
Late this afternoon around 5:30 or so, Teri and I noticed the damnedest thing. The light outside was bright yellow, in a totally unnatural-seeming way. It was almost brassy.

Last night we had an astonishingly violent and noisy thunderstorm, so now we're wondering whether we'll have another tonight. We lost power that night, incidentally; Sebastian woke up and fussed a little about the noise, but wasn't too upset overall.
bobquasit: (Default)
Just got in from round #1 of shovelling. The snow is extremely powdery; it's not quite like shovelling mist, but the metaphor did occur to me.

Because it's so light, and because it's pretty windy out, it's almost impossible to accurately measure the number of inches that we've gotten so far. But 14 inches is my best guess, and there are many drifts that are in excess of two feet.

This isn't as bad as last year's Arisia blizzard (not yet, anyway), but one point of similarity is that the snow is actually blowing into beautiful sculpted dunes. I should have taken some pictures, but instead I shovelled them.

By the way, the latest report is that the snow will last until 8 PM. And we've already received the maximum number of inches that they're predicted. So my guess is that the final total will be closer to 18-20 inches.

Oh, a later addition: when we were out shovelling, Sebastian helped us. He has a child-sized red snow shovel, and since his motto lately is "I help everyone in town!", he had to help. A neighbor across the street was also shovelling, and for some reason had two tiny brown and white puppies with him. When they saw Sebastian they let out little yelps of delight, plunged out across the street, and instantly disappeared into the snow.

Eventually they struggled all the way across, popped up on our curb, shoved their way through the thicker snow on our driveway, and wagged their tails at Sebastian. He giggled like crazy, and eventually the neighbor called them and they went away again.

How's the weather where you are?

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