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Weekend Plans - Feb. 8, 2019 - Feb.10, 2019

The Green Dragon

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Feb 8, 8:10pm Top

We are taking the opportunity to explore our "C" word of Chocolate tonight. Our downtown is hosting an event called Chocolate Fantasia. Wine and chocolate sampling, while visiting the various stores. I will report back when able. :P

Other than that, this weekend hopefully holds no surprises and yields up plenty of reading time.

Edited: Feb 8, 8:17pm Top

>1 MrsLee: Enjoy your choclate-fest.

This weekend should be quiet. I have no plans and I hope my wife has none for me.

There isa wild storm across the country tonight. The west and north-west are being hit the worst but if what we are getting is light by comparison then the worst hit areas must be having a terrible time.

Feb 8, 9:17pm Top

Hmm, we haven't done this in a while, or at least I haven't. Nice to see it come around again. Thanks, >1 MrsLee:.

It's another California winter rainstorm here, and I got caught out in it today but came home to a dry place. It's pretty hard on folks without shelter (whose dwelling places have been swept several times by the authorities lately, putting more people literally out on the street in my area), but we're not through needing water yet. In the past week we've seen nighttime temperatures in the thirties, and there's been actual snow on the mountains. Not cold, I know, but cold for here.

So I'm staying in tonight. But tomorrow there's yoga class and lots more sorting and discarding and packing to do, making way for the delivery of some new bedroom furniture. Much of what I have to deal with is the contents of a large bookcase, which is full of...you guessed it, books. That's pretty much what my Sunday looks like too.

In between bouts of moving stuff around and packing up outgoing bundles, I'm adding previously uncatalogued books to my library. Some are being listed only to be tagged "out" minutes later.

Feb 8, 9:17pm Top

My marathon training is taking a hit this weekend. I’ve hurt my ankle and need to not run on it for a couple of days. I see a doc on Monday.

The weather is supposed to be pretty icky. A snowstorm is predicted. Sometimes they come, sometimes they don’t, so I shall wait and see.

Other than a trip to Costco and some school work, I’ll be taking it easy.

Feb 9, 4:09am Top

Highway Heritage Society this afternoon; a very enthusiastic local lady is talking about "Living History". Depending on the tack she takes this could be brilliant or nauseating -- she has no in-between states.

A propos talks, I get to talk to the Railway Society on Wednesday week about "Cape to Cairo -- 90 years ago!". Last year we took delivery (after 4 1/2 years of waiting and negotiation) of a consignment of literature donated by the Baltimore Tramway Museum (!). This included a strange booklet produced by the South African Railways Travel Bureau describing how to use their services to go from Cape to Cairo. It was published in 1926. I found this so fascinating that I started collecting images from here, there and elsewhere and can now, with a bit of imagination, reconstruct the itinerary they suggest. Forms of transport include rail, river-boat, railways bus and what they politely refer to as "safari": on foot, with porters.

Edited: Feb 9, 7:37am Top

> Hugh, I think I’m going to have to get you together somehow with a friend and former colleague of mine who is a railway enthusiast, and used to be involved with the Canberra Railway Historical Society. I’ll be seeing him after my forthcoming Africa trip, and maybe I can persuade him to join LT.

Edited: Feb 9, 7:35am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 9, 7:42am Top

And my weekend plans? None really. My wife is visiting for a few days and her daughter, after the dramas recounted here (and a few more along the way) arrives tomorrow morning at 0420 my time. So I think as far as mother and daughter are concerned tomorrow is going to be given over mainly to sleeping.

Feb 9, 8:30am Top

Even though it has now snowed enough to cross-country ski on, it's 24 below zero so...that's out for now. I think it will warm up to the teens by Monday so maybe then.

So we'll stay inside by the fire for now. Maybe venture out for some groceries later. That's about it.

Feb 9, 10:25am Top

>1 MrsLee: The chocolate thing sounds great!

>5 hfglen: The railway things sounds very interesting, definitely something that I'd be able to lose myself in!

My weekend plans are... well. My pain has lifted, thanks to anti-inflammation meds and the enforcement of my daily exercise program, and so it is time to catch up on some house chores.

Also, time for son to submit his applications for gymnasiet, the Swedish secondary and non-compulsory school. A quick check with Wikipedia tells me that the US equivalent is perhaps high school, or tenth grade (US), or fifth form (UK), education-wise. We'll get to that tomorrow Sunday, I think.

Husband is at work, 07-19 both Saturday and Sunday, and so I also plan to get time to read, and to watch the latest Star Trek Discovery episode.

Feb 9, 11:32am Top

Chocolate event went well. Pretty humble wine offerings, but considering that most people are out for fun and not discerning, it didn't matter. My favorites were a Syrah made by a winery in the hills nearby, and what was called a zin, made by the man serving it from grapes he had grown. It had a lovely fragrance and taste. So many of the other "bottled wines were flat, sour or tasteless in comparison.

The chocolate offerings varied from sweet to savory. My favorites: cherry-chocolate sauce meatballs (these were more spicy than sweet), and chocolate dipped bacon. Personally, I would have been happier all around eating little nibbles of varieties of dark chocolate bars, but at $15 for an evening of adventure, who can quibble? :)

>3 Meredy: In our "c" category of clutter, I recently purged all of my dressup clothes, some from the 1800s, others from the 1920s, and some homemade by yours truly. I sorted them into appropriate piles for my various great-nieces and nephews. Who knows what they will think of them, but I have released them from my heart and home. In some ways it was easier than I thought it would be. I still have a large suitcase of items I was not ready to let go of, but it beats the several trunks full I had before! :)

>4 catzteach: & >10 Busifer: Heal well!

Sounds like a lot of us are being smart this weekend and avoiding the nasty weather. Happy reading to all.

Feb 9, 12:00pm Top

I’m currently sitting in my recliner with my 18 pound kitty on my lap and watching it snow. We already have about 4 inches and it’s supposed to snow all day. Bummed I’m not out running in it with my group. It would’ve been my first snow run. Ah, well, there will be other snowy runs, right?

I really need to get up, get ready for the day, and run some errands, but I finally am reading a book I’m getting into and cat on lap so ....

>11 MrsLee: that sounds so nice! I wish Bend would add chocolate tasting to their First Friday Art and Wine Walks. I’d go more often. 😊

Feb 9, 12:45pm Top

>12 catzteach:

It's a rule: You can't get up when there is a cat on your lap.

Feb 9, 12:58pm Top

>12 catzteach: My family calls that being catted. And yes, it's a rule that if you have been catted you may not get up until the cat gets up.

Feb 9, 1:59pm Top

It's cold here. -26C at the moment, although at least there's no wind chill. Not letting it stop me, though!

This afternoon (Saturday) there's an open house put on by the construction team for the light rail transit extension that's going through my neighbourhood. They're proposing completely closing the avenue the train will travel down to get construction done in one year instead of two. Which sounds great, except there are businesses, churches, restaurants, art galleries, etc. that will all be severely damaged by a complete closure. They're hurting badly enough right now with the partial closure. So, we'll go see what the company has to say and put in our two cents.

On a much more fun note, tonight is a Chinese New Year party hosted by some friends, and we're going - the food and company will be awesome.

Sunday will probably involve mostly puttering around the house.

Feb 9, 2:13pm Top

Well, having not planned anything for this weekend I got up this morning and headed down to the River Liffey to see what I could see. I was not there more than five minutes when I spotted a jay, a bird I have never spotted in Ireland before. He was pretty elusive and kept shifting position. I did not get a great picture of him but I did get a picture of him.

Then a robin came along and insisted on having his picture taken. Robins are like that.

When I got home I found an early sign of Spring in our garden: Snowdrops blooming.

Not bad for an unplanned weekend.

Edited: Feb 9, 2:28pm Top

What a lovely, lovely day. And such nice company. I wish we had snowdrops here, but alas.

I saw two raptors while doing errands...a hawk and a falcon I think. Not sure what species though, couldn't slow down to check it out.

Feb 9, 2:33pm Top

>17 Bookmarque: There was a cormorant on the river too, but he flew off before I got close enough to get any good shots.

Feb 9, 2:38pm Top

Cormorants are notorious jerks.


I used to work on an island in Maine and they used to just sit around crapping on everyone's docks.

Feb 9, 6:51pm Top

>16 pgmcc: Clearly they don’t call it the green island for nothing! It will be another month before snowdrops will appear in Stockholm.

Feb 9, 7:25pm Top

>20 Busifer: two months for Edmonton!

Edited: Feb 10, 3:02am Top

>16 pgmcc: Your jays look very different than our jays. Ours have a blue and grey coat. They also have a sassy attitude.

We probably won't get snow, but we had a fine hail storm, mixed with thunder and lightening and a rainbow.

Feb 10, 3:25am Top

>16 pgmcc: Great photos, Peter! Yes, robins are bossy little people, aren't they.

Edited: Feb 10, 5:45am Top

>22 MrsLee: I was aware that North American robins and goldfinches are different from European ones, but I was not aware of a difference in jays.

I hope the weather is not too difficult for you. It sounds dramatic.

>23 haydninvienna: Thank you, Richard. Yes, robins insist on photoshoots. One stopped my lawn mowing last year and demanded I go in and get the camera. He kept me busy for about an hour. I even got a picture that I used for Christmas cards.

Feb 10, 6:03am Top

>24 pgmcc: Oh good lord. What a great photo!

Feb 10, 6:09am Top

>25 haydninvienna: He insisted on that profile.

Feb 10, 6:20am Top

>21 tardis:, Oh, wow! The other day me and some colleagues spoke about how different the climate is in North America compared to Europe, if you just look at a latitude and and expect a match across the Atlantic. We don't really understand how big a difference the Gulf stream makes, even if it's one of the things that they hammer into your head in school.
Technically I think Stockholm is located on a latitude just south of the border between Alberta and the Northwest territories, but our climate is nothing like that. In fact, right now we're experiencing +5 deg C, and if this continues I expect snowdrops to appear ahead of schedule... which is not a good thing.

>24 pgmcc: Great shot. I never manage to get a bird to stick around for photos.

Feb 10, 9:48am Top

My unplanned variation for this weekend was having to go get my phone repaired (again).

I still have 'flu, so doing a little more reading than I expected.

Feb 10, 10:19am Top

For the last two weeks the weather here has been like a roller coaster. We're enjoying a cool but calm weekend before the arrival of the next storm system.

My daughter and I have some shopping to do for my husband's birthday, but other than that, there's not a lot that has to be done beyond daily chores. So there'll be reading time.

Feb 10, 10:28am Top

I had a fun day yesterday. Our local seniors society put on a curling bonspiel as a fundraiser. One of my friends was one of the organisers, and I'd asked her to find me a spot on a team. First she had me on one team, but then things were rearranged and I ended up on another team. I only knew one of the other players, none of us had played together before, and one hadn't curled for years. We started the first game shortly after 9, played 2 games before lunch, one in the afternoon, and one after dinner. They were short games, only 4 ends. Our team was great, lots of fun, and we won all our games except the last one. No prizes, but it was fun. I went home for a bit to walk the dog, and it started to snow on my way back. We had over 15 cm by the end of the evening, but it had also warmed up to -7. It felt lovely after the -20s and -30s of the last week or so.

Today I plan a mostly lazy day, finishing a book and going for a ski in the beautiful fresh snow and warm weather.

Edited: Feb 10, 11:17am Top

>16 pgmcc:, >24 pgmcc: great pictures! We have blue jays and Canada jays here, and they look quite different from yours!

>27 Busifer: I think I am close to your latitude (58.5 N), but probably much colder as I'm far away from the ocean, and especially the gulf stream. Fortunately we don't usually get much wind in the winter here. Last weekend I was 4 hours south in the next closest town, which is much windier. I almost frost-bit my ears just crossing the parking lot to go into a store. Should have had my hat on!

Feb 10, 3:57pm Top

>31 NorthernStar: Ah, very close then - I’m at 59.3 N!
Going on your reports your climate seems similar to the one up at our cabin, up at 65.8 N. They currently experience a normal winter, with temps ranging between -12 and -28 deg C. 3 more decimetres of snow came down today, but as long as it’s calm it’s doable.
Looking forward to going up there, at the end of the month. I need to skii! Will definitely wear a hat.

Feb 10, 6:06pm Top

>27 Busifer: Yes, the ocean and the gulf stream make a big difference. We're only 53.5 N, but even farther inland than NorthernStar, and east of a mountain range that blocks a lot of the moisture brought by the prevailing winds from the west. "It's a dry cold" is what everyone says, meaning that even though the temperature is lower, it doesn't feel as cold as a damper climate.

Feb 11, 3:24am Top

>33 tardis: Dry cold - yes. Up north at 65 N the cold is very dry, meaning -12 feels nice an comfy, whereas down here at 59 N you're constantly freezing at -5.

Feb 11, 8:39am Top

Moving from NH to WI has clued me in about dry cold v. damp cold. People who don't know about northern weather can't even imagine it, but there's a palpable difference. Plus the snow is nicer here in the dry cold.

Feb 11, 8:57am Top

>33 tardis:-35. You mean like humid heat and dry heat? 30°C here in Durban (usually around 80% humidity) is often far more trying than 40° in Namibia (10% humidity). Though in the latter it is necessary to take on water often.

Feb 11, 10:33am Top

>36 hfglen: Same but different - yes.

Feb 12, 4:16am Top

I had a weekend of party! In a civilised manner. Thursday night was catching up with some colleagues from my previous job, then Friday was a 4hr train ride to my friend's birthday and helping cook curry for 21 people! and the rest fairly relaxed until 4hrs back again on Sunday. Plenty of time for reading on the trains!

Feb 12, 5:29am Top

Slight extension of the weekend since Tuesday is a public holiday in Doha. Sports Day. Which I am honouring by spending lunchtime with my wife and step-daughter stuffing our faces at a very good restaurant in a resort.

Feb 12, 5:56am Top

In relation to which, a study in contrasts. We are looking over the beach. In front of us are 2 women in hijabs. Down on the beach is a young woman in what is most definitely a bikini.

Feb 12, 8:36am Top

>40 haydninvienna: What is the legal status of that bikini wearer?

Feb 12, 9:06am Top

>38 reading_fox: Sounds like a marvelous party! Any time curry is involved it has to be good.

Edited: Feb 12, 10:10am Top

>41 -pilgrim-: It's a resort, so the usual rules about decent clothing don't fully apply. The young woman referred to wasn't the only one in brief swimwear--just the contrast between the covered-up women at the table in front of me, and the rather less covered one on the beach, struck my sense of incongruity. In general, women are expected to dress "decently" but anything that would be regarded as normal on a street in London is probably OK here.

Also, Doha is quite liberal about some things. Alcohol is legal within limits--in international hotels, for example--and you can buy alcoholic drink at the government distribution centre if you have a licence to do so. The licences are freely available and will even be given to Muslims, I understand. The only thing that I know of that will for sure get you a finger-wagging or a disapproving look is eating in public by day during Ramadan. But I have actually seen men in dishdashas (so presumably Muslims) not only eating but drinking wine in a restaurant at lunch time during Ramadan. Dishdasha aka thobe: see here.

And >38 reading_fox: , what I was eating was curry. It was pretty good too.

Feb 12, 2:33pm Top

>38 reading_fox: Sounds a bit hectic at times, but fun, and - curry!

>43 haydninvienna: I had no idea that the garment is called dishdasha, thanks for teaching me something that I didn't know!
As far as I'm concerned wide, covering, and light are all sensible choices given the climate.

Feb 13, 1:07pm Top

>43 haydninvienna: Thank you, that was rather intriguing. You don't happen to know the requirements for those lliquor licences do you?

Feb 13, 1:18pm Top

>45 -pilgrim-: I suppose I do, since I have one. As I recall, you simply need a statement from your employer that you are employed and your salary (since you’re allowed a monthly purchase quota based on your salary) and of course your resident ID. There are no actual qualifications other than being legally resident and employed.

The monthly quota is high enough that no way on earth could I ever consume it all in a month.

The form asks you to state your religion, and that is the only time that I’ve ever been asked for my religion here. All of which reminds me that I need to renew mine.

Feb 13, 1:46pm Top

>46 haydninvienna: Interesting; thanks for sharing.

Feb 13, 3:43pm Top

My thirty-one year old daughter who lives in Birmingham went grocery shopping with her one year old daughter. They visited ASDA and my daughter had a bottle of wine in her shopping basket. When she reached the checkout she was asked for ID with her date of birth. She did not have any such ID with her so the shop refused to sell her the wine.

While the legal age for drinking in the UK is 21, ASDA opporates a policy of not selling alcohol to anyone under twenty-five. My daughter was both frustrated and quite smug at the same time.

Feb 13, 4:27pm Top

>48 pgmcc: Smugstrated?

Edited: Feb 13, 5:06pm Top

>48 pgmcc: The legal age for drinking in a public place in the UK has been 18 since at least 1914 (Defence of the Realm Act).

Apparently there has been a supermarket scheme to sell only to over 21s for some time, and now some are adopting the over 25 limit.

Feb 13, 5:23pm Top

>49 ScoLgo: :-)

>50 -pilgrim-: As long as they don’t move it to something like 65 I will be ok.

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