Let there be snow

I had planned on setting up my video camera this morning, to catch the sunrise. Right as I went to the door to setup, it started sleeting. I held off on recording until it finished, and you’ll see the results later.

This has happened before, this sleeting in the early morning hours. Usually the sun comes out, and the temperatures rise to the mid-fifties.

However, later today, I looked outside and saw this:

Yes, lots of snow falling! It stopped before we went out this evening to feed the dogs dinner.

I seem to be crashing big-time today, after a month straight of working with no time off, so I went back inside to rest and snooze while Skippy did some last minute cleaning before the boss arrives home tomorrow night. After a couple hours, I got up to feed and walk Ashlee and Macgee. This greeted me at the front door:

Now it’s accumulating! I don’t recall seeing snow on the 3rd of October before, in Indiana. I wonder how long until it actually sticks around?

A View on the Debate, From Alaska

Last night, Skippy and I attended the vice presidential debate, showing at the Homer Theatre, in Homer, Alaska.

The crowd was surprisingly sparse, possibly an effect from last week’s failed attempt to show the first presidential debate. Or maybe Alaskans aren’t interested in the possibility of being made into the butt of a big Sarah Palin joke?

There were probably 50 people total, many wearing Obama buttons and t-shirts. When the candidates entered, one (1) person clapped and yelled “Wooo!” when Palin walked on.

The debate itself has been dissected by better commentators than I, so I won’t give a blow-by-blow account here. I do have some thoughts to share, though.

Palin needs more practice redirecting the discussion…or maybe just staying on topic. Several times she responded to an accusation about McCain’s record or judgment on important issues with “That’s not true, but I want to talk about something else.” Denial followed by non sequitur does not win a debate.

Biden pointed out more than one issue that was “the fundamental difference” between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. Remember, if there is only one item, it is the fundamental difference. If there is more than one item, the one you are currently talking about is a fundamental difference. Or maybe use “fundamental” less. Dictionary.app tells me there are more than a dozen synonyms for fundamental, why not use one of them occasionally?

If Palin is elected VP, will she give “shout-outs” to her brother’s (or whomever) third grade class during press conferences?

And Palin, for the love of all that is pure and holy, stop winking at me! This is a debate for future vice presidents, not a beauty pageant or a PTA meeting.

The crowd at the theater reacted to several moments in the debate, and proved that the majority did not feel any great love for their governor. There was a lot of cheering and clapping after Biden’s barb about McCain’s health care plan being “the ultimate bridge to nowhere.” Even more after Biden’s impassioned charge that Dick Cheney is the most dangerous VP in history. Around Palin’s third invocation of “back home in Alaska…”, the groans became audible. After Palin’s now classic misunderstanding of “what is your Achilles heel,” one audience member shouted a bewildered “WHAT?”

Skippy spent most of the debate pinching the bridge of her nose and trying not to yell at the screen. I spent most of the debate laughing. The constant smiling, the winks, the false sincerity, it seemed like something straight out of a movie. Sort of like this:

(Video removed because it’s causing trouble. I’ll repost when I get my Vimeo account going.)

Afterwards, Skippy and I shared a pizza at Fat Olive’s, and discussed the debate. Maybe she’ll post some of her observations on her blog? Then, of course, it was time to check the analysis on the political blogs. I think it’s funny that, no matter what actually occurs, you see your side as the clear winner. Conservative blogs trumpeted a Palin victory, despite no substantial content to many of her answers, and all but a few polls showing Biden winning. Though, I guess if the ability to not answer questions, instead reading pre-written soundbites off of notecards, and winking at the camera are the mark of a great leader, it makes sense. Maybe that’s what mavericks do.

Tag cloud?

Jerry showed me a nifty little plugin for WordPress that takes all the categories and tags on a blog and turns them into a little Flash tag cloud animation. Let’s see if it works.

EDIT: Well, it works, but it places itself over the edge of the post outline, so I temporarily enclosed it in a list tag until I figure out a better solution. I also need to start tagging my posts, I suppose. The categories are a little sparse.

EDIT 2: Apparently I can only have one instance running at a time, so I’ve gone ahead and moved it to the sidebar. I’m in the process of tagging the posts. Exciting!

It’s getting frosty up here

The nights (and days, thankfully) have been clear up here for the past week. Last night, I took my contacts out, then went outside to check on something, and I could make out the Milky Way overhead. It was a generally whitish, blurred stripe among many whitish, blurred dots.

Not coincidentally, it has also been dropping below freezing almost every night (To Scott: Yes, IT’S COLD). We wake up to frosty, crunchy grass, and slippery deck stairs. In fact, when I take out our current invalid, Opal (recovering from spay surgery), I have to go down the frozen deck steps on my butt, so I don’t get yanked down 6 steps by a sled dog on a leash. Face first.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to walk a sled dog, let me give you an idea of what it’s like. Imagine tying yourself to a car with a 6′ to 15′ piece of rope. Put the car in gear, and hold onto the rope. Now, try to stop the car by pulling on the rope. That’s a small sled dog. To simulate walking a bigger dog, have someone hit the accelerator while you hold the rope. Fun!

Anyway, it’s getting cold here. The proof is on my car:

The sun rises a little after 8 now, and sets almost exactly 12 hours later. That’s an hour less daylight than we had 3 weeks ago. This is where the sun sits at around 10am right now:

Tomorrow, I think I’ll setup my hd camera and capture the sunrise. Hopefully it won’t be too cloudy.