Daily Journal - January 15 & 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009 - Interesting to me that they called
off school today at Kaneland -- the wind chill is only 30
something BELOW zero.  The real temperature out on the
porch beside our garage is -18.8 degrees F (on the right).  It's
supposed to get up to ZERO today and then get even colder
tonight -- colder?  What???  It's warmer in Alaska today!!!!

Many years ago -- maybe it was in 1996 when we last had a
really brutal cold spell -- I had a "discussion" with someone at
Kaneland about whether or not the school was going to be
open because of the extreme weather conditions.

In those days, the wind chill had to be
60 BELOW ZERO before
they called off school.  At our house, it was 60 below zero,
however, at the school, it was ONLY 59 below zero. So, they
sent out the buses to pick up the kids.  I called Andrew and
Jarrett in sick that day because I was NOT going to send them
out in that kind of dangerous arctic-type scary weather.

Thankfully, apparently there are new cold weather guidelines
at Kaneland.  Maybe someone with some compassion and
common sense is now in charge.  Was that mean spirited?  I
don't think so.  Especially when you see what these high
school kids are wearing
or not wearing in the cold....not
enough coverage to keep an ant warm much less a real live
youngster.  The boys always argued about wearing HATS.

What's really annoying is when I see parents with small
children who they have not properly bundled up in this frigid
weather.  It's kind of bizarre.  Plus, most woman don't seem to
want to wear anything on their heads because it might mess
up their hair-dos.  How about if your head freezes off -- is that a
better look than some flat hair?  Maybe their brains are frozen.

I never cared about what I looked like when it was cold -- I HAD
TO BE WARM.  They always made fun of me when I worked
downtown Chicago but I just laughed back at them.  It got
worse when we moved across the river to a new CME building.

Have you ever walked across the Chicago River when it was
20 BELOW ZERO with 30 mph winds?  Yup, I have.  That easily
ranks as one of the coldest places on earth.  

The comment I've heard most these past few days from
everyone is, "why do I live here where it's so cold?"  

Of course, I have the answer to that question:  because this is
where your stuff is.  hahaaaaa  brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Snow and ice ya later, djb
Here's a picture of what it looked like outside the kitchen
window at 6:31 a.m. -18 degrees (18 degrees BELOW zero).
I finally got my Acu-rite
wireless thermometer to
work properly last week --
it needed new batteries
(duh!).  Now I know how
COLD it is outside as well
as how warm it is inside.  
For some reason, I must
have that information.  
Wind speed would sure
be nice to know, too!!!!
A further back view of the snowy snow.
Front yard on January 10th - nice stormage
Front yard on January 14th - nice blue sky
Close-up of the very high piled snow on the railing.  Yikes!
View toward the west - the snow is piled very, very high.
Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow.
Snow on the bench and on the candles on January 11th
Friday, January 16, 2009 - Barbaric, brutal, inhumane, nasty,
horrendous, bone-chilling, dangerous, scary, record-breaking,
frigid, extreme cold.  Brrrrrrrrrrr  and double shivering yikes!!  
The thermometer to the right is what greeted me this morning.  
I kept waiting for it to go down to -24 but instead it went up and
now we're at minus 17 -- a veritable heat wave has arrived.

Last night, I turned up the heater in the garage to 80 degrees
because it kept going further down and down and down some
more.  Thankfully, this morning, it's 50 degrees out there.

Yesterday afternoon, I waited until the temperature warmed up
to the high of the day which was
minus 10 degrees before I
ventured outside to pick up the newspapers at the end of the
long, cold driveway -- and then when you walk on the snow it
has that annoying crunch which reminds me of fingernails on
a blackboard
(old timers reference).  

Once it gets this cold, I think the references to wind chill and all
that jazz is really irrelevant because it's simply too cold for
words that have any real meaning or can actually describe the
severity of the coldness.  It's really indescribable.

The other day (Wed), when I drove into Geneva to see the bad
doctor, it was one of the worst driving days we've had -- 2-4
inches of snow which was falling as I was driving.  The thing
that struck me about the drive were the tire track ribbons on the
road that are created by the vehicles.  It looked like 4 ribbons
straight ahead to a vanishing point of no return.  It was surreal
and awesome.  At certain points in my travels, even those
totally disappeared because the snow was so heavy.  All I saw
was a frozen uninterrupted white landscape.  Even the horizon
was indistinguishable because the sky was the same color as
the snow that had fallen.  Kind of disorienting yet cosmic and
quite mesmerizing at the same time.  

I'm at the end of the white box.  A heat wave is coming!!! ~djb  
Here is the lowest  
temperature that I
saw this morning.  I
kept waiting for it to
go down to -24 but it
never did.  Oh well, I
guess 23 BELOW
ZERO is pretty darn
Here's the young owl that was sitting in the crab apple tree with
the cardinals.  When I went out to put some bird food in the
feeders, he totally ignored me!
This is what the deck looked like yesterday afternoon.  
Doesn't it look really interesting and cool?  Okay, COLD.
Here's a photo I took through the window with a screen on it using
the telephoto lens.  It reminded me that 7 years ago today, we
were getting ready to go to Grandpa Burkholder's visitation.