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At Miscon 2013, around Memorial Day, Missoula MT, At SoonerCon, in OKC, around June 15, also Spokon in Spokane, in July/August, Beyond that, we aren't sure.
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Spokane’s trees are frosted white, it’s snowing, and the roads are clear…

It’s Black Friday (for those outside the US, that’s the orgiastic shopping sale day) and the streets are nearly deserted. We went out and took a look, and had less trouble than usual getting through the checkout lines, since the stores had massive extra help.

We did get a new tree this year, because our 5-year-old artificial is bound to come out with a little mold, and we greatly fear it would trigger allergies, and we’re fragile. Jane happened to spot one she loved, (it was at [shudder] Walmart, but it was the only one she’s liked in 5 years) and we nabbed the last one.

Mel’s (an institution in Spokane from way back) has mutated. Snowmageddon collapsed its roof several years ago, and it’s never really come back—it’s mutated into a clothing and gift store up near Mead, WA, and it’s not what it was. All the plant nursery is gone. It’s just spendy Stuff that isn’t that great, alas.

Freddy Myers had nothing: we’ve not liked the store since they closed ours and sent us to this branch, which is a lot of walking through repetitous aisles after stuff that used to be more convenient at the old store.

So…we nabbed our tree at a 30% discount and came home.

Now the snow is coming down in earnest, and Black Friday is turning white.

Did you know—that the coincidence of Hanukkah falling on Thanksgiving is once in 70,000 years?

And it looks as if Ison could have been hit by a solar flare, if you can believe it. The comet was 3 miles wide when it headed near the Sun at 91000 MPH, and now it looks as if indeed some remnant is exiting on its former track, whether as one piece or more than one.

11 comments to Spokane’s trees are frosted white, it’s snowing, and the roads are clear…

  • cherryhfan

    Last night, on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, we all watched what had to be Ison, or its remnants. It was beautiful. It looked as though someone had broken-off a piece of mirror-glass and reflected a bright light onto its surface. Once home, my daughter and I grabbed heavier jackets and spent time outside, watching it. The sky was so cloudy, the other stars were not visible – just that one bright light. It made me think of all the nights, while growing up, my family spent outside, watching the stars. Dad had his father’s brass “spyglass” through which he taught me to pick out the “big dipper” and “little dipper.” I, in turn, used to wake my daughter so that we could spread a blanket outside and watch meteor showers.

    It also came to mind, watching that bright light in the sky, what it must have been like for the atevi when a new “star” suddenly appeared in their sky!

  • haika

    I’m SOOOO hoping it doesn’t snow here on Monday, which is what might happen. I’m supposed to take the car in for a major service event, but if there’s snow on the roads, that’s impossible.

    My Holiday trees stay up all year. They are black metal trees over 5′ tall and have theme ornaments on them. One is chickadees and the other is sleddogs (mostly Siberian huskies). When Christmas comes, I pull out the red and gold ornaments to fill in spaces and jazz things up.

  • Walt

    XKCD had is just right, and maybe published before the news:
    http://xkcd.com/1297/

    §

    Anent mold, if you don’t already, I wonder if you should be venting your fish tanks to outside the house? You already have positive pressure from the pumps, so it’s “just” a matter of making the hoods reasonably air tight and putting a vent line out. A long mansonry drill bit is <$20 You could have an intake line and cobble together a heat exchanger, so the warm venting air would warm the cold intake.

    Another option would be to get a long bit of tubing and run the vent outside, wrap the tubing onto a cylinder (ideally of metal–heat conductivity), and run it back to the (salt?) tank–condensing distilled water to replace evaporation. Since the tank has a proper amount of salt to start, it should be okay to drop distilled water back in, to replace evaporation. Of course, if it’s too efficient (as might be in Winter), you’d really want separate systems for each tank.

    Please! Not until you are well-rested and very, very well–both of you!

    OTOH, I’m probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs. (You get to explain that expression, Madam Schoolteacher, and interested to hear it, I will be! ;))

    §

    The Thankshanukkah thing is because (as I understand it) the Hebrew calender got too mechanical. The calendar is a lunar calendar with months every 29 or 30 days, according (I think) to the Metonic cycle–similar, anyway. Back in the day, when the Hebrew calendar got to Adar (30 days) and it wasn’t Spring, the rabbis would say, “Re-do! Adar II!” and a leap month (of 29 days, with the creative name of “Adar II”) would be added. However, since the algorithm became mechanical, the calendar has crept earlier and earlier, and the 70,000 year number is the time for it to creep another year. Presumably, Jews being an eminently sensible people, an extra Adar II will get dropped in, restoring Hanukkah to its proper seasonal place. Until then, the calendar is probably compensating for global warming. ;)

    §

    I think the the Hindu calendar is similar, but with no leap months. Being near the equator, seasons aren’t so important. The Islamic calendar is also lunar and creeps. No season-matching. Mayan Calendar = headaches. :(

  • Tommie

    The story that I heard is that the eggs spoken of are testes. If a woman has grandchildren, she probably doesn’t need instruction on that particular action from them!

  • smartcat

    I spent yesterday at the first day of our Holiday Sale,Sunny, cold day with a good turn out. We expect another below 32F day today. This is the kind of weather we usually don’t get until January. There is no wind so we may get some yard work done. It’s supposed to warm up and rain tomorrow, which we badly need….still. We had a very dry fall .
    Stay warm and dry……may your forays into the world be happy ones.

    • Raesean

      Glad your sales are working out well, Smartcat.

      I’m likely to be at Cultural Survival’s indigenous crafts bazaars for the next two weekends in Boston (across the river in Cambridge, actually) selling pieces the Samburu Women’s Cooperative (and a number of the men) have made. They are a cattle-herding tribe in Northern Kenya (the Samburu District, actually) whom the Kenyan police attacked and stole the cattle from coming on five winters ago, along with beatings and killings. A friend of mine lives with them while doing lion research and really has devoted most of her time these days to doing self-directed development/help with them. They send crafts and sometimes old masks and carvings over with her. The stuff lives in my attic between bazaars and other craft sales, but ’tis the season to sell beadwork, animal carvings and other things and turn it into money with which they can buy cows to rebuild the herd. Last I heard, with births, it’s up past 150 (out of several thousand stolen) but still a huge moral booster for the tribe and milk for the young children.

  • chondrite

    Our ‘local’ trees look like Charlie Brown’s; we get hoop pines or Norfolk Island pines or some other pine that is semi-tropical, which means short needles and widely-spaced branches. They are spindly and don’t have the nice pine tree smell, but at least they don’t make my boss sneeze madly. We may compromise, have a local tree but get a wreath for the staff area with the nice fir scent.

  • jvp

    Looking for ISON on the web I found these nice animations made of pictures of its flight through perihelion taken from different satellites: ESA/ESAC SOHO and SECCHI COR2-A. Obviously ISON lost some weight ;-)

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