January 7, 2010

"Arctic air blast."

"40°."

"Should we be freaking out?"

Conversation overheard in the men's room at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, here in Austin, last night.

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Actually, it's 31° here right now, and we're still telling ourselves this is an effective winter getaway, because we were getting away from Madison, Wisconsin. And, no, I didn't go in the men's room. The conversation was quoted to me.

What movie did we see? "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." Good? Yeah, pretty good, especially the first third. It was more interesting meeting the characters and getting involved in the details of their world than seeing their problems worked out in a series of adventures. But I'd probably say that about most any movie. It's not so much a special "Mr. Fox" criticism. And maybe I think that about life too most of the time. I love normal days. I don't need a series of adventures.

Ah, whenever I go on vacation, I get homesick. Back in Madison, it's 16°. Snow. We could go skiing. But we're here, spending the morning in much the same way we would back home. The chairs and table are a little different. The coffee is a little different. The temperature is a little different.

DSC06698

The computer fits nicely. And you're all here to talk to. How are you?

Are you able to deal with The Great Arctic Blast of 2010?

42 comments:

Dad Bones said...

Aren't you worried your snow shovel is going to rust?

Scott M said...

There was a great post over at Insta about seeing Algore (aka ManBearPig) late one evening recently at a restaurant. The writer's dinner guest had the nerve to shout at Al when his party was leaving.

"Hey, Al. How's that global warming working for you?"

The notable thing about the encounter, in the writer's opinion, was the dumbfounded stare they got from Al. Second only to that was the fact that the waiter, who thought the exchange was funny, had no idea what Climategate was.

I understand that weather doesn't necessarily equate to global warming or cooling, but "worst freeze in decades" has a bit of an anti-climactic tone if you're an AGW diciple, er, proponent.

Given the cold weather combined with the Japanese ramming that spiffy new anti-whaling boat those Greenpeace types bought from batman yesterday, the Greens are having a bad week.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well we'ew getting about six inches here in Hoosierville. Of course down in Indianapolis they piss themselves if they see a snowflake. I grew up in the Region so 6 inches of snow barely rousted the snow plow drivers from bed.

I stopped at the store last night on the way home from the gym to get some chocolate milk and you would have thought people were stocking up for the Storm of the Century. The only bread available was rye and all the eggs were gone. I guess folks were planning on making French Toast while they hunkered down. Not sure about the priorities there. I'd be getting hamburger helper, bourbon and a couple boxes of condoms.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Sure I can deal with it, because I lived for many years in Canada, including a couple of 'em just a few hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle. I have on quite a few occasions had to work outside at 40-below.

Where do you think this cold air comes from, anyway? So deal with it? Yes. Like it? Ah ... that was never part of the requirement. Okay?

The best part of dealing with it in Kansas is that it's only a few degrees below zero, and hedge wood (osage orange) heats much better than maple, to say nothing of spruce and aspen.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Given the cold weather combined with the Japanese ramming that spiffy new anti-whaling boat those Greenpeace types bought from batman yesterday, the Greens are having a bad week.

What I want to know is if the captain of the Jap whaler had a rising sun bandana on his head and screamed BANZAI!!! when he rammed it.

That would have been priceless.

Pogo said...

"I love normal days. I don't need a series of adventures."

After a year full of funerals and layoffs and fender-benders and hospital stays and worry and the usual mess that life throws at you, I enjoy ironing some shirts, washing the dishes, sanding a piece of wood, or fixing the toilet.

The possibility that routine might be the ne plus ultra of existence, and not happiness, is an eye-opener.

The simple act of smoothing out a wrinkle by a little steam from an otherwise quiet iron does, after the deluge, seem to say 'All is forgiven.'

Scott M said...

The simple act of smoothing out a wrinkle by a little steam from an otherwise quiet iron does, after the deluge, seem to say 'All is forgiven.'

Ironing shirts and mowing the lawn are equally satisfying from an instant gratification point of view.

k*thy said...

Well, I'd rather be in Wisconsin with this weather, than Florida. It's just another winter day...

MadisonMan said...

The snow is quite nice to look at here in Madison -- the old stuff had acquired that dingy look (that I thoroughly dislike). But every flake that falls has to melt (or evaporate) before the warmth of Spring can arrive.

(sigh)

Beth said...

Life has been a little too adventurous in the workplace, so I wish for days of boring routine.

The Great Arctic Blast has us down in the 20s at night, and the low tomorrow is predicted to be 18. That's low in New Orleans.

The adventure is keeping my orchids alive. I'd rather not bring them inside, so I've got them in a covered mini-greenhouse, warmed with an outdoor flood light and covered with two blankets. It's managed to stay above 40 in there, just balmy enough, I hope. This should pass soon enough. If not, I wish we'd at least get a little snow for a treat.

Original Mike said...

As a great statesman once said:

"Bring it on!".

former law student said...

we're still telling ourselves this is an effective winter getaway

As someone once said, "There's nothing separating Texas from the Arctic Circle but a few barb wire fences."

But we used to go to Breckenridge to ski back in the day. Going someplace warm was not on our radar. Most days it was sunny enough to be pleasant.

prairie wind said...

Two degrees with wind gusting to 40mph. We have 15 inches of snow on the ground...and in the air, today. The sundogs are spectacular.

The kids are on their fourth snow day of the year.

PatCA said...

I am praying for a little global warming at the moment. Going to Chicago at the end of the month. Hope the Goracle is not in Chi Town at the same time. Brrr....

HKatz said...

Fantastic Mr. Fox was a fun movie. Just for the game of whack bat alone it's worth watching (and I had the Boggis, Bunce and Bean song stuck in my head for a week afterwards). Comic, cretinous, a bit mad - I like Roald Dahl's characters.

garage mahal said...

Al Gore pwned again. He must really feel stupid whenever it's winter.

Ron said...

I'm hunky-dory Doc, thanks for asking!

Feh on the weather! Remember...Climate is what you want, weather is what you get!

Scott M said...

He must really feel stupid whenever it's winter.

No, garage, only when he makes comments like the Earth being millions of millions degrees at it's core. Why people still listen to this fool is beyond me (applies equally to garage and manbearpig)

Original Mike said...

My impression of Al Gore is that he isn't smart enough to feel stupid.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Al Gore is definitely the Benny Hinn of climate science.

Pogo said...

Also the Benny Hill.

JAL said...

Well we've had wind chill of zero and even below. (This is the Southern Appalachians.) Getting above freezing today, finally. May get a dusting of snow.

(There is still snow left on the round many places from the pre- Christmas Big Snow.)

But it will still in teens at night for the next few days and twenties during the day. Supposed to be over 40 on Monday. Wow.

garage mahal said...

Bet Al Gore is just hoping that huge Climategate scandal blows over, where that "scientist" removed subjective tree ring temperatures, and inserted ACTUAL TEMPERATURES into the record instead.

JAL said...

DIL in Corpus Christi said she had to cover flowering bushes because it was going to freeze down there.

Still -- it's TEXAS!

traditionalguy said...

The cold air winter storms come across Texas dipping down to the Florida Gulf Coast, which is not a good place to be in the wet cold winter weather. But the storms turn NE'ly and swing up thru North Georgia missing the South Carolina, Georgia and Jacksonville part of Florida's coast which therefore stays 10 degress warmer in the winter than the Gulf coast. That is the reason Palmetto palm trees are indigenous to South Carolina but must be mported to the Gulf coast beaches. You are speaking the truth that staying home in a winter storm is better than staying in a hotels. That is one good reason to want our global warming back again, provided that our political thieves will just enjoy the good that the sun's warmth provides and not indict, fine and imprision American citizens for high crimes from a degree or two of beneficial and temporary warmth coming from normal sun spots/flares or the freezing coming from a minimum thereof.

edutcher said...

Ann said...

What movie did we see? "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." Good? Yeah, pretty good, especially the first third.

Typical of a lot of movies, post-Golden Age, particularly Silver Age. Great set-up, but the resolution doesn't quite cut it. I always liked Howard Hawks' philosophy of movie-making, "A great movie has two or three great scenes - and no bad ones".

TCM had, "In Which We Serve", a couple of nights ago, which marked David Lean's directorial debut. If anyone proved Hawks right, it was Lean. Great set-up in "River Kwai" or "Lawrence", iffy resolution, especially Larry, but, even worse, both, again especially Larry, drag badly in the middle.

How are you?

Are you able to deal with The Great Arctic Blast of 2010?


Well, Quantum delivered 2 pups overnight, Mrs. Hudson and Miss Morstan. She's fine, everybody else, including Grandmom, burrowed under the covers.

Scott M said...

Given the cold weather combined with the Japanese ramming that spiffy new anti-whaling boat those Greenpeace types bought from batman yesterday, the Greens are having a bad week.

My money's on the sons of Nippon. The French had a war with Greenpeace - and almost lost.

Original Mike said...

where that "scientist" removed subjective tree ring temperatures, and inserted ACTUAL TEMPERATURES into the record instead.

You're defending grafting temperature data onto the end of tree ring data because you don't like the tree ring data and not telling people? Whether or not GW exists, that's totally inappropriate.

Rialby said...

Glad you got to the Alamo. I won't see a movie anywhere else.

Sorry about the cold weather. Austin's had a particularly cold winter this year.

lewsar said...

i admit to being rather tired of cold, snowy, and windy. this is the second cold snap of this winter season, and the first was enough.

only 2.5 months until it starts warming up...


wv: hawther, as in "i wish it would get hawther as i'm tired of the cowld."

David said...

The great blast is fairly tame when it gets to southern South Carolina. Lows in the mid to high 20's.

It always brings out a warning article in the local newspaper: Keep Your Pets Inside.

Even dogs are wimps here when it gets cold.

Freeman Hunt said...

It is 12 degrees in Springdale, Arkansas right now. With windchill, it's -4. That's insane.

News said that even our hardy perennials are in danger of freezing because the weather is so unusual for this zone.

Simon Kenton said...

-8F at the house in the canyon, -13 out in the plains taking my injured daughter to work. It had crept to -6 when I plowed the driveway. It was right work and left small, delible satisfaction when it was done, but really, it was a little too cold for any of us but the malamute.

In the paper, of course, was the required story headlined:

"Cold doesn't disprove warming

Experts say weather a blip in long-term warming trend"

In a bad relationship there finally comes that moment when you catch your surprised self thinking, "You know, I can't stand him any more." I'm getting those little twinges in my relationship with experts. It's as if there's an internal limit on the number of times you can be told that you can borrow and spend your way to economic security, that you can trust them that climate change is unprecedented no matter how much geology you have studied. You don't quite know where the internal limit is, but once the expert passes it, the switch is well and truly flipped.

MadisonMan said...

You're defending grafting temperature data onto the end of tree ring data because you don't like the tree ring data and not telling people?

People knew. Maybe not the general public, but climate scientists knew. There were/are people researching that divergence problem then/now. A better graph would have tree ring data and actual temperatures -- so you could see yourself the divergence and draw your own conclusions. But I wasn't in charge.

Joan said...

Bet Al Gore is just hoping that huge Climategate scandal blows over, where that "scientist" removed subjective tree ring temperatures, and inserted ACTUAL TEMPERATURES into the record instead.

Garage. C'mon, man. By removing the proxy data and replacing it with (accurate) actual temperatures, the scientists were hiding the fact that the proxy data is bad. Bad, bad, bad. Bad for the recent past, and so how can we judge its reliability for the distant past? And this proxy data was the basis for the climate models showing horrible things happening. If the models are based on bad data, their output is also bad.

There's a lot of badness going on in the climate research arena.

Original Mike said...

People knew. Maybe not the general public, but climate scientists knew. There were/are people researching that divergence problem then/now. A better graph would have tree ring data and actual temperatures -- so you could see yourself the divergence and draw your own conclusions. But I wasn't in charge.

Wow. Where to start?

The people who knew were the people on the CRU e-mail-pal list. The people who didn't know, and were the ones who these guys were trying to fool, were the politicians and public who have to foot the bill (a very, very large bill, mind you). I call that fraud. And frankly, if I as a scientist had done that and gotten caught, and pretty sure the University disciplinary panel would call it fraud too. I'd expect to lose my job. You do NOT play fast and lose with data like that. It's dishonest, immoral, a betrayal of science and, since I'm federally funded I have no doubt it's a crime, too.

I can't believe you're defending this.

Roy Lofquist said...

I'm gonna move someplace warm.

Roy in Florida.

peter hoh said...

Freeman Hunt wrote: News said that even our hardy perennials are in danger of freezing because the weather is so unusual for this zone.

It's not so much the surface temps that matter, but the soil temperature.

I'm guessing you don't have snow cover. If you have a small bed of plants that you are particularly concerned about, you might try dumping a pile of straw on top of them.

MadisonMan said...

Defending? Not really -- I stated what a better graph would be: one that included all the data.

Original Mike said...

I looked up better in the dictionary, MM. None of the definitions were "not fraudulent".

Your statement that "people knew" is disingenuous. The intention of what they did was to deceive. There's no getting around it.

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When ice melts, the the cold has to go some where. Tell us where are the glaciers going if the world is not warming. Why is the sea rising?

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