March 13, 2017

Number of cars seen in the ditch as we drove this morning from Newton, Iowa to Dubuque: 28!

But we crossed the Mississippi and entered the snowy, rolling hills of Wisconsin, and we made it home to Madison, blissfully intact.

The indoor temperature upon arrival: 47° (which is where I set it). Now, I'm filling up a hot bath to heat up while I wait for the furnace and the boiler to get us back to our toasty normal of 62°, and I'm enjoying my first encounter with a desktop computer after 16 days of using a laptop. We got a wide view of the country, out and about driving (and walking) through 8 states, but the desktop screen is twice as big as the laptop's, so this is a nice view as well.

Back to more normal blogging (plus many photographs to shuffle through). Thanks for carrying on without me.

55 comments:

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ann, we couldn't have done it without you. Oh wait, we did! :-)

PB said...

Better to follow on the heals of a snowstorm that drive into the teeth of one. I sit them out. Same rule for rainstorms.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

The Days Inn is better than a day in the ditch.


Maybe I should have gone into marketing.

PB said...

"toasty 62 degrees"? My, your blood runs cold.

Humperdink said...

Since I produce my own natural gas, 72 degrees is the order of the day. 62 is a bit nippy (indoors).

David Begley said...

Twenty eight is a big number for that distance. You should have stopped in Omaha for lunch with Barack, Warren and Susie.

David53 said...

62 Degrees, yikes! Too cold.

Big Mike said...

Welcome back.

Michael K said...

When I lived in New Hampshire, I was driving my dog to the boarding kennel in a snowstorm.

The car behind me was following too close and, when I slowed to turn into the kennel parking lot, he skidded off the road into the ditch.

He told the cop that I had no brake lights so, when I came out of the kennel, the cop asked me to show him my brake lights.

Unfortunately for the guy in the ditch, I had not driven on and the brake lights were fine.

When I was a kid in Chicago, we used to go out in snowstorms and spin our cars in the beach parking lot, which is the size of Dodger stadium's lot. I learned how to drive in snow and never forgot. Some people never learn even though they live in snow country.

traditionalguy said...

That was good workmanlike travel blogging.I hope Zeus forgives you.

Snark said...

I sleep at anywhere between 58 and 62, but 68 is the up and about temperature chez Snark. I would needs a big sweater or constant activity to be comfortable at 62.

Snark said...

I'm super jealous of all the hiking accomplishments, too!

Fernandinande said...

Sounds like you had a good trip and I'm glad you're now in a Safe Space.

dreams said...

I can't do 62, I blame my heart disease. I did 65 for a few years but 68 degrees now and I'm still cold.

LYNNDH said...

62 is not toasty, it's COLD. I do 68 to 70.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...but the laptop screen is twice as big as the laptop's

Possibilities:
1) Laptop screen size is 0.
2) Laptop screen size is ∞
3) Laptop screen size is -∞
4) There is a typo

Ann Althouse said...

""toasty 62 degrees"? My, your blood runs cold."

I enjoy *breathing* cool air. For bodily warm: sweaters and slippers. It's much nicer than heating up the whole house, which makes everything too dry. I like sweaters!

Ann Althouse said...

"Twenty eight is a big number for that distance."

And presumably there were more cars that were able to drive out of their off-road experience or that had already been towed.

It was ALL cars, by the way. No trucks.

Ann Althouse said...

"That was good workmanlike travel blogging.I hope Zeus forgives you."

I just let him lick peanut butter off my fingers so I am the girl with peanut butter hands.

Ann Althouse said...

@Ignorance LOL

Fixed.

traditionalguy said...

Better than being the girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

tcrosse said...

Another way:
Fly to Las Vegas
Rent Car
Tour Southwest
Return rental car
Fly back to Midwest

Fernandinande said...

"Reward approaches $50,000 in tortured Clearfield [UT] cat case"

I'm not a cat fancier, but I hope they catch and fry this person.

Chuck said...

I would like 62, for moving around during the day, and sleeping. I'm exactly like Althouse. I like sweaters, and less dry air, and the refreshment of cold. But even as a native Michiganian, I have a hard time getting out of bed into 62 degrees.

What gets me is setting a thermostat to 47. I might worry about some exterior-wall pipes freezing while I was gone and causing a week's worth of unnoticed damage before returning. But since that didn't happen, Althouse is proven right. (Still, if you got some vintage minus-10 or minus-15 temps, it might be different.)

I definitely want to upgrade to a smartphone-based system for adjusting a thermostat, turning on and off lights, and maybe even a couple of surveillance cameras.

Michael said...

tcrosse

My thoughts exactly. Rental cars are cheap as is gas. It would be an interesting calculation to compare the cost of the two methods. On the other hand I was once a white knuckle flyer (even though I had to fly a hundred or more thousand miles a year) and honor the anxiety of an approaching flight to depart and the return flight home. The anticipation of both could ruin a trip like they took.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

Etienne said...
Hillary's plane flew over my house today, headed east - "Stonger Together" written on the side:

I thought that Hillary and her senior staff all had their own broomsticks. And that the lower-level staff had wings, like gargoyles.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/73/4e/37/734e377fcbac79517e00c19d0eeebe75.jpg

tcrosse said...

It would be an interesting calculation to compare the cost of the two methods.
Be sure to include the wear and tear on your own vehicle, the food and accomodation along the way, and the time lost traversing the flatlands rather than touring the parks, especially when winter weather acts up.

rhhardin said...

NYT email announces

24 million would lose insurance under the G.O.P. health bill within a decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found

They should compare it to Obamacare, under which 300 million would lose their insurance within a decade.

Nobody bothered to arrange to pay for Obamacare.

rhhardin said...

Wear a hat and you can keep the house even colder than 62.

Static Ping said...

62 would be shivering temperature for me. Of course, house thermostats vary so your 62 and my 62 may be very different things, but at my 62 I would have to wear thermal underwear and a coat for an extended stay. I'd be warmer outside at 47 but moving around.

47 is asking for a frozen pipe in an older home.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

Althouse wears mittens in the house in the wintertime.
Meade?

Kathryn51 said...

tcrosse said...
Another way:
Fly to Las Vegas
Rent Car
Tour Southwest
Return rental car
Fly back to Midwest


I've been reading Althouse since the Jessica Valenti Boob post (so, 9-10 years?) and I can't remember the last time she and/or Meade flew anywhere. Maybe when she was in NYC for a year?

PB said...

Do you maintain the house at 62 degrees in the summer, too?

Michael K said...

91 in Tucson today. I keep the house at 78 and it feels cool when we come in.

Francisco D said...

That's interstate 80 in Iowa when it snows. A colleague drives from Iowa City to Davenport every day and lists ditched cars and trucks. Today was pretty good: 11 cars in the ditch, zero trucks. I have seen the number as high as 60.

Francisco D said...

Michael K.,

Please Stop!

I have one year, one month and five days until I move to Tucson. :-)

traditionalguy said...

Speaking of Zeus, the wife just told me that we donate to an animal shelter in, of all places, Bryce Canyon, Utah. It is an animal shelter for old service dogs to live out their lives, called Best Friends.

Fabi said...

"I just let him lick peanut butter off my fingers so I am the girl with peanut butter hands."

Ha!

Pianoman said...

Welcome back, Professor -- glad you and Meade had a safe trip.

Tom_Ohio said...

Glad you guys made it back in one piece. Hope the fire gets warm and you reflect on a great trip.. sometime later in the week. Get some rest :-)

Richard Dillman said...

Now that you are back, let me recommend two wonderful novels by Willa Cather that capture the beauty and poetry of the canyon country--
"The Professor's House," a fictional retelling of the discovery of Mesa Verde National Park by a New Mexico cowboy, Dick Wetherall, and "Death Comes for the Archbishop." These novels contain the best imagistic, sensory, and metaphoric depictions of
canyon country I've ever encountered. Cather explored Mesa Verde with a friend shortly after it was discovered, got lost, and had to be rescued. She and her friend climbed one of the largest boulders they could find and waved a make-shift flag until they were found.

Bunk said...

I grew up in Colorado and 62 deg. was hot to me. I've been living in Phoenix the past 20 years and 62 is now cold. I'm convinced the blood thins in all us desert dwellers.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

I wonder if there are two types of people.

Those who keep a count folks in the ditch, and live cold.

And the rest of us.

I dunno.

Michael K said...

I have one year, one month and five days until I move to Tucson. :-)

Let me know the time and I will tell you where to look for houses.

David said...

62?

If only those Madison progressives had known. They might have treated you better.

Meade said...

"No serious injuries" is the report I read. So people were lucky, thankfully. Excessive speed, lack of attention, and distracted driving cause most road accidents. It's good to have a good passenger — one who adds a pair of eyes on the road, stays calm and rational, and goes with the flow. I got lucky when I married a good passenger.

Snow shoveled, dog walked, wife fed and happy. Everything is good. Thanks, all, for all your kind well-wishes.

Gospace said...

68°-72°F are where institutions are requited to maintain temperatures during the winter, and most homes were, and probably still are, set at 70°F. I have to wear fleece at home if it's 70°F. But then, it's 20°F outside right now, the windows are open, and it's 82°F on the boiler room floor where I work. Get's a little warmer in summer. I'm going to have to move south when I retire.

james conrad said...

62 might be AA/Meade comfort zone but one thing it ain't is toasty! More of a set the stat and forget it kind of guy, 70 in winter & 72 in summer. It's a new system with a thermostat that's constantly blinking at me, "set your WiFi" which i just ignore as i push the "hold" button.

'TreHammer said...

Jessica Valenti Boob post? :-D

'TreHammer said...

Went to school in Iowa during the early-mid &0's (ISU). At that time, I-80 in Iowa had a restriction on the size of trailers that could be hauled across the state so the big rigs needed to avoid I-80 when they got to Iowa. That was a time when you could really lose count of the trucks stuck in the snow because they were driving to avoid I-80 (usually used Hwy 30).

'TreHammer said...

oops, my error...early-mid 70's...

Francisco D said...

Michael K,

Will do.

We are looking in the Oro Valley/North Tucson area, somewhere near the bike/running path that supposedly encircles Tucson. My girlfriend is a (usually half) marathoner and wants a comfortable place to run.