December 17, 2016

Nighttime Christmas lights.


The lights buried after another day of snow. Photo taken just now.


madAsHell said...

Can you use band-pass filters to make the lights dance to music? You know, maybe a hearty rendition of In-A-Gawd-Odd-Avida. Your neighbors would LOVE it.
The drum solo is AWESOME!!
Trust me!!

Michael K said...

My sister in Chicago is miserable with a cold and the cold weather.

Unknown said...

What a pretty little spectacle.

tcrosse said...

I lived for many years in the Twin Cities. My relatives in Seattle would bust my chops about how much nicer the weather was for them, as if this proved their intellectual and moral superiority. Now I live in Las Vegas and they still live in Seattle, but I don't want to be that guy who brags about his nicer weather. And they know it.

rhhardin said...

Ohio 55 degree air and 30 degree ground gives fog, this afternoon. A finger of warm air between successive frigid pools.

HT said...

I and many colleagues have had this allergy/sinusitis thing, which is hard to pin down. The nasal irritation and congestion are bad enough but then the constant stream of mucus from the nose to the stomach makes me want to drink a lot of ginger ale or coke to settle my stomach. Usually with these things I may take a sudafedren, but I decided to try to power through this time with nothing as an experiment.

coupe said...

I lost five hours sick in bed today. The snow ain't much, but what there is is blowing horizontal. I was blowing chunks horizontal as well.

I think I'm going to get off this Enbrel drug. I'd rather have the arthritis...

Clyde said...

Snow is very pretty in someone else's yard, in someone else's state. The last time I saw snow, Bush the Elder had not yet been inaugurated. I don't miss it at all.

Michael K said...

The secret to avoiding all the colds in cold climate living is the humidifier. When I lived in New Hampshire for a year, I had a 5 gallon humidifier that I had to fill two or three times a day. The house had pine doors to the bedrooms and, in winter, you could look into the rooms through the cracks. In summer, the cracks were gone.

I still can't get my Chicago relatives to use humidifiers enough.

coupe said...

Michael K said...The secret to avoiding all the colds in cold climate living is the humidifier.

I always had a bottle of saline to spray up my nose when I flew. We had two very common problems on long flights - being dried out, and having a lot of fine sand go up our noses (8 years in Arabia).

I stopped getting bloody noses when I went to saline, as it kept everything nice and moist, and the sand came out as boogers the size of burgers.

I can see where a humidifier would help.

madAsHell said...

My relatives in Seattle would bust my chops

It ain't just the weather. It's the terrain. Seattle is on hills. You can always find a place with a view. There are mountains to the east, and the west. Mt. Baker is visible to the north. Rainier sits to the south. Seattle is full of views.

EDH said...

"Vice? I have no vice. I'm as pure as the driven snow."

tcrosse said...

Seattle is full of views.
On a clear day

HT said...

Humidifiers are a pain - bulky, loud, sometimes they leak. I also question just how much they really humidify the air. Note I said I question (not answer) it. Because sometimes it doesn't seem to be very much at all. The nety pot is useful, but there again, it's time consuming because of the cleanliness I must get the pot to warm it in, and the use of distilled water, no way will I use tap anymore. Maybe had I been doing it, I would not have gotten sick.

Big Mike said...

@coupe, thank you for that imagery at 8:13. I'be been needing to go on a diet for years.

Humperdink said...

Coupe said: "I think I'm going to get off this Enbrel drug. I'd rather have the arthritis..."

I have arthritic knees. I started taking the herb turmeric circumin. It has done great things for me and it's cheap. Two bottles at WalMart is about $10.

coupe said...

Big Mike said...@coupe, thank you for that imagery at 8:13. I'be been needing to go on a diet for years.

yeah, I might have exaggerated a bit there... :-)

Curious George said...

Damn, snow continuing until early morning. Guess I will be clearing it in -7F degree tomorrow.

Humperdink said...

We have 14" or so of snow on the ground and now 40 degrees with rain. The roads will be a joy to travel on tomorrow.

madAsHell said...

Seattle is full of views.
On a clear day

I see Lake Washington, and the Cascades most every day.

Otto said...

Aren't you afraid of a short caused by water leaking into bulb socket?

Big Mike said...

Lights intended for outdoor use typically have a rubber gasket to seal the socket when the bulb is screwed down tight.

wildswan said...

I going south as they say. Somewhere is the USA the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the air warm (Wisconsin warm, i.e., 40 above). I'm going to find that place.

mccullough said...

Love the colored lights. My wife insists on white outdoor lights, which I think are too WASPish

Anonymous said...

"Former Assistant Secretary of State and international human rights expert John Shattuck said this week that President-elect Donald Trump must welcome a thorough investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election because the questions it raises leave him vulnerable to charges of treason.

“A specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump,” Shattuck wrote in the Boston Globe. “He has brought it on himself by dismissing a bipartisan call for an investigation of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee as a ‘ridiculous’ political attack on the legitimacy of his election as president."

With evidence piling up that forces within Russia worked to tip the election in Trump’s favor, Shattuck said that it’s unwise for Trump to bat aside the accusations as if they’re unimportant."

Kathryn51 said...

Lifetime (almost) "Seattleite" here but I've told hubby we are moving to Whidbey Island (with view of the Sound, shipping lanes and Olympics) before I die.

But back on topic of the photo (that IS the topic, correct?) based on our visit to Madison last summer, I told hubby that I could live there for one year. Snow (especially snow with Christmas lights glowing underneath) is nice if you are retired. Walking along Lake Mendota on a mild day would be nice. Shopping at Brennan's and the Saturday market would be enjoyable. For one year.

Big Mike said...

With evidence piling up that forces within Russia worked to tip the election in Trump’s favor ...

Brought to you by the same folks who told President George W. Bush that the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was "a slam dunk"?

If what the Russians did was make available to the American voters information that the New York Times. the Washington Post, the Boston Globe could have made available but didn't, then it seems to me that the charge of treason more reasonably applies to Mr. Shattuck and his colleagues. Wouldn't you agree?

eddie willers said...

A specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump

From the "Weirdo Manifesto".

Anonymous said...


David Baker said...

Just the opposite here in South Florida. It's warmer than usual, virtually summer-like. A/C running night and day. Local weather people searching for a cold front, but nothing on the horizon. Just more HEAT.

Also, Donald Trump is in town. He used to (rightly) complain about the noise from the nearby airport, but no longer, not since he was elected president. Because now all the air-traffic has to fly around, not over or near his property. And if you've never seen "Mar-a-Lago", it's truly something to behold. Nothing like roughing it in Hawaii.

When Mar-a-Lago was owned (and built in 1927) by Marjorie Merriweather Post (Post cereals), the wall that surrounds the street-side of the property had a rather unique security feature; shards of glass and broken wine bottles were embedded in the top of the wall, making it "difficult" to climb over. But at certain times of year, when the moon was just right, the wall looked like Ann's Christmas lights glowing in the snow.

Jon Ericson said...


Laslo Spatula said...

Socially Awkward Guy Who Makes No Eye Contact says:

Lately I have been tormented by thoughts of sneaking into women’s homes at night and peeing on them as they slept. I’d wear dark clothing with a ski mask, and the Police would call me the Peeing Bandit, even though I would never steal anything, stealing is wrong, I would just pee on them…

As the Peeing Bandit I would hide my footprints by wearing shoes that are too small: the Police would be looking for someone even smaller than me, like a junior high school kid or something…

There would be that moment where I was standing over the bed, peeing, and the women would wake up, disoriented. The problem is that once you start peeing you gotta keep peeing until the peeing is done, which would leave you vulnerable if she awoke angry and you still had a lot of pee to go…

The newspapers would print sketches of what I looked like, but the rooms would be dark and I’m wearing a ski mask, so there wouldn’t be much to the drawings: just a dude in a ski mask, really. Maybe I should wear sunglasses, too, but I already have enough problems seeing well at night, I didn’t get a lot of vitamins when I was a kid…

Maybe they can do DNA from pee, I don’t know, but I don’t want to look it up on my computer, they spy on those things and in court they would show my Google Search history: I’ve already asked Google too many incriminating things already. And then there are the pee videos on my thumb drive…

Thoughts like this keep me from actually being the pee bandit: that, and I have no idea how to break into a home quietly. I’d just have to keep checking for unlocked doors, and that could take all night…

Like no one else thinks these things.

I hope the Girl with the Blue Hair is working at McDonalds today.

I am Laslo.

Lucien said...


If you ever look out in the morning, and find that somebody has written the name "Laslo" in the snow on your deck, in pee, then I would first suspect Meade. . . But check for the extra small footprints just in case. (And watch out for that yellow snow.)

Quaestor said...

I guess this a café post, even though there's no At the Snowbound Xmas Lights Café title. I gather the café status from Lazlo's typically unique contribution (Typically unique? Is that even logical? Is there logic at 6 in the morning?) I just spent he whole morning writing 2106 words. That must be a kind of reverse record. But 1000 words is my daily goal, so maybe I can take the morning off.

Anyway, Lazlo's digression (is that what it is?) doesn't fit thematically with Xmas or snow, except the tiny footprints thing. Personally I'm always surprised by the size of my footprints in the snow, which look bigger than I assume my feet really are. maybe women are impressed by my tracks.

Lazlo appears to have saved up that one, kinda like my hound likes to save his pee for an appropriate occasion.

Ann Althouse said...

"Humidifiers are a pain - bulky, loud, sometimes they leak. I also question just how much they really humidify the air. Note I said I question (not answer) it. Because sometimes it doesn't seem to be very much at all. The nety pot is useful, but there again, it's time consuming because of the cleanliness I must get the pot to warm it in, and the use of distilled water, no way will I use tap anymore. Maybe had I been doing it, I would not have gotten sick."

The solution is to keep the thermostat set very low. This is lateral thinking: Don't try to force more water into the air or into your nose. Change the air so that it will hold more water. I used to get a sinus infection every winter, living in NYC where I could not keep the radiators from getting way too warm, like in the 70s. In my house, I took to keeping the thermostats at 65° and now, with Meade, we keep it at 62° or lower (much lower at night — 55 or even 50).

Ann Althouse said...

"I guess this a café post, even though there's no At the Snowbound Xmas Lights Café title."

Yes. A photo and minimal content is a cafe post too.

Ann Althouse said...

"Aren't you afraid of a short caused by water leaking into bulb socket?"

Should we be?

Humperdink said...

Trump charged with treason? Commie pinko lefties never miss an opportunity to look like fools. But for them, it comes easy.

Let's summarize:

The Wikileaks bared Podesta's truthful, ugly soul, and by extension HRC's. It has been alleged by the O administration the leaks were obtained by the Russians (no proof presented yet). Wikileaks, the actual leakers, say otherwise. Why would they lie? Who knows? Let's say the Russians did it. No ballots were hacked, no voting machines were hacked. Only truthful info on the HRC campaign was provided.

On the other side, let's look at the Fakestream Media (CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC). They dig for any and all dirt on Trump, including surreptitiously obtaining state tax information. They also sit on, and then present the "pu**y" video. All this clearly favors Hildabeast. The Fakestream Media has done this to every R candidate in my lifetime.

Now the poor babies are crying foul when it happens to them. So sad.

Hacking? Get a life.

Ann Althouse said...

The lights have fuses.

Jon Ericson said...

'Twas Inaugural Eve, when all through the land
Not a creature was stirring, not woman nor man
The bunting was hung by the platform with care
In hopes that the President soon would be there

Adult babies were nestled all snug in their safe spots
While visions of peppermint lattes danced through their thoughts
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my bare feet
Had just settled on the couch to write up some Tweets

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the designer window treatments and threw up the sash

The moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below
When what should my wondering eyeballs now view
But a nondescript van with a medical crew

With a little old lady so wrinkled with sag
I knew in a moment she must be The Hag
More rapid than eagles her minions they came
And she cackled, and wheezed, and called them by name

"Now Weiner! McAuliffe! Podesta and Mills!
On Huma! Palmieri! On Chelsea and Bill!
To the top of the platform on the Washington Mall
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
So up to the Capitol her minions they flew
With the van full of medication, and Saint Hillary too

And then, in a twinkling, I heard a guffaw
The grasping and clinging of each grubby paw
As I drew in my head, set for taking my lumps
Down the stairway St. Hillary came with a thump

She was dressed in polyester, from her head to her foot
And her clothes were all draped like a baggy Mao suit
An enemies list she had stashed in her pants
And she looked like a homeless guy starting a rant

Her eyes-how they wandered! Gone wild with strabismus!
She kept sticking her nose into everyone's business
Her droll little mouth was drawn back in a sneer
And the chin whiskers bleached, until they were clear

A bottle of vodka was clutched in her fist
And the vapors encircled her head like a mist
She had a harsh laugh and a fake Southern drawl
She warn't no ways tahrred, in spite of it all

She was chubby and plump, a right nasty old elf
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself
A three-hundred-sixty degree twist of her head
Soon gave me to know I had something to dread

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work
Emptied everyone's stockings; called me "Deplorable jerk!"
Then mashing the throttle right down to the floor
Her Hoveround rose up the stairway once more

She lurched toward her van, her team gave her a boost
And away they all flew like the down of a goose
But they heard me exclaim, ere they drove out of sight-

"Happy Christmas to all! She's not President tonight!"


David Begley said...

Negative 10 in Omaha now.

Jon Ericson said...

Nippy here.

traditionalguy said...

Has the Media figured it out yet? This cold is the Siberian Express sent down on us by Putin and his secret agent, Trumpskia.

This cold never happened before when we had a Kenyan Ruler.

AllenS said...

I woke up at 2 am this morning, went downstairs to put more wood in the stove, and it was -20º outside. Presently, my outside thermometer says -28. About 8 am, I'll have to go outside and feed the cats, then give them water later. That's it. I ain't going nowhere else.

AllenS said...

How about a vivid metaphor -- colder than a witch's tit.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ann, I'm pretty much positive that warm air is able to carry more moisture than cold air.

Hagar said...

I would not want to live anywhere I could see Mt. Rainier, or anything like it.

Why on earth would anyone use a humidifier in Illinois?
You need water in Illinois, just wave a handkerchief in the air and wring it out.

Humperdink said...

Twenty-four and ice in NW PA. Home bound today.

Hagar said...

Bad Lt. is right, but relative humidity is a better indicator of how wet it feels, which is why the weathercasters list that rather than the absolute humidity.

Quaestor said...

Should we be?

Outdoor lights are pretty secure, and getting buried in snow is one of hazards the UL test for.

One of my neighbors has a pair of lasers in his front yard which beam through multifaceted refractors, like crystal dodecahedrons. They splash a random and ever-changing pattern of red and green across his house and all the trees and foliage. Too bad there isn't snow here yet, as it should be dramatic.

tcrosse said...

In North Dakota on a clear day you can see the back of your own head.

BudBrown said...

Relative humidity (RH) is the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapor to the equilibrium vapor pressure of water at a given temperature. Relative humidity depends on temperature and the pressure of the system of interest. It requires less water vapor to attain high relative humidity at low temperatures; more water vapour is required to attain high relative humidity in warm or hot air.

BudBrown said...

It snowed in Tampa in 1977. WE had one day last month where it got chilly enough that I thought about turning on the heater just to see if it still works. Naw. I closed
most of the windows for a while. Last couple of weeks lot of foggy mornings. Guy
owned the St. Pete Times back when had a standing offer that any day the sun didn't shine at least a bit in St. Pete you could get a free newspaper. They say the AGW models don't deal well with clouds. I wonder if a few years hence Tampa will get a lot of all day fog ins. And the white lights. This one street I've been walking down for 18 years, that use to have really neat Christmas lights, has gone all white lights. Except with a little bit of a yellow glimmer. Watch out where the huskies go.

Original Mike said...

"One of my neighbors has a pair of lasers in his front yard which beam through multifaceted refractors, like crystal dodecahedrons."

God, those things are tacky.

Michael K said...

"It snowed in Tampa in 1977"

I was there. I went to Plant City to look at a new sailboat I was thinking of buying. I took my younger son with me who was 8 at the time.

We just about froze.

Michael K said...

"more water vapour is required to attain high relative humidity in warm or hot air."

Cold air is very dry and when you heat it, the humidity goes way down. Dry nasal mucus membrane doesn't protect against viruses so you get every cold going by,

That's why my doors would shrink in winter in New Hampshire, 26 below Thanksgiving morning 1994.

Original Mike said...

"That's why my doors would shrink in winter in New Hampshire,"

Winter is when we get our living room back. Whoever laid the parquet floor didn't account for expansion and it buckles up in several places in summer. In winter, it lays back down flat.

Big Mike said...

@BudBrown, back in May of 1774 there was a 4" snowfall from what is today Fairfax County, Virginia, all the way north to Boston. That's what the "Little Ice Age" was all about.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cold air is very dry and when you heat it, the humidity goes way down.

@ Michael K

It is now, at 9:50, warmed all the way up to 22 degrees from our nighttime low of about 14 degrees. Crystal clear skies for the last few days and nights. Relative humidity outside is 64%. Dew point (whatever that means) 16 degrees. Zero wind.

California :-)

We would also leave the State if we could. However, our business is tied, literally, to the land. Wells, pumps, water production, water systems. We have a large clientele and to move and start all over at our age is really not a possibility. So. We will just grit our teeth and hang in here until we can sell the business. At least we are not in the Bay Area or other insane asylum areas of the State.

Original Mike said...

Dew point is the temperature at which, with its current water content, the air would be completely saturated (i.e. 100% relative humidity).

Original Mike said...

Dew is perhaps the greatest handicap to telescope observing in the midwest. Dew condenses on the optics and will completely shut you down. It can be a clear night and yet you're standing there unable to observe. Dew sucks worse than clouds (because if there are clouds you don't even set up). When I go out observing, the predicted temperature and dew point are the figures I watch.

Marc Puckett said...

Eugene-- four days after the ice storm-- has ice-coated trees &c (it's beautiful outdoors!) but no snow. The newspaper says ten thousand people in the area are still without electricity so I won't whine too loudly about the lack of snow.

HT said...

The Intercept is saying how can you deride the CIA for WMD and support Bolton?

Michael K said...

"it buckles up in several places in summer. In winter, it lays back down flat."

About 20 years ago, I noticed that the oak floor was buckling. It was a slab leak in a typical California house with no basement or crawl space,

The reason it's called "Dew Point" is that, when the temp drops to that level, the air is supersaturated with water vapor and this stuff we call "Dew" winds up on stuff.

Original Mike said...

Dew actually forms before the air temperature reaches the dew point, because surfaces which can "see" the sky (grass, telescope optics) radiate thermal energy which drops their temperature below air temperature.

Dew sucks. I'm in the process of adding dew heater systems to my telescopes.

rhhardin said...

You're breathing outdoor air indoors but with its temperature raised, which means its relative humidity drops, and it dries things out more the more you heat it.

Heating it not so much works better than heating it a lot, whatever your sensitivity to dryness, because it will be less dry.

Another counterstrategy is to add moisture with a humidifier. It's cheaper all around just to keep the house cooler, as cool as you can stand. (Exception for heat pumps, if they have to defrost themselves, having a harder time if the house is cool.)

Original Mike said...

A dew heater works by raising the temperature of the optics above the air temperature. Right now, I have a 12V hair dryer to evaporate the dew off the glass, but once you've reached that point it's a rear guard action.

mockturtle said...

Jon Ericson: Cleverly done.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Thanks guys. That was interesting about the dew point.

Does that have some bearing on the massive amounts of condensation that we "now" have in our bedroom on the french doors (not any other windows) because we installed a new ventless gas heater? (Which works like a dream!) We keep the temp low at night about 64 to 66 and the condensation is on the glass behind the floor to ceiling draperies that cover the french doors. I'm thinking a DE humidifier because the master bathroom off of the bedroom only vents out with the exhaust fan.

The relative humidity in our great room (living, dining, kitchen) is usually about 41%

Maybe it was always humid in the master, but didn't condense because the room wasn't all that warm? Or maybe we need to make it warmer. THAT wouldn't hurt my feelings :-)

Science is interesting!

Original Mike said...

DBQ - I'd say you have "dew" forming on the window because it's temperature is lower than the dewpoint of the air at the window surface. If you open the drapes, it would probably raise the temperature of the window enough to prevent this.

We have a similar problem. If we close the drapes, we get condensation on the windows. Open the drapes and we don't have condensation.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Original Mike.

I was afraid that was the answer. Open the drapes, but damn that glass and window gets cold from the outside air. I guess that is what I will do. Raise the temp on the heater and open the drapes to let the glass get warmer. Better than mold on the wooden french doors :-(

Original Mike said...

Yeah, I didn't think you'd like that. I'd have posted more, but I was distracted watching the Packers try and hand the game to the Bears.

You need to raise the temperature of the window and/or lower the humidity of the air. The drapes limit your ability to do so, but whether or not they are an absolute impediment is a matter of experimentation. Try raising the room temp. Try a dehumidifier.

Or you could put a "dew heater" on the window. Some kind of electrically driven thermal tape.

Original Mike said...

Try putting an incandescent light bulb behind the drapes. Paint it black.