Archive for January 20th, 2012

Oh So Close!

Going Low!

Thirty five minutes.

Thirty five lousy minutes.

That was all that stood in the way of me and everyone else living in the Twin Cities from being part of history!

We were close!

Or as Maxwell Smart used to say, “Missed it by that much!”

I’m talking about the record for the latest sub-zero ever recorded in these parts! January 18, 1889 was the record we were shooting for and darn it, we almost pulled it off! You see, we really haven’t had much of a winter this year. It hasn’t been anywhere close to a typical “MinneSNOWta” winter. If anything, it’s been more like Tulsa or Oklahoma City. Very little snow and what we have received has quickly melted away with our mild temps in the 40’s and 50’s. Relax, Florida Department of Tourism, you are in no danger of being replaced anytime soon as a winter getaway destination, but some of us are basking in our unseasonable warmth!

You see, we had a “brown” Thanksgiving.

A “brown” Christmas.

And a icy-white, quickly fading to brown, New Year’s!

Remember the UPS advertisement of “What can brown do for you?”

Well for me, it means no shoveling, sliding on the ice or adding an extra layers of clothing!

So heading into Wednesday the record was in sight! All we needed to do was stay at zero or above until midnight at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and the record and glory would be ours!

But there was trouble coming!

Trouble in the form of a cold front that was quickly moving in from the northwest and with it the promise of sub-zero temps!

My son, who goes to school in Fargo warned me of what was on the way, but all we had to do was make it until midnight!

Forecasters were optimistic of our chances! They were calling for sub-zero temps AFTER midnight, which meant the record would be set!


Around six o’clock the front moved through the area with a quick burst of snow, followed by somewhat strong winds. Clearing skies meant we were bound for a cold night, but could we hang on until midnight?

Ah, no.

Despite our best efforts, at 11:25PM the temp at the airport hit minus one!

And with that we missed our chance to break a record that had stood for oh so many years! And to make things worse, we woke up to a temperature of minus eleven degrees and a windchill somewhere around “grab every piece of clothing you’ve got and put it on!”

The good news…

We were nowhere near the record of -34 degrees for this date AND we still don’t have much in the way of the white stuff.

The bad news…

Forecasters are predicting the first week of February may be the coldest of the winter. Apparently, a big lump of cold air over Alaska needs someplace to go and it’s heard Minnesota is a pretty nice place to visit, at least this year!

Going Away?

Let’s hope we don’t have to, but if the recent filing for bankruptcy by Hostess Brands is any indication, we may have to without the pleasure of eating a cream filled Twinkie in the future.

Why bankruptcy?

Hostess is deep in debt, mainly due to health care and pension costs.

In addition to Twinkies, they also make Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread.

Oh the humanity!

Maybe our waistlines will be thankful!

Say it ain't so!

Going For A Drive…

Son number two begins driver’s ed in a few weeks so I thought I’d take advantage of our lack of snow and get him some time behind the wheel.

We headed to a nearby church parking lot that is large enough to land a jumbo jet and has plenty of room for a new driver to get his feet wet. I had taken my oldest son to the same place way back when he started this process and he turned out to be a pretty good driver, so why mess with success?

Having gone through this process before also meant I could relax a little bit more this time around. Nothing but calm, cool commands!

He drove for about a half hour and everything went well!

Going Postal…

Recently, I had to mail a package at our local United States Post Office.

I live in a city with a population of 60,000.

Upon entering our beautiful postal facility, I was faced with a line that was almost out the door (this was post holiday by the way) and only two employees working the counter.

I would like to stay those two employees were doing their very best to get us through in a speedy fashion but…nahhh!

After a fifteen minute wait, some good news…a third employee was coming on duty.

The Marines have landed!!

Not so fast!

He relieved one of his two co-workers, which meant there were still only two working the counter!

A few days later and with another package to mail I wanted to avoid that post office and so instead I went to one in the next city over.

A city with a population of around 20,000.

This time I was greeted with another long line and ONE employee working the counter! A very pleasant man who loved to chat with every customer. But his good intentioned stories and banter meant another long wait for me!

So I waited annnnnd waited!

With time on my hands I began to recall the news story I had seen recently about how the Post Office is losing money at an alarming rate and they had come up with a great new plan to compete and return them to profitability.

A plan, a plan…what was that plan?

Oh yeah…

To get SLOWER!