Snow-Vember

sugar

Pure Hawaiian White!

In a former life as a college Film & TV student, I worked on a mock commercial written and directed by a classmate friend of mine. It featured two guys in a run-down warehouse — one wanting to buy from the other some “premium Hawaiian white stuff” for his wife who desperately needed it.

The seller opens a case containing bags of white powder. The transaction is interrupted, and the commercial ends, with both men fleeing sudden sirens and flashing red and blue lights. The piece is really funny because it was done in the mid 1970s, during the height of the sugar shortage when prices skyrocketed.

Just this past week we had a whole other kind of “white stuff.”

before

“Before” (Oct 28)

You may recall that I mark the Summer Solstice as a time of mourning and the Winter Solstice as a time of rejoicing. The former marks the beginning of the Losing of the Light; the latter marks the beginning of the Growing of the Light.

There are also the Equinoxes, which divide the year in two. In one half, there is more light than dark; in the other half, more dark than light. As such, the Autumnal Equinox, despite falling during my favorite season, is also a time of mourning.

Technically, winter begins with the Winter Solstice, but in Minnesota we tend to mark it by when the snow arrives to stay. You may also recall I have a “when will it snow” yardstick:

  1. Will it be a white Halloween? (nope)
  2. Will it be a white Thanksgiving? (looks like)
  3. Will it be a white Christmas? (odds are)
after

“After!” (Nov 10)

This year it looks like Winter rolled in just after Halloween. We’ve had a cold snap and some snow (not a lot, but some). We could yet get a warm snap that would melt the snow, but it would take several days of warmth.

Once the snow is down, all that white reflects heat, and that helps the snow stick around longer. Once you get decent ground cover, that’s often it until next spring.

In a former place, before I came down with a brief case of Marriage, I had a doohickey that told me the temperature both inside and outside. It had a sensor on a longish wire for measuring the outside temperature. Obviously that sensor had to be outside, so you needed to route the wire through a small gap in a window or door (or make one).

It was possible, even back then, to get the current weather report quickly and easily. But even today, with phone apps, reports can vary and at best you only get data from a nearby weather station and only after the data has worked its way through whatever system.

new doohickey

New Doohickey!

A thermometer outside your house is immediate and somehow gratifying. It’s good to know that, right now, right outside, it’s whatever degrees. (I suppose it’s mostly people who live in places with extreme temperatures that find it so interesting.)

I still have the doohickey, but I’ve moved three times, and it’s been banged up a bit. I never got around to installing it here. There really weren’t any good choices on routing the wire. Plus, the doohickey is obviously constrained to be near where you place the sensor.

But modern technology to the rescue. Now you can buy units with radio-based outside sensors. You also have freedom on where you put the inside unit. Kinda win-win.

doohickey sensor

Doohickey sensor (Look, Ma, no wires!)

Thus I know that, last night, right outside, it got down to 10 (point nine). And right now it’s 25 (point one). That’s in Fahrenheit degrees, but the unit has an option for Centigrade.

I know the minimum because the unit stores it. Unfortunately, it resets the min and max (both indoor and outdoor) every midnight. My old doohickey kept min and max (outdoor only) until I reset them (allowing me to track over days — I wish this one could do that).

In a former universe, or an alternate one, we could just call them Tember, Tober, Vember and Cember. After all, September is no longer the seventh month (nor is October the eighth, November the ninth or December the tenth).

On the other hand, the abbreviations (Sep, Oct, Nov & Dec) are pretty handy. (And there’s something about “Toberfest” that doesn’t quite cut it.)

Okay, never mind. Have a lovely Snow-Vember!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

13 responses to “Snow-Vember

  • Doobster418

    Here in San Francisco we don’t have the same seasons that you have in Minnesota. Snow? What’s that? What we have is the foggy season (June through August) and the rainy season (November through February), separated by the warm season (September and October) and the almost as warm season (March through May). And by “warm” I mean it will occasionally reach 80. And by rainy, I mean it will rain a few times each month.

    Have a lovely Snow-vember, Wyrd.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Thanks! Complaining about mild weather doesn’t carry a lot of weight with Minnesnowtans. Besides: San Francisco!! 😛

      One advantage to weathering this weather is that the only people we have to give weather sympathy to pretty much are hurricane and tornado victims. (Or, you know, earthquake, tsunami, volcano… that sort of thing. When that happens, you’ll have my heartfelt condolences! (And I suppose for you, any or all of those three are possible!) 🙂 )

      • Doobster418

        Not so much hurricanes or tornadoes. But, with climate change, you never know.

        Earthquakes are always possible, and those can be pretty scary. You know, when the earth moves — and not while having sex — it can be a bit disconcerting. But at least I don’t have to shovel snow or worry about falling down and busting something when slipping on ice. I hate when that happens.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yes, I lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 years — I remember them well! Currently I live on the south-east side of the city, and most of our weather comes out of the north-west. Thus the city takes the brunt of most storms. My problem is… I kinda like storms!

      • Doobster418

        Well, you know what they say. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. Yada, yada, yada.

  • Hariod Brawn

    I’m still on old money too. [Fahrenheit] I know I like 72f-74f as an optimum, but when someone says it’s going to be 15c or 26c I start to feel very uncertain about life.

  • dianasschwenk

    We’re full-on winter here now Smitty. Was there a time where we had only 10 months in a year?
    Diana xo

    • Wyrd Smythe

      We’ll just have to dig in and wait it out. Yep, the original Roman calendar had only 10 months. They added January and February later. (“Later” is relative… all this happened in the B.C.)

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