just wait, it's coming! dddragon presents: Is Anything Truly Random?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fastnacht Day!

Last year's fastnachts
Early in the morning of "fat Tuesday", my husband will go to his brother's house to pick up fastnachts. A few will come home, but many will go to Nod's office. His boss just LOVES those fastnachts (Nod is joking that he can get away with anything on Fastnacht day).


Ice continues to be a problem and is in the news quite a bit. Here are a series of photos from the local newspaper. Normally, residents are required "... within eight (8) hours after snow has ceased to fall ... remove the snow or ice from the sidewalk to its entire length and to a width of at least three feet ...". Most towns around here have extended the time until this morning (York, to our south, has re-extended it to Thursday).

The problem is that the ice is now like cement and it hasn't been warm enough to do much melting. Oh, sure, you can dump a load of roadsalt on it - that's horrible for the environment - or you can spend hours chopping it. I've seen people out with axes and pick axes and all sorts of other tools, trying to get rid of the ice. Often they spend hours getting a small area cleared. I did it for too long on Saturday and am still feeling the effects. This weekend a man died of heart failure after clearing his driving - unfortunately, this happens every winter.

When is spring coming?

Sunday, February 18, 2007


These icicles were firmly attached to both van and ground
I spent many hours yesterday chipping away at ice on our driveway and sidewalk. Shouldn't have. Hours later my arms and hands were extremely painful - only my gall bladder attack pain was worse. I'm going to have to take it easy with things for a couple of days.

one of these icicles is more than three feet long
Here the ice on a little-used door handle starts to slide off.

I was prompted to try and clear the ice because I slipped and fell on Friday night - I knew I would eventually because I was slipping everytime I went out to the van.

EVERYthing has ice on it somewhere!
We don't have any snow anymore ... oh, it LOOKs like snow, but it's more than six inches of solid ice. Anyone here can attest to that.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow & Ice

We finally got "significant" snow. While the actual amount on the ground is probably not more than six inches or so, the top couple of inches are icy snow and ice. It took me about 30 minutes to get my van cleared enough (for me) to drive to work (not far).

Very few people made it into work at the Call Center. The Navy Depot where Nod works was closed today, as were all the schools (ours was the last to go from delay to closed early this morning.) When I left work after four hours, my van was completely incased in ice (see photo!) and it took a while to get a door open so that I could start the engine and get the defrosting going. As I left for the day, the Center Director decided to close at 3 pm and to open late tomorrow.

When I got home, the list of business closures on tv was extensive - it's running along the bottom of the tv screen thru all shows and commercials now (and it's so long that it's quicker to check online).

Now our girls are checking and hoping that there is a delay tomorrow for school, but not a closure. That'll cut into spring break days off later on this year.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Mother TLP took me and Sister Actonbell to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day. Boy, did we have fun! Sure wish that Sister AP3 could've been there. I'd like to see her when the Groundhog King and Queen are crowned.

As we drove towards Punxsutawney, I wondered how serious this town was about the Groundhog. Then I saw this sign:

Groundhog PlazaWe got there on January 31st, so the town wasn't totally parked up yet and we checked into the Pantall Hotel. First I saw this at the side entrance:

Ladies Entrance ... just HOW old is this hotel?

... And look who stayed in the room across the hall! There were photos of Bill Murray in some of the shops around town from his visit back in 1992. Groundhog Day was not filmed in Punxsutawney, but the town has really embraced him and the movie. Some members of the real "Inner Circle" were in the movie, tho'.

Bill Murray slept here a long time ago
There was an ice carver and woodcarver in the park across the street from the hotel (both used chainsaws).

You shoulda seen the Ice Mug this guy made for himself!
Boy, I was tempted to get one of these wooden Groundhogs, especially the toilet paper holder!

Phil and Phyllis live in "The Zoo", which is an enclosure at the town library. Phil was ... um ... very "LOVING", but he took WAY too long and Phyllis got mad. She has BIG, LONG front teeth! Oh, my! The enclosure has glass that reflected too much, so no photos. Here is a site with a webcam.

All around town there are "Phantasic Phils" - fiberglass cartoon statues of Punxy Phil. (A rodent version of the CowParade that we had here in Harrisburg back in 2004.)

Presby MacPhil by Artist - Jeff Marshall.
 TLP with the Get Your Phil of Roses by Artist - Brenda Nicklas.
It's Springtime for Phantastic Phyllis by Artist - Sheila Cuellar-Shaffer
We had fun up on Gobbler's Knob - people start arriving at 3 am, but we got there around 5 am. There was plenty of entertainment - music, silly contests, dancing, checking the time and temperature ("BEN! What Time IS it!?") and more. The two-and-a-half hours that we were there went by very quickly. There were plenty of people there in different levels of bundling. TLP kept wrapping Actonbell up in a blanket. Mom had talked so much about how cold it was last year that I really bundled up - two pairs of silk longjohns, jeans and waterproof pants, turtleneck, t-shirt and fleece pullover, two pairs of socks, coat, boots, hats (yes, one under the Groundhog hat) and handwarmers in my mittens and boots. I was HOT! (The temperature was in the teens and low 20's.)

Okay, Mom, thanks for the green blanket!

The dots in these photos is snow.

Look at all these crazy people!
Before dawn, there were fireworks:

Pretty!here you can see that the sky began to get lighter as dawn approached:

Pull the big, fat rat out already!

The townspeople were all VERY nice. And there were SO many tourists! I'm glad that we got up there a day early before the crowd. Plenty of camera crews - I met one from Spain and another from Germany. A crew from a new Retirement Living Television Network (a new channel) took pictures of us, as did a crew from the new Farmers Almanac Network from Georgia.

I told Actonbell that we should visit Punxsutawney in the summer and see how groundhoggish the town is then. Then we found out that they have a Groundhog Festival in July.
We might just have to go, eh?