SnowFace Cody

Early Morning and Bird Tracking

Since I've been working more 3 pm to 10 pm shifts than any other shift lately, my sleep schedule is rather messed up. I'm sleeping a little later in the mornings and staying up a little later in the evenings now. Today is a 3 to 10 day, and I'd hoped to sleep in a bit. Sasha and Vinnie had other ideas.

I gave up on ignoring them at 5 am, crawling over the edge of my bed, stumbling into the bathroom, dragging semi-warm clothing onto my body to accommodate the cooling weather, and shuffling down the stairs, I took them out to the back yard. Have you noticed yet? IT'S DARK AT 5:15 IN THE MORNING AGAIN! And there was Orion, low in the south east sky. I haven't spotted Orion in months. Sort of like seeing an old friend, since he's one of the few constellations I can recognize, and the Big Dipper was either below the horizon or behind the house. And that Cassiopeia wouldn't even acknowledge my presence. She's never been friendly with me, anyway ... such a snob.

Fortunately, I'd grabbed my jacket on the way out the door, so I could comfortably stand in the chill morning dark and gaze at the stars while Vinnie and Sasha tended to their outdoor business. I guess I'll be planning more morning sit-outs while I can. After all, as Sean Bean said: Winter is coming.

Yesterday morning MyJeff and I took the dogs down to the dog park for a bit of a romp. We had to keep a sharp watch and avoid the trucks and other heavy equipment that are there putting in graveled walkways and whatever other "improvements" MAC has decided they need. But we had a lovely walk anyway. The highlight of which was when a raptor flew from the edge of the airport field right over our heads. When we'd first spotted him atop a fence pole, we figured "hawk", then he spread his wings. And spread them to a truly impressive width. As he over-flew us, we were trying to discern whether he was a large hawk or a young eagle and, if so, what type.

NOTE: As soon as he headed our way, I started digging my camera out of my pouch. YES! I did have my camera along. Can you believe it?

He flew fast. And he flew behind trees. And he flew out into the swamp area (where he turned on his cloaking device for a while). And he was really hard to see in the tiny little screen of my camera, which is so reflective that it goes all black, if it's at all bright out. I always have trouble taking outdoor photos. We followed through much of the park, taking turns trying to catch him (and his brother/sister/girlfriend who joined him in his aerial hide 'n seek) in a photo or two.

This is the best either MyJeff or I could capture of our hawk/eagle:





Neither photo does him credit, but I wanted to prove to you that I DID have my camera. I DID remember to take it on an outing. MutterMutterMutterGottaGetAGoodOutdoorCamera ... after we win the lottery.
SnowFace Cody

Another Week ... Another Buck-Two-Eighty

A local weather forecaster has recently used the term "Augtober" in reference to our current weather pattern. An example: Today we have a high of 66 F and a low of 51 F forecast, while the respective averages for today are 79 and 61 degrees. Actually rather pleasant, you know, despite some notable winds. But definitely not typical August weather.

I applied for a couple of different jobs last week. Have one interview for a part time receptionist position at a health clinic this afternoon before going to work at the Test Center from 3 until 10 tonight. Need to research/review that clinic some more this morning. Am waiting to hear from the Minneapolis Community and Technical College--so far only a "thanks for your application, we'll let you know, if you're good enough to interview" email from them. I would REALLY like to get that job, despite it being full time. We shall see what happens.

The flea market scene is still suffering a lack of Val-and-MyJeff participation. We keep trying to get set up, but other issues insist on popping up and interfering with our plans. We are currently aiming to set up at the Sunday morning market this coming Sunday; then the Coon Rapids VFW Fall Flea Market on Saturday, Sept. 12, with the Sunday morning market again on the 13th. We figure we might as well take advantage of having the van all packed up from the VFW market and hit a second one the next day. Trying to make up somewhat for having missed so many opportunities this year.

The big news ... TaDaaa! This Friday is our STATE FAIR DAY! WAHOOOOO! Our budget will, of course, be even tighter than usual, but we'll deal with that. We are looking forward to Friday. Some fun neighbors are planning on showing up at The Fair on Friday, as well, and we're hoping to hook up out there for a while. If I forget to take the camera, I'll have MyJeff photograph me smacking my head against a wall for your entertainment.

I have 3 canines dogging me (sorry) about BREAKFAST! They are absolutely starving, you know. Must save them.
SnowFace Cody

Ann

On Saturday, we attended our friend Ann's Memorial Service in her hometown, a small-ish tourist town on the St. Croix River. The smalltown Lutheran Church was packed with relatives, townsfolk who had watched her grow up and who had grown up with her, and people who met her in later years. Once Ann came to know you and you her, you had a friend that wouldn't forget you or let you down.

We'll remember her with the same love and good memories as we do her brother, our best friend Elwood who we also lost to cancer in 2002.

For now, we're working through the sorrow. And our thoughts and sympathies especially go to her husband, son, mother, sister, and brothers-in-law.
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SnowFace Cody

Four Is A Fine Number

Waking at 2:30 this morning, I spent a futile hour seeking a return to sleep, but my contrary mind insisted on talking to me in a most annoying and distracting manner. About 3:30 a.m., said contrary mind reminded me that I was missing a possible opportunity to see Perseid meteors, if the clouds had cleared away.

They had.

Although I did not drag out the chaise lounge and wade through the dewy grass to the back of the yard, I did cushion and pillow my chair on the deck facing east and south, pour myself some hot coffee, and crank my head against the back of the chair to watch the sky. Multitudes of crickets chatted and sang the entire time I sat there. The air was fairly cool and still. City noise was at a minimum.

From 3:45 until 4:55, I observed four shooting stars, each one nearly directly overhead and moving west by southwest. Number three seemed to do a skip just before disappearing. And number four was the brightest.

I also watched three ghostly globs of moving light gliding much more sedately across the sky, almost as though drifting along. One from the south to the north and the other two tracing their paths with opposite trajectories. When I see those lights I always wonder: satellite? or airplane so high I can't see the blinking? or space station? Doesn't really matter what they are; it's fun to observe and wonder.

Since I must prepare and leave for work in an hour, I have to move along now. A good start to the day, that four.
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SnowFace Cody

Bad Luck

Hazy clouds moved in to block my view of the sky last night. Sadly, I didn't get to watch any meteor shower activity at all.

So, today I spent a few minutes pulling up video clips online and watching them. Not the same, but still quite cool.

I'll try for some laggard meteors when I arise extra-early tomorrow morning--even earlier than I need to in order to get to work by 7 a.m. Maybe Good Luck will visit me ...
SnowFace Cody

Perseid Meteor Showers Are Here ...

... And Moon is in her dark phase! Thus, any shooting stars should be easier to see. The link I've placed below is an informative little video from Science at NASA that I thought some of you would enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_664lrmyGE&feature=youtu.be

Today and tomorrow are supposed to be peak days for the Perseids which mostly come from the northeastern part of the sky. Since I'm working until 10 pm tonight anyway and ould get home as late as elevenish, I'm thinking this might be the best night for me to try to stay out in the back yard and watch for meteors slashing through the sky. MyJeff is being tasked with setting up the folding chaise lounges for us to comfortably watch for Perseids. I'm thinking a little hot chocolate, a blanket, and my sweetie holding my hand while meteors play hide and seek with us might be a fun way to miss out on some sleep.

We're not in any position to head out of the city for the best viewing opportunities, but anyone who can do so, should really consider making that effort.

Happy star-and-meteor-gazing, my friends!

Anyone out there interested in joining us?
SnowFace Cody

I've Been Dreading Writing This Post ...

Another good friend and fine person succumbed to cancer in the wee early hours of Tuesday morning.

Ann Wilson had been our friend for many years--but not for enough years. She grew up in Taylor's Falls, a small tourist town along the St. Croix River about 45 minutes northeast of our home. Ann had been living in New York since before we met. More recently, in The Bronx with her husband and now-13-year-old son. They had been in the process of moving from the Big City madness to Bismarck, the rural-minded, more relaxed capital of North Dakota when her cancer became apparent late this spring. Its progression was swift and brutal.

For the locals who knew Elwood Holmberg, Ann was his elder sister. For the rest of you, Elwood was our best friend and died of pancreatic cancer in '02. Sadly, their father also passed away in 2010, leaving their mother and foster sister. As you would expect, their mother is hurting very badly after losing both of her birth children, as well as her husband.

My mind and soul are ranting and raging over the plague that is cancer, and the friends and acquaintances who have been killed by it. Another friend--this one from our days doing Buckskinning/Fur Trade Era Re-enactment--is also currently battling cancer. I believe everyone reading this has probably lost family, friends, co-workers to a cancer.

An answer and a cure need to be developed. There's no more to say.