Monday, November 28, 2022


      Since I've been on a run of weather topics lately, it reminded me of an experience I had with the radiosonde balloon.

     Weather stations have been situated across Canada for many years. Part of the weather stations tools is a radiosonde balloon. This balloon is equipped with devices that measure things like temperature, wind, air pressure, humidity  and more. The radio in this balloon sends the information back to the ground where is is recorded and combined with all other weather information used to make weather forecasts. 

     The balloon is prepared for it's flight by being filled with hydrogen or some other gas. When the equipment is ready the balloon is released. All the balloons across Canada were released at the same time. Depending on conditions , it may rise about 20 km (12.5 mi). . Depending on wind it may travel many miles horizontally. Eventually the balloon will burst and the flight is over. Some balloons have a parachute .Yes, people sometimes find the remains of these balloons. 

     There was a weather station at one of the places I lived in the Arctic. In one of the science classes I taught , there was a unit on weather. I always took the kids out to the radiosonde station to see a balloon prepared and released. It was always a popular field trip. 

     My field trips to the radiosonde station took place in the early 60's. When I did some research for this post I was surprised to find out that the radiosonde technology is still in use with a few more things added to measure. I thought that satellite technology would have made the radiosonde obsolete. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022


      In regards to my last post on sunrise and sunset, Debbie asked, "What time does the sun set up there? 

     Well, you're going to get more than sunrise. 

  I live in Alberta , Canada. I'm in between the two largest cities - Calgary and Edmonton. 

     I can't give you yesterday's times . Today the sun rose at 8:14 AM and set at 4:29 PM. This gives us 8 hours and fifteen minutes of sunlight. 

    Now our forecast for next week is to be very cold. A couple of the days have highs of minus 19 C(0 F). It's also going to snow on three of those days. 

     Since I'm elderly I find these temperatures cold. The ordinary people may find it cold but carry on with their lives. 

Friday, November 25, 2022


      November 24 here, was a very pleasant day

      I looked out the the window about 7:20 AM and the sunrise looked like it would be a great one. The colors stayed while I got my camera. Some of my friends also took photos and they were earlier and got more color.

 It was a fine windy day with  high of plus 9 C (48 F). Obviously were were having  chinook. 

     I thought I would get a photo of the chinook arch but I didn't get my camera focused so missed the chinook arch. So it was a nice start to the day with a beautiful sunrise and a nice finish with a chinook arch. 

     So this photo is from a post I made a few days ago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


       Today was the day I had my annual health check up.

       I've had annual check ups almost every year since my mid 40's.

       Things have gradually changed over the years. At one time cholesterol was a major concern in the check up. Cholesterol was carefully checked and monitored. We were given all kinds of advice for our diet and how it could control our cholesterol. Now , Cholesterol is hardly mentioned. 

      Tests have been added, changed  and deleted. One test I disliked intensely was the occult blood test which was taken from stool samples. That test is gone. How it's measured now, I have no idea. The measurement units in some tests have been changed. 

      Over this time I've had two family doctors. As the years passed they learned new things and the examination changes.

     I have an excellent family Doc now and he is very thorough in his examination. You sense that what he feels with his hands goes to his brain. He feels glands, spleen, liver and kidneys. Maybe more. I don't know. 

      Here you have a pre visit where all kinds of lab tests are given. When you go for the check up, he goes over all these tests with you and explains what the results mean. If further testing is needed it is arranged for at that time.  

      So today for almost all issues his comment was "That's good". The only problem I have is a saturated iron level so I'm to go off my iron. So I will be tested to see if there's any damage done. 

     With that he continues a couple of things that he monitors.

     Then I was free to go with a good bill of health for a rather elderly male. 

     It was a good day. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Elderly Errors

    This isn't my story but I thought it well worth sharing. I am elderly and sometimes very simple things can get out of control. .

    My neighbor was telling me about his parents who are both 89. They live in their own house but have four children here who can look after them. 

    His mother fell in the den and couldn't get up. She called her husband. Husband was not wearing his hearing aides and watching television. He had the volume turned up so that he could hear the TV. Mother called but she didn't get an answer. She called many times and husband couldn't hear her.

    So Mother decided to press the call button on her lifeline. The life line people called and of course the husband answered the phone. He doesn't know his wife is in trouble so he says everything is fine and goes back to watching TV.

    It's a good thing there was somebody on life line who was pretty sharp and thought something was wrong.

    The life line people came about five minutes after the phone call and got things sorted out.

    So with us elderly people things can get out of control in a hurry. 

   I imagine Dad got told to always wear his hearing aids. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022


       I know that it's the wrong season of the year to talk about water skiing, but I have an excuse. 

      Last night I was out to an appreciation dinner. I got talking to one of the guys who had worked in the Arctic and we got telling stories. Northerners are best buds forever!

     He was working on a crew unloading a ship in the high Arctic. They had to get the stuff to the beach over the ice. One day a guy fell through  a crack in the ice and was submerged. The guy survived but when pulled from the water was absolutely stiff.

     This reminded me of one of my cold water experiences. The first time I water skied was above the Arctic circle in Airport Lake. Some of the young police in Inuvik had a boat and water skis. The built a floating dock and they were ready to water ski. Of course, I had to try it. We used the floating dock to get started and then made a few turns around the lake.

     Sooner or later you have to stop. When you stop you are going to sink into some very cold water. The top foot of the water is an acceptable temperature but any deeper and it's icy cold. 

    The photo shows me just landing and although it is a very poor scan job on this photo you can see that I am cold. 

    So not a very appropriate topic on a cold November day, but I just had to tell you!

     This was July if 1965. 

Monday, November 14, 2022


    I have ranted about this topic before. Truth and accuracy are important so that our society runs smoothly and that all people are treated fairly.

    What got me on this topic again is an interview that I heard yesterday. They were interviewing someone who had been a reporter for forty years and was now instructing in some kind of journalism school. She maintained that journalists are reporting accurately. I have some doubts about this. 

    News has become jumbled in with all day interviewing where the interviewer wants to have things said that will raise ratings for their show and station. . Now I'm sure those interviewers would disagree with me. 

      I follow the War in the Ukraine very closely. You read one article and it's for sure the Ukraine will win. You read another article and it's a sure thing that the Russians will win. 

     I follow current affairs here . Politicians can bend the truth a long way to the slant that  they wish publicized. Politicians present their information as truth and  what the other guy says is incorrect. The truth is out there. Public figures don't seem willing to give it to us. 

    Accuracy gets mixed in with information that should be informative. Are reporters taking enough time to dig into an issue? Are reporters making sure that what they report is accurate?

    I have also found myself to be part of the problem. I have been guilty of thinking that my side or what I think is the truth. I have looked for information that agrees with my opinion. In the Ukraine war I obviously see the Ukrainians as the good guys. A commentator I recently heard, said that the Ukraine was winning in the way the story was being told. the Ukraine was successful in showing us that the Russians were the bad guys.

    I think we're all searching for the truth. We don't like to be lied to. We want things to be accurate. 

   One line in the song "Storms never last do they baby"  is "I know your search was for the truth."

    My search is for the truth. 

    Am I naive?

Saturday, November 12, 2022


        Yesterday , I was very surprised that no one had heard of the term "open fall" . That made me think about it's origin.

        Now I should have gone to Mr Google before I wrote the post. Well, guess what? Mr. Google hasn't heard of "open fall" either. 

       So now I wish Dad was here so that I could ask him if he knew the origin of the saying. He would probably say, "I have no idea where it comes from".

      So I remember another term Dad used. If someone was feeling out of sorts...grumpy he would use the term "crakin around". Usually it was Mother who got described with this term. 

      Okay, I said, "I'll be smarter this time and check with Mr Google." I was sure Mr google would have this term. 

      Well, you guessed it. Mr Google has never heard of this term either. 

      I'm wondering if these were terms that Dad made up himself. ? Dad had a good vocabulary and was an avid reader. 

      Has any body heard the term "crakin around"?

Friday, November 11, 2022


       Today is a day for us to remember those who fought in the second world war and other wars and remember  the many who died.

      I was born in 1939, a few days after the war started. I have a few memories. We were close to an air training facility. As little kids we saw many airplanes fly over every day. It's surprising how many airmen lost their lives while training at that base. 

      My brother and I would listen to the news which was all about the Germans. We would turn to each other and say, "German, German, German". That was the height of our understanding of the war. 

     We helped Mom wrap parcels to send to our uncles. 

     At the end of the war we listened as ships were loaded with soldiers who were coming home and wondered if our uncles where on the ship. 

    So on this day of remembrance I share a few thoughts from a small child.

    I had four uncles in the war. One was killed in a freak accident. 

     They were all brave in volunteering to fight for freedom. 

     An old vet friend I had would start talking about his experience in the war in September. He flew bombers . He didn't cover anything up. He told about picking up bodies. He was one of the few who told of his experiences. When he came back he was not in very good condition. His father suggested that he take up wood carving. His health improved and he made many wonderful carvings.  He also helped to make memories for me. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022


     My last four posts have been about winter weather that came calling. Nov. 2 is when the snow and cold hit us.

     However until that time we've had great fall weather. Temperatures have been above normal. It's been dry. It's been nice to be out every day.

     So I think back to what my Dad used to call "an open fall". Dad was a farmer. He bought his first land in 1935 and struggled like most farmers at that time. He did manage to farm and make a living all his life until he retired in 1973. 

     My title refers to what Dad would say about the type of weather we've had this fall. He would call this an open fall. This would mean that he had time to do all the farm  work that needed to be done. Harvest was one of the things that required warm dry weather. He had 10-15 cattle. An open fall would mean that the cattle stayed out longer and ate grass. This also meant that the feed supplies he had could last longer. The cattle would be allowed to leave the farm and find the best forage. .We would collect them every night. 

     I also liked this time of year as it was good weather to wander all over the place. 

     Has anybody else heard of the term "open fall"? I don't remember anyone else using the term. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2022


       We just had about 12 in of snow over four days. For us that's a lot of snow. 

      In my chinook post someone asked if there was flooding if the snow melted so quickly. Our snow is dry and powdery because of the temperature. 10 in of our snow equals one inch of water. So you see there's not much water for flooding. 

     However, where I was going with this post is that new snow is brilliant and white. It's pretty. So yesterday it was clear and sunny. It was bright. You needed your sunglasses. Well, you don't need sunglasses for my photos. With white snow and full sun it's bright. 

     I was out for three hours yesterday cleaning up the snow. Numerous flocks of geese flew over. 

    Now I enjoyed the bright new snow. I hope you do too.  

    I put out the fat in my bird feeder. An hour later this white breasted nuthatch appeared.  He/she would not cooperate and pose in the light. 

       This is my street. Roads were in rough shape but most people got where they wanted to go. 

    This is the juniper in my yard.

    The neighbors mountain ash.

    This is a snow cone on top of a fence post. 

Monday, November 7, 2022


       On Oct 29 , when I took the chinook photos , I was half looking for sunrise photos. I checked and there was good color in the east. Now being lazy I took a few shots out of the window. I told myself that if I got dressed to go out , the color could be gone. Shooting in that direction there's a lot of junk in the way.

      However , it's the best I could get. That bright streetlight doesn't help anything.

      Then I looked west and that's when I got the chinook arch. 

       Today we got another 10 cm of snow. That's three days of 10 cm a day snow. Am I tired of shoveling?

Friday, November 4, 2022


          The photos I'm showing today were from Oct. 29. My intention was to use them for my next post. But you know what got in the way. I had to show the snow photos from Nov. 2. 

         Oct 29 was a very nice day. We had a high of 15. The reason for the pleasant weather was that we had a chinook. We are fortunate to live in an area where we have chinooks as they brings very warm weather.

       We live on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. The prevailing wind blows up on the western side of the mountains and dumps most of it's moisture. When the air moves over the peaks and down down on the eastern slopes it warms up. That gives us warm windy weather. In some areas and at times the air temperature will rise 50 Degrees F in an hour. 

     So what I intended to show with my photos is the chinook arch. A chinook arch is formed when air is forced up over the mountains and  cools . Cold air not able to hold as much moisture forms the cloud and chinook arch. There are other places in the world with a similar weather phenomenon but different names.

      If you look through the trees you can see a straight line showing the division between clear skies and cloud. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2022


       Winter hit us today with a wallop. We are in the midst of a blizzard with white out conditions. We've had abut 10 cm of snow and lots of wind.

      So guess what the old boy had to try to do day all day. That's right! I shoveled snow. It was miserable because we've had warm weather until last night. So the snow came down on ground that was above freezing and melted just enough to make things miserable. So the snow stuck to my shovel. Think about it this way. 10 lbs. of snow stuck to my shovel while I shoveled one lb. of snow. I had to shovel things twice today. 

     So I'm a chicken. I took all these photos through my window.