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Old 12-07-2008, 09:09 AM   #1
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Snowbirds - pause for reflection

We passed an annual winter milestone today - morning temperature of minus 30 degreees C. Although my photography skills don't do it justice crisp winter temperatures (which we truly like) seem to generate particularly beautiful sunrises and sunsets. This shot, taken this morning, is from the front of our garage looking across the neighbours back yard .... thought you Snowbirds might want to remember what nostril pinching weather looks like! ....

.... next milestone is minus 40 ..... eat your heart out!

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Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:45 AM   #2
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Jay, I'm am soooo happy you are happy, but that's not for me.

We too, passed a milestone the other actually froze! Even had to turn the heat on!


"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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It's snowing beautifully right now! And I played tour guide at the Alamo for my daughter & her boyfriend six weeks ago. You can have it both ways.

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Old 12-07-2008, 04:28 PM   #4
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All the brass monkeys around here are on the run, too.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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Hello .... Nice to see but you can have it... we stayed home last winter and it was the worst in 60 years.... rather sweep sand out of the Argosy..
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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It is a little cool here in Melbourne - only got to 70 degrees today.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:14 PM   #7
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Winter is almost here: Nights at or below 40F (04.5 C)
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:45 PM   #8
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An Obscure Tale

Originally Posted by Aage View Post

All the brass monkeys around here are on the run, too.
"Cold enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey" doesn't mean what you think.

In the days of wooden ships, cannon balls had to be stacked on the deck handy for firing. The normal pyramid was 4x4, topped by 3x3, topped by 2x2, with a single ball on the top. Now of course as the ship rolled the cannon ball stack would come undone, so someone decided to build a rack that would grip the lowest level of balls like a monkey's paw.

The first "monkeys" were made out of cast iron.

But lo, there was a serious problem. The cast iron rack and the cast iron cannon balls rusted together within days in the salty sea air.

So, as sailors normally do, they decided to improve the next generation by making it out of brass - a fine seagoing metal that corrodes much more slowly.

Unfortunately, brass does have one downside, it contracts more and faster in cold weather than does cast iron, so on a freezing cold day the "brass monkey" would literally contract so much it would pop the balls off the stack. Hence, "cold enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey".

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:34 PM   #9
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Aye, but I was n'ere on a ship tha' used brass monkies, we always stored the cannon balls in the shot garlands, b'lo deck.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:05 AM   #10
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Paula, Since it's been in single digits here overnight, and an ice storm followed by up to 6" of new snow barreling down on us, I figured that makes me qualified to comment. Not actually intending to steal the thread, the "brass monkey" saying has always fascinated me. Wikipedia has an interesting treatise on it, as does Snopes.

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Old 12-08-2008, 09:00 AM   #11
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Great job Paula! I'm always amazed at how much of the English language comes from the sea.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:34 PM   #12
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It's in the seventies in Ajo, but if we miss the cold, Flagstaff is just a few hours away.
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"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:44 PM   #13
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Here ya go, temperature on my west patio:

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Old 12-08-2008, 10:40 PM   #14
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Paula, arrrrrh, ye be right, methinks, lass!

Regarding the change of the weather, there's two things that I always think of when people living in the South (y'all, as youse say down there) start bragging about how nice it is in the winter:
  1. I can't imagine the boredom of having only one season. Or two, actually, since many places, say San Francisco (or was it San Jose?) for one, get a lovely summer, then rain every day for months on end. Oh sure, it gets nice at the end of the day, but nothing more depressing than rain, day after day. It's like living in Vancouver.
  2. The other thing is that global warming is going to turn where YOU live into a Desert From Heck, while we will then have the Nice weather.
For me, at least, it's always a pleasure to have the new season to look forward to. The rebirth of Spring, the "bursting forth" of greenery, following the cold, somewhat suspended feeling of a long winter, the "black and white" part of the year. Then the lovely lushness of summer, followed by the page turning as fall comes, bringing gusty winds that knock the leaves off of most trees...

No, I love where I live. Today for example, it was quite cold and crisp, and as I walked around the corner to pick up the mail, I saw a group of kids runnng home carrying books, screaming, laughing, and pelting each other with snowballs.

Sure, there are lots of days where we freeze our asterisks off, but seeing a bright sunny day with everything sparkling like it's encrusted in diamonds?


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