Jan. 2nd, 2017

thewayne: (Cyranose)
Friday and Saturday was filled with me cooking for dinners at the observatory. Friday I made ground beef tacos, a cabbage/carrot/onion slaw, and a black bean/corn salad. Saturday completed that night's taco bar with a ground pork taco prep, a shredded chicken with cilantro taco dish (which I'd never made before), and dicing eight Roma tomatoes. As far as I'm concerned, that's the only tomato for tacos. Dinner was excellent, followed by a five player game of Bards Dispense Profanity, which is a Shakespearean take of Cards Against Humanity, which is an adult-themed twisted version of Apples To Apples, which is a mild-mannered party game which I find very boring. Give me CAH or BDP! BDP can generate some truly profane results! And some of the cards have definitions on the bottom: for example, do you know what a close-stool or a butter-bar is?

The weather here has been very weird. Christmas Eve, and the week before, we had warm temperatures (if you count the low 40s F as warm) and rain, and the front yard and surrounding area were brown. The back yard was 90% snow-free. My wife worked the 23rd through the 25th (astronomers normally work a couple of hours before sundown to a couple of hours after sunrise), and as she started home, a big storm hit. The result was a white Christmas with about 3" of snow on the ground. And it looked like the observatory would be closed Christmas night, but the snow stopped during the day, the stuff on top of the domes melted and drained, and they opened. And it was an amazingly clear night.

Last night was another story. Spouse worked the 31st and 1st. Massive storm, lots of semi-frozen slush yuck, pegged humidity counters. No way they could open, the mirrors would immediately fog over! So LOTS of time to eat, BS, and play games. And eat and BS some more. All day today it snowed and rained and snowed some more, we ended up with probably about 3" of accumulation, I think there's a decent chance that the ski slopes could open! We shall see.

A friend came down from Oregon for Christmas and NYE, he heads back to the Northwest Tuesday morning. I went down for a final dinner together at the tail end of the storm. It normally takes me half an hour to get down the mountain, it took me half an hour to get to the tunnel, which is the half-way point. Traffic was VERY slow because of the horrible conditions. LOTS of cars were off the road that should have never been up here in the first place! I don't care how good of a driver you are: if you have a front-wheel drive sedan without chains or snow tires and you try to drive in this yuck, you're just asking for a tow truck.

And they closed the road behind me! There was a sheriff's vehicle blocking the uphill side of the highway, which caused me a bit of concern. There are three other ways up of varying difficulty and time required, but all of them would have different degrees of risk in foul weather. I was confident that the road would reopen once the snow plows got a grip, and I was right. Five hours later, until you actually got in to Cloudcroft, the highway was fine. Now, the roads in my neighborhood: that was another issue, but that's why I have an all-wheel drive recent model Subaru with 8" of ground clearance and good snow tires.

Happy New Years, all, and let's hope that '16 wasn't the template shaping things yet to come.

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