Fall 2003

 

Autumn/Fall 2003 is over...This is the archive sub-web for Fall/Autumn 2003....check to see what we did for the Season 2003....

Well, Fall 2003 is officially over. This is the archive sub-web for Fall/Autumn 2003.....Check out what we did!!!

As with previous years, here are a few questions regarding Fall/Autumn 2003....

  1. When will the first frost of the season occur??? Answer: The first frost occurred on Friday, October 17....that's it for the plant growing season...

  2. When will we get the first snow of the season??? Answer: The first snow fell on Sunday, November 23. Mind you, there was less than 1" of snow...

  3. How much snow will we get for the season??? Answer: 8-9" of the white stuff up until December 21 2003...

  4. For how much longer will we be able to wear shorts and other summer like clothes??? Answer: The last time we were able to consistently wear shorts was the weekend of October 10...

  5. Will Nebraska be in the College Playoff's???? Answer: They bombed out of the National Title. But, they do get to play in the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State on December 29...

  6. Who will we be at war with????? North Korea and/or Syria or Iran???? Answer: Again, surprisingly, despite the saber rattling of Bush and CO, no one yet...

  7. What will be the body bag count from Iraq???? Answer: Since May 1 2003, when Bush declared "major offensives over", 219 US servicemen and women have lost their lives as part of Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL)...

  8. Will Saddam Hussein be captured and/or killed ?????? Answer: Saddam was caught like a rat in mid-December 2003. He didn't even have the courage of his two sons who dies in July 2003 during a gun battle. Good riddance to bad rubbish....

  9. Will there be an Iraqi government in Iraq [as opposed to the US installed government]???? Answer: Nope...the US backed coalition still runs the show...

But wait, more than these questions will be answered (and I have no clue as to what other questions will be answered) by the end of Fall!!!!.

Anyway, here is the 2003 Fall/Autumn collection of activities from the Burton's of Omaha....

September 22, 2003

Yup...it's official. We have survived Summer 2003. Fall and Autumn is now upon us. Now is the time the Omaha has it's other three weeks of nice weather a year....the other three are in Spring. The rest of the time it's either too hot or too cold. I know....I'm sounding like a farmer...everything is either too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry. But, hey, here in Omaha, we get tornadoes as well!!!!

And so, Lisa having survived Omaha's Summer, and the webmaster surviving Denver, it's time to usher in the "unofficial" beginning of the silly season and Fall/Autumn...

 And so, onto the next event.....

October 3, 2003:

On Friday October 3, the webmasters contract in Denver with Citigroup was cancelled. Well, not cancelled, just "not extended". This was very interesting, considering that on the previous Monday [10/29], both contractors here in Denver were "guaranteed" extensions. So much for signed contracts and the concept "fairness". Between the two Denver contractors, we had accumulated in excess of 350 hours which were unbilled, but with the explicit understanding that we were going to be able to use these hours over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, they're basically gone!!!!!

So, it's back on the road again......

 The webmaster thinks that maybe someone upstairs is trying to tell him something....there is no future in the IT Industry...unless you want to move to India and earn $7500/year.....

Needless to say, the webmaster and the other contractor [Gary Hornback] went out and got trashed that night......we felt no pain......

A very bad hangover was the result of the night....oh to be unemployed again!!!!!

October 4, 2003: Colorado Traveling

The webmaster and Gary Hornback [the other contractor here in Denver] had long planned to do some "car trips" into the Mountains, and the weekend of 10/4 was the favorite date. However, given what happened the previous day [10/3...see above], visiting the Rockies this weekend became a must.

And so, with both intrepid explorers suffering from extreme hangover [and we mean EXTREME], the webmaster and Gary Hornback left Littleton, Colorado, via I70 for the Rocky Mountains....below is the path taken.....double click to see the full map.

The first  stop was Georgetown, CO. Mind you, it took us 3 hours to get there and most of that was spent getting out of Denver. What a fricking zoo...the webmaster, who has lived in lots of places around the world, has never seen such a badly designed city....it's a joke!!!!! Anyway, we stopped at Georgetown so that Gary could see the wild "Colorado Yaks". Mind you, we didn't see any, and, in the progress, Gary managed to break both visitor binoculars while trying to glimpse these elusive "Colorado Yaks"....needless to say, we didn't see any (and the webmaster doubts whether the "Colorado Yak" actually exists). Anyway, here are some photos from Georgetown, Colorado....

 

 
   

   

Just for information...the bleak, desolate hillside was where a certain person expected to see the elusive Colorado Mountain Yak...After failing to see these Yaks, it was time to head up into the mountains through Guanella Pass, the second highest pass in Colorado [and the US]. During our ascent/descent, we managed to get all four seasons....brilliant sunshine, rain, sleet, ice and snow. But, the views were amazing.....

 

 
   

   
   

As you can see, some pretty impressive stuff. Now, on the way down we managed to really see some spectacular colors, but no Mountain Yaks!!! The changes of the leaves is a phenomenon really only seen here in the US....here are some examples.....

 

 
   

   
           
           

And yes, that's snow on the mountains......Also, we lucked out with the weekend. The trees were turning perfectly....

After Guanella Pass [and no Mountain Yaks], we headed for Jefferson, CO. After Guanella Pass, we had been turned around so much, we didn't know whether we were heading north [which headed back to Denver] or South [which is where we wanted to go].  So after about 10 minutes of watching "Denver" signs [and the webmaster navigating], we figured we were heading in the wrong direction. It must have been the Colorado Mountain Yaks sending us in the wrong direction.....

Anyway, after we purged the navigation system of Colorado Mountain Yaks, it was time to change directions and head to Breckenridge [yes, the Mecca of yuppie skiers]. Man, was that place a waste of time. For a cool $250K, you can actually own a "room"....that's no kidding. After Breckenridge, it was time for lunch...we chose Frisco...what a bad choice. We must have picked the worst bar in the whole place to have lunch...but, as with everything, you live and learn.....

After lunch, it was time to head west again....this time to Vail, via Copper Mountain. While there was no snow, it was obvious that everyone was getting ready for the snow season. Here are some photo's en-route to Vail....

Vail was the ultimate yuppie-vile....very expensive looking houses and all the beautiful people. We also noticed the absence of any grocery stores and restaurants...what, the beautiful people don't buy food and don't eat....what, food is too much below them??? All in all, Vail is a waste of time...unless you have at least $10M.....

After Vail, it was time to head for Leadville, home of the Nation Mining Hall of Fame.....hey, we picked it off the map. Talk about some scary roads and bridges...the road to Leadville had the webmaster scared [and Gary laughing]....here are the shots....

 

 
   

And so, we made it to Leadville....this is the route we took.....

Leadville is whole different story...Gary and I counted 11 bars in three blocks [not including restaurants]. What, the only thing these people do without Mountain Yaks is drink????!!!!!!!

Well, after Leadville, it was time to head back to Denver. Problem was, we had one more mountain pass to get through.....

 

 

 

 
           
           

And so ended our road trip. After we conquered the last pass, we were basically back on I70 East, heading back to Denver at 95mph. But, it must be said...we have been through Idaho Springs, CO, the world home of the trailer park. In Omaha, we term place like Idaho Springs as "tornado bait".......

And so, essentially the last free weekend has passed....not that I'm counting, but there are only four (4) weeks to go here in Denver....then, I'm back home in Omaha.....

October 10-13, 2003: Last Home Trip to Omaha

On Friday October 10, the webmaster took his last home trip back to Omaha. After that, the next trip back will be on October 31, when the contract expires. While we didn't do much, it was great being with Lisa....

Also, we took some photos of the house now that all the painting and construction is complete...here they are:

 

 
   

   
         

These are the first pictures we've posted after the painting, etc, was done. As you should also be able to see, Fall has been pretty good in Omaha....everything is nice and green. A welcome change from Denver, which is basically a desert. In fact, things are growing so well that the webmaster had to mow the lawn....man, the "honey do" list just keeps on getting longer!!!!!! By the way, the webmaster is actually just kidding....I actually don't mind mowing the grass...it makes me feel like I'm actually home!!!!!!!

Of course, a part of mowing the grass is pulling weeds...dang dandelions!!!!

And so, on Monday, October 13, the webmaster set out from Omaha back to Denver for the last time. This time, there is only three (3) weeks to go....not that the webmaster is counting the weeks or days...but, as of 10/13, there are only 18 days to go......!!!!!!

October 31, 2003  

Ah yes, it's that time of year again.....it's time for this uniquely American annual tradition. The little monsters actually get points for dressing up as monsters and wondering from house to house to "trick or treat". We had planned to spend a quiet night at home handing out candy to the Trick or Treaters and watching the obligatory scary movies. Our real celebration was to come on November 1 with a Halloween party up at Lunkers Sports Bar & Grill.....

October 31 was the webmasters last day in Denver. So, in the morning, he went to work to fill in the last of the paperwork [timesheets, Invoices, etc] for the last time. After about two hours, it was then time to head back to the hotel to check out and leave for the airport. By the way, if you're ever in Denver, I would strongly recommend the Amerisuites in Park Meadows [Littleton] as somewhere to stay. They are good people and take good care of their guests [at least the ones' that stay for six months].

Unfortunately, Denver was in the middle of an ice storm, so getting to the airport took forever. The whole city was covered in a 2" sheet of ice, and getting around was like being on an ice skating ring. Then, of course, once at the airport, came the inevitable delays. Instead of departing at 3:30pm [MDT], we didn't get off the ground until 5:30pm. Instead of arriving in Omaha at 6:00pm, we arrived at 8:00pm. But, at least the webmaster did finally make it back into Omaha....

Needless to say, because in the delay in returning to Omaha, the webmaster did not get to take part in any Halloween festivities. However, Lisa did get about 15-20 little Trick or Treaters throughout the evening. That meant that at least some of the Halloween candy went to it's intended recipients....once these little rug rats were complete, the webmaster and Lisa watched the obligatory horror films that are always shown on Halloween [Halloween 1-5, Friday the 13th, etc]....and that was how we spent the Friday night of Halloween...

As mentioned, Saturday night was our night for a party. So, at 6:30pm we headed up for a Fancy Dress Halloween party at Lunkers Sports Bar & Grill. Here are some photos of the event................

 

 
   

   
       

The rest of the photos can be seen on the Lunkers web site....check it out...

And with the end of the party, our official Halloween 2003 festivities came to an end. A very good time was had by all. All the webmaster can say is that he is so very glad to be back home...and There really is no place like home.......

And so, on to the next Fall activity....

November 4, 2003: Election Day:

The annual "pick a candidate to vote for" day has been and gone. This year's results have no impact on the balance of power in either congress or most states. It was totally dominated by local issues and initiatives...most were so obscure and obtuse that most people didn't have the faintest idea what they were about. Consequently, most people don't bother to vote. Neither Lisa nor the webmaster had the faintest idea of what the local initiatives were on the ballot on Tuesday..

Also, the first Tuesday in November is when the Melbourne Cup Race is held down under. Personally, we think that the outcome of the horse race has far more meaning that the annual election day this year.

And, the winner this year was.....a horse....Makybe Diva. Never heard of it.....

The next Fall festivity will be the webmasters 40th birthday bash.....

November  7, 2003

And so the webmasters 40th birthday was finally with us. After today, the webmaster will freely acknowledge that he is now 40. Lisa, however, has being saying that he's been 40 since the webmasters 39th birthday....

So, after a fairly quiet and uneventful day, the webmaster, Lisa and Nancy (a very close friend who had driven into Omaha from Moline, IL, for the webmasters birthday) headed up to Lunkers Sports Bar and Grill for the evening....it was time to party!!!!  Mind you, for a change we actually used a little bit of common sense....we made sure we had food before we started drinking. Mind you, it didn't change the outcome of the exercise.....

As with previous parties, here are some of the photos of the festivities...

 

 
   

   
   
       
   

And so, at 1pm, when the bar closed, it was time for the revelers to head home. A good time had been had by all (we think)....and that what how the webmaster spent his 40th birthday....thanks to all the friends who could turn up and help celebrate the occasion.

Min you, of course, the hangover recovery exercise started immediately the next day. Man did the webmaster do some damage to himself......

Having survived the birthday, it's time for the next activity for Fall 2003......

November 23, 2003:  Almanac Entry

For the week leading up to this date, everyone was getting prepared for the long forecasted arrival of snow for Fall 2003. The previous Monday [11/17], the National Weather Service began predicting that Omaha would receive it's first snow fall for the season on Sunday, November 23...and they were predicting up to 6-7" of the white stuff.

So, with as much advance warning, everyone in Omaha had lots of time to prepare. In the days leading up to the event, everyone cut their lawns for the last time and stocked up on essential supplies (food, beer, corn chips, etc...hey, there are football games to watch on Sunday.....).....

Finally, the day before the event arrived. With time running out, the mad rush on gas stations as people filled gas cans for their snow blowers began...and important last minute items were purchased (such as a big bag of cheese Doritos!!!).....

With the last minute dash over, almost the entire Omaha area then went home to brace for the first winter storm for the Fall 2003 season, which conveniently arrived at midnight. The first sign was sleet and ice, which the forecasters predicted would change to all snow overnight. And, the weather radars seemed to confirm this......

 And so, the question on everyone's mind in Omaha as they went to bed was......how much snow would we actually get for our first snowfall for Fall 2003.....

 ....and the answer was less than 1 ". What a let down....after all that anticipation and buildup, only a lousy 1" of the white stuff fell. Disappointed as every one was, we all agreed that, however, the official snow season for Fall 2003 has begun!!!!!

And, just to prove the point, here are some obligatory weather photos.....

 

 
   

 

 

   

It may not look like much, but it sure was enough to drive the temperature way down south. By 3pm, the temperature was a nice "warm" 18F (-8C) with a wind chill of 3F (-16C). Believe us when we say that it was COLD...the above photos were the fastest ever taken!!!!

And so much for the first snow in Omaha for Fall 2003.....

 November 27, 2003

Ahh...gobblers day. Not a good time of year to be a turkey. You definitely now that Fall is upon you with a vengeance when Turkey Day arrives. You also know that Christmas is not too far around the corner....which means that the annual shopping frenzy is about to begin!!!! Millions of people in crowded malls....what a treat!!!.

In keeping with appears to have become the "Thanksgiving norm", Lisa's parents again made the trip from Sterling, IL to Omaha. Again, in keeping with tradition, this visit was preceded by a mad rush to clean the house so that it would be "habitable" by others. Not that it was really "dirty' to begin with....things just needed to be put away!!! That's our story, and we're sticking to it......

 

 
   

   
   
           
           

After a sumptuous feast prepared by Lisa, it was time to play the obligatory game of Euchre.....which the webmaster and his partner lost in rather spectacular style!!!!! The next few days were then spent running from mall to mall while dodging the 65 million other people doing the same thing. What a mess!!!! About the only redeeming feature of the whole exercise was: at least it wasn't snowing!!!!!

Here is a quick map of our "mall hopping" exercise!!!

Personally, about the best thing of "mall hopping" was that we finally managed to get Lisa a new cell phone to replace her old "boat anchor".....

And so ended Thanksgiving for 2003. It's also no officially the start of the silly season....forget about getting anything done business wise. It's time to party!!!!

December 10 2003: Almanac Entry

After the false "snow" start on November 23, a storm system came out of nowhere on Tuesday, December 9. This time, it dumped some 6.5" of snow on Omaha. Mind you, that's the "official" amount from Eppley Airfield. Where we are, it was more like 4-5" of snow....either way, it was more than the pathetic excuse of a dusting we received on 11/23!!!!

And so, without further fanfare, here are the photos of the aftermath of the REAL FIRST SNOW STORM for Fall/Autumn 2003....

 

 
   

   
           

As you can see, this was a real snow storm...in fact, the day after [Wednesday, December 12] was the first snow day in Omaha for all Omaha schools....so, Lisa got to have the day off!!!! Mind you, man was it cold outside, especially after spending 30minutes removing snow. But, at least we got to use the snow blower!!!!

And so, on with Fall/Autumn 2003....

 

December 2003: Christmas Parties

Well, with the passing of Thanksgiving, it's officially the start of the annual silly season. Basically, you can forget about getting anything done work wise. So, it's time to party....

Lisa and the webmaster only went to two Christmas parties this year, and both of them were for Lisa's school. For some reason, neither of us could get into the "Christmas spirit". Basically, it was all "bah humbug!!!!". About the only "Christmas" thing that the webmaster did was to put up some decorations and go out for a couple [3] of lunches...nothing to flashy.

And yes, to relieve some people's anxieties, we didn't even take photos this year. That goes to show how little we felt in "Christmas Cheer"...

And so, with the official "Christmas Party" period over, it was time to head off to Sterling, IL, for Christmas with Lisa's folks...

December 20, 2003: Traveling

At 9:00am on Saturday, December 20, Lisa and the webmaster set out from home for  what was supposed to be a boring and uneventful flight to Moline, IL, and then a quick car trip to Sterling IL. The original schedule entailed us leaving Omaha at 11am, and then arriving in Moline at 3:30pm. Like we said, it should have been a boring non-eventual trip....man were we wrong!!! Here's what happened...

  1. The cargo door on the departure flight from Omaha would not close. Spent an hour waiting around for them to decide what to do.

  2. The captain announced that, for some unknown reason, United does not have mechanics working at the airport on weekends. They therefore had to call the "on-call" mechanic. Waited another hour for the mechanic to turn up.

  3. The Captain announces that a spare part has to be flown in from Chicago. The earliest ETA was 4pm....departure time after that was unknown....

  4. Rather than risk loosing connecting flights, Lisa and the webmaster rescheduled ourselves onto the 3:45pm flight. Retired to airport bar for a few restorative cordials....the flight eventually left Omaha at  4:30pm.

  5. Arrived at Chicago at 5:45pm (approx). Flight to Moline scheduled to depart at 9:15pm. Retired to the Red Carpet Club at O'Hare.

  6. Arrived at second gate at 8:30pm....airplane broke [again]. Gates changed and we finally departed Chicago at 10:30pm

  7. Arrived Moline....11:15pm. No luggage. On an aircraft with over 100 passengers, they had only loaded 15-20 pieces of luggage onto the flight at Chicago.

  8. By the time we filled in the "missing luggage" forms, it was 12:15am. We finally arrived in Sterling at 1am.

As you can see, so much for a "straight forward and boring" trip. All in all, we were some nine hours late, including still missing our luggage. What a fiasco...and the luggage didn't turn up until Monday morning [12/22]. No wonder United is going broke...they need to!!! And, I'll be dammed is I want to see any taxpayer money going into funding these incompetent fools. They were going out of business prior to 9/11 because of their incompetence, so why should we the taxpayer, throw good money after bad. Lets the morons go completely bankrupt and fold!!

What made the day even harder to understand was that United kept blaming weather in Chicago for all the delays. This was very strange...there was no bad weather anywhere in the country. In fact, everything was 15-20F above normal!!!. But, we all know why the asshole at United kept blaming the weather...that way they aren't liable for any delays or loss of luggage. What absolute scumbags. As previously mentioned, the webmaster sincerely hopes that United is allowed to fold and go bust. It will send a powerful messages to the other scum buckets in the US Airline industry that we aren't going to put up with their crap, shoddy service and prohibitive prices anymore. And, if all the staff at United needs to be laid off to achieve it, then so be it!!! We will most assuredly be writing a "nasty gram" to United when we return to Omaha after Christmas...

But, ate least we made it into Sterling....just in time for Christmas. Mind you, the webmaster had a little less hair and both our nerves were slightly fraid....

December 21, 2003: Christmas Function

And so arrived Sunday, December 21, 2003. This was to be the time for the gathering of the Thuente clan celebrate Christmas and for the children to open their presents. Actually, the process of the " Children opening the presents" is actually more akin to be hit by a tornado. This is because some kids do not know what "no" and ""wait" mean.

Anyway, given what had happened the night before, neither Lisa nor the webmaster had any clothes to change into. Luckily, both of us had clean underwear , so at least we were spared the ignominy of having to turn our underwear inside out!!!! After shuffling around combinations of clothes worn yesterday and carried in our carry -on luggage, it was time for church. Yes, the webmaster actually set foot in a church and the key stone didn't crack and the church didn't fall down...mind you, the sky did turn kind of dark there for a while, and the lightning did appear to come from nowhere....

After Church, it was on to the favorite Sterling restaurant, Candle Light, for Chicken George....here are some photos of the gathering:

 

 

 

Because of certain kids impatience in wanting to open presents, lunch was a very fast affair, lasting basically only 20-25 minutes. After that, it was time to return to Slim and Lynne's...

 

 
       
   
   

As you can see, Lisa even managed to dress up in her mothers old clothes!!!! Just like we all used to do when we were 8 years old!!!

Well, with the official present opening ceremonies complete, it was time to relax for a couple of hours before dinner. Personally, Lisa, her dad, Ross and I watched the football games...everyone else did a whole bunch of other stuff.

After football, it was time for yet even more food....

 

 
     
       

And so, with the end of dinner, the official "Thuente" Christmas was over....a good time was had by all. About the only "negative" was the fact that everything appeared to be so rushed. But, that's Christmas...

.

With the ending of the Christmas event, we also end the Fall 2003 season. The next day, December 22 2003, is the official start of Winter 2003...

December 22, 2003: End of Fall/Autumn:

We have officially survived the Fall 2003 season and this will be the last posting for the season. We now have the frigid months of January through March to look forward to. Burr!!!

In keeping with previous seasons, here are the flights we traveled on throughout the fall 2003 season....

 

Date Airline Origination Destination Flight Status Delay Cause Added Benefit
September 26, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, NE On Time None None
September 29, 2003 United Omaha, NE Denver, CO On Time None None
October 10, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, NE On Time None None
October 13, 2003 United Omaha, NE Denver, Co On Time None None
October 31, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, Co 2 Hours Late Weather in Denver None
December 20, 2003 United Omaha, NE Moline, IL 9 Hours Late Unknown Lost Luggage

This corresponds to an on time percentage of 66.66%.  No wonder United is going to the dogs!!!

And, now, without further ado, here are the season statistics for Fall/Autumn 2003.

Category Date High Temperature (F) Low Temperature (F)
Coldest Day December 11, 2003 16F 6F
Warmest Day October 19, 2003 86F 59F

The average high and lows for Fall/Autumn 2003:

Category Temperature (F)
Average High Temperature 53F
Average Low Temperature 33F

Finally, for those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily, maximum and minimum, temperatures for Omaha over Fall/Autumn 2003.

This should keep you "weather nuts" happy for a while. Remember, people from down under, all temperatures are in F.

So, that's pretty much our Fall/Autumn 2003. Alas  therefore, this will probably be the last update for season 2003. (unless we remember something really fantastic that happened!!!).  Yo'all come back, ya hear!!!!!

 

As usual, if there are things you wish to comment on, and/or provide feedback on, use one of the following links:

Emal:                Email the Webmaster

Feedback:        Follow To Feedback

Last Revised: January 01, 2010

Copyright 2000-2010 Stephisa Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved.