As of December 21, 2001, it's officially Winter!!!!!. As usual, we have the calendars for the season. Check on back regularly as things change reasonably frequently.
For those of you that don't know, but winter 2002 , as a solstice, runs from December 21, 2001, through to March 21, 2002. So, basically, we know have three months of some of the most brutal weather on the planet.
But, we have several things to look forward to:
But, as with normal seasons, we have a couple of questions to be answered over winter. We will attempt to answer them as we can over the course of the season
These, and other important questions will be answered over the course of Winter 2002. So, stay tuned.
So, read on and be amazed with what we get up to. But, in preparation of certain known events, see below. Remember, come back soon and check what's going on.
December 25, 2001
So, you want to find out what happened at Christmas. Well, at 8am on the morning of one, not so fine one not so fine Saturday, December 22 2001, the Omaha Chapter of the Burton's Clan set sail from Omaha, Nebraska, to Sterling, Illinois, the home of the Thuente family (or at least a large majority of it). For those of you interested in geography (also, those of you not!!!), the map below shows the highways and byways one commonly uses to accomplish such a trip.
Well, normally, this simple journey of some 369.4 mile takes approximately 5-5.5 hours to transverse. But, this trip was anything but "normal". No sooner than we had started the journey when we ran into a snow storm (ok, it can be argued as to who ran into who!!!!!). In the first hour, we only made it to Loveland, IA, before we and just about every car on the Interstate had to get off the rode and seek refuge in a Conoco Gas station...a grand sum total of some 27.9 miles!!! We then spent the next hour while near white out conditions prevented us from going anywhere!!! To show you how far we didn't make it, look at the map below, and then compare it to the map above:
We all knew it was going to be a long day!!!! Needless to say, as we were on the road, we didn't get to take any photos of our house after the 5" of snow in Omaha.
Anyway, the snow storm abated enough to get on I-680 again Once we were on I-80 it was clear sailing (well, sort of) all the way to Sterling IL. Instead of getting into Sterling, IL at 1pm. we arrived around 3:30pm. But, better late than never. By the way, the driver [Lisa] did an outstanding job getting us there and surviving the snow storm...good job!!!!
Once in Sterling, it was time for some restorative cocktails (i.e. especially for the driver) and off to supper and see the lights of Sterling, IL. As usual photos on this site, the names of the people have been omitted to protect the guilty and punish the innocent. Besides, ya'all should know who all the folks are by now!!!
Believe it or not, these whackers use enough power on one house for these lights to run a small sized town. And, they run from Thanksgiving though till early January. Some people have far more money than sense.
On the Sunday, the rest of the Thuente family (Kevin, Kimberly, Jacob, Tyler, Kendra, Ross, Kim, Kylene and Paige) got together for both Kevin's birthday (no age given) and a chance for the kid's to open their presents. Mind you, the weather that day was absolutely lousy. Snow flurries, and a nice warm 18°F temperature. It sure was time to bundle up with just about every piece of clothing you could find...especially for the Mexicans from down under
Finally, it was then time for Christmas 2001. A very pleasant day was spent at the Thuente house(s) doing what is normal for Christmas....eating and drinking too much and then complaining when you can't get a nap after lunch....
The last act for Christmas 2001 was to head to Clinton, Iowa, to see the Symphony of Lights display. We didn't attempt to take pictures...no place to and it would have snarled up traffic anyway. I would strongly recommend people see the display either before December 31 this year, or for sure next year!!!!! You can check it out at www.symphonyoflights.com The map to get you there from Sterling. IL, is included in the above photo table.
We departed Sterling on the Wednesday for a night in Moline, Illinois, and a chance to catch up with some good friends at Leisure Time.
And so, after an evening at Leisure Time, consuming a few "restorative ales" and stuff, and a night at he the local Super 8 hotel, it was time to return to Omaha. This time, it really was clear sailing. We even managed to break our all time record of getting back by 30 minutes.
So, we're now all back in Omaha. Not sure what the $#@!^&*& the weather is going to do...but, it sure is on the chilly side of things. All in all, it was a great Christmas. Lisa's parents did a fantastic job in making us all feel welcome. All of us Burton's in Omaha, and the Mexican interlopers, want to thank the Thuente's for a fantastic Christmas. Hopefully, they'll even invite us all back again!!!!
And so, the next "coverable event" will be New Years Eve 2001. Remember, check back and find out what we did!!!
December 30, 2001
This is a quick post of more house photos....this time with snow!!!! It was not in the forecast for either yesterday, today or tomorrow...but here it is anyway. By the way, for those of you that re interested, it was a nice "cool" 19°F (-7.22°C) when these photos were taken. Man, what dedication from us to provide up to date content on our web site (or it's pure idiocy on our part for venturing outside!!!).
So, without further a due....here is our house with 5" of mostly cloudy weather.
And yes, the white stuff flying around in the photos is SNOW!!!!
December 31, 2001
The Burton's in Omaha (plus the visiting contingent from down under) spent a very quiet New Years Eve. Firstly, it was off to Border's (yes, the book store) to spend far too much money on books (funny thing that). Then, we went for a couple of restorative cordials at out local watering hole (Lunkers Bar and Grill). Then, it was time to get back home before the rest of the annual idiots made it out on the road. We toasted in New Years with shrimp, champagne, listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall, while watching everyone else's fireworks. Overall, a most excellent way to see out the old year and welcome the in the new. So, it's 2002 already!!!!! Hey, to some it may not sound much of a New Year's celebration but, to us, being able to spend New Years with the down under contingent was fantastic, and the way we did it, perfect.
January 30-31, 2002
On the evening of January 30, a strong winter storm moved into the Omaha area. It dumped somewhere between 8-10" of snow. As a result, Thursday January 31 was declared a SNOW DAY!!!!! No school for Lisa, and I got to work from home. Mind you, while working from home was great, the frequent "snow blowing" exercises were not. Thank god for snow blowers. Anyway, below are some house photos taken the morning after the Storm (February 1, 2002). Pretty cool!!!
As you can all see, quite a lot of snow!!!! All I can do is repeat the above statement...THANK GOD FOR SNOW BLOWERS!!! Believe me, when the white stuff is flowing, and it's only 14°F (-10°C) outside, with a wind chill of only 5°F (-15°C), the least amount of time spent outside moving snow is really good (life saving too!!!!)'
February 2, 2002: GROUNDHOG DAY
Groundhog Day is, well, Groundhog Day. It's all to do with whether a groundhog [read, oversized rodent] sees his shadow or not. If he sees his shadow, then it's six more weeks of Winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, then winter will end early. Personally, it never seems to make the slightest difference to the weather...if he sees his shadow, it's winter until the end of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, it's still winter until the end of winter. So, it really doesn't make that much difference. This is a day that is unique to the US of A...no one else is crazy enough to even contemplate such a bizarre tradition.
The most famous Groundhog Day tradition involves Punxsutawney Phil. Every February 2, thousands gather on Gobblers Knob, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Hey, this is for real...not even I could make this junk up!!! Anyway, at 0-dark hundred, a whole bunch of drunken twits gather around to watch Phil the groundhog do his stuff for twenty seconds. Once Phil is done, everyone goes back to getting themselves even drunker than they were when Phil came out. Phil, on the other hand, gets stuck back in his tree for yet another year. Seems kind of strange, isn't it???
Anyway, below are some web photos we found about this wonderful event.
For those of you interested in geography, the following maps show where this is where Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, actually is. As you can see, it really is in the middle of no where.
Like I said, I don't make this stuff up. This is real. There are lots of web sites about this quaint, bizarre tradition.
February 19, 2002
This is for those of you down under who want to see how we are going and/or looking like. So, here are photos of Lisa and Stephen. It's up to you to figure out who is who!!!!
March 15, 2002
You know when your all grown up...government taxes!!!! For the first time, we had to submit a tax return for our company, Stephisa Technology, Inc. What a pain. What a drag. So, guess what we've spent the last 3-4 weeks doing...yup, if you guessed taxes, you'd be right. But, with a good CPA, it's amazing what you can do. Not that we really understand the process...the tax laws here are so Byzantine that it would take a PHD in astral physics to be able to understand how things work. Anyway, I guess it's now official...we are now a fully fledged member of the business community!!!!
March 24, 2002
This is the last posting of the season. Winter is officially over, and spring is with us. Mind you, not that the weather has changed to much in the last few days. And, now for some season statistics
Finally, the average high and lows for Winter 2002
Actually, it was a pretty mild winter temperature wise. Also, with only 21" of snow, a pretty dry one too!!!! What will next year's Winter be like???
Finally, the following photos are the last of the season. They show quite vividly how brutal the weather is around here.
Just for the record. The last day of Winter 2002, March 20, 2002, the low of the day was 23F, while the high was 554,F. Unfortunately, there was a 36mph wind blowing the entire day. What a way to see out winter (cold!!!!).
So, that's it for Winter 3002. It was a good season, with lots of great activities with family and friends. But, alas, as with all good things, they must come to an end. So, follow this link to see what's up in spring 2002.
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