Yup, believe it or not, winter 2003 is officially over. This is the archive version of the sub-web. Check out below to see what the "Burton's of Omaha" did during the Winter 2003 season.....
But, as with normal seasons, we had a couple of questions to be answered over winter.
And so, without further ado, here are our activities for Winter 2003...
December 21 - December 28, 2002
And so came Christmas 2002. We started our Christmas festivities on Saturday, December 21, with a flight to Moline, Illinois. However, prior to departing Omaha, we did do some Christmas decorating around the house. Here is the photo evidence:
So, onto December 21. We overslept our original alarm clock wake up time....thank god Lisa woke up 5-20 minutes before the taxi was scheduled to pick us up. Otherwise, we may have missed our flight completely. As it was, we only had 20 minutes to get ready [showered, dressed, etc]. Of course, there is no direct flight from Omaha to Moline, so we had to get there "via" Chicago. If that wasn't bad enough, at Chicago, we landed at the "C" concourse....our connecting flight was in the "F" concourse. So, after a quick mile run, we then had to wait another hour while our flight was delayed. All this time surrounded by thousands of screaming children [rug rats, ankle bitters, etc]. Oh, what fun. But, anyway, we eventually made it to Moline to be picked up by Lisa's brother Ross and then on to Sterling...the trip back to Sterling at 90mph is another story. We have not included a map this year as we figure that most of you have already seen enough maps of Sterling, IL.
Having survived the ordeal of actually getting to Sterling, it was time to get down and party!!!!! The first function was on Sunday, December 22, 2002. This was Kevin's birthday, for which we all went to the Candlelight Restaurant for Chicken George [yes, it's a local "in" place and meal...excellent food and atmosphere]. Here are some photo's of the party....
And so, after a rather large lunch, it was back to Slim and Lynne's for the "opening of Christmas presents". Because of the large number of children involved, this was something akin to being hit by a tornado. Calm, tranquility before hand and then, after about 2-3 seconds, a path of destruction, chaos and torn wrapping paper. But, after all, this is what Christmas is supposed to be about. As the day in question was a Sunday, it was then time to watch the pre-Christmas football games [substitute this for a "nap time"], followed by yet another meal...no wonder people put on weight over Christmas!!!! Here is the photographic evidence....
Basically, that was our Christmas. Lisa and the webmaster spent the next week at Slim and Lynne's. The actual Christmas day per say was refreshingly quiet and simple. Essentially, there was just the four of us. We managed to play quite a few hands/games of Euchre....after Thanksgiving, the webmaster and Slim were out for revenge for the drubbing we received from the girls. Alas, unfortunately, this was not to be...Slim and I still managed to get our butts kicked royally!!!!
Prior to Christmas, we attended the annual "2-3 hour session" at the North End Bar, catching up with Lisa's school friends. As usual, a very pleasant time was had by all....
While the girls had their usual Red Stripe beer [don't ask as it's a long story, but it's all part of the annual Christmas eve event....]. After spending a few hours at the bar, it was then off to Church for the Children's Christmas service, which was absolutely packed. Not even standing room was available!!!!! It must be because all the local bars close at the same time and the Children's service was conveniently scheduled for some 30 minutes later. Hmmm....seems a little bit too convenient for this little webmaster!!!!
Christmas Day, weather wise, was a real non-event. Not a flake of snow fell!!!!! Instead, it was grey, overcast, cold and outright gloomy. Luckily, we were able to spend almost the entire day inside, so we were able to avoid having our butts frozen off!!!
On December 27, it was time to start to head back to Omaha. We spent a very pleasant evening with Nancy Lavin in Moline before we caught our flight at 11:30am on December 28. Unfortunately, we were not able to catch up with some other friends while we were in Moline. Christmas is a very hard time to get together with people as everyone has 64million family events to go to. But, we were very fortunate to catch up with Nancy, just as she sold her house and prepares to move into a new house on January 26.
And so, on Saturday December 28, Lisa and the webmaster finally headed off to Omaha after a weeks absence. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 11:30am, which meant we had to be at the airport at 9:30am. New security procedures were just being phased in, so the wait time for any departing flight has increased significantly. The trip back to Omaha itself was fairly uneventful, which is exactly what you want from a flight. Mind you, our connection through Chicago again required a mile hike from the F concourse to the C concourse. Luckily, the Red Carpet Club lounge was on the way, so we were at least able to spend the time in between flights in relative comfort. But, these new security procedures are a real pain in the butt and we really wonder if they actually make the flight any safer.
And so, we made it back to Omaha in one piece. After some fretful minutes, even our baggage turned up as well. As usual, we were met by our Taxi driver Phil who managed to then get us home without hassling with airport party. Once back in Omaha, Christmas 2002 was officially over and it was time to prepare for the New Year....
December 31, 2002 New Years Eve
New Years for us here in Omaha has become a fairly quiet non-event over the last few years. Both if us have decided that we don't like the concept of being out on "amateur night", when all the bad drivers decide that it's time for them to crawl out from under their prospective rocks. Further complicating things are the number of cops out on the road and the fact that we normally have an ice storm in Omaha on New Years Eve. All of these factors combine to say: "don't go out on New Years Eve".
So, this year we heeded our own advice and stayed at home. After a quick run to our local Albertson's grocery store to stock up on vital commodities, it was time to hunker down for the evening. We played Trivial Pursuit and Phase 10 as entertainment. It may not sound like much of an exciting evening, but Lisa and I enjoyed it tremendously. It sure as heck beat the alternatives!!!!!
Anyway, that was New Years Eve 2003. Happy New Year....may 2003 be better than 2002.
January 22, 2003 Almanac Entry
This is just another Almanac entry for the history and weather buffs out there. That and, as usual, have camera, will travel and take photos. So there!!!! Anyway, we had our second "measurable" snow fall the morning of January 22. While it was only a 2-3" dusting, it added to the 4-6" of snow we received last week. The white landscape would be beautiful if it weren't so cold!!!!!!
Anyway, here some more snow photos. Actually, as they are the first of the season, they are allowed!!!!
So, after this little snow dusting, the season snowfall total is approximately 6-8". And, we're barely one month into the Winter 2003 season!!! Finally, while the blue sky in the above photos may make the day look "nice", believe us, it is not. The high temperature for the day was 15ºF (-9ºC) and the low for tonight is forecast to be -11ºF (-23ºC). And, tomorrow is expected to be even colder!!!!!!
January 26, 2003 Australia Day and Super Bowl Day
Instead of having our annual super bowl get together at our house, as we have done for the previous five years, this year we decided on a change of location. This year, we headed up to our local bar, Lunkers, for the festive occasion. All we can say is thankgod we arrived early. We arrived at 3pm [kickoff was 5pm]....even then we were able to grab the last free table in the joint!!!!!! Man was the place packed and jiving!!!! By the way, to find out more about Lunkers, follow this link!!!!! And yes, once you figure out who owns the site, you will realize what shameless self promotion we're now talking about.
While the change in venue meant that a couple of the usual crowd could not attend, everyone who did turn up appeared to have a good time. Mind you, the quality of the new commercials was not as good as it has been in previous years. But, at usual, the overall winner were the Bud Light commercials....the advertising company they use is brilliant. Twisted, strange and weird....but brilliant just the same!!!!! Congratulations to Ed and the webmaster for winning the Super Bowl tipping competition. They both picked Tampa Bay to beat Oakland by ten points....they were the closest to the actual score.
During the game, we were also able to drink a toast or three to Australia's Australia Day. Also, as of 5pm CDT, the webmaster has now been in the US of A for exactly ten (10) years. No one is quite sure if this is a good or bad celebration...I guess it all just depends upon your perspective!!!!!!
Now that the Super Bowl is over, the exciting event is groundhog day. What will the little rodent see this year (not that it makes the slightest bit of difference anyway!!!!!)...
February 1, 2003: Shuttle Columbia Disaster
At approximately 9am CDT, mission control at the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, lost all telemetry, voice and data communications with the US Shuttle Columbia. As we all now know, the shuttle Columbia broke up at some 205,000 feet, while traveling at some 12,900mph. There were no survivors.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
- John Gillespie Magee, Jr, 1922-1944
May they all rest in peace.....
Yup, it's Groundhog day. The history of this dates back to Europe, when the Germans would use a badger to see if it could see it's shadow on Candlemass Day [midpoint of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere]. If the badger did not see it's shadow, then the ground was going to start to thaw and it was time for the farmers to start preparing their fields for crops. If the badger did see it's shadow, the ground was not going to start to thaw for another six weeks. When the Germans reached the US, they found that the groundhog exhibited the same sort of behavior. Hence, Groundhog Day was borne. While most areas and communities have their own Groundhog, the most famous of all Groundhogs is Punxsutawney Phil, from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. His antics at Gobblers Knob are an national, annual tradition.
So, that's the scoop for Groundhog Day. And, what did the little, over sized rodent see this year???? The local Omaha rodent did not see his shadow, so winter is supposed to end early. Mind you, of course he didn't see his shadow....it was overcast on February 2!!!!! In Punxsutawney, Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter. Actually, what this means is that, either way, we have six more weeks of winter. For example, in Omaha, where the Groundhog predicted an early end of winter, we received 4-5" of snow the very next day......so much for the over sized rodent being accurate!!!!!!
Armed with this information, we then decided to head out to see Lord Of the Rings, Return Of The King, and then have a few restorative cordials. So much for Groundhog Day.....
And so, it's now on to the next activity of Winter 2003....
February 14, 2003
Yes, the world's most famous Hallmark Day. Also proudly sponsored by chocolate companies and flower shops. This year, the whole day, and evening, where over shadowed by the threat of a major ice storm to be followed by a whole bunch of snow. So, while we had reservations at our favorite restaurant, we were unsure of whether we were going to be able to get out at all. Luckily, however, the weather did hold, and we did manage to get out and celebrate Valentine's Day. This time, the webmaster actually remembered to go out and get flowers and a card for Lisa!!!!
So, what did we do???? Actually, it was quite simple: we started at the "Prestige Bar" at 5pm, and then ventured on to our favorite restaurant "Vincenzo's Ristorante" for the best Italian food in town. Unfortunately, as our dinner reservations weren't until 9:30pm, it ended up being a very long evening. But, the food was great and the company was fantastic, so, overall, it was an extremely relaxing and enjoyable evening.
Mind you, we did get home from dinner just in time. It started snowing something wicked about 11:30pm and didn't stop until midday the next day. After 10" of snow, we were not exactly going anywhere the next day. So much for what the groundhog predicted. Actually, it's snowed pretty much all the time over the week that followed. Again, so much for what the little, over sized rodent said!!!!!! Just for the record, here is an interesting statistic: prior to January 15, we received only 5" of snow for the entire winter season. Since January15, we've received 23" of the white stuff. Finally, so much for what the groundhog predicted!!!!!
Here are some photos taken a week after Valentine's Day....this white stuff won't melt until July of next year!!!!
And so, that was Valentine's Day for 2003. With that said, it's off to the next event for winter 2003......
March 15, 2003: Corporate Tax Day
Yes, it's that time of year again. On this date each year, Corporate Taxes have to be filed for an "S" Corporation. As this was our first filing as an S Corporation, we had absolutely no clue as to what was required or needed. So, for basically the previous month, we spent countless hours getting all our receipts and account information together. What a pain in the neck!!!! But, we get things completed on time and had all our information to our CPA by March 4. She, in turn, did her voodoo on the numbers, and we were about the send our tax returns to the IRS by March 13. Ok, we only had two days to spare, but it did go in on time!!!!
While personally having no problem with paying taxes, it would be a much easier task if the IRS rules were not so cumbersome and complex. It is almost impossible for an individual to complete the tax process without the help of a CPA. To do so takes degrees in quantum physics and astro navigation!!!!
But, having said all that, we did get all our taxes filed and completed on time. Now all we have to do is wait for the IRS to agree with our filings and send us a refund check!!!! The other good thing is that we also now have our personal taxes filed as well....a full month early to boot!!!!
Having successfully escaped the 2003 tax season, it's time now to enjoy the rest of winter 2003......
March 17, 2003
This is the last official "party" day of winter. Lots of green beer, a traditional visit to an Irish Bar, a corned beef sandwich (yuck!!!) and the mandatory hangover the next day. Actually, Lisa and I had a very restrained St. Patrick's Day. As St. Patrick's day fell on a Monday, most places and people started celebrating the pervious Saturday [i.e. the 15th]. We followed the same pattern.
So, what we actually do: as usual, we celebrated at our usual haunt(s).....Lunkers and Prestige. With a couple of friends, we enjoyed a most enjoyable evening talking, drinking and solving the problems of the world [again!!!].
You can find out more about Lunkers by following this link. Yes, it's an unashamed attempt at PR!!!!
Anyway, a most enjoyable evening was had by all. Now, if only we could all remember how we solved all the problems of Life, The Universe and everything, then we could finally make the world a better place.!!!!!!
Having had our annual intake of corned beef and green beer, it's time to move on with the rest of winter....
March 19, 2003 Almanac Entry
At 9:34pm [CDT] on Wednesday March 19, 2003, all US TV networks interrupted their scheduled programs to announce that the US had commenced it's oft threatened bombing campaign against Iraq. The stated aim it to engineer a "regime change" to oust Saddam Hussein and replace him with a more compliant regime. After months of hostility towards the UN and other nations, Bush and Co's "coalition of the coerced and bribed" decided it was time to defy international law and world opinion and invade Iraq.
While there is no doubt that Hussein is a murderous thug who has butchered his own people and flouted international laws since the 1991 end of the first Gulf War, there are valid questions and concerns regarding Bush and Co's stated aims and actions. The legality of Bush and Co's invasion of a sovereign country without UN Security Council approval is doubtful. By defying the will of the international community and world opinion, Bush and Co are setting dangerous precedents for future conflicts. There are also questions relating to Bush and Co's hypocrisy regarding its treatment of other despotic regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan, all of which have human rights records similar to Iraq's. Turkeys treatment of its own Kurdish minority has been as equally brutal as Hussein's. Ask the Kurds if they feel safer now that the "Butcher of Baghdad" has been replaced by the "Butcher of Ankara".....
Having said that, it is our hope that the campaign against Iraq will be mercifully short, so that the number of casualties [both military and civilian] can be reduced. We all hope that the military of all the members of the "coalition of the coerced and bribed" come home soon and safely.
And so, we are now at the end of Winter 2003...........
March 20, 2003:
In spite of all the doom and gloom resulting from the war with Iraq, the March Madness basketball tournament started without problems. This is the annual two (2) week NCAA college Basketball playoffs. This is the only time that the webmaster actually watches basketball. This year, Nebraska will be represented by Creighton University. The rest of the state's universities were thrown out early in the competition. Once Creighton looses [which they will...after all, their odds at winning the championship are quoted as 50:1], we'll have to start cheering for Michigan State.
At least we'll have something to watch for the next two weeks unconnected to Iraq, oil of war........
Who will win????? Who really cares.....
March 22, 2003:
This is the last posting of the season. Winter is officially over, and spring is with us. After all these months of snow and cold, we're all looking forward to some sunny, warm weather!!!! But, with the onset of spring comes the threat of rain and tornadoes. But, the man thing is that Winter is finally over.
Finally, the average high and lows for Winter 2003:
For those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily, maximum and minimum, temperatures for Omaha over Winter 2003:
This should keep you "weather nuts" happy for a while. Remember, people from down under, all temperatures are in ºF.
So, that's pretty much been our Winter 2003. Alas therefore, this will probably be the last update for season 2003 (unless we remember something really fantastic that happened!!!). Hope you've all had as much fun watching this season unfold as much as we have. In case you haven't guessed, the next Winter posting will be in late December 2003...see ya'all back then. Enjoy the rest of the year. Yo'all come back, ya hear!!!!!
Follow this link to see our Spring 2003 activities.....
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