Winter 2007

Winter 2007 if officially over....this is the archive version of our Winter 2007 Activities.......

Yes, Winter 2007 if officially over....check out our season's 2007 archived activities .....

But, as with normal seasons, we had a couple of questions to be answered over winter.

  1. Will we have white Christmas: Answer:  Not a flake.........

  2. What will we do for New Years: Answer: See below. Basically, nothing!!!!

  3. Who will win the Super Bowl: Answer:  See below...it sure as heck wasn't the Bears!!!

  4. How much snow will we get for the season: Answer:  Approximately 31" of snow fell this winter. Every single flake was since January 1, 2007!!!!!

  5. How many snow days will we get: Answer: Lisa has had three official snow days. Boy did she deserve it!!!!

  6. What will be the lowest temperature: Answers: See below!!!!

  7. Who we be at war with Will it be Syria, North Korea or Iran. Maybe all three!!!! Who knows with Bush and Co.: Answers: Currently, none. But, the sabers are being rattled at both Syria and Iran!!!!

  8. What will the state of Iraq be like: Answer:  See below!!!!!

 

And so, without further ado, here are our planned activities for Winter 2007...

Monday, December 25, 2006:

Christmas 2006. It begun for the Omaha Burton's at 3pm on Friday, December 22, when the intrepid adventurers headed out from Omaha, Nebraska, to Sterling, Illinois. The trip took some five [5] hours with extremely heavy traffic all the way. I guess that's what happens when you travel the Friday before Christmas....but, it sure as heck beat the crap out of flying. If you attempted to travel by air before Christmas, you were looking at a minimum of fourteen (14) hours delay because of delays caused by the snow storm in Denver.

Anyway, after a five (5) hour trip, we finally made it to Sterling. We had a quick dinner of Chicken Noodle Soup and Grilled Ham and Cheese sandwiches, and then it was time for bed. Mind you, after we ate, unwound, etc, it was midnight....this was to be the earliest night for the next week.......

On Saturday, after a very nice sleep in, it was time for shopping and lunch. After that, Lisa and the webmaster had their annual get together with Lisa's school friends Terri and Karen. This time, we started at Kelly's, moved onto North End and finally landed back at the Precinct. Needless to say, the evening was a lot later, longer and alcoholic than we first intended. But, that's what happens before Christmas.....

Christmas eve arrived with a vengeance. While Lisa and the rest of her family went to Church at 11am, the webmaster got to sleep in  and then watch the first half of the Bears game (which they eventually won). After lunch, it was off to Lisa's brothers [Ross and Kim] house for a delicious steak dinner.....

After dinner, it was off to church (midnight mass at 10pm....go figure that one!!!!!). After church, it was time to sleep, for Christmas day was fast approaching.

And so came Christmas. While we had the usual gathering of the clan, this year was somewhat different as Kevin and Kimberly, for whatever reason, decided not to join the rest of the family for Christmas. But, as everyone else was present, we still managed to have a great time. Of course, we all ate too much, but that's standard for Christmas!!!!

There was also quite a bit of cards [euchre] played as well after lunch/dinner, etc.

The rest of the week was spent basically resting and relaxing around Sterling. While the webmaster had to work [supporting CSI remotely], Lisa was able to spend quite a bit of time with her mother. Mind you, whatever activities they did had to be negotiated with Lisa so as to not to interfere with her reading!!!!!

On Friday, 12/29, it was time for Lisa and the webmaster to depart Sterling for home [eventually]. However, our first stop was in Moline, Illinois where we spend the night with Nancy after catching up with several other friends while we were there as well.....

After an evening of watching DVD's (Twin Towers and Garfield, a Tale of Two Kitties), it was time to finally return to Omaha. We took a calculated risk in heading home on the Saturday as rain was forecasted for the entire car trip home. But, as snow as forecast to fly on Sunday [12/31], we decided that if we didn't leave and go all the way on Saturday, then it was basically god only know when we would get home. But, as it was, we made it back to Omaha without any issues and/or problems.

As with all our previous trips, we did keep score of the "highway oddities" we saw along the way. Here are the totals....

Object

Description Cop Boat Tow Truck Golf Cart Jet Ski Car in Ditch House Motor bike School Bus Snow Mobile ATV Train Limo
Enroute to Sterling, IL 5 6 3 4 2 6 0 4 5 4 0 0 0
Enroute to Moline, IL 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 2 1
To Omaha, NE 1 8 3 1 0 10 0 2 3 13 4 1 1

And thus ended Christmas 2006...

And on rolls Winter 2007.....

Sunday, December 31, 2006 New Years Eve

Where will we be??? What will we be doing???? Well, the answer to that is that we were here in Omaha. It was a good thing that we did decide to drive back from Moline the previous day, because we received about 3-4" of the white stuff overnight. It was bad enough watching the white stuff fall from the safely and comfort of home....we can only image what it would've been like out in the middle of nowhere on I80....yikes!!!!

Anyway, after our traditional Christmas Eve drinks with Bryan Boll up at the Lighthouse, it was time to head back home for the duration. After feasting on Pizza we bought the previous evening, it was time to watch the Bears, Green Bay game (the last official football game of the 206 regular season....which the Bears lost very badly). After that, it was time to retire to bed to watch Schreck I and II. And yes, we were both awake for the actual midnight countdown to the new year....

And do, that is how we spent New Years Eve 2007. As usual, Lisa and the webmaster definitely stayed home over "amateur night"...too many other lunatics out on the road, especially given the road conditions.

Anyway, here are the conditions we woke to on New Years day....good thing we stayed at home...

And that was New Years 2007.....onward rolls Winter 2007....

Sunday, January 21, 2007: Omaha Snow Storm

On Saturday, January 20, Omaha was warned that a major snow storm was headed it's way, and was expected to hit some time Saturday afternoon. On top of the 4-5" of snow already on the ground, this threatened to be a major pain in the butt!!!!

This is what our neighborhood and house looked like prior to the storm....it was already a mess and traveling was "difficult"........

With an additional 6-10" of the white stuff, it was time for the Omaha Burtons to hunker down for the night. After the webmaster made a quick trip to the gas station for the snow blower, it was time for a night for a spaghetti dinner and watching DVD's, waiting for the inevitable to occur......

Which it did.....we received another 4-6" of the white stuff overnight....thank god for snow blowers....

After the additional snowfall, the best call would have been to stay at home all day, watch the Bears game, and avoid the traffic congestion associated with all the snow on the roads. Fortunately, Lisa could do this....unfortunately, for work reasons, the webmaster could not. He had to brave the roads and the airports to get back to fun town Valparaiso. But, that's life....sometimes, you have to do what you gotta do, and this was one of those occasions.......

And so on roll Winter 2007.....with the webmaster stuck in Valpo until Ground Hog's day.....

Friday, February 2, 2007

So, what did the oversized rodent see this year??? Actually, it all depends on where your were. In Pennsylvania, the rodent predicted an early end to winter, as did the oversized rat in Valparaiso. In Omaha, they were in the middle of a snow storm, so it didn't really matter. What was amusing was that, as the webmaster was leaving the apartment to return to Omaha, he heard the news that in Valparaiso, there was going to be an early end to winter.....only to walk outside to find the temperature a nice "brisk" -5F (-20C). That furry little rodent mutt deserves to be turned into a fur coat!!!!!

But, at least the webmaster got to go home to Omaha...in time for the Super Bowl and (wait for it)......Valentine's Day!!!!

Sunday, February 4, 2007 Super Bowl

The annual right of winter in the US of A....the Super Bowl. This year was a very quiet affair. A lot of people were on vacation and an equal number had absolutely no interest in the game, given who was playing (Chicago Bears versus the Indianapolis Colts). However, that has never been known to stop the Burton's from going and watching a football game.....especially one where the Bears are playing.....Lisa has been a Bears fan since forever, and this is the first time they have made the Super Bowl since 1985...

And so, dutifully, at 4pm on Sunday, Lisa and the webmaster turned up to the Lighthouse Bar & Grill, where we met with Steph Sinclair, a longtime friend from the ANZ Bank in Melbourne, to watch Super Bowl 2007......

While the company was great, the game was absolutely awful....the Bears need a quarterback who can actually throw the ball....and not just to the opposing team members. Anyway, the final score was as follows:

 

 

 
 

17

 

29

 

And that was Super Bowl 2007.....Go Bears for 2008!!!!...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007:

Yes, the world's most famous Hallmark Day. Also proudly sponsored by chocolate companies and flower shops.  Where will we be??? What will we be doing????

Well, for the first time since 2004, the webmaster was actually in Omaha for Valentine's Day. So, given that, Lisa had complete control and choice over what we did on Valentine's Day. And her choice was...Pizza and a movie. We had pizza at home while watching films on DVD's!!!! I know that a lot of other people will say that this was "unromantic", but let us say to them...after spending two (2) Valentine's Days apart, just being together was romantic enough!!!!

By the way, for those of you keeping track of dates...just over two weeks ago, the oversized rodent groundhog made a prediction of an "early end to winter". Well, after 15" of now in the last two weeks, this is what our house and environment looked like. So much for an early end to winter!!!!

And that was Valentine's Day for 2007......

Thursday, March 1 thru Friday March 2, 2007: Omaha Snow Storm

Late on Wednesday, February 28, a major storm system began moving into the Omaha area. After several hours of freezing rain, it finally switched to all rain about 4am in the morning, by which time all schools had been closed [Lisa gets a snow day!!!!]. By Thursday night, west Omaha had received some 12-16" of snow. All roads, malls were closed, buses were pulled from the road, the interstate system was in shambles and the airport was closed [which made for an interesting day on Friday for the webmaster....he was supposed to fly back to Omaha on Friday].

Just to give you an idea of how bad things were, here are some photos Lisa took on Thursday night from inside the house!!!!!

By the time it came around for the webmaster to attempt to get home on Friday afternoon, things had only got worse. Another 6" of snow had fallen and there were now 40-50mph windows blowing things around. But, neither rain nor snow would stop the webmaster from getting home. After a three hour trip to Chicago's Midway Airport [which normally takes about 1.5 hours]. the webmaster finally made it back into Omaha, only an hour later. Considering that some people on the same flight had been trying to get home to Omaha for over 24 hours, this wasn't too bad.

But, man were the roads bad!!!! On the interstate back from the airport, we lost count of the number of cars ditches, not to mention new accidents. It was incredible!!!! Some people just do not learn that in blizzard conditions, you have to slow down.

Anyway, having made it back into Omaha, Lisa and the webmaster hunkered down for the weekend. Watching DVD's and TV from bed were the order of the weekend. Besides, the weather was so lousy (windy and cold) there was basically nothing else to do over the weekend.

Anyway, on Sunday the mercury finally rose above freezing and sun finally made an appearance. Here is what the place looked like two days after the storm was finished....

I know these pictures don't do real justice to the chaos this storm caused but, if it was like this two days after the storm, imagine what it would have been like during the height of the storm!!!

Anyway, that was our welcome March. Hopefully, it will be winters last hurrah. But, in the mid-west, you never can tell!!!!

Wednesday, March 7 - Friday, March 9, 2007: Hospital Visit

Just when the weather was looking good and everything appeared to be going well....bam, the webmaster's throat decided it was time to start playing silly buggers again. However, both Lisa and the Webmaster now have this down to a tee. With the first signs of things going wrong, we went immediately to the Methodist Hospital. Also, unfortunately, we have been to the hospital so frequently that the emergency room folks have got this down pat as well!!!!

Having said that, the webmaster has to say this: this particular incident was NOT the result of the webmaster doing something stupid and/or misbehaving himself. This time, the breakdown was due to a stomach bug the webmaster somehow managed to pick up. We are not sure whether he picked it up in either Valparaiso or from Lisa's kids....it doesn't really matter which is the correct, What matters is that the webmaster did not bring this on himself!!!! Believe me, this was confirmed by all the doctors as well Lisa....and believe me, Lisa has never been backwards about coming forward with criticism the webmaster when his own stupidity has caused his throat problems!!!!  This time, she even showed some sympathy!!!!!! (to  be truthful, it was also probably the first time the webmaster actually deserved it!!!!).

And so, after two days in Methodist Hospital. the webmaster was unceremoniously thrown out of the hospital for a couple of days reset before resuming work. About the only interesting outcome from this hospital stint was that the webmasters daily dosage of prescriptions has been increased back to what is what last year (before the GI Specialist made a rather strange decision to reduce the daily dosage of NEXIUM). So, the webmaster is back to 80mg of NEXIUM twice a day!!! Also, the webmaster has been diagnosed with high blood pressure for the first time in his life......this one has the webmaster's doctor absolutely floored. Up until now, the problem had always been the reverse...low blood pressure!!!!! One more drug the webmaster has to take!!!!!

Hopefully. that will be it for medical problems for 2007!!!!!! And by the way, what comments made above sympathy, etc, are only meant in jest. Lisa is, without doubt, the most loving, caring and sympathetic person the webmaster has ever known (guess what, no shit Sherlock....that's why I married her!!!!!)

Thursday, March 15, 2007: Corporate Tax Day

The first of two annual bend over day for Uncle Sam.....this time it's corporate tax day....

As per usual, we had our returns in on time....not that we're going to get anything for it!!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Last official party for Winter 2007....green beer and corn beef sandwiches.....not to mention the obligatory hangover....

This year however, neither Lisa nor the webmaster had a hangover. The webmaster was just out of hospital (the same throat problem that keeps on reoccurring!!!!). Instead, we spent a very quiet day at home. Mind you, Lisa was not impressed as she had to run a research subject at the Omaha Hearing School at 9am on Saturday....talk about a rude awakening. While Lisa was out working hard, the webmaster spent a very "gentlemanly" morning...arising about 10am and then just puttering around the house!!!!! However, the webmaster did actually get out and about in the morning...albeit just to go and get the mail and take some photos of the house, minus snow. This is the first time in about three months that we haven't had about 6" of the white stuff on the ground.....

Mind you, we're not quite sure which looks worse....the ground covered with snow or just dead vegetation.

Anyhow, after Lisa performed her duty of working for the morning, it was time for the Burton's in Omaha to settle down and do what they intended to do...sleep and watch DVD's, which, we must admit, we executed perfectly!!!!!!!!

And with that, the last "official" party of winter 2007 finished. But, alas, winter 2007 is not quite over yet. Yes, there are only a couple of days to go for winter 2007, but, living in the mid-west, we know that anything can happen....

Monday, March 19, 2007 Almanac Entry

This is the forth year anniversary of Bush and Co's invasion of Iraq. What mess will the country be in????  Well, were do we start...

The first thing concerns the "mission accomplished" speech GW Jr gave on May 2, 2003, where he declared the end of "all major military operations". Well, we all know that statement was a bunch of BS. According to official Pentagon figures,  the body count is as follows:

Category US Military Iraqi Civilians
Dead 3,218 59,326-65,166
Casualties 24,042 200,000+

The next fallacies regarding the "success" in Iraq are:

  1. Iraq is now spiraling down into a full-scale civil war. The Shiites are getting their "payback, and the Sunni's keep responding in kind. Thrown into this mix is foreign intervention by Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordon. et al. Not to mention, the genuine nutters from Al-Quieda. What a wonderful mixture.

  2. The supposed Iraqi security forces have basically degenerated into Shiite run death squads. It is a well documented fact that the Shiite interrogation techniques consist mostly of tying a suspects hands behind their backs and then shooting them in the back of the head. In fact, things have got so much out of hand that Amnesty International has declared the current Iraqi regime "worse than Saddam Hussein".

  3. Population Flight. As of March 19, 2007, some 75-85% [2-4million] of the Iraqi middle class have fled the country. These are doctors, nurses, engineers, technocrats, plumbers, businessmen/women who are needed to rebuild the shattered economy and restore/introduce any kind of "civil society". They have gone anywhere except stay in Iraq. But, of course, GW Jr in his infinite wisdom, has limited the number of Iraqi refugees to 1,200 per year. It's okay to bomb the country back to the stone age, destroy the infrastructure and give people no hope, but the US of A ain't going to take any Iraqi refugees. Mind you, this is a direct contravention of the Geneva War Protocols, which clearly state that an invading/occupying force has the SOLE RESPONSIBILITY to provide for the security of the invaded/occupied country.

  4. US Military Equipment. It has been generally acknowledged by all media outlets that the US military is not receiving the equipment the troops need. There is a shortage of body armor.

  5. Executions. The first execution in January this year of Saddam and his immediate cronies have left a bitter taste in the minds of most Sunni's in both Iraq and across the general Arab world. The general world opinion from the videos of the execution paint a picture of pure revenge and barbarism, not justice. Don't get me wrong, Saddam was a cold blooded killer, but we [the US and the coalition of the coerced and bribed] should have handled things better. After all, we are supposed to be morally better than the regime we just threw out!!!

  6. Terrorism. Invading Iraq has not reduced the threat from Al-Quieda. Just ask the Russians, English and Spanish about them being "safer".

  7. Israel and the Palestinians. There is still no resolution to the fundamental problem confronting the middle east, Until this is resolved, there will be no end to terrorist attacks. And, yes, Israel's invasion of Lebanon in July 2006, with the tacit and complicit support of the US, has put the peace process back about fifteen [15] years.

  8. Cost of the war. By estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bipartisan arm of the US Congress, the cost of this war is now $US410B (yup, that's the "B" number). the same CBO estimates that the war will eventually cost $US1.2Trillion (that's $US1,200,000,000,000...I hope I've included the correct number of zeroes!!!!!)

By the way, this is the ongoing cost of the Iraq war, courtesy of the COB:

 

Cost of the War in Iraq
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Anyway, it's time for the webmaster to get off his soap box. Unfortunately, the war goes on. Young kids from all countries continue to die, for what???? There were no Weapons of Mass Distraction (WMD's) and there was no link between Saddam and Al-Quieda, and therefore 9/11. So what the hell are we in this mess for!!!!

For those of you who are really perverse, here are a couple of counters indicating how long this stupid war has been going for:

It's now been:

By the way, this counter will now be a permanent fixture until this stupid war ends (if ever!!!)

And this should be the last official posting for Winter 2007...but, one never knows!!!!!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007:

This will be the last posting of the season. Winter 2007 will be officially over, and spring with us. After all these months of snow and cold, we're all looking forward to some sunny, warm weather!!!!

Firstly, here are the travel statistics for the last three months.  And, the availability sucked!!!!! So, here are the official statistics for the flights taken by the Omaha Burton's over Winter 2007....

Date Airline Origin Destination Flight Status Reason Added Bonus Miles
Monday, January 08, 2007 Southwest Omaha, NE Chicago, IL On-Time Unknown None 422
Thursday, January 18, 2007 Southwest Chicago, IL Omaha, NE 30 Minutes Late Weather in Baltimore None 422
Sunday, January 21, 2007 Southwest Omaha, NE Chicago, IL 45 Minutes Late  Weather in Chicago None 422
Friday, February 02, 2007 Southwest Chicago, IL Omaha, NE 10 Minutes Late Unknown None 422
Monday, February 19, 2007 Southwest Omaha, NE Chicago, IL 15 Minutes Early Unknown None 422
Friday, March 02, 2007 Southwest Chicago, IL Omaha, NE 1 Hour Late Weather Everywhere None 422
Monday, March 19, 2007 Southwest Omaha, NE Chicago, IL On Time Unknown None 422
Totals             2,954

Here are the weather statistics for Winter 2007....

Category Date High Temperature Low Temperature
Coldest Day January 16, 2007 8F (-13C) -4F (-20C)
Warmest Day March 13, 2007 78F (26C) 51F (11C)

Finally, the average high and lows for Winter 2007:

Category Temperature (F)
Average High Temperature 37F (0C)
Average Low Temperature 22F (-6C)

For those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily average, maximum and minimum temperatures for Omaha over Winter 2007:

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 Winter 2007. Alas  therefore, this will probably be the last update for season 2007 (unless we remember something really fantastic that happened!!!).

Follow this link to see our Spring 2007 activities.....

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