Winter 2009

Winter 2009 is officially over....this sub-web has been archived soon....check it out....

Winter 2009 officially over and this sub-web is closed for business. This is the archived version of our sub-web. Check out the activities that were Winter 2009....

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

  1. Will we have white Christmas: Answer:  The answer was a definite yes. While it didn't snow on Christmas Eve, there was more than enough of the white stuff still on the ground to qualify as a White Christmas....

  2. What will we do for New Years: Answer: See below. As usual, a very quiet evening was had by us here in Omaha.....

  3. Who will win the Super Bowl: Answer:  See below. Pittsburgh won.....

  4. How much snow will we get for the season: Answer: We received approximately 20" of the white stuff fell in Omaha for Winter 2009.....

  5. How many snow days will we get: Answer: There was only one (1) snow day for Winter 2009.....

  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: Now that Obama is president, this question may become moot. Man do we hope so. There was a huge worry that Bush and Co would invade someone else during his last few weeks in power, but, luckily, the economy was so bad that even this idiot realized we couldn't afford it.....

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

And so, without further ado, here are our planned activities for Winter 2009...

Page Contents:

Just follow the links in the table of contents to go the particular section of interest.

  1. Christmas
  2. New Years Eve
  3. Omaha January Snow
  4. Midwest Jazz Society Song Competition
  5. Super Bowl
  6. Groundhogs Day
  7. Valentines Day
  8. Omaha February Snow
  9. Corporate Tax Day
  10. St Patrick's Day
  11. Start of Iraqi War
  12. End of Winter

Monday, December 22, thru Tuesday December 30, 2008: Christmas

So, Christmas rolled in again. As usual, we were scheduled to spend the holiday's in Sterling, Illinois, with Lisa's family. So, early on Monday, December 22, Lisa and the webmaster dutifully departed Omaha for Illinois. We made it to Moline, IL, by early afternoon (around 3pm) and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with Nancy Lavin, a very old friend. We spent the evening eating pizza and watching the last Monday Night Football game for the year....the Green Bay Packers versus the Chicago Bears. How the heck Chicago won is beyond us, but won they did.

After a very pleasant evening, it was time to head up to Sterling from Moline. This would have been reasonably straight forward except for the weather. To cut a long story short, the road conditions were supposed to be so bad that Lisa's brother Ross was dispatched from Sterling to Moline to come and get us. While we made it to Sterling without incident, we didn't need the "rescue mission" as the roads were clear and fine. Mind, the weather was closing in and ice did start to form on the interstates.

Not too much was done on the Christmas eve day due to the weather, which ended up snowing for most of the day. About the only venturing out of the house was to go to Midnight Mass for Christmas Eve.

And so dawned Christmas Day, 2008. The first question which is always asked is "did we have a white Christmas". Look at the following photos and judge for yourselves....

Just to help you make up your minds, here is a short video of one of the surrounding areas in Sterling, Illinois:

Christmas 2008 Video

Needless to say, the answer to the question should be obvious. There was about 12" of the white stuff on the ground and the temperature was a wonderful breezy 1F (-17C). Apart from avoiding the cold, most of the day was spent lounging around the house playing cards, watching TV or getting ready for Christmas Dinner, which commenced at 5pm on Christmas Day....

After supper, it was time to play some more cards, which we did until about 2am, which of course made for a very late night. While some of us are used to late nights, some of the others were not, which made for a very disjointed day after Christmas.

On the day after Christmas [Friday 12/26], we met with Lisa's long time friends Terri and Karen. This is a Christmas tradition, but one which is normally done on Christmas Eve. This year was delayed due to bad weather and people not being able to make it into town. Anyway, as has become the practice over the last few years, we met at Kelly's Mexican Bar before heading off to another Sterling Bar called The Precinct.

As usual, a very pleasant evening was had by all.

The rest of the time in Sterling was pretty quiet, which was thoroughly enjoyable and exactly what Lisa and the webmaster wanted. The days were spent spending time with Slim and Lynne and generally relaxing. The last official "Christmas" function was held on Monday evening [12/29] with Christmas Dinner with Ross's daughter Paige. She had been sown in Alabama visiting her mother over Christmas Day, so we held a second official dinner when she returned.

On Tuesday, December 30, it was time for Lisa and the Webmaster to depart Sterling to return to Omaha. As with the trip to Sterling a week earlier, we hoped to get back to Omaha before a new winter storm moved into the area(s) and fouled up the road conditions. But, we made it back in good time and without any major problems. As is usual with us, we kept a running total of "highway oddities" we saw on the road trips to From Sterling and here they are:

Object

Description Cop Snow Plough Boat Tow Truck Golf Cart Fire Truck Car in Ditch House Motor bike School Bus Snow Mobile Train Tractor on Road Dead or Live Deer Greyhound Bus Oddities Ambulance UPS Truck FedEx Trucks
Enroute to Moline, IL 9 7 3 19 7 0 20 3 0 2 0 0 3 1 0 1 2 5 13
Enroute to Sterling, IL 3 4 0 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Enroute to Omaha, NE 10 0 1 5 0 1 9 0 1 2 2 1 1 4 2 0 2 13 18

For a full description of our "highway oddities", please follow this highway oddities link....

And that was Christmas 2008. A very pleasant time was had by all, even if the weather was a bit screwy....

And on rolls Winter 2009...

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008 New Years Eve

What will we do??? As has become custom with us over the last few years, all we did was meet a couple of Friends up at a local Omaha bar [Heidelberg's] for a couple of cocktails. We met at 4pm and were all gone by 6:30pm. The aim of the game was to be home long before midnight to avoid both the cops and other drivers who have been out drinking!!!! We did take some photos, but unfortunately there was not enough light, so they didn't turn out. Thank heavens for small mercies cry the people in the photos!!!!

After cocktails, Lisa and the webmaster went to another establishment called Red for something to eat. The excitement while we were there was watching Shrek II. We were home again by 8:30pm and Lisa was asleep by 9pm, so the webmaster spent the rest of the evening updating web pages (such as this one). But, he did go out onto the back deck at midnight to watch the local fireworks show.

In a nutshell, that was how we spent New Years Eve 2009, pretty much the same way we welcomed in 2008!!!!

Welcome to 2009.....

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Monday, January 12, 2009:Omaha January Snow

Winter in Omaha would not be winter without the obligatory endless falling of snow, bitterly cold temperatures and a constant grey sky. After a week of relatively "nice" weather, we were all starting to wonder if we had maybe bitten the bullet and seen the worst of winter. Well, folks, remember that this is Omaha, Nebraska....if you don't like the weather, just wait tem minutes. So, true to form, the weather struck.....

On Sunday night [1/11] and Monday morning, Omaha received between 3-5" of the white stuff. Then, in typical Omaha fashion (and temperament), the temperature went south and the winds out of the north kicked in, making being outside outright dangerous. With a wind chill of -23F (-31C) on Monday afternoon, being outside and unprotected will result in frost bight in under thirty seconds of exposure to the weather. Needless to say, apart from going outside for twenty minutes to clear the driveway and sidewalks of snow, the webmaster did not venture outside Monday afternoon. The snow on the ground, coupled with 40mph wind which created blizzard like white out conditions, meant that driving on the roads was also outright dangerous. In fact, vast stretches of the interstate system were shut down on Monday (1/12) due to whiteout conditions.

As typical for Omaha, the conditions in the city had not improved too much twenty four [24] hours after the storm had gone through. The conditions for the next day, as well as the five day forecast, were not too much better than they were on Monday [1/12].

And this is what Omaha looks like on a typical day in January after a snow storm.....

As you can see, the sky is grey...and it will be that way until Spring. Oh to see the color green!!!!!

To sum up what things are like, here is a short video link to follow...

Omaha January 2009 Snow Event 

And this is the bleak landscape we've got to look forward to for the next three months (until April when Spring hits us....then we start dodging tornadoes, but that's a totally different story!!!). But, on a personal note, it's interesting what you get used to....the webmaster is now almost 100% acclimatized to this kind of weather. Now, does that means he enjoys or likes it....that is a totally different story....

And it's on to the next Winter 2009 activity (whatever that may be!!!)......

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Friday, January 16, 2009:Midwest Jazz Society Song Competition

What started as going to be a reasonably quiet Friday evening at home for Lisa and the webmaster, took a dramatic change when their very good friend, Karen Hennigan called. She was is a song competition at a local bar, the winner of which would get to perform at a major function on February 14 [Valentine's Day]. The contest was to be held at Arthur's a bar which had just moved to a new location literally around the corner from us, and was sponsored by The Midwest Jazz Society (hence the references above). We were asked to tag along to be (1) comedy relief; (2) moral support or (3) get at least two votes for Karen in the competition. It didn't really both us which it was, we just tagged along to have some, support Karen and listen to some live music!!!!

To see the full performance of Karen, please follow the link below....

Midwest Jazz Society Song Competition

During the course of the evening, there were some photos taken, including a rare one including the webmaster. Normally, he's on the other side of the camera, so you don't get to see too many actual photos of the webmaster. But, here are the photos anyway...

While Karen did not win the competition (and therefore doesn't get to sing at some swank event on Valentine's Day), it was still fun. Lisa and the webmaster enjoyed themselves and were glad to provide some moral (and voting) support for a friend. Besides, both Lisa and the webmaster are impressed that Karen had the guts to get up and sing in front of a crowd of complete strangers in the first place. Go Karen!!!

Again, and so on rolls Winter 2009....

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Sunday, February 1, 2009 Super Bowl

The annual right of winter in the US of A....the Super Bowl. Who will be playing and who will win?????

This year, the teams playing were the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Arizona Cardinals. While the Steelers were the pre-game favorites, the Cardinals were definitely the underdogs. The Cardinals have never played in a Super Bowl in the franchises seventy year history. But, they were definitely the underdogs with the pre-game betters forecasting a blow out by Pittsburgh.

Regardless of who was playing, the webmaster was determined to go out to a bar to watch the game this year after missing last year's game because he had just been released from hospital. So, this year, we dutifully assembled at  Heidelberg's with a few friends to watch the game. Heidelberg's was chosen as we can still smoke there [at least until July 1st 2009 anyway]. Here are some photos of the event...

The game itself turned into a real nail bitter with the final outcome being resolved with only some 35 seconds to go. It was a pity that someone had to lose because both sides played on hell of a great game. The final scores were as follows:

 

27

23  
 

 

Alas, that's it for Football Season 2008-2009 until September this year. Until then, all we have is boring basketball and baseball...yuck!!!!

And on rolls Winter 2009......

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Monday, February 2, 2009 Groundhog's Day

Will the over sized rodent see it's shadow??? Will we have an early end of winter???

As with the previous ten years, Omaha's groundhog, Gus, predicted six more weeks of winter. To add a little more spice to the occasion, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo also used a Siberian Tiger named Kunai to help decide if there were six weeks more of winter. Kunai, a 16-year-old male, exited his living quarters and went into an exhibit holding two boxes of identical meat -- one box labeled spring and one labeled winter. Zoo officials said that whichever box he chose would determine the forecast for Nebraska.

Kunai paced between the two choices before pawing at the snow-colored box, an unpopular choice. Hey, it's about as scientific as the whole concept of some oversized rodent being used to determine if winter is going to end early or continue for another six weeks.

As for Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous oversized rodent in the USA, he also predicted six more weeks of winter.

So, it's now official. Based upon the reactions of an oversized rat and a Siberian Tiger in Omaha, there will be six more weeks of winter.

Go figure....from the only nation that has the scientific and technical where with all to put a man on the moon, we're using the reactions of a rat and a tiger to forecast weather.....and on rolls Winter 2009....

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Saturday, February 14, 2009: Valentine's Day

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, the day itself started on the previous Friday. Lisa and the webmaster had planned to go out on the Friday night to celebrate Valentine's Day a day early and avoid the crowds, but nature intervened. This was in the form of 9" of snow which snarled up Omaha and made going out on Friday impossible.

So, along came the actual day. Some people say that it's a "winter wonderland". Personally, we think it's a pain in the butt!!!

After spending the day goofing around the house, Lisa and the Webmaster decided to go out for dinner, which, without reservations, was a big mistake. We initially wanted Italian, but after driving around for forty five minutes looking for a restaurant which would be able to seat us before 10:45pm, we decided on a small restaurant Lisa and the Webmaster go to occasionally. This place is called "The Wave Bistro", and we have taken the webmaster's parents there on occasion. While the cuisine may not have been what we originally wanted [The Wave Bistro has an Asian cuisine], the food was fantastic and the service impeccable. Also, we managed to get the last open table in the whole restaurant, so we didn't have to wait. All in all, a most excellent evening was had. Good food and even better company....what more could you wish for on Valentine's Day...

And that was Valentine's Day 2009.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009:Omaha February Snow

Not that the weather had improved that much (temperature wise), but we were all starting to look forward to perhaps some of the first signs of spring. But, this was not to be. After all, we are in Omaha, Nebraska, it is still February and we are still in winter. So, we should have not been all that surprised when we awoke on Saturday morning to discover that we had received some 4.5" of the white stuff overnight. Then, as per standard Omaha operating procedures, the temperature then proceeded to go south. But, at least this week's  forecast indicates that we won't be in the ice bucket for too much this week. That is, of course, if you actually believe the weather forecast!!!

So, anyway, in good Omaha fashion it was time on Saturday morning (well, actually, the webmaster didn't go out until the afternoon) to go outside and play the perennial "snow removal game". Oh what fun!!!!

And for those of you interested, we even have a panoramic video of our "snow filled" neighborhood from the vantage point of our back deck...

Back Deck Panoramic Video View

After snow removal duty, the webmaster headed back inside where he and Lisa planned to stay for the rest of the weekend. It's too dam cold and the roads are too treacherous because of the snow cover to bother to venture anywhere.

So, unless something extremely fascinating happens, that is how we spent the latest winter weekend in Omaha. And to think, there's supposed to be only three more weeks of this crap to go. Again, that is, of course, if you believe the weather man.....

And on rolls winter 2009.....

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Sunday, March 15, 2009:Corporate Tax Day

The first of the annual bend over for Uncle Sam Day.....

It will be taken care of...and, as with previous years, it was taken care of. We had a net sum of zero outstanding to Uncle Sam, so this one was extremely easy. Just sign the form and send it back to our accountant. Problem solved. QED.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009St Patrick's Day

The Last official party for Winter 2009....green beer and corn beef sandwiches.....not to mention the obligatory hangover....

As with previous years, neither Lisa nor the webmaster made a big deal of St. Paddy's day. Lisa had to work and the webmaster had a doctor's appointment for a three month check up. So, by the time all was said and done. there was not really any time to go out and party. Besides, neither Lisa nor the Webmaster like green beer and or corned beef. So, we just spent the evening at home doing what we normally do...watch TV and just generally relax at home. So much for an exciting evening.

But, it must be noted that the weather in Omaha on St Paddy's day was absolutely delightful A real spring day. The temperature snuck up to about 72F (23C). And, believe it or not some birds (the feathered, flying variety) were even out and about. It was gorgeous. Mind you, our lawn and our garden looks deader than dead...but, hey, that's what happens after five (5) months of winter.....and, if you look at the below photos really carefully, you can actually see some green shoots sprouting up all over the place...

As usual, here is a panoramic view of our dead neighborhood from our back deck....

Back Deck Panoramic Video

Hopefully, we should be done with any major snow fall. But, this is Omaha, and you never can tell what is going to happen next, at least on the weather front. As the local joke is around here, if you don't like the weather in Omaha, just wait tem (10 minutes)....

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Thursday, March 19, 2009 Almanac EntryStart of Iraqi War

This is the sixth anniversary of Bush and Co's invasion of Iraq. What mess will the country be in????

Believe it or not, but this may be the last year that we have to update this "wall of shame" entry. With the election of Obama, thins are already starting to change. But, some things still have not changed. Here is the score card for the sixth anniversary of George Bush's invasion of Iraq.

  1. US Fatalities. The official US body count stands at 4,260 dead and 31,102 casualties.
  2. There are no official statistics available for the number of Iraqi's who have been killed or wounded.
  3. Troop Draw Down. One of the first moves Obama made was to announce a draw down of some 17,000 US troops by September 2009, with the vast bulk of the rest of the combat forces to be withdrawn by the middle of 2010.
  4. Suicide bombings. While the frequency and intensity have decreased, they are still occurring at an alarming rate. No one is prepared to say whether its just "normal" sectarian related violence or it's a sign of deeper problems and issues.
  5. Afghanistan. While we have been out wasting our time in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan has been spiraling out of control. Essentially, the country is on the brink of becoming a failed narco state unless something drastic is done pretty dam soon. Hopefully, Obama will now shift the emphasis from Iraq to the real problem, which has always been Afghanistan.
  6. War Costs. The cost of the failed Iraq adventure continues to rise. But, at least Obama has decided to include the costs as part of the regular budget, rather than what Bush and Co. did which was to attempt to hide the true costs from the American people while getting "supplemental" funding bills from congress. We now might at least be able to see for the first time what the true cost of this misadventure has been.

What a mess!!! All brought to courtesy of Bush, Chaney and the Coalition of the bribed and coerced. Hopefully, things will start to pick up now that Obama is president and we no longer have the republican fools in power.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009: End of Winter

This will be the last posting of the season. Winter 2009 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 2009....

Date Airline Origin Destination Flight Status Reason Added Bonus Miles
             
             
Totals              

As you can see....no flights were taken during Winter 2009...

Here are the weather statistics for Winter 2009....

Category Date High Temperature Low Temperature
Coldest Day January 15, 2009 2F -16F
Warmest Day March 16, 2009 76F 39F

Finally, the average high and lows for Winter 2009:

Category Temperature (F)
Average High Temperature 39F
Average Low Temperature 17F

For those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily average, maximum and minimum temperatures for Omaha over Winter 2009:

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 2009. Alas  therefore, this will probably be the last update for season 2009 (unless we remember something really fantastic that happened!!!).

Follow this link to see our Spring 2009 activities.....

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Last Revised: January 01, 2010

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