Summer 2003

Summer 2003 Is Over....Check out what we did over the Summer of 2003.....

Yup, believe it or not, summer 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 summer 2003 season.....

So, without further ado: here is what happened during Summer 2003.

As you can see from the above animations, the weather here will change from being very pleasant in early July, to brutally hot in August, back to being pleasant again in September. There should be NO SNOW here in summer. Our weather is bad, but it's not that bad.

But, as with normal seasons, we had a couple of questions to be answered over summer 2003.

  •  Will there be peace in Iraq????? Answer.....as of September 21, over 100 US serviceman have lost their lives. That's a rate of 1-2 per day. So much for Bush's May 1 speech declaring "hostilities over"....

  •  Will Weapons of Mass Distraction be found in Iraq????  Answer....as of September 21, not a drop of WMD have been found....

  •  Who will we be at war with by the end of Summer 2003??? Answer....surprisingly, no one. But, that hasn't stopped Bush and Co's saber rattling. They are acting like a bunch of high school bullies and thugs...threatening Syria, Libya, North Korea, et al. At the time, our "allies", such as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Pakistan, are allowed to get away with gross human rights violations that make Saddam Hussein look like a virgin. No wonder the Muslim world hates us!!!

  •  Will United Airlines on-time rate still be half decent by the end of Summer 2003??? Answer...surprisingly, they've been pretty good. See below for details...

  •  Will the economy still be heading south courtesy of GWB Jr???? Answer...yep, it's still going down. Since 2001, some 4.9M Americans have lost their jobs....great economic management....

 

June 22, 2003: Almanac Entry

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside......Storm Season!!!!! Omaha has its fair share of violent thunderstorms during spring and early summer. The only problem is that when these storms hit Omaha, they've been known to bring with them "little friends".....namely, Tornadoes. These suckers are enormously destructive, with winds up to 400 mph. Twigs become lethal flying projectiles.

This year has been no exception. We've had to spend several hours down in the basement. While these storms can be terrifying, they can also produce some wonderfully beautiful cloud/sky shows...mind you, when the sky turns purple and green, it's definitely time to head to the basement.

Anyway, Lisa managed to capture a couple of shots of the aftermath of one of these storms in Omaha. This was a particularly violent storm which spawned Tornadoes to the west and east of Omaha...mercifully, it left us alone......

 

 

 

 

As you can see by the sky, this was not a pleasant storm....but, the rainbow is fantastic!!!!!

June 27 thru 30, 2003: Almanac Entry

After some two years of "discussion" , we finally decided it was time to get the house painted. Nebraska weather takes a hell of a toll on the external sidings of a house. With temperatures ranging from 110F (43C) in summer to -30F (-34C) in winter, you can imagine what this does to external paint and the staining on the back desk. Basically, everything has to be repainted everything 7-8 years. The back deck needs to be repainted every 3-5 years. What a drag!!!!! We've been in the house now since 1997, so it was time to get the house and back deck repainted

So, instead of doing it ourselves, we decided to bring in an outside professional to do the job for us. Rather than spending six weeks doing it ourselves, we decided to pay someone to do it in 2 weeks. Also, we don't have a 30' ladder....which makes painting half of our house very difficult. Also, with the webmaster being in Denver, it made the concept of "doing it yourself" quite interesting.

So, after the decision was made to get the painting done, Lisa made the choice of color....it's basically "vanilla Ice Cream". And then, on June 27, the fun and games of actual "painting" begun".

Here are some photos taken by Lisa of the initial work....

 

 
   

   
   
           

Check back soon for more photos of the painting effort...

And so summer goes on.......

July 1, 2003: Wedding Anniversary

It's our wedding anniversary. We will have been married for eight (8) wonderful years. Unfortunately, the current job market meant that the webmaster was unable to be in Omaha for our anniversary. Due to July 1st this year falling on a Tuesday, and that July 4th was on the Friday of the same week, the webmaster was not able to make it back to Omaha on time. This is the first we have not spent and celebrated our anniversary together since we've been married. However, just because we weren't together, it didn't mean that the meaning of this special day was in any way diminished.

Luckily, the webmaster was able to return to Omaha on July 2 [i.e., the next day], so at least we were able to do some belated celebrating. And the webmaster makes the same promise as was made last year regarding  Lisa's birthday.....he will NOT miss another wedding anniversary by being out of town!!!

And so, with the passing of our wedding journey, it was time to start to celebrate the July 4th weekend.....

July 4, 2003

July Fourth is Independence day. The day the US of A kicked the English out of their country. Something, at least one of us here thinks, Australia should have done a long time ago.  This year, our celebrations began late on Wednesday night [7/2] when the webmaster was able to return to Omaha from Denver. Being a contractor has to have some benefits....not many, but at least some.

On the Thursday [7/3], Lisa and the webmaster basically bummed around the house, with the only exception being a brief trip out so that the webmaster could get his hair cut. The webmaster also went out briefly to catch up with the owner of Lunkers Sports Bar & Grill to discuss business and upcoming changes to the Lunkers website. I know it doesn't sound like a terribly exciting day, but it was exactly what the webmaster and Lisa wanted...to be together and at home. Also, the weather outside was terrible: 102F [38C] with some 99% humidity.....extremely uncomfortable. Because of the weather, the guys painting our house couldn't do any work on Thursday, and we can't say we blame them!!!

On Friday July 4, Independence Day was upon us. Again, the weather during the day was extremely hot, so we spent most of the day goofing off around the house just trying to keep cool. We normally have a BBQ/party out on our back deck to celebrate July Fourth. But this year, we decided against it for a few reasons: (1) The house was in the process of being painted; (2) With the webmaster working in Denver, Lisa and Stephen wanted to have spend some "quality" time together; and (3) we just didn't feel like it!!!!! But, as usual, we did spent a lot of time on the Friday night out on the back deck watching the neighborhood fireworks display....and man were they impressive. The amount of ordinance used made the neighborhoods skyline look like the sky above Baghdad in late March!!!! So much for the supposed recession....a lot of money was spent on fireworks this year!!!!

And so came Saturday[7/5]. After the cordite fog finally cleared, it was time to perform the obligatory "clean up" operation after last nights fireworks. We spent about an hour clearing up spent ordinance and making sure they would sit in a bucket of water for a few days to ensure they were definitely out!!! After this was successfully accomplished, it was off to the local Red Robins restaurant for lunch with an old friend who was up from Lawrence, Kansas. After that, it was back home for the rest of the day. The temperature has also cooled down (down to a nice balmy cool 94F [34C]) enough for the house painters to return. The webmaster had to briefly go out that evening to catch up with a good friend to discuss business. Again, we chose Lunkers as the ideal venue. It's very close!!!!! For those of you curious enough, below is a map from home to Lunkers and the exact driving instructions of how to get there....

Summary: 765 yards (2 minutes)
Time Mile Instruction For
9:00 AM 0.0 Depart 3119 N 155th Ave, Omaha, NE 68116 on N 155th Ave (South) 109 yds
9:00 AM 0.1 Turn RIGHT (West) onto Binney St 54 yds
9:01 AM 0.1 Turn RIGHT (North) onto N 156th St 0.3 mi
9:02 AM 0.4 Turn LEFT (West) onto SR-64 [W Maple Rd] 98 yds
9:02 AM 0.4 Arrive Lunkers

SUMMARY
Driving distance: 765 yards
Trip duration: 2 minutes
Driving time: 2 minutes
Cost: $0.03

Unfortunately, along rolled Sunday [7/6].   "Unfortunately" because the webmaster would soon have to head back to Denver. But, that was not until Monday, so the webmaster and Lisa at least still had one more day together. So, the webmaster fulfilled his part of a previous bargain by cleaning up his junk in the downstairs office. Other than that, Lisa and the webmaster spent another very pleasant day at home, simply content by just being together. The webmaster also took some photos of the house while it was in the process of being painted....they are shown below. We also took some photos of the newly "recleaned" office.....

 

 
   

 

 

   
       
           

By the way, we have not decided as to whether we will have the house trim painted a different color than the rest of the house. Lisa will make that decision soon...

And so, after a wonderful long weekend, it was time for the webmaster to return to Denver. Mind you, the return flight was a very civilized 10:30am on Monday July 7. Alas, the holiday was over.

Come back and see what our next "summer" activity will be....in all probability, it will most likely be when Lisa comes to Denver on July 17. But, we shall see....

July 26, 2003: Colorado Traveling

On Thursday July 17, Lisa arrived in Denver Colorado for a two week stay with the webmaster. Man, was the webmaster pleased to see and spend time with Lisa....heaven on earth!!!! Anyway, after Lisa spent the first week doing a bit of R&R, it was time to set out on the first of two expeditions while Lisa was in Denver.

The first expedition was on Saturday, July 26 to Pikes Peak near Colorado Spring, just south Denver. It is the 31st highest peak in Colorado, being some 14,110ft [4,300m] above sea level. Without a doubt, this is the highest elevation the webmaster and Lisa had ever been!!!! As usual, for those of you who are interested in where exactly Pikes Peak is, please refer to the following maps:

And so, at 8:30am, the intrepid adventures set out from Denver [Littleton actually] to Pikes Peak, some 82.4 miles away. Rather than do the driving ourselves, we instead took a prepaid tour package, which worked out to be extremely beneficial. After the rather scary drive up the mountain, both Lisa and the webmaster were very glad that we hadn't attempted the drive ourselves. We were extremely grateful for having employed a professional to do the drive.

Anyway, after a two hour drive, including some of the scariest mountain roads we have every seen [i.e., the last 19 miles of road], we reached the summit of Pikes Peak. It is some 3,000ft above the tree line, so there are no trees at the top. There is also 40% less oxygen and some 50% less atmosphere than at sea level....all this means is that breathing can be difficult and the sun will fry you in no time flat. But, the view was spectacular....well worth the trip. It was like being on the roof of the world. The clouds seemed to be so close you could reach out and touch them!!!!! But, without further ado, here are some of the photos we took from the "roof of the world":

 

 
   

   
   
       
           

As you can see from the photos, the view from the roof of the world was fantastic. While a number of lunatics had actually hiked the nineteen miles to the summit [which takes some 5 hours...idiots if you ask the webmaster], others took a "train" from Manitou Springs to Pikes Peak, which takes some three hours to complete. But, by far the most popular way to get to the summit was to drive. By the time we were ready to leave the summit, the roads up the mountain were starting to resemble rush hour in Denver...traffic jams everywhere.

And so, after spending an hour on the Summit, it was time to descend from the summit for some even more breath taking views. But, before we left, we bought the mandatory fridge magnet and post cards. The magnet will go to Omaha, while the webmaster will hopefully get to the post cards some time soon!!!

Anyway, here are the photos of our descent....

 

 
   

   
   
       
       

The car shown above is one that takes part in the annual "race the mountain" car race. They race against the clock up the narrow 19 mile mountain road from Glen Cove to the summit. The record is 00:18:33, at an average speed of 60mph. That takes some doing....some of those bends are truly scary!!!! At Glen Cove, there is a mandatory check of all cars breaks to make sure they haven't overheated during the decent. If the breaks are too hot, the Park Rangers make sure that the car gets parked for 30 minutes while the breaks cool down. That goes to show just how steep the descent from Pikes Peak is!!! Finally, there are some photos of one of the dams near Colorado Springs...this is to show just how bad the drought has been in the Colorado Springs area. Just look at the water level....

Anyway, once we were off the mountain, it was off to Lunch at Manitou Springs. This is a typical, quiet little country town. The place we had lunch at was very typical of small country towns....huge and inexpensive. But, that's typical of small country towns everywhere in the world. Anyway, what follows is a small map of Manitou Springs and a couple of photos of the town:

 

 
   

   
           

After the town of Manitou Springs, it was off to "the Gardens of the Gods".....this is an area of fabulous rock formations. They were revered by the local Indians who did not understand the concept of "erosion". Anyway, when Colorado was settled by the US army, a colonel decided to appropriate the entire area for a national park...after keeping a sizable chuck of it for himself and his own "personal" use!!! Needless to say, while he and his family became rich because of their land "appropriations", the native Indians got nothing....

 

 
   

   
   
   
       
         

The rock formations were truly spectacular. Try and see what animals you can see in some of the rock formations. It's a lot like watching clouds...everyone sees something different.

And so, after a full day of "playing tourist", it was time for the intrepid explorers to return to Littleton, Colorado. By the time we returned to the hotel, it was time for Happy Hour at the local TGI [Thank God It's] Friday's. After dodging a rather nasty storm at 7pm, it was time to return home. We then spent the night fighting with a faulty toilet, but that's a totally different story. By the time we returned to the hotel, both Lisa and the webmaster were ready for a good night's sleep......

And so ended our weekend. The next update should be next weekend, when we do the second of our tours of Colorado. Come back and check us out then....

August 1 thru 3, 2003: Colorado Traveling

And so came on the second weekend of Lisa's trip to Denver. We had plans to take a trip through Kenosha Pass, South Park [yes...of the TV Cartoon Series fame] , Breckenridge and Lake Dillon. This would have taken us via the following route....

This would have taken us across the continental divide and then onto some the most amazing countryside on the planet.

With that in mind, the intrepid adventures decided to spent the Friday evening at TGIF's for their happy hour...then we waltzed across the parking lot to Red Lobster. The only reason this is mentioned is that some guy took a liking to Lisa and the Webmaster and bought our entire meal....including alcohol. The bill would have easily been some $200. While he seemed to be a "harmless" old man [in his mid 50's], he came across a very lonely and pathetic individual...someone who had always "been there and done that", while at the same time, wanting so much to speak to some real people.  He was a very pleasant person...but, the webmaster walked away with the feeling that he was a very sad and lonely individual.

After Happy Hour, and prior to the Red Lobster, given fact the Rockies seem to be permanently "shrouded" in mist [fog/smog], Lisa had the webmaster take the following photos on Friday August 1. It was the first time in two weeks that things had been clear.....

 

 
   

   

Unfortunately, on Saturday August 2, Murphy's Law struck, just to prove that "the plans of mice and men are oft to go astray".....we got the double whammy. At some point, someone is going to have to go out and shoot that Irish gitt!!!!.....anyway, the production support beeper start going nuts at 3am in the morning...just to be followed by the webmasters stomach going nuts for the first time since the surgery in October last year. The pager finally calmed down at 7am in the morning...unfortunately, the stomach took until 1pm to finally come to "rest". Unfortunately, needless to say, the previously discussed trip had to be cancelled. The webmaster's stomach would not have made it to the bathroom, much less up the mountains as planned. The webmaster needs to learn that he will suffer from Acid Reflux until the day he dies...also, prescription drugs also REALLY do work!!!!.....especially when they're taken on time!!!! Unfortunately, Lisa had to spend her last Saturday in Denver looking after a very sick webmaster.....

And so came Sunday [8/3]....Lisa's last day in Denver. Just to give you an insight as to where we were staying, as well as some "close surrounding areas", here are some photos taken from the hotel we were staying at....

 

 
   

   
   

And so, on Sunday afternoon, Lisa and the webmaster set off for their last trip to Friday's.....photos to follow. While it was great spending the afternoon with Lisa playing trivia, it made the webmaster realize just how much he misses being home. There really is no place like home.......

Anyway, after an extremely relaxing afternoon, it was time to go back to the hotel so Lisa could pack and finish up whatever research work she was working on [everything was backed up to CD and emailed back to Omaha....the wonders of modern technology....]. What follows are the final photos taken while Lisa was in Denver...

 

 
   

   

Alas, Lisa had to depart Denver on Monday August 4. While it was great spending two weeks with her, the webmaster was extremely sorry to see her go. It comes back to what was said previously...There really is no place like home. The webmaster just wants this contract to be over so he can go home!!!! But, given the state of the IT industry, life must go on. You gotta do what you gotta do....after all, all our aims are the same....keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table.

And so, Lisa departed Denver back to Omaha....just in time to start school!!!!!

In mid-August, the webmaster's laptop crashed with a failed hard drive....unfortunately, this means that the rest of the posts for this season will be pretty lame....we lost a lot of data!!!!!

August, 2003: Golf Tournament:

This year, the Omaha Golf Classic were not graced with the presence of the "Burton's" contingent. Lisa decided that we were not going to attend for the following reasons:

  1. Lisa wanted a real vacation without any other "strenuous" engagements

  2. After five continuous years of participation, it was time for a break

  3. The webmaster was in Denver...kind of difficult for him to be there

  4. Lisa was in Denver...next to impossible to attend!!!!

Personally, I agree with Lisa...the only good thing about golf is the beer cart!!!! Driving the beer cart is even better!!!!

August 15, 2003: Lisa's Birthday

Last year, when the webmaster was in Indianapolis, a promise was made by the webmaster to Lisa....he would not miss another birthday. So, true to his word, the webmaster made sure he traveled from Denver to Omaha on Friday, August 15th. After a month and a half of being away from home, it was fantastic just being home. Seeing Lisa made the webmaster's week!!!!!!

As per a previous agreement, Lisa got to choose exactly where we went and who we went with. She chose to go to our friendly neighborhood bar Lunkers...imagine that!!!! We met another couple, Blake and Lisa, for the evening. The other Lisa is also a teacher, which caused absolute confusion in some conversations.  After Lunkers, it was time for a quick drink at "Prestige", the up market bar just a few blocks away. Then, it was time for Lisa and I to stagger home...we walked!!!!!

Happy Birthday Lisa!!!!!!!!!!!

All that can be said is that the webmaster hopes that Lisa had a happy birthday. For all of you out there asking the obvious question (how old is Lisa)...don't ask!!!!!

After Friday, we spent the rest of the weekend either recovering [Saturday] or working around the house [Sunday]. The "honey do list" seems to be getting longer and longer. At this rate, I'll be working on the list when I'm 75 years old.

Luckily, both Lisa and the webmaster had Monday [8/18] off. Again, we spent most of the day just goofing off around the house...actually pleased to see each other.

Anyway, on Tuesday August 19, it was time for the webmaster to depart Omaha and return to Denver. Unfortunately, you gotta do what you gotta do.

August 25, 2003: Back to School!!!

Yup, it's that time of year again. Lisa goes back to work....this year, however, it's with a double whammy. Not only does she get to teach...she gets to go back to college!!! She's doing her Masters in Oral and Deaf Education. The deal Lisa got was fantastic...OPS [Omaha Public School] district pays for everything [tuition, books, etc]. All it costs her is time. Given that the webmaster is not going to be home anytime soon, it's an ideal opportunity. Mind you, Lisa's workload will go up by some 100-150%.........

Good Luck Lisa.....Keep up the tradition....4.0 GPA

September 1, 2003: Labor Day

Ahh yes, the unofficial end of summer. The weather only goes downhill from here on. We did something totally different this year....we did absolutely nothing!!!!!!!

The webmaster decided that all trips back to Denver would happen on THEIR time, not mine. And so, we actually got to spend until Tuesday morning together. While it was great to spend the time together, it just proved the whole point of traveling....it sucks!!!!!

On Saturday night, after a day of bumbling around the house, we went up to Lunkers Bar and Grill to watch the start of the Nebraska College Football season. Not that the webmaster is a particularly big fan of Nebraska, but it seemed to be the right thing to do. Besides, we managed to catch up with a few friends, so it was more than worth it. Besides, Nebraska actually won!!!!

The rest of the weekend was spent goofing off around the house...quiet but very pleasant.

Here are a few photos of the first Nebraska game for the 2003 season.....

And so, after a very pleasant weekend, it was time for the webmaster to head back to Denver for yet another two weeks. Oh what fun and joy!!!!!......

September 4, 2003: Football 2003 Season!!!:

Yeassssss. The long hot summer desert of real sport will finally be over. Gone will be the useless days and nights listening to mindless baseball scores and/or baseball strikes. It has begun......see this link for our football tipping competition..........football central.... it will be updated shortly (once I get through with all the summer updates.....)

 

September 11, 2003:

This is not really a day to celebrate, but rather one to pause and reflect on what happened on September 11, 2001. Where were you at 8:47am EDT when the world changed.

We also need to reflect on where we are in our battle, no war, against the cowards and their backers who perpetrated these cowardly and dastardly  acts.

September 21, 2003: End of Summer:

This will be the last posting of the season 2003. Summer will be officially over, and fall with us. And man has the temperature changed. Ever since Labor Day, just like clockwork. Daily and nightly temperatures start dropping. Hopefully, though, we're still a few months away from snow!!! I sure as heck want to be off the road once the snow starts flying!!!

Firstly, here are the travel statistics for the last three months. For those of you that don't remember, the webmaster spent most of last summer traveling between Omaha and Indianapolis on United Airlines. And, the availability sucked!!!!! So, here are the official statistics for the flights taken by the Omaha Burton's over this summer

Date Airline Origination Destination Flight Status Delay Cause Added Benefit
June 22, 2003 United Omaha, Ne Denver, CO On Time None None
July 2, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, NE On Time None None
July 7, 2003 United Omaha, NE Denver, CO On Time None None
July 17, 2003 United Omaha, NE Denver, Co On Time None None
August 4, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, Co On Time None None
August 15, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, NE 20 Minutes Early None Early
August 19, 2003 United Omaha, NE Denver, CO On Time None None
August 29, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, NE 35 minutes Late Weather in Denver None
September 2, 2003 United Omaha, NE Denver, CO 35 minutes Late Crew in Omaha None
September 12, 2003 United Denver, CO Omaha, NE On Time None None
September 15, 2003 United Omaha, NE Denver, CO On Time None None

This corresponds to an on time percentage of 81.81%.  This is a dammed sight better than last year. It goes to show....when you don't have to go through a hub, the flights go much better!!!!

Well, that enough about travel. For all you weather fans out there, without further ado, here are the season's weather statistics

Category Date High Temperature Low Temperature
Coldest Day September 19, 2003 68 40
Warmest Day August 26, 2003 102 76

Finally, the average high and lows for Summer 2003

Category Temperature (F)
Average High Temperature 87.04
Average Low Temperature 63.37

For those of you that are really interested in the weather, here is the daily, maximum and minimum, temperatures for Omaha over summer 2003.

This should keep you "weather nuts" happy for a while. Remember, people from down under, all temperatures are in F. Anyway, as you can see, come the beginning of September [Labor Day], boom, the temperatures start dropping.

And so, that will be the end of Summer 2003. The long, dog days of summer  finally will be over.

Well, that's it. Follow this link to the Fall/Autumn 2003 season. Otherwise, catch you again for summer 2004!!!!

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Revised: January 01, 2010

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