Summer 2009

Summer 2009 is officially over.....this is the achived version of our seasons activities.....

Summer 2009 is officially over. Check out our activities for the season...

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.

As has become our custom, before we can start Summer 2009, we have a few questions to note. These questions, and many others, will be answered in the course of the season:

  • Will there be peace in Iraq????? Answer...While things are a lot calmer than what they have been, sectarian divided still remain. Daily car and suicide bombings occur, killing hundreds of Iraqi people each month. It's also unclear how things will play  out now that US forces are staring to pull out of cities.

  •  Will Weapons of Mass Distraction be found in Iraq????  Answer....This one is easy and won't be asked again. Not a drop of WMD's have been found and people have stopped looking for them.

  •  Who will we be at war with by the end of Summer 2009??? Answer....both North Korea and Iran continue with there nuclear weapons programs in spite of international condemnation and sanctions. But, under Obama, we have not started any new wars and have not invaded any new countries.

  •  Will the economy still be heading south courtesy of GWB Jr???? Answer.....The economy is in dire straights. Unemployment is at a 25 year high. Home foreclosures and credit card defaults are rising to historic highs as people lose their jobs. While the big banks and Wall Street have been bailed out and are starting to show signs of recovery, all at tax payer expense, the average Joe is not doing well.

  •  Where will the webmaster be working?????? Answer.....The webmaster is till looking. This is the worst time to be looking for a jon in the IT industry. The IT market has completely collapsed.

  •  How will the US economy be faring???? Answer...See above.

So, without further ado: here is what we have planned for Summer 2009.

Page Contents:

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

  1. Start of Summer

  2. Wedding Anniversary

  3. Independence Day

  4. Thuente Family Visit

  5. Back to School

  6. The Burtons Family Visit Part 1

  7. Lisa's Birthday

  8. The Burtons Family Visit Part 2

  9. Labor Day

  10. Football Season

  11. Remembrance Day

  12. End of Summer

 
Monday June 22, 2009: Start of Summer

Yahoo....the start of summer. As we always say, we just hope that it's not too hot over summer. But, that's a rather stupid wish here in Omaha!!!

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Wednesday July 1, 2009:  Wedding Anniversary

It's our wedding anniversary. This will be year number thirteen (14). What will we be doing???? How will we celebrate????

Well, the answer to this one is relatively easy. After spending a very pleasant day goofing around the house (remember, Lisa is on summer vacation), we headed up to what is fast becoming a favorite restaurant of ours...a place called "The Wave Bistro". It cuisine can be described as "Asian fusion"....regardless of the official description the food is fantastic and it's not all that expensive. For those of you interested, Lisa had the Shrimp Special while the webmaster had spicy Chicken. Both were absolutely delicious....

As you see, the webmaster even shaved off the beard for the event. He had promised to remove it last weekend....so, better late than never.

After supper, we headed off to our favorite bar, Red, where we spent a few hours sitting in their beer garden having a few restorative cordials. Man was the weather glorious. It's one of those few days in Omaha during the year where the weather can be described as "perfect". And perfect is was. After Red, we headed up to our old stomping ground, Lunkers, where Lisa actually won some money playing Keno!!! Way to go Lisa!!!

And that was our Wedding Anniversary for 2009. Happy 14th Lisa....

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Saturday, July 4, 2009: Independence Day

How will we celebrate Independence Day this year???

This year we had another quiet July 4th at home. The weather was overcast and raining, so there definitely was not too much of an incentive to go out and party. So, Lisa and the webmaster made sure we had lots of alcohol available at home and stayed at home for the long weekend. On the actual Independence Day itself, Lisa cooked up an eight (8) pound ham, which was absolutely delicious. After supper, we went out onto the back deck to watch some of the informal neighborhood firework displays.

This ended up being a lot quieter Independence Day weekend than was originally planned. For a while, it looked as if Slim and Lynne Thuente were going to be in Omaha for the holiday but, alas, that did not work out. So, instead, we had a very quiet weekend. Not that anyone is really complaining. As previously stated, the weather did not cooperate and put a real damper on outside celebrations.

And that was our Independence Day celebrations for 2009.

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Friday, July 17, thru Sunday July 19, 2009: Thuente Family Visit

On Friday, July 17, Lisa's parents Slim and Lynne Thuente arrived at the Burton's in Omaha for a quick weekend trip. Lynne had just taken possession of a new sports car [a 2006 Lexus] and wanted to take it for a spin. So, they packed up on Friday morning and headed out for the six hour car trip across Illinois and Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska. Mind you, they also loaded the car with enough fresh meat (steaks, pork chops, hamburger patties, etc) and corn to feed an army. While the meat was immediately frozen upon their arrival in Omaha, the corn will be promptly cooked this weekend as Lisa and the webmaster love fresh corn on the cob. In summer, it's one of the real treats about living in the US Midwest!!!

Friday night was spent fairly quietly. After eating at one of our favorite Italian restaurants [Vincenzo's Ristorante], it was time to head back home, watch some TV and then play some cards. Unfortunately, everyone [with Lisa as the only exception] went to sleep while watching TV, so it ended up being a very quiet and early night. We can more than understand why Lynne and Slim were tired...it's a long trip to Omaha from Sterling, Illinois, and it's a very tiring drive.

Saturday morning started early and set the tone for the rest of the day. Shopping!!!! The only break was lunch [The Cheesecake factory]. Mind you, Slim and the webmaster did retire to the bar at about 4:30pm while Lynne and Lisa continued their shopping endeavors. Hey, it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. Drinking margaritas while watching a White Sox baseball game is not for the faint hearted. After shopping was concluded at around 7pm, we headed out for dinner [Charleston's] and then home. Once home, Lynne took Lisa for a spin in her new car....unfortunately, the back seat was not large enough for all of to go, so Lisa was the first one to be taken for a spin. After the spin, it was time for cards [Euchre]. The boys handily won, 3-0.

On Sunday [July 19], the day started with church and then brunch at a place called Le Peep's, which is a restaurant that is only open for breakfast and lunch. And man was the food good. To make it even better, it was quite cheap as well. This is definitely a restaurant we will be going to again.

After brunch, unfortunately it was time to head back to the house so Slim and Lynne could prepare for the long, boring car trip back to Sterling. But, before they left, we just had to take some photos of Lynne's fancy new sports car....

Alas, at midday it was time for Lynne and Slim to depart. It may of been short, but the visit was fun. We just hope that they drive safely back across Iowa and Illinois. In the mean time, Lisa and the webmaster looked forward to a Sunday evening meal of fresh corn on the cob....mum

 

And that was the quick visit of Slim and Lynne. At least it will only be a few weeks before we see them again...they are due back in Omaha in just on four weeks. And on rolls summer 2009....

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009:  Back to School

Alas, for Lisa, that time of year has come again. The annual end of summer vacation time to go back to school. This year the gong came down on Lisa's summer vacation on Tuesday August 11. While the kids don't officially start until Monday, August 17, Lisa had to be back at school to prepare for the "little angels".....the hard grind for yet another year has officially begun again.

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Saturday, August 8, thru Friday, August 14, 2009: The Burtons Family Visit Part 1

On Saturday, August 8, 2009. the webmasters parents, John and Rae Burton, arrived in Omaha from Australia for what has become their annual trip to the US of A.

After picking up John and Rae at the airport (and picking up a rental car at the airport), it was time to head back home so that John and Rae could relax for a while. Then, it was time to go out for dinner...this time to Friday's which is just up the road from our house.

The next day, Sunday August 9, was spent at home while Lisa and the webmaster completed their normal Sunday chores such as washing, taking out the trash and Lisa preparing for Monday.

While Monday was spent predominantly at home again, we did manage to go out and do some shoe shopping for John and Rae (they both needed shoes...John because he'd forgotten to pack a pair of good shoes and Rae as after a new pair of walking shoes). Then, after a drink at Carlos O'Kelly's, it was off to dinner at a local Chinese restaurant [The Golden Palace].

Tuesday [August 11, 2009] afternoon was spent clothes shopping [he needed a new sports jacket] for John at a local mall after a huge lunch at The Cheese Factory (when we say huge, we mean enormous]. After the webmaster went to his doctors appointment (to draw blood), Tuesday night was spent catching up with a few friends we had organized to meet at the Red Lounge, a favorite haunt of Lisa and the webmaster....

A very pleasant evening was had by all. Many thanks to Steve Lee, Steph Sinclair, Chris Cowden and Karen Hennigan for spending an evening with John and Rae. Some of these folks we had not seen all year, so it was nice to catch up with them.

On Wednesday, August 12, it was time for the intrepid travelers to head off down to Ashland, Nebraska, for a visit to the Strategic Air Command [SAC] Museum. This is a facility that we had all visited some ten years ago before it moved into it' s new, permanent buildings. It consists of displays of the various aircraft used by SAC during the cold war and is a fascinating look into a different period of time. For those of you curious as to where the heck Ashland Nebraska, double click on the following map.

Here are some photos of our visit to the SAC Museum...

And, we even have a couple of video clips of the visit, just double click on the below links.....

 

SAC Museum Clip 1

SAC Museum Clip 2

SAC Museum Clip 3

SAC Museum Clip 4

 

After a non eventful drive back home, and after a quick nap, it was time to head up to the Seven Monkeys restaurant for dinner. John, Rae and the webmaster were on the lam tonight as Lisa had to work late and we were left to our own devices to organize dinner. Unfortunately, we didn't find out early enough from Lisa to be able to organize cook something at home, so we had to go out for dinner instead. But, such is life.

On Thursday, August 13, the travelers again ventured forth. This was a local trip and doesn't warrant a map yet. This time we headed downtown to the old market district of Omaha which has undergone major renovations over the years. It's now an area of restaurants and boutique craft shops. It's basically an area you can see in any city anywhere in the world.

After lunch at a middle eastern restaurant called Amad's Persian Restaurant, and a quick tour of the old market area, it was time to go and visit the new pedestrian bridge across the Missouri river. This is essentially a foot bridge that connects Nebraska and Iowa. It cost some $32M dollars to build and has been labeled "the bridge to nowhere" as it leads no where on either sides. To the webmaster, it's a fine example of pork in the federal budget that wastes millions in taxpayer money on projects that have no real purpose.

As with previous trips, here is a link to a quick video of the pedestrian bridge to nowhere....

Pedestrian Bridge to nowhere Video

While it is an impressive bridge, it really is a waste of taxpayers money!!!!

After the bridge, it was time to head back hone for a "home cooked" meal. This is just to prove that we do know how to cook and provide for guests. Lisa was working late again so the three intrepid travelers were on their own again. This was no problem as we had received sufficient warning to be able to do something about it.

Friday, August 14, was a quite day spent at home. The webmaster had some chores to be done (namely, cutting the grass and doing some yard work). The only time we left the house was to do some clothes shopping for the webmaster and running to the local grocery store for a booze resupply mission. The day was kept especially quiet as we were expecting Lisa's parents, Slim and Lynne Thuente, to arrive at any minute, so we didn't want to stray too far from the house.

Slim and Lynne finally arrived around 5:30pm, so before you knew it, it was time for supper. This time we went to a place called Taxi's Grill and Bar. A very interesting restaurant with a menu that covered just about everything. After supper, it was back home where unfortunately the webmasters stomach started playing up (the first time in ages), so he had to go lay down!!!!

And so, that is how the first week of the Burton family visit to Omaha panned out. The next event was to be Lisa's birthday bash, which was scheduled for the next day......

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Saturday, August 15, 2009:  Lisa's Birthday

Lisa's Birthday!!!!! After a very quiet day spent at home [primarily due to Lynne not being wee], it was time to hit the big event for Lisa's birthday....the Fremont Dinner train. This is something Lisa and the webmaster have been talking about for years but have never got around to doing. So, with everyone in town, it seemed like an appropriate time to do the deed and go on the Fremont Dinner Train. What it is a 36 mile railway trip during which you enjoy a meal and participate in a Murder Mystery on the train. It's all good fun!!!

So, at the accorded boarding time of 7:15, John and Rae Burton, Slim and Lynne Thuente, Lisa and the webmaster and our good friend Karen Hennigan duly gathered at Fremont to start the night's festivities. Before we go any further, for those of you wondering where the heck Fremont Nebraska is, please double click on the following map:

Without further ado, here are the pictures of the event.....

The cross section of different people on the train was amazing and they were from all over the place. One table had come all the way from Kansas specifically dressed in forties costumes. Amazing. As this was a Murder Mystery, audience participation was mandatory. The webmaster and John Burton in fact agreed to take the roles of Peter Lori and Humphrey Bogart respectively. This was our "acting debuts'. In all, there were a total of 22 passengers playing roles in the murder mystery, and the MC's were a real riot. As you imagine a situation with 22 amateur hams, the result was almost absolute chaos. All in all, it was a whole bunch of fun. For those of you interested, the butler did not in fact do it....it was the jaded and jilted author that killed Cecil DeMille. 

As per usual in this modern, digital age, no function concerning the Fremont  Dinner Train would be complete without a quick video of the actual train itself. Follow the link below to see the video...

Fremont Dinner Train

We all hope that Lisa enjoyed the evening. And a very special thanks to Karen for agreeing to be the "DDD" [Duly Designated Driver]. This meant that both Lisa and Lynne did not have to drive and Lisa could fully enjoy the evening [complete with Champaign]. Karen did a great job of getting us there and then back home safely and in one piece.

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

The next day, Sunday August 16, was spent shopping. But that was not before a quick brunch at Le Peep's, where this photo was taken....

After that, it was time to hit the malls. At 4:30pm, while Lisa and Lynne continued shopping at Village Point, John, Rae, Slim and the webmaster retired to Cheeseburger in Paradise, a bar where a couple of margaritas and glasses of beer and red wine were consumed while we waited Lisa and Lynne to finish shopping.

After shopping, it was off to Charleston's for dinner. Alas, after that, Lynne and Slim departed back to Sterling. All we can say is thanks for spending the time with John and Rae and we look forward to seeing you again real soon.

And that was Lisa's birthday for 2009. We hope everyone enjoyed it.

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Monday, August 17, thru Sunday, August 23, 2009: The Burtons Family Visit Part 2

And so begun the second week of the John and Rae's visit to Omaha.

Monday, August 17, 2009, was spent heading south from Omaha in search of a museum for the Missouri Riverboats. John remembered visiting such a museum a decade ago, but unfortunately couldn't remember which direction it was or where is was, which of course made for things to be very interesting. So, after an extensive search of the web, we found a likely candidate in a Museum in a place called Brownville (yes, there no "s" in Brownville, Nebraska). For those of you interested, please see the following map as to where Brownville, Nebraska, is:

Brownville is about seventy [70] mile south of Omaha, In order not to be rushed, we decided to head out at 9:30am, as soon as the webmasters doctors appointment was done with, We travelled the back roads, which while it may have added travel time, the drive was a lot more interesting than if we had of just taken the interstate.

So, we made it to Brownville. Once there, we discovered that the entire town, with the exception of the post office, is closed on Monday's. That included all restaurants as well as the actual museum itself.....so, basically, the entire trip had been a waste of time!!!!

But, anyway, here are some snaps from our visit to Brownville, Nebraska...

After a quick diversion to Rock Port to have some lunch (at Mickey D's), it was time to head back to Omaha. This time, we used the interstate for the return trip. Once back in Omaha, it was a short while before Lisa picked us up and deposited us at a bar called Buffalo Wild Wings, while she went and had a massage. While the food was not great (in fact it was lousy), we did at least get to play some trivia for a while, which was good fun. Not that we did any good at it, but it was fun anyway.

When Tuesday, August 18 rolled around, we decided this time we were going to head north to see if we could find the Riverboat Museum for John. So, we headed up to Blair, Nebraska. The map is shown below as to where the heck Blair, Nebraska is:

Again, we took the back roads to get o Blair. Along the way, we stopped off at Fort Atkinson State park.....it's actually kind of neat. It's a completely reconstructed fort. It's a pity that not all of the photos and video's turned out...call it camera and operator malfunction/meltdown.....

After a quick lunch at a Subways in Blair, it was back to Omaha for a quiet afternoon. After dinner at the Wave Bistro, we spent a very pleasant evening at home, watching TV an shooting the breeze.

Wednesday, August 19, was a wash out. It rained most of the day so we spent all of the day at home. Lisa was not well in the evening, so the webmaster cooked supper. Not a problem.

Thursday, August 20, dawned. While it was overcast and with a real threat of showers, it was decided to risk it and venture out. This time to the Lauritzen Gardens, otherwise known as the Omaha Botanical Gardens. It was beautiful....

And here are a couple of short videos of various parts of the gardens...

 

Lauritzen Gardens Video 1

Lauritzen Gardens Video 2

 

We cannot stress enough how beautiful the Lauritzen Gardens were...we would all strongly recommend them to any visitor to Omaha.

After the gardens, it was almost time for supper...this time it was a return trip to Taxi's which we had gone to last Friday. Rae had fallen in love with the crab cakes at Taxi's, so there we went....

After supper, it was home again to relax and watch some TV. Well, some people watched TV while some others checked out what was going on the web...

Friday, August 21, dawned. Not too much was planned for the day, just a quick lunch with Steph Sinclair and his wife Susan at a local micro brewery called Lazlo's....

After lunch, all we did was to run to the grocery store for a quick booze resupply and so that the webmaster could pick up some prescriptions. When Lisa got home from work, it was off to dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Hectors. Man was that a mistake...on a Friday night, we had to wait 45 minutes before we got a table. Never go to a "family" restaurant on a Friday night....too many rug rats!!!!

And So started Saturday, August 22, Rae's birthday and John and Rae's last day in Omaha. After spending a very quiet morning, it was time to head downtown so that the rental car could be returned and we could check into the hotel we were going to be staying at. WE stayed at a hotel near the airport because if the ungodly hour that John and Rae had to be at the airport (4:30am). So, in order to avoid anyone having to drive across Omaha at 4am, we decided to stay at the Embassy Suites in downtown Omaha. This way, everyone could enjoy Rae's birthday without having to worry about driving.

So, having checked in, it was time for a few restorative cordials at Mr. Toad's, a great bar in downtown Omaha.

After drinks, it was time to change and head for the main event....dinner for Rae at the Chop House, one of the fanciest restaurants in Omaha. Lisa has a theory about such restaurant...the higher the price, the slower the service. But, the dinner was fantastic. Rae and the webmaster shared a huge seafood platter, John had a rib-eye steak and Lisa had a 2lb lobster. Delicious. And, because we were a birthday party, the deserts came with candles!!!

A great night was had by all. It was a perfect way to celebrate Rae's birthday. After dinner a walk, we had to have a final drink at M's Pub (this was a personal request from John).

And that pretty much was the night. As we all had to get up at 3am to get John and Rae to the airport, bed was the ultimate target,

Happy Birthday Rae!!!!!!!!!!!

john and Rae got themselves up at the ungodly hour of 3am to catch a taxi ride to the airport at 4am. Lisa and the webmaster were up (barely) to see them off. They were last seen driving off in a taxi to the airport at 4am in the morning. After that, Lisa and the webmaster went back to bed!!!

It was fantastic having John and Rae in Omaha. It was upsetting to see them leave....

But, as they say, life rolls on. So too does summer....

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Friday, August 28, thru Sunday, August 30, 2009: Marged Goode's Visit

   

   

This is the last visit of the official "visiting season" of 2009. Marged Goode is a family friend the webmaster has known since he was knee high to a grasshopper. Yes, it's another goddam ozzie, but this is one we've known since the webmaster was seven years old (some forty odd years ago).

Marged arrived late Friday afternoon, only to find that her luggage had been damaged by the airline. Oh the joys of modern airline travel. So, after spending time sorting that it, she finally made it to the house about 6pm, by which time Slim and Lynne Thuente had arrived from Sterling, Illinois, and we were all starting to get hungry. So, it was time to head out for dinner to Biaggi's, an Italian restaurant close by. After supper, it was time to retire outside (the weather was beautiful) for a long time to drink, chat and catch up with what was going on. A very pleasant evening.

On Saturday, almost the entire day was spent down in the Old Market area of Omaha. This is an area filled with boutique shops, restaurants and farmers markets. After wandering around the Old Market for many hours, it was time for lunch at a place called Twisted Fork. To say that the menu items in this place were "different" is an under statement. Unfortunately, the food also made the webmaster sick. So, about 4pm the entire group had to head home so the webmaster could lie down for a while.

After recuperating for a couple of hours, we headed up to Village Point Mall, an outside mall. While Lynne and Marged headed off shopping, Lisa, Slim and the webmaster listened to live music which was playing for free at the mall. After the mall closed at 9pm, it was time to get a quick meal at a restaurant called Miss Mimi's, a place we have been too many times. After dinner, Slim and Lynne headed back to the hotel while Lisa, Marged and the webmaster headed back home.

On Sunday morning, after church we all headed out for brunch to a place called Le Peep's, another restaurant we've been to before. After brunch, Lynne and Slim headed back to Sterling with a six hour road trip. Marged, Lisa and the webmaster spent the last few hours of Marged's visit to Omaha at home while Marged packed and got ready for her flight.

When we got to the airport, and after Marged got checked in, Lisa, Marged and the webmaster had time for one final drink in an airport bar. Unfortunately, after the drink it was time for Marged to depart Omaha. We hope she enjoyed her visit . It was great seeing her and both Lisa and the webmaster appreciate Marged going out of her way and reorganizing her US trip schedule to come and visit us in Omaha. At least she can now say that she's been to Omaha.

Her are the few photos taken during Marged's trip to Omaha...

And so ended the official "visiting" season for 2009. It was great seeing everyone we've seen over the summer. And thanks are deserved for Slim and Lynne agreeing to make the road trip from Sterling, Illinois, to Omaha, Nebraska so many times. It was great seeing them.

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Monday, September 7, 2009: Labor Day

Ahh yes, the unofficial end of summer. The weather only goes downhill from here on.

We spent a very quiet weekend at home. But, we did do the obligatory cooking of steaks over the weekend. But, instead of using an outside BBQ, we did our grilling inside. while the grilling purists may disagree, but our version of grilling was just as good and just as tasty.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009:   Football 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. As usual, we have our annual Football Pool. You can see the web site for our pool by following the Football Tipping link.

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Friday, September 11, 2009: Remembrance Day

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.

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September 21, 2009: End of Summer

This will be the last update for Summer 2009. For all you weather fans out there, without further ado, here are the season's weather statistics:

The first issue relates to flight availability during Summer 2009. This one is easy...no travelling and no flights to report.

Date Airline Origin Destination Flight Status Reason Added Bonus Miles
               
               
Totals            

0

Next, it's onto the weather...

Category Date High Temperature Low Temperature
Coldest Day August 31, 2009 67F 46F
Warmest Day August 8,2009 98F 76F

Finally, the average high and lows for Summer 2009

Category Temperature (F)
Average High Temperature 82F
Average Low Temperature 61F

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

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 2009. The long, dog days of summer  finally will be over.

Well, that's it. Follow this link to the Fall/Autumn 2009 season. Otherwise, catch you again for summer 2010!!!!

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Revised: January 01, 2010

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