I Was Able To Dismiss My Chauffeur Today

due to the rapidly climbing temperatures and improving road conditions.

In addition, after having abandoned it for the last week and a half*, I fell in love with my car all over again today.

Though it wouldn’t start. The extreme temperatures combined with having been left to stand around sucked the rest of the life out of its battery.

So, my ex-chauffeur (see picture link above) was kind enough to jump start it for me.

Resulting in yours truly driving aimlessly around the countryside to get the batteries a bit charged up, having feared getting stranded at the store or at the bank. While doing my U-turn to head back I looked around for other motorists aimlessly driving around and charging their batteries but I saw no one.

And I am delighted to report that the only sore muscles I have from yesterday’s extended cross-country ski outing are my gracilis (which have no normal use anyhow 😉

*I skipped the snow tires in the fall as I was unemployed and saving every penny.

Skiing Down By The River

It was lovely. Sunny. Powder snow. And no one anywhere. Quiet and serene.
(Except for one of the crazy members of our fishing club, who was pulling a spinner through the water).

(click for larger)

Lovely sunshine.

Someone wanting a cookie (and sitting on my skis).

Winter Fun!

22°F, Winds at 11 mph, Feels like 13°F

There was an icy wind down by the river this afternoon, making me wonder at what temperature the skin on my face might begin to get frost damage. Though I would love to always have the teint which I have at the moment, which my digicam regrettably fails to capture:

And check out that growing double chin…aaarrrgghhhh.

But seriously, tomorrow morning we are getting out the skis and are going to ski a bit down by the river. Tobi will like that because we will be moving more at his pace than usual.

While walking with him yesterday, I bumped into an elderly woman who walked with us a bit and who was terribly impressed with how well Tobi understood anything I said to him. We were approaching an intersection of two country roads, when I called to Tobi “were going to go with the leash from here on” and when he stopped in his tracks an waited she was just amazed. I explained to her that my theory on this is that we have always talked to the dog – lots – ever since we got him at 8 weeks of age. He does seem to understand an awful lot, and I think that he often lies in front of the oven pretending to be asleep while actually parsing conversation for key words such as “leash”, “go”, “cookie”, “river”, “meat”, “shopping”, “ball”, “pig’s ears”, etc.

Yesterday, he fooled me. I was outside in the yard playing with him with his big (frozen solid) soccer ball. At some point he stopped in his tracks, whined, and held up his right front paw. I immediately went over to him, inspected his paw (found nothing) and petted him. He gave me this “I have a really bad injury here” look, so I suggested we go inside and he lie down next to the wood burning stove.

He galloped to the front door without any sign of a limp.

Expansion (unintended)

I had an appointment at the bank yesterday which required me to dress in something other than my usual “sloth” clothes. I was shocked at how difficult it was to zip my “normal” pants. Very shocked. This, in combination with the fact that I no longer fit into any of my bras has motivated me (at about the speed of a rocket booster) to start a new fitness routine.

I will do long walks with Tobi in the a.m. He will be tail-wagging happy about it. We went on a long walk this morning, braving the 16°F temperatures and the snow, but enjoyed the sunshine and the blue skies along with the lovely winter landscape. In addition to this, I will be getting back on that exercise bike which so nicely decorates my living room. (But not today – I just spent all afternoon cleaning and scrubbing.)

If all that weren’t depressing enough, just as we are in this cold spell, I have run out of firewood.

Will have to “borrow” from next door. Inauspiciously, of course.

Strange

When I woke up this morning and caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, I realized I looked like wormtongue.

Straggely hair and matching facial expression – wormtongue. I’ve since remedied that by showering and styling.

We are beginning to drown in snow here (I am not complaining – just realizing the positive sides that come with working from home). Am also thinking that it might still be worth it to put winter tires on the car – the forecast for at least the next five days is snow and more snow.

But, I am warm and cozy in here and am not driving anywhere (obviously).

On another note, out of the UNBELIEVABLE Department:

While searching the internet yesterday, I downloaded (thought so anyhow) a shareware program for backups. I unzipped the downloaded file – and was surprised that I had downloaded a text file.

The textfile had just one line of text:

“(Program download link) has been moved. Please go to http://www……….. to download)”.

Yes, I wanted to strangle someone. And no, I didn’t go to the new link. If it is that complicated just to download, what would the program be like?

News Item

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Opening time: “The report published yesterday by the International Climate Change Task Force is blunt in its warning about the proximity and inevitability of environmental degradation. According to the report, only a brief period of grace remains before the effects of climate change become irreversible, and that the world’s policymakers have perhaps just 10 years in which to take action. If that is so, then Mr Blair and the other leaders flocking to Davos have little time left. Establishing a G8 climate change group and an immediate start on building a successor to the Kyoto protocol should be the least of the steps taken by the end of the G8 meeting in July. The key remains getting the US on board. The task force member Stephen Byers said yesterday that in George Bush’s first term ‘the door on climate change was locked’. Now Mr Byers feels the door is unlocked – but still closed. Mr Blair’s task in the coming months is to open that door. “

Such Lovely Snow!

We are getting some really nice powder snow. Just yesterday, I happened to catch a glimpse of my dusty cross country skis in the basement, thinking that this year, I would not have the opportunity to use them.

That may change.

It is to continue to snow here throughout the night, so I might even get a bit of skiing in this week – wonderful.

For those of you wondering – yes, I could go skiing more often – I would just have to drive the 30 or so miles to Oberammergau or Linderhof (around which there is a 20 km cross country ski run – also the locale of the annual King Ludwig races. There is always snow there in winter. I just don’t like getting in the car, driving for 45 minutes, getting a good workout on the skis and then sitting on my butt again for the drive home. I get stiff doing that. Really. And it kinda takes all the romance out of just skiing across the fields around here.

Geez. Has this been a boring post or what?!

And the “B” Flicks Just Went On…

Well, yes, I could have turned the channel but there was nothing noteworthy on the others either, and I wasn’t in the mood for Discovery Channel.

So, the Omen IV was followed by a remake of Stephen King’s “Carrie” (obviously made for TV – hence, the chopped editing). Bad. I don’t really quite understand why they did a remake – the original is probably dated a bit by now but……whatever.

The next thing on was “Fright Night”. I remember enjoying it when it came out (20 years ago?) but it is SOOOO 80’s it was embarrassing. Roddy McDowell was nice to watch though.

If I didn’t know better, I would think that there is a “B” Film Festival going on – caught a glimpse of “Killer Frogs” this afternoon.

I spent the day in my ski pants, which I donned this morning to walk with the dog. Having them on is kind of like spending all day wearing your featherbed – quite nice and cozy.

While standing in the kitchen this evening preparing the Arrabiata sauce for the Penne tomorrow (busy schedule in the a.m., so I am cooking ahead) I saw a wonderful moon rise. Tried to capture it with my digicam, but did not suceed. Am not sure there is film in my SLR so I didn’t bother getting it out. Yeah – I have a lazy bum a** today.

Here two photos anyhow; my new Acer (which I have completely fallen in love with):

And the blessing on my front door from the three kings that visited me (I am absolutely amazed that the rain has not washed it off yet, since it is the west side of the house):