Thursday, January 18, 2007

Icy January

We had plans for the second weekend in January, and they fell through. That's why we didn't do the Christmas get-together at Mom & Dad's that weekend. Then this past weekend, we got a fairly nasty ice storm. Sleet and freezing rain. So it was rescheduled for the last weekend in January since we had the January Club™ Birthday party scheduled for this coming weekend.

But the ice storm knocked out the Hilgers' power and they're not sure when they'll get it back. So that got rescheduled for the first weekend in February.

Last friday before the storm got going Sam said he had a pot of venison stew on and wondered if we'd like to pack our jammies and head up and weather the storm out in the country ... with a fire in his big stone fireplace, whiskey, dominoes, guitars. We even watched a movie... "Dreamer". Nice feel-good family movie.

We got about 2.5" of sleet outside mixed with freezing rain. The freezing rain kind of glued it together. When we went to leave the next morning, the car wouldn't budge from its spot in Sam's flat driveway. After several tries we finally got enough traction to get a little momentum and move. Once we got out to the highway the roads were passable.

We decided to see Charlotte's Web -- my favorite book when I was in 3rd/4th grade. I'd seen the animated one that came out a few years after that, and I was disappointed. It was pretty cheesy and they made it into a musical. But after having seen Dreamer with Dakota Fanning -- and realizing she had been cast as Fern in the movie -- I thought it was great casting. She fits the look Fern had in the famous illustrations. Delicate, but determined.

It was done very well, and stuck to the book for the most part. I think the biggest deviation was the crows, but they were a fun addition. It was shot well and had the right feel to it. They couldn't pull off those special effects in 1974.

Got a smaller camera to carry along when the big one is just -- well, too big. Found an inexpensive Nikon CoolPix L3 -- and it'll fit the bill. Not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes, runs on AA batteries. 5 megapixels. Video with sound. SD memory (compatible with my Pentax). 3x optical zoom. Lots of pre-set shooting modes and a fully automatic mode -- plus there's this cool "panorama assist" I'll have to check out when I see something I want to "panoramize".

Not a lot going on at home. Still waiting for my Seisco water heater part. Need to call tomorrow. I put up some aluminum flashing in the corner of the downstairs bathroom to deter Bart from peeing in that corner which is right outside his darned litterbox anyway!!!! It seems to have done the trick. For now.

I've also been meaning to make a foam cutout template for the Pentax camera & lenses in my camera bag. Got that done this evening. Niiiice. Even bought a body cap for the camera. So everything's protected.

The ice started to melt today -- we finally got above freezing. It was difficult to cross the street on Sunday. Saturday night we got about 1/4" of freezing rain on top of the sleet. It was like trying to walk on greased white plastic. Except you could slam your heels into it and make a dent and get traction that way, which is what I ended up doing.

Mary (of Jorgie) came up with an ingenious solution. She couldn't walk in her yard, and she has dogs to take care of... so she took an old pair of sneakers and put screws through the bottom from the inside out and made herself a pair of impromptu "cleats". They worked great! Have to keep that in mind.

I couldn't believe ... Saturday after the movie, on the way home I remembered we were out of eggs. Went to the grocery store. Their whole huge bin of eggs was completely empty. Most of the back wall was pretty barren, too. I think it's funny that people here rush the grocery store whenever a little snow or ice is predicted. I say if you can't get by for a few days on the food in your house you need to change your shopping habits. It's not like we get snowed in for a week or more around here. If you live in the city, a day and a half, maybe 2 -- max.

Anyway, we ended up picking some up at Walgreens. Yeah. Walgreens. Go figure. And they weren't that expensive.

Well, that's the update for now. Later.

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