Sunday, February 04, 2007


Looks like I got out of there just in time!

No, seriously...

I didn't get to see much of Minneapolis, spending most of my time in a classroom, hotel or restaurant out in the Plymouth area, but I left with a favorable impression of the place. The weather was quite cold, low 20's and below, with a couple of inches of crunchy snow on the ground. I very much prefer that to 35 degrees and slushy.

I hadn't been in weather like that since leaving northern Idaho 21 years ago. I seem to remember winters in Idaho that didn't see temperatures above about 25 for weeks and months on end. The most beautiful day I've ever experienced was during very cold weather like that. I wish I had a picture of one particular morning during which the temperature must have been -25 or so, ice crystals in the air sparkled all over a cloudless sky, wood smoke from every chimney rose in ruler-straight lines until encountering a layer of moving air quite a distance above our town, and the silence was complete. As cold as it was, I was perfectly comfortable outside in shirtsleeves. For a while. Gorgeous day.

I got some pictures of an ice halo (kind of like this) that turned out OK. This picture from the archives of NASA's Astronomy Picture Of The Day page is better, of course, but I'll put mine here when I get it off the camera. There's a good explanation of the ice halo linked from the NASA page.

If I had to chose, I'd prefer to live where the weather gets really cold, like Minneapolis, than where it just gets sloppy, wet cold. Given my druthers, though, I'd stay here in Phoenix where we don't have to shovel the heat. Yes, it gets hotter than blazes for a while during the summer, but the other nine months are excellent payback. That you can probably survive more easily without air conditioning in Arizona than without heat in Minneapolis is a factor in my energy-worried mind, too.

It's good to be home.

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