Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Global Warming -- Fairbanks Freezing -- Owls Have Had Enough -- Mary Tyler Moore

Link here.
Winter continued to show her love of Interior Alaska by bestowing yet another cold snap on its beleaguered residents this weekend.

The temperature at Fairbanks International Airport hit 50 below zero Saturday morning for the first time since 2006, while a low of 57 below was reported in North Pole.

Fort Yukon and Huslia were the coldest Interior communities at 63 below zero, while two others beat their own records.

Tanana hit 61 below zero Saturday morning, breaking its previous record low of 58 below, set in 1919, and Bettles, at 60 below, broke its previous record of 56 below, which was set in 1989.
No comment.

In a related article, yesterday there was a story about mass migration of snowy owls from the Arctic. It was suggested it was due to the lemming population. I don't know about you, but when temperatures are hitting -61, it's time for the snowy owls to leave. But if you want to blame it on the lemmings, that's fine with me.
Bird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration that a leading owl researcher called “unbelievable.”

Thousands of the snow-white birds, which stand 2 feet tall with 5-foot wingspans, have been spotted from coast to coast, feeding in farmlands in Idaho, roosting on rooftops in Montana, gliding over golf courses in Missouri and soaring over shorelines in Massachusetts.

Holt and other owl experts say the phenomenon is likely linked to lemmings, a rodent that accounts for 90 per cent of the diet of snowy owls during breeding months that stretch from May into September. The largely nocturnal birds also prey on a host of other animals, from voles to geese.
I think these experts either need to read the weather reports or actually visit Fairbanks. Unless the lemmings are migrating en masse to Massachusetts to escape the cold. But wow, that's a long trip for lemmings.

By the way, speaking of weather, I have my older granddaughter give me a weather report every day: temperature, wind, precipitation, cloud cover, etc. It's one of our favorite 30-second activities on the way to school.

I've taught her the gradations of snow precipitation: light snowfall, heavy snowfall, snow storm, blizzard, extreme blizzard, North Dakota blizzard.

Notes to the Granddaughters

I think I mentioned some time ago that I no longer watch FOX (too much fluff, too political); ABC, NBC, and CBS (too much fluff, too political, too hypocritical) except for sports events (NASCAR and football, occasional golf, no basketball). I don't even watch the award shows any more.

In every major metro market, there seems to be at least one "retro" station on cable and that's the station I watch.  The granddaughters and I now make it a habit to catch "MASH" at 7:00 p.m. every night, in between their showers. ("Lost in Space" on Saturday evening is the older one's new favorite. Who woulda thought?)

After they are in bed, then a string of Mary Tyler: Mary Tyler, Bob Newhart, Dick Van Dyke.

The reason I bring this up: today there's a long, long article on MTM in the Los Angeles Times. This is a great article; brings back lots of memories. I knew a lot about MTM but this was the biggest surprise: half of the couple who slept in separate beds in Dick Van Dyke produced "Hill Street Blues," which made news when it showed some male nudity on network prime time television. I didn't see that episode (I generally did not watch HSB but I read about that episode).

Glossed over, but mentioned, is the fact that MTM has diabetes; born in 1936, she must be about 29 years old (again). She has managed her diabetes very, very well. As a kid, I thought she was beautiful. With Dick Van Dyke, she was. In MTM, not so much. But wow, what a dancer. Of all the things MTM is famous for and all that she has done, not much seems to be said about her dancing, unless of course I've missed that, which is very possible.


  1. It is set up for a great race. Nothing like 50 below at 100 mph to clear the mind.

    It begins Feb. 19, 2012.

    You can follow it online.

    anon 1

    1. My granddaughter wants her own dog sled team, so I was thinking Iditarod until I saw the 100 mph. Smile.

  2. Stationed at Ft Ord, CA in early 1980's offered opportunity to watch back-to-back reruns of M*A*S*H, the evening news and then back-to-back's again. All from different times of the show, no overlap's.
    Still enjoy it, probably appreciate the satire even more after 8yrs of service.
    Still tear up watching final episode.

    1. Yes, after years in the service, I find I enjoy MASH even more than in the beginning.