Monday, December 19, 2005

Odds and ends...

The heavy press to finish my school work prior to my wedding is on. Every waking moment for the rest of this week will be consumed by writing papers. Not fun, but part of being a graduate student. That means I'll be a bit sporadic with my postings here, but as I need breaks I might put up some thoughts.

Last night it reached -8 degrees F here in my part of Minnesota. That is cold, painfully cold. I had to stop and get gas for my truck, and the 5 or so minutes it took to fill were brutal. I've experienced colder weather, much colder in fact, but whenever it's in the negative degrees it hurts to be outside, hurts to breath the air. I am very thankful I put the new battery in my truck a few weeks back when we had a cold snap, as there is no way my truck would be starting now. Even at these temperatures, my good old truck fires right up. It makes strange noises, and won't run well if I try to drive off (especially the transmission) it does start right up. I do use a full synthetic oil (Mobil 1 5w30) in my truck, and the past few days I have been plugging in the block heater which helps enormously. For those of you in the South or sunny California, a block heater is effectively a heating element that sits inside of your motor (there are some that attach to the oil pan via strong magnent as well) with an extention cord coming off of it that you can plug into a wall outlet. Most of the year I keep the cord wrapped up in the engine bay near my horn, but 2 days ago I finally pulled it out and plugged it into an extention cord in our parking lot. The good news is that there is a warm up on the way. The news said mid-20's to lower 30's possible by the end of the week. And in Minnesota during the winter, that's shorts weather!

Last night we had the opportunity to attend a party hosted by Horst Rechelbacher for his Intelligent Nutrients employees. IN has their facilities just off of Hennipen Ave. and 35W in Minneapolis, near the U of M campus. If you aren't familiar with Horst, he is the man who started the Aveda Corporation, a global plant-based cosmetic company, which he began in 1978. We had some really good Indian foods that I couldn't name and relaxed and took in the atmosphere. Much of the area we were in is decorated with artwork produced by Horst. Both his taste and his expression in art is interesting, though different from my own preferences. The facility is very new-age/spiritual in that Horst has things from numerous world religions decorating his facility. I think generally he sees it more as art than spiritual, but I could be wrong. He was very friendly, and took time to converse with nearly everyone in attendance.


Ron said...

This takes me back. Took finals on Friday, got married on Saturday, finished turning in papers on Monday. My wife finished her last week of teaching before Christmas vaction (including catching up on tons of grading, giving final exams, report cards), then we finally went on the honey moon. Better late than never. ;)

I can't imagine having to have a heater for my engine block down in South Texas. A really cold day for us is 45 degrees. But then again all the days over 100 in the Summer kind of make up for it. :(

mrclm said...

I used to live in Pierre, SD (from 1997-1999). There was a summer where Dallas had 18 or so consecutive ('99 I think) days of 100+ degree days, and I Pierre we matched them day by day, but didn't get any press because it was middle of nowhere South Dakota. I remember one day it was 114 degrees, then a small rain cloud came through, dumped a quarter inch in about 20 minutes, then moved on. An hour later it was 112 degrees and 60% humidity. Hottest day of my life. What I suspect Houston is like most summer days! But generally we don't get heat like you, and certainly not as frequently as you. I'd rather have it at 30 than 100, but when you get into the negative temps it's a tough call. You can die a lot faster from the cold than the heat, but both can be deadly.

As for the insanity of work/school/church/wedding I'm looking forward to the honeymoon! It'll be a much needed break for both of us.

Big Chris