Friday, October 30, 2009

Rain, rain...

I have been complaining about rain lately, because it has been raining so very much here in Arkansas this year. Friends here say, "But you are from Seattle, so you must be used to this." "No," I say, "it doesn't rain like this in Seattle." To prove this, I have done a little research (very little, mostly by Google, meaning, don't use my data in your research papers) into rainfall. Here is what I found.
  • Average yearly rainfall for Seattle: 36 or 37 inches (depends on where you look)
  • Average yearly rainfall for Little Rock: 48 inches
  • So far this year in Seattle: 26.14 inches, + 9.4 inches of snow (unusually high)
  • So far this year in Little Rock: 66.36 inches. We have had three months so far with 11+ inches of rain, including October, which has had 14.66 inches. It is still raining today.
As you can see, Little Rock has had almost 3 times as much rain as Seattle this year. But, both of these pale in comparison to some of the rainiest places on earth.
  • The Olympic Peninsula in Washington averages 105 inches a year.
  • Ketchican, Alaska, the rainiest spot in the continental United States, averages 152 inches.
  • The highest average annual rainfall in the world (well, in recorded places anyway) goes to Mt. Waialeale in Hawaii, with 460 inches. (The Wikipedia article mentions another place that gets more, but it is in monsoon struck India - see next point)
  • The highest amount recorded in one year was in Cherrapunji, India, which had 1042 inches. That is almost 87 feet!
  • The highest total in 24 hours was Fac Fac, La Renuion Island, with 72 inches.
So, while we have had a lot of rain this year, and I am sure I will continue to complain about it, it could be a lot worse...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I am becoming one of those bloggers. The ones who only update sporadically, days, weeks, maybe even months apart (I'm looking at you Bonny Anne). I don't mean to, it just happened. Our desktop computer, the one I used to store and sort all our pictures, has recently gone belly up (the big clue? The message saying that no operating system was installed. That, and the ominous noises emanating from it every time we would turn it on). We have all the old pictures on an external hard drive, and I can use that to take pictures off of the camera, but, well, it seems like more work. And I am getting lazy.

And then, since moving, we haven't done that much in the way of exciting adventures. It has been raining a lot. And I haven't been baking much - trying not to eat too many cookies. Miikka is still cute, and I have a lot of pictures on my camera to share, but I don't want this to be a Miikka-only blog. Naturally, I have a lot of opinions on current events, but I don't really want to turn this into a political blog either - there are plenty of those, and some of them are actually good.

So, I apologize for my lack of posts and my general boringness lately. I will try to be less lazy, try to be a better blogger. Stay tuned, and I promise I will have some more updates soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Where we started the evening - row 71
On Sunday, Mindy and I drove up to Norman for the U2 concert at the University of Oklahoma football stadium. It was my third U2 concert and Mindy's first. Benjamin was supposed to go with me, but had to miss it because he got a paper accepted at a conference - work advancement comes over pleasure, unfortunately.

Where we ended the evening - row 15
The day was perfect for a drive, sunny and warm, but not too hot. We had Pirate's Booty, licorice, grapes, apple slices, and carrot sticks - Mindy had her customary Red Bull, and I had my tea and water - and a full tank of gas.

The concert was scheduled to start at 7, with the Black-Eyed Peas as the opening act. We arrived at our hotel in Oklahoma City (all the hotels in Norman were booked up solid - I was lucky to find the one we got) around 4, changed, and headed to Norman in search of dinner. I had gotten several recommendations for restaurants from former Normanites, but the crowd were so large around the campus that we ended up at Freebirds (a favorite from our Austin days) instead of any of those. Ah well, no complaints about a good burrito.

The crowd was an interesting mix of college kids, 30-40 year-olds, parents with children, and even people my parents' age (sorry Mom and Dad, but you are certainly older than most of the people I would expect to see at that sort of concert). I have never been to a college football game, but Mindy commented that the crowd really felt like that sort of crowd.

Eventually, we made our way to the stadium and climbed up to our seats in the nosebleed section (hey- what can I say - I am cheap when it comes to tickets). Actually, it wasn't truly the nosebleed section of the stadium - there was another level above us, but it wasn't in use for the concert. We had fun talking with the people around us, and speculating about how full the floor would get, once U2 started.

The only problem was the wind. Oklahoma is a pretty windy place, and according to one of the people seated near us, the wind that day was some of the strongest in quite awhile. We were near the top of the stadium, so the wind whipped around up there, bringing a cold edge with it. I began to regret leaving my extra sweatshirt and hat in the car.

But all such problems were quickly forgotten when, after the BEPs finished, a woman carrying a large wad of tickets came through our area and exchanged our nosebleed seats for ones only 15 rows away from the floor. We were still a ways from the stage, but the people actually looked like people, and not ants. Everyone in that section had been moved from up higher - I think they moved the original inhabitants to the floor or something - so we were all really excited. Everyone around us had to call someone else and exclaim "We just got moved down to row 15 (or 16 or 14...)!!!" Mindy quickly updated her Facebook status to do the same.

And then, U2 came on. It was awesome. The crowd stood up as soon as Larry Mullen Jr. appeared in the entrance, and didn't sit down until Bono directed us to, about 1.5 hours later. In all, they played for 2 hours - songs from the new album, songs from older albums, and songs from in-between. Mindy was spellbound throughout. I was too (apart from a couple of times drunk fans nearby tried to drown out Bono - not a wise thing to do). I am sad that Benjamin couldn't be there with me, but I had a really good time with Mindy. Thanks for the pictures Mindy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Funny interlude

Pearls Before Swine

Here is a comic interlude to amuse you until I get around to writing about my weekend road trip to Norman, Oklahoma to see U2. This is totally like my life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Unanswerable question of the week

Patron on phone: "Can you tell me the contents of Hell?"

Me: "Uhh..."

Patron "can't you just type it into the computer to find out?"

Me: "I need to know what religion you are interested in."

Patron "Baptist?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Local Food Bonanza

Tonight we are going to the 2nd annual Farm to Table dinner put on by our local CSA. It should be great - it was last year. It is held at a local restaurant that has been rented out for the evening. All the food is from the farmers who supply the CSA, and it is cooked by a local chef. Some of the farmers come to the dinner too, so we get to meet the people growing and raising our food. It is a little pricey, but completely worth it. I am a cheapskate, but I am more than willing to spend my money on good food and supporting local businesses.

In other food news, it has been soup weather here lately, so yesterday we made split pea soup. With a loaf of homemade bread, it was the perfect meal for a cold, dreary day. Ahh...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Please read and act

Please read this post about food safety by Marion Nestle, and the two related articles she mentions from the New York Times and the Washington Post, then contact your elected officials. It is a crime that big food corporations are not being held responsible for their products. From Nestle's article:

"[T]he most chilling part of the Times investigation had to do with the lack of testing for dangerous pathogens. No meat packing company wants to test. Why not? They know the animals coming into the plant are contaminated. They know that tests would come up positive. They know that if they find pathogens, they have to recall the meat."

You can find your House representatives here, and your Senators here.

Perhaps, if enough people express outrage, just maybe something can be done.