Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Summer Solstice

Disambiguation is Here

Longest day of the year eve…?

The sun is scheduled (as if we arranged it) to be at its northernmost transit in the sky at 05:45 Greenwich mean time on June 21. Here in south central Illinois, local time is 5 hours earlier than Greenwich time so the disambiguation occurs at 12:45 AM here in Illinois or 45 minutes after midnight. I am curious; was today the longest day or will tomorrow be the longest day?

I returned from Missoula, Montana this past Thursday.

Missoula Montana is at 3,200 feet elevation, and is flat as a pancake...not one hill in the town. However snow capped mountains surround it and you can be up on a mountain overlooking the city (population 83,000) within 20 minutes. It is an old, well laid out town that is bisected throughout with bike trails. It has a nice river walk and kayaking on the river is a favorite past time, as is all the outdoors stuff.
The downtown is clean and the architecture is, well, eclectic. The University of Monatana is located in Missoula. There are not nearly as many dogs as I saw in Edmonds, WA.

My host, Jennifer Keith of First Student, was an excellent host who loves to show off her town. She is also well traveled including many post Katrina trips to New Orleans.

Jennifer and her husnband, Dean, treated me and another traveler to an excellent steak dinner at the Lolo Creek Steakhouse on Lewis and Clark Rd in Lolo , Montana. The cooking was done on a large open pit, wood-burning grill. We were surrounded by stuffed wildlife including grizzlies (University of Montana mascot), badgers, elk, and moutain lions.

After the meal, Jennifer and Dean introduced me to geo-caching. They led me to the first hidden object ( which I found with the first clue under a metal sign for the steakhouse) , and then I was on my own. They were impressed about how quickly I figured out the clues for four sections of walking.

At home, the temperature at Lambert was 20 degrees higher than in Missoula. The house interior temp wa 87 due to an air conditioner being on the fritz. I did not sleep well that night. The following day, I got a tech out to diagnose the problem. Not a cheap fix; needs a new a/c unit.

Knowing this will take a while, I bought and installed a small a/c in the bedroom window. It was comfortable except for another passing storm that dumped a ½ inch of rain on an alresdy soggy back yard. We received 4 ½ inches of rain over the last week. Not adding the two inches the previous week. It has been a very wet Spring. Which, as I mentioned earlier, will end in abour four hours.

I mowed the lawns early, but it was still a chore being hotter by the minute. Can't use the riding mower since it would tear up mud.

That’s about it from Home Alone

Love to family and friends and you Dads, have a great day.

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