Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More and more rain

My new job is going well. It is pleasant to work at a place where people like to work. We had a team meeting yesterday, five programmers, project manager and two analysts. It’s been a long time since I worked at a place that had business analysts. They are the ones that talk to customers, become knowledgeable in what the business does and how things are supposed to be done, and in the workflow of the whole system. They also make up test cases for testing program changes I make. At most places that’s what I had to do, in addition to programming.
It’s another rainy day in Las Vegas. In January we had over three inches of rain (OK, Portland, no comments here), which is very unusual. Our yearly average is only four inches, so unless we have a really dry summer ahead it looks like this will be considered a wet year. California looks even better. The heaviest snowfalls in the Sierra Nevada Mountains since 1916. Great skiing in Lake Tahoe. Our own Mt. Charleston had an avalanche yesterday, burying some snowboarders. First time for that also.
It snowed here last Friday. Everyone at work was running around looking out the windows as if they had never seen snow. Well, it really didn’t snow here on Friday, more like snow mixed with rain, or rain mixed with snow. Did have snow on the west side, where I live. When I got home from work it looked like those houses I see on TV, the ones with the white lawns. But it was back to brown when I got up the next morning. It did the same thing last year, so in my experience it has snowed here every winter since I’ve moved here, and rained a lot. So I guess the stories of a hot dry Las Vegas are exaggerated. Last summer it didn’t get much over 110f, and in the two summers we have been here it has never gotten to the 120f I keep hearing about.
Kind of like Portland. I keep hearing stories of rain and clouds, but when we went a few years ago we stayed for a week, and it was warm and sunny the whole time. No proof by me that it’s a cloudy place. When I took my wife back to Rochester, NY a while back it was also sunny and warm, we even ate at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the falls. So she doesn’t believe my stories of 20f below any more. Of course, we went in June not in January, but it’s the principle of the thing.
We went on an Alaska cruise a long time ago (probably 20 years ago – long time), I taught a class in computers on board, so got a pretty good deal. We stopped in Ketchican, a small town that had a big sign about 260 inches of rain a year. But it was sunny and warm for us. They were having the annual blueberry festival, usually held in the parking garage under the town hall, but moved to the parking lot because of the sun. We talked to the groundskeeper at the town cemetery, and he said it was the second day of sun, the longest sunny spell anyone could remember. A likely story. But he was really really sunburned, as were many residents there, so maybe he was telling the truth. Or just a story to keep people from moving there. Probably the same in Portland, to keep more Californians from moving and driving up house prices even further. But after this winter’s rains in California maybe it will not matter.
Bouncing around the net this week brought up a few interesting sites, first is the complete site of pencils. Everything you always wanted to know, or more.
And for unusual stories, there is Mike the Headless Chicken. I didn’t know they could do that. Until you look closely at the anniversary date of Mike’s accident.

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