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    Entries in weather (6)


    Stormy PDX: Where'd the sun go? (plus a visit to North Portland)

    Experiencing the weather is kind of like drinking coffee, in that it is such a universal human experience (if you think the analogy is a stretch, consider the fact that people drink more than 700 billion cups of coffee each year). Growing up in a farming family, the weather was always a topic of conversation at meal times, at the hardware store, on Sundays in church—pretty much everywhere you went. Even though we couldn’t do anything to control the weather, life revolved around it. Weather dictated what you could do in the fields each day, and was the most important factor in how the crops would turn out. If it rained too little or too much, was too hot, too cold, or too windy (it’s hard to keep farmers happy), stress levels around our house would go up. When a late spring shower broke a long stretch of drought, it was grounds for celebration. Perhaps that’s why I still pay so much attention to the weather. Old habits die hard. –WH

    The view from inside Coffee Division today.

    If you’ve lived on the East Coast or in the Midwest, you might jeer at the fuss Portlanders make over a couple inches of snow. A Nor’easter in Boston that dumps a foot of snow overnight causes less disruption than the few inches we’ve received over three days (though as I write this, a third wave of storm is really starting to pile up the snow outside). Portland just doesn’t have a lot of equipment dedicated to clearing the streets. Seeing a snowplow in Portland is kind of like seeing a bobcat in Eastern Washington. You know they exist, but they’re rare enough that you might spend your whole life there and never see one. As infrequently as it snows, why should the city spend much money on snow equipment? Especially since it has already dedicated so much funding to paving roadways and putting in sidewalks in Southeast Portland (oh, wait….)

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    'Tis the season...

    It looks like it's going to be a good week for staying indoors and drinking cappuccinos:

    Don't forget your umbrella!


    Spring weather - invariably variable

    One of the challenges of farming in the spring is definitely the weather. As I mentioned in the last post, this spring has been cold and wet, so everyone is behind with spring work.

    A good word to describe the spring weather in Eastern Washington would be erratic, but that might be an understatement. As I was driving around on the tractor yesterday, the weather kept changing from sunny to cloudy to rainy to snowy. Yes, snowy.

    The following set of photos give you an idea of how quickly the spring weather changes here. In the first, taken at 7am, you can see lots of blue skies and sunshine. It was cold and windy too—about 38 degrees (brrr). The turbines in the background were making plenty of electricity. From that time onward, new waves of weather repeatedly crashed down upon us.

    Starting out nice

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    Who says the sun doesn't shine in PDX?

    You know it’s been a gray spring when the sun comes out one day and it makes the front page of the newspaper with the headline “Scary Yellow Globe in Sky Not Going to Stick Around” (as if we expected it to). Yes, it’s been a bit dreary around here. According to the National Weather Service, before last Friday (April 8th), it had been 41 days since our last cloud-free day. The graph below, from The Oregonian, accompanied the story.

    Looks like Portlanders are in serious need of some vitamin D

    You can see that we haven’t seen the sun much since February 25th, and that any sun we did have was only fleeting. Hopefully, Friday was a sign of good things to come and summer is just around the corner!

    A good omen?


    Hoops in Hell

    The second day I was on campus, I didn’t have anything to do except for a Chinese placement test so I decided to go play basketball at the courts in the center of campus. Basketball is very popular here. There are 7 blacktop courts right at the heart of school, and in the evenings, most or all of the hoops have someone playing on them. My first day there, I sat and watched people play for about an hour. While I was there I met Cheech and Tang.

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    China can be Cheap (but might not be)

    The other day I was wandering around (have you noticed I do that a lot?) and I came across a large shopping center. The best part of going to shopping centers is that they all seem to be air conditioned. In my past trips to Beijing, this hasn’t really mattered because it has usually been cool when I visited. This time, however, summer is raging. I talked to a Chinese guy yesterday and he told me that this year was hotter than usual.

    I went inside and rode the escalators to the top (6th) floor. Inside were shops of all kinds. It looked about the same as many urban malls in America with clothing, appliance, sportswear and several Chinese versions of Victoria’s Secret. I spent some time looking at clothes  at Uniglo and eventually ended up in the stationery section of a department store looking at pens and notebooks. My pen had run out of ink and I was looking to replace it. I finally settled on a Pilot V5 Hi-Techpoint, an updated version of a pen of mine that recently ran out of ink. It has liquid black ink and a small point that allows me to write fairly quickly, something that is important with as many words as I write these days.

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