Well, not for Tucson, but even though less than 10% of the nation is starting December with snow on the ground, all indications are that that will change in a hurry starting next week. The weather pattern that has kept record cold in Alaska and western Canada is fixin’ ta change and that means a White Christmas where you would expect one and maybe for a few places that you normally wouldn’t.
One of my weather friends says that it is too early to predict how much snow will be on the ground across the country Christmas morning. He has promised to send me $1 if I can name exactly all the states that will have a White Christmas this year. Since I have nothing to lose I’ll be taking a stab at it here in a day or two and you can make fun of me later.
Bottom line is the warm start to December will be a distant memory by mid next week for a lot of folks. Even here in Tucson our forecast high for Monday is just 60 (although it’s not likely to stay that cold for long).
It is no secret that I have one of the best views on the planet for sunrises. Mainly because I trumpet that fact on the interwebs, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and anywhere else I can find a virtual soap box to stand on. Still trying to get the folks in the office of my apartment complex excited about the views from their own apartments, but I don’t think they get social media.
So, while I may not be able to negotiate a deal for $$ off my rent, I can share directly with the people! I hope you like this 45 minutes of video sped up to just under 3:00 with some Christian music added. Don’t like the song? Mute it and crank your own. Like the song? Get a copy of the whole thing on iTunes or Amazon!
Another amazing evening on the deck last night. A severe thunderstorm was directly west and from my vantage point the Sun was setting behind it. The dark and menacing storm was being back lit with muted reds and oranges with flashes of lightning accents. Really cool! So of course I grabbed my camera. I knew the odds of timing a shot and catching some lightning were slight. After taking a few pictures I switched my camera to video mode and recorded for about a minute. Toward the end of the recording I noted a particularly strong bolt of lightning in the field of view. I was not disappointed when I went to get the screen grab. After some minor tweaking in Gimp, this is the result:
Pretty amazing! The regular pictures didn’t turn out so bad either.
Of course I have already shared theses shots on my Sunrise/Sunset blog, www.TonightsSunset.com and on Facebook. I will admit. I am a little spoiled with such an amazing view here at the apartment.
You may know that my “real” job is being the web and video guy for Teen Challenge of Arizona. I love telling the stories of what God is doing through the ministry. A week or so ago the Phoenix Men’s Center had it’s annual Back-to-School Bash. This year we had a twist. A Haboob hit shortly after the event started! No one panicked. No one left. The volunteers and Men of the Center all pitched in to make sure everyone stayed safe, got fed and got backpacks full of school supplies. Here’s Mike with more:
I admit it. I have one of the best apartment views on the planet. Located in southern Oro Valley, Arizona I am directly across the street from Pusch Peak. In addition my view north overlooks Oro Valley to the Tortolita Mountains. In the summer the Sun sets far enough north that I catch wonderful sunsets too.
We are having an outstanding Monsoon so far this year and as a result there are enough clouds at sunrise to create an unusual number of outstanding Pusch Peak Sunrises (patent pending). It is amazing to be able to sit on the deck enjoying my first cup of coffee listening to the birds waking up and watching God show off His sunrise making skills. I think this is one of His favorite spots. I know it’s mine!
I have typed too long already. These shots don’t need commentary. Without further adieu (whatever adieu is : ) here are this month’s amazing sunrises starting with this morning and working back to July 2nd. A few more shots are available at my blog www.TonightsSunset.com/category/sunrise/ Enjoy!
Happy Annular Eclipse viewing for my son in Albuquerque celebrating his birthday today! Also for my Mom in Lubbock, Texas if they can keep the skies clear enough just before sunset. Here are viewing times and tips from NASA and your friendly announcer dude:
This time for good! I’ve let me weight balloon up while my health was ballooning down, or something. I’ve decided to try eating better and riding my bike. What a concept.
Experience tells me that it takes me about 2 weeks to get my leg strength and wind back. I started Saturday, so I have a ways to go before I get back to basics to build on. Still, you have to start somewhere and I’ve started!
I found this pretty cool app to track my hikes and bike rides. Today was my first day to use it so I thought I would share. Tomorrow I’ll talk about what I’m eating. Here’s this morning’s ride:
At least I know I’d like one. The GoPro Hero2 is an amazing HD camera that comes with a waterproof case and all kinds of mounts. It would be an amazing camera for time lapse video captured from my deck!
Nike has something there, but that is the final step of the process. Almost always before we do, we ponder. Even before that we have to have the idea to act on in the first place. Sometimes the time between having an idea and acting is a split second! Often in those cases you can end up getting in trouble.
So where am I going with this? New Year’s Resolutions, of course. It’s great that I want to get back into shape, lose weight and get organized. (notice I didn’t say get reorganized That’s where the process starts. Deciding to do something, coming up with a plan of action and ultimately acting. Just doing it. Unfortunately I am all too familiar with thinking about a thing and thinking about a thing and thinking about a thing but not acting. Funny how things don’t change until our actions change!
It’s Biblical too. Proverbs 14:23 says:
In all labor there is profit,
But idle chatter leads only to poverty.
The key word here is idle. If you are thinking about something, that is the first step, but don’t let it stop there. Even if it’s years and years that you have been pondering, chances are it’s not too late to act.
Different actions spring from different thinking, so don’t discount that. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve been thinking about getting back into shape, but haven’t acted yet. You are on the right track! The next step is to drive yourself to a track and actually run around it.
Me? My boss got me involved with a group at his church that is gradually working up to running a 5k in March. The first workout was Thursday and we are meeting again this morning in just an hour or so. The workout is pretty easy to start. (but turned out to be harder in action then it looked on paper) After a 5 minute brisk warm up walk it was 60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking. Lather rinse and repeat for 20 minutes. Not bad. The workouts gradually increase the running component so that by mid March we are running for 28 minutes and ready for the 5k.
I’m really excited about it. Even though I have run a few 5k’s before, that was in the early 90s! I used to jog almost everyday in 1999 and 2000. I had worked up to 4 to 6 miles almost everyday and was in my best shape since high school. A knee surgery and 10 years later (and 40 pounds later) it’s almost like starting over.
The important thing is I am starting and with a goal in mind. Now, if I could just get someone to wash my car and clean this apartment.
It’s no secret that I have a serious photography addiction. With sunrises and sunsets as beautiful as they are around here it’s hard to resist. The perils of living in a target rich environment I suppose. As a result I have all these pictures. What to do?
Over the last couple of years I have been playing around with Zazzle.com. I have a little store there with some of my pictures on coffee mugs and mouse pads. I’ve sold a few and it’s pretty neat to see some of the great scenes I capture around here on a mug. My favorite is the “God Is Amazing” mug with a great shot of Pusch Peak after a storm. The other is a mug that screams Valentine’s Day gift. The, “Life is Better Shared” mug features two hummingbirds enjoying a sunrise lit breakfast together. Aw.
I’ve had a couple of friends asking when I was going to have a calendar for sale. Well today I finally went through my pictures and have published two calendars you can buy at my Zazzle store. The Oro Valley 2012 Calendar and the HummingbirdFeederCam.com 2012 Calendar. The cost is kinda high though. Almost $21! and I only make $2 of that. Calendars are half price today at Zazzle, so you might could grab one for $10.50 plus shipping. I’ve sold a couple so far today!
Still, $21 is kinda high for a calendar. I don’t care how much you like me So, I was looking around for a better solution and I found it. A quick web search landed me at Lulu.com. I remember my Mom telling me about it. A site mainly dedicated to self publishing authors, but they also have a slick tool for creating calendars. Here’s what I came up with. My self published TonightsSunset.com 2012 Calendar:
Best part is I can offer it to you for $15.99 and I make almost $3. I call that a win win. Order up a couple today and tell your friends. 2012 is only a week away!