Climate Change


Credit:  Microsoft Clip Arts

Credit: Microsoft Clip Arts

I am taking an online course on Climate Change from the University of Exeter in England. This was of special interest to me because my book (work in progress) is based on the premise of a new global ice age & how people would cope with this phenomenon.   Today was the first day of class & I found it really interesting.

Some of the things I learned today are the difference between weather (day to day or even hour to hour conditions around us such as the polar vortex my American friends have been complaining about so bitterly for the last week or so) & climate (generally a 30 year synopsis of the weather but it can be a much longer look at weather conditions on our planet).

I also learned about greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, water vapor, nitrous oxide & CFC’s) – what they are & how they effect our climate.  Greenhouse gases affect how the sun’s radiation is absorbed by the planet.  Small changes in greenhouse gases can have large changes on what happens to the sun’s radiation:

Not enough greenhouse effect:  The planet Mars has a very thin atmosphere, nearly all carbon dioxide.   Because of the low atmospheric pressure, and with little to no methane or water vapor to reinforce the weak greenhouse effect, Mars has a largely frozen surface that shows no evidence of life.*

Too much greenhouse effect:  The atmosphere of Venus, like Mars, is nearly all carbon dioxide.  But Venus has about 300 times as much carbon dioxide in its atmosphere as Earth and Mars do, producing a runaway greenhouse effect and a surface temperature hot enough to melt lead.*

*From IPCC

I’m looking forward to a lot more interesting information as the course continues.

Not Wordless Wednesday: Edmonton Tornado Warning


Such great pics showing how I spent my Wednesday!

Musings of The Edmonton Tourist

I was finishing up a proposal for an ethics paper when Environment Canada issued a Tornado Warning. A warning is scarier than a watch because funnel clouds were spotted. I was going to post my Wordless Wednesday for today but I am too shaken to stay quiet. Surprised? Ha! Don’t be.

This isn’t my first rodeo. I have lived to tell the tale of many of prairie storm, including the bad one in July 87 where 23 people died from a direct result of that tornado. I remember Pine Lake and I have survived plow winds and flooding. Today had me nervous like the one in ’87.


My daughter was sent home early today – that was worrisome, the storm must be bad.

The Sky was green – also a bad sign.

The hail smashed my flowers – thankful I don’t need to eat my flowers, feeling bad for the…

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Even though we don’t get the slimy snow they get in Ontario because we’re too far north, this about describes the highways & streets in Edmonton too!


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Snow Day!


Well, it’s official – Edmonton is having it’s first snow day of the season, weather forecasters are estimating 25 cms of snowfall on top of freezing rain & – I’m not in Edmonton!  Hubby had a meeting in Calgary (approximately 300 kms. SW of Edmonton) & I went along so I could visit with a cousin who recently lost her 27 year old son to sudden heart failure.

Craig was a volunteer firefighter who had an enlarged heart no one knew anything about.  It is a terribly sad situation – he was so full of life & love.  He was always the life of the party.  His mom calls him “a heart with legs.”  I was so glad I was able to come see her, but I wasn’t planning on spending an extra night in a hotel in Calgary.  I was looking forward to being home in my own bed again tonight.  Thank goodness I packed my laptop!

But the officials are warning against highway travel, so here I sit.    There have already been major accidents & one person killed due to road conditions on the highways.  In Edmonton, 30 minutes drives are estimated to take 3 hours.

First photo courtesy of Environment Canada, second photo courtesy of Brittney Le Blanc.

Bad Sandy! Bad, Bad Sandy!!


This is my 100th post! No big celebration however because of Sandy (the storm of course) – too many of my blogging buddies are in the path of Superstorm Sandy for me to celebrate. Therefore, just 1 firework!

I am hoping all my blogging buddies on the eastern seaboard are well, safe, warm & dry.  While I am not familiar with this kind of storm, I am way too familiar with extreme blizzards (snow storms) where the whole city has to shut down.  Often this means no power for a lot of people because power lines are downed by heavy snow on the power lines or trees felled by heavy snow & then falling on power lines.  In Winnipeg, where I grew up, these type of blizzards happen every 10 – 12 years.  No power at 20 degrees below zero can be quite a challenge.

I remember a blizzard when I was 9 or 10 years old.  I wasn’t much effected by the actual storm – it just meant 3 days without school.  When it was over & I could return to school, it was a chilling sight to walk to school.  The route was familiar but it was very high.  Where the wind had blown the snow away, you could see you were walking on a crust of snow a couple feet above the roofs of cars.  You couldn’t even tell there was a car buried in the snow, so you were walking on the roofs.  The same day I returned to school, we went to dig out my cousin who was expecting & had just lost her husband.  She lived in a 2 storey house & we walked along the snow crust & could not find her door, we could only find her 2nd storey windows.  When you opened the door from inside the house, you were met with a solid wall of snow.  We spent hours digging her & her 3 small children out of the house.  We brought her & her children to our house by toboggan in case they needed more help.

Approximately 10 years later, when I lived in my first apartment on the third floor of a 3 floor walk up, we got another blizzard that shut down the city for 3 days.  Our caretaker was a fireman who got stuck at the firehall & the heat went out in half the building.  I woke up in the morning to seeing my breath because I had no heat or power.  I looked out my window to see the snow just a few feet below my 3rd floor window.  I tried to get the caretaker, but to no avail.  I went down the hall to a neighbor I knew & he had no heat either.  Thankfully my next door neighbor (a couple I had never met) offered to let my friend & I stay in their apartment.  We all cleaned out our freezers, pooled our food, our beer & made a big communal bed in the middle of their living room.  We ate, we drank, we played card games & rode out the storm.

About 9 years later, when we had another one of these storms, I was pleased beyond belief when my home delivery milkman showed up at my door, carrying milk,cream, butter & eggs on a toboggan, the first day the snow let up.  He had walked into our new development from 4 blocks away (the closest he could get his vehicle) pulling his precious food stuff behind him because he knew he had young mothers with new babies on  his route & he wanted to make sure they were OK & had the food they needed.

Some of you may have noticed there was no Monday Mirth this week.  If you did, thank you for noticing!  I have been contemplating moving Monday Mirth to Tuesday or Wednesday because of Edward Hotspur’s Romantic Mondays.  I am thoroughly enjoying participating in this blog event every week, so I encourage everyone to hop on over there & participate!  But it is too much for me to compose 2 posts every Monday, something always suffers & I don’t want either post to get less than my best (whatever that may be).  I asked for some suggestions on names for a Tuesday or Wednesday Mirth type blog & received some great suggestions.  So let me know what you think & I’ll leave this open until Sunday night (Nov. 3?, don’t have a calendar handy) to hopefully allow my East Coast blogging buddies to cast their votes too:

Stay safe, warm & dry!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow


While a lot of you in the Eastern US are preparing for a visit from “Frankenstorm Sandy”, in Edmonton we are receiving our first bit of snow to stick around.  I hope all my friends in the Eastern US are safe.  We’ve had snow before today, but it was all gone by lunchtime usually.  Today it’s been snowing almost non-stop for most of the day.  It’s light & fluffy flakes of snow drifting lazily to the ground except for when the wind catches the flakes & swirls them round.  Time to get the Christmas lights & put them up on the balcony before it gets too cold.  Last year we had almost no snow.  I guess this year we’ll have a little more since it’s starting early.

I think I’m going to have to move Monday Mirth to another day of the week.  Edward Hotspur has overtaken Mondays with his Romantic Monday blog event which has turned out to be enormously popular.  I had tried to liven Mondays up with a little bit of humor, but I certainly can’t compete with Romantic Mondays (& wouldn’t want to because I’d lose every time).  Besides which, I’m enjoying participating in Romantic Mondays & it’s too difficult to do 2 posts every Monday.  So I’m thinking of moving to another day. But I can’t come up with a clever name for Tuesday or Wednesday.  The only things coming to me are “Tuesday Titillations” or “Wednesday Whimsy” & neither of those seem completely appropriate.  So I’m appealing to my readers to help me with a name & a day to post funny little pick-me-ups.  It has to be early in the week because El Guapo takes over Friday with Friday Foolishness & I don’t want to compete with him either.

So if you can come up with a good name & day of the week to post funnies & you don’t mind me using it, please submit it in the comments section.

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