So this is ominous looking, eh?
This sort of phenomenon is called a fallstreak hole (or cavum, hole punch cloud, punch hole cloud, skypunch, cloud canal, or cloud hole…and I can’t tell you which of those names is the coolest ‘cause they all are). It occurs when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water is in a supercooled state (being below freezing but not yet a solid). When the ice crystals do form, the droplets around the crystals evaporate, leaving the hole.
Apparently they’re a fairly rare thing and have been (understandably) mistaken for UFOs.
They’re taking down the last of the four cranes at the Cancer Center.
I am FREAKING SAD.
As I mentioned in a blog earlier this year, those cranes had been over there since 2007. Three of them were disassembled in September, and now I guess it’s time for the fourth and last one to go.
I’ll miss you,
son Crane #2.
The Joy of Lego + The Bow
Things I learned today:
There is a Lego-building group that focuses on constructing landmark Calgary buildings.
It took Roy Nelson five years and about 8,500 pieces of Lego to build my favorite Calgary building, The Bow.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison:
(Actual building pic from here, Lego building pic from the site linked above)
Isn’t that a beautiful building? The fact that he’s got a giant Lego head as that wire mesh head statue is pretty awesome.
If I had money to spare to buy this, I totally would. I dig this kind of stuff.
It’s December in Calgary and I just went running in shorts and a tank top.
It’s like 50 degrees out there.
I’ve actually kind of enjoyed running in the 30-40 degree range; I don’t get nearly as hot (running is like the only time I produce actual body heat) and so I feel like I can run longer and easier, at least most of the time. When it’s in the 20s it’s a little rougher because my legs start off being really cold and thus feel really heavy and slow, but I can still do it.
I haven’t run in anything below 19 degrees yet, but I’m sure I will at some point.
But yeah, it is unseasonably warm here and it’s weirding me out. It legit feels like September.
Calgary, u ok?
This is why I can never find my way anywhere. This is why I walk the same five routes all the time. Because the universe is ready to destroy me with this nonsense if I ever stray off the righteous path.
(The “righteous path” being the Bow River Pathway).
Edit: Nate, I know you were waiting for a hilarious blog on this sign. Instead you get mediocrity. It’s just like everything else I do, isn’t it???
It’s getting colder.
Calgary winters are long, dark, and sometimes brutally cold. The only two things that make up for them are a) summer days that aren’t usually too hot and daylight that lasts from 5 AM to 11 PM, and b) the fact that Calgary is a very sunny city, meaning even on a lot of those butt-freezing cold days, the sun is out, which makes a big difference.
This winter is going to be especially hard because I usually make it through the winters at least in part by being able to look forward to going down to Moscow for a few weeks over Christmas break.
That’s obviously not happening this year.
And another challenge for this year (apart from, y’know, trying not to get COVID): I got super into running over the summer, as you all likely know if you’ve been reading my blogs. While I feel like I could get used to running in the cold, once there’s snow and ice on the ground, I’m not so sure. The last thing I want to do is bite it on a patch of ice and screw up my leg (or something else) and be out of commission for any period of time.
I mean, I’ve got my treadmill, of course, but I don’t think I could run 14 miles on a treadmill. It’s a slightly different set of muscles and the furthest I’ve ever gone without stopping is about 8 miles.
Plus, running outside is SO MUCH MORE FUN.
So that’s going to suck once winter really sets in and doesn’t leave until like the middle of May.
Mets, oh my god, that was such a fitting end to a very rough season.
Look at how pretty Calgary is! Time to enjoy it for the next few days before everything dies and the temperature drops below zero. And stays like that until May.
S W A G
I got my stuff from the half marathon today! Check it out:
Super cool. The last official race I did was the Vancouver Sun Run back in 2011; we got a bib (obviously, since it was in person) and a t-shirt (which I gave to my mom), but we never got a super cool medal.
Let’s try the full marathon next year!
Virtual Calgary Half-Marathon = DONE!
This was the one I really wanted to do in person back in May, but ALAS…
This was not my best run. For whatever reason my legs felt like they weighed like 80 pounds each, so I didn’t end up with a super great time. But it’s probably faster than I would have been able to do it back in May, anyway, so yeah.
Next year I’ll hopefully be able to do the actual factual marathon, and it would be super nice if I could do it in person rather than virtually.
I don’t have high hopes about that, though.
Hey so let’s do the Calgary Half Marathon
When I was talking to my dad the other day, he mentioned that he’d done (virtually, of course; thanks to COVID) Bloomsday before his surgery. He said he’d thought about calling me but ended up not doing it, which is a bit sad, ‘cause I could have totally pulled off a virtual…how many miles is Bloomsday?
*looks it up*
12 kilometers? Dafuq kind of weird distance is that?
Anyway, yeah. I can run that, no problem.
But that got me thinking about the Calgary Marathon, which, had this been a normal year, would have been held at the end of May (I think I mentioned it in my blogs way back then). So I looked it up to see if they’d had a virtual version and LO AND BEHOLD, you can actually participate in the virtual version up through September 27.
So I registered for the half-marathon!
I shall do it this week and hopefully will have a good finishing time. There are no prizes or anything for speed (not like I’d even have a chance, haha) because nothing is really “official” this year, but I’ll get a t-shirt and I’ll be able to cross off “run a half-marathon” from this year’s resolutions.
NOOOOOOOOOOO, the cranes surrounding the new cancer center are being dismantled! Those four cranes have been up since at least 2017 and provide so much extra light at night. I’m going to really miss them.
(“Cranefall” sounds like a good story title.)
Edit: only Crane #2 still stands.
LOOK AT THIS CLOUD AAAAAAAAAAAAAA
That is one seriously looming cloud. It’s supposed to storm later; wonder where it’s going to come from?
Edit: no storm at all, haha. Just a lot of wind.
HAHAHA THANKS WEATHER I TOTALLY WANTED TO GET ABSOLUTELY DRENCHED TODAY
So Nate’s down visiting his family but I’m still in Calgary ‘cause I’m a fart but at least karma got me back in the form of the BIGGEST TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR I’VE EVER WALKED IN.*
I decided to walk up to the northeast part of Calgary (mistake #1). Basically, I go up about 7.5 miles to the UPS/FedEx buildings past Deefoot Mall and then go back the same way I go up.
It was pretty hot today, also, so by the time I was about a mile away from turning around, I was happy that it was starting to get cloudy. Then I happened to look behind me and saw that it was getting REALLY cloudy. Like, dark death clouds.
Like summer storm clouds.
I keep walking, though, because I don’t want to shelter in the mall (COVID, obviously) and figure if I get rained on, it won’t be too bad.
I WAS WRONG OH MY WAS I WRONG.
I got freaking DRENCHED. It was insanely rainy and windy for a good ten minutes and there was nowhere I could take shelter – that part of Calgary looks like this…
…and the sparse buildings up there are like “LOL what are eaves?”
I remember that the FedEx building has a small overhang in front of its main entrance, so I finally make it up there and take shelter for a bit.
(Not that it matters at this point; I am SUPER wet.)
Another ten minutes or so and the storm finally passes. And it’s sunny and warm out again.
Here’s a video of the dramatic change in sky as I pan from west to east (after those clouds in the east had tried to drown me).
And here’s a cool shot of the dark sky behind a sunlit field.
Adventures on the Canadian prairies, am I right?
*This was NOT, however, the wettest I’ve ever gotten on a walk. That honor goes to a walk I did a few years ago where I spent the whole 15 miles in a very steady downpour. Absolutely soaked. I hated it.
So a huge storm system moved through here a few days ago. All we got where we live was a little bit of wind and hail, but holy hell, look what other parts of the city (mainly the northwest quadrant) had to deal with:
Holy crapples. I’m glad I didn’t get stuck walking in that.
Edit: Apparently this is now the 4th most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history, beating out the 2013 Calgary floods. Wild.
I Made a Doodad That Ended Up Being Much Less Interesting Than I Thought It Would Be But Whatever
So we all know I love walking, right? And stats. I love stats.
So I often like to put those two things together.
One thing I’ve been wanting to do is make one of those “racing totals” visuals where I see how quickly my mileage racks up for each year I’ve been walking up here in Calgary. I can do static visuals fine in something like R, but animated visuals are something that I’ve never really done on my own, so I’ve never been able to make such a visual.
However, I found an editable template of one on Flourish so I decided to give it a try.
The following visual shows my cumulative walking mileage for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 as the year progresses from January 1 to December 31. The year 2014 was excluded because I only moved to Calgary in September of 2014, and the year 2020 was excluded because we’re only in June.
Pretty boring. More boring than I thought it’d be, actually. I thought 2017, 2018, and 2019 would at least skip around in largest total until, like, March or something. But nope. Only through January.
Haha, I like how 2019 was like, “I’m gonna catch you, 2017!” and then July happened.
(I only walked 2,523 miles in 2015 what the hell was wrong with me)
Q: What happens when they give the amateur architect the tallest building in Calgary’s Northwest quadrant?
A: This freaking thing.
The hell are those windows doing? Why don’t they line up? What in the fricking frack?
(I took this pic in April; there’s currently no snow on the ground, thank farts.)
Edit: apparently it’s bugging others, too.
Edit 2: apparently it’s supposed to look like that? Here’s the concept art of what it will look like eventually. I still don’t like it.
Edit 3: you can see this abomination from like everywhere in the northwest. Thanks, I hate it.
C-Train. C-Train run. Run, Train, Run.
If I have to take public transit, it’s usually the bus, just because I love the busses and some of them get me closer to home than any of the C-Train stations do. But when Nate and I have been out walking, we’ve taken our fair share of C-Train rides.
But ever since the pandemic hit, we’ve been really limited in our walks due to 1) no public bathrooms being open, 2) being afraid of malls, which were our primary stopping points, and 3) being wary of public transportation (even though, in my opinion, it’s probably safer now than it ever has been due to the fact that there are so few people utilizing it).
So we haven’t had a C-Train ride in a while.
But I just found these two videos of both the Red and Blue C-Train lines, so I shall use them to travel the city vicariously.
Pout…pout…LET IT ALL OUT! This is the weather we complain about, come on…
I love how every other day this week has been sunny/warm/both, but today was cloudy/windy/cold. Because Nate and I wanted to walk together.
But we walked together anyway, because it feels like we’ve only gotten like three weekends to actually do that so far this week.
And then we came home and I found a very relevant little map:
I love how Calgary’s in its own personal hell in Alberta (it’s riiiight under the title in that pink region). “You bitches are going to get a snowy April and you’re going to like it.”
Edit: goddammit, Calgary!
Y’all, look at this fantastic cloud boundary. So sharp.
I risked my fingers freezing off for this, too. It’s so freaking cold here right now, but it wasn’t cold enough to deter me from taking cool cloud pictures.
‘Cause that’s how I roll.
Calgary should use this as an official tourism video, seriously.
I know, I know. Another time-lapse. But this one is fantastic. The transitions are so smooth and beautiful, and that shot of The Bow building at 0:37 is stunning.
SO FREAKING COLD
Oh my god, Calgary, fucking why?
I hate this so much. And the whole week is going to be like this. Remember last February’s month-long deep freeze? This isn’t supposed to last as long, but it’s definitely going to be colder than last February.
Yeah, it’s that cold here. -30 Celsius is -22 Fahrenheit for my ‘Murican bros.
Fun fact: I have always found “Celsius” way harder to spell than “Fahrenheit.”
Waiter! There’s some freezing over in my hell!
Me: Yay, it’s good to be back in Calgary. Hello, Calgary!
The temperature, as it tanks over the next few days:
Seriously, though, what is this madness?
That first line of temps contains the “highs” and the second line contains the “feels like” temperatures. And yes, those are in Fahrenheit.
It’s supposed to warm up starting next weekend, but that’s exactly how last February was supposed to start. Instead, it was this madness all month.
I don’t know if I can do that again.
In This Blog: Claudia’s Jet-Setting Suitcase Says “Screw You” to Cold Temperatures and Goes to California Instead
Today, I went from Moscow/Pullman (PUW) to Seattle (SEA) to Calgary (YYC).
My suitcase, however, did not. It went from Moscow/Pullman (PUW) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Calgary (YYC).
Luckily, my nine-hour layover in Seattle meant that my suitcase still got to Calgary before I did, despite its little adventure.
I like Sea-Tac; I’ve spent a decent proportion of my life there. It’s a nice airport. Nine hours, though, is a little too long of a layover. At least I got a lot of semester prepping done and still had time to walk around a little bit.
Hello, nerd bombs! To everyone’s shock, today will be a walking-related blog.
Why? Because counting today’s walk, I have walked a total of 20,000 miles since living in Calgary!
Here are some stats (as always, haha):
Total walks: 1,610
Total distance: 20,002.96 miles
Total steps: 44,913,637
Total time: 307,098.13 minutes (that’s 5,118.30 hours, or 213.26 days, or 0.584 years)
Total calories burned: 1,341,926.0
The median* distance per walk was 15.02 miles; median steps per walk was 33,055; median time per walk was 214.98 minutes (3.583 hours).
Here are boxplots of distance by year. Notice how my walking distances become dramatically more consistent as we move from 2014 to 2019.
*Medians are used instead of means, as all of the distributions of the above variables are highly skewed