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.
So just a fair warning: Calgary is headed into a deep freeze soon, so I suspect there will be a lot of book reviews on here.
I’m SO GLAD I bought that treadmill last year and I’m SO GLAD I closely followed up that purchase with the purchase of a Kindle. My daily walking is a necessity for me, but doing it inside is so freaking boring. The Kindle really, really helps with that.
Plus I finally get to read again. And reading + exercise? What more could you want?
Today we had to take Jazzy to the vet for her eye removal surgery. We had to be there around 8 AM.
And in true 2020 fashion, on the one day we had to leave the house, the weather did this:
That’s about nine (edit: 10.6) inches of snow in the non-drifts. But we had to get to the vet because the next open appointment for the surgery wasn’t until January 5th and her pain and light sensitivity have been getting worse by the day it seems.
So we braved the snow. Nate had to practically shovel us out of the parking lot and the roads were kind of iffy to get to the vet, but we made it. Then we got stuck in the vet parking lot. Then some guy helped push us free and we just parked on the street while I took Jazzy to the drop-off area. Then we had to make it back home. But rather than try to get back into our parking lot, Nate decided to park over at the hospital. This ended up being a good plan because he could get 24-hour parking for about $15, so we just left the car there, hiked back home (only about a half a mile, but through a lot of snow and wind), and waited for the vet to call to give us an update.
Jazzy’s surgery went very well. She did fine under the anesthesia and there were no complications. So around 4:00 PM we hiked back over to the hospital (after helping push a guy out of our parking lot, haha), drove back down to the vet, and picked up our girl.
She had a cone on to help prevent her from scratching at the stitches in her eye and she managed to get the cone off within three minutes of us leaving the vet (she wedged it on the circular indent in the top of the cat carrier and jerked her head forward to pop the clips open), so I had to watch her to make sure she didn’t start scratching on the way home.
We had to park back at the hospital because our lot wasn’t shoveled yet, so we had to carry her as gently as possible through the snow to get her home.
But once we got her home and out of the carrier, she immediately started purring and flopping…until we put the cone back on her. Then she was very disoriented and upset and started panicking every time she ran into something with the cone. Luckily they gave us some pain meds that are quite sedating, so we gave her one and she zonked out after a while. She actually seems okay about missing her eye, but she hates that cone. She’s got to wear it for two weeks, though, so that will be fun.
Edit: Nate trimmed the cone the next morning and it fits her much better. She can move around a lot more easily now and can get to her food and water. I don’t want to post a picture of her because the eye area still looks a little rough, but maybe once it starts healing I’ll give a visual update.
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 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.
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.
ALOHA so I think I’d like to make either a Twitter account or an Instagram account dedicated to all the cool clouds, weather, and skies we see up here in Calgary (and Alberta in general). I have a lot of cool cloud and storm pictures and I think it’d be cool to put them all in one place.
Maybe I’ll do it! Maybe not. Who knows.
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 was able to go running/walking without a jacket today, which was a fantastic feeling. I actually ran nine miles ‘cause it just felt so nice out and it was so much more enjoyable than the cold hell that it’s been up here all year.
Also, the skin on my arms didn’t erupt, which is good, but I remember that it took a little bit of time (and sun exposure) for that to happen last year, so we’ll see.
Maybe it won’t even happen again.
Edit: today was the warmest it’s been since September last year. That’s too freaking long for the temperatures to be lower than they were today, holy hell.
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!
LOOK AT IT.
I hate it.
At least I have my treadmill now, so I used that for the first time today instead of having to trudge through like four inches of snow.
Thank you to my wonderful husband for a) helping me haul it up the stairs to our condo and b) helping me put it together once we got it up here.
MY TREADMILL IS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TOMORROW LASDJFLSDJFLASFJ
In other news, it’s still the dead of winter here, temperature-wise. Today the “feels like” temperature was 5 when I started my walk.
F I V E.
It is A P R I L.
And it’s supposed to snow like five days out of the next two weeks.
I reiterate: A P R I L.
It was also cloudy and dreary as hell today, which kills my motivation to do anything. I am solar-powered, yo. I needs da sun.
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.
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.”
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.
It’s FREAKING SNOWING RIGHT NOW and I am NOT READY FOR THIS WEATHER.
It’s supposed to get worse over the weekend, too, so that’s great.
So in the spirit of “I need to pretend to look on the bright side of things unless I want to shoot myself in the face,” let’s list all the pros of winter walking.
- I use my on-ear headphones as a way to keep my ears warm, which means I get to listen to music when I walk (I don’t walk to music in the summer).
- I have to wear a coat, which helps hide my ugly body from the world.
- I don’t have to wear sunscreen (and thus don’t have to hose off in the bathroom once I get to campus).
- There are fewer people out on the sidewalks/river path due to coldness/bad weather.
- You burn slightly more calories in the cold than you do in other temperatures.
…I think that’s it.
So yeah. Things are supposed to improve by the end of the coming week, but it’s hard to see beyond the FREAKING SEPTEMBER SNOWSTORM right now.
Haha, so we got caught in a flash hailstorm on our way back from watching the new Spider Man movie. Observe:
We had just passed a bus stop when the hail started, otherwise we would have had to run a bit to find cover. The hail doesn’t look super big in the video, but some of them were probably dime-sized, I’d say. It sounds so loud ‘cause it was hitting the glass roof of the bus shelter.
I was yelling at Nate ‘cause that was the only way he could hear me.
According to the forecast, today was supposed to involve brief periods of “trace amounts” of rain. Nate and I believed the forecast, so we went out for our usual weekend walk.
Nate and I are fools.
About two and a half miles in, “trace amounts of rain” turned into “lol, better run, idiots, the sky is gonna drown you” and we had to take shelter under an overpass for a little bit before braving the strong rain to get to The Core downtown. By then, we were super soaking wet (I could wring out my coat) but only like five miles into the walk, so after trying to dry off a little in the mall, we managed to get a few more miles in by walking through the open portions of the Plus 15.
We also Plus 15-ed it to The Running Room for me to get shoes, then gunned it home to try to beat even more rain.
Na na naaaaa na…
Hey, hey, hey…
What the fuck is this.
to be able to walk outside and not fight hypothermia the whole way.
Seriously, if you ever hear me complain about any temperatures higher than -10 again, punch me in the face.
I’m so sick of this freaking weather, yo.
Save for like three days, this whole month has been full of dangerously cold temps. Ambient temps in the negative teens (Fahrenheit), wind chills in the -20s or -30s (or even -40s). It’s gross, it hurts, and I’m so tired of feeling like I’m going to die of hypothermia on my walks. Where the shit is the “mild winter” we were supposed to get?
A -22 windchill seems to be my absolute lower limit, or at least the limit at which even my stubbornness won’t let me go below. I’m pretty sure I’ve had legit hypothermia on a decent number of my walks. Some of the signs of it include shivering, shallow breathing, clumsiness, confusion, and there have been a few points on my 15-mile walks (usually after I’ve been walking into the wind for five miles) where I really start to get into this hazy, confused mental state and start to lose a bit of coordination as I’m walking. There’s also been a few times where I go into the public bathrooms at mile 7 and have to shiver uncontrollably for about 15 minutes before I finally warm up enough to continue. Fun times!
Beats four hours on a treadmill, though.
Guys, we were in the POSITIVE FAHRENHEITS today for like the first time in 20 years.*
It felt really good to be able to walk outside and not feel like I was going to die of hypothermia.
Seriously, I think this was the first actually enjoyable outside walk of this whole month. Does that mean spring is coming?!?!?!?!
What in the actual frozen hell, Calgary.
Yes, this was at 5 AM, but it really never got much warmer than this today, let me tell you.
It was NEGATIVE THIRTY-EIGHT DEGREES when I walked to Anytime Fitness a little bit after this. If I had been walking into the wind instead of it blowing at my back, I would have easily gotten frostbite. That’s a 30-ish minute walk.
This weather is gross, yo. The only thing about being forced to go to Anytime Fitness is the fact that I have finally found the courage to try running again, and it feels so freaking awesome.
Now I just have to try to not go from 5k to, you know, like 13k in a day. I’m going to try to stay in the 5k range for a little while just to be safe, then slowly increase it.
But you know that as soon as the weather gets better outside, I’ll abandon Anytime Fitness altogether and just go back to my 15-mile outdoor walks, meaning running might cease again.
‘Cause that’s how I roll.