Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ground Hog Day!

One of my favorite holidays is finally upon us. There is a flurry of activity around this day all over America and around our own region.

One of the biggest things in the news is the Caucasus! I wasn't sure why everyone was getting all excited about the Caucasus until I found out they were in Iowa. How the hell did they get a whole mountain range moved from the Black Sea area to Iowa and why?? Granted there's not much to see in Iowa except corn and soybeans, but moving a whole mountain range with 5000 meter peaks takes a lot of ingenuity and tractors! See how great America already is? We moved a mountain range that white people were named after! There's even a musical group called "The Young Caucasians" who worked with Ray Charles (not a Caucasian). Here is a link, so scroll down and it's just above Beethoven, another great Caucasian. 

There was also some election stuff going on in Iowa, too, but it doesn't mean a lot who they choose. I mean we never had a President Santorum or President Huckabee did we? Who remembers Michelle "Crazy Eyes" Bachman?
Speaking of hot air, things are getting blizzardy in Iowa today to cool things off. God must have seen a serious need to get everyone there to chill out after their political rant.
Good luck Iowa!

There is a sled dog race going on up here called the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. It is a 400 mile race that is a big deal for this area. It commemorates a time, not too long ago, that John Beargrease used to bring the mail up the North Shore until about 1899. It was a trail from Duluth to what is now Thunder Bay, Ontario. The trail eventually became a road and is now US Highway 61 (the one Bob Dylan sang about).
It is the longest Sled Dog race in the lower 48.

This is also the date of the coldest day recorded in Minnesota. Back in 1996 it got down to -60F (-51C) over in Tower which is west of here. By the Big Lake we stayed much warmer. Around -35F. Still pretty chilly, though.

The Germans are credited with using an animal to predict how long the winter would last. They used a hedgehog. German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, but had to switch to a groundhog because of a severe lack of hedgehogs on this side of the big pond. Punxsatawney Phil didn't see his shadow in Pennsylvania today so that means an early spring for those folks.
We call them woodchucks around these parts and they would have seen their shadows earlier this morning, but not now. Somehow I do not think they are aware of their own shadows, but I don't know of any research that has looked into this. The Duluth Zoo has a ceremony to coincide with this fuzzy meteorologist's predictions, but the don't have a groundhog on the premises. So they use Spike the porcupine. Even with gloves on I am not sure grabbing a porcupine is a smart thing to do. 
Six more weeks of winter would be just fine with us. That is less than average, but NOAA is predicting warmer and slightly wetter than average for the next 90 days. I wonder if they checked with their groundhog?


  1. Why do American politicians have such weirdly suggestive names? 'Santorum' makes me think of 'Sanatorium, 'Huckabee' makes me think of 'Huckleberry', 'Trump' makes me think of 'Trumpet', 'Cruz' makes me think of 'Penelope Cruz'. It's a pity you don't have hedgehogs - I saw a hedgehog once and its nose was very cute.

  2. I don't understand the American electoral system. It seems unnecessarily confusing to those of us who didn't grow up in the US - and what's with all the rules being different everywhere?! I wonder if a groundhog could get elected? Has one every tried?

  3. I just don't get Groundhog Day. The spring equinox arrives roughly six weeks after February 2nd, whether the critter sees his shadow or not.

  4. I'd vote for a hedgehog before I'd vote for any of the republicans running..they are all batshit.

  5. Hedgehogs? Groundhogs?
    Creatures of charm.
    Politicians? Animals who I hope and trust become endangered species. They won't though, they mutate so very fast.

  6. We have a prognosticating groundhog here in Alberta called Balzac Billy. Haven't heard yet what he predicted. More winter is my guess.

  7. I like Groundhog Day, too. The movie with Bill Murray is one of my favorites. I had a co-worker in Buffalo who was originally from Punxsutawney, but that's as close as I ever got to this groundhog.

    Hedgehogs are cute...they used to come into the washroom in the basement at my parents' house.

  8. Gorilla B, I think it is their show biz mentality. Joe Schwartz just doesn't cut it so they make up catchy, look-at-me names to get the attention they seem to crave.

    jenny_o, This is a country of rugged individuals. We all dance to our own drummer so we make rules to suit us individually. Our right wing Christians are not their brothers' keepers as they keep everything for themselves. It's all about us which is why we are fairly clueless as to what goes on in the other 195 countries of the world. Including our neighbors.

    A groundhog would be over qualified to be a politician here.

    Ahab, Originally it was a pagan thing and then had something to do with the Christian Candlemas celebration, but it is really all superstitious nonsense. But it is FUN nonsense so I embrace it.

    JACKIESUE, After this past few weeks in Iowa I would vote for ANY alternative vertebrate rather than a Republican.

    Elephant's Child, Essentially calling politicians mutants is a nasty disservice to all the other mutants. Fuzzy little rodents with cute noses win every time.

    Debra, I am surprised they didn't name him Wayne Gretzky. I would suspect that a lot of us are in for a couple of months of winter yet.

    Pixel Peeper, I think it is one of Murray's best and a personal favorite. I spent a lot of time in or near Pennsylvania, but not the western part. I would love to run into a wild hedgehog. Maybe on my next European vacation.

  9. I DO remember crazy eyes! Didn't god tell her to run? Did he tell her to not run this time around?

    Also, the best thing about groundhogs is how they shake their booty when they run. 'Hark, a person? *shake shake shake*'

  10. I say, if you can't believe a groundhog, who are you gonna believe ... a politician?

  11. Spike the Porcupine? Well, why not? At least nobody's gonna argue with him. And I'm not even going to get started on politicians. If they'd shut off their constant eruptions of hot air we could all stop worrying about global warming.

  12. Gia, I hope MB has gone away now. If I were built like a groundhog I would shake, too.

    Tom, My money's on the groundhog.

    Diane, Nobody bothers Spike very much. If they do, it's only once. Our politicians erupt continually on a year round basis.

    Donna, Thanks, and to you as well!

  13. As a teacher, I am looking forward to some more winter. (I need some snow days.)

  14. Sioux, You have my sympathy. Keep thinking summer assuming you get most of that off.

  15. Sad news from Winnipeg.... Winnipeg Wally (or some such name) keeled over and expired a day or two before Groundhog Day, so sad!
    Okay I just checked, it was Winnipeg Willow.... you can read the story here>
    I'm heartbroken, really.

  16. There's a punchline out there somewhere that involves Groundhog Day and the political circus we must endure every 4 years. Darned if I can find it.

  17. The groundhog here predicted that I would seek out a lost love, and that my lifeline indicated I would be visited by a dark, demonic presence. Who knew rodents could read tarot cards? But hey, still most likely a more promising outcome than the upcoming election.