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Tuesday, 01 February 2011


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The downside of working from home. No snow days.

Good luck with the weather Mike. I hope you are ready for the snowcalypse. The coldest it has gotten over here is 32 F but only one day and for a couple hours. By the way, you are not fluffy anymore. I am.

What? No campus with high tech looking architecture? :-)

Yeah, you "got weather". Now it's headed my way (NNY).

I had a quick look but can't find any pics of the inside of TOP world headquarters. Or did I just miss them.

"I had a quick look but can't find any pics of the inside of TOP world headquarters. Or did I just miss them."

Top secret!


At least your weather looks cute, we on the east coast of Australia are bracing for a hurricane the strength and size of katrina about to hit within the next twelve hours.
If I get my crown graphic out now I reckon I'd be in Fiji before the shutter had closed!
rug up and keep writing, Mark

Well it is 40degrees centigrade here in Sydney and we are all cooking! Crazy world!

"we on the east coast of Australia are bracing for a hurricane the strength and size of katrina about to hit within the next twelve hours."

Good luck with that Mark. Stay safe.


Stay warm, sir.

And count yourself lucky. My friends and family in New York City are well and thoroughly sick of snow by now.

Looks like it's time for a nice cup of tea.

Hang on kid, we are 12 miles south of the Ill/Wisc line, with the wind I have 3 foot drifts on the deck at 6:30 CST with another 12 to 15 hours to go, coming from the SW 30 to 40 MPH. But we are ready..2 pounds of coffee, three quarts of red sauce, and six packs of smokes.

Two years ago here in Ottawa, we had the second highest yearly accumulated snowfall in 100 years or so. The storm that hit New York city last week would have been just routine for us, but since that record-breaking year, I haven't shovelled much at all, relatively speaking, and all our snow-clearing subcontractors are hurting.

I thought you'd enjoy what someone nearby built for himself 2 years ago with all the snow: http://www.pbase.com/robert_ottawa/image/94583228

Well your place looks like Santa's workshop!

Meanwhile, 90 miles south we're in the bulls eye of this tremendous storm.

Lake Shore Drive, 5:00 pm, the Great Blizzard of 2011 is just edging in:

Two hours later only a few poor souls are crawling down the Drive at 10 mph with their courtesy lights flashing.

As I write this, no photo is possible as we're in white-out. The winds are terrific.

Everything's basically closed until Thursday. Even the Chicago museums are closed! The National Weather Service has become quite terse with its instructions to Chicagoans: Get indoors and stay there or DIE.

If you just want to smile at how much fun can be had in snow, just watch this:

They announced tomorrow's school closings today as well, here in Northern Vermont. I always thought that this takes the fun out of a snow day. It used to be a gamble as to whether you did your homework or put it off in hopes of a day off. But now they have cursed the storm and nothing will happen.
Oh well. The kids will have a good day tomorrow.

RIP Bailey the snow dog, who died in a house fire in 1998. According to her owner she was "a self-taught skier, ice skater, and first-class snuggler...Cheers to dogs, and to all those that love them!"

Cheers indeed...!


Like a few other posters from Australia (its been in the high 30s to low 40s centigrade here for a week with another 5 days before a cool change due) I think a lot of us would swap with you.

That said, the stories I'm hearing of one inch thick ice and 2 feet of snow makes me wonder if we aren't all screwed.

Gotta love that mixed daylight/tungsten....Yep..works everytime...

Only 12 days until pitchers and catchers report.

And I'm glad I'm not staring down the boresight of Cyclone Yasi--now up to Category 5 (shudder). My friends in Yorkey's Knob are going to be clobbered.

I am in Kane County in Northeastern Illinois, where we are in the eye of this blizzard. It is snowing heavily, but what is downright scary is the wind. I am just hoping we hang on to power.

Saw Dilbert today as well, eh?

Grew up in southern Michigan, then off to college in Rochester, NY. Back to Michigan for 13 years, then twenty years in Maryland. Now in Lee, Massachusetts for four years. This winter...I've never seen so much snow in my whole life! Yikes, global warming maybe not, global weirding, for sure!

Mike, all I can offer is solidarity for your plight.


I don't know precisely where you are- somewhere north of me (I'm in Highland Park, north of Chicago) but I just put on my snow suit and took a look around the house. 2 - 3' drifts here and there. 30 - 40mph winds make for a fine blizzard. No point in blowing or shoveling until tomorrow I guess.

Stay warm!

Last night I heard some locals complaining of winter illness due to the cold weather. We've had a couple of weeks with it fairly consistently below 30degC (yes, those units are correct). Welcome to the tropics (Manila, Philippines).
I miss proper weather.

We have indeed seen some of the headquarters' interior. And, it's extremely dark in that room, too...or will be when complete. You apparently have a dark side.

Here in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia had a nasty little storm on Saturday which left the town I live in looking like some post apocalyptic vision fro a Mad Max movie. We've still no power or phone and did I mention the temperature - 45 C . At least you can put a beer outside to cool it down (not that you would of course).

Ah, snow... We're not getting it down here in Sydney. I'm missing it when I see a picture like this...

Snow? What snow? You should move to Vancouver, BC. 50 degrees and sunny here today. Yesterday I actually saw some Japanese Cherries beginning to bud. Even for here - that's EARLY.
Stay Warm.

Good luck to everybody in Australia who has to deal with Cyclone Yasi -- that monster makes the so-called snowcalypse look like a minor annoyance. Here in LA, we're expecting a high of around 61F (16C) with light winds from the Northeast. 8-)

We just haven't gotten all that much snow recently, this winter or in previous winters. It makes me a little grumpy, is all. It's not fair. I like a bit of weather in the winter. This year the Easterners have been hogging all the nice snow. And in recent years a lot of the storms have passed SOUTH of us.

At least this blizzard is big enough that the northern edge of it is clipping us pretty good. But it's going to be better (or worse, depending on your perspective) south of us again.


Mike, didn't TOP used to operate out of a volcano crater with a retractable roof that hosted a large thermal pool/hot tub? If so, your strategic relocation sucks

Very Todd Hido.

That glowing portal oozes productivity!

Forgive the gratuitous link, but I recently posted a little feature on snow photography on our local blog that might be of interest:



Another Aussie here- Central Victoria... bush fire burning 100K east of us, huge flood (40 miles long, slowly making its way down a previously dry River Murray, ) to the north of us, Cyclone Yasi to the very far north, and the possibility of 4 inches of rain falling on us on Saturday, to add to the woes of our friends to the north, who have been stranded in their house on their farm for ten days. Does ANYONE doubt that human made climate change doesn't exist???? Bruce

re TC Yasi - I'm around 550km (350 miles, more or less) south of it, and we've got strong gale force winds and driving rain. The poor sods in FNQ are getting a kicking, and no mistake.

I bet they'd take 3-5 feet of snow over what they've got right now.

Stay warm in there Mike. Quite a night last night. I put up some video here:


Shot with a Canon T2i and Sigma 30mm f1.4. This is the most video I've ever shot with an SLR.

I'm old enough to remember the Chicago Blizzard of '67 and my siblings and I jumping out of the second story of the apartment building under construction next door into a huge snow drift. One of my older brothers lost his car keys and didn't find them until April.

Shout out to Josh Hawkins: Hey Josh, that move to Vegas is looking pretty good right now, no?

I am reminded this winter of that movie Dennis Quaid made in 2004, 'The Day After Tomorrow'


It's pretty deep here this morning, Mike (Kenosha County, WI). Can't let the dogs in the dog yard, because the 4' board fence has snow across it (a very long drift). The wind has been brutal, and the snow is just beginning to taper off. I'd guestimate that we got a couple feet, but the drifts are just incredible.

I was going to run out to Bong this morning and shoot, but there's no way I'm getting out of my driveway until our plow guy comes to the rescue..

Stay warm!

Well, I'm not in Australia. :) But today it was very sunny (still is). Brilliant blue sky. 12 Centigrades in the sun. But since the northeasterner is blowing, it's quite brisk in the shade. Still, nice Adriatic winter weather.

A week ago about 5 centimetres of snow fell around the town, but not in the town itself. Lots of people didn't come to work from the surrounding areas. :))))

ABC News announced that "100 million Americans are suffering" in the face of the mighty blizzard. They also mentioned that you guys were getting "walloped" and "pummeled". However,I don't really detect any "suffering" in your post, and since your house is still standing and the lights are on I guess you didn't get "walloped" and "pummeled". I'm glad you're still with us, but could it be that the media is sensationalizing this snowstorm a little bit?

Re: Premptive School Closing.

Some weather events are well forecast and this appears to be one. It was not always so.

And ...
Having a "home office" implies that there is also a "non-home office" somewhere. My only office is called, "the den."

Some nasty weather around. Austin, Texas will go 48 hours with the temps staying below the freezing mark. They say we might even get snow. Laughable for those in the north but I've not seen such a cold spell in the 5 winters I've been down here. Saturday was 80F, Sunday was a very pleasant 72 and by Monday AM there were icicles hanging off the dripping outdoor spigots at work. Bizarre. Cold front came through early Monday AM and sounded like a freight train going by.

Perception of severity is inversely proportional to preparedness.

Hi Mike,

I just got inside from morning chores, and it's pretty thick around here. The good news is that the snow is light and easy to move around. Bad news is that the wind thinks so too, and we've got a lot of 3–5 foot drifts around. I'm guessing that we got 2' of snow total from Monday through this morning, although it's impossible to measure.

The 4-footed ones were happy to see me drag a hay bale out to them this morning, although I had to dig out that buried dog sled to slog it out to them.

It's glorious here in Chicago. Snow is the one element that can truly bring the city to a standstill, hold it in place at the tip of the whip and allow us a moment or two to feel human again.

It's really cold here today in L.A. It's 55 with a wind chill of 54.

I grew up on the arctic circle and I've never had a "snow day". Not fair! ;)

"could it be that the media is sensationalizing this snowstorm a little bit?"

Ya think? It's ridiculous. The grocery stores fill up with people buying emergency supplies before a 4-inch snow. You've heard of feature-creep in cameras? The weather people suffer from sensationalization-creep. They go all alarmist on us for smaller and smaller storms. When an actual big storm happens, they pull out all the stops. And yet, really, you hunker down indoors for a while, then you get out and shovel for a while, and everything's back to normal. Less than 24 hours of downtime for this one, for instance.

I do feel for areas where they're not used to snow. I lived in Washington, D.C. for many years, and a 4-inch snow was indeed enough to paralyze the city for three days. They had something like 4 snowplows for the whole city in those days ('80s). A big snow really was a paralyzing event. Not so much here.


I'll bet The Weather Channel is a favorite in your house. The big storm was sommething of a non-event in Western New York; nonetheless, we did have some weather, the front of my house:

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