Chinooks: the warm winds of winter
What could be better then walking around in shorts and flip flops in the middle of January? For those living on the Eastern slopes of the Rockies this happens every winter. Warm Chinook winds blowing down from the Rocky Mountains can turn a blustery winter day into a stunningly warm spring day in a matter of hours.
One of the most striking examples of this change in weather happened on Jan. 11, 1983, when the temperature in Calgary rose 30°C (from –17°C to 13°C) in 4 hours.
So, what causes this drastic change in temperature? The winds are caused by moist weather patterns originating on the Pacific Coast. The winds cool as they climb the western slopes releasing their moisture as rain or snow, and then rapidly warm as they drop down the eastern side of the mountains.
The Impact Of Chinooks
It may be nice to enjoy a respite from the cold weather of winter, but Chinooks have more of an impact then just causing pleasant weather conditions. Let us compare the positive and negative impacts of Chinooks
Positive Impacts of Chinooks
Large Temperature Changes Can Occur
Snow may melt or evaporate through sublimation
Relief from sub–zero temperatures
Psychologically, many people fell “better”
Negative Impacts of Chinooks
Loss of moisture due to significant drops in humidity.
The high winds may result in soil loss
Many trees, like white birch cannot survive the rapid temperature fluctuations
Trees may wake up and begin to photosynthesize, leading to lost moisture and dehydration.
This may result in red belt
Loss of snow reduces insulation and protection for plants/animals
Abrupt temperature changes can cause pneumonia, septicemia and shipping fever in cattle
Susceptible people may get headaches or suffer nervous disorders
Although there are many negative effects of Chinook winds, you and I can both agree that it is nice to have a break from the cold in the dead of winter.
Chinooks Throughout History
People have been enjoying these positive aspects of Chinooks throughout recorded history.
Alexander Mackenzie referred to the Chinook as a “perfect hurricane”. In 1877, David Thompson stated that the temperature rose as much by heading west as it did by traveling south.
At the turn of the century, the Calgary Herald wrote.
“Those who have not the warm, invigorating Chinook winds of this country, cannot well comprehend what a blessing they are. The icy clutch of winter is lessened, the earth throws off its winding sheet of snow. Humanity ventures forth to inhale the balmy spring like air. Animated nature rejoices.” (1900–Calgary weekly Herald)
Chinooks are an important part of the daily lives of people living throughout Eastern slopes of the Rockies and without them our winters would be unbearable. So, raise a glass to the mighty Chinook winds this winter.
This morning I woke up at 7:00am as I always do to my extremely expensive alarm clock known as Noah. He came in and said that Jude was awake and so we all got up. Malora had a rough sleep last night so we let mommy sleep in and the boys decided to watch a movie.
We decided to watch Toy Story 3 because Noah watched it at a birthday party yesterday and is no longer afraid of Toy Story. So we cuddled on the couch and watched the movie together as Mulhern men. I am a huge Pixar fan and was really excited to watch the last Toy Story.
By the end of the movie, I was crying and laughing and crying some more. It was a really touching story about friendship and the loss of childhood. There are a lot of kids movies out with similar themes of abandonment or something becoming out dated or unloved: BOLT, G-Force, Wall-E, UP. But the Toy Story trilogy captures the loss of childhood better then any story I have seen (other then the Velveteen Rabbit).
It is so sad to see Andy grown up and heading to college, leaving all of his closest friends behind. There is a scene where he has his car packed and he is heading off to college and Woody watches him drive off. It brought me to tears because I was holding my son who is still young enough to have his childhood wonder and I don’t want him to ever loose it. I know he will grow up one day and drive off to college leaving his slinky and spiderman behind but I want to cherish the moments until then.
Childhood disappears so quickly and youth today are more and more eager to grow up at a younger age. We need to be adults who help children cherish the moments of being children. Playing with a dollar store toy they get from a birthday goodie bag. Building space ships out of Lego. Splashing in the bath tub. Because it fades away and we can never get it back.
If you have kids, watch this movie with them. Laugh, cry, eat popcorn and enjoy each other. If you don’t have kids, sleep in until noon on a saturday and then watch this movie.
Last week I picked up the new Derek Webb album Feedback. It is an amazing landscape of sound based on the Lord’s Prayer. I would highly highly recommend getting this album. Here’s what Derek has to say:
Worship is a complicated idea. Arguably, it’s what we all do, 24 hours a day (regardless of what we’re worshipping). And I’m aware of a lot of “worship product” in the marketplace I sometimes occupy. So I was cautious when I first started receiving the coordinates that would lead me to make ‘Feedback’. It was immediately conceptual and ambitious, so much so that I genuinely wasn’t sure
I could do it. But this seemed to be the perfect posture in which to create something worthy of being called a “worshipful” piece of art. So I studied, meditated, struggled and prayed my way through this creative process, and it’s easily the most challenging thing I’ve done in my career. But I believe it’s been worth it, even just for the ways it’s stretched both my creative process and my faith as a follower of the Way.
In addition to the music an artist named Scott Erickson created visual art for the project. When I looked at the digital booklet and saw Scott’s work I was immediately impressed by his mixture of modern abstract art and street art. His art as well is based on the Lord’s Prayer. It spoke to me as much as Derek’s music and I love to see artists expressing themselves so differently using different methods.
Derek’s use of classical music and futuristic beats and instruments reminds me of the amalgamation of the ancient and future in the timeless prayer of Jesus. Scott’s use of modernistic abstract art and guerilla street art portrays the boundary crossing message of Jesus. A beautiful artistic portrayal of the Lord’s Prayer.
Winter has finally arrived here in Calgary. We always know that it will eventually come sometime around now, but we are never quite sure when it will arrive. Like a thief in the night. A frozen thief that leaves a huge dump of wet heavy snow that takes hours to scoop up so I can get my car out of the drive way.
Last night as I was driving Noah home from swimming lessons the radio hosts on the CBC were talking about the coming snow storm but deep down I didn’t believe them. The high yesterday was 9’C. How could there be a snow storm when it is so nice out. I was wearing flip flops and a light sweatshirt. No gloves. No winter jacket. No toque.
I guess the snow is beautiful and I should be thankful I live in such an amazing place where I can actually see the changing of the seasons. I just wish I had a heated driveway so I didn’t have to shovel or flame tires that melted the snow and ice on the highway. Regardless, I will have to put up with it for the next few months until Spring comes once again.
So winter…I accept thee.
So here is my new list of 20 things I want to do before 2012. As I accomplish each one I will write a post about it and hopefully I will accomplish all things I want to do in the next couple years.
1. Read a book written before Christ was born
2. Take a Greyhound bus trip somewhere
3. Write a book
4. Get another tattoo
5. Read Catcher in the Rye
6. Get an article published in a magazine or blog
7. Travel to Winnipeg – drink coffee with the Ghost
8. Go to a U2 concert
9. Finish immigration to Canada (Canadian Citizenship)
10. Go on a camping trip with Noah (boys only!)
11. Learn how to play the banjo / get a used banjo
12. Run a marathon (or realistically a 1/2 marathon)
13. Go to a Radiohead concert (or similar awesomeness of band)
14. Read a book about a non-violence hero like Gandhi or Mother Theresa
15. Go snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies
16. Remove refined sugar/white sugar from my diet (starting with a 3 month fast)
17. Travel to a city I have never been to before
18. Have art in an art show
19. Watch 10 movies from AFI’s top 100 movies list
20. Write and Record an album of music
Your turn. What is 10 things you want to do before 2012?
At the beginning of 2009 I made a list of 50 things I wanted to do before the year 2012. There were a lot of lofty goals that I wanted to achieve and I thought that 50 things would be super easy to acomplish. Well it’s a year and a half later and there are some things I have done from the list:
1. Have another child – preferably in July ‘09
2. Travel to another continent
10. Go on a road trip with my family – somewhere we have never been
11. Develop a friendship with someone outside of the church
15. Paint / Create a piece of art to be framed
18. Get involved with an non-profit working in Africa
25. Make a snow fort
29. Take Malora on an unexpected romantic vacation
33. Finish immigration to Canada
38. Climb a mountain (a hard one)
48. Take a course in web design or movie / picture editing
49. Get involved with an organization in Calgary working with people in need
50. Spend extra quality time with friends and family
I think that is pretty good considering the size and scope of the list. So I want to make a new list of 20 things to do before 2012. I will take the things off which I have accomplished and keep some things from the previous list, but I want to add a few new things to the list as well.
I want to work on this list instead of just vomiting out a bunch ideas that I will never actually get around to doing. So, I need your help. What should be on my list of 20 things to do before 2012? Comment and give me ideas and when I have enough ideas I will post my list.
So…What are the 20 things I should do before 2012?
It has been such a long time since I have written anything on emergentjourney that I thought I would start up again. We are going to do the Compact Life again and I really want to document it better this time. So I best get the blogging bug back in my system.
I guess the interesting thing about not blogging is that despite the fact that a lot of exciting and entertaining things have happened in the past year, I haven’t felt the desire to write down my thoughts about each experience. Maybe it is laziness that keeps me from writing or a feeling like every post has to be full of unique and intriguing ideas.
I know that I often don’t have a lot to say (this post is proof of that) but there are moments in life where something unique happens and unless I record it, it will be lost. Damn my memory. All that to say, on the urging of friends and my inner subconscious I will be blogging more in the days to come.
Malora gently rubs my arm as we both snore away on the plane to Cusco. We have been up for 24 hours straight and we are both exhausted. As I look through the window (past the Dutch women reading a book in Spanish) I can see the mountains that we are going to soon try to conquer. They look steep, formidable, and beautiful all at the same time. As the plane makes it’s way into Cusco I can see the stacked adobe shanty towns filled with stray dogs, hungry children, and smoking fires from breakfast preparation. Surrounded by mountains on all sides Cusco is an island of hope in the midst of ruins atop the mountains of the incas.
The only hope we have is that our bags are somewhere. In Cusco? In Lima? In Mexico City? Still in Calgary? We don’t really know. The only thing we do know is that we smell and feel disgusting. A friendly taxi driver helps us to locate the lost and found and we start the search for the bags in Cusco. We leave it in the hopefully capable hands of LAN airlines and head to our hotel. I will continue to call throughout the day without any luck of getting our bags. They are promised to arrive on Saturday morning, but we shall see.
After driving through the city minus any seat belts at breakneck speeds, in which we pass a meat market where the open carcasses of pigs, chickens, and other animals are proudly displayed, we arrive at the Hotel Ninos. A hotel who’s sole purpose is to help the street children of Cusco. They feed roughly 500 street children and offer education and a safe place to play. It has a comfortable courtyard with tables to enjoy Coca Tea or coffee and a variety of delicious breakfasts. We check into our room, Rosa, and are overwhelmed by how charming the room is. A comfortable bed, high rafted ceilings with a sun roof to allow natural light, a clean bathroom…this is heaven.
We lay on the bed and decide to take a nap before the airline calls to tell us that the bags have arrived. The airline eventually does call waking me from a much needed sleep to inform me that the bags wont be coming until tomorrow. I am tired, grumpy, smelly and inconsolable. I lay there with a pillow over my head cursing this God forsaken country and the people who live here, the airline, and pretty much everything about Peru and Mexico. I do this for about 30 minutes until I decide to join Malora in the courtyard. Grumpily I shower and come to the door as Malora is coming up from the courtyard. We decide to explore Cusco.
Cusco is a city where two cultures, the ancient Inca and the Catholic Spanish, are still smashing into each other like two alpacas having a spitting match (just trust me on that one). There are locals wearing the traditional Inca clothing and women with babies in colorful wraps on the their backs. Everywhere you turn there are ancient churches built on the sites of even ancienter Inca buildings. It is an amazing city and I can’t wait to explore more.
We decide to have some dinner in a restaurant over looking the Plaza de Armas which is the main center of town. I order a Cafe con Crema and when it comes and I have the first sip it brings tears to my eyes, literally. It is the best sip of coffee I have ever had. After a delicious dinner of hamburgers and Malora’s weird vegetable plate, a great conversation with some graduate students from San Francisco Art Institute on a photo tour of Peru, we head back to our room and attempt to fall asleep.
It has been a frustrating day and we need our sleep. After another cup of Coca Tea we fall asleep and dream of clean under wear.
I always thought Hispanic people were cool with me. I had mexican friends in school and I always enjoyed hanging out with my “brown brothers”. But, today I realised that Hispanic people like to laugh at me and my ignorance.
I went to buy a ham and cheese at the Mexico City Airport. I was already overwhelmed by my lack of spanish and the fact that people in Mexico speak primarily spanish. Malora and I wondered the terminal looking for a good mexican food resturaunt. There was 7-11, Starbucks, and Sushi but no taco stands. After exchanging our Canadian for Pesos we finally found a sandwich shop at the furthest corner of the terminal. There wasn’t much for Malora but she ended up grabbing a salad, I ordered a sandwich and we got a coke.
When they asked for our order I tried to say “jamon y queso” but it came out “ham and cheese”. Everyone behind the counter found “ham and cheese” hilarious and repeated it in a over pronounced American accent. When they finally calmed down the guy behind the till muttered something to his buddy and said “175 pesos”. I thought he was joking and said.“No, no, how much?!” But it really cost that much. Somehow we got rid of items until all that was left was the funny ham and cheese, but dang that was a good sandwich.
Later, on the plane from Mexico City –> Acapulco –> Lima they were serving beverages and weird lemon flavored peanuts. I asked for a Corona and the stewardess looked at me and started giggling. She handed me a coke and I said, “ummm….sure” She laughed it up with the other stewardesses and mimicked me in that over annunciated American accent, “Sure….sure…..sure”
Do I have a thick American accent? I live in Canada. I apologize when people run into me accidentally. What is it with the accent thing.
When we finally landed in Lima we went through customs and stood in the line to find out bags. Eager to brush my teeth I looked at bags that might be mine until I heard 3 fateful words, “Sr. Tomas Bradley?” I knew at that moment I would be buying a toothbrush. Our teeth brushes are some where in Mexico and should be here soon…hopefully. All in a days work for the intrepid international traveler.
So now it’s been almost 24hrs. since we left our comfortable beds in our cozy home in Cochrane and now we are sitting in an airport Starbucks in Lima waiting for the Taca airline booth to open up @ 3:30 am and to check in to our flight to Cusco. At the end of that lies another hopefully comfortable bed in Cusco.
Whenever someone I know gets an iphone they always ask me what my favorite iphone apps are. So, I will grab my phone and scroll through and demonstrate the mind melting awesomeness of each app.
Unfortunately, it is often lost on people because they need to mess around with the apps themselves. Here is my list of my favorite iphone apps
A really great Bible app from Lifechurch.tv. You can read all sorts of different versions of the Bible, read notes, and interact with Live events. I set up live events for the youth to follow along during youth.
Settlers of Catan for the iphone. I have spent more time settling the Isle of Catan on my phone then settling it in real life. FUN!
Keeps track of everything I need to write down on little scraps of paper. You can also do photo notes which is awesome.
Well…you can check your facebook anywhere.
I use this to control and set up my worship slides for church. Works over the wireless network.
Listens to music and tells you who it is. Very useful in an argument over who such and such a band is.
Keeps track of every thing I need to do with my life.
Helps me to find a Tim Hortons anywhere (in Canada)
Penguin Toss 2
Addictive game where you fling penguins at polar bears
Planning Center Online
Helps to plan worship services
Control your itunes on your computer over itunes.
I am T-Pain
Turns white boys from Canada into international rap stars. Auto tune for the iphone.
Chord dictionary and tuner
Read pdfs, documents, and apple files on your iphone. Upload them to your iphone wirelessly and read stuff…
I use this to find out when the office is on
I have been gone for a while and I thought that this video would be a great way to come back:
This book was very good. A great Canadian author and a very moving story.
I have lived in Canada for almost 2 years. I have my landed immigrant status. I have experienced a lot of Canadian culture but I have neither seen nor pet a beaver. Canada please allow me the opportunity to do both – I am one of you now.
This is my new favorite youtube star!
David Crowder’s drummer built a giant MPC for the band Family Force Five. I think that it is awesome! It looks like a lot of fun to play too. I am going to see both bands at YC in a couple weeks and hopefully one of them plays the Giant MPC.
Where Am I Wearing
Where Am I Wearing is author Kelsey Timmerman’s journey throughout the world visiting the factories and people who made the clothes he wears. Kelsey traveled to Cambodia, China, Honduras, Bangladesh, and Perry, NY to find out where what we wear comes from.
Kelsey was not as interested in finding out the economics behind the factories, as he was about the people working in them. He shared many meals and conversations with real people who worked in the factories that made his clothes. He traveled to a small village in China to meet the family that two factory workers were supporting with their meager salaries and played a strange game in Cambodia with a group of factory workers there. It is a very inspiring journey that Timmerman takes his readers on and I am thankful I could travel around with him in his book.
He leaves the decision of whether or not shop to the reader based on the readers values or morals. He offers alternatives to buying sweatshop produced clothing and encourages the reader to become an engaged consumer. Follow his twitter.
The Kite Runner
I may be late in the game reviewing a book that has already been turned into a movie, but I finally read The Kite Runner. It is the story of two boys growing up in Afghanistan and the journey of life, friendship, betrayal, and redemption in the midst of the war torn country. Khaled Hosseini’s novel is a gripping portrayal of a life marked by a moment of fear and shame. The main character, Amir, has to come to terms with the mistakes he has made and ultimately finds redemption and forgiveness, though not in the way the reader would assume.
I have not seen the movie yet, but I plan on watching it. Malora is reading Hosseini’s new novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. Although, I enjoyed (I was more gripped by then enjoyed) the book I would not read it again. It is worth a read to gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding the war in Afghanistan and the plight of the Afghan people. Be prepared for a dark emotional journey that eventually leads the reader to the heights of hope and redemption.