Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tell me another word for "midpoint"

Wait .... I think I see a polar bear lurking in the distance ....

What is the essence of winter?

For anyone who might be operating under the misguided assumption that Minnesota winters are mild, I offer this photograph of my backyard ....

Well ???? Do you believe me ????

The photograph, in reality, is of Cierva Cove on the Antarctic Peninsula. Remember, I do like to tease.

I use the photograph because today -- January 16 -- marks the midpoint of FramWinter. For those unfamiliar with FramWinter, it begins on November 1 and ends on March 31. There often are frigid temperatures and significant snowfalls -- even blizzards -- in October and April, but the really "mean stuff" generally does not arrive until November and usually does not go on after March has run its course. The hallmarks of the first one-half of this FramWinter have been less snow than usual, but much colder than normal.

The reason the Fram calendar was "born," so to speak, was because neither the centuries-old Julian calendar (Julius Caesar/introduced in 46 B.C.) nor the more recent Gregorian calendar (Pope Gregory, introduced in 1582) fit the climatic world of Minnesota. Solar time is solar time and is fine for marking astronomical events, but the earth is ruled more by weather and by planting seasons .... hence, winter is more of a five-month than a three-month event in places like Minnesota.

Get my drift? Whether you do or you do not, here we are at the midpoint of FramWinter ....

Just for the record, it snowed in a number of states in July 1816 and crop failures were widespread in the United States and in Europe, prompting the year to be characterized as the "year without a summer." My personal Minnesota experience includes light snow once during a picnic on September 1 and measureable snow during the last week of May. You just never know ....

And, also for the record, polar bears only are found in Arctic regions and not at all in Antarctica.

One song is included with this post. It is Sarah Brightman and her rendition of, "Figlio Perduto," which translates to, "Lost Son." The music actually was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven as his, "Symphony No. 7," with the lyrics a translation by Chiara Ferrau of a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. My understanding is that Brightman was the first to record it .... and, it is utterly, breathtakingly beautiful.

So, with that, Happy MidFramWinter, baby ....


Kaya said...

Happy midwinter, Fram.

I know that you have harsh winters in Minnesota but time flies quickly and soon will be spring.

Meanwhile I can send our winter to you if you wish. We are having this year a very weird winter. We don't have snow and in the day time it feels like spring, only all colors are stripped away and replaced by shades of gray.

Photograph is stunning! The more I look at it the more I see two huge Blue whales having a conversation.

And Sara Brightman is terrific. I love the song and I love her voice, it's so beautiful!

Stay warm, Fram and keep warm your wonderful Buddy.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Kaya .... only two and one-half months to go before spring arrives. I am being sarcastic now, and I think if my distaste for winter were as great as I sometimes make it sound, I would long ago have moved away from the northern tier of this country. Think about it; my states of actual residency have been Minnesota, Michigan, Montana and South Dakota.

I think the difference now for me is that I no longer am a teenage boy who enjoys camping in an ice hut on a frozen lake or a young man who could care less if he awakens in the morning of the opening day of deer hunting season in a tent collapsed under a foot of wet snow -- both of which I have done.

Actually, I spend a great deal of time researching places through study and travel hoping to find one which would suit me at this point in my life. So far, I have found none/nowhere/nothing and I am beginning to doubt I ever will find such a place .... some guys are next to impossible to please ....

Among women, Sarah Brightman has the voice I most enjoy. In a general sense, I like her appearance as she was in the 1980s and even prefer the "chubby, farm girl look" of her in the 1990s, to that of the apparent effort to turn her into some manner of "sex goddess" during the 21st Century. Appearance aside and even though her voice has changed a bit, I still love to listen to her sing.

As for the song, it really is marvelous. Quite often the music I prefer was originally the work of someone like Beethoven or Bach or Pachelbel and been re-worked into a contemporary piece.

Yes, Kaya, Buddy and I will stay warm as we count the days until we are able to begin working on our tan .... which sometimes begins as early as March .... you just never know ....

Thank you, Kaya, for visiting me here and for your comment ....

Anita said...

Hello America and Fram!Greetings from snowy Norway Anita!

Great post and beautiful photo!I wish I could travel with the Fram boat over there..I love the isolated places !Love to read about the hunters, the quiet war, that went on there..the many tragic Shipwrecking ,the lonely polar bears in the north pole..ohh yes going up there is a long wanted dream.But i would travel in a comfy boat .I do need a good place to sleep and safety!


Minnesota is cold yes?

It will sonn be spring again as Kaya says..Time flees quickly away!

I bet you have a nice fireplace with a good chair you can sit down and solve world problems or simply read a good book.

Here.We are snowing down again,,Big big snowflakes.Unfortunatly I have no time to shootany photoes of it..for me its work work work..

Do you not work overthere??
Imean you cant be retired you are to young for that..Here we can go on working to we are 70 (and if they want ..can work to 80)years..Yes our goverment takes care up the uprising new elder generaton..

This time I am not so facinated about the music by Sarah Brightman..I think she was better before..But noone compares to Maria Callas after my taste..

Ok fram.I am going to try to go to the mall now..It will be one step forth and one step back in this snowy icy weather..

Psst..You must see Vikings season 5 with Ivar The Boon Loose!

See you in time!


Fram Actual said...

To reach the north polar ice cap and the North Pole are two very different things, just as to arrive at Antarctica and the South Pole are two very different things. I once had dreams of going to both poles, but those dreams long ago faded since both treks have become almost commonplace, just as reaching the summit of Mount Everest has become something anyone with enough money can accomplish. One man even has been carried to the peak.

Just for the sake of doing it, though, I still would like to parachute down to the North Pole. Again, that is something which can be done for enough money. Weather and other conditions permitting, the aircraft will land, furnish lunch, pick you up and fly you back to wherever.

Minnnneeeessoooottaaaa is very cold, Anita. I have experienced minus fifty-six Fahrenheit (-56), which translates to minus forty-nine (-49) Celsius. The coldest recorded temperature here that I am aware of was minus sixty Fahrenheit (-60), which translates to minus fifty-one (-51) Celsius. It is not unusual for days and even for weeks to go by when the temperature is below freezing. Yes, I am anxious for spring to arrive .... very, very anxious ....

Yes, yes, not exactly and yes .... yes, a fireplace; yes, a good chair; not exactly, solving world problems, or even my own, is not my forte; yes, many, many good books.

I suppose there are some who say I do not work and, in a sense, I do not. My last "nine to five" job was for a newspaper here in the Twin Cities. I quit it in May 2009 and have been footloose and fancy-free since then. I do occasional freelance work on a contract basis .... nothing particularly nasty, but sometimes there are unique moments. This usually is the reason why I disappear for a while now and then.

I always have had "money-luck" and a few other forms of luck, such as "weather-luck," as well .... so, as long as I do not live in an extravagant manner, I get by .... two houses, two vehicles, some other pieces of land -- and, income from the freelance stuff means I do not have to start digging into my reserves.

There are many singers and bands that I like, but I do not use the word "favorite" very often and I do not think I ever could compile a list of absolute favorites .... although if I did, Sarah Brightman certainly would be on it. Sometimes there is a song I like no matter who does it and other times there is a particular singer who has only one song I like. Life is complex, for sure ....

Yes, I have been watching the Vikings, and will be again this evening. There are only two episodes left to show here in the USA.

Yes, see you in time, Anita .... all questions will be answered in time .... at least, I hope they will be answered.

Take care and stay safe and be careful when you are out and about on the snow and the ice ....

Anita said...

I think you are kidding..two houses??A billionare??Wow
Very interestin g about your lifee.Tell more
We also have on ly left2 episodes of vikin gs left..Some say Ragnar will show up..as a ghost then maybe..I work until mon day mornin g so no teve for me until then.
You are so lucky beeing fancy free and all that fuzz..I envy you..here we have to work hard..ok..Thanx for reply now I have to work..speakin g from cellphone..bye bye

Liplatus said...

In climate change the weather warmed up. ;))
Large glaciers break down.
Beautiful picture.

I watched the weather in Minnesota and here, so it's almost as cold.
The snow is about 30 centimeters.
Nature is a great snowfall, trees are covered with snow.
Cold is also here.

There is not much time in the spring, but it does not guarantee the warm weather.
Last summer was here "cold".

Stylish in-depth music. I liked it, thank you!

Fram Actual said...

There are many ways to view money. There is "old money," meaning inherited through family, and there is "new money," meaning earned by the individual. There is money in the sense of available cash and money in the sense of net worth, meaning the value of all property owned. I am not sure I can explain how I arrived where I am in terms of money, but I will try.

You might recall I have mentioned a farm owned by a grandmother and her brothers and sisters which they sold. She was my mother's mother. I am the only child of an only child. I am like them in that I am -- for the most part -- a frugal person. My grandmother's share was handled wisely, grew and much of it eventually came to me. My father's parents also had a farm, but my parents were divorced and I saw little money from that side.

It is not really unusual for people to own two or more houses in the United States, and I have had as many as five vehicles registered in my name at the same time -- hardly a fleet or as many as a collector might own. I also have had the good fortune to have earned considerable money from my work at times, and I am not talking about "nine to five" journalism. I am not a billionaire or even a millionaire, but I have enough to pretty much live life as I choose.

Perhaps, I will write more another time. As for now, Anita, I would suggest you read a bit between the lines.

To be honest, I am beginning to lose interest in the Vikings. The back-and-forth among the sons is becoming tedious and the story line is turning into sort of a soap opera. I suppose that means faux-art is imitating life. I will watch the final episode next week, though. Curiosity drives ....

Well, Anita .... do not work too hard and do not erase me from your thoughts or from your presence here .... I enjoy your company very much ....

Fram Actual said...

From having lived by Lake Superior a few years, I know both temperatures and snowfall are affected by the presence of large bodies of water. At a town named Delaware on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, for instance, the record winter snowfall stands at 390 inches (990 centimeters), while the average is about 250 inches (640 centimeters).

When I lived in Marquette on the shore of The Lake, the temperature at the airport about ten miles inland always was colder -- as much as twenty degrees Fahrenheit lower (whatever that amounts to in Celsius ....)

I am not sure if you live near the coast or inland, so I cannot be sure how to compare your weather with my own .... which is a bit different now than it was when I lived near Lake Superior.

The only things I do not like about winter are driving on snowy/icy roads and the bitter cold it often brings. Hmmmm .... I guess those things pretty much describe the reality of winter .... but, you are right, Liplatus, its beauty is unsurpassed.

Climate always is in a state of motion, but the changes usually would be imperceptible if it were not for evidence provided by science and recorded history. It does seem strange to me that around mid-December I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face, whereas not many years ago I never could feel it until well into March.

Yes, both spring and summer were cold and wet here, just enough to be an annoyance.

I am glad you liked the music. I looked for a recording of Tarja Turunen singing, "Figlio Perduto," and could not find one. On YouTube, there is a two-part video entitled, "Tarja Turunen -- Soprano or a Rock Star???" I prefer her as a rock star and have a difficult time envisioning her doing this song.

Thank you, Liplatus, for your visit and your comment. I truly appreciate finding that you have been here ....

Smareis said...

Que foto maravilhosa Fram! Dá uma certa inveja de seu inverno. Manda um pouco desse frio para cá. Aqui o calor está tão forte que tenho sentido mal-estar durante o dia e as noites parece que fica com a mesma temperatura... não chove há mais de 60 dias e o Brasil está tendo problema com mosquito silvestre da febre amarela. Já morreu muitas pessoas por aqui durante esses dois meses com a febre amarela. Os postos de saúde estão 24 horas aplicando a vacina na população. São filas de pessoas todos dias para ser vacinada, mesmo assim muitas pessoas por achar que na área que mora não tem casos de morte acaba não tomando a vacina e acaba sendo picado pelo mosquito e quando vão procurar uma unidade de saúde já não tem mais jeito. Acaba vindo a óbito. Espero que essa temperatura melhore, e a chuva chegue para sossegar um pouco esses mosquitos. O Brasil além do mosquito da Dengue, tem o mosquito da febre amarela mais estava controlado, de repente começou a aparecer macacos mortos nas matas, no zoológico. É assustador. Campanhas constantes de imunização e ações para conter a transmissão têm sido realizadas todos os dias.
Até mais Fram!
Se cuida!
O concerto é muito bom...Gosto muito da Sarah Brightman.
Sorrisos para você nessa noite de muito calor.

Fram Actual said...

Winter = cold & snow, but those things are offset by beauty. Summer = heat & humidity, but those things are offset by a growing season for food supplies. All-in-all, Smareis, it seems like a pretty good system.

Influenza is the threat in the United States right now, as it is most winters. Children and the elderly are the two groups most at risk. "Flu season" this autumn/winter began early, and is worse than it is most years, both in the number of cases and in deaths.

Evidently, yellow fever and dengue fever are rare causes of illness in the U.S. It is too bad the mosquitoes which carry yellow fever and the dengue virus cannot be eradicated in tropical regions. They cause much suffering and heartbreak.

I had fourteen inches (about thirty-six centimeters) of snow in about fourteen hours on Monday. My "weather-luck" sure failed me that day, so I do not expect I would have much success trying to send a cold breeze and a bit of rain to you, Smareis.

Yes, I really like Sarah Brightman, too -- very, very much ....

Thank you, Smareis, for your smile and for your visit here to me. Take care, be well and stay safe ....

Something special ....