Sam WHITBY #228

Letters to the Editor

from Sam WHITBY in CMO #228

@. . . .   Here is just a short PS to yesterday's message: snow. Last night the weatherman predicted 3-6 inches of snow. This morning the snow was almost a foot deep, twice what was predicted as the maximum, and it has fallen heavily ever since then. More snow is predicted throughout the afternoon and evening. One of the meteorologists gave a technical definition of a blizzard, which I did not hear due to family conversation, but anyway I did hear the fellow say that we meet the technical criteria for experiencing a blizzard (something about quantity of snow and wind).
  Luckily I am off today anyway. Tomorrow I will try to join the other macho men at my place of employment, but the snow may be so deep that I cannot make it in spite of best intentions. My family is all snowed in here with me, so at least we are together.
(25 Jan 2000 email)

@. . . .   I have thought that perhaps you might be interested in the news that we received about 45cm of snow last week. For the previous few days, the nightime temperature has been 5-10 degrees F. Tomorrow, with much snow still on the ground, we will get a major ice storm, unless the weathermen are wrong. Remembering last year, I hope that they are. I unknowingly agreed to work tomorrow, so I must be out on the road even though it will be a Sunday.
  Too bad I am not an enthusiastic football fan. I might have stayed home for the Super Bowl.
  Hoping for a warm spell,

(30 Jan 2000 email)

@. . . .   Thank you for your message and for the Mars images and the news of CMO 227. I forwarded the previous Mars images to an amateur astronomer friend who works full time at the hospital where I work part time. He is not an active planet observer, but we make tempt him into being one.
  I am sorry about your mother's decline in health. We must wait another week for biopsy results before we know the extent of the illness of Uta's mother.
  The ice storm that I wrote about earlier did arrive, but for some reason its full force missed Hopewell. Many people were without electricity for days in the Richmond area, but we never lost power. I was able to work at the hospital and even saw the exciting end of the Super Bowl with the patients there. Some patches of snow are still here and there in shaded areas. Most roads are completely clear.
  I have tried numerous times to observe Jupiter and Saturn, but the seeing has been very poor. I think that the severe cold weather and so many chimneys with heat rising from them doom an observer this time of year. Several friends have sent messages about events on Jupiter, but I have been unable to see them for myself.
  Your young fan Tyler is growing, and he has had no more asthma attacks. He is a lot of fun, one of the great joys of my life. David is still studying Japanese. He is about two inches taller than I am now - and still growing.
With best wishes for the lunar new year,

(5 Feb 2000 email)
@. . . .   During the first week of February, while snow was still about a foot deep on the ground, I was surprised to see bluebirds in the trees on the compound in Bon Air. On the fourteenth of February, while walking to a nearby park, Tyler and I noticed with surprise that no snow was visible on the ground anywhere. That was the first day since before Christmas that the ground had been without at least a little bit of snow. A couple of days after that I saw the first crocuses blooming in the yard. That same day I noticed the first daffodils of this spring. They were the small yellow trumpet flowers that look like Narcissus lobularis, a flower that is widely naturalized in and perhaps native to England. Arcturus is sneaking into the evening sky. It matters little that snow is expected again tomorrow. Spring is coming.
  It is good to see spring on the way. It is better to be able to report good news regarding Uta's mother. Biopsy and examination using radioactive dye have found no evidence that her cancer has spread beyond the original tumor. In other words, it looks like surgery removed the whole tumor. We have much more reason to hope for a full recovery. This news is a great relief to my wife and indeed to the whole family.
  Your young friend Tyler has had an asthma spell today, but I have been with him and will be at home with him tomorrow. I expect that we will get his condition under control again soon.
  Thank you for continuing to send the CMO. I enjoyed the fine drawings of Mars.
(17 Feb 2000 email)

Samuel WHITBY ( VA, USA ) :