Friday, February 19, 2010

Beauty is a bitch

Don't be fooled by the title, this post is weather related. We haven't had minus °C since the 29th of December and before that a few days in early December. And plus °C in those cases mean a few hours of around 1 °C. No snow melting temperatures. The last of those were the 1st of December with around 5 °C. Then the temperature turned minus °C and has stayed that way. Century old records have been broken.

In a normal winter it gets cold, it snows a bit, it gets warmer, the snow melts away, sometimes it rains away, before it gets colder again. So even if it snows alot with a winter like that the snow isn't a problem because a large part of it melts away every now and then. This winter we have close to three months of snow and none of it has melted away.

And it's not just that it's minus °C it also very cold, around -10 °C to -20 °C with a few freak days with -5 °C or -25 °C. You have to be careful before going out, you have to dress yourself in warm but bulky winter clothes. Cold temperatures are unforgiving. Two winters ago I worked outside with a tuque on but it did not cover my ears. Last winter I couldn't go outside in minus °C without covering my ears, they ached. This winter I can go outside in minus °C without covering my ears, but I'm careful The frostbite has healed, it only took two years.

But this winter is also the most beautiful I have ever seen. A cold night covers everything in white and I'm not talking about snow. There's moist in the air, even in the cold winter, sometimes fog, covers everything in hard rime that can be up to a centimeter thick. Ant it's not ice, it's snow crystals, much like snow flakes. Imagine such a landscape after a foggy -20 °C cold night lit up by the morning sun.

Our winter is a beautiful but she is cold and unforgiving to the unwary.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I'm on Google maps

I finally made it on Google maps' street view. They have put together the material they've filmed here and made Finland "street viewable". Anyway go to Google maps street view, trough this link. That's me, too bad they've blurred the faces, my surprised expression would have been priceless.

To the right behind the mailboxes and a couple of birches there's a small green field(lawn). Behind that field you see a red painted wooden fence and within that fence there's a red house, a garage and lots of trees. That's where we live. Have a nice look around my neighborhood =).

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Satellite TV

I wrote a while ago about we're going to switch from cable TV to satellite TV. We'll I finally got the dish up. I built it myself. I got a leftover dish from my father-in-law and I ordered the rest from Germany. Except for a few screws, the DVB-S module to the set-top box and a bit of cable I bought in town. The stuff from Germany I got for 42 € (the stuff itself was 29 €) and that includes package and delivery to the door. I ordered it on the Internet on last weeks Thursday and it got delivered to my door on Tuesday. I'm deeply impressed by the German Post. If I had ordered the stuff from some company in Finland it would have taken at least a week to arrive, 100 € added to the price and you have to collect it yourself at the Post office. You could buy the stuff in town, but we're still looking at a price tag around 120 €.

It was a bit snowy and windy but the temperature was only around -2 °C. That meant that I could actually take my gloves of for the more delicate work and that the sealant I put around the cables where they went trough the wall will actually harden. I didn't have any applicable frost resistant sealant at home.

So all that remains now is to connect he ground cable to the ground and the four cables from the LNB:s to the DiSEqC-switch and replace the cable receiver with the satellite reciever in the set-top box and we could actually se something on our TV tonight. Well if I have positioned the dish correctly which I tried to, otherwise it's tomorrow's work. I'm doing the evening shift right now.

On a funnier note, after I had left for work my girlfriend decided to go to the grocery store. Well she was looking at the dish while driving away and managed the drive her car into one of the snow walls on the side of our drive way. She had to ask the help of two neighbors to get her car free =).