29 November 2007

The Red Scot's "Best Places to Live" List

As I was signing in to hotmail today, I came across this article on the United Nation's "Best Places to Live" list. After reading through their rankings, I decided to create my own list.

Unlike the U.N. list - which ranks countries according to life expectancy, real per capita income, and education levels - my list ranks countries based purely on personal perceptions.

Note: Other than the United States and Canada, I haven't been to any of the countries on the list. Also, I have chosen to consider the United Kingdom as four separate countries (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) instead of one big one.

01. Canada - Sparsely populated; temperate, sub-arctic, and arctic climates; a great culture; universal healthcare; a strong economy...the only negatives are the highest per capita immigration rate in the world and very strict gun laws. Still, Canada's positives definitely outweight its negatives.

02. United States of America - The U.S.A. is my home and it would be my number one if it weren't for a massive military-industrial complex, skyrocketing immigration, increasingly restrictive laws, and a nosediving economy.

03. Switzerland - I love the fact that Switzerland is neutral, not part of the E.U., and one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

04. Norway - Fourth for the same reasons that Switzerland is third.

05. Ireland - I'm very high on Ireland. If only they had a little colder climate and weren't part of the E.U.

06. Northern Ireland
07. Scotland
08. England
09. Finland
10. Wales
11. Austria
12. Germany
13. Iceland
14. Czech Republic
15. Croatia

26 November 2007

Random weather fact:

A.D. 2007 November 23 (Friday) was the first day that didn't get above 0ยบ C. this season. The 24th didn't get there either!

25 November 2007

Increasingly Intermittent!

Wow, I have really let my blogging slip. I'm sorry to those of you who check in regularly to read my posts...

A lot has been going on lately. Many Americans - myself included - have been off of work for some or all of last week. We have the Pilgrims - and their wonderful harvest festival that we call Thanksgiving - to thank for that.

The only problem with being off of work for a week is that you hate to go back. Everytime that I have time off I begin scheming about how I can make a living on the farm... (doing something other than dairying)

My wife claims that it got down to 3 degrees F. the other night. I told her that she was reading the thermometer wrong and that it was probably 13 degrees outside. That made more sense since it was 15 at my father-in-law's house and 14 at my sister-in-law's house... In any case, 13 is still pretty chilly for this time of year - I love it!

Still not a lot of snow accumulation, but a lot of snow events. We've had five or six (I forget) different snowfalls. Each left a pretty little dusting on the ground that mostly melts by the afternoon. The weather this November has been very close to the historical average - chilly days, a little bit of snow, and below freezing nights. I've been in hog heaven!

KLA-TRA-SO = the name of the company that made an antler-handled carving set that my in-laws own. I wanted to remember this so I'm typing it...

Christmas is exactly one month away. I've been attending area Catholic churches the past month to see if any of them appeal to me. I've been agnostic for the past 12 years or so, and lately I've been feeling spiritually unfulfilled. I know that my beliefs make me a Deist, but I've been yearning for some structure in my spiritual life. I am attracted to Catholicism despite the fact that I disagree with some of its fundamental tenets. (When I say "fundamental" I mean the whole "Jesus was divine and the son of god" thing) Am I horrible for seriously considering joining a church that I have such a major philosophical disagreement with? (If you're wondering, I keep my philosophies to myself when I'm at church!)

Okay, it's getting late. I hope that I gave someone something to chew on. Again, thanks to everyone who still checks in every once in a while - you're awesome.

19 November 2007

A little snow and a few deer

We received our first "official" measurable snow a couple of Fridays ago. It only amounted to about a centimeter, but it was beautiful. Since then we've had a couple more dustings. Currently, we're up to about 3 cm of snow so far this year...

Two Saturdays ago was the opening day of the regular hunting season for white-tailed deer in our area. I shot a big doe immediately after daybreak. The following day (Sunday) I shot another big doe in the early afternoon. This past Friday I shot another big doe. Thankfully, we almost have enough meat to supply all of the members of our family.

Weather statistics though A.D. 2007 November 25:

First snow: A.D. 2007 October 28
First snow accumulation of at least 1 centimeter: A.D. 2007 November 16
Days with snow cover: 008
Days with complete snow cover: 000
Total snowfall: 3.0 centimeters (1.2 inches)

13 November 2007

Harry Connick, Junior is awesome.

The title has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

We had the first instance of snow sticking on Saturday morning. It snowed during the late afternoon and evening hours on Friday, and there was a thin layer of white on the deck, cars, and in the driveway the next morning. It was gone within a half an hour of daybreak, but it was still good to see it while it lasted.

The snow didn't count as the first snow accumulation of the season since it amounted to something less than 5% total snow cover. Still, it was the first day with some snow cover.

On Sunday morning it got down to -5.6 degrees C. (22 degrees F.) So far, that's been the coldest morning of the season. ...Not a bad start for early November.

...The rifle hunting season for White-tailed Deer begins Saturday. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to put some meat in the freezer. This will be the first year that we've been allowed to use rifles to hunt deer in a long time (more than 50 years). I'm hoping to break in my new Ruger Model 77 (.270 Winchester) with a nice Odocoileus virginianus...

I've been processing other things, but I'll wait to post my thoughts on another post.