Forecast: Increasingly Icy. The view from Tonka Bay shows 2 entirely different types of ice forming on Lake Minnetonka: a ragged, scrappy ice near shore, while farther out into the Upper Lake smooth, clear, ice-skate-worthy ice started to form over the weekend. A word to the wise: stay off the ice, no matter how thick it appears from shore. Sunday's 40-degree readings weakened an already thin ice cover on area lakes and ponds - the ice won't be truly safe for weeks to come.
More on Tuesday's storm potential below....
O.K. I'm no Oprah, but it's probably no secret I'm a technophile, gadget-freak and dreamer - I love technology, especially digital tools that help you become more confident, creative and prolific. I've had a serious addiction to megabytes, megapixels and smart phones ever since I launched EarthWatch in 1989 (3-D weather graphics for TV stations around the world). Then came Digital Cyclone, back in 2000 - the first company to put an app on a cell phone (black and white Doppler on a Nextel mobile phone in 2001) and ever since I've tried a lot of different smart phones, in search of the "perfect" device. Yes, technology was supposed to "set us free", when in fact it's turned us into a society of dazed, sleep-walking, multi-tasking cyborgs - half human, half digital, perpetually distracted.
Here are the devices that have brought some small measure of digital joy to my life in recent years. The reality: all these picks are highly subjective. I realize that, and don't believe I have any special powers of discerning what is the "best" in each category. Everyone is going to have their own opinions & preferences, based on their individual needs and experiences. But over the years enough people have come up and asked, "Paul, what do you use?" that I thought I'd include this in my blog, for better or worse. The weather is quiet, so why not?
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So there you have it - more than you ever wanted to know about PD's digital urges and proclivities. Yes, I probably spend too much time thinking about this stuff. And I rationalize much of it by saying "what's more important than family memories?" Dangerous turf, I know. Let me also state (for the record) that nothing digital will ever bring you true happiness and satisfaction, the way a good friendship or family encounter, or time spent with your parents, will ever accomplish. These are nothing but "toys" for grown-ups. My wife calls them gadgets. I prefer to think of them as "productivity devices." A great digital device should help you document your life and make you more productive. Nothing more.
Good luck with your holiday shopping list. Hope you find what you're searching for.
* PS. No, I'm not getting a "spiff" or commission from any of these companies. They could frankly care less what I think, anyway. But Oprah's "favorite things" episode (as crazy-extravagant as it was) inspired me to a). live my best life (right), and b). waste the better part of a holiday weekend documenting my digital hits and misses, so a few of you might not make the same expensive mistakes I did. With tech (and weather), it's all about learning from your mistakes. Trial and error. A painful, humbling learning curve.
Now, more on the potential for significant snow Tuesday:
Projected Track. The forecast storm track brings the area of low pressure into southern MN - leaving me (a little) concerned about enough warm air surging north for a mix of rain/snow Monday night into the early morning hours for southeastern MN. That may bring final snowfall amounts down a bit, but by Monday night the atmosphere SHOULD be cold enough for all snow.
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
MONDAY NIGHT: Rain changes to wet snow - 1-3 inches by breakfast Tuesday? Low: 23
* Every week over half a billion TONS of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere worldwide.