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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Today has been a fairly typical March day with the temperature hanging out in the 30's and spitting snow off and on all day.  It is presently still 30 degrees, but slipping downward and tomorrow is going to be bitterly cold, according to the forecast.  The calendar may say "spring" but the reality is it's still winter mode around here.

We had a message from a gentleman in Greensboro who follows our website and the Ice-Out Contest.  He has plotted the running average of dates the clock has stopped on a graph and sent it to us.
He wrote: 

Hello,

  I've done a little analysis on the wonderful ice-out data from your website.  In particular, I have plotted the running average of ice-out days.  I think the result is remarkable; it shows a dramatic four-day decrease in ice-out over the period covered by your data.  I won't say "global warming,"  but one is led to wonder if you haven't detected a warming trend. --Tom

Conventional wisdom has to agree, if we go by the numbers, but the reality outside indicates we may skew the figures a little this year and move a few days further into April than we've seen for a while.  I've noticed already a few people who had picked dates in early April have bought more tickets in order to extend their picks further into April.  That's what makes the game fun - the weather is so darned unpredictable, it's a true "game of chance" that really can't be figured out precisely even with lots of past data and perceived know-how.  There are just too many variables.  

We had a plumber here this morning, adjusting one of our drains that accommodates both the kitchen and the laundry downstairs.  We have had problems with it plugging in the past and Fred wisely decided we should have it "fixed" once and for all.  Turns out some of the plumbing in our 1960's house just isn't adequate for modern appliances like our dishwasher and front loading washing machine.  The plumber was able to rearrange the piping so it should be ok now, but he showed us the inside of the old, smaller pvc pipe and told us within a few weeks it would probably have plugged again.  It was an ugly sight, for sure.  I thought grease cutting detergents that we use for dishes would cut any grease in the pipes, but that's not so - it's the soap that tends to build up.  It seems the new appliances that save water, along with our personal efforts to conserve water, contribute to soap and debris collecting in plumbing.  He told us, "Plumbing needs water to work well."  So we'll be using less soap and more water, and give the drains regular cleansing with vinegar and baking soda.  We're feeling good that we dodged a bullet - those times when the sink wouldn't drain were maddening.  I hate when things don't work as they are supposed to.

Bundle up if you have to go out tomorrow - we're going to have a wind chill well below zero, according to the weather forecasters. 

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