Thursday Open Thread: Snow Finally Arrives

While the mountains have been inundated with snow, Denver has been dry as a bone. Today, that's changing. The snow began to fall in the metro area about 10:00 a.m. If you want to watch it fall, click the play button above or go to Fox 31 News Live Snow Stick Camera.

Since the snow will continue until tomorrow, along with frigid temperatures, I'm taking a snow day and working from home. For those of you not working, or planning a New Year's Eve at home, here's some suggestions of things to do:[More...]

  • Make a big pot of chicken soup, split pea soup with ham, lasagna or spaghetti sauce with meatballs.
  • Watch movies on Comcast or Netflix. A few I watched this week while recuperating from my root canal. No disks required, all are available either On Demand or via Netflix Streaming:
  • Winter's Bone: a 17 year old in the Ozarks of Southern Missouri searches for her absent meth-cooking father who's disappeared while on bond. If she doesn't find him (or prove he's dead if he's no longer alive), she and the two younger siblings she's raising in his absence, and her catatonic mom will lose the family farm. The film won the Jury's Prize at last year's Sundance Film Festival.
  • City Island: Unexpectedly good, and funny. Andy Garcia plays Vince Rizzo, a prison guard, Juliana Margolies plays Joyce, his wife, in a role 180 degrees from the Good Wife. She's terrific. Vince discovers Tony, an inmate at the jail, is his son, from a relationship he walked out more than 20 years ago and never told his wife about. Tony is serving the last 30 days of his sentence for stealing a car and is eligible to be released to family. Vince steps up to take him home.
  • Then the fun begins as everyone's family secrets come tumbling out. Vince and Joyce's college daughter is hiding she's dropped out of college and become a stripper. Their high school son is hiding his obsession/fetish with obese women. Vince is not only hiding that Tony is his son, but that he's taking acting classes and trying out for a part in Martin Scorcese film. The only honest and normal one in the group is the charming and sexy convict Tony, and the film is about how he helps each member of this uber-dysfunctional family.

  • A Wednesday: About four hours at a Mumbai police station when a bomb threat is called in and the caller demands the release of four al-Qaeda/LeT terrorists. Really well done, and with quite a plot twist. Expect the unexpected. Here's the trailer (English subtitles, as in the movie, although half the time the actors are speaking English)
  • And once again, if you haven't seen the Canadian crime series Intelligence, you really should. Both seasons are great. Sex, drugs and espionage. The War on Drugs, informants, wiretaps, and official corruption, with a compelling and likable drug kingpin and organized crime bureau chief, and some slimy drug cops and national security agents.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome, but especially more viewing suggestions:

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  • Display: Sort:
    How the media fails to include information (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:21:18 PM EST
    in its effort to help fleece people for the benefit of Wall St. One of the top news stories today.

    Consider an average-wage, two-earner couple together earning $89,000 a year. Upon retiring in 2011, they would have paid $114,000 in Medicare payroll taxes during their careers.

    But they can expect to receive medical services -- from prescriptions to hospital care -- worth $355,000, or about three times what they put in. link

    The couple who paid into Medicare probably did so since the inception of Medicare.  The government had use of those funds for several decades. Compound interest on those ever increasing funds would make their value much more than the actual amount ($114,000) deposited in the system.

    repost (none / 0) (#1)
    by CST on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 01:59:30 PM EST
    from the Wed thread.

    Some interesting environmental news today.  In Texas:

    "EPA took the unprecedented step this month of announcing it will directly issue greenhouse gas permits to Texas industries beginning in January after the state openly refused to comply with new federal regulations."

    This isn't just about CO2.  For example:

    "The EPA accuses Texas' flexible permits of allowing Shell's Deer Park refinery to emit nearly double the amount of sulfur dioxide than would be permissible if it had a federally acceptable permit. ExxonMobil in Baytown emits double the levels of volatile organic compounds, such as benzene"

    Meanwhile, in MA, the gov. unveiled an initiative to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.

    "This is the only state that's really going to be on track to meet the 2050 reductions the scientific community tells us we need to achieve...

    The state projects that the plan will create 42,000 to 48,000 jobs, including work weatherizing homes and positions in manufacturing and research...

    the state's limit shows that renewable energy and efficiency can be good for the economy"

    Exporting Your Problem (none / 0) (#51)
    by Rojas on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 09:17:39 PM EST
    So Mass is going to set new high efficiency standards for home heating systems that burn fuel oil and natural gas produced in Texas? And it seems their other initiative is to pass higher costs on to their citizens in rural areas who like the rest of the folks from that state use petroleum refined in Texas and mixed with ethanol from crops produced in the Midwest. Call us when you have an idea.

    high efficiency standards (none / 0) (#63)
    by CST on Mon Jan 03, 2011 at 01:10:02 PM EST
    are a lot better than low efficiency standards.

    You're right, I do not have a solution that replaces all natural gas or magically discovers black gold off the coast of MA.  But I would think lowering the amount that we do use is a GOOD thing.  And we use significantly less energy per capita than most states in the nation as it is.

    As for "exporting the problem" - every state does that to some degree.  I guarantee people in Texas don't get all their goods/food/materials they use from Texas.  But no, you're right, we don't have fossil fuels.  What's your point?  We should be using more of something we don't have?

    We're making progress on the clean energy front with wind and geothermal and nuclear.  Do I have a silver bullet?  No.  But I didn't realize that was necessary for forward progress.


    Caught that "City Island"... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:21:05 PM EST
    earlier in the week, it was pretty good.  Moral of the film...be honest with yourself and the ones you love.  The teenage son character stole the show I thought.

    As for other viewing, I plan on burying myself in "Shantaram", TL Book Club style:)  The first few chapters have grabbed me good.

    Glad you are enjoying the read. Lots of it. (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:28:10 PM EST
    I am determined to finish the 2010 bio of Justice Brennan today, as book club's not-so-intriguing selection must be read by Sunday afternoon.

    In lieu of actually seeing the movie, I am going to this:  It's a Wonderful Life


    Best Holiday movie... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:39:42 PM EST
    ever!  Even if it is socialist propaganda, as my bro-in-law always says.

    Ever get the feeling we're all living in Pottersville now?

    "Why do you wanna help a buncha garlic eaters for anyway George?"

    I've never seen the movie, except adapted (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:41:52 PM EST
    to sell passes for the indie movie theaters at Christmas.

    I strongly urge you... (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:07:02 PM EST
    to see the original, in black and white.

    I mean check out this dialogue, it's so freakin' cool...

    "Hey look, mister - we serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don't need any characters around to give the joint "atmosphere". Is that clear, or do I have to slip you my left for a convincer?"

    Slip you my left for a convincer...that line kills me everytime!


    Agreed (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:30:39 PM EST
    The original rocks!  Happy New Year, Dog!  

    Hey Zorba... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:55:39 PM EST
    look, I'm giving out wings!

    Happy New Year to all! Vamos a 2011 amigos!


    best book I've read in years (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:49:09 PM EST
    Kdog, you especially will love it. I'm really bummed Johnny Depp has scrapped plans for the movie.

    A sequel is in the works, but not due out for a while.


    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:40:24 PM EST
    so right up my alley so far Jeralyn, I get the best book tips here.  Your blog does it all.

    Whoever wants to call first dibs on next, I'll mail it to 'em once I'm done.


    Hey, kdog, if you're passing (none / 0) (#43)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:26:13 PM EST
    it on, I'd like the next crack at Shantaram. The waiting list at the library is very long.

    Let me know if you are serious about sending it on after you've read it.


    Difficult to imagine "Shantaram" as one (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:07:37 PM EST
    movie.  Maybe HBO bunch of movies:  think "The Thornbirds."  I do hope he does a sequel and a book tour.

    Speaking of snow. If one were (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:32:49 PM EST
    living in Manhattan during this latest storm, would one have regretted moving there? Assume, for purposes of this hypothetical, sd. "one" doesn't have to go to work and doesn't own a car.  Lives in Manhattan proper--say Midtown.

    In short, no (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by vicndabx on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:04:41 PM EST
    Manhattan, especially midtown is always cleaned of snow first.

    I don't understand the question (none / 0) (#5)
    by CST on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:38:38 PM EST
    living there as opposed to where?  Brooklyn?  Or Texas, etc...?

    If the question is re. Texas, etc... I doubt one snow storm would offset all the other reasons you move to Manhattan.  If the question is re. Brooklyn, I'd think that was a no-brainer Manhattan snow is better than Brooklyn snow.

    Besides, a snow storm can be kind of fun if you don't have to go to work and don't own a car.  Assuming you don't need an ambulance...


    Hypothetically, the "one" would move (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:40:17 PM EST
    from Southern CA.  

    IIRC, oculus, you grew up in Iowa, (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:01:36 PM EST
    and went to college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Coping with snow is in your DNA. It matters not that you have spent so many years in SoCal.

    Based on what I have gleaned about you from reading your comments, Manhattan sounds like a great fit for you, snow or no snow.


    Most of us transplanted midwesterners (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:07:04 PM EST
    think our blood is thinner for living in such wimpy weather!

    I'm a transplanted midwesterner myself. (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:27:47 PM EST
    And while I do not miss the bitter cold and major snowstorms, I find I adapt quite quickly on the rare occasions that I am confronted with them. Like I said, it is in the DNA.

    Warm coat, good boots, gloves, hat. You'll be fine.


    rain lasting for days and days after growing up in snow and cold.  I can keep my balance perfectly on inches of ice...even with tricky shoes.  But a soaked slippery rubber flipflop ain't the same thing at all :)  And I spent three or four years repeatedly buying new coats that were absorbent.  The racks just seemed endlessly full of these perfectly good coats that nobody wanted.  I just couldn't seem to GET IT :)

    Oh, the travails of a military spouse. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:08:17 PM EST
    How well I remember the freezing rain in Norfolk followed by the sultry summer.  Meanwhile, military spouse was floating around in the Caribbean!

    The other problem (well, except for $$$$) (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:34:01 PM EST
    is I only have two friends in the greater NYC area:  a good friend from college and kdog!

    That is a bigger obstacle, it seems (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by caseyOR on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:38:40 PM EST
    to me, than the weather. I do think the older one gets, the more difficult it becomes to make close friends. Difficult, but not impossible.

    Too bad you can't buy a little place in NYC, keep your place in SD, and split your time. How you thought about buying Lotto tickets?


    My friends say, sell your house here as (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:54:22 PM EST
    you may always stay w/us; on condition I get a place in Manhattan big enough for them to visit.  But that won't happen due to price differential.  

    kdog doesn't come with a gang? (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:07:16 PM EST
    He's got his buddies, that's for sure. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:10:29 PM EST
    But I don't play football anymore!

    FWIW (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:10:38 PM EST
    It's beautiful out today.  Snow on the ground, sun in the sky.  I don't know what the rest of the midwest was like, but in Pitt it would be gray and cloudy for ever.

    In the northeast, you have your storms, and those storms don't mess around.  But when it's not stormy, it can be pretty nice.


    Yes, lots of overcast day and piles of really (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:12:45 PM EST
    dirty snow.  

    Personally, (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:02:46 PM EST
    as one who grew up in New York (albeit Westchester), and then until 5 years ago visited Manhattan more than 5 times a year, I would not move there, as much as I love it. It's much more fun to visit. The daily hassles of life, except for the ultra-rich, are much exacerbated.

    I wouldn't be worried about making friends, with all your varied interests. Nor would I worry about the snow. What you will need is really good ear protectors. The wind chill and humidity in winter, especially walking among tall buildings, is brutal even with no snow. And really good boots/shoes with traction so you don't fall on the ice and break a hip.

    Another inconvenience is shlepping things home (no car.) And the fresh produce at grocery stores isn't too good. Not to mention the cost of living is really high, garages are astronomical if you do have a car and apartments/condos are small, with little closet space and mostly tiny kitchens. I'd also hate to have to go to an emergency room in New York.

    In other words, my advice is budget to fly in whenever you want, stay at a nice hotel and enjoy what the city has to offer without having to endure its downside.

    So before deciding, go watch the sunset in La Jolla and think about what you'd be giving up in terms of personal space, ease of daily life and great weather.


    That's good advice, Jeralyn. It was (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:06:38 PM EST
    quite windy in mid-Dec. in Manhattan and I was lacking lined gloves and a bomber cap with ear flaps!  My brother suggested I commute in from Westchester County, as I am addicted to living in a sun-filled home, which wouldn't happen in Manhattan.  But I only want to live in the city.

    I am not missing summer or winter (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:39:51 PM EST
    in NYC one bit! There's something to be said for mild weather ;)

    If ya do move to NYC, never buy produce in the store. Plenty of year round farmer's markets :)


    Addendum: I rarely cook. Could do very (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 04:52:02 PM EST
    well w/hot pot and microwave.

    heh (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:41:11 PM EST
    I hear Broadway was still open.

    And the NY Phil. went on, through snow, (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 02:42:47 PM EST
    etc., with a different program than previously scheduled.

    Josh and I are watching Tortilla Heaven (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:19:41 PM EST
    It's pretty good.

    Did I tell you science fair judges (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:22:23 PM EST
    gave tutoree an"A" on "his" science fair project?  

    Congratulations to him (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:44:20 PM EST
    I hope he has a great Christmas break too.  I think Josh has so far.  

    I'll find out tonight. Ice skating outing. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:54:52 PM EST
    We watched Winter's Bone (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 03:50:28 PM EST
    before Christmas.  It was good as well as stunning chilling.  I watched a movie yesterday titled Jerry and Tom that I had missed years ago.  I liked that too a lot.  It oozes that creepy murdering mafia genre that I love so much.

    Edger has a good diary (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 05:33:40 PM EST
    up at Orange if anyone wants to go read.

    I'm holing up... (none / 0) (#41)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:15:03 PM EST
    for the next few days. It's supposed to get colder than that proverbial witch's body part.

    Mildly interesting. Nutria fur coat (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:19:22 PM EST
    and ecology.  NPR

    And so (none / 0) (#44)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:33:53 PM EST
    none of that giant damaging water rat goes to waste, we have

    Heart Healthy 'Crock-Pot' Nutria


    Have you tried this? I don't see (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 06:35:51 PM EST
    any reviews.

    I have an excuse (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 08:10:13 PM EST
    I don't own a crock pot.

    I have wanted to see one (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 08:29:18 PM EST
    but since I live lakeside, when I do see one I will probably end up wishing that I hadn't because they do so much damage.

    Nutria (none / 0) (#62)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 04:37:02 PM EST
    are an invasive species and a big problem in the Chesapeake Bay.  If this encourages people to go out and trap them and eat them, I'm all for it.

    Ewww, a Nutria G-string (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 08:31:12 PM EST
    hope you're doing well (none / 0) (#49)
    by cpinva on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 09:13:23 PM EST
    after the root canal jeralyn. they're no fun, but with improvements in technology, nowhere near as bad as they used to be.

    we lucked out in eastern va, only got a half inch or so over the weekend, which has quickly dissipated. do be careful, and everyone have a happy and safe new year's.

    Inquiring minds want to know (none / 0) (#50)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 09:13:48 PM EST
    Is Lanny Davis's lobbying work on behalf of some of the world's most corrupt companies and individuals something that defense lawyers here support, or oppose?

    IANAL of any sort, but I do have an opinion on the credibility of Davis's defense of himself in these matters. And I find it laughable that he tries to whitewash being a high-priced gun for hire, in favor of pretending to be some sort of agent of integrity for the Obama administration. Last time I looked, he is not in the Obama cabinet and does not work for the State Department... He does, however, enjoy great success at getting congressional legislation changed to a particular client's benefit.

    Not a lawyer, either, but (none / 0) (#52)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 09:31:47 PM EST
    Lanny Davis makes my skin crawl.

    That being said, everyone's entitled to legal advice, with help navigating the rules and regulations.  And there's a lot of money to be made - as we know - helping companies by working Washington's mover and shakers to change the law to be more favorable to those companies.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that the thinking is, "well, someone has to represent them, and someone's going to get to cash those big checks, and it might as well be me as anyone else."

    If he doesn't feel like he's advocating for  changes so the companies and industries he represents can engage in criminal behavior, I'm pretty sure he doesn't have any trouble sleeping at night.  

    It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it, is pretty much what it comes down to.


    I guess it's more a question of (none / 0) (#53)
    by shoephone on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 09:44:01 PM EST
    whether he is acting as a defense counsel (rarely, it seems) or more like a paid PR man. In his particular case, it may be hard to tell where the bright line is; he has his fingers in so many pots.

    Honduran coup plotters and New Guinea strongmen aside, the instance of watering down U.S. legislation on the baby formula additives really bothered me.

    But I'm interested in people's take on it.


    Yeah, I don't really understand how (none / 0) (#54)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 10:15:21 PM EST
    one ignores the effects of "successes" on things like the baby formula additives.

    As someone who works in a law firm whose clients are generally along the lines of corporations as opposed to Average Joe, I can tell you that I squirm every time I read about some success we've succeeded in squashing someone who probably never had a chance against the deep pockets of a big company.

    Guess that's why I've been comfortable in estates and trusts, lol; it's rare that we're engaged in helping someone screw someone else - seeing the effects of a person punishing family from beyond the grave is no picnic.


    Congrats to the Huskies (none / 0) (#60)
    by brodie on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 09:57:20 AM EST
    and the Pac-10, especially for beating Nebraska, a team which I've never liked, partly for their traditionally dull, muscle-bound, conservative style of play, partly for the traditionally dull, muscle-bound conservative politics of that state.  

    Although, on the plus side, I do like some native Nebraskans like Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson and Fred Astaire.

    As for UW, I do hope their program is on the upswing (and is kept clean at the same time).  When I was younger, they used to fairly regularly field good to very good bowl-worthy teams.  Pretty cool uniforms, too.