April Snowstorm in Minnesota

Although it felt like spring had finally arrived in Minnesota, it now seems like winter is back. A snowstorm moved in today, and it is forecasted to bring 8 to 14 inches of snow to the Twin Cities metro area by Friday, April 12. I took this photo on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.

I am still using a Windows computer.

Snow on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota

Northrop Auditorium

I am temporarily using a Windows computer.

I took this photo today of Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota. It was taken with my Motorola Moto G6.

Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota

The Metro Green Line During a Snowstorm at the University of Minnesota

I took this photo yesterday (February 5, 2019) with my Motorola Moto G6. As I was looking at the photo today, I realized it was a good enough photo for this blog.

Yesterday was a beautiful snowy day in Minneapolis. The Metro Green Line, a light rail line, provided the perfect foreground subject against the backdrop of the East Bank’s buildings.

The Metro Green Line moves through snow at the University of Minnesota’s East Bank

My Mom Gets a Fancy Kaleidoscope for Her 60th Birthday

For my mom’s 60th birthday, I got her this kaleidoscope. We just received it from Amazon (this was also our first package shipped by Amazon). It’s a solidly built product. She really likes it and was surprised to receive it because I had told her I wasn’t getting her a kaleidoscope.

My mom looks through the kaleidoscope
One of an infinite number of patterns when looking through the kaleidoscope

Twin Cities Met With Coldest Weather Since 1996

By tomorrow morning, the Twin Cities will be slammed with the coldest weather since 1996. Where I live — in Chanhassen, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis — wind chill values will be as low as -53°F. I’ll be holed up inside for today and tomorrow. I already had to see a doctor last week about possible frostbite on my fingers (I was talking on my cellphone outside without gloves while walking between classes at the University of Minnesota — lesson learned!). I’m not taking any chances this time.

Speaking of the University of Minnesota, my journalism professor informed our class that the University had only closed once in the last 40 years due to cold weather, and that was in 1996. I was, therefore, overjoyed when I received an email last night from University President Eric Kaler. In the email, he announced that the Twin Cities campus cancelled classes after noon today and all day tomorrow. (Note: While writing this post, I received another email from President Kaler saying the Twin Cities campus will close after 5 p.m. today through Wednesday [tomorrow] and that classes will resume after noon on Thursday. Even better!)

I thought I needed to document this somewhat historic weather with my camera, but I didn’t want to venture too far outside. So I took this photo of my front yard around 3 p.m. today, when the wind chill was -41°F.

My front yard in Chanhassen, Minnesota, when the wind chill was -41°F

A Sun Dog in Downtown Minneapolis

A cold snap is beginning in the Twin Cities, with a low around -13°F and wind chill values as low as -29°F tonight. It was a little warmer this morning when I saw this sun dog (if you don’t know what they are, read the Wikipedia article).

Close-up of a sun dog in downtown Minneapolis, January 24, 2019, 8:42 a.m.
Sun dog in downtown Minneapolis, January 24, 2019, 8:47 a.m.

Out and About in My Neighborhood

I took some photos today in my neighborhood in Chanhassen, Minnesota. I initially wanted to highlight the fact there’s been barely any snow this January because of the relative warmth and lack of snowfall. But then, when I got back, I realized how nice the photos turned out because of the clear sky. These photos were taken over the course of 13 minutes on a 12°F day.

[UPDATE, 2/10: I changed my Twitter username to @ns1988.] For those interested, I created a Twitter account two days ago. My Twitter username is @pugsounds. Can you guess what famous album that’s a reference to?

Pugsley and Missy on a rug
Most of the snow has melted in our front yard
Pugsley and Missy look out the front door’s window, a favorite pastime
Stop sign for Audubon Road and Valley Ridge Trail South outside my neighborhood
The National Weather Service’s Twin Cities forecast office is literally right outside my neighborhood, with the Doppler radar serving as a sort of landmark that looms high over nearby houses. It’s been a favorite photographic subject of mine since I took a film photography course in high school (that was in the spring of 2007).
A close-up view of the Doppler radar
Technically, this is government property and no trespassing is allowed. When I was young, however, I would often get much closer to the Doppler radar for photos. I’m much more polite now.

I Installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS From Scratch in Two Hours

This evening, I did a clean install of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS in just a smidgen over two hours.

It took 2:05:58.81 from the time I sat down at my desk this evening to get Ubuntu up and running

That photo shows my Ubuntu desktop after it finished installing with my stopwatch in the foreground. I will even admit that I was going very slow and being extremely cautious. Installing Ubuntu is super easy, and I think anyone that can follow instructions can get it set up without any problems. The reason I did a clean install is that I felt like I corrupted my previous system in some way when I originally tried installing Corel AfterShot Pro 3. You can read this tutorial I just made that explains how to install AfterShot Pro 3 on Ubuntu step-by-step.

This brings me to my last point. Because installing FreeBSD seems a bit harder than I thought it would be at first (because most laptops aren’t fully compatible with the OS), I probably will not be installing it anytime soon. You can therefore ignore this post I made last week about switching to FreeBSD. Maybe some day I will learn how to use FreeBSD. I hope so, at least.