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Blue sky, good air

It’s a beautiful morning in Shenyang. Air quality index is 53/80 (first number is “official,” second is measured by the U.S. Consulate). Temperature is a cool 59° F.

I fear that when things get bad, I will forget days like this.


My first China sunset

The rain cleared up in time to give us a sunset.


This is the weather that I was expecting

The view from my bedroom window this morning. Very hazy.


Yet another snow day

Good morning, Washington, D.C.!


This is, I think, the fourth snow day since I started with the Foreign Service.

Snow days cause considerable interruption to the training schedule. There is no flexibility built into the schedule. There are classes scheduled to begin immediately after us, and there are other classes that are just a few weeks in front of us in the training program. If we had to delay classes, it would cause a cascading effect on all the training schedules.

After the previous snow day a few weeks ago, the course coordinators compressed the content so that it would fit into the same time period. That meant longer days, more homework, and shorter breaks. It was stressful for everyone.

Last week, I was just feeling that we were getting back on track, and then this storm hit us. I’m afraid that we are back to a more compressed and stressful schedule. 🙁


Snow Day?!

The federal government is shut down today because of the big snow storm.

I just went outside and took this piocture. Do you see any snow? Me neither.


Squirrel surviving the ice storm on Michigan State University campus

December 24, 2013


Stormy Sky


Must be seen at full resolution to appreciate the detail.