Last Friday, the temperature in Madison was in the fifties. Today, Sarah and I shoveled our walk for the fourth time in twenty four hours. During that fabulous stretch of weather last Friday, Sarah, Dalla, and I went geocaching near Lodi, WI. We started by hiking a few miles on the Ice Age Trail near Lodi. While hiking the Trail, we found two caches and Dalla got to run her little canine heart out. She only rolled in one terribly smelly thing.

We stopped in Lodi on our way to Madison and bought some landjaeger (sausage) at a butcher shop and some butter cookies from a bakery.

For New Year's Eve, we started the evening by watching the fourth ranked and recently hapless University of Wisconsin Badgers Mens Hockey team tie (!) Yale (1-11 coming into the match).

After that, we stopped at the Churchkey Bar (a bar in an old church near the university campus) for a beer before continuing on our way to Capitol Square. While we were walking up to the Square, fireworks were launched into the sky as part of a "family friendly" celebration near the Square. So, we watched the fireworks as we walked up the street.

We ended our trek at Restaurant Magnus where El Clan Destino (a local Afro-Cuban jazz band) was playing for a none-too-steep cover charge ($10). The band was really tight that night. They played some truly excellent Latin jazz that had people dancing amongst the tables. As we were walking back to Capitol Square to find a cab home later, we walked by a cheesy Irish bar packed with people who had paid upwards of twenty dollars to listen to a bad cover band play bad 80's music. I felt sorry for those folks.

My curling team finished up the first half of our season with a 3-4 record. Considering that we started the year 1-4, we felt that record was an improvement. Last week, we won the game 10-1. Previously, we were often on the losing end of a score like that. If we can continue our strong play through the second half, we can still make the playoffs for our league.

As I noted above, Madison finally got snow yesterday. Over the course of the previous 36 hours, Madison got between three and six inches of snow. It is nice to finally not be able to see brown, dead grass as far as the eye can see. Fresh white snow hides many an ugly neighborhood yard.

If the snow sticks around, Sarah and I would like to get out on our cross country skis this weekend.