2010-12-10 18:06:21.000 – Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist
Boy, time flies, doesn’t it? Another year has passed and I have once again been put in charge of writing to you with our Observatory Christmas List. And like always, I have all my bases covered for getting a letter to you. Last month, I sent a hand written note to you. Last shift I sent you an email with our list as well as a preliminary New Hampshire forecast for Christmas (it still looks like it’ll be a snowy one). And now this shift, I am sending you our list via our Observer Comments since I know you follow them daily to check if we have been naughty or nice boys and girls.
Once again, in my opinion, we all have been good lil’ boys and girls. We have acted kindly to all our interns, guests, friends, families and pets. Even Marty, our cat, has been acting abnormally nice. He must know you’re coming with your special blend of Christmas cat nip. And he is slowly warming up to people so unlike the first time you guys met back in 2008 when he was easily spooked and went into hiding, this time he might come out and brush up against when you arrive.
When you arrive, you will find things a bit different as far as color goes as we have painted the tower as well as the upstairs and downstairs of our section of the Sherman Adams building. And we are getting new ceiling tiles installed. Hopefully they will all be in place by the time you arrive. But no worries, although things might look different aesthetically, everything else remains the same so you should have no trouble sneaking in and out and finding your way around the summit.
So once again, if it’s not too much trouble, could you get us one or more of the following:
1. Observatory Memberships – Not for the observers but for other boys and girls on your list around the world. Since we are membership supported, these gifts would be the gifts that keep giving over the year. And since I know you have a sweet tooth, this year, when you give a gift membership, you receive a box of Van Otis Chocolates for you and the misses to enjoy (or re-gift if you choose).
2. Gift Donations – This will help lighten your bag of toys and help us out in the long term.
3. Edutrips – Again, not for the observers but for the other boys and girls on your list around the world. This gives us the gift of funding and in return, someone on your list gets the opportunity to stay and learn on top of the northeast’s highest peak. And since I know you and the misses anniversary is around this time, you might want to reserve a spot on the special New Years trip we have planned. You stop by here every year in a rush so why not spend the night up here after the holidays and get to know us a bit better. There are only four spots left and I know we would love to have the two of you as guests for the night.
4. LLBean clothing – To keep us warm and toasty. Just remember to keep it synthetic or wool as cotton kills, but I am sure you know what we need living so far north. Also, if you plan on using LL Bean for gifts for others on your list, if you use the link I provided, a percentage of your purchase will go towards helping us out as well.
5. Office Supplies – We work like an office, so anything you can send that will cut costs for us is great: mechanical pencils, refill lead, pens, printer paper, etc. The only exception is Post-it Note pads since last year you went a bit overboard with these.
6. Batteries – Preferably AAA, AA or D’s as our headlamps, flashlights and rescue/research equipment use these.
7. Gift cards – We go shopping for food weekly at Hannaford, Shaw’s or Walmart but Lowes, Home Depot, or anywhere else in North Conway is fine. Well, you know what’s here.
8. Sporting Equipment – Can you ever have enough sporting equipment? I think topping this list is foam sporting equipment so we can play safely indoors, especially a Poof Soccer Ball. As you may remember from past Observer Comments, we love playing indoor soccer and a Poof ball would lower the risk of injuries and breaking things. But we will take any kind of sports ‘toys.’
9. Calendars – We need at least one to keep track of the days up here. Nature scenes or humorous ones are preferred. Plus, if you buy it from our online shop, it gives us a calendar and financial support (two birds, one stone).
10. Board Games – To keep us entertained as a group from time to time. We already love playing Cranium, Apples to Apples, Things, Scrabble, and Loaded Questions. So if you know of any others like these, I know we’d love them. The more offbeat, the better it seems.
11. Books – Preferably popular ones and I know most of us up here would say NO romance novels.
12. Sleds – preferably the long toboggan type that run for about $10-20 bucks since it doesn’t take much for a rock to tear these apart.
13. Candles – Preferably the soy-based, large jar type or tumblers like the ones from Soyfire for example. They liven up our living quarters and make it feel more like home.
14. Candy and gum – Since I know you eat a lot of cookies and sweets, I know you can relate. Can we ever really have enough?
15. Snow – the more the better! Especially since November was so dry.
16. Surprise us again! – Sometimes the coolest gifts are the ones you didn’t think you needed.
That’s about it Santa. Remember that we don’t mind second hand items so long as they are in good, clean and usable condition. This helps out the environment and extends the life on perfectly usable stuff. We are really not picky and are just thankful for anything. Also, if you want a particular type of cookie and drink, like last year, you can post your preferences in our forums. We will try once again to keep the plate full, but you’ve had our volunteers cooking, it’s hard to pass up sometimes; so delicious.
Since it will be my shift up for Christmas this year, I will ensure that everything is in order for your arrival: a clear deck and path to the door, well greased doors, deiced stairs, clean living quarters, decorated Christmas tree, and a full plate of cookies next to a glass of milk/nog/soy (but not Soy Nog, that’s just gross). And I will keep you posted on the forecast leading up to and on the night of your arrival. Travel safe and see you then.
Thanks and Happy Holidays-
Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist