Off the Top of My Head
February 23. An interesting week. President's Day, a doctor's appointment, a storm that wasn't and books that had to be returned to the library. But I was still able to crank out the quality material in spite of the hectic schedule. You're welcome.
This N' That
Boids. Stinkin' boids.
The other morning, my wife mentioned that she hasn't seen many birds around the feeder, and actually it was pretty quiet, bird-noise wise. I hadn't noticed, but she's right. I know it's not time for the migrants to return, but even birds who normally stick around, like doves, chickadees and wrens, aren't here.
I don't know if it's climate change, strange weather, local air/water quality issues, the quality of food offerings, other noises and disturbances (there has been a lot of construction around here), or rumors of a family of foxes moving into the neighborhood being true. Whatever it is, I hope it changes back soon.
Headline over National Geographic article:
Mars is humming. Scientists don't know why.
Oh, come on, scientists! Everybody else on the planet knows why! It's because Mars doesn't know the words!
Delta has introduced a new faucet that users can talk to (note to pedants: I don't care, and now it's not the end of the sentence so nyaah!). So instead of touching the handle and putting an imprecise amount of water in a container, users can say
Tell Delta to put 24 ounces of water in the dog bowl.
Me, I'm going to wait until the faucet can deliver the water to where I need it, and will know how hot the water needs to be. Until then, it's bears on roller skates.
My grocery store is not what you might call
eco-friendly. At least, they make it difficult to bring reusable bags to replace the plastic bags they prefer. As the bags get thinner and thinner, cashiers have to use more and more bags to ensure that the bag does not burst its bottom. While appreciative that the bag doesn't burst, I end up taking ever larger wads of useless plastic out to the trash, because I don't know where to recycle them and have maximized their use around the house. So at most, the bags have a
useful life of two hours in my space. Fifteen minutes in the store, another fifteen minutes in the car, a half hour unloading in the house, and finally an hour sitting around on the countertop until they go out to the bin.
I think on my last grocery run I may have broken a personal record. I have had two items in two bags, once two items in three bags. This time, I had two bottles of wine, each in its own bag, and then they were double-bagged, so four bags for two items.
I can't wait for one bag for each item in the entire order. That's the ultimate bar to jump. Top
Winter Storm Terrorizes Tidewater Virginia!
On Wednesday, February 19, reports began circulating of a monster winter storm that had put this area in its crosshairs. Residents anxiously gathered around radios and televisions to get the latest word on the approaching behemoth. Other intrepid souls ventured out in the dozens to replenish supplies of shovels, rock salt, water, generators, and other essentials. One store reported shelves of beer and potato chips being emptied. Snow removal crews from state and local governments spread brine on streets.
Finally, on Thursday evening, the assault began. First rain, then as temperatures plummeted, a mix of wind-driven rain and snow fell on the heads of the prepared and unprepared alike. Schools and businesses scrambled to announce Friday closures. Finally, with the sounds of the storm pelting windows and walks, we retired to bed, hoping and praying and when we awoke, the power would still be on and that we had suffered minimal damage.
After a fitful night of sleep, we rose to a bright and mostly sunny Friday. TV reports were encouraging. There had been only one casualty–a man sprained his knee while spreading salt, a report later proven unfounded. We finally built up the courage to peek around the curtains, fearful of what we would see. We were delighted. At least in this little corner of the Tidewater, we had been spared the brunt of nature's wrath, as seen in the accompanying pictures.
After all the excitement of Valentine's Day and President's Day, this week we have two more big celebratory days–Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. I'm sorry, you can't have one without the other. Mardi Gras exists only because of AW.
I'm betting if you pay any attention, it's to MG (sorry about the abbreviations. I'm starting a new gig writing pharmaceutical ads for TV, and I need the practice). To redress this imbalance, I'm passing along a charming medieval ditty:
Ring around a rosie, a pocket full of posies. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. Snopes has certified that this song does not have anything to do with the Black Death. The only other explanation for the ashes reference is AW. So enjoy. If you take Lent seriously, you go to church and get ashes. The ashes are the tastiest thing you'll get for the next forty days. Then you get to enjoy and gorge on Peeps, the only time of year they're tasty.
enjoy isn't quite right. Top
A recent BBC headline notes that Donald Trump got his wall–in India.
This should not be surprising. After Mexico agreed to pay for the wall, they put construction out for bid. An Indian company won. The only hitch is who is responsible for transportation and installation of the structure, which is why we haven't seen much hardware along the southern border. Top
An insurance company is running an ad featuring two couples in a restaurant. At one point, one woman asks the waitress what she's studying in college. When she replies,
Art, the woman asks,
So what will you do for money?.
I so want the waitress to reply,
I was thinking of prostitution, or
drug dealing, or
insurance fraud. That would be funny. Top