Suntanning and Other Strange Human Behaviors

When I left the house this morning it was 7° Fahrenheit (-14° Celsius), but the snow was melting.  As best I can figure, that means the sunlight was heating the ground by 25° F. (This is of course, rather shockingly, 14° C.  While I usually think Celsius measurement is awkward, having 0° as the freezing point makes some math simple.  Not that subtracting 7 from 32 is hard.  Oh, nevermind.)

In part I suppose I’m a bit offended that the pretty snow is going away.  More prominently, I’m disturbed beyond all reason.  Anyone who knows me probably knows that I’m afraid of the sun, a fear which has not been aided by an inability to stop investigating it’s object.  It also isn’t aided by constant reminders of the sun’s inexorable potency.

Seriously.  I’m nearly never cold, but it was painfully cold.  Meanwhile though it was colder than my freezer, I was surrounded by melting ice, an effect produced by the oblique interactions of a fire so staggeringly far away as to baffle the imagination.

Why do people lie out in the sun?  In the summer when the sunlight is more direct!  Do they not remember what the sunlight does to ice?  Do they imagine that they’ll fare better?

Either way, it disturbs me.  Impresses me too, but disturbs me.

Now I am safely inside.

I do my work at the local library.  It’s marginally more peaceful than my house, and there’s some psychological effect produced by traveling to a designated work space.  The library is where I get the most work done.

Where I sit is beside a window in the lobby.  I can see the service desk from here.  There’s a big sign over it that reads, “How may we help you?”  Don’t be fooled though.  While at least three employees are there at any given time, if you ask for help they’ll direct you to a computer.  In fact it seems that their only task is to direct supplicants to an open computer.

I’m not sure why this takes three of them.

It perhaps reveals my age that I find this entire schema rather ridiculous.  I prefer customer service from a human, even if that human relies on a computer to answer my question.  Going to the computer myself may be “liberated” in some sense, but it’s not liberation from anything particularly burdensome, and it might be liberation into something burdensome: a world in which we are all free to suppose that we never need anyone.

Perhaps I will not live to see that world.  Extreme shy introversion notwithstanding, I hope I refuse to participate if I do see it. The question becomes how to protect my children from it.  Actually, that’s a question that comes up a lot.

Well, I’m out of time again.  Today’s post has gone from morbid to maudlin.  Perhaps tomorrow I will explore words beginning with a different letter.

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The Curmudgeon Versus Meteorology In General

The radio and internet keep telling me that I’m under a “winter weather advisory.”  Well, weather happens every day, and it’s winter here, so I was advised of winter weather by the calendar, thank you.  This is even less meaningful than the “wintry conditions advisories” that I sometimes receive.  Again, you don’t need to tell me that winter will be wintry.  Warn me if winter will be summery; that would be meaningful.

Of course what they mean to say is that some of the intermittent dangers peculiar to winter might manifest soon, but it isn’t as though the catalog of those dangers is so vast that they can’t be specific.  Tell me that I should expect snow and possibly ice.  Tell me that it might be unusually cold.  In short, actually predict the weather.

In the rainy season they don’t predict storms by issuing “Spring Weather” advisories, or warn of heat waves in July by issuing “Summer Weather” advisories, or warn of blustery gales around All Saints Day by issuing “Autumn Weather” advisories.  Of course not, it would be silly.  And also thus is the present.

How did this even start?  Is the word snow so offensive that we needed a euphemism?  I apologize to my readers for saying it, if it is.  I should apologize to all of my friends and family for sending around that picture of the snowman my daughter made.  Maybe that’s some sort ice related vulgarity, in which case Frosty is entirely inappropriate for children.

I suppose “Winter-Weather-y the Winter-Weather-Man” is hard to fit into a poem.

I’m dreaming of a Winter Weather Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know:
where the trees are affected by Winter Weather
and children listen
to hear sleigh bells in the Winter Weather.

Thus ends that.

In other news my daughter arrived at the most unusual solution today.  She was laying on a blanket on our kitchen floor, and apparently underneath the blanket was a bib.  Like the princess and the pea, she found this uncomfortable.  She dug around under the blanket, pulled out the bib, and stuffed it down her pants instead, which was apparently more comfortable.  I don’t remember that part of the fairy tale.

Nonsensitive: Thoughts on a Hurricane

An ugly chimera of a storm is hitting the eastern seaboard of the United States tonight, and is expected to rain havoc down upon the region for the next several days.  Before anything else I want to say that my family will be praying for all of the people in the storm’s path (both current and recent), and hoping damage expectations were terribly exaggerated.

That being said however, now I need to talk about hurricanes and poor civic planning. Continue reading