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Cold. Dead. No fingers, Clint:P - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Cold. Dead. No fingers, Clint:P

Ye Olde Polare Vortexe has returned. 20F is a mere memory of an hour or two over the weekend. It's been mostly sunny, which also means no cloud cover, which means extremities get extreme exposure- as mine did yesterday, when I schlepped from one courthouse to another without gloves or touque.

Fortunately, that was a short walk, and today, determined to avoid further walks of any distance, I parked in a downtown ramp before going to a closing.  That was fine on my (now) touque-d ears and gloved hands, but when I returned to the ramp, the elevator doors wouldn't even close in the frozen wasteland.  We got to the fourth level (and my fellow passenger beyond it) with a little elbow grease on the frozen door. Even our tundra-like tendencies aren't quite up to anything this low:(


From there, it was off to the bank to sling funds round following the closing. My Offishul Branch is a quarter mile east of my office, but usually I use a different one that's closer to home, Wegmans and gym- and, lacking a live-person drive-thru, I always go in to do the business.  Today, the highlight wasn't anything inside the branch, but just outside- on the sidewalk between the bank and the Indian restaurant/grocery that's one-and-two doors down:

Somebody from the Indian end of things had set up a nest of sorts, in the chilly weather. An upended and tilted shoebox, with two cut-in-half styrofoam cups underneath it- one with water, one with Basmati rice. (That's a guess; I didn't sample the actual wares.)  I shared the story with Eleanor after I got home, and she confirmed my suspicion: that the store owners were taking care of some kind of feral animal that's been hanging round.  Part of me wishes they'd bring it inside in this weather, but they're clearly going above and beyond by doing what they're doing, and we find it incredibly sweet and touching that they're trying.


Outside the circle of life, though, are memories of lives gone by. Several come to mind from a generation ago, another from even earlier but noted today as well.

It was this day in 1986 that the Challenger exploded.  I wasn't watching the liftoff- these had become routine by then- but people in my then-office heard the news and had a small black-and-white set tuned to the networks by the time the fallout began.  I remembered the profound sadness, but not much about the nation's reaction. When Eleanor mentioned the anniversary earlier, I made a crack about how they probably had to wake Reagan from his nap in order to give him the bad news. That was unfair; in fact, the old boy did an amazing job of communicating in a time of need, with a nation that would need that kind of communication the next time the unthinkable occurred 15 years later and an utter boob was on the job:

Yes, Ronnie pre-empted his own State of the Union address to give this speech instead; and in it, he used these amazing words, which would ring even truer if his party, and the country, had followed their spirit in the almost 30 years since:

“And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s take-off. I know it’s hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.”

We've passed 2010- the Year We Make Contact. Decades are passing us by, and soon we will start falling behind the Trek universe timeline. If this great Republican wanted us to boldly go, why the hell don't we?


Today also brought news of the death of Pete Seeger, perhaps the least likely man to ever sit down with Ronnie for a drink, but just as memorable to his generations. One of his final interviews (if not THE final one) came out of a concert he gave here last fall, and the weekly that covered it has brought it back to internet life here.


The week is, surprisingly, more than half-done in terms of stress. Three more days on clock and calendar to balance that:)

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