Wednesday
Jan122011

Blizzard, Part 2

Here we are, 5 hours after the previous photograph of the Blizzard of 2011.

At last measurement we had 20" of the sparkly white stuff - and it's still falling, heavily.  In the picture you can just make out the outline of a picnic table beyond the deck - just.  It is disappearing quickly.

It's amazing to me - we live in New England and we get snow every year. Yet when a big one like this hits, everyone goes bananas. And in this day of blogs and Facebook - pictures abound.  In all fairness to myself and my friends, the last time we remember one storm dumping this much snow in such a short time was the Blizzard of 1978.

So far we have one casualty of the storm - our new mailbox.  This past summer we finally replaced the house's original mailbox; after 21 years I finally prevailed upon The Oracle to get a new one.  I'm not sure why he was so resistant - the old one had never been hit by the snowplows; it had one encounter with a drunk driver and survived. So that couldn't have been his objection to getting a new one.

It was - old and ugly.  So we finally got a nice new post and a lovely, grown-up mailbox.

And now? The post is fine, the mailbox was hanging on by a thread.  The Oracle has now duct-taped it to the post to salvage it until spring. At which point we will review whether we need a new mailbox (he says this one is OK, just a little banged up) or find a new way to mount it to the post.  Said post is set quite a way back from the curb so we really are puzzled as to how the plow hit it.

I suspect that underneath the ridiculous mountain of snow at the end of our driveway, parts of the curbing have been churned up.

Ah well - again listen to me go on and on about a bashed mailbox from a snowstorm. We have power, we have heat, The Oracle is lighting the fireplace.  We are home, safe and warm.

Quite frankly, life is good.

Wednesday
Jan122011

Blizzard, Part 1

January 12, 2011 @ 7:30am EST

I present to you - The Oracle's Jeep in our driveway.

We've gotten about 16 inches of snow in about 8 hours; the forecast is for this to continue right thru until later afternoon. It is blowing a near-total whiteout. Our office has been officially closed - a very rare occurrence.

We are hunkered down, safe and warm. We both brought mountains of work home to do, which given the official status of our employer today - we may or may not do.

More pics to come as the day progresses. This is a monster of a storm and they are predicting about 2 feet of snow for us by the time it ends.

Tuesday
Jan112011

Gobsmacked

I haven't wanted to say too much in my blog-sanctuary about the shootings in Arizona.  All that I want to say - I really can't. It would get me in trouble.

I will just observe this:  you can't predict, control or legislate crazy.

When someone is intent on commiting a crime, nothing will stop them from doing what they plan to do. No amount of rhetoric is going to influence them, either way.  It won't cause them to stop their plan and rethink their choices. Conversely, it is also unlikely that a map on the Internet is going to cause someone to commit a crime.

What is likely is for the left to accuse the right of hate speech and angry rhetoric. The hypocrisy of those accusations is beyond the pale.

For the past several days I've wondered this:

As the left side of our political discourse made false and unsubstantiated claims to non-existent rhetoric, I wonder if they saw the irony in accusing their political opponents of being accessories to murder.

In the meantime, there hasn't been much said by the left about the victims of the shooting. Very little in the way of reasoned, respectful conversation has emerged beyond the politicization of this horrific tragedy.

I don't know about you but I find that to be more egregious than any of their other bullshit.

Saturday
Jan082011

The Weekly Muse

It's a mellow morning. The world is blanketed with snow, muting all sound into a stillness that isn't quite - still.  Random cars go down the street; a few brave souls are out walking their dogs.

The birds are active of course.  They are the only sign of activity in our yard today.  I love the morning after a fresh snowfall - there is something so pristine about the whiteness covering everything. 

It is a powdery snow that looks, from a distance, like it's a heavy wet snow.  With no wind to disturb its journey, this snow fell straight, covering every surface in its path.  Mounded on every branch, leaf and needle.

Little mounds of marshmallow fluff.

On this serene morning, my mind is at peace. With so many things. I'm not one to make resolutions as the years change; to me it's just a calendar shift that marks the passage of time.

This year is different. I am resolved to so many things now. 

Fall down. Get back up. Fly.

This is me. It always has been I just didn't know it.  For this new year I intend to continue to allow my true self to shine forth.  To never give up. And to never look back.  Living in the present is where I plan to spend most of my time.

As for the artist this morning - Patty Griffin. I'm not sure when I found her; I'm pretty sure it was from a rotation on a Pandora Radio station.  Doesn't really matter - she is now a great addition to my iTunes playlists. I love her mellow style, slightly off-key voice and dreamy guitar.

And she's one helluva songwriter. Witness the incredible version of Up to the Mountain, sung by the amazing Kelly Clarkson, accompanied by the legendary (and thensome) Jeff Beck.

And for a little contrast, below is the 2nd place finish on American Idol - Crystal Bowersox - also singing Up on the Mountain.

Ms. Bowersox first full-length recording is coming out in a few weeks. I've been waiting anxiously since last year to hear what she does. 

Yes, I confess that we watch American Idol faithfully every year.  I find it to be the one reality show that is actually based in - reality.  It's all about talent, period.  Sure, it starts as a popularity contest and in the end, it is about someone with mad skills who would likely never see the light of day in the music world without the incredible boost of American Idol.

Kelly Clarkson. Carrie Underwood. Chris Daughtry. Crystal Bowersox. Just to name a few.

All young people with incredible gifts who would more than likely have languished in local coffee houses and bars; possibly getting a regional following. And that would be it.  Their uniqueness would have been forever kept under wraps.

And songwriters like Patty Griffin would have a much smaller audience.

Wednesday
Jan052011

Boo Hoo

I know they say that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.  I usually use that as a guide however in this case I'll happily make an exception.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary and close confidante to President Obama, said Wednesday that he will step down and become an outside political adviser to the president and his re-election campaign.

Mr. Gibbs said that he intends to leave the podium in early February. His successor has not yet been decided, he said, but will likely be announced within the next two weeks.

While it's clear that Gibbs will continue to be involved with Obama's administration and - gulp - his eventual re-election campaign.

It will be nice not to hear his whining sarcastic voice anymore.