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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weather Report

For days Weather Underground, whose reports show how much more accurate weather forecasting has gotten in recent decades, had said that there would be snow yesterday, on Christmas, but with little or no accumulation.  And meanwhile the days before had had the feeling of something mounting up, much like Ted Williams revving up to sock the blooperball of Pete Sewell, a Cincinnati pitcher, out of the park in an all-star game of many years ago, that I know none of you remember.

It was all in the spirit of John Greenleaf Whittier's long, tremendous 1866 poem, "Snowbound."   He got it just right in his first eight lines, for starters, and I quote them from memory, as I've done quite  a few hundred times, in my time:

     The sun that brief December's day
     Rose cheerless over hills of gray
     And, darkly circled, gave at noon,
    A sadder light than waning moon.
    Slow tracing through the thickening sky
    Its mute and ominous prophecy,
    A portent seeming less than threat,
    It sank from sight before it set.
Then, Xmas morning, Underground made a most curious report.   They said that there would be an inch of accumulation during the day, and a chance of another inch that night, and another inch in this second day that has just started, and a look outdoors just now, just after midnight, showed that there's some serious-looking snow falling out there,  and it will be interesting what the dawn a few hours from now will reveal.

We moved the Saturn,  and we have plenty of firewood and plenty of food, including the turkey that Esther fixed for the two of us yesterday.   So we should be all right, and I hope that everyone else is, too.   But it's still chilling to note that though the days are slowly getting longer, the winter itself has barely started, and they haven't been having a good time with the weather at all in Europe, and they are dependent on the Gulf Stream the same as we are in the Eastern U.S., and  it looks like all the fresh water dumped into the ocean by the melting ice in Antarctica has been having an effect on that all-important underwater "conveyor belt" in these last two years -- a possibility of which all the climate change deniers are happily ignorant.

Yesterday Atlanta was scheduled to have its first white Christmas since the administration of Chester Arthur.  Chester Arthur, man!   Do you know how long ago that was?  That was in 1882.   That day Atlanta only got a third of an inch, yet that record had stayed unmelted through all these years.


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