May 22nd, 2009

krazy koati

Because it isn't raining rain, you know, it's raining violets

Light showers are coming up ahead sometime soon, if we can believe in the forecasts. If we can't beleive in them there's no guessing what's coming. If we were on Channel 4, they would be fourcasts. If we were going according to forecasts but were on Channel 24, we could say we were listening to two-fourcasts, but our friends would look at us with disdain, and we would find the need to apologize in some creative manner probably involving presents or cookies. It isn't worth the risk unless you're into baking, or two-baking.

It's still nice to have the change in weather as it provides a spot for all those quarters, which you've given up on ever getting a complete set of the Commemorative State issues of, what with the discovery that you're never going to catch up with all the vaguely familiar states you'll never visit whose names start with 'M' and which got their quarters released three or four years ago and from the mint you can never remember if you have anyway.

Grandest of all about the light showers is we'll have the chance to soak up a bit of sunshine. It'll be scattered all over, of course, but it'll run more or less downhill. Then it'll gather into puddles, which if the light shower continues long enough will turn into a pond of sunshine. If it keeps growing then it may be promoted to a Lake, then a Sea, then a Lieutenant Colonel, and finally to a Metamorphic Rock. This last change is very hard to arrange; you could live for weeks without seeing it. But they're all rare and special in their ways.

Mostly they're rare because these days people make the effort to soak up the sun. It's easily absorbed by even the cheapest photon towels, and the improvements in quality the past twenty years have meant there's almost no chance anymore for light puddles to be broken up by their traditional remedy, galoshes.

Deploying galoshes against any opponent may seem to be a harsh strategy, but it's less menacing than what happens when you aren't wearing them and step into four squishy inches of mud-purple. It can take weeks to get all that out of your socks, longer if you weren't wearing socks and have to run back home to get them and toss them in the purple. And the poor person who hasn't got any socks at all would have to run to the store for them.

Somebody might think it was worth stepping in the puddles so as to enjoy a light step. Let that person, or a designated agent, try it and see what the thoughts are with half a rainbow squished through the toes. If it's not something like ``I've got a chunk of aquamarine stuck in my shoe'' you'll know someone who prepared their answer in advance, and was probably up to something. So if the light doesn't get soaked up there's little choice but to wear galoshes or, in extreme cases, be galoshes. You can be a galosh by remaining calm and thinking of what you would do if you were to be galoshes, and then doing that.

But if we do end up with light puddles all over the landscape it might be creatively useful. The famouse phrase ``it's raining compasses and poodles'' was first said by Niccolo Machiavelli in 1517 as he tested on his friends lines for an upcoming comedy. It was then said again by him a minute later as they hoped to establish exactly what he had said, and was last said a minute after that as they established it should not be said again (looks like I broke the streak; sorry) and what was he thinking. Then he found the need to apologize profusely and creatively in a process that ultimately involved only one assassination conspiracy, which was pretty good for that era.

Of course there's the chance there won't be any change in the weather and we'll just have to go on having sunny days instead. That's fine but it means all those quarters will have to return to our pockets. These things happen.

Trivia: The Federally mandated standard for iron rails for the transcontinental railroad was that they should weigh fifty pounds per yard. By 1865 the Union Pacific was laying track weighing only 44 pounds per yard. Source: Empire Express: Building The First Transcontinental Railroad, David Haward Bain.

Currently Reading: The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Matthewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball, Frank Deford.