December 20th, 2009

krazy koati

Seems that all of my plans are wrecked now; there's a storm alert in effect now

We got our first snow for the season today. The forecast had been coming in for a couple days, for something Saturday night to Sunday morning, and I figured it would be like most first-snows or for that matter average storms, namely, maybe a couple inches faintly attractive and really built up to way beyond what the storm deserves by the local TV news, which has discovered that people will respond to news of Storm Alerts without the jaded indifference that every other bit of what's passed for news on TV gets anymore. They'll wear down interest in storms, I'm sure, someday, and can't wait for it.

Anyway, since I was expecting a post-midnight flurry I was a little put off to rise early Saturday afternoon and find snow covering the back yard. It wasn't much cover, and grass was still visible, but it still suggested that the ``time tracking'' of the forecasts --- which at 8 am yesterday forecast nothing, at 2 pm forecast a quarter-inch, and by 8 pm were forecasting two inches, implying that by 2 am they were forecasting an infinite amount of snow --- might be on to something. My parents arrived home moments later, with fresh bundles of groceries, since there were four or five cubic inches of space in the freezer, and my mother gave an exceedingly detailed report on just where the roads were tolerable, where they were mushy, and where they were impassible (right where we live), but if I wanted to go Christmas shopping, all right.

I did go out. I had to mail cards, for one, and to get some presents for the tougher-to-shop-for relatives, and I like doing a bit of puttering around on the weekends, particularly since I went into work on Friday so missed that as a day off. It wasn't a heavy storm, really, but it was coming down pretty steadily and continuously and after the Post Office, and then Best Buy, and a short visit to K-Mart I realized the roads were too slushy, and the sky too dark, and the visibility too low --- I could see the world vanishing into grey, as if it were ending, and this on the US Route --- to carry on.

Trivia: Contemporary estimates of the money Argentina's Juan Péron spent on Ronald Richter's Huemel Island fusion reactor in 1951 ranged between $3.7 million and $70 million. Source: Sun In A Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking, Charles Seife.

Currently Reading: Outliers: The Story Of Success, Malcolm Gladwell. If this is representative of his writing I can see why he's a bestselling author: it nearly feels chocked full of insight and information while staying extremely breezy a read. I must figure out how it's done before starting work on my own bestselling pop sci book.