January 17, 2009

"My hollow shell gives you the finger."

That was Blake's response to Palladian's "The absence of real winter is deadening to the human spirit. I mean, look at southern California. Or Florida."

Just something in the comments to my "Unmade Noises" post that made me make a noise — laughter — in the dead of the night... in the dead of winter...

AND: "It was a brutal 78 degrees F today near the beach. I forced my hollow shell to take a hollow walk and record a bunch of hollow images to document the hollowness of a life lived bereft of seasons."

102 comments:

Eli Blake said...

And Blake is right.

Once people are free from the necessary location of their work, where do they go?

That's right. They go to Florida, Southern California, Arizona, south Texas, and Hawaii for retirement. A few stay up north, mostly for family, and there may be a handful of avid skiiers who at least own a second home in the Rockies, but mostly they go south.

Put it this way: I live in Arizona, and you don't see a whole lot of Arizonans moving to, say, the upper midwest looking for a retirement home.

As I originally posted yesterday:

Yeah, it was beautiful when I lived in Montana but I much prefer the ability to step outside and enjoy things, 12 months per year, and rarely with having to put on anything besides what I'm already wearing.

commenter said...

I think Obama's grandmother in Kansas must have known the most extemes of climate. And Eisehnower in Abilene, too. I drove through Kansas the whole length of the state for the fourth or fifth time in the last two years over the holidays. I hate it. And i love it.

Anywhere here's the climate in Kansas. Kansas, it's America.

Kansas's continental climate is highly changeable. The average mean temperature is 55°F (13°C). The record high is 121°F (149°C), recorded near Alton on 24 July 1936, and the record low, –40°F (–40°C), was registered at Lebanon on 13 February 1905. The normal annual precipitation ranges from slightly more than 40 in (101.6 cm) in the southeast to as little as 16 in (40.6 cm) in the west; in Wichita, average annual precipitation (1971–2000) was 30.4 in (77.2 cm). The overall annual precipitation for the state averages 27 in (68.6 cm), although years of drought have not been uncommon. About 70–77% of the precipitation falls between 1 April and 30 September. The annual mean snowfall ranges from about 36 in (91.4 cm) in the extreme northwest to less than 11 in (27.9 cm) in the far southeast. Tornadoes are a regular fact of life in Kansas. Dodge City is said to be the windiest city in the US, with an average wind speed of 14 mph (23 kph).

rhhardin said...

It's 42 in Anchorage Alaska as of 10am EST. That's plus 42. Just before sunrise.

The only place you can get super cold air is in a polar region; and if super cold air shows up in the regular US, it means some super hot air has moved polarward elsewhere to replace it.

chickenlittle said...

I suspected Palladian was just being confrontational back there,and I got his point. I too know what real winter is, but I didn't move here for the weather. And I definitely didn't come here to have my spirit die.

Ironically, my kids (born and raised here in SoCal) are in love with the concept of winter, or least the version books, TV and parents imbue them with. They beg to go back to Wisconsin every Christmas for the snow. We took them up a local mountain this year that had snow as a consolation. I suspect my son will up and leave California when he reaches 18, if not before. I think he senses far too many restrictions here.

commenter said...

rh,

i try to avoid sounding terribly kitschy and post wimpy sappy lyrics, but i am a gemini. we contradict ourselves constantly. And that doesn't mean we indulge in hypocrisy either.

it's those dang windows and doors with the cold:

Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
Dance
I hope you dance.



now sit down and wait your turn.

John Stodder said...

I'm in Boston right now to drop my son off at college. I have a fractured ankle, so I'm dragging around a big cast. It's 16 degrees outside. I feel trapped in my hotel. I fractured my ankle in St. Louis about a month ago, slipping in some ice.

So, yeah, the warmer parts of the globe are much more workable.

siyeh pass said...

Eli, I don't know that I agree with that. My folks have elected to stay in Wisconsin - them having friends that have moved to AZ, they see six of one, half a dozed of the other - what's the difference staying inside (here in the winter, there in the summer)?

Winter's not so bad if you acclimated. Summer all the time would be boring, imho.

Jason said...

We have real winter in Florida.

It was 45 degrees this morning! I was so cold, walking to the farmers market to buy locally grown avocados and lemons. Especially in the wind.

reader_iam said...

Deaden my spirit: Please!

mrs whatsit said...

Sorry, but 45 degrees is Not Real Winter.

It was minus 11 just before sunrise here in upstate New York. (We must have switched climates with Alaska.) I'm with reader_i_am. Becoming a hollow shell sounds fine to me, as long as it's warm inside that hollow.

AllenS said...

I'm not leaving Wisconsin. As far as winter goes, if it wasn't for the snow and cold, winter wouldn't be all that bad.

David said...

I moved to coastal South Carolina about for and a half years ago after thirty plus years in Milwaukee and Chicago. My spirit was set free, though that may have also had something to do with no longer having to practice law 50-60 hours a week.

Monday I fly to Chicago for some medical tests. (U.S. Air, the Hero airline.) It's 45 degrees here in SC today and everyone is complaining about the cold. They think I am putting my life in danger to expose myself to Chicago winter.

This week I have spoken to my daughter, from Brussels, Wi., where it was minus 12 and my son in Saukville, where it was minus 9. My other son, who lives in Madison, has not returned my call yet. I doubt he has frozen to death, though Ted, if you read this, give your father a reassuring call.

My town, Beaufort, has a sprinkling of snowbirds, but the snowbirds tend to the newer gated communities more than the town. Some locals think the snowbird ghettos are where the empty shells reside.

It's always the Strangeness of the Other that is off-putting. It's no accident that our first black President can do white as well as he can do black. Hooray for him.

Outis said...

If we got rid of air conditioning most of the damned Yankees would leave Florida in the space of two years. The lack of seasons down here is largely the result of indoor climate control shielding people from the full impact of Florida summers.

But no air conditioning? Most all the northerners would leave during or after their second summer. All that would be left would be some retirees along the SE and SW coasts, Cubans and natives. (Cubans make the most awesome bread. We need more Cubans.) God, that would be sweet!

(I imagine if they got rid of air conditioning in Arizona that state would empty out by the end of the next June.)

I called a friend in Baltimore yesterday to complain about the cold. It was 55 here. It was 17 there. Unfortunately I had to leave a voicemail. I expect to get a call with a bunch of unprintable invective sometime on Monday. I love Florida!

You Yankees can talk about "soul deadening lack of weather" here in the Sunshine State. But the truth is that soulfulness you feel is actually the result of frost damage to your brains. Enjoy your artic blast, suckers!

Outis said...

Was this an expression of the "deadening" of the human spirit that takes place in Florida? Or did MoDo bring her deadened spirit from up north?

Host with the Most said...

Lived in Beaufort, SC as a kid - it really hasn't changed that much in 40 years, David. I'm now in Southern Cal.

I know palladian had no malice when he made his comment. But we all know those bores who insist for real that people should be stacked up in cities.

Why do so many people want to always control the lives of everyone else? Why do they always know better than you or me, us poor sops?

Two liberal idiots in today's New York Times on this very thing:

Yelena Nam, 21, a political science student from the University of Pennsylvania, said she had been invited to the Philadelphia event because she had been active in a campus campaign for Mr. Obama.

Ms. Nam, a child of Russian and Korean parents who moved to the United States eight years ago, said she had been inspired by Mr. Obama’s call for public service, and had switched her major from pre-medicine because she wanted to be more involved in politics.

“I believe that most of the smart people have not been going into politics,” she said. “Now that’s going to change.”


Yes, that's right. No smart people have ever been in politics. At least if they disagree with this young idiot, they obviously can't be smart.


Robyn Major, 53, a federal government worker from the Germantown section of Philadelphia, said she had been invited as a thank-you for her work on the campaign, and was looking forward to what she said would be a higher standard of leadership in the presidency.

“It’s like Camelot 2,” she said. “We are expecting the best and the brightest to be in the White House again.”



Hoping this idiot above wakes up and wonders what's up with Robert Gates still remaining as SEcDef for one.

Liberal smugness and self-assured superiority: seriously, isn't there some humane way to permanently thin their herd?


By the way, Camelot lovers - the end of Arthur was not good for either him or his country. Better pull your heads out.

EDH said...

The freezer/ice maker in my refrigerator has just started, off and on, to make a low, distant howling sound like the wind, modulating with the uneven tempo of the motor.

It took me a while walking around the house to identify that the noise was not the wind outside coming in through a window.

Do you think my frig is starting to get jealous of the cold weather, not feeling needed anymore?

Bleg: Anyone with a knowledge of appliance repair care to chime in?

William said...

It is better to be young and rich than old and poor. It is better to be alive on a warm day than on a cold one.

Paul said...

I suppose if the only time you go outdoors is to get to a car (or cab or bus or whatever) to take you to go indoors somewhere else a hostile climate is no big deal.

But some of us are outdoors types, and you would be hard pressed to find a better place than California to enjoy a wider variety of activities for a larger number of days in the year.

Those who say we don't have seasons simply don't know what they're talking about. Where I live it looks like Spain in the summer and like Ireland in the winter.

Plus there's the magnificent and varied types of terrain and scenery. No other state can compare.

The last time I was back east was to gig in Philly in the winter. It looked like fucking Stalingrad and I couldn't wait to get back to the Bay Area.

Synova said...

Florida and California had enough winter to please me. Granted, Florida was the pan-handle and California was San Bernadino, not San Diego. But at least there was seasonal change. I've discovered that I really do *need* seasonal change.

The Philippines were different. The seasons were hot and wet, hot and wetter, and ever so slightly not as hot and not as wet. The only seasonal change I really noticed was during "dry" the leaves on the trees got dirty.

I might not need Minnesota just because I grew up there, but I'm not *comfortable* without seasonal change.

Kevin Walsh said...

I could not live where there are no seasons, especially no fall or winter.

Around June 1st I am already looking forward to the days when I can wear a jacket again.

Florida, Arizona? Never.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Lem said...

People are frezing in the cold while Obama rides a cozy heated train.

Palin 2012

commenter said...

Granted, California is extreme, too. I will never, ever, ever forget the serpentine roads and getting lost by getting off the coastal highway south of Shasta, the road where no one was going except school buses of fire fighting citizens. If you have a sensitive nose for things, the smell of forests in that state, be they burning or lush, is incredible.

Hey, my new slogan for the northern part of California, seeing i only got to the bay area:

WE'RE KANSAS ROTATED NINETY DEGREES.

David said...

Host, Beaufort still prides itself on not having changed all that much.

Unfortunately one of the things that has not changed is the thin and vulnerable economic base. Construction has stopped, the hospitality industry is in a tailspin, real estate transactions are frozen and values are still falling and local government is laying people off because tax revenues are falling. The no-more-growth crowd has gotten its way, though not through the means expected, and it is not a good time for a lot of people.

That all said, people are still friendly and pleasant and race relations show no sign of going back to the angst and conflict of 40 years ago.

LonewackoDotCom said...

There's something approaching a real winter 30 to 100 miles or so from downtown L.A. each year. This is from about 5900'. This was from about a thousand feet higher. Both of those are about 30 to 40 miles from downtown L.A., and there are higher areas with constant accumulation.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Make that 40 to 50 miles from downtown. There's also a 6000' peak about 20 miles from downtown where there's occasionally accumulation.

siyeh pass said...

It is better to be alive on a warm day than on a cold one.

In light of recent events, I think it's good enough to be alive, thanks.

save_the_rustbelt said...

I enjoy the seasons, but having now received six feet of snow in six weeks, I would enjoy having just a tad less winter.

Paul said...

Besides if I want to be cold, windswept, and miserable I can just go 30 miles or so west into San Francisco in July where the tourists in Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts are turning blue and have WTF? expressions on their faces. Lots of good third world anthropology going on in certain neighborhoods there too to further increase the misery index.

Another poster mentioned the aroma in the forests and they are dead on. The champagne air of the forests from five to eight thousand feet in the Sierras is so sweet and pure smelling you have to experience it to believe it.

rhhardin said...

Ohio gives you the option of the salted but longer state route home on your bike commute, or the exciting environmentally friendly snow-covered ice bike route.

The latter in a township that decided to follow the West Coast lead owing to the nutball busybodies you find in town councils, giving you seasons within a season.

Bike after about 25 miles of the stuff.

Henry Buck said...

My psyche needs seasons. Fall here in Pennsylvania is beautiful, and the rebirth of the world in spring is magnificent. While California has beautiful vistas, I would tire of looking at brown hills all of the time.

Paul said...

"My psyche needs seasons. Fall here in Pennsylvania is beautiful, and the rebirth of the world in spring is magnificent. While California has beautiful vistas, I would tire of looking at brown hills all of the time."

Pay attention. We have seasons. Spring, summer, and fall. We just skip winter. Those "brown" hills, which are shimmering gold in summer if you get away from the coast a bit, are the lushest, brightest emerald green in the rainy season.

Would I got tired of back east was the boring and homogeneous topography. Small hills with little variation in flora from place to place as compared to Cali, with it's Coastal hills vast plains, REAL mountains, and deserts. All with a stunning variety of form and color.

The other thing I missed back east was the grand sweeping vistas that are the norm in California. Back there you're almost always under a canopy of trees and you can't see very far.

Methadras said...

It's 75 and not a cloud in the sky in San Diego right now. I'm working indoors and not enjoying it at all. Damn you good weather!!!

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

John Stodder said...
I'm in Boston right now to drop my son off at college. I have a fractured ankle, so I'm dragging around a big cast. It's 16 degrees outside. I feel trapped in my hotel. I fractured my ankle in St. Louis about a month ago, slipping in some ice.


I feel for you! I am half laid up now because I slipped on some glare ice underneath snow-covered steps that offered fine traction up 7 concrete steps - then the landing where the ice caused the snowmass to suddenly slip as a sheet, sending me suddenly back down to steps one, two, and threes knife edges.

I read a couple of years back that people who retired from the Rustbelt lived an average of 2.2 years longer than their stay put aged contemporaries. That survey mentioned "better habits, more active lifestyle" as the main causes of near-instant life extension for seniors...but did include falls.

Lets say that someone on in years is also not only likely to be hurt in fallsm drop deadshovelling snow, but the hazards of slippery walks and roads and bitter cold also encourage Northerner seniors to be sedentary, stay in where it is safe, and have some more drinks and cigarettes.

In 1998, we buried our grand-aunt. 82. She had just run a 10K the summer before in Chicago. (Athletic, a medalled surfer, Navy nurse at Pearl Harbor and off Iwo Jima.)
Broke her hip falling on a sidewalk by Lake Michigan in January, (snow and a big wind gust).
Had she moved to Florida or AZ, she might still be alive. Her older sister and brother are still around and shooting for both 100 years and not exceeding 100 playing golf then...
But she was tough, in good shape, and looooved Chicago! And the Windy City lived up to it's name and killed her. At least it was nature, and not some South Side thug killing her in a mugging.

Yeah, I like bracing winters and knowing I can hack -10 DEG weather and trudge through the worst snow and ice normally and drive great on any NE, Montana road. But if I ever get much past 70, I think health reasons alone are a valid reason to move South.

mrs whatsit said...

Paul, if you like varied topography and open vistas, you need to visit New York State sometime. We've got nearly all the varieties. Well, no tropical rainforests, no brown-to-green California hills. But mountains: large, small, medium. Lakes: ditto, but you'll have to add enormous. Woods. One of the greatest cities in the world. Smaller cities. Victorian tree-shaded small towns. Wide-open farm country striped with crops and pastures. Hills. Flatlands. One of the biggest (maybe the biggest?) drumlin fields on the planet. Waterfalls. Gorges. Splendid white-sand beaches. Pine barrens. A colossal historic river. Also, lots and lots and lots of mobile homes . . . .

John Burgess said...

As one raised in the north (Detroit, western MA) who has moved to Florida, I'm quite content with the seasons.

Florida has its seasons, they're just marked differently.

Winter is marked, not with snow, but with the first burst of Bouganvillia, with the pause in the flowering of Hibiscus. Most of the leave of the Russian cherry tree off my balcony fall when the temperatures reach down to the 40s.

We mark the arrival of all those birds who thought the north too cold, avian and human. We mark their departure in Spring, too, as they work their ways back north.

Spring brings another sort of bird out, particularly on the beaches. Curved expanses of pink-turning-tan skin delight the eye from horizon to horizon for a brief period around Easter.

Bus Spring can also bring brush fires; already we have 'Red Flag' alerts warning us of the danger.

To a non-native, Florida might be amazingly, even distressingly flat. I actually have to drive about 90 Interstate minutes to find hills. But I've crossed the Rockies many times; skied in the Alps; and climbed the Himalayas, the lower ones, at least. I know what mountains are like. I can certainly appreciate the relief they give if one lives on hot, desert plains like New Delhi.

I live in a suburban part of a middle-sized city, yet I'm 20 minutes from one of the finest beaches in the world (Crescent Beach, Siesta Key), but only 10 minutes from the closest. I'm also 20 minutes from rural Florida, where cattle and citrus still comprise most people's livings. An hour away, is large-city Tampa; two-and-a-half hours away is megalopolis Miami.

If I want culture, I've opera, ballet, a symphony, and theater right at my doorstep. For another kind of culture, I've fresh water, back water, inshore and offshore fishing. For a good portion of it, I don't even need a boat, though many find a kayak useful.

Florida allows me to live a year that has windows closed two months of the year, one for A/C, one for central heat. I could probably do without either, but as I get older, I'm willing to spend some money on comfort.

I have that money to spend because Florida has no earned income tax, including on my pension. That puts me nearly 10% ahead of where I was when I lived in DC (or abroad, as DC still insists on collecting taxes). The cost of living is about 18% below DC's, so I'm almost 30% ahead of where I'd be had I stayed more northernly.

I still have family up north, from MA to VA. They're nice to visit, even for the holidays. But I wouldn't want to and don't live there.

Cedarford said...

Methadras said...
It's 75 and not a cloud in the sky in San Diego right now. I'm working indoors and not enjoying it at all. Damn you good weather!!!


Sandy Eggo - best weather in America. Right now I'd trade not working this weekend, our -2 DEG weather, and all my present neck and back trauma from falling (stiff and painful with every sudden or significant body movement or when I hit a road bump) - for the opportunity and privilege of being stuck working in a Mission Bay, La Jolla office there and looking out at a procession of hot young bitches walking about in shorts and halter tops.
Envy Methadras. Envy him!

Palladian said...

Constant warm weather breeds mediocre thinking and moral cretinism.

Howard said...

Palladian says:
"Constant warm weather breeds mediocre thinking and moral cretinism."

Dude, you are like way too harsh. Mellow out. You losers from back east are way way agro from all the cocktail consumption to keep your asses warm. A few tokes of the KGB will turn that frown around. 4:20 4-evah

Chip Ahoy said...

Denver has highly variable seasons. For instance, right now we're having a very nice autumn.

Tibore said...

"Paul said...
Besides if I want to be cold, windswept, and miserable I can just go 30 miles or so west into San Francisco in July where the tourists in Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts are turning blue and have WTF? expressions on their faces."


LOL! I, too once experienced a "summer" in San Francisco. What's that statement apocryphally attributed to Twain? "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco"? Twain may not have said it, but I will! Sure, it's hyperbole, but dammit, when it's July and you need a sweater, you're ready to retail hyperbole 'til the cows come home!

Brrrrrr!

chickenlittle said...

Constant warm weather breeds mediocre thinking and moral cretinism.

And termites.
Seriously, are you including other meridional cultures too?

chickenlittle said...

Denver has highly variable seasons.

Indeed. And the weather is very quick to change there. Snow sublimes instead of melting.

Tibore said...

Synova said...
"The Philippines were different. The seasons were hot and wet, hot and wetter, and ever so slightly not as hot and not as wet. The only seasonal change I really noticed was during "dry" the leaves on the trees got dirty."


Oh, Jesus, yes, is Synova ever right! The seasonal heat ranges from intolerable to ridiculously intolerable. And the rainy season goes beyond "wet". It's drenching. And it doesn't help with the damn heat any!!! Folks: Imagine being in a sauna with the steam on full. Now, someone turns a very warm hose on you, but doesn't kill the steam. That sorta gets the sense of humidity across.

As an amusing aside: Hot water heaters are virtually unknown in the Philippines. You can get them, but they're very unusual things to have.

Thing is, it scares the hell out of me that my uncle, born and raised in Mindanao and therefore used to the Philippines heat, bitched about Phoenix in the summer. If it's too damn hot for him... well, I don't know if I'll ever move to Phoenix, let's put it that way.

blake said...

Constant warm weather breeds mediocre thinking and moral cretinism.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man.

Paulina said...

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Jizz Suck (69) said...

Hi let's eat! I smell fish sauce! I'd also like to feel every inch of your goddamn beautiful body!

Deb said...

I once went out with a guy from Massachusetts who had moved to Florida. Raised in the deep South, I longed for a cooler climate. I asked him why anyone would move from Mass. to hot and humid Florida, given the extreme differences in temperature (as I perceived them, anyway). His answer: "You don't have to shovel humidity."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Not all of California is Malibu or Santa Barbara. I live in the mountains and we have all the seasons from freezing ass cold and snowy (right now) to beautiful springs, warm summers and beautiful fall colors.

I can see two beautiful snow capped volcanoes every day. And the view from my back deck can't be beat in the fall or in the spring.

Fall Color

Sunrise through the snow clouds

But I must say the very best weather bar none is in the Santa Clara Valley. A hop skip and jump to the ocean at Santa Cruz, short trip to The City, not too far to go to play in the snow which rarely fell on the mountains. Sigh. When I was growing up there it was mostly agricultural and full of small separate towns, unlike today where it is wall to wall tan stucco and asphalt. The weather is still good even though we have 'paved paradise and put up a parking lot' and lots of strip malls.

Paul said...

My dear Mrs. whatsit

"Paul, if you like varied topography and open vistas, you need to visit New York State sometime. We've got nearly all the varieties. Well, no tropical rainforests, no brown-to-green California hills. But mountains: large, small, medium. Lakes: ditto, but you'll have to add enormous. Woods. One of the greatest cities in the world. Smaller cities. Victorian tree-shaded small towns. Wide-open farm country striped with crops and pastures. Hills. Flatlands. One of the biggest (maybe the biggest?) drumlin fields on the planet. Waterfalls. Gorges. Splendid white-sand beaches. Pine barrens. A colossal historic river. Also, lots and lots and lots of mobile homes . . . ."


I lived in the Hudson Valley for years. I used to have a row boat on the Ashokan and have the whole reservoir practically to myself, so I know NY very well. I'll give you this, there's no city like NYC. I used to play down there all the time and loved it.

But as for variety of scenery and terrain California wins by orders of magnitude. Visit Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite and talk to me about big mountains. Stand to the east of the hills rimming the East Bay and watch a slow motion waterfall of fog 1500' high as it pours over the summit and dissolves before it reaches you.

It can be 55 degrees with howling wind and fog so thick it drips off your nose on the Golden Gate bridge while six or seven miles to the north in it's Marin one hundred degrees with bright blue skies.

I can go on and on. I've lived half my life on either coast, but all the moonbats, high taxes, and general liberal stupidity in the world won't shift me out of this state.

mrs whatsit said...

Well, Paul, it must be confessed that here in NY we, too, certainly do have moonbats, high taxes, and general liberal stupidity, if not slow-motion waterfalls of fog. The Ashokan Reservoir is lovely; I drive past it on my way to visit my folks in the Hudson Valley. It's beautiful there, but there are tornadoes in summer and ice storms in winter. Here, farther north and farther west, we get snow, and still air below zero, and a pure clear moon over bare black branches, and a single brilliant star overhead.

I've been to California, but never for long enough to feel that I know the place. I hope to have a chance some day to see what you've described. I admit, I do hope someday to live someplace warmer.

Jen Bradford said...

I grew up in Maine (cold), and also lived in Scotland (cold and damp), Massachusetts (cold) and now Beacon, NY - where it is currently 15 degrees. (According to Palladian I should be sharp as a tack, but no.)

I don't mind bundling up. It's the dry air & static electricity that puts me over the edge. Time for more pancakes!

Paul said...

Well don't get me wrong, there is beauty everywhere.

I had idyllic days on that reservoir with a mild breeze blowing puffy clouds through a summer sky, rowing my boat, trolling for and catching smallmouth aplenty. Then sunbathing and rolling over the gunwale into the cool soft water for a swim.

I remember the warm soft sexy mysterious summer nights that were so invigorating after a hot muggy day, and are only quite like that in a humid climate.

I remember climbing Overlook Mountain in the rare magic confluence of a full moon and a fresh ice storm that coated everything with crystal that shown in the moonlight like a world only found in dreams.

But still California wins. :-)

Lem said...

Try and get this light show south of the tropic of cancer.

Hablando como locos.

Could skin cancer be a message from nature? People in the tropics hardly get skin cancer, nature has rewarded them/us with some kind of immunity. Yet we stubbornly like it up here despite everything.

Lem said...

Or this?

If the north is so bad, why are most of us holed up here?

It seems like a Wes Anderson pun - "We have not located us yet"

Synova said...

I liked your first pic, Lem. I looked at it and thought "ice crystals in the air" and then read on to the part where they said that experts said it was probably ice crystals in the air. ;-)

The most curious illusion I've ever seen didn't involve ice, though now I couldn't say if is was cold or not, but at dawn (I must have been waiting for the school bus) the winding road down from our house was duplicated at least twice, maybe three times, up into the sky with the hills on both sides. It made me think of a Japanese landscape/watercolor.

Looked as real as anything.

Lem said...

Palin 2012

Lem said...

I hear you Synova.

Only the northern hemisphere could produce a Rothko.

Chip Ahoy said...

"My hollow shell gives you the finger."

My empty casing holds up a mirror which both shields me from your finger and reflects it back to you.

Fred4Pres said...

There is a big difference, having a big old home beautiful in Jackson Hole or Aspen or Sun Valley vs. living somewhere brutally cold where snow turns black, like frostbitten dead toes, and just lingers for months until it eventually melts into a pile of dirt and grease.

XWL said...

Instead of "the finger", my hollow shell gives you these pictures.

Donna B. said...

I'm glad to see that several commenters here pointed out the horrible climate, desolate desert landscape and all the reasons for not moving to Arizona.

It's a horrible place, really. Stay away.

Lem said...

...vs. living somewhere brutally cold where snow turns black, like frostbitten dead toes, and just lingers for months until it eventually melts into a pile of dirt and grease.

Here is someone ready to be on a jury ;)

Where have you been for the past month?

Obama is coming to town!

Everything is going to be allright!

Lem said...

The prospect of Obama Nirvana would not even be sullied by a plane crash.. for Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger splashed the Hudson as the bird he killed earlier might have, w/o any problem.

History will record a miracle. But I know better.

No one dies on the eve of Obama, everybody survives ;)

Lem said...

Everything is going to be allright.?

If you ask me, I think this guy should be getting some credit.

Obama did not mean it! he did not mean to turn us on ;)

Revenant said...

Most of the United States is fine, I guess. I wouldn't die of frustration if I had to live in Boston or something.

Still, there's just something about walking to the coffee shop in 70-degree weather and seeing a newspaper with a headline like "Northeast Buried Under Ginormous Pile of Snow". Why put up with winter if you don't have to?

Palladian said...

Human life spent in happiness and comfort leads to decadence and decay.

XWL said...

"Human life spent in happiness and comfort leads to decadence and decay.

Yep, none of that there "decadence" or "decay" in good ol' NYC.

I think the opposite extreme is truer, a life of desperation leads to desperate acts and much misery.

A happy medium in all things is best. Sure, some great art has come out of various depredations, degradations and depravations, but most people aren't cut out to be great artists, and most suffering is just suffering, not character building, or artistic fodder.

Lem said...

Why put up with winter if you don't have to?

Because we are free from desire

Lem said...

I wouldn't die of frustration if I had to live in Boston or something.

I lived in Mass, I found the Red Sox there. If you want a fresh lobster there is no place like Swampscott.

Palladian said...

"A happy medium in all things is best."

I know thy workes, that thou art neither cold nor hot, I would thou wert cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarme, and neither cold nor hot, I wil spew thee out of my mouth:

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and haue need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poore, and blinde, and naked.

Lem said...

By the looks of it, some of us are hopelessly addicted to Althouse.

We just need a cure made of her pictures ;)

Lem said...
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Lem said...
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Lem said...

I keep getting this wrong.. ok for the last time..

Palla said.

So then because thou art lukewarme, and neither cold nor hot, I wil spew thee out of my mouth:

If you were to follow Althouse as close as Palladian does you too would know she has a well stocked vomit tag ;)

tadaaaa, i taking a vow.

blake said...

Human life spent in happiness and comfort leads to decadence and decay.

So, you're saying DTL is the happiest, most comfortable guy in the world?

Lem said...

I dont know about you but I just need some information... ;)

Synova said...

Just watched Serenity again... try to make people peaceful and happy, that's a good thing, right? ;-)

A little bit of strife, a little bit of anxiety, might not be a bad thing. Maybe that's why we entertain ourselves with contests, games, and the sort of books or movies that we seem to like so well, with a threat that must be met and overcome. We don't have an aversion to that sort of pretend.

Lem said...

.. thou art wretched, and miserable, and poore, and blinde, and naked.

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now...

blake said...

A long time ago
A million years BC
The best things in life
Were absolutely free.

But no one appreciated
A sky that was always blue.
And no one congratulated
A moon that was always new.

So it was planned that they
would vanish now and then
And you must pay before you
get them back again.

That's what storms were made for
And you shouldn't be afraid for

Every time it rains it rains
Pennies from heaven.
Don't you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven.

You'll find your fortune falling
All over town.
Be sure that your umbrella is upside down.

Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers.
If you want the things you love, you must have showers.

So when you hear it thunder
Don't run under a tree.
There'll be pennies from heaven for you and me.

Lem said...

We don't have an aversion to that sort of pretend.

Allright Synova, you are a scifi lady!

Scifi is the closest art gets to truth w/o some people going nuts and start calling people names.

Lem said...

I pronunce you husband and wife

Worry? Me Worry?

Lem said...

Aperentely Linda Rondstadt rendition of Someone to Watch over me is not on YouTube do to rights bla bla bla..

My apologies.. here is the next best

I have the LP of Linda's with her husband (at the time) Nelson Riddle.

Only used it maybe two times to pass to tape. it's in mint condition.

Lem said...

BTW - if you click on - next best (previous post) - Every version of Someone to Watch Over Me will play if you let it.

That comment "my hollow shell gives you the finger" means regret over lost love, nothing else.

Lem said...

Call me crazy but the last singer of someone to watch over me is Valerie Bertinelli!

Yes the one that married and divorced Eddie VanHalen..

Maybe?

Lem said...

I want to play something anti-stablishment very much in the coming spirit of change.

The "other way" is here...

Lem said...

Here is an ode to Obama...

I would go out tonight
But I haven't got a stitch to wear
This man said "It's gruesome that someone so handsome should care"

A jumped up pantry boy
Who never knew his place
He said "return the ring"
He knows so much about these things
He knows so much about these things

I would go out tonight
But I haven't got a stitch to wear
This man said "It's gruesome that someone so handsome should care"
Na, na-na, na-na, na-na, this charming man ...
Na, na-na, na-na, na-na, this charming man ...

A jumped up pantry boy
Who never knew his place
He said "return the ring"
He knows so much about these things
He knows so much about these things
He knows so much about these things


Kind of pre-Obama - but that's how good Obama is.. he was predicted by the wise man of old ;)

Lem said...

Obama With The Thorn In His Side.

Will we ever believe?

Lem said...

Obama with the thorn in his side
Behind the hatred there lies
A plundering desire for love
How can they see the Love in our eyes
And still they don't believe us?
And after all this time
They don't want to believe us
And if they don't believe us now
Will they ever believe us?
And when you want to Live
How do you start?
Where do you go?
Who do you need to know?

Lem said...

BTW, I think I was wrong ..

The thorn is not in Obamas side as much as it is on his side ;)

Big difference; for the sake of concision, clarity and posterity..

La nina, la pinta y la santa maria.

Lem said...

Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
When I said I'd like to smash every tooth In your head..

Oh ... sweetness, sweetness, I was only joking When I said by rights you should be Bludgeoned in your bed..

Lem said...

i dont think anybody has ever been moved or had a revelation via song at any time what so ever...

But, if that's true why do we keep at it? and reward the culprits so handsomely?

yust asking..

Lem said...

I dont think you could get this talent in a room ... for televison anymore.

Michael Feinstein's friends

Revenant said...

Human life spent in happiness and comfort leads to decadence

If that's the case, why does San Diego have such lousy strip clubs?

Lem said...

Oh shoot..

When I said earlier at 12:49 that Obama will say "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" when you know...

I meant to play this video!

I fd up.

Nothing I've said after that video makes sense w/o it. (at least not to me)

Lem said...

"I Didn't Mean To Turn You On"

The whole key to everything is that of course we do mean to turn each other on.. that is the whole point of being here!

At least to me ;)

The weather plays an important role in that endeavor. somehow, apearently..

Lem said...

The supremes (scotus to the click) would not write so dammed eloquent if they did not have to turn anybody on.

Lem said...

Why should i feel guilty because i wont give in?

give in to the weather, give in to the IRS, give into the plumbers?

who?

Lem said...

Well, I'm on.. for my own selfish reasons.

traditionalguy said...

There is a new term you hear in the real estate sales in northern Georgia. Half Backers. This is the growing group of 65+ retirees coming Back out of Sunny Fla and settling into nice areas of the state in the mountains north of Atlanta. The Governor's proposed, but not yet passed, elimination of the 6% State Income tax in Ga on retirees over 65, to make Ga more attractive to them when compared to Fla's lack of an income tax[ but high sales tax] may encourage this trend. It seems that much of Fla. has lost its appeal to them due to crowding, safety issues, high insurance rates and a realization after a few years that the natives of Fla, who run the Gov't systems, are all out to skin the newcomers in every way they can conspire to do so. There is one added factor to a lack of winter weather: the down and out and the lazy vagrant types like to gather in Fla in the winter seasons. But the new trend of retirees leaving Fla doesn't mean they are going back to the North Country where the wind blows hard on the border line. They love the hospitality and the safe 1950's feel of the traditional Southern culure in northern Ga, where has a winter,but it seldom snows, and has mild summer temps. All of this is only an hour drive from ATL airport and the cultural/ medical facilities in Atlanta. [I expect that Titus would feel very much at home in Atlanta itself] Now we'll see how this year's failure of the great Global Warming will affect these Half-backers.

Ann Althouse said...

"Human life spent in happiness and comfort leads to decadence and decay. '

Human life spent doing anything leads to decadence and decay.

Iapetus said...

Lem@1:19 am: Go Big Blue!