Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Weather brings reflections

This doesn’t have the makings for being a very nice day. Snow. Sleet. Freezing rain. Maybe even some rain. Although Gator Wife has gone to her part time job this morning, I did hear from her that she arrived safely without any trouble. Fortunately for me, I have nothing planned for the day, so I’ll just stay where I’m safe and almost warm and hope my neighbor Ed takes pity on me and plows.

GW did say, though, that even in the short distance she drives, conditions were worsening. Not all schools are closed, yet as of 6:15 AM, but the list at the bottom of the TV continues to grow with each pass. Several businesses, mostly non-profits, have closed and the list of parking bans continues to grow.

This makes for a good day to offer some inconsequential thoughts so I think I’ll get a few observations off my mind.

Because of the weather, I’ve been clicking around the TV to see how various forecasts see what’s happening. In spite of all the station hype, it’s apparent they all get their information from basically the same place. Even the weather radar is nearly identical. I guess that’s the way it should be. After all, the weather is what it is.

Two of the stations use those absolutely useless straight lines going in circles trying to convince us that they are right up to date. Have you ever noticed nothing happens as they go around? No blips, no echoes, no nothing. I’d guess that might be because they don’t do anything.

Am I the only one who thinks NBC’s Meet the Press isn’t in the same class as it has been in the past? If the moderator was just one-tenth as important as he thinks he is, the show might be fairly good. Tim Russert he isn’t.

Every once in a while I rant about those infomercials on television. You know the ones I mean, all the stuff sells for $19.99 plus shipping and processing. I was talking with a nice young lady who works at my eye doctor’s office yesterday. She said she had gotten those snuggie robes that are frequently advertised. She called them absolutely fantastic and highly recommended them.

She also bought the Shamwow! And she said, “Wow!” If you get one of those, you’ll be saying, “Wow!” too. She said she never uses anything else now to wipe up moisture. On the other hand, “Wow!” wasn’t the way she described the items hawked by that bearded guy.

I saw one of those commercials the other day where the item sold for something like $6.99. The “handling and processing” charge was something like $14.95. Now that’s a bargain!

Speaking of my nice new glasses, I don’t have them. At least not for another week. I went to pick them up yesterday, which is why I was in a conversation with that nice young lady, as they were ready. I could see better before I got a prescription change. In fact, I could see better through a pair of prescriptions sunglasses that haven’t changed in two or three regular prescription changes.

After a whole lot of fiddling and diddling around and measuring and marking, the conclusion was reached that maybe, just maybe, they weren’t correct. My eye doc wasn’t there yesterday so I have an appointment next week to see what has gone wrong. I’m not worried as they will get fixed. I have a lot of confidence in my eye doc that I’ve been relying on for more years than I’d care to admit.

Getting old has some drawbacks. I’ve been watching some televisions shows lately that have featured what the shows’ hosts call “Grammy Award Winners” perform. My Lord! If these musicians are the Grammy Award winners, I’d sure hate to have to listen to the losers. Before you get too excited about my comments, I recognize that every generation defines its own music. I suspect today’s young people might have similar comments to the music my generation used to listen to. (And some of us still do.)

And that reminds me of a story of an incident that took place back in 1955. A fellow worker at a Florida newspaper and I went out to lunch one day. They had those little table juke boxes back then. He put in his coin and said, “Listen to this” and made his selection. “You are listening to the next super star of music,” he offered. I wasn’t sure where the music was, even back then. I’ve often wondered if that prediction was correct. The singer’s name was Elvis Presley.

Do you see any irony in the storm swirling outside and the opening of the new Legislature in Augusta? The Legislature is facing sort of a storm of its own: How will it resolve the income shortfall to correct the wild spending of the governor and previous governors and legislatures? That problem is a potential storm that could dwarf the nature’s storm raging outside today.

I guess being stuck at home as the weather swirls around gives the mind a chance to wander and reflect a little bit. At least I’ve enjoyed it.

And before I go, I’d like to say good-bye to an old friend and early mentor of mine. WCSH newsman Phil Johnson passed yesterday at the age of 89. May he rest in peace.

Go Gators! Beat Oklahoma Sooners tomorrow night!


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