Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Winter is Coming (Now THAT'S clickbait!)

-Image by uknowgayle from Pixabay-

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"The problem with winter sports is that - follow me closely here - they generally take place in winter." -Dave Barry

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Winter is coming but the good news is it's been three weeks since each and every day included a minute or two of more daylight than the previous day.

The bad news is that with the Christmas and New Year's holidays behind us the only pending holiday that we have to distract us from another frigid winter here in Canada's deep South (Northern Ohio) is the Superbowl.

Easter won't be here till April the 12th and...

[Wait-wait-wait. The Super Bowl's not a holiday and winter started three weeks ago.]

Close enough for all intents and purposes, the Super Bowl I mean. If I'm elected king I'm going to issue an official proclamation that makes Super Bowl Monday an official holiday. America loves three day weekends. 

And yes, winter did officially begin three weeks ago and with the exception of a couple of full-dress rehearsals, it's been unusually mild.


Anyone who's lived here long enough to understand why (and appreciate the sly joke) any discussion of the (mis)fortunes of the Cleveland Browns will invariably include one of the parties involved saying:

"Oh yeah? Wait till next year!


Has lived here long enough to regard the latest claim that economic revival,
locally speaking, is just around the corner with a jaundiced eye isn't putting the snow shovel back in the basement or reevaluating their choice of nat gas suppliers/contracts just yet.

Speaking of local humor, what are the four seasons of Northern Ohio?

- Almost winter
- Winter
- Still winter
- Construction

[Your kind of a glass half empty person, ain't ya Sparky?]

I suffer from seasonally affected disorder.

[You mean seasonal affective disorder?]

Nope. I mean I hate winter. Well, let me clarify that statement.

I hate winter when I'm living, even temporarily, anywhere that might result in my getting killed just trying to get around. Not just now and then, like in other areas of the US, but a solid three months or more of existential threat.

[Temporarily? May I remind you that you've been living in southern Canada, temporarily, for what, 34 years now?]

Hope springs eternal. Glass half full.

I'm not being pessimistic, nor am I depressed. I'm being realistic. I pride myself on my clear-eyed realism. Having been nearly killed as often as I have while wintering well north of the Mason-Dixon, hating/fearing winter is a rational response.

[Aw c'mon, killed? You sound like a wild-eyed exaggerator, not a clear-eyed logician. Can you cite any examples?]

How much time do you have?

[Just one, give me just one example of a time when winter almost killed you. I'll bet that...]

My personal favorite is the time I was driving to work one morning, slid off the road, and went through a gas station sideways between parallel rows of gas pumps.

[Well, I gotta admit that...]

No, wait, it's the time I found myself spinning in circles, rather like a carnival ride, across a frozen field and stopped just short of landing in an abandoned canal.

[Well, at least it was abandoned and you...]

Abandoned as in no longer used. It still contained a good four or five feet of water.

[Well, at least you didn't land in the water...]

This is true, and I only had to walk about two miles to get help and then pay someone to hook up a chain to my 1971 VW Super Beetle with the custom paint job and winch me across the frozen field so I could go home.

[What's the custom paint job got to do...]

Nothing, I just really liked that car.

[I don't suppose that...]

No, she was brutally murdered by a hooge Pontiac station wagon in 1977.


Yes, Brunhilda.

[I'm sorry for your loss.

Thanks. It was in the wintertime.

Winter is coming to my rusty little corner of Flyoverland and just because we've been lucky so far means nothing:

Picture an enormous Monarch butterfly (street name Mothra) wintering in Malibu with his life partner, Maynard. He's standing on the deck of his beachfront condo and flapping his wings, trying to shake off a mild hangover.

He and Maynard hosted a party the night before and the "electric" nectar was flowing freely.

While most people are aware of the fact that a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan can affect the weather on the other side of the globe, most people are unaware of what causes a polar vortex to attack the Northern US.

You guessed it, butterflies wintering on the California coast.

Brrr! Is it cold in here or is it just me?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Cranky don't tweet. 


Saturday, October 27, 2018

News That You Can Use (No. 2)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View Original to solve this problem and access lotsa columns.]

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse  
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader

"Winter is nature's way of saying, 'Up yours.'" -Robert Byrne

Dear (eventual) Stickies & Great-Grandstickies,

This letter/column will probably be of more interest to my current gentlereaders than to the eventual yous but you might find something of value here.

- To my gentlereaders who live north of the Mason-Dixon line and have the good sense to regard the approach of winter (appropriately) with fear and loathing, the forecasts are in.  

NOAA predicts precipitation will range from below average to average. Temperatures, will be above average. Works for me. 

On the other hand... "Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, snow-filled winter..." -Peter Geiger, Editor, and Philom, Farmers Almanac. 

[Purple Journalism Alert: the quote above is from a Fox New website story. The actual quote is, "Contrary to some stories floating around the internet..." Someone at FOX sexed it up. Fair and balanced? Perhaps, but what about accuracy? My emboldening by the way.]

But then again... The Old Farmer's Almanac, not to be confused with the Farmers Almanac, says that "This winter we expect to see above-normal temperatures almost everywhere in the United States..."

Having been temporarily living in Canada's deep south for the past 33 years (Northern Ohio) and having seen my life flash before my eyes on more than one occasion (my vision obscured by horizontal snow showers) I predict it will snow heavily at the worst possible times and probably not on Christmas.

The Sun will rarely be visible. It's most likely to come out early in the morning and shine directly into the eyes of people who would rather be home in a warm bed as they are driving to work.

What are the four seasons of Northern Ohio? Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, Construction. Thank you! thank you very much!

News That You Could Have Done Without...
...But the Purple Press provided saturation coverage nevertheless.

Now, while the following is also primarily directed at my gentlereaders, my Grandstickies may find it interesting from a historical perspective. I wonder if the Purple Press will still be devolving or have stabilized by the time they read this?

As this is being written, a news story about the ancestors of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, currently one of several hundred politicians tirelessly teasing the public about a possible run for the presidency in 2020, is currently "trending."

That is to say, unless you're pursuing enlightenment in a cave in the Himalayas, you've encountered this story -- and the tempest in a teapot it has generated -- here, there, and even way over there.

This wily woman, a veritable soda cracker (white and salty), has been claiming for decades to be 1/32 Cherokee. That's what her saintly mama told her, and after all, she does have high cheekbones.

Of course, she did this out of pride. It wasn't an attempt to advance her career by playing a minority card, which can sometimes serve to assist a given individual in climbing the ladder of America's complicated meritocracy.

Having had it with the racist/sexist/eteceterist attacks by her political enemies, including the tweeter-in-chief himself, she released the results of a DNA test. It provided  "strong evidence" that six to ten generations ago a Native American and an individual of European descent, distant relatives of Ms. Warren, made the beast with two backs.

In other news, America recently marked the 17th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.

Latest From the You Can't Make This Shtuff Up Desk
Kimberly-Clark, the firm responsible for the United Kingdom's most popular brand of kleenex, Kleenex Mansize -- "confidently strong, comfortingly soft" -- have seen the error of their ways. Thanks to a flock of politically correct twitterers tweeting on Twitter the offensive name has been changed to Kleenex Extra Large.

One can only hope that the marketing minion that came up with the clever new name was appropriately rewarded.

A spokesmanperson for the company made clear that "Kimberly-Clark in no way suggests that being both soft and strong is an exclusively masculine trait, nor do we believe the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality."

Ain'tcha glad they cleared that up?

Personally, as an H. Sapien with the letter M on my birth certificate, were I a twitterer I'd request that they'd start selling an American version of the product in question. I, and I'm certain I'm not alone, would love a larger (perhaps even slightly more substantive) tissue.

I prefer my tissues with added lotion so I hope they provide that option as well. I'd like to suggest a name and tagline. Kleenex Extra Large Whipped Tissues -- the tissued with extra softness whipped in. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day.
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©2018 Mark Mehlmauer