The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1983

After the January thaw comes the February freeze. Both are mythical events, really, or at least they are moveable events. The January thaw may take place in December or it may not take place at all, and the February freeze can put a stop to the quickenings of March. A late freeze will come this month in most years, though, and if you’re sick of winter this is the one that will break your heart.

The February freeze comes as you realize that the year at last is turning toward spring. You notice that the sun isn’t quite a winter sun anymore. It is warm these days, and it makes real shadows, which the sun of December never does. The sun gets into the trees, softening, limbering, awakening buds. At the ends of their gray branches the smallest twigs show softer colors: pink, yellow, green. The trees stretch their arms. The sun goes into the snow and begins to break it down. It gets into the frozen roads. They soften, and to a depth of an inch or so their surfaces turn to mud. The sun gets into you, too. It gets into your heart and tissues and into your thought. It prepares you for spring.

Comes the February freeze. The trees close up like traps. They freeze inside; their branches creak again. The snow that was softening goes as hard and tight as a concrete sidewalk; you can jump up and down on it. The roads that were going to mud freeze solid again, and taking a car on them is like trying to drive a train over the wrong-sized tracks.

It’s hard, when you had thought winter was ending, to have it all back again. Cheer up. You were right. The sun is warmer. The snow froze and the roads froze, but you didn’t freeze. The sun is still preparing you for spring, and soon it will be back at the snowbanks and the ice again. You were right to rejoice.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1983, page 53, author not given.

Friday Five

You have just won one million dollars:
1. Who do you call first?
My son.
2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
Plastic surgery at a posh, exclusive clinic.
3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
Trust fund for grandkids’ private school education.
4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
I’d offer gifts to a couple of my single friends and make a political contribution to ABB.
5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
I’d invest in my business and buy an annuity for retirement.

They should look on Cape

It’s working: the lobbying efforts of IT pros, coupled with in-company resistance by middle managers, is putting a damper on offshoring tech jobs.
Instead, some companies are now moving projects to U.S. cities where wages are 20-30% lower than in high tech centers like San Francisco.
In a recent survey commissioned by the Cape Cod Human Resources Association, it was found that salaries for managers on Cape are 25% lower than in other parts of Massachusetts.
Perhaps there’s hope for the resurrection of the Sili Sandbar.

Continue reading They should look on Cape

Friday Five

At this moment, what is your favorite
1. …song?
Take 6/Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band cover of the standard “It’s All Right With Me” on the CD “XXL”. This Christian music sextet can SWING.
2. …food?
Salmon, cooked just about any way – smoked, poached, grilled, mashed into cream cheese.
3. …tv show?
Miss Match, if it ever comes back, and The Apprentice on NBC.
4. …scent?
Beach roses and in the winter, Claire Burke Original.
5. …quote?
Tough one, there are so many. From the bulletin board next to my desk, Tiger Woods: “You must be tough enough mentally to handle all potential distractions”.

Mother and Father of the Year – Part II

Okay, I give up – what’s the excuse now for two able-bodied adults in their twenties, living off the charity of several Atlanta-area churches, for the brutal, ritual murder of a little 6 year old girl?
“She had been strangled and stabbed, and her back was broken, police said.
“She had numerous broken bones and compound fractures,” said Atlanta police public information officer John Quigley.”

Continue reading Mother and Father of the Year – Part II

Polymorphism and Yu-Gi-Oh

I spent a great day yesterday with my eldest grandchild, Bob, aka Robert/Robby but never Bobby.
Bob is 8 and in third grade and bored with school, especially math, which he says is a rehash of things he studied two years ago when his Mom home schooled him.
He and his sister Emmeline may be “chips off the old/very old” when it comes to Mathematics. They both enjoy it and get good grades. Emme by the way is the same child who was praised recently in her father’s blog for her mastery of fractions: “If you eat six eighths of a pizza, you’re a pig.”

Continue reading Polymorphism and Yu-Gi-Oh

Offshoring, Redux

A new evil associated with offshoring: data entry of financial AND medical records is being offshored not only to “legitimate” IT firms, but even to prisons!
Doesn’t that cause your heart to palpitate, knowing that your financial records might be available to folks who are in prison, both in this country and abroad.
Furthermore, even in “legitimate” IT environments, there is no enforcement of US privacy laws that would otherwise apply to the most sensitive information.

Continue reading Offshoring, Redux