Monday, January 6, 2014

We're Having A Vortex

Monday night, January 6th, 2014  10:30 pm

I am frozing. 

Frozing is a word created by the junior son during the winter of 1988 when he was three and and we still lived in the old house where there were old fashioned storm windows that rattled all winter long. Frozing was that moment when you figure out you're too cold to stay outside any longer and when you get inside, you don't want to take off your mittens.

I am frozing. 

I was frozing all day at work. It started when I took the dog out this morning. It was a brisk -24°F. I think the piddle froze on the way out. It was -21°F when I to to work. I thought the office was a little chilly.....turns out we really didn't have heat, we had air conditioning. The day just degenerated from there. The rest of the state was pretty much closed, but not us. Not ever with AC running full blast in the office. People were sitting there wrapped in blankets and coats. About the blankets...our office isn't warm to begin with and people actually keep blankets under their desks. I am giving serious consideration to becoming one of them.

It was only -14°F when I walked the dog at 5:30 this evening. My father-in-law, who flatly refuses to go out in this at all, gave me his fleecy ear-lap cap. I took it. It's not pretty but I still have ears. I am already using the big giant deerskin mittens that go over my knitted gloves. Day...or rather this make me really wonder about the sanity of living on this permafrost tundra we call home.

There are, however, some upsides. You can't fry an egg on the sidewalk in summer and then freeze it solid in the exact same spot in winter in too many places. I saw someone do the banana trick today...that's when you hammer a nail into a board with a banana that's been left outside for 15 minutes. And there's always the frozen t-shirt routine...when you take a wet t-shirt outside and hold it up for a couple of minutes and it totally freezes. But the ol' hot water in a cup trick is the best...especially when done with a super soaker.

There are also some less amusing aspects of the Polar Vortex deep freeze we're having. 

Back when I first came to Minnesota, someone told me the reason I didn't see too many "bums" around was because the weather kept the "riffraff" outta Minnesota. My first winter, 1974-75, the winter of the Super Bowl Blizzard, was a deep freeze winter...yet I saw people living under the Lake Street Bridge that year. Homelessness in winter is a terrible problem here and this year, it's worse than ever. The economy has rendered an entire new class of not just homeless people, but people with homes who cannot afford to heat them. This time, extra shelters have been opened and the requests for blankets, gloves, scarves, and mittens has reached critical mass. (Apparently, hats are plentiful.) It not so old guys with bourbon bottles...there is a cross section of We, the People seeking warmth and shelter. 

We send aid all over the world to develop farming and industry so that those living in squalor in the worst places in the world can feed and shelter themselves and their families, yet we are unable to support an economy where someone working 40 hours a week takes home enough in the pay envelop to cover those basic needs here. I won't even mention medicine. 

Congress reconvenes this week after taking their winter holiday break. How many of our Congressclowns spent that time living under a bridge or in a shelter? As more than a few GOP and TP Congressclowns prepare to cut off unemployment benefits to millions of Americans, have any of them ever had to choose between heat and food? Have they ever asked their constituents the same question?

The GOP and TP is once again proposing the elimination of corporate taxes. Make it a condition that the money saved must be divided between research & development to be done on-shore...and new entry level jobs at a living wage. But corporations want to be considered the same as citizens with the right to participate in politics. Sure, so long you pay income taxes just like everyone else. Somewhere there is a balance to be had. You can't just get the benefits without paying for the privilege of living and working in this nation.

And today Fellujah  and Ramadi fell in Iraq. Kinda makes one wonder about the dollars and the blood capital spent there. Would we not have been better off spending some of the money that went fixing Iraqi roads on fixing American roads? Or bridges? Or schools?

I am not advocating isolationism here. I’m just wondering why our own marginalized population segments are thought to be so disposable that some members of Congress don't see aid to them as a priority.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it’s already -15°F and Miss Ribble behind me has to go pish on my lawn. A mother's work is never done.

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Air really is the best insulator. It's all about layers.

1 comment:

  1. Fellujah and Ramadi are the front running dominoes ready to take the fall. Hang on to your hat. Iraq & Afghanistan are wasted U.S. dollars & time- as both will return to tribual rule and both will be al qaeda strong holds in the near future.. Our ruling class must have wanted 'something' from each of these wars, and we know, as The People, it wasn't to serve our best interests. But there is no doubt that this country is under the control of a ruling class, and we are all playing democrat & republican to keep us busy, while they pull the strings.


    We have a ruling class