Bonus

Unnecessary Thoughts at Random

The ugly fog, although it frosted the trees in a lovely manner yesterday, which I got to enjoy when heading out for groceries, has otherwise drenched us in gray, moist chill. Today marks five in a row of gray and fog. At least it is somewhat brighter and less foggy than yesterday or Sunday. And a hint of actual sunshine glimmers in the air periodically (we should get sun—possibly—about the middle of the afternoon).

I should be writing the end of “Details, Details,” which I have promised part three for you to read tomorrow (once again for you eager beavers, that part three link should work once that post is up tomorrow, Wednesday). But certain elements are stalled, so I figured I should write something. —I should be writing a book review that I have started but which is also hanging fire (it is my intended post for Thursday). Instead, I’ll talk about the weather.

Since it has warmed up (with highs in the twenties and even thirties later last week), our snow cover has started to recede and melt. I can even see green in the yard where the hideous winds after the last storm blew the light, fluffy stuff that fell away. We have had snow on the ground for just about six weeks now. Of course, melting means the snow has gotten ugly. All the salt I shoveled up from the street shows as dirty gray blotches on the snow mounds, and even the untouched white in the yard is going darker. Ice runs in the sidewalks (well, actually the water runs during the day and freezes into perfect glass at nightfall: I get to walk to and from play practice after dark). Even so, the warmth is nice.

I had started, after a week of sub-zero nights, to warm the house to 60° for the daytime just to survive, and now I can let it just cool to the preset 55° throughout the day, leaving the upstairs temperature at about 57 when the evening setting kicks in as I depart and before Janet returns from her workout. Walking to rehearsal is also more comfortable, although I still seem to dress almost as warmly as before (full facemask and ear warmers but minus one layer of clothing overall). We’re doing dress rehearsals now, so I pull on my costume (gray t-shirt and gray sweat bottoms) and cover that with the lightweight snowmobile pants I usually use for running and shoveling and two sweatshirts (an ordinary one and a hooded one) plus the earmuffs things and knitted facemask. By the time I reach Ohnward Fine Arts Center for practice or heading up the hill to home at the end of the evening, the hood is back and the facemask off.

I haven’t run as I should for many weeks. At first, the snow was too much, and then, as of this past weekend, I hurt my hip somehow (it doesn’t even like walking much). I had run down to practice on Wednesday or Thursday evening (about two miles)—mostly because I left late and did not want to be the reason practice did not start on time (it never does, to my chagrin). I was not in good shoes and was fully encased in my winter walking gear; perhaps I did something wrong that night. All I know is Saturday afternoon and Sunday, it hurt in my hip. It hurt walking. It hurt especially climbing stairs. But it also hurt lying in bed or sitting in a chair (say this one at my computer). And Janet is feeling I am not making good use of my Y membership (I am not; I figure it’s there if I need it—possibly she is right and I should need it now for snow and ice).

As I type, I am making waffles again. I tried the brown sugar today, and also the three teaspoons of oil (instead of tablespoons, which is what I had actually added the day I invented the recipe)—cutting back on the fats to add the actual sugar. Although I am eating some (one of each pair for the most part—with seven blackberries on top) out of my hand as I type, I was intending to begin a frozen collection to use without having any preparation. However, I appear to be burning them (almost). I don’t know if that’s a result of the reduced oil or the actual sugar. Regardless, unless the reduced oil is the problem, you can make my waffles with just three teaspoons (as the recipe reads) of oil. I would welcome the observations of more experienced and thoughtful cooks than I.

One last issue: Qwest internet service is decidedly unreliable for the past two weeks. At least once a day, I find myself no longer online and must turn off the router and modem, wait and then get them started again. Is this inconvenience what I am paying them $55 a month for?

So having said nothing in not quite a thousand words, maybe now I can get to work on the end of the story and the review of James Blish’s A Case of Conscience. Either way, you get part three of the story tomorrow.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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