Sunday, February 19, 2006

Weird is Normal

I take back everything I said about Spring. The temperature has dropped 40 degrees in Vermont over the last two days -- 20 degrees of that over a few hours yesterday. I was working in my shop during the change. When I walked out to get some fresh coffee my 25 degree blustery day had turned to a 5 degree blast freezer. Had I been wet I would still be standing there with an empty mug frozen to my hand.

Weird weather isn't weird, though. One of my correspondents from Homer, Alaska reports she was abducted and stuffed underneath her own car by the weather there. Not unusual for Alaska, where there is more weather per capita than anyplace else on the continent. An old friend of mine in Homer, a life-long commercial fisherman, has kept a weather journal for the past 30 years or so. Every time he hears people talking about how strange the weather is on any given day, he looks at his journal. His conclusion: abnormal weather is normal.

I started a weather journal when we moved here 3 years ago and already the patterns are clear. Last year on this day it was 7 degrees. A week ago last year it was 50 degrees. So, why do we somehow remember weather as being dependable? "I've never seen this before." Is the most common phrase you hear from people when something dramatic happens. Even if it happens the same way every year.

I wonder if it is because weather is so big and unmanageable that our minds and tender souls can't abide the notion of it also being erratic. I'm sure if the moon did a loop-the-loop on it's trip across the sky tonight that most of us would ignore it or adjust our medications. Next year, if it does it again we'll say, "I've never seen this before."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Spring Training

It is in the fifties here in southern Vermont today. The roads are turning to the typical spring goo and I swear I smelled green grass in the breeze. It's a hallucination, of course. We're still in the dead of winter and this is surely a trick. The pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training in Florida and Arizona, but that doesn't mean it's time to put away the snow shovels. It's supposed to rain, freeze, and blow a gale later tonight. Just enough time to go outside and hallucinate some more.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Can't make this stuff up...

Bush Urges World Leaders to Halt Violence Over Cartoons -- Now there's a headline you don't see all the time. If you didn't know the context of that headline, seen in today's New York Times on line edition, you might think you were reading The Onion, or listening to The Daily Show. But no, sorry, this is our world. It does make one wonder what would happen on the Muslim street if the West did something really offensive -- like invade the Middle East, or provide overt support to their tyrannical governments. Let's just hope nobody finds out about that.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Rolling Stones gather no...

Watching Mick Jagger prance around the arena at last night's Super Bowl I thought, how does someone who looks that old move that young? I mean face it - Mick and the boys appear somewhat mummified these days. Yet, if I tried any of Mick's moves -- at 12 years his junior -- I would have a back spasm for a week. Of course, it's clear they should all have discovered skin moisturizers at an earlier age. And Keith isn't moving so well. He tried that one little dip and I thought I heard his knee pop clear out here in Vermont. And were those orthopedic boots he was wearing?
But, if you detect a tinge of envy in my criticism, you are not mistaken. I've been listening to these guys since I was a kid. Now, 40 years later, they're still rockin' the house and what am I doing? Sitting on the sofa ridiculing their skin conditions. As the man might say, Hey you - get offa my cloud.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


A few days ago I turned the comments on for this blog. Since I wasn't doing anything remotely like daily posts -- I barely do weeklies -- I thought that visitor commentary, praise, and ridicule might spur me to do more. I received my first comment today from a reader who says "You should post more often." Got it.

I'm new to this blogging deal and haven't found my footing yet. It's a different discipline than what I usually do, which is think of a marginally interesting idea I can sound off about, try to think of something new to say about it, and make sure it reads out between 3 and 4 minutes so I can put it on the radio somewhere.

This is different. This is like writing emails to friends when I'm supposed to be working. Come to think of it, this might not be a difficult habit to get into.

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