Tuesday, November 23, 2004

It is one of the secrets of Nature in its mood of mockery that fine weather lays heavier weight on the mind and hearts of the depressed and the inwardly tormented than does a really bad day with dark rain sniveling continuously and sympathetically from a dirty sky.
- Muriel Spark, Territorial Rights, 1979

It's cold. In fact, as I typed that, I heard the furnace flare up and begin to roar like a newly-caged stallion. Now the vents are coming on, and the air is whistling through them at an alarming rate. I hope the house doesn't lift off. That could be tragic for Fluffy; she doesn't like air travel.

For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every day has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously.
- George Gissing, "Winter," The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, 1903

Snow in the mountains. People are finding this a cause for excitement. Couples abandon their vehicles on the side of the freeway to frolick in the scrapings of snow beside it. Men call their wives to instruct them in the proper points from which to view those great frosted lumps in all their rugged glory. Canadians are vaguely puzzled, but attempt to understand.

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.
- Carl Reiner

Me too, until I moved to the desert state of California. Cacti abound and coyotes stalk tumbleweeds under the hot, dry moon. Dust, and dust, and dust... Do Californians use more Swiffers and featherdusters per capita?

Sometimes I wonder if Lewis and Clark shouldn’t have been made to file an environmental impact study before they got started west, and Columbus before he ever sailed. They might never have got their permits.
- Wallace Stegner

What is it about California that makes one want to visit it before it was so thickly and inextricably inhabited? The haze of smog that obscures the mountains? The downtrodden native people and animals and plants? The Last Resort?

We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
In the name of destiny and in the name of God.

- The Eagles, "The Last Resort," Hotel California, 1976

May your phones always be charged.

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