Walking In The Madison Blizzard

As soon as the late local weather on television was over I was gearing up for the adventure I had planned all day.  Dragging James into my plans, and having him smile through it all, let me know that I must be important to him.  Who else would have willingly joined me for a walk in the blizzard that was bearing down on Wisconsin?  That he enjoyed it too was nice to see.

This was not the first wild storm that I needed to feel hit my face and chill my body.  It will not be the last.

I can honestly say that I do not ever recall the visibility being so reduced by a storm as the one that struck Madison tonight.  James said that at times there was no more than a couple hundred feet visibility down the streets we walked.  And this was on the Madison isthmus! 

One can only image what it must be like in the rural areas tonight.  It all reminds me of why those stories from history that I love so well about ropes being strung from a barn to a house so not to get lost in the weather was no joke.

There is a majesty to the quiet in the city when no one dare venture out in a car.  When no one is out and being loud.  The quiet of the snow seems somehow more intense when it is dark outside.  The winds that howled and burst with energy around cars and houses and up the alleys created by close proximity of  buildings made for what amounted to a thrill ride taken on foot.   My breath could be taken away by the cold sharp burst of the unseen gust, and the coating of snow that came with it seeped even down the inside of my coat.  Who cared?  Onwards!

Walking along tonight I noted that one house with children was silent and dark.  It was as if they did not know the city was closed down on Wednesday and kids should be allowed to be up.  I think the kids should have been able to be out for a while in the midst of the magic that comes in such a power-packed way.  And especially since the ferocity of such a storm as this one is seldom seen.

Maybe that is the difference between being a guy who grew up in the country versus being a child of the city.  Weather is one of the joys that is free to embrace and sense.  It is wild and unable to be tamed.  It shapes us, and makes us conform to it.  It proves what is powerful versus those who think they are powerful.  It makes us the size we really are in the scope of things.

Plainly put the blizzard was awesome!

At age 48 I have lost none of what made me smile when I was a small boy.   Walking with the sting of snow and wind at my face made me aware that the real joys of life are the ones that remain always with us.   

May I never see a snow storm that can not be walked in late at night.

Should You Be Forced To Buy A Gun? South Dakota Elected Yokels Say Yes

This post could have been called ‘Upside Down World!’

The bottom line is this.

It would be unconstitutional to mandate health insurance in America but conservatives want to force people to purchase a gun.

YIKES!  YOKELS GO BAT-CRAP CRAZY  (Which also could have been a title for this post.)

The point these South Dakota elected representatives are trying to make is that mandating health coverage is wrong.  

They have state health care coverage that comes with their elected positions,  but why should the average citizen be allowed coverage?   Why should everybody be forced to have health care!? 

Obviously these legislators have not thought through the reasons insurance companies needed this mandate in the federal law so to provide greater coverage for millions of uninsured.

My question is why any sane person  would try to make their argument against health care coverage with a bill aimed at creating more death, bloodshed, injuries, and reasons for mandated health care coverage?!

Whoever thought this gun bill was a way to make points against health care coverage in America needs to sit in the back of the legislative chamber….with their face to the wall.

Here are the details.

Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm. 

Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

Rep. Hal Wick, R-Sioux Falls, is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. But he said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.

Barbara Bush, Daughter Of President George Bush, Now Supports Gay Marriage

It was sad that President Bush used gay marriage as a wedge issue during his terms in the White House to court conservatives. That not all in his own household feels the same about gay marriage now is a good thing. 

Sadly however, no Bush spoke up when it mattered back at the time damage was being done to Americans all over the nation.

Silence then was wrong.  Stepping up now, while it feels good I suspect for Barbara Bush to do so, is late.  While it is true that modern moral values are beginning to overshadow those of their antiquated elders it would have been nice to have seen Barbara Bush speak out when her dad was President.

She should have known that in politics timing is everything! 

February Full Moon Called “Snow Moon”

Isn’t The Old Farmer’s Almanac fun!

Though February’s full moon does not occur until the 18th the lunar event has a name that seems very appropriate this year.

February’s full moon is known as the Snow Moon because heavy snows often occur during this month.
Really?!
I never would have guessed by looking out the window on Madison’s isthmus.

Historic Snowfall Amounts In Chicago

Everyone if doing one of two things tonight.  Either talking about the blizzard or pressing their nose to the glass windows to watch it.  With that in mind how about some blizzard trivia from the Windy City.

Chicago’s 5 biggest snowstorms
——————————-
23.0 inches Jan 26-27, 1967
21.6 inches Jan 1-3, 1999
19.2 inches Mar 25-26, 1930
18.8 inches Jan 13-14, 1979
16.2 inches Mar 7-8, 1931

Protests Planned In Syria, Facebook Page Calling For “Day Of Rage”

Another corrupt government is about to feel the heat.

Thousands of people have joined a Facebook page calling for demonstrations in the Syrian capital this week.

More than 2,000 people have joined the page calling for a “day of rage” on February 4 and 5, which is also being organised on the social networking site Twitter.  

Facebook is banned in Syria, but it is relatively easy to access through proxy servers.

Since popular frustration at joblessness and authoritarianism exploded in Tunisia and Egypt, there has been speculation that Syria, which has been ruled under a state of emergency law since 1963, and where poverty levels are rising, might see mass protests.

The organisers of the demonstration say they want to “end the state of emergency in Syria and end corruption”.

BREAKING: King Abdullah II In Jordan Fires Cabinet And Prime Minister

The Middle East is changing.

King Abdullah II of Jordan bowed to his subjects’ demands today and sacked his much-hated prime minister and Cabinet. The king has asked Marouf Bakhit — a conservative former premier with a military background — to form a new government.

Abdullah, a close U.S. ally, has come under intense pressure since demonstrations in Egypt and the toppling of the Tunisian regime last month, which inspired a loose coalition of Islamists, secular opposition groups and retired army officials to take to the streets and call for radical economic and political reforms.

Jordan's King Kicks Out Government After Protests 

Demonstrators protested against rising food and fuel prices, rampant corruption and growing unemployment and poverty rates — which sit at 12 percent and 25 percent respectively. About 70 percent of  out-of-work Jordanians are under age 31.

BREAKING NEWS: Hosni Mubarak To Speak To Nation Tonight

UPDATED BELOW

End game?  Will he finally leave the world stage?

Lets hope.

Details to follow.

It is reported that President Mubarak will tell his nation that he will not run again when elections are held.

Will this be enough for those who are protesting?

I suspect not.