First day of spring 2008.

So spring has finally sprung, or at least so says the calendar. Here in Michigan we’ll be lucky to hit temps of 45 degrees today and we’re due an inch or two of snow sometime tomorrow. Still, it’s a nicely sunny day so long as you don’t step outside without a good jacket and at least we know that things should be thawing out sooner rather than later. It’s at least starting to smell a bit like spring outside.

I’m ready for spring.

If only because trying to gauge how bad the morning commute is going to be is starting to be a real pain. Anne woke me up early today because she was seeing her parents off as they left for a two week trip to Florida and the morning news was reporting that traffic was just this side of being an apocalypse because there was slush and freezing rain all over the place, supposedly. I say “supposedly” because I could hear rain falling outside our bedroom window and it didn’t sound like freezing rain and I seriously doubted driving was as bad as they were claiming it was. At least not in our area.

And I was right. I ended up arriving at work an hour early, which would be fine except that there’s no one else here to let me into the office where I do the voodoo that I do on a day to day basis. The fellow with the keys showed up five minutes ago allowing me to do something other than sit in the hallway and try not to fall back to sleep. This is going to make today a very long day, though if this is the worst I have to worry about then I probably shouldn’t be complaining.

Official word has it that we’re supposed to get between two to four inches of snow during the day today with another one to two inches overnight, which isn’t all that bad. Especially after having temps in the 50’s the past two days having melted all of the snow we had previously. Still the long parades of gray days has been affecting my moods a bit more than usual so I could do with a few more sunny ones. Today I’ll just be grumpy from lack of sleep.

Governor Asks for Prayer for Rain

What do you do in times of drought? According to the Governor of Georgia, you pray.

He joined lawmakers and ministers on the steps of the state Capitol to pray for rain.

While public prayer vigils might raise eyebrows in other parts of the nation, they are mostly shrugged off in the Bible Belt, where turning to the heavens for help is common and sometimes even politically expedient.

“Christianity has more of a place in the culture here than in some other region,” said Ray Van Neste, a professor of Christian studies at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. “And it’s only natural, in a way, for the public to pray for rain.”

But it doesn’t end there…

Perdue isn’t the first governor to hold a call for public prayer during the epic drought gripping the Southeast. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley issued a proclamation declaring a week in July as “Days of Prayer for Rain” to “humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady in times of difficulty.”

This begs the question of what the fuck the is the Governor doing? Why is he leading prayer? Or better yet, asking for people to pray?

“We need to try a different approach,” said Rocky Twyman, who organized the concert. “We need to call on God, because what we’re doing isn’t working. We think that instead of all this fussing and fighting, Gov. Perdue and all these others would come together and pray.”

“What we are doing isn’t working.” Is there really all that much can be done besides conservation? My Meteorology isn’t all that great but I thought the processes required for rain don’t shift much from human interaction. I know that global warming shifts weather patterns, and more places will have drought and more places will have flooding from Global Warming and these two scenarios will be less spread out. So in that sense humans have an impact. But in the immediate short term, there really isn’t much human interaction is going to do.

And why the fuck is the Governor leading this prayer. He has every right to pray himself, but what is he doing on the capitol lawns asking for and leading prayer. Is it too much to ask for high level government official that understands the constitution?

In this case, it just seems that prayer is a way to shift responsibility from people to God. I know no one is claiming that, but I have always seen religion as a way to shift responsibility for ones actions. Besides that, I don’t really care if people pray. I have never found it useful, no matter how much I used to believe, or how bad my life was. I never got anything out of prayer, no one answered my calls, and no one fixed my life but myself. So I guess my path in life has lead me to to different answers.

There’s a chill in the air…

According to my calendar there’s still a week and a half to go before the official start of Fall here in Michigan, but you wouldn’t know it from the weather. It supposedly got up to 75 today, but the temp is currently sitting at 59 degrees and it’s supposed to drop to 49 before the night is over. This is after a previous week with highs into the mid 80’s. Some of the trees are already starting to take on their fall colors and you can definitely smell it in the air.

One of the things I love about living in Michigan is the change of the seasons. The subtle hints that you pick up on as the days grow shorter and the nights colder and the trees get ready for the coming winter. It’s as close to magic as you can get in the real world. The stores are already swamped with Halloween stuff as it’s the second most popular holiday behind Christmas. For that matter some of the stores already have a handful of Christmas related stuff out as well for the early, early starters. Coolest Halloween inflatable yard decoration I’ve seen this year was at a Sam’s Club (not our membership, but a friend’s). It was a giant inflatable Haunted Castle you could walk through complete with built-in strobe lights and spooky sounds. Of course it costs $249. Costco, where we have a membership, had the inflatable Reaper’s Carriage which includes a skeleton popping out of the coffin inside. The size and sophistication of these inflatable decorations seems to increase every year. Don’t know if I’ll ever bother with the inflatables myself if I ever manage to land a house, though I will probably try to build a few Halloween decorations of my own.

I always get a little giddy with the first chilly winds of September. Halloween and the Yuletide holidays that follow are probably my favorite time of the year. Can’t wait to make the annual trip to a local cider mill for hot cider and donuts. Ahhhh, pardon me while I slip off into a moment of nostalgia.

Happy Ironically Named Holiday!

Only in America would we have a holiday in honor of working where we celebrate it by taking the day off. Also known as the Excuse-For-The-Last-Trip-Of-The-Summer day, a good chunk of the younger generation starts their school year this week. Summer itself won’t end for a few more weeks, but there’s already hints of the coming fall in the weather. Evening lows have been dropping into the 50’s as of late making for good sleeping, but a need to turn off the fans and pull out the comforter.

I’m spending my day lazing about. How about the rest of you?

It’s a soggy Monday morning.

I swear the weather gets weirder the older I get and it definitely seems like the seasons are shifting to the left by a couple of weeks. It rained off and on all day yesterday and it was cold for August. I don’t think it made it very far into the 70’s yesterday and usually August is when we see a good chunk of 90+ degree weather.

Today it’s supposed to rain all day and harder than yesterday resulting in some flood watch alerts for areas of South Eastern Michigan that are prone to such things and it’s not supposed to get any warmer than 65 degrees. That’s just nuts for August. It feels more like October than August around here. Tomorrow we get back up to 76 tomorrow and closer to normal on Wednesday when it should hit 89, but the dog days of summer this isn’t.

Not that I’m complaining too much as it makes for nice sleeping weather when normally August is pretty miserable, but it does give one pause to wonder.

Who forgot to pay the solar bill?

Haven’t had much to post about the last couple of days in part because I’ve been busy trying not to freeze to death:

Most school districts canceled classes yesterday and again today because they were worried about kids standing out at bus stops in sub-zero (when you factor in wind chill) temps. We don’t have a ton of snow or anything, but venturing outside for any amount of time runs the risk of afflicting you with permanent shrinkage. Fortunately we’re supposed to get up to a relatively balmy 24 by next Monday. Oddly enough the last time we had sub-zero temps was in January of 2005.