Not thrilled with incoming cold, but looking at this morning's surface observations in Minnesota, I feel much warmer. The warmest I found 4am (there) was minus 11.
I took out in the dark to walk Mercy in an area we know well as I've got some early morning errands to run, Better to have the ol' girl 'empty' as opposed to 'full', if you know what I mean. And so I pull out onto the main road only to have a stopped school bus in the opposite lane. At that location it picks up 2 kids that live across the street.
First one kid came out...then we sat...and sat a little more...and then the second one came waddling down the driveway with only a sweatshirt on. 24 degrees. A parent let him out of the house with just a sweatshirt. Struck me as a screw loose somewhere, but I digress.
I was listening to NPR radio this morning and they interviewed Mark Mathes, a former TV weatherman who was a mixed bag of 'issues' , to say the least. From a professional meteorologist standpoint, he was nothing short of a total idiot that demeaned the profession...yet, to many viewers, his wackiness and unpredictability bordered on legal at times. Station management saw $$$ signs as it made for entertaining TV, setting aside anything of true moral fiber. If you were lucky he'd actually mention something about weather. Drugs and alcohol got the best of him over the years, and after being fired from the Charlotte FOX station is back after a long hiatus, this time as a sober AM news host at the same station.
He gave a sage quote worthy of mulling over:
"Religion is for people scared of Hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there."
In my animal cracker blog a couple of days ago, I wrote the little poem that a friend would introduce a song with when I sang with University of North Carolina's "Clef Hangers" way back early in the group's history. They've since gone on to become quite well-known and, well, darn good at what they do with a capella.
There is a group list of Clef alums and we get postings from time to time...and earlier this week one was a semi-cryptic note to keep our eyes out for two Clef Hangers alums that graduated last year as they might be on national TV. They drove to Kansas City, MO last year to try out for this year's American Idol. At least one got through to Hollywood...
He showed up in the second hour of last night's show (yes, believe it or not, I stayed up that late!). He's from India (I think) and came in wearing his self-admitted 'preppy' button down shirt and shorts. You couldn't forget his name either: Anoop. Anoop Desai And so the judges' banter went with "Anoop-dog" like Snoop-dog, made jokes about his college major studying BBQ, and his unassuming dress (for someone really wanting to be the next American Idol)...and then the ol' boy opened his mouth with a Boyz-2-Men song.
As Paula Abdul said first afterwards, "I was NOT expecting that from you...!". Echoed by all, he was through with ease as he has a wonderful, smooth, controlled voice. I hope and trust we'll see more of him...he's certainly accomplished on the stage and with the Clefs, so he has that experience going with him. They only briefly showed his friend and fellow Clef classmate that went with him (Brandon Jackson Baird), and did not say whether he made it through or not. Hmmmmm.
My hospitalized friend Gene had a rough go the first couple of weeks, then moved into a rehab room only to be moved back to ICU within 12 hours with more bleeding in the brain. Happy to report he was recently moved back out of ICU and into the stroke ward, and by his wife's most recent note may get moved to rehab later this afternoon. I'm going by there this morning and see if I can take a picture of the two so they can put on their convalescing website...which reminds me...
CaringBridge. Click the link to take you to the home page...their descriptor says it all:
"Free, personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment, and recovery."
Feel free to type in "genequidley" (no spaces) and see how he's doing, if you feel so led. Heretofore I'd not heard about such a site, but it is an easy way to update (auto sends update to all signed up for posts) instead of rolling scads of phone calls and emails. People are able to write notes to Gene, and Marilyn reads them all to him...a big help, no doubt. If you know of someone in a long-term or critical situation, let 'em know about this wonderful service.
Off to drill a few flute airway holes, take a shower, and join the throngs of cars on the roads. Stay warm, and if you ever want to feel warmer, you can click on this link to check the current weather conditions at the summit of Mt. Washington, NH: BRRRRRR.