Weather Reports for the Left and Right Sides of the Brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language and analytical thinking. The right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks and expressing emotion.

It wasn’t enough that The Weather Channel on TV could get you all riled up about Canadian air masses and areas of turbulence over Oklahoma, now you can get upset on your smart phone, too. I used to lean towards not believing weathermen in general but ya know that little thing called Hurricane Sandy when I had no power for 13 days kind of ruined my peace of mind.

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Also, my Gmail background just turned from dark rain clouds to deceptively inviting snow.

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Read along as a sweetly naive California native plans an evening and then smacks up against the reality of winter.

I made a big pot of chili today to keep us warm. Remember when I used to complain that I made myself sick by eating 2 big bowls of cabbage soup? Well now I do it with chili. No longer an isolated food craving – now a trend. One is not enough and two is too many. True for martinis; true for your hearty winter soups.

Wintry Mix

Last night the DIL said to me that this is one more thing about NJ that is crap – “wintry mix” sounds like its going to be something good. When you first hear it, it’s like “Oh -something sweet and tasty?” but no -it’s crap. NJ better wise up – we keep telling her that it’s worth sticking it out through the non-SoCal-ish times but I’m afraid a few more hurricanes, floods, blizzards, droughts or heat waves might just prove us wrong.

Hey, did I read this right? Petula Clark is 80? If yes, then that means that she was 75ish in this video. I stopped saying that I hope I’m in as good a shape as [insert name here] because i’m already halfway to the glue factory. Whatever happened to that Riverdance guy?

I’m working from home today. Whenever I have a big WebEx day, I set up both my work laptop and my home PC s I can skim blogs and mail and still be able to know what we’re talking about if they call my name (although I am far less smooth about that than I used to be). Now I’ve added my iPhone so I can watch you tube videos at the same time.

just imagine an iPhone at the end of that white cord

Of course, if I signed into the WebEx on my iPhone, then I could turn around and wrap Christmas presents on the daybed while the phone was propped up on pillows. I am enjoying the hell out of this phone so far.

This was a very thrilling twitter interaction for me this week:

I don’t really like to drop names but I happen to be a pal of the Vlasic Stork.

Over and out.

Hunkered Down And Holed Up

Hurricanes! Amirite?

Day 8 still no power at our house but half an hour away, our son is back on the grid so we bugged out and headed for heat and lights. They say that we might have power back in our house on Wednesday or Thursday.

What have I been up to all this time? Lots of closet cleaning, lots of napping and lots of reading about LBJ. Hal K. Rothman’s “LBJ’s Texas White House – Our Heart’s Home” makes me want to live in the Hill Country of east Texas, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Lyndon Johnson and The American Dream” made me wish she wasn’t so clipped and cold about a man she had a close and complicated relationship with and Robert Dallek’s “Lone Star Rising – Lyndon Johnson and His Times” clearly laid out the opposing forces that made the man’s personality what it was.

One thing that comes through loud and clear in any book you read about LBJ is that no matter what kind of finagling it took to make things happen,  he sincerely believed in the causes he championed. He was a long -term thinker and deeply aware of how his words and actions would affect his legacy. I read and reread the speech in which he announced that he would not seek reelection in 1968 and could not help but compare his principles and motivation to those of America’s current president. this came at the end of 30 minutes updating details and changes in strategy about the Vietnam war:

“For 37 years in the service of our Nation, first as a Congressman, as a Senator, and as Vice President, and now as your President, I have put the unity of the people first. I have put it ahead of any divisive partisanship. And in these times as in times before, it is true that a house divided against itself by the spirit of faction, of party, of region, of religion, of race, is a house that cannot stand.

There is division in the American house now. There is divisiveness among us all tonight. And holding the trust that is mine, as President of all the people, I cannot disregard the peril to the progress of the American people and the hope and the prospect of peace for all peoples. So, I would ask all Americans, whatever their personal interests or concern, to guard against divisiveness and all its ugly consequences.

Our reward will come in the life of freedom, peace, and hope that our children will enjoy through ages ahead. What we won when all of our people united just must not now be lost in suspicion, distrust, selfishness, and politics among any of our people.

Believing this as I do, I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.

With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

Can any one anywhere in this country imagine Barack Obama putting the country ahead of himself?

Lyndon Johnson remains as unpopular now as he was at the time of this speech. Although he carefully crafted and controlled his public image at every moment, in the end he donated 100% of his papers to his library in Austin without censor for “history to be his judge.” His library is the only one with no fee charged for admission and the papers are open to all who seek them. Can anyone anywhere in this country imagine Barack Obama doing that?

The president is returning to the capital Monday to, quote, “monitor the preparations for an early response”

What a relief! The president is monitoring the hurricane. All those tree removal trucks and out of state power company trucks that I saw on the interstates this weekend could have stayed home with their feet up if they knew this! Rest easy, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall right over your poor dumb head. The president is vigilantly monitoring the storm on your behalf. If you are a business owned by a Democrat. The rest of you are out of luck.

When a big storm is coming, it’s not a good thing to dwell on the news. Last week I was in Denver for 2 potentially significant snowfalls. The second was due to hit on the morning I was to fly home. The prediction early in the week was for 4-8 inches and my flight was very early so I got room service dinner and watched the local news to see if my plans were going to be impacted. They teased out the snowfall amount for the entire hour and kept saying “find put how  much snow we’re getting in just a moment”. They gave every other statistic, interviewed the entire male population of Colorado standing in front of plows, recalled previous snow storms but never said how much snow was coming. (p.s. it was “no snow”. That’s how much snow was on the ground the next morning.)

men at work monitoring the leaves in the street

Sami is outside decked head to toe in yellow rubber. The man loves a task-appropriate costume. He’s got Dickie coveralls dedicated to car fixing,  a twill pair dedicated to yard work, a short green rubber jacket for quick runs out in the rain and this stunning two-piece in canary yellow for hurricane prep.

The street is already full of fallen leaves and it won’t be long until the gusting winds knock the rest down. Then they’ll all float downhill towards the storm drain which will be blocked, clogged and useless for any actual drainage and then we’ll have water coming at us from an entirely new direction. We’re sharing a generator with the family next door on an alternating 30 minute schedule so I think we can keep the sump pump going to it’s maximum ability but who knows how long it can keep up with an already pressurized underground dam and an historic hurricane water dump?

We have plenty of hurricane-smart food and water and wine, a bathub full of flushing water and a closet full of  baby wipes. Sami’s got lanterns and radios standing by with fresh batteries and I have two unread LBJ books three if I find my birthday book and an itty bitty book light.