More than 1,000 new readers stopped by Monday at Brome Hill, where new records set for page views and visitors will likely stand for a very long time. It leads me to think there still may be a few new readers in these parts. And to them, I apologize for the old-man rant that is being served up today.
All kinds of books and websites tell us: IF YOU WANT TO SOAR WITH EAGLES, DON’T FLY WITH TURKEYS.
But when it comes to cold — excuse me, “the polar vortex” — the good, old USA seems to have become a nation of turkeys.
I don’t know how else to explain it. The cold weather clearly didn’t bother the dozens of eagles I spotted Monday on my lunch break at Lock and Dam No. 16 on the Mississippi River near Muscatine. The numerous black specks in the photo above are eagles soaring above the river.
Coincidentally, one of the reasons I was able to watch the eagles is that a meeting I was to attend at noon Monday was canceled due to the cold. But it’s hard to fault the meeting’s organizers. After all:
- Sitting down to write this little rant, I did a Google search for the phrase: Polar Vortex 2014. It returned 457 MILLION results.
- ABC and celebrtity news anchor Diane Sawyer devoted roughly the first nine minutes of the evening news to coverage of the cold.
Really? That was the most important thing happening Monday in the entire world? Maybe it was just the easiest story to do and make appear to be a really important bit of news Because, I guess, it has never before been below zero in much of the country. At least you couldn’t be blamed for reaching that conclusion.
Perhaps, like me, all this hoopla about cold weather just frosts your butt. Yes, I know. I’ve whined a bit in the past few days about the cold. And I stayed in a warm and safe place Monday night, where I wrote this rant intstead of going to the visitation and funeral for a former colleague who died last week.
But the way everyone is carrying on, you’d think it’s not early January in a whole lot of places where everyone ought to be familiar with winter. A blogger I admire on Monday nicely summarized my feelings about all of this.
So did Kevin Giles, who was my editor a long time ago at the Bismarck Tribune:
It’s gotten bad enough that eventually someone is going to blame this winter wussifcation of the country on President Barrack Obama. After all, everything is his fault.
Spring — and bicycling season — can’t get here soon enough.