Life’s a Bomb

Small Diameter Bomb

The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) demonstrates an economy of force that accuracy allows. Weighing in at 250 lbs., it weighs just one-eighth of the 2,000 lb. bomb that it replaces. This weight loss leads to a multiplicative increase in lethality, allowing more targets to be hit than before. The constellation of Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) that allows your phone to navigate your way to grandma’s house, also guides the SDB. GPS guided bombs predate the SDB. This technology was originally applied to the aforementioned 2,000 lb. behemoth, but use showed that this much explosives was overkill. A willowing process led to a progression of bomb size reductions. Eventually resulting in the 250 lb. GPS guided bomb. The innovation that truly marks the SDB is the addition of wings. These wings allow the bomb to glide up to 60 miles from release. Turning away after bomb separation, this fire-and-forget technology allows the attacking of defended targets, at a reduced risk to the bomber. The SDB is produced in Saint Louis by Boeing.

Snow Day

Winter Landscape near a Village, Hendrick Avercomp, 1610

When the Saints Ambrose, Boniface… Vincent, came marching in, we find that we are in their number. No school today, but not much snow either. Why when I was a kid, they wouldn’t even think of closing school unless there was a foot of snow on the ground. OK, Boomer. I suppose that a hardy throng of just released kids have already tramped up Art Hill and trampled what little snow was there, but at 11 °F, it is too cold for me to even fetch the paper. Maybe later. I put the bird feeders up on Sunday and the big tube feeder is already half depleted. I’ll probably have to refill it this afternoon. If pigs had wings… They roost in the bush sheltered by the back porch and make quick dashes to the feeders and back. It’s a sunny day that looks inviting, but I think that it is one best enjoyed through the windows, from inside. Anne’s plans for this unexpected holiday is quilting. She has three that she is working simultaneously. With this unexpected company, I look forward to a full day of pestering the wife. I suppose that I could start getting ready for Thanksgiving. We’ll have a full house, Dan, Dave and Maren, but I think that pestering the wife sounds like more fun.

Wintery Mix

The Mountain, Aristide Maillol, 1937

Neither rain, nor sleet nor snow shall keep our teacher lady from the swift completion of her appointed rounds. Oobleck was in the forecast, but turning on the TV elicited no school closings. The saints were definitely not marching in. In Saint Louis, the TV’s school closings crawl is so dominated with Catholic schools, it is like the song, “Oh when the saints, go marching in, I want to be in their number,” but there wasn’t even a crawl. It was already misting when I dropped Anne of at school, but it was of the liquid variety. It was still above freezing. By mid-morning it had turned to sleet and then soon to snow, as the mercury continued to plummet. At school, during reading, where Anne works one-on-one with a quarter of the class at a time, the other three-quarters soon had their faces pressed to the window, watching the white-stuff coming down. Against all reason, Anne took the class outside for recess, where against her admonition some of the kids soon started fashioning snowballs. “We are not making snowball; we’re making balls made of snow.” Sounds like flake news to me. By the time that I retrieved her, we were well beyond the forecasted 1” of snow. The car needed to be scraped and the roads were beginning to ice. The bottom in the temperature should dropout night. Maybe, the saints will march tomorrow? If so, I want to be in their number.

Home Sweet Home

Autumn Blaze

I’m home again. Anne is being consumed by first graders. Life is good. Pictured is our newish Red Maple, which is living up to its name. When I first got home, I noticed that our front lawn had been tagged. Dig Right had been here. Anne pointed out that all our neighbors had also been tagged. Vaguely I remembered a text from the water company, saying that they would soon be doing something. I guess these paint sprays are part of this something. Later, I met the tagger. He told me that next year, the water company plans on replacing the water mains. They will also be checking the laterals and if you have lead piping, they will offer to replace it. I’m pretty sure that we don’t have lead, but rather galvanized, but it will be good to check it anyway. The hits just keep on coming.

It seems like only yesterday that our street was torn up for a new sewer line. That process lasted for almost a year. In the interim, sewer work has spread out throughout the area, making most of the roads around here feel like an off-road experience. Now that that phase of this process is reaching its conclusion, I say why not. Let’s do it all over again. I mean my lawn is looking nice again, except for the white paint that’s all over it now. The pavement on our street and in our neighborhood is again as smooth as butter. Bring on the backhoes! I’m not saying that the water pipes don’t need to be replaced. Broken water mains are a routine event. It’s just that like everything else in life, timing is everything. The only silver lining in this whole Déjà vu all over again, is that this time it will be our across the street neighbors who will be bearing the brunt of this operation. That is because unlike the sewer line, which is located on our side of the street, the water main is on their side. Which lucky neighbor will get the porta-potty? I wonder if I’ll ever get caught in the shower, when the water is shut off?

Dear Evan Hansen

Outside the Fabulous Fox

What began by accident quickly snowballs out of control. High School is frequently like that. If you are shy, then the advent of sudden fame can be disorienting. The musical Dear Evan Hansen is captivating. Like a slow motion train wreck, you cannot look away. It speeds onward towards disaster, but in the lulls leading to its end, never have I heard so many people verklempt.

Dear Evan Hansen gets its title from the opening salutation of a self-help letter that the title character daily writes to himself. Connor Murphy, an even more troubled youth pulls this letter off the printer, reads it and proceeds to tease Evan about its voiced feelings towards Connor’s sister Zoe. Evan has a secret crush on her. Connor stuffs the letter in his pocket and then noticing that no one has signed the cast on Evan’s broken arm, signs his name in big block letters. His damage done, Connor storms away and later we learn that he has killed himself.

Finding the letter, Connor’s parents assume that it was written by their son to Evan. They come to school, hoping for an explanation about their son’s death. Interviewing a stammering Evan, they implore him for some news, some help, some hope that their son was not as alienated as he seemed to them. Sensing the Murphy’s need, Evan tries to help, by not telling them the truth. One thing leads to another. Add a fake email chain, a moving eulogy that goes viral and the lies pile on top of one another. Spiraling out of control, Evan feels trapped, but in a gilded cage. The Murphy family is well-to-do. Filling the void left by Connor, they invite Evan into their family and offer him a home life that he doesn’t have and then there is Zoe too. At intermission, there is no path for Evan, but down. Don’t worry though, because with six Tony awards, including Best Musical, the second act of Dear Evan Hansen is a journey worth taking.

Three Amigos

Three Amigos

Yesterday, we visited the art museum and toured the new Rembrandt show. I think that its official tittle is more like Dutch painters in the age of Rembrandt, but the type font of his name was way outsized for the number of his works in the exhibit. There were only three. Afterwards, the rain rolled in and we headed over to Blueberry Hill for lunch. We got the Scrabble booth, but the food came too soon, to finish the game. Next up to the Hill we went and visited Hall of Fame Place. This one city block served as the childhood home for baseball greats, Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola and Jack Buck.

Today, we first had breakfast at the Southwest Diner. Rated the best diner in Missouri, it has a southwestern motif going, plus it is situated on Southwest Avenue. Then we were off to the botanical gardens. The gardeners have been busy, too busy if you ask me, turning beds for winter. They are even already putting up their Christmas lights. We haven’t even had first frost yet. Haven’t they heard about global warning. Afterwards, lunch was Vietnamese at Lemon Grass on South Grand. Baseball tonight! The new Mary Poppins movie was on last night. Do I really need to get up at four in the morning tomorrow?