The Great State of Maine

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Dan sent us some photographs. He got them from the film company that he is about to start working for, on the coast of Maine. They were taken at the cottage that was rented to house the movie’s art department. It’s not my work and I loved them, but in the end I decided not to share them. I think that they were taken to alert the cast and crew as to what kind of weather they should expect and to motivate them to prepare for it. It worked, because Dan was asking us about the REI gift card that Jay and Carl gave him for Christmas. He wants to order some better gloves. It looks pretty cold. Even though the water temperature is warmer than the air, I wouldn’t recommend going swimming. Dan will be working there for the next six weeks.

Meanwhile here in the Lou, the mercury hit 81 ºF, a record. This week, with this warmer than normal weather, I managed to squeeze in back-to-back bicycle rides. This warm weather has also prompted MSD to pick up their pace. They have trenched and laid new pipe past our driveway. The stack of pipes in our front yard had begun to diminish. Work has now progressed about halfway up the street. Two weeks? If only it that could be true.


Trumpeter Swans

Today featured a high in the upper fifties. Quite the change from even this last weekend. The warmer weather seems to have unlocked all of the moisture that has been trapped in the soil. This thaw has unleashed both fog and mud. A particularly drab combination. Anne and I got out for a walk today.

On our walk we surveyed all of the construction that is occurring in our locale. Closest to home are the dueling utility projects. We have AT&T installing fiber and the sewer district uncrossing the streams. Both of these activities seemed to had gone dormant during the cold weather, but today both are being worked in full force. The sewer district had moved a block closer to home. They’re on the next block over now and new hieroglyphs, scrawled on the asphalt, appear daily in front of the house. The drilling rig is back again. I’m not sure what they are drilling for, but I don’t think that it is oil. On our walk, we encountered a weird audio phenomenon. A strange deep basal echo that appeared to bounce from one side of the street to the other. It was caused by the phone company’s pushing of fiber cable beneath the ground. 

In addition to the ongoing utility work, which to the casual observer appears to be rather amorphous and disorganized there are also a number of construction projects in the neighborhood. The biggest one is where a new hotel, restaurant and shopping center adds to the advancing retail sprawl that has been moving ever eastward towards us for years now. At the other end of the neighborhood, a quaint old retail building that had featured a florist and an antique store, for longer than we have lived in Saint Louis, is slated for immediate demolition and replacement with a doctors building.

Dan’s old middle school was demolished in prep for an almost 200 unit, five-story apartment building, but the site has sat idle now for almost a year, while the developer tries to get funding to commence construction. Word is that the old Schnucks property that has sat idle for two-decades may soon be developed. Plans include a new smaller grocery store where the old store building still sits and a high-rise apartment building where the parking lot is now.

All of this work will be good for property values, but much of the new building will only exacerbate local traffic, which is already bad. Not as bad as when the New I-64 was under construction, but do we really want to return to those days? I certainly don’t, but I must admit that this is a desirable area to live in. 

The Cold Is Leaving

Iced Fountains of the Grand Basin

But some ice still remains. It got above freezing yesterday and we got some rain, which then froze on the ground. This morning, the roads were well treated, so any freezing hadn’t lasted long. I drove Anne to school. Afterwards, I drove through Forest Park and saw these ice formations around the fountains in the Grand Basin. It is supposed to continue warming up this week. We might even see 60 ºF! That’s going to feel like shorts and t-shirt weather. I definitely will need to get the bicycle out for that. That’s it for today, short and sweet.

Bomb Cyclone

Sea Star

Those clever, clever people at the Weather Channel have invented yet another new phenomenon that they’re now calling a bomb cyclone, what has been called a nor’easter like forever. As if a cyclone alone isn’t destructive enough, they had to go out and weaponized one. This storm is supposed to terrorize the East Coast this week, starting down in Florida and then working its way north to NYC and  New England. Apparently, mother nature still has the biggest button of them all.

It’s forecast to strike NYC on Thursday, when Dan was planning on flying back to the Big Apple. He went online, looking for an alternative. Initially, American wanted $438 in change fees, even though they were already offering free flight changes further south. Eventually, though they updated their algorithm and were able to accommodate Dan for the lofty fee of 10¢. So, he leaves Saint Louis today, a day early, allowing him to easily make a Friday job appointment. Some more good news is that once this bomb cyclone leaves, our arctic cold snap will soon follow suit and depart too.

Not to belabor this winter weather, but we received a robo-call from the water company. It announced, “We don’t know if frozen pipes have caused you a service interruption or not, but if it has, then we don’t know when we will be able to restore your service. Have a nice day.” Thanks for the warning! Later, a salt-slurry truck came by and laid down chemicals on an ice river that had formed in the gutter from up the block, earlier this week. 

Life in the Ice Age

Life in the Ice Age

We have to keep telling ourselves that this is just climate change and not global warming. Living life here, on the edge of the steppe, Anne and I huddle together for warmth. What little wood that I can find never seems to last. I’m left thinking that we should have migrated south. There is so little game around here now and it is always so cold. Mr. Snuffleupagus and his kin come later and later each year, if they even come at all. Raiders took the neighbors. They were four-legged demons, men on horseback. They swept down from the north on the cusp of this latest wintery blast. I heard that it was something about taxes.

Fred Flintstone was his name, Fred and Wilma. He always seemed kind of loud and bossy, but she seemed nice enough. Anyway, no one deserves that fate. Fred had just been showing off to me his new 60″ HD wall carvings. I really liked watching the new show, 10,000 BC. It seemed so modern. They say that it is supposed to get warmer again, in a few millennia. I certainly hope so. It is hard to believe that it is only the 2nd.  It’s going to be a long ice age and don’t start with any of that Game of Thrones, winter is coming crap. Winter is already here, you [explicit deleted] moron.