Octavia Was Here

Octavia Was Here

Octavia Was Here

A couple of years ago the Weather Channel began naming North American winter storms, much in the same vein as the international weather services have been naming hurricanes for some years now. I guess calling these storms the Great Blizzard of … pick a year, wasn’t working well enough and certainly would have not worked this year. At first I thought that this idea was a little too cute, but it has grown on me and I have come to embrace the whole concept. Giving the storms names helps to raise public awareness of their dangers and hopefully saves lives. Like the tropical storms, the names of the winter storms are rolled-out alphabetically. What with all of the snow that Boston has had dumped on it so far this winter, we are now up to O for Octavia. The Weather Channel’s names are a little bit more esoteric and require more explaining than the more common first names that are used for the summer storms. Octavia was the sister of Augustus Caesar and the wife to Mark Anthony, who eventually ended up dumping her for Cleopatra.

When I first learned that Octavia was coming to town, it came as quite a shock to me. News of her imminent arrival was accompanied with a forecast that she would dump 8” to 10” of snow on Saint Louis. While Boston has been grabbing all of the headlines, what with the many feet of snow that it has been getting, Saint Louis has been on-track to receive its third least amount of snowfall on record for a winter season. So, getting this much snow from one storm would be a big deal. But as so often happens around here, this snow forecast began to sublimate even before Octavia had arrived in town. The numbers for expected accumulation continued to decline steadily and by this morning I awoke to find only an inch or two of snow on the ground. Another inch arrived during the day, but some portions of the Saint Louis area did get the promised 10”, just for me, not so much.

The photo with this post is courtesy of Photofunia, a website that offers free and easy to use pictures that you can personalized using automated Photoshop like techniques. I have used this site before, with pictures of Anne and I. With this photo you just type in your text and it appears in the snow. Being able to add text to a Photofunia picture is a new feature for me. I could have gone out and written this message in the snow by hand, but I had planned on using this photograph even before the storm arrived, having been disappointed by the weather gods so many times before.

Feeling healthy enough to go to work and with no real justification for a snow day, off to work I went. It was cold, in the teens and for all my whining about not getting enough snow, there was plenty of the white stuff to be had on the roads. What were all the snowplow drivers doing all night long, playing pinochle? None of the roads had been ploughed or treated. This combination led to very slippery driving. My slip-sliding-away idiot light kept flashing, indicating that I was not getting any traction, but I already knew that, when at the bottom of the block I slid into a fortunately empty intersection. I took it slow from then on and made it into work safely. There were plenty of not so lucky, wrong-way facing cars along the side of the highway. Work was pretty empty, even the boss was a no-show. The return trip home was fortunately not the white-knuckles commute that I had had on the way into work.

Primary Colors

Vote For Me, Le Marquis!

Dan left today. He and Annie are flying back to LA together. They each have one more semester in graduate school to go. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Dan, he went out last night and didn’t comeback until I was in bed. Then this morning, I left for work, before he got up. Anne got two hugs from him, and then passed one on to me. I guess that that counts? Otherwise, I just got a re-gifted hug, or maybe a hand-me-down hug. 😥

The concrete repairmen showed up today. This crew was hired by Davey Tree Service, to repair the damage done by their truck before Christmas. They removed the broken slabs and then framed the trench left by them. They should return tomorrow, to pour the new concrete. If everything goes according to plan, I should be able to drive on the new driveway next week, after it has cured. What looks like a week of good weather, with steadily warming temperatures, should facilitate this plan. It also allowed Anne to get out on the bicycle today. She rode 17 miles. That’s 17 miles for the month and for the year and 17 more miles than I have ridden in 2012. She has thrown down the gauntlet, let this year’s bike race begin.

Anne will be working the Missouri Presidential Primary next month, as an election official. The only thing on the ballot is the presidential primary, but it is still pretty much just a beauty contest. As bad as the partisan bickering is on the national level, it is even worse here in Missouri. The Republican led Missouri legislature voted to make the Republican primary non-binding, hence the beauty contest crack. It did not allow the Democrats to do the same, which could have saved the state the cost of an election. There are five candidates on the Democratic ballot, Barack Obama and four other people who I have never heard of and likely never will again. The Democrats wanted to forego their primary and have a caucus, like the Republicans are going to have, but were denied that opportunity. There are ballots for other parties, besides the Democrats and the Republicans, but their irrelevance has caused me to forget who they might be. Like I said, it is going to be a beauty contest. Anne plans on getting lots of knitting done that day.

The Missouri Republicans plan on having a caucus, similar to the more famous Iowan, one, held this week. While the primary was scheduled for February 7th, their caucus is not scheduled until March 17th, by which time Missouri’s candidate selection will be lost in the pack. I propose that we Missourians take action now to regain the limelight. I considered proposing a reality TV show format, like “The Biggest Loser”, we could even ask the Donald to MC, but it would be hard to compete with the year-long soap opera that has been the Republican Presidential race so far. Instead, I propose that the Missouri Republican Party adopt a game show format, called “Missouri Republican Gladiator”. Each caucus member would mount a raised column and with a foam padded club, “debate” the other candidate’s caucus members, until there is only one. The television ought to be electric and will easily catapult the great state of Missouri to the forefront of the national political debate.

Modern Mark Art

Marquis Regen-Axe’s three-part painting Red, Yellow and Blue Reflections questions the nature of representation. The red, yellow and blue enamel paint Marquis applied to the back of each of the individual glass panels is actually and inversion of the usual painting process. Instead of just constituting an image, the red, yellow and blue paint becomes the ground for reflections off of the glass. The deep red, yellow and blue defies our attempts to see exactly what is contained in either the paint or its reflection. In this work Marquis upholds the possibilities of reflective illusions by denying personal artistic expression and the traditional materiality of painting. Created using glass, enamel and paint, Yellow and Blue Reflections, was a gift to the museum by the artist and his admirers.

The preceding part of this post was my pre-storm throw something up now, because you might not be able to later post. Fortunately, at least for us, Friday night’s storms passed by us, instead of over us. Coincidently, our contractor made an appearance on Friday, or at least left tells. The fallen bricks that have been decorating our front porch were moved and placed under a tarp. I suspect that the mason wanted to have dry bricks to work with, instead of wet ones. They are forecasting up to ten inches of rain over the next few days. As of writing, on Friday night, the front has passed, but not without damaging some parts of town. A tornado appears to have passed through north Saint Louis County. Initial signs included a debris ball on the Doppler radar returns. Reports are coming in of damages to the airport. I wonder what my fourth floor desk, just across the tarmac looks like? Maybe I should have left the umbrella out? 😉

Time For Some Scary Fun!


Le Marquis

The scary part would be me, of course.  The fun part is courtesy of Photofunia.  😮


I have posted about this site twice before and it continues to be a good draw for this little ole blog.  I think that my blogger brethren should try it out.  It is easy to use.  There is no signing up required and there are dozen of other templates available.  😉

Art Show

Happy Birthday Dr. Alice!  🙂