Hello New Year!


Unrelated picture of cookies and hot tea to warm you up

Hello everyone and welcome to 2018!!

It has been too long, but not because I’ve been slacking off. It is more because I’ve been trying hard to focus on finishing up a particular major project. I don’t want to give specifics about that right now, but let’s just say, the Pulitzer Committee better start researching a first-class ticket for me to Oslo!

As far as travel for the new year—hard to tell at this point. We hope to get to visit family in New York, Cape May, Florida, and the Detroit area, and all of those possible trips hold the potential for adventure and good times. Aside from those ideas, there are currently no plans for anything really big (and expensive), like Europe or the Caribbean.

I have mentioned Rick Steves’ travel books in past posts.  While starting this post yesterday in front of early morning TV, I saw him on a public television fundraiser, and it reminded me that I recently had some small interaction with him. Sort of.

Last fall, I wrote several times about the trip to Europe we took in the summer.  More recently, I found a forum on Rick Steves’ site where you can post ‘trip reports’. I found it to be a very interesting forum.  I posted a report for our trip, under the angle of ‘when to go…’  Clearly that is something of a hot topic, as my post inspired a lot of people to comment right away.  Just below is a link to the site. My post is the one called “When to visit London and/or Paris”.  It’s an interesting topic that can apply to almost anywhere.  When to go.  We went in high summer, and as I’ve mentioned before, it was really crowded to the point of disillusionment (many places). The next time we go it will certainly be off season.

Unrelated picture of fresh-sliced citrus fruit

The RS travel forum site really is worth exploring.  You have to register in order to comment or post, but I believe you can read away without doing so. It is worth a look if you are interested in travel and doesn’t cost anything.


We had a light snow about a week or ten days ago.  It was enough that I needed to shovel and not much more.  While I was outside doing that, I realized that, not much more than a month into winter, I have had to use the snow shovel at least five times!  Oh, the injustice!  Those of us in the north-eastern states know that we have also been through quite a serious cold snap.  Wind-chills on a number of days have been below zero, and that is cold!  A small upside to working with snow when it’s extremely cold is that it is generally light, fluffy powder, and is easy to shovel. (Yes, I know that my family in Florida will not think that counts for much!) Nevertheless, I must thank Mark Mancuso on Accuweather TV for his good tip several weeks ago. 

Unrelated pumpkin picture on sunny day last Fall in Cape May

There had been a substantial snow—maybe three or four inches, and I was putting off going outside to deal with it. I was watching Accuweather for updates on the storm, when the weather guy at the time, suggested that a leaf-blower might be a good snow-removal tool since it was so cold and the snow wasn’t heavy or wet.  Boy was that a good idea!  I had to dig around a bit to locate my leaf blower and get it out of the shed, but it really worked.  It easily blew the snow off the sidewalk and driveway. It took the snow off the car in seconds. Unfortunately, that method would not be effective for all types of snow, but in this case, it worked like a charm.  Thanks to weather guy Mark Mancuso and Accuweather!

There is a frequently exaggerated idea that Eskimos have fifty or a hundred different words for snow.  My research indicates that this is a myth.  First of all, there is no actual Eskimo language.  In fact, “Eskimo” is just an English term for numerous indigenous peoples that live in polar regions of Alaska, Siberia, Canada, and Greenland, and they speak several different languages.  It is the case that they have more different terms for snow than we have.  We might say that there is snow on the ground, whereas they might have different terms for hard, frozen snow, falling snow, slushy snow, or light fluffy snow.  Their languages would have single terms for those types of snow, while in English we would have to use adjectives to build the constructions that I just listed.

I write all this just as a backdrop for a decision that I have made as to the correct term for snow.

“A big pain in the a@@!”

Pretty though. 


 More soon-

The Working Stiff