Not being a meteorologist I can't explain what has been going on in the
air mass over Happy Valley. But whatever it is, it has caused one hot
summer Actually, a season that started with a couple of 100 degree
days in May should have warned us.
The ancients, not having air conditioning, blamed Sirius the Dog Star
for the hot, muggy days. To appease Sirius they prayed and made
sacrifices, usually brown dogs. According to Brady's Clavis
Calendarium, written in 1813, this was believed to be an evil time when
"the sea boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad and all creatures
became languid." I'll buy that, especially the languid part.
Fortunately there are always some entertaining stories to help us take
our minds off the heat.
Far and away the funniest, I think, was the Republican Convention. I
learned a new word lately. It is quaquaversal (kwuh-kwuh-VUR-sal), an
adjective which means "sloping downward to the center in all directions.
It comes from Latin quaquavers(us), wheresoever turned, turned
everywhere . That does describe last week in Philadelphia -- all the
women and blacks and Latinos and handicapped and pro-choicers and
pro-lifers and a few white guys in suits "agreeing" on everything and
sliding down into a mushy center. Heck, when the Republican right wing
and the "compassionate conservatives" don't shoot each other, that
takes all the fun out of having an election. Another new word I
learned recently (this Wordsmith program on the web is great) might
describe the end result, cloud-cuckoo-land, an idealized, illusory
domain of imagination; cloudland. [Translation of Greek
Nephelokokkygia, the realm which separates the gods from mankind in
Aristophanes' The Birds.]
One of the best parts of summer for me is watching women's pro
basketball on television. WNBA stands for Women's National Basketball
Association, not Wannabe NBA as one of my male friends insists on
calling it. They play a more skillful game than the guys -- so there!
My favorites, the Phoenix Mercury, have not been doing as well as usual
this year, but they did make the playoffs. And I like to watch
Colorado's own Becky Hammon, who was an outstanding player at C. S. U.
and in her second year as a pro is already a bright star for the New
York Liberty. At 5'6" and 135 pounds she zips around those six footers
And then we have the bears. Imagine waking up some morning, staggering
out to the kitchen and looking out the window before you have your first
cup of coffee. What is that chomping on your flowers? Looks like a
bear. Nah, couldn't be. Hey, it really, it looks like a bear. My
gosh -- it IS a bear. Eight bears have wandered down into the
residential areas of the valley so far this summer and made themselves
at home. Fortunately the DOW has been able to remove them without any
damage to people or bears. Heat and dry weather have cut the bears'
Thanks to some somewhat smaller critters, my sugar supply is dwindling
rapidly this year. Two dark gray or black hummers are drinking me dry.
Most of the time there is just one but occasionally there are twins
fighting over the syrup. I can't tell them apart, so have no idea what
their family arrangements are or whether they are fathers or mothers.
But watching them is great recreation on hot days.
Two guys from Texas (naturally) deliberately drove their two vehicles
off the road 12,000 feet up in the air on Houghton Mountain above
Silverton and couldn't turn back. I trust they got tickets for illegal
parking and a hefty bill for being hauled down. But the damage they
did to the sensitive eco system is not funny at all. One of the guys
is quoted as saying, "We're not really stupid people." That would be a
matter of opinion.
Oh yes, Happy Birthday to the Queen Mum who was 100 last week. She is
still beautiful. I wish I could look that good at 100. But then, I
didn't look that good at 50.
Let's just be patient. That lovely, long Colorado autumn will begin