The More you Blink

It looks like tonight’s going to be another hellacious one where this Alberta Clipper is going to be moving a whole lot of snow around, and definitely not where we want it to be tomorrow morning.  Once again, I’d say we’re a good month late in having this type of weather–especially the extreme cold and wind.

One of my first stops today was to get my hand-held propane torch out and take it over to a home that sold today so I could heat it up enough to get my sign out of the ground.  Of course it was already snowing and blowing but I absolutely had to get that sign out.  Moving that burning torch from one side of the mental stake to the other was getting pretty annoying because I was really beginning to get cold.  I finally just left it burning at one post and then walked back my car so I could warm up enough before going back to move it to the other post.

I’d say it was about a 20 minute exercise of waiting and moving that torch before I  finally got it to break free of the frozen soil.  I’d say that was one of the hardest ones to get free which came as no surprise considering the weather we’ve been having.  I’m sure come Spring, people will find that the frost had moved deeper than it normally does over a given winter, because those 40+ below zero temperatures and then last weekend’s warming was sure to drive it all the deeper.

Another one of my appointments was to meet several Alliant Energy workers at a property to replace some sort of gas valve they claimed was leaking.  I asked them if they could’ve found an even more miserable day to be out digging.

At least it gave me some time to visit with the tenant whom I’ve not spoken with for at least six months.  Since he invited me in, I felt it was a good time to catch up on what’s been happening in his life.  Both he and his wife came from a Miami-like climate, and glad to hear they both enjoy living in North Iowa.  He made me smile when saying, “We think Spring, Summer and Fall is beautiful here, but we’re still trying to get used to your winters.”  I fully agreed with his statement regarding three of our seasons in North Iowa being beautiful, but I had to say “I’ve hated winter my entire life and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to cozy up to it.”  Yes, there are calm and sunny days in winter when the snow is light and shining like a sea of diamonds, but those are short-lived and rare occurrences.

I couldn’t help but be a little wicked today with a hand-full of people whom I know quite well when talking about my take on that whole State of the Union address and subsequent comments made by some of our elected officials.

What I found the most annoying was watching people’s eye and mouth movements.  When standing in front of cameras being viewed by millions of people, I would’ve thought they knew all the better instead of making themselves appear as if they had an assortment nervous ticks.   There were several speakers who I had to stop watching due to their excessive blinking.  For sure if they’d watched the re-runs of their little speeches, they had to have been embarrassed.

After watching it, I suddenly remembered something I read a number of years ago where a researcher wrote that he’d discovered that the more you blink, the less you think.  If the author of that article had been watching those people, he would’ve certainly said, “They’re not even thinking.”  I believe he also wrote that women blink more than men which in these times would be considered sexist and certainly not “politically correct”.  While writing this, I’m reminded of several people here in our City that blink noticeably more when they’re speaking.  I’m sure after reading this, you’re all going to be paying more attention to the blinking of others as well as your own.

Between real estate work and snow removal, I’d say my day was a full one.  Let’s hope this Alberta clipper is going to be our last for the season.  We can all deal with snow, and certainly endure strong winds, but when it comes together, it’s downright evil. Instead of building walls, let’s all look at building tall wind barriers here in the Flatlands.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  There must always remain something that is antagonistic to good.

Joe Chodur

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