I’ve never lost the excitement of snow days. Remember anxiously anticipating the moment when school was called off thanks to that wonderful, fluffy white ice of freedom? Though “inclement weather” may do little to change my obligations now that class schedules are a distant memory, there’s still nothing like the feeling of being snowed in.
There used to be a joke — well, we said it was a joke — among photographers: when shooting family groups and weddings, put the inlaws at the ends of the line of people. It would then be easier to crop them from the picture if things didn’t work out.
Once per generation, it seems, those who have any money at all go berserk and, soon thereafter, bankrupt. It happened in 2000, plus or minus about three years, and it’s happening again now.
Something I’ve long hoped would become a family tradition may have finally begun to sprout. It goes back nearly 20 years. That was when one cold and lonely winter night I happened on a broadcast, on one of the cartoon channels, of “Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol.” Much to my surprise, I remembered all the words from all the songs. It had premiered in 1962 and was broadcast each year afterwards until it wasn’t anymore. It was wonderful and, as I realized as I sat there in my Connecticut home with tears in my eyes, still is.
Was it the pandemic? Or has society’s decline increased in velocity? Or is it just me? Christmas is close, but it doesn’t feel like it. Some of that has to do with the pandemic, I suppose, at least around here. The vague sense of being under siege remains, and the Christmas music doesn’t seem to have returned to stores, broadcasts, and elsewhere.
If you’re less than 50 years old, your entire life has taken place in the time since a human being walked on the moon. This to me is a scandal. It is our nature to explore and from new places explore further, not to touch a new place then scurry home. It isn’t entirely unprecedented — probably the most famous example is when the Vikings sailed to Newfoundland, discovered that their watches were off by half an hour, and retreated. It should be noted that there aren’t any Vikings now, though it is believed that their origin, Norway, still exists.
One week before Christmas 2021, I went out my front door to find an unexpected UPS envelope from my church’s bank tucked under my door mat. Unbeknownst to me as I picked it up, that envelope was about to make the leadup to the busiest week in the church year a lot more “interesting.” US Bank had closed our only account and with it, cut us off from funds and the ability to receive donations.
Have you ever encountered law enforcement — local police, state trooper, whatever — at night? If you have, and you’ve been in a locale where both red and blue flashing lights are involved in police activities, you might have noticed that blue light seems brighter and is not friendly to your eyes.
As our AI technology continues to advance, there are both exciting possibilities and potential dangers to consider. On the one hand, AI has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our daily lives, from making routine tasks easier and more efficient, to improving our healthcare and education systems. However, there are also concerns about the potential negative impacts of AI, such as job loss and the ethical implications of machines making important decisions. Depending how you feel about AI, this paragraph may speak to those points more than you might first imagine.
Whoo-ee did it blow! The weather has been abnormally, almost alarmingly warm around here the last week or two. There were a few days earlier when it got down to the teens at night, but it hasn’t hit freezing here since before Thanksgiving.