Friday, February 6, 2009

Cold Comfort

Driving home in the Nissan before dawn Thursday I had to pull over to fumble with the unfamiliar heater controls in the car. I accidentally fired up the air conditioner and I couldn't remember how to turn that off and replace it with necessary heat. The last time we used it was last December in North Carolina, but my wife was in charge of heat on the road trip and it took me a moment to figure out how to warm up the car (push the knob to the red. Doh!). The outside temperature gauge read 46 degrees Fahrenheit which is less than 8 degrees in new money. That is cold when you are used to 80 degrees/27C. The good news, when I awoke six hours later and crawled out from under a heap of every blanket we own, was that there was sunshine. That same cloudless sky that allowed all the warmth to drift up into the stratosphere was making for a glorious, bright winter day. One pair of socks was not enough so I pulled another pair on top of that and contemplated heading out in the brisk north wind. The outside temperature gauge under the house read 58 degrees (14C) and it didn't even feel that warm. Nevertheless I wheeled the bicycle out and decided I had to make an effort. Besides, sitting at the computer reading about wonky economics and unhappy people worldwide wasn't doing my mood any good. I rode north to the pool.Even in winter, when the water temperature is 70 degrees, there are some fruitcakes that come out and sit on the rock hard "beach" and take swims in the little salt tidal inlet that constitutes the "park." Aside from a trash can and and a gravel open space "parking lot" there are no amenities here which suits me (and lots of others) just fine. I have to confess I am losing my faith in the will of our leaders to do anything radical about our economic woes and the continued news of bankers and their poxy proxies continuing to line their pockets at our expense fills me with rage and a bicycle ride is a fine antidote to the wilful inability of our new president to follow through and bring a new economic attitude to our nation's capital. I shouldn't be surprised, he got donations from the same skanky investors who always pay to get their candidates into office, the ones who enjoyed a 150 million dollar inaugural party. The pool was looking delightfully unattended in the brisk afternoon sun:I'm figuring that as time goes by and we print money to fund a stimulus that will do nothing more than patch the gaping holes of an economy in endless decline we will all have to find our own amusements, after we have gone through the tedious business of completing all the chores we will need to do to stay alive. In that respect I plan to take advantage of living on the water and enjoying the views and hell, perhaps even learning how to fish and fillet. It's all in the attitude I guess, so I will enjoy it all.It's hard to maintain a grumbly attitude on a day like this, especially knowing that decent people in British Columbia are getting snow and fog and general nasty dampness. Plus we have a new head of the CIA who is decidedly opposed to torture and now with Associate Justice Ginsburg revealing, as it were, a very nasty cancer, perhaps the President will show us his ability to appoint a new attitude on the Supreme Court. There's no doubt his economic advisers want more of the same wasteful spending of our money, and it irks me mightily to see that. But the sun is out: Perhaps a gigantic financial meltdown really is the only way to get re-started, though I cannot begin to imagine the pain we shall be forced to endure, not only here but across the world where people have a lot less than us to start with. Perhaps on second thoughts they, who have less of an entitlement attitude will do better than we shall. Perhaps, on third thoughts, not: especially when their meager rations get cut even more to feed our political demand for this ridiculous ethanol.Ah yes, Thursday was a glorious day in the Keys. My wife said she loved me before she left for work, I'm not even missing the Triumph as it's so bloody cold and my job for now seems secure even as the city mandates no overtime and tries to figure a way to enforce such a rule when public safety is at stake. Who knows, perhaps I'm wrong and President Obama will carefully and subtly put a collar on the financial shenanigans and for once my gloomy prognostications about politicians in general and some in particular won't be borne out. The anti mosquito canals filled with water in the thunderstorm we had earlier in the week. No sign of the mosquito eating fish though:I had left overs for lunch, and burned not a drop of ethanol to get these pictures. I hope their immoral bonuses choke them, I'm having a "no dollar day" off work.