Thursday, May 30, 2013

The quadrangle of broken dreams

Since I had given up hope, I felt a whole lot better.

And since I had been feeling a whole lot better, I hadn't been writing much about the perils of the Pelican State lately. For one thing, I'm a Nebraskan originally from Louisiana, not a Louisianian who has to put up with that s***  anymore. For another thing, if people in Louisiana were willing to listen to a little common sense, they wouldn't be in the perpetual mess that is their lot in life, apparently.

Finally, it's not like I'm planning on moving back.

But I was asked to write a guest post about Louisiana's woes being a matter of culture and not politics -- always remember . . . culture precedes politics -- for LSU journalism professor Robert Mann's excellent blog, so I opened up a vein, and there you go.

IT WAS the least I could do for someone at my alma mater, filled as it is with faculty and staff busting their asses to give Louisianians more education than they're willing to pay for, as well as a better flagship university than the state deserves. Like Rhett Butler, apparently, they've "always had a weakness for lost causes once they're really lost." 

And the experts say, as J.R. Ball outlines in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, that LSU's national cause really is lost, thanks to an indifferent public and an execrable pile of politicians befouling the capitol that Huey built:
Connect the reality dots discussed during the meeting and it's clear LSU's situation will get worse before it begins—hopefully—to get better. LSU is not a top 100 school in the U.S. News & World Report list, nor is it in the top 100 on the more respected National Science Foundation rankings. The current trajectory is research grants are declining dramatically as top faculty, tired of an institution held together by duct tape and rubber bands, are leaving for universities in states where higher education is actually taken seriously.

All of which makes reaching the goal of LSU2015—transforming the state's flagship institution into a nationally recognized research university able to attract and retain the world's best academic and research talent—about as likely as finding Bo Rein's plane in the Atlantic Ocean.

Jim Firnberg, a member of the committee and a former consultant for the NSF, says LSU should focus on six research areas where it has a legitimate chance to compete nationally—environmental science and coastal research, biomedical sciences, energy, arts and humanities, computation and digital media, and natural and renewable resources. Yet, he warns, the tomorrow of LSU becoming a top 50 research university will never come. At best, LSU could become a top 75 institution.

Putting that in sports terms—which seems to be the only thing associated with education that people in this state understand—LSU will never be a BCS-caliber academic school; the best it can hope for is mid-major status.

Just one day after this somber reminder of LSU's place in the world of higher education, a bid to end almost 20 years of tuition control by the Legislature died when the same elected officials who, over the past six years, have cut some $650 million in higher education funding, did not see the need to give university boards the right to increase tuition rates that, by national standards, are pathetically low. In other words, the actions of Gov. Bobby Jindal and legislators are loudly telling university leaders they need to find a way to operate with minimal state subsidies, but legislators aren't about to let them do it with much-needed tuition hikes.

We now have a new definition for “moronic.”

Even with the most optimistic Jindal-backed accounting method, higher education has been whacked some $300 million over the past six years, much of that absorbed by LSU. Yet we hear nothing from those wielding the ax about the resulting job losses, or the fact that higher education is supposed to be the key to our economic success in a world powered by knowledge, research and creativity. When officials at LSU and other state universities complain, those who complain too loudly are eased out of their jobs and those that remain are told to shut up and figure it out.
AND INDIGNANT Louisianians say I hate the Not-So-Great State. Whatever lets you sleep at night, man. Whatever lets you sleep at night.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

TV crack for the Boomer vidhead

Playing as soon as you hit the start button . . . the 1972 pilot for Emergency.

Gage, DeSoto, Dr. Brackett, Nurse Dixie, lots of sirens and perilous predicaments . . . and Millie Helper with a toilet seat epoxied to her butt. All directed by Jack Webb. What more could you possibly want out of a TV movie?

Sorry, but I do so miss the '70s.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I've seen this movie before

So this is what it looks like inside a tornado.

Yep. This looks right to me.

In 1971, when I was 10½ years old,  Hurricane Edith was headed toward Baton Rouge, so my folks decided to keep me home from school. Now Edith wasn't much of a hurricane, but it seemed as good an excuse as any to not bother schlepping your sorry butt to the bus stop and spending the day at school . . . during a hurricane.

To tell you the truth, what we got out of Edith in Louisiana's capital city was more akin to a tropical storm -- no wild tales to amaze your Yankee friends with. The morning of Sept. 16, 1971 was starting to look like a complete kid hurricane-adventure bust. Hell, my old man was even at work at the Enjay Chemical plant.

For a real storm, they batten down the hatches on those suckers. Now who was going to run the camp stove, huh? In the Gret Stet, a hurricane is no excuse not to cook.

So everything was looking OK, which meant, to a kid, that it wasn't OK at all. Thunderstorms . . . meh. The most exciting thing was the street was flooded, and the water came halfway to the house.

Then something happened.

MY MOM was on the phone with my grandma, I think, when the sky went as black as night. I'd never seen anything like that before.

"Mama! Look at how black the clouds are!" I recall saying, just before all hell broke loose. There was a roar like a crapload of freight trains or jet engines, take your pick. There was a swirling whitish, grayish cloud -- pea soup doing the St. Vitus Dance -- out of which leaves, shingles, pink Fiberglas insulation . . . you name it . . . would emerge, stick to the front jalousie windows for a second or two, then blow away.

I was looking out the windows the whole time, transfixed. My mother was crying hysterically to Jesus. There were no tornado sirens in Baton Rouge, and we had no warning until the tornado announced itself.

Apart from watching the maelstrom, I was trying to calm Mama down. The thought did briefly occur to me that we might die.

Then . . . quiet.

THEN THE RADIO, which was tuned to WLCS, erupted with "(Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!) BULLETIN! BULLETIN! BULLETIN! (Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!) BULLETIN! BULLETIN! BULLETIN! (Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!)" It was a "tornado alert."

Thanks for the heads-up, y'all.

Surveying outside the house, the hanging address placard had blown off its chains and was out in the yard. The façade of the house was tar papered with green leaves, and Fiberglas was all over the place.

The street and the front yard were bone dry. Later, we'd hear that some houses the next street over were missing their roofs. And a shopping center and some apartments less than a mile away were all torn up.

The State-Times that afternoon said a "small tornado or tornadoes skipped across the Sherwood Forest area." The official weather records put it down as an F-3 -- not exactly "small."

To me, the Tornado From Edith was a marker -- a dividing line. You had life before the thing, and then life after it.

In life after Edith, hurricanes weren't "fun" adventures. They were damn serious business, and those of us who'd been on the business end of one -- or the twisters they spawn -- stood ready to deck any idiot who thought they weren't.

I've seen things. Look at the video, and you'll see what I saw that day.

Monday, May 27, 2013

You know things are bad when. . . .

From The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La.:
A cavalcade of 28 black and white hearses rolled through Baton Rouge on Sunday as the mostly local group of funeral directors made a statement to residents about the pervasive violence in the city.

Charles Muse, president of the Baton Rouge Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, said he helped to organize the “Stop the Violence and Live” motorcade because he’s tired of the violence.

“There’s so much violence now and we are trying to show the public that we are concerned about the violence going on,” Muse said. “We’re looking down in the caskets on too many young people that are being gunned down.”

The hour-long motorcade, sponsored by Muse’s organization, began at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church on Scenic Highway at 2 p.m.

Visitors to the church were greeted with a large sign in front that said, “Put down the gun and pick up a Bible” upon entering the parking lot.

The procession took a circuitous route through the northern part of the city as well as downtown before heading to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Robinson Sr. Drive where the procession ended.


Jonathan Rose Sr., owner and general manager of Desselle Funeral Home, said he would be happy to change jobs.

“If … the young people would find a way to stop killing one another, and I had to find a new job, I would be fine with that,” Rose said.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

3 Chords & the Truth: Wide awake . . . ish

This Looney Tunes is lagniappe. You're welcome.

I don't sleep so you can stay awake.

I have no idea what I just said here. I mean that I don't sleep so each week's 3 Chords & the Truth won't fall asleep . . . uh, put you to sleebh.


The keybirtod os loojinf kinfa blurty. Blurdy.


What did you say your name was again?

OK . . . what did I say my name was again?

LIsstdn, aal I knowe is that this week's ebisodbe of the Big Show kicbks bubtt. You willm not falss azsleep during it -- ths sis because I forgo sleep to put together an exceptional music podcasty proddcut.


In fgact, you will marvel. You will be enraptured. You will even snap your fingers.

You will keep comming banck for more 3 Chords & the Truth. Now let ypour Mighty Favog take a little nap.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alex Jones explains it all

To the best of the non-whack-job world's knowledge, the United States does not have a "weather weapon" it uses to attack unsuspecting cities with killer tornadoes.

I'm fairly certain, however, that the federal gummint has a "bat-sh*t-crazy weapon" it apparently has been testing on unsuspecting conspiracy theorists. Seems to work well. Still, I wish radio could return to more civilized times, when quack doctors sold audiences more useful fare . . . like goat-gland miracle cures.

Hell, televised

Even hours after the fact and hundreds of miles distant, this footage from KFOR television's live coverage of Monday's tornado catastrophe is likely to induce self-soiling. 

Lord, have mercy. God help Oklahoma.

What hath nature wrought?

 Hiroshima, Japan, Aug. 6, 1945

What is an EF-4 or EF-5 tornado like? Basically, it's like the blast wave from a Hiroshima bomb, just without the fireball.

Only man would seek to harness -- and now, with the hydrogen bomb, top -- the sheer destructive power of weather at its worst. You would think that dealing with the terrible wrath of nature would be enough of a burden without worrying about the terrible wrath of nuclear physics coupled with itchy trigger fingers.

That, however, is not how fallen humanity rolls. We can always make things worse.

I SUPPOSE this is why I am Catholic. Catholicism understands that the natural state of mankind is tragedy, and that we all inhabit a valley of tears. Thus, this prayer -- the Hail, Holy Queen -- usually recited at the end of the rosary:
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

℣ Pray for us O holy Mother of God,
℟ that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
EVE ATE the apple. Adam did, too, and everything went to hell. This is what we'll deal with until kingdom come, and whatever we do to bring light amid the darkness is not only lagniappe, but victory.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

3 Chords & the Truth: I'm not jivin' you

Well, maybe I am.

Then again, I put in a lot of time, blood, sweat and tears into production of this here show, this 3 Chords & the Truth thingamajig, so why shouldn't I jive you if I feel like it?

So I hope you enjoy the 90-minute program I've prepared this week on Tibetan throat singing and "the romantic zither" of Ruth Welcome. Naaaaaw . . . I'm just jivin' you!

See, there you go.

THAT'S CORRECT, after putting in the work and summoning the creativity necessary to conjure up each new episode of the Big Show -- and let's not even think of the Herculean effort that is saying something pithily original about the program every week, week after week, month after month, year after year -- I reserve the right to mess with your mind.

The show is free on the Internets but, no, there is no free lunch. Particularly since the "sequester"  went into effect in Washington. So here's the deal: You get the best in freeform musical programming; I get to screw with your head.

Sound fair? Who cares?

YOU SEE, that Ruth Welcome album, The Romantic Zither, is on the shelf at the local Goodwill, and I am not afraid to pay the 99 cents.

Naaaaaw . . . I'm just jivin' you!

Or am I? Listen to the show and find out.

 It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Omaha backyard salad

We don't need no stinkin' supermarket; we got a back yard. And a front one.

What you see here is an Omaha backyard salad, consisting of dandelion greens and mint from the yard, and some onions, Parmesan cheese and cherry tomatoes from the store. So I guess we need the stinkin' supermarket a little bit.

Put a little bit of sweet Sicilian dressing on there, and you officially have some cuisine.

Tonnaire! Ça c'est bon, oui!

Everything I need to know about science . . .

. . . I learned from Star Trek.

If you like, I can share it with you via my Surface. And you can read it on your iPad.

UNLESS, of course, you'd rather that I just contacted you via your communicator -- uh . . . cell phone.

BUT DON'T go totally booger-eater on me here, OK?

I SHOULD have told you the booger-eater thing earlier, shouldn't I? Siri?


OH, SIRI . . . while I'm thinking about it, could you give me an update on how that warp drive is coming?
In the "Star Trek" TV shows and films, the U.S.S. Enterprise's warp engine allows the ship to move faster than light, an ability that is, as Spock would say, "highly illogical." 
However, there's a loophole in Einstein's general theory of relativity that could allow a ship to traverse vast distances in less time than it would take light. The trick? It's not the starship that's moving — it's the space around it. 
In fact, scientists at NASA are right now working on the first practical field test toward proving the possibility of warp drives and faster-than-light travel. Maybe the warp drive on "Star Trek" is possible after all. 
According to Einstein's theory, an object with mass cannot go as fast or faster than the speed of light. The original "Star Trek" series ignored this "universal speed limit" in favor of a ship that could zip around the galaxy in a matter of days instead of decades. They tried to explain the ship's faster-than-light capabilities by powering the warp engine with a "matter-antimatter" engine. Antimatter was a popular field of study in the 1960s, when creator Gene Roddenberry was first writing the series. When matter and antimatter collide, their mass is converted to kinetic energy in keeping with Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula, E=mc2.In other words, matter-antimatter collision is a potentially powerful source of energy and fuel, but even that wouldn't be enough to propel a starship faster-than-light speeds. 
Nevertheless, it's thanks to "Star Trek" that the word "warp" is now practically synonymous with faster-than-light travel. 
Is warp drive possible? 
Decades after the original "Star Trek" show had gone off the air, pioneering physicist and avowed Trek fan Miguel Alcubierre argued that maybe a warp drive is possible after all. It just wouldn't work quite the way "Star Trek" thought it did. 
Things with mass can't move faster than the speed of light. But what if, instead of the ship moving through space, the space was moving around the ship? 
Space doesn't have mass. And we know that it's flexible: space has been expanding at a measurable rate ever since the Big Bang. We know this from observing the light of distant stars — over time, the wavelength of the stars' light as it reaches Earth is lengthened in a process called "redshifting." According to the Doppler effect, this means that the source of the wavelength is moving farther away from the observer — i.e. Earth. 
So we know from observing redshifted light that the fabric of space is movable. [See also: What to Wear on a 100-Year Starship Voyage] 
Alcubierre used this knowledge to exploit a loophole in the "universal speed limit." In his theory, the ship never goes faster than the speed of light — instead, space in front of the ship is contracted while space behind it is expanded, allowing the ship to travel distances in less time than light would take. The ship itself remains in what Alcubierre termed a "warp bubble" and, within that bubble, never goes faster than the speed of light. 
Since Alcubierre published his paper "The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel within general relativity" in 1994, many physicists and science fiction writers have played with his theory —including "Star Trek" itself. [See also: Top 10 Star Trek Technologies] 
Alcubierre's warp drive theory was retroactively incorporated into the "Star Trek" mythos by the 1990s TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation." 
In a way, then, "Star Trek" created its own little grandfather paradox: Though ultimately its theory of faster-than-light travel was heavily flawed, the series established a vocabulary of light-speed travel that Alcubierre eventually formalized in his own warp drive theories.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

3 Chords & the Truth: C'mon, get happy!

This episode of 3 Chords & the Truth has a theme song.

I stole it from a TV show of my youth, The Partridge Family, which was the Hollywood version of the Cowsills, sans the abusive father. Because that's how we illicitly roll on the Big Show.

I blame bad parenting; your mileage, as always, may vary.

Here it is:

Hello, world, here the song that we're singin',
C'mon get happy!

A whole lot of lovin' is what we'll be bringin',
We'll make you happy!

We had a dream, we'd go travelin' together,
We'd spread a little lovin' then we'd keep movin' on.
Somethin' always happens whenever we're together,
We get a happy feelin' when we're singing a song.

Trav'lin' along there's a song that we're singin',
C'mon get happy!

A whole lot of lovin' is what we'll be bringin',
We'll make you happy!
We'll make you happy!
We'll make you happy!
-- Words and music by Wes Farrell and Danny Janssen

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Time to publicly stick a sock in Ted's mouth

Ted Nugent is a taco shy of a combination plate.

This follows his being more than a generation shy of a hit record.

In light of this, I call for the public stuffing of a sock into the mouth of the has-been rock 'n' roll guitarist, sealing it with tar and smashing his computer and any other communications devices he may possess.

Because what's good for the goose is good for the verbally incontinent Motor City Madman, as demonstrated by this article on the website:
Right-wing rocker Ted Nugent has taken to his column to call for the public hanging of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the now-charged Boston Marathon bombers.

The column, titled “Time To Stretch Neck Of Jihadist Punk,” was posted on the right wing website WND over the weekend. Stressing the need for quick justice, he (mostly) avoided his frequent talking points (fighting against gun control, criticizing Democrats and President Obama).

Using his usual colorful language, Nugent refers to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his now-killed brother Tamerlan using the term “voodoo” 13 times in his article, and calls for “stretching their necks” three times.

In the piece, he laments that Tsarnaev will likely spent years in custody before being sentenced: “Justice is supposed to be swift. At least that’s how our Founding Fathers thought it should be,” speculating that, 150 years ago “he would have been swinging from an oak tree in Boston Common no longer than 60 days from the date of his arrest. That would be justice.”

Nugent predicts: “He probably won’t go to trial for more than a year due to court-sanctioned delays. Once he’s found guilty, he will be afforded any number of appeals that will take more years, possibly more than a decade. The young voodoo nut has got a long life in front of him, thanks to America’s screwed-up justice system.”

He cites the trial of Nidal Malik Hasan, set to start May 29 (Hasan is accused of killing 13 soldiers and wounding 32 others at Fort Hood in 2009), as an example of crimes against Americans taking a long time to reach the court.

While “The Nuge” didn’t bring up gun control specifically (though he had a bit to say about it last week), he did note that Hasan’s “voodoo-inspired rampage” took place “in yet another gun-free zone.” Nugent added, “I would have supplied the rope, the lumber for the gallows and gladly pulled the hatch on this soulless rabid dog.”
TED NUGENT -- and this is the kindest thing you can say about the man after his repeated whacked-out, incendiary outbursts about, well, everything . . . particularly all things political -- is a thought-challenged hothead. This is reason enough not to take him seriously, much less not give him a column.

It's also plenty reason enough to just shake your head and say "There goes ol' Crazy Ted again. That ol' boy just ain't been right after he slipped into irrelevance after "Cat Scratch Fever." But that's not who we are today. Today, we take our nuts seriously, giving them all the more opportunity to act bat-s*** crazy.

That would make a large chunk of America almost as cat-scratch crazy as ol' Ted.

Of course, when you're cat-scratch crazy, you don't think of things like subverting due-process to get quicker vengeance (and it is vengeance Nugent desires, which is quite a different thing than justice) against a suspect in a terrorist bombing ultimately would pave the way for subverting due-process and other constitutional guarantees to get at you and me should we fall in disfavor with the government.

No, you don't think about such things when you're ol' Crazy Ted . . . or the people who still take him seriously.

By Nugentian standards of justice, ol' Crazy Ted would be playing air guitar in a cage at Guantanamo after saying this at last year's National Rifle Association convention in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

BUT NO. After having a little heart-to-heart with arguably America's nuttiest musical has-been, the Secret Service thought about it and figured "That's just ol' Crazy Ted being ol' Crazy Ted." Thus, ol' Crazy Ted gets to go on saying patently nutty things to a national audience, thanks to the constitution Nugent says he reveres but seeks to subvert in the name of "patriotism."

If Dzhokhar Tsarnayev is found guilty in the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon, the killing of one Massachusetts policeman and wounding of another, as well as the carjacking of a civilian, he will -- in due time and after due process -- get what's coming to him. That would be thanks to our constitution, our system of criminal justice . . . and to due process.

It will be no thanks at all to hotheaded nutjobs like Ted Nugent, or to Americans who think the man has anything to say that's worth hearing.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Truth in headline writing

And the award for most truthful headline ever goes to The Inquisitr website in a story on how the freakish -- morally and otherwise -- CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't want fat people wearing his clothes . . . for basically the same reasons that "uncool" kids get bullied in junior high.

Sometimes, your average teenage bully ends up like Biff Tannen does in Back to the Future -- first, covered in manure and then, 30 years later, detailing George McFly's luxury vehicle.

Other times, though, he ends up as CEO of a company dedicated to fetishising everything that's wrong about America . . . and with the human soul. And then he eats your teen's brain -- which, quite frankly, this dude looks quite capable of doing.

With a nice Chianti and some fava beans on the side, no doubt.

But it's a free country, and if you or your kids want to be a whore for "that partially melted penis candle," as The Inquisitr so aptly described Abercrombie's Biff-in chief, Mike Jeffries, no one's going to lock you up before you debase yourself and the culture you inhabit. Just don't hand me any hypocritical crap about the glory of "diversity" or the evils of bullying while you're wearing hell's preferred casual wear.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013

3 Chords & the Truth: The tunes abide

It's May. It feels like February -- and looks it, too.

This is no way to run a springtime.

What do you do when you're tired of something, but that something's the weather -- which you cannot change?

There's nothing left but to abide, dude. In the face of crappy, unchangeable weather . . . the dude abides.

Like Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, whadda ya gonna do, man?

WELL, I'd suggest what I'm doing this week -- and every week on 3 Chords & the Truth. That would be listening to some tasty tunes. Lots of luscious jazz and pop, for starters.


To ease your stress level, we've been digging through the laid-back music section of the Big Show archives. You wouldn't believe the great stuff in there. Well . . . maybe you would if you're a regular 3 Chords & the Truth listener, man.

Like, just listen to the show, man. It'll put a smile on your face -- even if the weather is crappy, and it seems to be staying that way.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Did Johnny Paycheck have a snow song?

It started with the sleet Wednesday.

"It" is what this Omaha World-Herald article refers to in today's editions -- a rare May snowfall:
The 3.1 inches of snow that fell overnight in Omaha set three records for May - but not a fourth.

Omaha now has two new daily records and a monthly record, but not a new calendar day record, according to Barbara Mayes, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Because the snow straddled midnight, it set two daily records:

• 1.9 inches on May 1 exceeded the previous record of 0.2 inches for that date in 1911;
• 1.2 inches on May 2, the first recorded snowfall on that date.

On the other hand, because the snowfall straddled midnight, neither single day accumulated enough snow to exceed the 2 inches that fell May 9, 1945. That remains the most snow to fall on a single calendar day in May. Until this year, it was also the most snow to fall in the entire month of May in Omaha. This year's 3.1 inches breaks that monthly record.

The 2.7 inches that fell in Lincoln Wednesday and Thursday set two daily records, Mayes said:

• 2.5 inches on May 1, first recorded snow on that date;
• .02 on May 2, first recorded snow on that date.Neither day's total was enough to beat the calendar day set on May 3, 1967, when 3 inches fell. That amount also remains the monthly record for May in Lincoln.

MOLLY THE DOG couldn't believe her eyes. She knew this wasn't supposed to be "cold white stuff time." It's supposed to be "hot tickly stuff under paws time." This confused her greatly.

In fact, her confusion was such that bad consequences began to stem from it.

LIKE THIS. After surveying the shocking scene outside, the poor thing began to lose corporeal integrity. Over the next few minutes, it got worse and worse.

And then. . . .

And then. . . .

And then, Molly the Dog was but a vaporous presence. I'd hear a mournful "WOOOOOOOOOOO!" and see what seemed to be a ghostly apparition shambling around the house.

Soon enough, all that was left was the "WOOOOOOOOOOO!"

It was awful.

It hadn't even begun to properly snow yet.

COME THIS MORNING, this (below) is what we found when we opened the front door. On May freakin' second.


Slushy snow covering the front stoop.

Soupy snow covering the driveway and street.

Heavy, wet snow covering the greening lawn.

Shoveling off the stoop and the front walk was like shoveling the last half of a Slurpee. It was like the Jolly Green Giant spilled his snow cone -- hold the syrup.

It sucked. Sucked worse than a snow cone with no syrup, because with that, at least you have shaved ice on a hot summer's day.

MAY 2, Omaha, Neb., was no hot summer's day. Or even a lukewarm one. It was a windy-ass, snowy-ass day. Halfway through spring.

I think Molly the Dog may have had the right idea with that losing-physical-integrity thing, dammit.