Posted by: bkivey | 8 July 2011

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Around Town

One of the roads I drive daily has a posted speed limit of 45 mph. But it appears that there are a significant number of drivers for whom this is unfathomable. The road is a four-lane divided thoroughfare through a large residential-shopping development. There are controlled intersections about every quarter-mile, so it’s not likely that a vehicle will suddenly dart out from a side street. Yet most days of the week I’ll get behind a driver for whom 35 mph is apparently plenty fast enough.

I have to wonder what they’re thinking: “Well, there’s apartments and shops, so the limit cannot possibly be 45 mph!  It’s not like the city is trying to keep the speed limit a secret, what with the signs spaced at regular intervals with numerals 14 inches high. Almost none of the dawdlers are elderly or on the phone, and there are too many for all of them to be looking for an address. The reasons for the reduced speed remain a mystery.

Great Moments in Vehicle Operation

From the same road I was making a right turn from the turn lane when a bright star decided that “Oops! I really wanted to go there.” They made a right turn from the outside travel lane, passed me, and then cut me off so they could make the next immediate right turn. Way to go, jackass. I was tempted to let them hit me.

Ant On The Run

One day this week I was eating lunch on a patio and watching a pair of bluebirds flitting about, getting their own lunch. One of the birds and I noticed a pair of ants on the patio at about the same time. The bird hopped over and ate one of the ants, while the other ant started moving as fast as I’ve ever seen an ant move. That was an insect on a mission. Mission successful, as the bird moved on to other, less elusive prey.

Things You Maybe Shouldn’t Be Eating

Another lunch found me sitting in a company cafeteria. At the next table over was a couple of women who very likely bought clothes off the plus-size rack. I watched one of the women make, and eat, a bacon and mayonnaise sandwich. While I’ll concede that the sandwich probably tasted pretty good, and it’s none of my business what other people put in their mouth, I’ll admit that my first thought was “Hmmm.”

Weather Nerd

We had Summer this month, with three days in the mid-80’s. Those were days 3,4, and 5 above 80 for the year. We’re not expected to see temps above 80 at least through the middle of the month. No, I’m not missing the Southern weather at all, predictable as it may be: highs in the 90’s, lows in the 70’s, chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Repeat from April through October.

Astronomy Nerd

We had our latest sunset of the year this week at 2103. Now the days get shorter. We’re already losing daylight at the rate of 1 1/2 minutes daily, and it’ s not a linear function. Trying real hard not to think of October.

Sky Watching

Last Saturday (2 July) I was standing outside at sunset and happened to notice electric-blue clouds in the west. They looked like images of noctilucent clouds I’d seen, but my understanding was that they only occur much further north, at around 60 N.  It turns out that on 1 -2 July, the clouds were seen as far south as 39 N. These clouds have interested me since I learned of their existence in childhood, as they form at the very high altitudes. I was pleased to see this rare and beautiful natural phenomenon.

 

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