The problem for Wall Street, [Ken] Langone, [Tom] Perkins and the rest [of the billionaires] is that the old ruses are exhausted. Americans are increasingly aware about how they fixed the game, how they rigged the rules to make out like bandits, and how they blew up the economy and got bailed out, while the rest of the country took it in their teeth. — They keep invoking Hitler and Nazis and the threat to the 1 percent, but their folly is feeding the populism they fear. As former President John Kennedy warned, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” - Robert Borosage, "The Plutocrats Take To The Barricades"


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Weather Insanity

The temp in Houston, which was just barely freezing, just went down another degree F. The NWS extended the possibility of freezing precip from 9:00 A.M. to noon. Ice on roads is minimal now, but it isn't melting. Many overpasses, both freeways and city streets, are iced over. Houston ISD has closed all its schools, as have many other local school districts. METROlift isn't running. Many METRO buses are delayed. In short, most large institutions in Houston recognize we are simply not equipped to continue business-as-usual in this weather.

Stella's workplace refuses to shut down. It's in the Texas Medical Center. No, it's not a hospital or other medical treatment facility.

I admit this scares me. Stella and I just debated whether there's an overpass of any sort between here and there; I seem to remember one ground-level overpass. But it looks likely she will go in anyway. Keep your fingers crossed...

And it just dropped another degree F while I wrote this...

UPDATE 10:45 A.M. Stella is home. The one door at work that she is able to enter was blocked with yellow tape. She has since received a text that her boss, with whom she was to meet, was unable to come in because of frozen overpasses. I confess I'm very relieved she's home.

2 comments:

  1. It is in the 40s in Fairbanks and Whitehorse while snow and/or freezing rain is falling in and along the Gulf Coast. This is insane.

    I just read a report that said that few of the cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics will be able to do it against by 2050 because they will be too warm.

    I'm glad Stella is out of it. The HPD will spend their day writing accident reports or being in accidents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan, it's 2:00 P.M. here, and still only 32°F. WTF? Houstonians didn't sign up for this! Overnight freezes are one thing, but it's supposed to go up into the 60s during the day, not stay flat near the freezing mark. Yes, I've seen pics on TV of some of the overpasses, and almost as bad, some of the freeway exits... you absolutely don't want to be driving here today if you can possibly avoid it!

      Stella is exasperated at being forced back home. Yesterday she received a "superior" job review, and I think she wanted to live up to it by showing up under impossible circumstances. But if she couldn't enter the door from the parking garage, she would have had to go around to the front of the building to a grand flight of stairs, sure to be unsafe for anyone walking with a cane, and I'm glad she sensibly came back home, even if she's cranky about doing so.

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Current and Recent Reading and Viewing

• King, Laurie R., Mary Russell series.
—. The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
—. A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
—. A Letter of Mary.
—. The Moor. ...
If you are unfamiliar with Ms. King's Mary Russell series of Holmes novels, please do yourself a favor and begin with the first, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, and just keep going. If you have female children of the right age, you may want to introduce them to these books; Ms. Russell is a splendid role model for someone who would become a strong, intellectual, adventurous woman. King's prose is beautiful, too. Highly recommended!
• Rennison, Nick. Sherlock Holmes: The Unauthorized Biography.
Rennison weaves the scant information Conan Doyle provides on Holmes's background into the fabric of the stellar lights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with such convincing detail that one could almost believe Holmes was an actual historical figure. If you like reading British biographers (face it; Americans write biography wholly differently) and you have a passion for Sherlock Holmes, you will very likely enjoy this book. As in eating a Dagwood sandwich, it helps to take it in small bites at a time.
• PBS Masterpiece - BBC. Sherlock, Season 3. Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman.
Sunday 1/19/2014, Premiere, "The Empty Hearse".
Sunday 1/26: "The Sign of Three".
Sunday 2/2, "His Last Vow".
Need I even comment on this?

I imagine people, especially Sherlockians, will either love this series or hate it. I am inclined to take each episode at face value, as a sort of parody of the traditional Conan Doyle Holmes story model, having (in my opinion) very little obligation to conform to that model as long as it does not deliberately poop on the basic conventions Doyle established. The setting is either present day or near future (some of the technology, and the reference to hardware Holmes apparently has installed in contact with his brain, lead me to call it the future), and many of the human elements are right out of Doyle: Holmes, who has just returned from his "dead" period, is an absolute a(bleep!)hole to Watson; Mrs. Hudson starts out talking to Watson, who announces he is recently engaged, as if he is surely gay; Watson is played (to type) as not the brightest bulb on the string, etc. My advice: do watch, but just sit back and enjoy the fireworks, the effects, and the unsubtle humor. I've read that women find Cumberbatch very good-looking; perhaps some men will as well.
• Douglas, Carole Nelson. Irene Adler series.
—. Good Night, Mr. Holmes.
—. The Adventuress (formerly Good Morning Irene)
—. A Soul of Steel (formerly Irene at Large)
—. Another Scandal in Bohemia (formerly Irene's Last Waltz) ...
Here's Dr. Watson (i.e., Conan Doyle) on Irene Adler:
To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler... yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
Carole Nelson Douglas, perceiving the memory of Adler as anything but "questionable," frames a series of mystery novels in which Adler is the detective, accompanied by her own Watson, Penelope "Nell" Huxleigh, Adler's husband Godfrey Norton is the strong male lead, and Holmes appears only incidentally. Adler is granted an astonishing but undeniably plausible variety of skills to ply in her role, and her background as an American opera diva contributes to the stories in an entertaining way. Douglas has done us a real favor in fleshing out this character, who is only once mentioned in the Canon but deserves and receives a much deeper treatment in Douglas's books.
• Millett, Larry. Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota series.
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
—. The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes
Millett writes a flavor of Holmes novels that I call either "American Sherlockiana" or "Sherlockian Americana," take your choice. Either way, the series comprises novels in which Holmes and Dr. Watson have an adventure involving America, which nation to all appearances Conan Doyle himself admired. Millett sets his stories in Twin Cities in Minnesota, adds his own detective, Shadwell Rafferty, a barkeep with an analytical mind, and lets loose with a series of five adventures well worth your time. I read these years ago, but they have been recently re-released; see Millett's web site at the link above.


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