Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Whither Canada?

Now that it's winter, our workload is greatly reduced, and I try to fill my workday with other things to keep me occupied.  (It's more of a challenge this year than last, since our office manager moved desks and now sits behind me and could see what's on my computer screen.)  The other day, I wasted time on Google Earth.  I was inspired by a news story about warm arctic temperatures, and I pondered what far northern Canada looks like.

Well, seen from above, it's a mass of white.  Then, I rotated the Earth to look at Antarctica.  It, too, is a mass of white, but I learned that it reaches an elevation of just over 12,000 feet above sea level.  Then I started pondering the elevation of other areas.  I know that the Sandia Mountains on the east side of Albuquerque, NM top 10,000 feet, but what about my house?

The driveway (I chose the driveway as a uniform point for multiple sites) is at 5,963 feet, which just goes to prove that Denver might be a mile-high city, but it isn't the only mile-high city.  My friend in Socorro, NM (hi, Betty!) is at 4,603 feet, and my condominium parking lot in Las Cruces, NM is at 3,895 feet.

We've dropped 2,000 feet so far, and I'm not done.  I looked for where I last lived, in Tulsa, OK.  It's only 730 feet above sea level.  How low can we go?  The driveway of my childhood home in Cherry Hill, NJ is at just 38 feet.  (If the world floods, bye-bye childhood.)

Would anything else flood?  I've frequently wondered why, if my condominium is in the Chihuahuan Desert, and on the second floor to boot, I have to have flood insurance.  According to Google Earth (and this is just scratching the surface of what I could learn), it's just 1,300 feet to the railroad tracks (after two or three days, the trains won't wake you up any more).  That's about three (American) football fields, including the end zones.  However, it's 13,600 feet (2.5 miles) to the river.  Aha!  The elevation of the river is 3,893 feet, just two feet lower than my parking lot.  I could see then (at least in calculations) how the parking lot could flood if the river rose.  Still, in reality, for the river to rise two feet and stretch 2.5 miles to the east would require a Biblical amount of water.  (I suppose I could calculate how much water that would be, and then compare it to the water held in Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs upstream, but I don't want to bother with that much effort.  Just coming up with this blog post was enough.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

This Isn't My Fault

Technically, it is my fault, since I am sharing it with you.  I am not the originator, however.  For that, you will need to blame the author Leslie Meier for including this in her book British Manor Murder.

"'A horrible fellow, by all accounts.  He was killed in Canada in the Seven Years War, and they sent his body home in a barrel of rum,' said Perry.  'People at the time said he came home in better spirits than he left.'"

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Where Am I?

People think differently in NM than they do in the rest of the USA.  To us, "L.A." and "S.F." don't mean Los Angeles and San Francisco.  They refer to Los Alamos and Santa Fe.  We have a Las Vegas that is older than the city in Nevada that is more famous, for some reason, even though our Las Vegas is known for the Rough Riders Museum and where they filmed the (original) movie Red Dawn.  Speaking of famous, would you rather go to the Riverwalk in Texas or visit the Owl Bar and the hometown of Conrad Hilton in San Antonio, NM?

Who Am I?

In our office, we've remarked lightly on our employees' names.  For some reason, many of them begin with the letter "J".  Our roster currently includes the following:  Jose, Juan, Javier, Joaquin, Jaime, Jesus, and Jacobo (several of these more than once).

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Through the Years

When I was thirty, I started referring to college students as "kids".

When I was forty, I realized that the sweet, young things I was admiring were half my age.

What will happen when I turn fifty?

Every So Often

I tend to be on the verge of artistry.  I can say something or write something or visualize something that's really good and makes me seem talented.  I don't have a lot of follow-through or consistency, though.

For example, in my college poetry class, I wrote some really good poems.  I also wrote a lot of dreck.  I could do more, if I put my mind to it.  I also remember, at my first public garden internship, I saw a couple of trees together that I thought looked like a great combination.  The photo I took of them, though, didn't turn out nearly as well as my eyes and brain had remembered.

Lately, though, I think I got a couple of good ones.  These were taken in the plant holding area at work, before sun melted the frost.  After a long while, I finally have something good enough to share.