So, apparently the weather earlier this spring agreed with the roses.

Some Knock-out™ roses. They are four years old and hitting their stride.

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The Babble-Fish Dilemma

I’m learning a new-to-me language—Czech. The good thing is that the writing is Latin and the unusual characters are pretty logical, especially if I keep in mind the German influence. The grammar basics are sort of making sense, in that I can pick up the pattern even though I don’t quite understand the “why.” However, it makes me think of what I call the “Babble-Fish Problem.” What do you translate and what do you elide?

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Armed Forces Day

Somehow, it turned out that most of the friends I’ve made as an adult (over age 18) are either military, worked around military people, come from military families, or have some other connection to the armed forces of the US, Australia, or Canada, or Great Britain. I didn’t set out to do that, it just happened. (Granted, the aviation community leans that direction, especially rotorcraft, but still…)

Today in the US is Armed Forces Day. The third Saturday in May is set aside to honor the men and women who currently serve in the Armed Forces of the US (including the Reserves and National Guard). Originally there were separate days for the four (then five) branches of the military, but the SecDef lumped them together in 1949. Note that this did not and does not replace things like the Marine Corps Birthday and commemorations of the founding of the other branches. May is also V-E Day, and Memorial Day.

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When the Gates to the Gulf Open . . .

all h-ll tends to break out. Because storms need fuel, instability, and spin. And Gulf moisture is the magic ingredient that, when combined with an unstable air mass, produces hen-egg hail and tornadoes.

[This is a repeat, in part because I’m very tired, still under the weather, and day-job has drained me. Ah, teenagers in spring. And faculty in spring. Carry on]

I seem to have spent my live alternating between living east and west of the 100th meridian, or roughly the 20″ rainfall line. West of this line the average precipitation is less than 20 inches per year and farming without irrigation can be rather chancy. The mixed-grass prairie shifts into short-grass steppe until the plains bump into the Rocky Mountain foreland. To the east of this invisible division is the Mississippi Embayment, tall-grass prairies, the land of tall corn and fat pigs, and humidity.

Even west of that magical line, however, when the Gulf opens up, we brace for impact.


From: AKA “Must be May”

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