mash potato soup
Monday, December 27 2010
I've been in the eyewall of a hurricane once in my life (September, 1996), and last night the wind had a similar relentless howling sound, punctuated by occasional gusts. The difference was that last night the storm was a blizzard, though it sounded like it might have been powered by a tropical storm. In any case, the wind continued well into the afternoon, blowing snow around in drifts.
Eventually the clouds cleared out and the snow settled down enough for me to dig out the driveway. According to weather.com, we'd received a little over a foot of snow. But some places (such as our roof) had blown clear and others were buried beneath several feet of snow drift. The driveway took less than an hour to clear with a snow shovel, and I traded off between shoveling left-hand and right-hand, a technique that would leave a legacy in my left pectoral muscle for me to feel the next day.
Our friend Deborah up in Saugerties had planned a dinner party for tonight, and at first the weather seemed to ruin it. But by this evening it was apparent that there was no longer a reason to call it off. So we carpooled over after first picking up Ray and Nancy's semi-permanent houseguest Eric.
Gretchen and I made up a myth on the drive over about how tiny Deborah's dog Juneau is. Ha ha, then it turned out that he's actually enormous.
Nine people showed up for Deborah's dinner party and somehow we all crowded around her little table to eat. She'd made a mash potato soup that was actually much better than I expected (I do not like mash potatoes). Among those present was the amateur steeplejack and indepth newsman Paul (see his site AfterthePress.com; he and his crew do in-depth reporting on subjects after the immediate news media clusterfuck passes). He told us the things he'd learned from interviewing physicists about the very real dangers of backscatter airport scanners, particularly if their mechanical shielding mechanisms jam. Paul says the only reason these machines are being mandated by the TSA is because of the clout of former Bush administration official Michæl Chertoff, who now sells them from his company in the private sector. It was a great dinner party, often breaking into three separate simultaneous conversations.
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