Are you ready? No, not talking about Thanksgiving. I’m talking about taking a bit of time to watch the annual Leonids early tomorrow morning. Once again the earth crosses through the path of a dust and debris trail left behind by the Tempel-Tuttle comet.  Before you panic, remember that generally the meteors are the size of peas or grains of sand and burn about 60 miles above our surface.

Pour some early morning coffee, wrap a scarf, and ease back to watch the 30 or 40 meteors which will streak across the sky each hour. This is not the year, but every 33.2 years the Temple-Tuttle comet completes a circle around the sun and the intensity of meteors increases dramatically to thousands per hour, in fact:

”The Leonid meteor storm of 1833 was so intense with an incredible two hundred thousand meteors being seen per hour in the night sky, that widespread panic broke out across the United States. Records show people describing the sky looking as though it was on fire” with many people believing that the end of the world was night.” ~ Michael Mauldin; Liberty Hill

I’m beginning to think that in those days people actually took the time to look up at the sky. Today, folk would be wandering around oblivious of anything going on. They’d be focused on a few square inches of brightly lit screen held in front of their noses.

Interested? Google around a bit for the best time to view and where best to view. For others, it might be a great little science project, writing a short paper on the occurrence. Just a thought.

Our week – set me back a bit. Minimal sleep at the start (but had a great time), and then we got clobbered by weather for the remainder.

Weather first. Initially it turned cold. Then mid-week it was our ice storm. At its height the area had 110,000 homes without power. Our little condo only had a one hour outage and that was caused by a vehicle striking a power pole. Nevertheless, the temperature drop and difficulty getting out does a number on one’s psyche and body. At least that’s my excuse, and I’m milking it as long as I can.

The front end of the week consisted of an engagement party for Conner and Natalie held in Chicago. Marcia and I stayed at a place called The Freehand hotel. Marcia and I concluded that it’s reminiscent of a European Youth Hostel; quite lovely, a very international in mix of clientele, and TINY, tiny rooms. Ours, about 9’ by 12’, had two bunk beds (we were constantly asked whether or not they’d assigned two more to stay with us – they did NOT).

The Party – prompted me to have some fun. Since I did not know 90+% of the 75 or so guests assembled at the Studio Paris nightclub creating a good time was imperative. It crossed my mind that if people didn’t know me, then they also wouldn’t know my brother Art (father of the soon to be groom). I spotted Art at one end of the room so I went to the other and went around introducing myself as Art Pastoor (and gratefully accepted all the kudos heaped on Connor). That all went well.

Apparently these events mandate that along with copious amounts of top-shelf liquor amazingly loud DJ initiated, non-stop, music is piped in. Now, I am extremely eclectic in my liking differing musical genres. Two types I struggle with, Rap and something I term Euro-Technocrap. This was throbbing ‘Technocrap’, consisting of synthesizer drums and non-stop electronic music. It’s probably an age thing since people were so busy listening that no one was dancing; so I didn’t dance either.

The party ended and it was off to the party after the party at the Fremont nightclub; a livelier and louder DJ and therefore better. The ladies of Fremont stormed around carrying large bottles and LED lights to identify. Since no one could hear we quickly got very adept at hand-signaling our wants (basically holding up an empty glass and nodding vigorously).


Eventually, again through a series of hand signals (by now we were quite adept), five of us left the Fremont club and gathered at a Champagne Bar across from our hotel. Much calmer, a lovely cheese platter was brought, and our champagne flutes were kept filled. We even conversed, although for some period of time people next or across from me sounded as if they were at the other end of some very long room. Finally, Art, Jolene, Marcia and I got caught up.
At the end I couldn’t believe that my watch said “two”. My how time did fly.

I should add that both Marcia and I were now officially installed as members of “The Bloody Tongue”.

Finis – To Donn, who is up north checking out what winter is like at the Lake; enjoy! Aside from checking out the cabins he’s made good use of the time by exploring the area from a snowier perspective. The attached photo he took from Paul & Dia’s little mountain cabin which looks over our lake.

For all who are travelling the Thanksgiving week, do so safely. And to all, may you have a great Thanksgiving. Till next Saturday.

Make it a great week.

Ciao.
Dirk

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