509 The Upside of Cold
This house makes ice in the wintertime. It drips from holes in the leaders and gutters and forms icicles big enough and sharp enough for a replay of "Titanic," only there's no ocean around here. Taller than an NBA player, sharper than a Ginsu knife.
What doesn't become part of the giant icicle lands on the porch rail and starts forming a blob. Eventually, the blob turns into an ice sculpture. Or maybe a three dimensional Rorschach test.
In its first incarnation, the ice blob formed what looked like a small octopus, with it's head on the rail and its feet dangling. As it warmed and cooled, it turned into a giant frog -- two huge eyes on the top of its head. Later, it became a long haired pregnant woman reclining. Then it was a giant squid, similar to the octopus, but with longer legs and a taller head.
A newspaper friend asked "you got pictures?"
"Nah. Thought about it, but it was more fun to keep the pictures in the mind's eye than on whatever they call the digital version of film."
"Idiot. There's bucks in that," he said.
Now, it's getting warm. The blob is just a blob again. No one wants a picture of that. So we knocked it off the rail and into the business end of the neighbor's central air conditioning unit, where it probably melt, cause damage and an insurance claim.
The frog was the best of the Rorschach tests. It couldn't have been mistaken for anything else.
This year's giant icicle has also melted away. It was tempting to try to remove it. But an earlier lesson well learned prevented that.
Year before last, it got so big, we went after it with an icepick. Useless. Then with a hair dryer. Equally useless. Finally, a hammer. That didn't do much to the icicle except move it a little. Just enough to separate the crummy plastic siding from the house. Eventually, that's going to end in rotten wood and a repair bill.
It was a sign, well followed, to let the ice do what it wants, when and as it wants.
The ice on the driveway also has melted. It wasn't pretty or interesting. Nor was it as durable.
But it was less dangerous, unless you walked on it.
Around here, no one walks.
So... the upside of cold? Fine sculpture, deadly weapons and free psychotherapy.
--Recession? What recession? A local shopping center was so crowded this past weekend you couldn't get a parking space, a meal or through the crowds... which is a good sign, no?
--Poland makes better Vodka than Russia. Cheaper, too. There is something cosmically wrong with that.
--The Newsday Newspaper has lopped three of its good columnists off the payroll. Two were acquaintances. That makes it look like some remaining writers are closer to the edge, and at least one of THEM is a close friend.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®