Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Horse Outside, With Bongos

Spring Break has arrived, more or less. It's a faint occasion for me, since I'll be working next week, but the girls are off starting Saturday, which will certainly change the tone of life around the house during the day. Posting will resume on March 27.

Spring is nearly here, too. This morning I heard a woodpecker and then saw it on a tree limb not far from my front yard. I spotted some robins and the very first croci peeping out. The largest piles of snow on nearby blacktops, mostly accumulated in February -- mostly on February 1 -- are finally gone.

Best of all, I ate lunch today on my backyard deck. Not ideal for an alfresco lunch, since it was overcast and windy, and I needed a jacket, but simple fact of eating outside was enough. I even saw a fly buzzing around the planks of the deck, but it was too sluggish to make a run at my lunch.

I was glad to see that Messenger has successfully entered into orbit around Mercury, the first spaceship ever to do so, which happened just a short time ago. Another marvel of the age. Something I'm more than glad to pay taxes to support.

I didn't realize until reading about the craft recently that the name's actually a tortured acronym: MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging. I'd assumed it wasn't quite so literal a name. You know, humanity's messenger to the inner Solar System. Just a quibble. Even after more than five decades of space flight, it's still a signal achievement.

I've pontificated on St. Patrick's Day before, and so far we're no closer to a time when North American calendar makers also include St. David, St. George and St. Andrew as a matter of course, but never mind. Ann came home today and wondered out loud whether any leprechauns were going to be around this evening. I said no, it's really hard for them to get visas these days. She paid me no mind.

Here's something suitably Irish for the feast day of St. Patrick. A creation of lads from Limerick, in fact, and something not suitable for your children or your workplace, unless you work, say, at a tattoo parlor.

Link for Facebook readers.

This is quasi-Irish and OK for kids, but they might not get the joke.

Link for Facebook readers.

Also, something not Irish at all. A day without Richard Feynman on the orange-juice bongos is like a day without sunshine.

Link for Facebook readers. But really, you should look at the original blog sometime.

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