It being Jan 21, and roughly a month since the solstice, it seemed like a good time to drop in on a perfectly randomly selected newspaper, as part of my continuing effort to keep abreast of what is going on around the nation of too much coal and too little cold. And today's perfectly randomly selected newspaper turned out to be...the Lawrence Journal World--how excellent! Several articles caught my eye:
1) The lead article was about the 2018 Women's March in Lawrence, which was attended by thousands. Lawrence's Vice Mayor Lisa Larsen made comments alluding to the speed dating potential demographic of the crowd, and judging by the accompanying photograph of the attendees, she nailed that. What impressed me was the wisdom of the Lawrence electorate, in choosing a Vice Mayor with such a powerful name, beginning both the given and surnames with the same consonant "L". The more popular technique of doubling consonants and placing them together--as in these completely random examples "Platt", "William:, or even "Mikell"--is obviously far weaker. Besides conveying a great sense of power, the name "Lisa Larsen" has such a fine Swedish ring to it, and I bet she could identify what Homeland Security nominee Kirstjen Nielsen couldn't--that ethnically speaking, Norway is pretty much white.
2) There was an article about a forthcoming book covering some of the favorite songs of Lawrence. I was intrigued by the song selections, having always been of the view that if you know what people whistle while they work, then you know a great deal about those people. "Within You, Without You", by George Harrison has always been a favorite of mine and I was happy to see it is is so well thought of in Lawrence, too. There were several selections by the Thorns, an obvious nod to the nature of the dominant native vegetation. There was even a traditional gospel hymnal: "The Wind Cries Mary (Jones)".
3) There were of course many, many articles about Jayhawk basketball, far too many to go into here.
4) Finally, an article about the KU jet piqued my curiosity. Who knew KU had its own jet! Anyway, the University Senate is recommending it be sold. Apparently the jet has mostly been used for conducting bombing raids on the Mizzou Campus, and after decades of near nightly aerial assaults, there just isn't that much left of Mizzou to target. Some defenders of the jet who want to save it have suggested it could be deployed to assist with football recruiting, but the Athletic Department put out a terse statement reading, in its entirety: "Why would we want to recruit football players?", which largely quashed that suggestion.
It's always fun reading the newspaper!
I didn't have to read the paper to find out what was going on locally today. Instead, I could observe and experience firsthand. And what was going on was at last a day of snow that looked and felt like real winter. It snowed lightly in town all day long, which was encouraging. I went up to the ski trails in the late afternoon and found about 6" of new snow. I skied until after dark, with more snow falling just about the whole time. It's first solid snow storm we've had since a few days before Christmas, and very much needed. With more normal winter temps, it will be enough new snow to get us through a good bit of February in good shape--really important, given that the state high school championships will be here this season.
Besides the snow, it there was enough cold plus enough wind to make it feel like real winter and to keep my hands from ever feeling toasty the whole time I was skiing. It was "only" teens (meaning it wasn't bitter cold) when I was leaving the parking lot, but enough wind that I stood still by my truck door and thought first about each move I was going to make with an exposed hand while I would be getting my keys and unlocking the door.
And it must be windy here in Laramie right now. As I've been typing the power has already flickered off very briefly twice--and the wind seems the most likely culprit.