Thursday, March 5, 2009

Phil the Groundhog vs. Larry the Doorman

It seems as though we are on the cusp of spring today. It's 60 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. I have documented in these pages already, through a pseudo-scientific study, that the Ground Hog (We just call him Phil.) is a more accurate predictor of weather than the TV weather guys. In a continuing series of pseudo-scientific looks at weather prediction, I have another interesting study today. Both the Chicago Sun Times and the TV weather guys predicted that there would be a high temperature in Chicago today of 57 degrees. However, yesterday afternoon, a full 24 hours in advance, Larry the Doorman assured me, "I'm telling you Mr. Ray, it's gonna be 60 degrees. Mark my words." And by golly he was right. Score-Larry the Doorman-1, Chicago Sun Times weather page and TV weather guys-0. Hey there were two of them against Larry the Doorman and he kicked their butts, predictively speaking.

Now as a result there have been demands for a Predict Off, a sort of Super Bowl of Weather Prediction, between Larry the Doorman and the Phil, the Ground Hog. Unfortunately, Phil only predicts once a year, so that contest will have to wait until next February. In the meantime, acting as Larry the Doorman's manager, I am trying to arrange a bout between Larry and The Old Farmer's Almanack. Train hard Larry. I hear "The Almanack" is one tough customer, certainly no Channel 7 Weather guy.

In news from the Outpost in Back of the Yards, an amazing event occurred today. In a radical departure from the usual apathy, tardiness, and smoking in the bathrooms, a teenaged student asked an intelligent question, showing that there was actually some brain activity in her cranial cavity. The teacher involved in this incident, one Michael Healy, was astounded and amazed, and has opted to stay for another year,in the hopes that maybe one more student will actually show some interest in what he is attempting to teach. There has been no actual documentation that this event occurred, however, and it is under investigation to rule out the possibility of a hoax.

Perhaps it is just spring fever, I went out and ran 6 miles in the warmth this afternoon. I really am enjoying the warmth and the prospect of spring. I am cutting this blog short, shorter than any I ever did write before, and leaving you with this short word today. No long stories. No moralizing. Just a short poem.

Late Wintertime

The snow is all melted.
Puddles lie on the ground.
Lake ice in pieces,
And icebergs float round.

Gloves in my coat pocket,
Seem useless just now.
Scarves and big hats need,
To leave and take a bow.

Daylight lasts longer now,
And Savings Time is near.
Hot toddies and warm fireplaces,
Soon beaches and cold beer.

Tomorrow may be snowing.
The sun roof closed again,
But today is late wintertime,
And the sunshine's my friend.


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