A Sunday Morning Ramble


Here we are at the unofficial halfway point of the weekend.  It’s funny:  as long as it seems to take for weekends to get here, they always seem to go by so quickly.  I’m sure there’s a passage somewhere in Einstein’s book “A General Theory of Relativity” that explains this phenomenon, but I was trying to read it in the original German.  Inasmuch as I only know about six words of German (and I am nearly certain none them appear anywhere in any of his writings), my attention span faltered, and then tripped, and fell into a deep physics-related sleep (or possibly a coma).

It is a beautiful day here in North Texas.  It will be around 60 F today (9 C), sunny, and springlike. The only possible downer is that later today the wind will be gusting at around 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hours, or 30.4 knots, or about 94,080 furlongs per fortnight).  However, I don’t mind high winds too much.  It should move along the remainder of those pesky leaves that have been blanketing my front yard since just before Christmas and which have been duly noted by the homeowner’s association.  But knowing my luck, rather than move them along, the wind will probably just deposit even more leaves from neighbors’ trees from up and down the block.  So, someday soon, I will be standing in my front yard holding a rake (very American Gothic-esque) and saying, “But there’s not even a silver maple tree anywhere around here!  Where the heck did all these leaves come from?”  This is exactly the sort of inexplicable phenomenon that spawns myths like the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and neighbors who clean up after their dogs.

Moving on ….

I got new bedroom furniture yesterday.  I only mention that because it might help the coroner write a more thorough report.  All my life I have heard people say things like “I love new-car smell!”  Or, “I love the smell of new furniture!”  I was never a fan of such aromas, even before I knew what they were.  Most people just love the insinuation, the ambiance, the symbol of newness and freshness.  I, on the other hand, feel my sinuses closing up and my lungs recoiling in horror.  Now I know that new-anything smell consists of volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde,  ethyl acetate, and acetone.  And I slept all night in a London fog of such lovely compounds!  So I shall be the first person in America who shall, on the coroner’s report, have his cause of death listed as “new furniture”.  Hopefully, the chalk outline of me on top of my mattress can be laundered out.  My glowing obit shall contain the expression “He died as he lived … gasping for breath and fumbling blindly for the Claritin-D.

On a brighter note, the preparation for the arrival of the new furniture forced a deep cleaning of the room such as it hasn’t seen in awhile.  The dust bunnies put up a good fight and the vacuum cleaner struggled mightily, but in the end there could only be one victor … and it was the furniture salesman, Victor, who made a handsome commission off the sale of the VOC-riddled furniture he unloaded on an unsuspecting consumer.

So I plan to spend the day outside, breathing in giant lung-fulls of Dallas air (which consist primarily of pollen, mold spores, dust from west Texas, and mosquitoes).

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