They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

The Ides of April Returneth Again

First off, Happy Birthdays to my grad school office mate Dave and goblin/princess author Jim on this Tax Day.

After many days in the 50s and 60s and even some reports of 70°F temps, it was 23°F this morning. And an inch of new snow on the ground. So much for seeing the lunar eclipse in the wee hours. Of course, it's still spring, and so the inch of snow did not stop the birds from singing away happily in the pine trees at 6:30am. The concrete sidewalk along the house and the concrete pad in front of the garage looked liked they'd been newly shoveled, but it was just their absorbed heat energy melting the snow away.

Driving along just before the sun came up, it was all clean white outside. One had to watch out for patches of ice on the roads, but mostly the roads were clear. However, ice began to build up in the left hand lane of US-131, so everybody stayed in the right lane for the most part. Speed dropping from 70mph to 50mph in some areas where the snow blowing across the highway, as per usual, formed a lumpy mass of ice. Twice I switched into 4WD for a while.

I stopped at the Citgo at D-Ave to use the bathroom. The door to the stall was closed when I came in, so I called out, "Occupied?" No response. When I got closer I put my single point cane in my left hand along with the quad-foot cane and knocked on the door. "What?" came the indignant reply. What do you mean What? What did you think I meant when I asked Occupied? You're sitting on the john and someone knocks on the stall door, what the fuck do you THINK they're asking? (Shakes head) I don't understand people sometimes. Especially when I'm being polite instead of just grabbing the door handle and yanking, without checking.

As I got out of the Blazer on campus, there was a very fat robin, feathers ruffling in the stiff cold breeze. It was running along the sidewalk, not flying. Going for yesterday's wormsicles on the sidewalk?

Right at the windbreak by the door into Everett, a gust of wind blew off my winter hat and knocked the single point cane out of my hands, as I moved it on the top of the walker into the Dalek position, so I could get through the door after pushing the red door assist button. Dammit. Grabbed the hat, dropped the cane, though fortunately the latter ended up leaning against the walker, so I didn't have to do any running or gymnastics. Given the bitter cold wind, I should have worn the heavier parka, which has a hood.

Yesterday I had a student poke his head into my office while I was working with another student. "What's the schedule for this week?" The last week of classes, the schedule is the same -- we meet M-F. "No, I mean what are we doing this week?" Physics. "What days are important?"

Well, shit, fuck me for a duck.

Of course, what he was REALLY asking was can I go away for fun on the weekend early? And the answer is... no. Not by my schedule. But this is college. Go right ahead and skip class as many times as you want. But you miss the good stuff, like today explaining that "in a fair fight" Gravity loses to Electric Force by a factor of 200 million dectillion (!!!).

2,280,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times larger.

You don't see that every day.

Also regarding large numbers, I noted in passing through Allendale this morning that regular jumped from $3.64.9/gal to $3.79.9/gal -- thus regular today goes for what midgrade sold for yesterday. Why the jump? Dunno. Maybe it has to do with the snow. Maybe it has to do with Ukraine. Maybe it has to do with Steven Colbert taking over from David Letterman a long time from now. Maybe it's because the Ken Burns documentary on the Gettysburg Address is on PBS tonight. Who knows?

So how's your day?

Dr. Phil

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