Yes, I went quiet for a bit. Remember, it's easiest for me to post when I'm bored at work, and should be doing something else. The two things I should be doing right now are work (things are busy) and my taxes (things are ugly).
So let's chat, shall we?
The weather in My Local Locality since we last visited has been nothing short of The Day After Tomorrow. Five inches of sleet, capped by a half-inch of ice, was nature's Valentine's Day present to the DC area. This had consequences, the most heinous of which was being shut in the house for two and a half consecutive days with my loving family. By Friday, though, I had to venture to work, because if I stayed home, someone was going to die (and I was a leading candidate).
Five inches of sleet may not sound like much to you. But I can assure you that clearing enough of my driveway to allow an escape (even by my tree-hating, self-indulgent SUV) took Ilse and I, working together in near-harmony, four hours of work that approached digging one's own grave in granite in terms of difficulty and soulsuck.
A week of relatively balmy temperatures, and a pair of decently non-freezing rainstorms, dented but did not completely disperse the icepack. Which is where we found ourselves this morning, when My Local Weather Dweebs forecast a couple of hours of light freezing rain changing over to plain old rain.
Nuh-uh. We got another five inches of snow. Way to go, Science. We await word on whether tomorrow will involve yet more family entertainment. I'm guessing that My Local County is making a huge effort to open the schools; we live a few hundred yards from a public high school, which is at this moment lit up like Christmas and overrun by snarling, beeping vehicles desperately trying to clear sidewalks and parking lots so that the little darlings can go to school tomorrow without cracking their keisters. We'll see.
On politics, we have much that is lovely, and I'm going to ignore every damn bit of it. Any hoopla surrounding any presidential candidate of any stripe is, at this juncture, undisguised and gleeful masturbation. Don't get me wrong; I've nothing against masturbation. But it's a personal pleasure, and my personal masturbatory pleasure does not give a flying fuck whether Mitt Romney (who is a horrible person in his own right) is descended from guys lucky enough to have multiple wives, or whether Senator Obama has given the Vice President the same level of respect that the Vice President gives everyone else. I'm hard-pressed to argue that there is a level of respect in anything the Vice President does, so I'll have to admit a certain bias there; the point, though, is that I don't fucking care, 12 months before the first presidential primaries and 21 (!) months before the general election.
There are certain truths about the upcoming presidential election that I hold to be self-evident; one is that anyone who's a presidential candidate (again, of either party) is an asshole. Another is that I will support whichever asshole wins the Democratic nomination. Another is that whichever asshole I support to win the Democratic nomination is unlikely to win it. Mind, I'll be happy to hear the news of the elimination of certain candidates from the electoral scene; Joe Biden and John Edwards turn my stomach. Hillary is not the candidate who will make me happiest. Tom Villsack self-detonated before I could even figure out whether I liked him. But in general, I take it for granted that I will be unhappy with the outcome of the candidate selection process, and that the difference between the chosen candidate and the Republican candidate will be sufficiently stark that I will not have to trouble myself with delusions that I need to consider the man and not the party.
Finally: I have opined, wrongly, on the condition this season of the mens' basketball team fielded by My Local State Land Grant University. I told you on January 11, six short weeks ago, that you would have to drop your male trousers to still undercount the number of moons that would pass before the Maryland Terrapins again graced the NCAA tournament. I told you in October (and again in January) that I was having grave difficulty loving my basketball team, a horrible state of affairs for any psychotic fan.
Things have changed, and I was as wrong about this team as I was about the football team, which managed a respectable record and a bowl victory. After victories over Dook and the University of the Color of the Sky, I have come to love this team. Mind you, they still have the stench of the Gilchrist about them, and I would be remiss if I did not admit that there is much I would have them change. But coaching excellence and the dedication of a few guys who suddenly realized that their entire college careers reflected nothing short of a waste of...well, everything, has led to some spectacular play of late. Even if the Terps lost their last two games and bombed in the ACC tournament without a win, they would deserve a berth in the Big Dance (and regardless of the way their games at Dook and against NC State, and the tournament, play out, I will be extremely startled if they win more than one game in the NCAA tourney).
They have Redeemed, brothers and sisters. Redeemed, I tell you. Fear Again the Turtle.
Okay, really, I'm going to do some work now.