Bad Winter Rising

A squirrel at the ready for a bad winter.There is a bad winter rising this year here in Chicagoland. That is my prediction, and I’m sticking to it. Mind you I have no scientific evidence, no empirical data, and no analysis of current weather patterns and how they relate to past weather patterns that would predict a harsh winter. My prediction this year is based solely on the squirrels.

The Wooly Bear

I understand some people may use other methods, maybe the prevailing winds at the time of the autumnal equinox, or the timing of the leaves falling from the trees, or the Farmers Almanac, or, in the case of my childhood, the famed weatherman from Cleveland, Dick Goddard, utilizing the wooly bear caterpillar, but I wasn’t paying attention to the wind, and haven’t seen a wooly bear since my youth in Ohio. What I have been paying attention to, lately, are squirrels.

Let me explain a little more.

Out of the Palm of My Hand

In my attempt to try not to balloon to 300 pounds my general version of exercise is going for a walk. For the past few years my favorite walking areas are a park near my day job, and a park near home where we walk our dog, Milo. Both parks have a stable amount of trees, nothing crazy, it’s not like I’m walking in a forest, but with the trees comes the occasional squirrel.

I’m a fan of squirrels, find them kind of cute, and remember being that young lad in Ohio when we would leave peanuts for the squirrels on our patio to the point the squirrels became comfortable enough to take the peanuts out of my hand. Maybe it is that fondness that causes me to notice them while I walk, and smile, but lately I have noticed something.

Scared Squirrels

I do recall the past few years seeing squirrels foraging as Fall arrived, but there weren’t that many, and the past couple of winters haven’t been that bad, all things considered. This year, though, I have been noticing a lot of squirrels, to the point at one time I saw about five of them all in this area of the park. They seem to be scrambling, they seem to be on a mission, and they seem to be scared.

Yes, in their eyes I see worry, and there aren’t many things a squirrel worries about. I know, I’ve asked them. They mention the snakes and raccoons are a pain, most dogs they can get away from by scurrying up a tree, but the hawks generally worry them the most. This year, though, their squirrel-sense is tingling, and the tingling is because they sense snow and cold, which leaves to no food, which for a squirrel is worse than a hawk, or so they say.

Snow Blower

I used to enjoy winter, but lately, as I get older, that enjoyment tends to go away after the first, beautiful carpet of white turns into a dirty mess. Maybe I should return to my youth this year and go back to building snow forts and making snowmen, but first, I suppose, I should get the snow blower out of storage soon, I have a feeling I’m going to need it a lot this year. The squirrels are telling me so.


The Book of Bruce Springsteen

From Vanity Fair

  • “One of the points I’m making in the book is that, whoever you’ve been and wherever you’ve been, it never leaves you,” he said, expanding upon this thought with the most Springsteen-esque metaphor possible: “I always picture it as a car. All your selves are in it. And a new self can get in, but the old selves can’t ever get out. The important thing is, who’s got their hands on the wheel at any given moment?”

Bruce’s book, Born to Run, comes out the end of September. The media blitz about the book is beginning, and articles like this one just make me more excited for its arrival.

What to Expect From Apple’s September 7 Event

Via MacRumors:

  • We’re all eager to see new Macs, especially the rumored MacBook Pro that features a major design overhaul with an OLED function bar, but unfortunately, refreshed Macs are not expected at the September 7 event.

The MacBook Pro event is really the one I’m looking forward to.

  • Multiple reputable sources have said the event will focus on the iPhone and Apple Watch 2, with Macs to come later in the year, perhaps as soon as October.

Even though there won’t be new MacBook Pros announced (probably, unless there is “one more thing”), it’s always fun seeing what new toys Apple has coming out, even if the Internet tends to ruin the surprises.

Every Joke from ‘Airplane!’ Ranked

Via Bullshitist:

  • 10. Ted: “It’s an entirely different kind of flying, altogether.” Dr. Rumack and Randy: “It’s an entirely different kind of flying.”

I’ll always remember going to the movies as a family and seeing “Airplane,” and laughing a lot. My mom was about the only person in the theater who got this joke right away and started laughing.

World’s Highest-Paid DJs: Electronic Cash Kings 2016

Via Forbes:

  • On the surface, it would appear that Calvin Harris has had a rough year. He got into a car accident, parted ways with superstar girlfriend Taylor Swift and saw a $3 million dip in annual income. But it would take much more to knock Harris from his throne: he still pulled in $63 million, making him the highest-paid DJ in the world.

The bad news is:

  • “The bubble has already burst in America,” says Steve Aoki (No. 5, $23.5 million), who played 198 times in the past year despite vocal cord surgery. “You can see it in Vegas’ DJ landscape.”

Says the guy who made $23.5 million last year.

Who knew you could make so much spinning discs.