Beautiful Weather Insults My Intelligence

Today is a beautiful day.  I think I’ll stay inside.

Beautiful day

Today is a beautiful day! (Photo credit: David Hagwood)

Today is a beautiful day.  The sun is shining.  My computer chair is very comfortable.

Today is a beautiful day.  The pond has come alive with frogs and turtles and ducks.  I think I’ll cook something.

Today is a beautiful day.  The pond water is warm and the children splash around playfully.  The mosquitoes have arrived!

Today is a beautiful day.  Mother Nature has a sense of humor.  The pharmacist has drugs.  My lemonade is tasty.

Today was a beautiful day.  My computer protected me from mosquitoes.   (The technology has no bugs.)

Tomorrow will be a beautiful day.  It will be cool.  It will be cloudy.  The noisy children will be at home with their mosquito bites.  I will have the pond to myself.

Anthills Insult My Intelligence

I went out grocery shopping today and rediscovered this lovely architectural specimen:

If you look at the clovers, you can see how big this thing is.

If you look at the clovers, you can see how big this thing is.

Let’s review.  We’ve had rainstorms that should have washed this thing away.  We had the polar vortex that froze the ground and everything on it to a solid block of ice.  One would hope that the grocery store’s landlord was having the lawn mowed, which would have shaved the top off this thing and sent the ants flying off to Oz.  (Or to Dr. Oz at least.  It probably hurts to get sucked up into a lawn mower.)

And yet the anthill remains as large as ever.

Whatever’s in an ant’s armor that keeps it from dying, we need to develop it synthetically and make winter clothing out of it.  Cockroaches may survive a nuclear apocalypse better than humans but the ants will beat us out if there’s another ice age.  This, of course, is why global warming is so critical to our survival as a species.  Keep burning those fossil fuels, people.

Mother Nature Insults My Intelligence

It was winter and I decided to take a trip to the beautiful and warm city of Barcelona.  And, like many tourists, I immediately headed to Gaudi’s Park Guell.

I already knew the weather wasn’t going to be as I had expected when I booked the trip.  However, my hike up the mountain to Park Guell foreshadowed some greater disappointment in that regard.  Here’s what I saw:

cactus1

cactus2

As strange as cacti look when they’re surrounded by snow, this fittingly introduced the wonderful strangeness that is Gaudi.  I still wish the weather had been better, though.

It’s not supposed to snow in Barcelona…

Blue Skies Insult My Intelligence

I arrived in Stockholm late at night and awoke the next morning in a city I had been excited to visit.  The skies were blue and there wasn’t a drop of rain.

And do you know what?  Stockholm was hideous.  Various faded pastel colors adorned a lot of buildings, especially in the historic old town where the general atmosphere resembled a washed-out rainbow.  The city likes to bill itself as the “Venice of the North” and I wasn’t buying it.

But, the Swedes are pretty ingenious.  They’re the folks that gave us Ikea, Abba, and that cute little Muppet with the white hat.  Of course they’re going to have great architectural artistry.

And then it clouded up and drizzled the day I left.  Normally, rain is your enemy when you’re on vacation and none of the glossy tourist advertisements ever give you a glimpse of anything as “ugly” and “unmarketable” as gray skies.  But this is Sweden.  I already knew that major European cities with rotten northern weather often use Stockholm’s vomity color scheme, and now I could see why.    That day, I took pictures of things I had passed over because they hadn’t seemed like anything special when the sun was out.  Here are a few:

Washed out in the sun, but imposing in the rain.

Darkness brings out the color in this church.  No, they don’t worship Satan here.

Even mustard can look great on a building if the weather is right.  That peach building to the left also looks surprisingly good.  This is the only time I recommend mustard and peach together.

Because everything was so wonderful that day, I was running a little late and needed to grab a quick bite to eat before catching my plane.  Please believe me when I tell you that you should never buy caviar in a tube from a 7-11.  Not tasty.