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The weather outside is frightful

By Michael R. Shannon
web posted February 15, 2010

Remember when the weather was just fine, before Al Gore started griping about it?

Blizzards were formerly a one–per–customer situation in the DC area where I live. Now it's come to a pretty pass when we can't keep track of our snow events. By my count we are on climate event number four, so it seems premature to commit to the Blizzard of 2010 before the winter is truly over.

Snowtrina was my suggestion, but it didn't catch on outside this office. Had Snomageddon continued, we may have to start numbering blizzards like Super Bowls or health care "reform" bills.

The Virginia Department of Transportation thoughtfully reminded taxpayers that if their street had not been plowed by five days after the snow began; and at least one member of the family is not in a persistent vegetative state, residents are allowed to call or email their local VDOT office and request a special EMS–plow.

Just make sure you had a check made out to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors for $700.00 when it arrives, since this august body is planning to charge for ambulance runs.

Meanwhile, I am gloating over the NIMBYs who's streets have not been plowed as yet. I just don't have a lot of sympathy for cul–de–sac denizens who complain about an absence of snowplows. I thought lack of traffic was the big attraction of living on a dead end. If cul–de–sacs had more of the cut–through commuter traffic that generates extensive neighborhood complaints and news conferences — snowplows would arrive that much sooner.

Personally, I'm amazed snow is still a viable column topic. I spent a week on a cruise ship in the Caribbean and expected to be done with snow when we returned home recently.

Our ship was the Freedom of the Seas, a vessel the size of your average suburb, including shopping mall.

Some of you may be thinking that cruises are fraught with uncertainty these days. What with some self–absorbed fool jumping overboard in a soggy "cry for help" forcing innocent vacationers — who had no role in the jumper's personal problems — to subsequently spend hours of their hard-earned vacation cruising in circles looking for bubbles.

This is where I have to give credit to my wife, Janet and her choice of a top-of-the-line ship. During our embarkation process any depressed–looking people or people too depressing to look at, were taken aside and given a quick evaluation by a crack team of travel psychologists.

Naturally there were isolated instances of profiling and misidentification during the screening process. What looks like a dangerous zombie to me, might just be a mildly catatonic Obama supporter. But the end result was if a prospective passenger had even a hint of jackrabbit in them: no cruise, sparing passengers any impromptu rescue operations.

We prefer to put together a group when we float, which is the perfect way to vacation for first timers and people like me who hate introducing themselves to strangers at dinner. It's like a family reunion where you don't invite the relatives you can't stand.

Janet's only mistake was selecting the early dinner seating, which for the first time was at 5:30. This is a great time to eat if your usual dinner is the Early Bird Special at Denny's. And judging from the composition of the passenger list, business at Florida Denny's restaurants took a real hit during the week.

Our ship had the same demographics as Japan, only with more fat people.

Outside an AARP convention, this was the largest concentration of Lark Scooters I had ever encountered. The good thing about scooter drivers on ships is you never have to worry about one intentionally driving overboard, since the tires can't get enough traction to climb the rails.

Upon our return from seven days of exhaustive chewing, the captain announced that as we entered the harbor at Port Canaveral we could watch the scheduled space shuttle launch at 4:39 AM.

A majority of the family stumbled up on deck, where we discovered the weather in Florida is unseasonably chilly, too.  We were both cold and disappointed when NASA scrubbed the launch due to cloud cover.

We missed an opportunity to witness the final night launch of the shuttle and what appears to be the closing chapter of America's exploration of space. Obama's 2010 budget cuts funding for manned space exploration and reallocates the money to health care "reform" and where it will be used to fund a journey up America's colon.

And speaking of funding, "scientists" have wasted millions of dollars making bogus predictions of non–events such as the melting of the Himalayan glaciers due to "global warming."

Why can't government spend a few tax dollars on a useful prediction, like when the glaciers in Prince William County will recede? ESR

Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at michael-shannon@comcast.net.






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