Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Random Comments

Summer in April has ended. Today's temperatures are only going to get into the lower 60s. This morning on the Today show, Matt Lauer commented that it was thirty degrees cooler than yesterday. Weatherman Al Roker's response: "Isn't this a great country!" Much laughter ensued.

For those interested in the pool update: The water temperature yesterday was 79 (according to Swanee), 77 (Ducky) or 66 (Tommy Turtle, still not with the program). Just to shake things up, Laurie brought in a fourth member of the team: Snorkel Duck, who became the super-optimist of the group with a reading of 81.

Also in the news this morning is a video of a bus driver who crashed into a car in front of him because he was busy texting rather than paying attention to the road. While this will probably prompt more states to enact laws making texting while driving illegal, it will not stop it from happening. Perhaps they should enact laws that prohibit idiots from getting a driver's license. Or, at least, prohibiting bus companies from hiring them.

Regarding the coming media-generated swine flu pandemic:
1) Apparently some government agency (perhaps the CDC, but I did not catch that particular bit of info) has requested that people start referring to it as "H1N1" rather than "swine flu" because many people will stop eating pork. While this may be true, I would bet that there are a lot of people who cannot even make the swine=pig=pork=bacon/sausage/etc. connection. Why not be equally concerned about those who think swine=wine=grapes and stop eating jelly?
Also, if they want to change the name (which, mixing metaphors, is too late because the horse is already long out of the barn), they should come up with something more catchy than "H1N1." Should we pronounce it "High-Nigh"? And, just to put things in perspective, had this outbreak occurred in the early 20th century, we'd probably be calling it the "Mexican Flu," and blaming it on our neighbors south of the border rather than pigs.
2) Not to in any way diminish the impact on the family of the toddler in Texas that died from the flu, perhaps the media could use a reality check before making their loss the lead story of the day. In the five day period since they began heavily reporting on the flu outbreaks in the U.S., (based on available statistics) 498 children have died of other diseases and natural causes, 105 have died in traffic accidents, 15 have drowned, 7 have died in fires, and 41 have been murdered.
3) How many of the kids who have stayed home from school here in New York and elsewhere because they were exhibiting "flu-like symptoms" are actually experiencing "allergy-like symptoms" or "I-don't-like-school symptoms"?
4) Finally, if you actually do get the flu, do the rest of us a favor: Stay home!


  1. Dear Bob - how good to see you on the blogging community. The funny thing is that I recently started a blog, too, and have 2 almost identical posts on the swine flu and prom. How funny! I'll be returning to CTY this summer, but, alas, not to Chestertown. I'll be the Academic Dean at Princeton. Visit my blog at Happy blogging! Lisa Hayes, Alabama

  2. Hi, Lisa --

    Yes, we do have a remarkably similar view of the flu formerly known as swine. After writing my column, however, I had a ham sandwich!
    Glad to hear you will be back in the CTY community this summer. Enjoy Princeton; it is a beautiful area. (My son and daughter-in-law are both grads.)
    Regards to "Mr. H."

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