Cold In the Wrong Places

Well, here in Kentucky we are now getting a bit of relief from this brutal winter.  I never thought I’d call 32 degrees F. a “warming trend,” but for the first time in nearly a week the temperature warmed up to freezing yesterday; then today it got up to around 43.  Some more snow is forecast for Friday, so let’s see if we can melt what we already got first; my driveway needs to be cleared of ice.

You’ve probably heard that temperatures here are more moderate because the winter storms moved to the South on Wednesday, leaving ice from Alabama to North Carolina, and the storms clobbered the east coast on Thursday.  My daughter Lindy left a message on Facebook saying they lost power in their part of Georgia on Wednesday, and waited it out at a restaurant.  So far I haven’t been able to talk with her and find out how long the outage lasted, or which restaurant they went to.  No doubt little Lexi found this to be an adventure.  Would you believe that today it was colder in Georgia than it was here in Kentucky?

My brother found an old map of the South, dated around 1825, and color-coded to show what we’re experiencing now.  It figures he would, LOL.  Last summer we had more than the usual number of cicadas; do they count as frozen locusts now?

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On the other hand, they’re having the opposite problem at the Winter Olympics; the temperature at Sochi has climbed to 60 degrees for the past two days!  That’s making for slushy conditions at the outdoor events, and causing all kinds of problems for the athletes.  If anyone is supposed to be cold right now, they are!

Remember how the 2010 Winter Olympics suffered from a shortage of snow because it was held in Vancouver, the mildest spot in all of Canada?  Obviously the folks in charge of the games learned nothing from that, because this time they are having the games in one of the balmiest spots in Russia.  You’d think that holding winter games in Russia would not present this problem, after Russian winters defeated more than one enemy invading the country.  But Sochi is a subtropical Black Sea resort; they have palm trees along the beach, for crying out loud!  Maybe they would have done better hosting the summer games?

Of course we know why Sochi was picked for the 2014 games; for the Olympic Committee, money talks, and Sochi’s money talked loudest.  Still, they should have thought this one through more, and not just because of the climate.  We heard how the hotels and various other facilities were not ready when the games began, and the location is near enough to Chechnya to generate valid fears about terrorist attacks.  After the games are done, I doubt if anyone will say that Sochi was a good choice for the meeting place.  My guess is that Moscow and St. Petersburg were not picked because they don’t have mountains nearby, for the skiing and sledding events.  Perhaps a city in the Urals, like Ufa, Perm or Yekaterinburg, could have handled the games?

And while the Olympic Committee is paying more attention to what the host cities can pay them, as opposed to checking out conditions at the actual sites, I propose that the 2018 Winter Olympic games be held in Hilo, Hawaii.  After all, the nearby volcano, Mauna Loa, had snow and a blizzard on it, less than two weeks ago.  And the environmentalists can fuss about how global warming is ruining the games, the way they are doing with the Sochi games right now, while the rest of us freeze parts of our bodies off.

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