The vernal equinox sort of caught me flat-footed this year. Normally, as a godless heathen, I like to welcome this pagan holiday with cups of mead and fertility rituals. Alas, in Michigan, as noted yesterday, the first day of spring is likely to, well, suck out loud. Sure, you’ve got your longer days, your clear spring sunshine, even two inches of daffodils trying to emerge in the back yard, but it hadn’t cracked 30 by the time of this morning’s dog walk. Plus, I hab a code, the first of the season (the cold season, not spring). How cruel, to avoid illness all winter, then get flattened on the first day of spring. I’ve banished myself to the snoring room. I am a temple of disease. My breath is vile. Pity me.
Actually, I should be grateful. If this had hit during the Busy Period, I’d have been a lot more miserable.
So, then, a little lite bloggage before I go back to bed with a mildewy John D. MacDonald paperback:
Thanks to Eric Zorn for finding The 20 Most Important Tools Ever, a list compiled by Forbes. Eric suggested trying to guess No. 1 before you click over, so I did, and I failed. I guessed the stirrup, based on something I read a while back, which said the stirrup changed the world, because it allowed a rider to carry and deploy weapons while astride, and gave the world Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan and all the rest of it.
I’m a sucker for this sort of thing, the idea of human history changing because of some relatively simple invention. There was a show on one of those grown-up channels — Discovery, probably — many years ago; I think it was called “Connections,” and tried to make those leaps. I liked it because it debunked lots of conventional wisdom and approached everything from left field. The episode on how family togetherness was slaughtered by central heating was simply a hoot.
(This was also the show that revealed Spriggy’s most baffling personality trait. Before they went to a break, the host would throw out a little quiz for you to think about during the commercials. In one, he asked, “What year was the inflatable rubber tire invented? 1825? 1895? Or 1888?” Alan asked Spriggy, who was lying next to the couch. When he got to “1888,” Spriggy leaped to his feet, barking furiously. He still does. Say “1888,” and he starts barking like Lassie giving a briefing on Timmy’s well adventures. What is he trying to tell us? I’m still puzzled. P.S. 1888 was the correct answer.)
Anyway, I was wrong about the stirrup. Take your own guess. I’m going back to bed.