First Day Of Spring Musing

On the first day of spring I don’t know whether to welcome spring or to welcome it back after our preview of summer over the weekend…This morning is starting out at 47° with the prognosticators pushing for the low 70’s by afternoon. Now that is what I call spring.

“What cheers me, though, is the thought that spring isn’t a human season, not like the seasons we create for ourselves. It comes without caring what you make of it. It may find you unprepared, ill at ease, in a state of erosion. It makes no difference. It will stir your blood anyway, once the freezing rain goes away at last.” ~ VERLYN KLINKENBORG

Officially Spring – New York Times

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From yesterday’s paper…

Houstonian ordered to pay $23,250 to record companies | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

A federal judge has ordered a Houston man accused of illegally downloading 31 songs to pay $23,250 in damages to five record companies.

Now those are some high dollar song downloads. Do you think if people knew going in that the music industry was going to come after them in that manner that they would even listen to the songs at all?

The recording industry association has filed about 28,000 lawsuits against individuals since 2003, a spokeswoman for the group said. About 9,400 of those were resolved in out-of-court settlements.

Jammie Thomas, a single mother who makes $36,000 a year, was ordered by a Minnesota jury last year to pay $222,000 to six record companies that accused her of offering 1,702 songs on Kazaa.

Any idea how many of the employees of that association are lawyers? I think I know why the cost of cd’s is so high and the artists (you know, the one who actually make the music) make so little.

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Of interest to CoffeMusers everywhere….

At least six research reports show that people who drink coffee are up to 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s, have a 25 percent drop in their risk for colon cancer, an 80 percent drop in their risk for liver cirrhosis, and an almost 50 percent lower risk for gallstones. Not only that, research from Harvard shows that drinking six or more cups of java cuts the risk for Type II diabetes by 54 percent for men and 30 percent for women.

Coffee actually provides more than just the legendary caffeine jolt. It’s a big source of antioxidants, containing such compounds as chlorogenic acid and tocopherols and even minerals like magnesium. The trick is not to over-consume it. For some people, excess coffee can increase heartbeat and jitters. However, the increase in blood pressure that many worry about is largely temporary. – Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS

As a heavy coffee consumer for most of my life, I am in the moderation camp. I am consuming less than I used to but more than many in this country…

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Now I know why the SportTrac looks like I’ve been driving on dirt roads this week…

Did brown gunk coat your car? Blame dust and ash | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Now, thanks to wildfires and dust storms far south of the border, Houston knows all about ash-filled, muddy, stick-all-over-your-car rain.

Thousands of cars and trucks were covered in a brown film Wednesday after being pelted with globules of raindrops carrying dust and ash from as far away as Central Mexico.

“I’ve heard of acid rain, but I’ve never heard of dirty rain,” said Jason Smith, a mental health worker who was spraying down his grime-covered sedan at a Montrose car wash. “My car looks like it has been on vacation in Mexico City or wherever.”

Joe Baskin, a forecaster for the National Weather Service, said the particles were first spotted via satellite Tuesday as they swirled in plumes just outside Mexico City.

The wind, which at about 20,000 feet altitude was blowing as fast as 70 mph, carried them into Texas and mixed with rainstorms, Baskin said.

“It is nothing to worry about,” said Baskin, who added late Wednesday that the front that brought the rain had likely already dumped any dust it carried.

From Houston to San Antonio, there were reports of the brown rain frustrating motorists as well as puzzling them.

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Email and then my daily commute call…

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