Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Thoughts on Weather

"I have discovered that the 

world over, unusual weather 

prevails at all times of the 


― Edgar Rice Burroughs

This has been a difficult winter, weather-wise, for all of the US as well as Canada, The UK and Europe.  So it piqued my curiosity when I recently came across this quote.  Most people think of Burroughs as the guy who wrote the Tarzan books, but he also wrote a lot of science fiction. And while there are some great quotes from his books... that quote about the weather doesn't come from any of his books, it's just something he said. And since he died over 60 years ago, weather has clearly been on people's minds for quite some time.

How long, you wonder?  Well - maybe you don't - but as I sat in front of a cozy fireplace with my nice hot cup of tea, I wondered how long people have been wondering about the weather.  

Hmmm.. well now, that's pretty stupid...  clearly, people have been wondering about weather forever. Cavemen had to worry about whether they were going to survive the drought, and when they had to move their cave in order to avoid being swept up by the annual floods.  Christopher Columbus had to keep an eye on the weather as he sailed to America.  After all, while he might have 'sailed the ocean blue', I'm certain that the skies weren't blue for his entire trip.  And in today's world, public officials take a lot of heat if they respond incorrectly to weather forecasts and open or close schools when they should be doing the other.  But that's not really what I mean.

Mr. Burroughs' comment is not merely an effort to survive the weather, and respond to the weather, he was musing about the weather.    I don't know whether he drank tea while he mused, but clearly he mused.

So who else mused?
Well according to Mark Twain, everyone.  Twain said "Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it."  But it turns out he's also said to be the originator of the phrase "If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes."

Wait!  Really?  I'm quite certain that when I was a child growing up in Colorado, we used to say that - except of course we substituted 'Colorado' for 'New England'.   So I explored this a bit further and found that people say this same thing, substituting their own city or state or whatever, almost everywhere  ... including Melbourne Australia, Texas, Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania.... well, you get the idea.

But get this... while I was trying to find out who has mused about weather, I found a blog called Mike Smith Enterprises blog.  Sure you're trying to figure out what this blog has to do with the price of tea in china -- and the answer is  - nothing.
BUT the URL of Mr. Smith's blog is  He has over  SEVEN THOUSAND postings about weather, since 2009.  I don't mean viewings, or comments... but postings... Mr. Smith posts multiple times each day on his blog.  And it's almost always about the weather.

Wow.  Well that knocks my little musings out of the water.

But just as I was about to wrap up my thoughts on weather, I came across an Oscar Wilde quote...

"Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

Ouch, Mr. Wilde...  a bit harsh, don't you think?  What put you in such a foul mood?  Maybe you need a Snickers bar.  (If you don't get this reference, go to YouTube and put in 'Snickers commercial')  After all, we've got The Weather Channel that broadcasts 24/7, nearly every country (perhaps every one, but I got tired of checking) has its equivalent of the National Weather Service, and weather affects the livelihood safety and well-being of .. well --  everyone.

So, while I don't wish to be rude and disrespectful to Mr. Wilde's memory, I'll continue to wonder and muse about the weather, while I drink another cup of tea.


  1. We're all in the same boat, trying to be the one stand-out when it comes to weather. Kind of like Dr. Pepper. Be a Pepper...just like the rest of us. I haven't been everywhere, but I've been to several wheres...and I still haven't seen weather as variable as what we have here. Maybe I just wasn't looking.

  2. I don't know why someone would blog about weather when we have NWS. But that's just me. And yes, we say the same saying here in Chicago.