Hot Air

Spring!

How weird is today, Thursday, February 19, 2015, in our corner of South Central Indiana?

At the time I’m writing this, the temperature is -5ºF with a 7 mph wind, giving us a wind-chill of -19º. Here’s a chart showing how quickly you might suffer frostbite on any exposed area of your sacred temple should you decide to walk to the Book Corner to pick up the latest copy of Girls & Corpses magazine:

windchill

You will, acc’d’g to this chart, enter medical emergency territory after walking a mere 30 minutes or so. Good luck.

Wait — that’s not the weird part. This is: the Bruster’s ice cream joint near my palace at the intersection of State Roads 46 and 446 is set to reopen for the season in no more than eight days, on Feb. 27. In fact, as I waited at the red light there this AM, my toes beginning to lose all feeling and my breath steaming up the rear view mirror, a woman was unloading her SUV and bringing in bags of stuff to the place; undoubtedly she was coming in to start opening tasks, writing up employee schedules and ordering — brr!— tubs of mint chocolate chip, etc.

And there’s more: Today, my beloved Chicago Cubs open up the doors of the team’s spring training headquarters in warm, sunny Mesa, Arizona, for today’s mandatory reporting date for pitchers and catchers. That means the 2015 Opening Day game between the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field is only 46 days away. If the weather gods cooperate, conditions at the Friendly Confines that evening should be in the 60s with some high, fluffy clouds breaking up a Carolina blue dusk sky.

‘Course, early evening April 5th in Chi. prob. will be sleety and windy with temps in mid- to low-30s.

But even that would seem downright tropical compared to today.

Kyle Watch

BTW: Here’s where things stand with Indiana University alum Kyle Schwarber, who was selected by the Cubs with the number 4 pick in last June’s amateur draft: the burly slugger will be in Mesa beginning next week as a non-roster invitee. That means the club is giving him a taste of the Major League experience because they have such high hopes for him. He’ll benefit from parent club instruction and get to know some of the teammates with whom, it is hoped, he will be playing come September of the 2016 season.

Schwarber

Schwarber Meets The Press At Wrigley Last Summer

He’s due to open the regular season with the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Carolina League. If he hits as as did last year, when he absolutely mauled pitchers in three different minor leagues, he can expect to be promoted mid-season to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies.

Schwarber continues to wield his catchers mitt despite scouting reports that grade him sub-standard at best at that position. The Cubs organization tried him in left field a bit last summer but his performance there made the bosses’ hair stand on end.

He knows how to swing a bat, though, and Baseball America, the bible of such things, has ranked him the fourth best prospect in the Cubs’ system. BA will release its Top 100 Prospects in the game tonight at 9pm. I’ll get you Schwarber’s rank on that list as soon as I can.

Mayor Neher?

Have you checked out Darryl Neher’s platform for his run for mayor in the May Democratic primary yet?

Here are the highlights for me:

  • Neher promises to “Protect our community from excessive development.” He mentions the flood of out-of-state developers that, as I see it, threaten to turn downtown B-ton into a soulless, high-density hotel and sports bar orgy.
  • “One Bloomington [his campaign catchphrase] means proactive engagement between city and citizens.” Neher pledges to initiate regular mayoral roundtables with the public grilling “various stakeholders.” I hope that means developers, municipal dept. heads, the mayor himself, and other characters whose feet need to be held to the fire.
  • “IU Health/Bloomington Hospital must be accountable to Bloomington.” Amen. But good luck with that, Darryl. IUHBH already has unilaterally decided to abandon the city center for greener pastures (literally) at Curry Pike and SR 46. As soon as the new monument to itself is built it will be the region’s hospital, not Bloomington’s.

Everything else is pretty boilerplate political stuff. Neher stands four-square for schools, the police, the fire department, good jobs, and good weather.

The primary difference, philosophically, between him and opponent John Hamilton is about six inches of height, Neher’s favor. The other two guys running for mayor? They’ll be trivia answers precisely 24 hours after election day.

Neher/Hamilton

Neher [L] & Hamilton

And, hey, a great letter to the editor in today’s Herald Times called for Neher, a former Republican, to denounce his more antediluvian former GOP brethren and sisteren. [No link because it’s not online yet.]

That Big Round Thing In The Sky

Oh hey, the sunlight today is 80 percent stronger than it was on the Winter Solstice, December 21st. And we’ll enjoy a good 96 more minutes of sunlight today, too.

Take heart, kiddies.

Sun

Your Friend And Mine

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