Palindromic Date · 9 March 2019

I just realized that next year, Goundhog Day (February 2) will be a palindromic date. At least if you put leading zeroes to make the month and day two digits each. (Which technically does not make it a two-digit number since leading zeroes do not count as digits. But that is a completely different story.)

(I actually realized the date was a palindrome a while ago, but the snow, which I do not know if the groundhog predicted, came and gave me some other topics. Which are other stories that I already wrote. But back to the current thought.)

I like to put leading zeroes in my dates. Maybe it is because you need to do that with online forms and such. Surely, it is not because there is any ambiguity with dates. At least not with months. But for some reason, putting in those zeroes before most months and the first nine days of the month seems right to me. I suppose that the practice just lends itself to my way of thinking. Each month needs two digits as does each day. Simple. Or maybe I am just simple. Whatever the reason, I like to do it.

Which is why I noticed that 02/02/2020 will be a numeric palindrome. The number is the same forward and backward. At least without the slashes. I am not sure why I think palindromes are so cool, but I do. Okay. I do know why. They just are. Palindromes are cool. Period.

Here are some short palindromes:

Madam I’m Adam.
A man a plan a canal – Panama.
Able was I ere I saw Elba.

Cool, right! (That was not a palindrome, by the way.) I am always amazed when words and numbers are palindromic. (Which if it is not a word, ought to be. Sometimes, okay usually, I hate spell checker on my word processor. Although it is nice when it tells me I spelt something wrong like spelt. Unless, of course, that word happens to be correct in British or some other form of English that might be in my dictionary. Or if it happens to be some form of grain.)

Now, where was I? (Sometimes I get confused when I put in parenthetical thoughts. Which by the way are fun in and of themselves. And have you ever noticed that whenever I say, “But that is another story,” I usually have not subsequently told another story. Must be frustrating. Ah, but that is another story.)

Where was I again? Oh yes. Amazed.

I am always amazed when words and phrases and paragraphs are palindromic. (No parenthetical thoughts here.) But I am also amazed when numbers are. Palindromic, that is. I might even have commented on a palindromic date some time in the past. (Probably 01/02/2010.) But I do not remember. All I know is that February 2, 2020 will be a numerical palindrome.

02022020. Not quite as fun as racecar. But still. It is a palindrome. 02022020.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Snopocalypse 2019 · 2 March 2019

Snopocalypse 2019 has been quite the adventure.

I remember when the weather people used to be about 50 percent right. They said snow was coming, but it never did. Or if it did, there was just a dusting. People would be all worried about the big storm and a few flakes would fly. “That’s it?!” was the response. Or the opposite would happen. The weather folks would say the storm might give us a few drops of rain, but a monsoon hit. Those were the good ole days of weather prediction. Spin the wheel and just give the prediction with confidence and conviction. People thought you were a crackpot anyway.

Not so today. Today, weather predictions seem to be right on. To the inch and within a few hours. Or maybe a day. Those weather satellites and computer models seem to be getting better and better at predicting what storm is headed our way.

I for one am glad of that. After all, if the predictions had not been so reliable, I might still be stuck at work two weeks after the first storm hit. We all went home a little early. Right before the clouds dumped snow. And that ended up being the light day. Just a couple inches. Who knew the snow was going to keep coming for a couple weeks? I suppose we all did because the weather people told us so.

Still, even though they told us, I did not think we would get that much snow. Wow!

I like the snow. I like going out and breathing the fresh air after it has snowed a few inches. Or more. And I actually like to shovel the driveway and get everything ready for when the snow stops and we can get in our vehicles and drive again. Besides, when you shovel the driveway and the walkway every snowfall, they are easier to maintain if the snow keeps falling. And falling and falling. So far during Snopocalypse 2019, I have shoveled three or four days.

Believe it or not, I have had fun shoveling.

Part of the reason I have had so much fun shoveling is because I have made a couple time lapse videos of my quest to keep the driveway and walkway clean. I even made music on the first one and a soundtrack for another. And I have a third one done as well. (All are on YouTube.)

Besides the videos and being able to be creative, I have staved off cabin fever and boredom by going outside. Shoveling the snow has been a welcome relief to boredom and the snoredom that our kids seem to have been afflicted with. It used to be that we would all go out and tromp through the snow or go sledding or make snow forts or igloos. Now, they sleep or play inside on their computers. I just go outside and dig us out. Dig, dig, dig. Quite refreshing.

It is also a good workout. The snow we have gotten is heavy. Each shovelful has been a challenge to move out of the way. But it is helping me get in shape. (Yes, round is a shape.) Shoveling is helping me stay fit. And sane.

Thankfully, Snopocalypse 2019 has only affected the roads and sidewalks. Which means we have not gone on many adventures in the vehicles. But at least I have avoided cabin fever and snoredom. I have not been bored one bit during our two weeks in the house (with a couple breaks).

Maybe it has not been the most outrageous adventure, but Snopocalypse 2019 has been a great time. Especially, for those of us who were prepared thanks to the weather people and for those who like to dig.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Spring Sports · 23 February 2019

Do you know how you can tell spring sports are just around the corner? The signs are unmistakable. Snow is in the air. And on the ground.

I do not live the Midwest or anywhere where there is real snow four to six months of the year. I live in the Pacific Northwest where snow is not the norm. Winter or anytime. So towns and cities seemingly close whenever there is a whiff of snow. Or at least that is the way it used to be. I even remember a time when many schools closed when there was a prediction of snow, but no snow came. But that was before the meteorologists started getting so good at predictions. At least a couple years ago. At any rate, here in our area, snow extends weekends and school years. But it does not postpone spring sports.

Which brings me back to my original thought. You can always tell when high school spring sports are about to begin around here because the snow begins to fall. Practices are just around the corner, and the snow is still on the ground. The timing is perfect.

I know. I should not complain. And I am not really. It is just that the timing is funny. Ironic. And it actually gets better. For as soon as the snow stops (but the cold hangs around), the showers start. Even before April. And often (at least around here), the showers are deluges. Monsoon season is spring sports season. Ah well. At least we do not get real monsoons. Not very often anyway.

But back to the snow. And the sports.

It is ironic that the sports that are played in the spring are the sports that really need the good weather. Track and Field, Golf, Baseball, Softball, Tennis. After all, it is tough to do any of those sports with snow on the ground or the court. I am not sure whether it would do any good, but at least for high schools around here, it might make sense to switch when some of the sports are played.

Ah well. I am not really here to comment about that.

I am just observing and lamenting about what many of our spring sports coaches observe and lament every year. You can tell that spring sports are just around the corner around here because of the weather. Snow and rain and cold are in store for the foreseeable future. The signs are unmistakable.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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