Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: weather (page 1 of 2)

Cairns & Innisfail

I am saying serious prayers tonight for a country I have yet to visit.
If you’ve heard about the tropical cyclone Yasi, you will know what I’m talking about.
This nasty monster has morphed into a cat 5 cyclone.
Not good.
There are many people that I love living there.
Please say a prayer for all those that just couldn’t get out of the way of this bloody beast.
(and there will be many)
Mother Nature needs a serious reality check in terms of what normal human beings can handle.
Looking for some serious mercy here.
But as a wise friend said, “Que, sera, sera . . . ”
Give it up.
Just give it up.


yeah, it’s snowing

Expecting 1 – 2 feet of the white crap by 6PM tomorrow.
Doing the ‘happy’ dance . . .
[yeah, right]



It is an impossibly gorgeous day today.
There’s copious sunshine, more than ample warmth, stuff growing and skies bluer than blue.
We haven’t had a spring here in New England for about 15 years.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be alive and enjoying a day off such as this.
Life is good . . .



I hate wearing new shoes and I’m willing to bet that 99.999% of the male population does too.
They never feel right and by the end of the day you’re walking like Donald Duck after
sniffing glue and eating one too many Skittles.
Taste the rainbow of discomfort.
The only footwear that feels right to me the first time I wear them has been (and always will be) sneakers.
I didn’t wear sneakers today.
I wore shoes. New shoes.
Uncomfortable and unbroken-in shoes.
Evil, nasty monster shoes that should be thrown into the footwear abyss where all the bad shoes go.
Actually, they were a pair of Timberland casuals, a gift from my mother-in-law that can’t say no to anything 70% off, although sometimes I wish she would.
I love her anyway.
But my feet felt like two squishy blisters about to pop as I walked to the train.
Even the people driving on Boylston looked at me, concerned, as if to say,
“Hey, man, you look like you gotta take a crap or something!”
As I limped to South Station, I began thinking about walking in my father’s shoes,
not theoretically but realistically.
I would put on his oxblood wingtips that were 6 sizes too big
and waddle around the living room tripping on things while making believe I was him.
Everyone would get their chuckle and it would be bedtime for Mick.
I liked going into my father’s closet in the hallway.
It had all of his ‘stuff’ in it and I could get lost for hours.
In the back of my mind I can see the large glass pickle jar filled with change.
It was in the shape of an actual pickle barrel and it weighed about 200 lbs
(or 90.718474 kilos) 😉
I wonder when he cashed those coins in?
It was probably after I’d lost interest in the closet and moved on to collecting
pollywogs in a rusty pail underneath the back deck.
There was all kinds of stuff in that closet: old army boots, belts that had fallen off their hooks that he forgot he even had, an empty ‘Tootsie Roll’ bank that served no purpose whatsoever and a shoebox filled with brushes, polish and stained rags.
If I could have bottled the smell of his closet, I would have.
The thing I liked best about my father’s closet was the feeling of comfort that it gave me as I sat there surrounded by his stuff. My world was safe as I sat there on the closet floor even when he wasn’t home.
These days I find myself missing the ‘safety’ that was him.
When my mother and father were well I always felt I had that net stretched out below me should ever I fall, not that I would ever use it.
I just liked knowing it was there.
The net disappeared many years ago and I really miss the feeling of calm that it gave to me.
For now, I’ll choose to cherish the memories of that special closet in the hallway that seems light years away.
Maybe it’s not that far away after all.
As I finish writing this post I can see snow falling outside the dark kitchen windows and it’s only October 15th.
Maybe it’s my mother and father’s way of telling me that I now have my own net to tend to.
They always had a way with words . . .


The above picture just hit me the right way seeing it’s rained the past 28 days.
Currently it’s not raining but looks and feels terminally foggy.
And I’m cranky.
Let’s see what happens this weekend,eh?
Happy 4th of July folks.
Enjoy the pyrotechnics!

Indian Summer

It was September of 2006 that I took a week off from work.
I planned on doing some things around the house, smoke some cigars and drink some Guinness.
I had a few extra days to play around with and decided to visit my friend Michael who lives on Cape Cod.
I left early on Tuesday morning and planned to meet Michael for breakfast before deciding what to do for the day.
We met at a place in West Dennis called ‘Grumpy’s’.
It was your basic ‘hole-in-the-wall’ breakfast place but the knotty pine that lined the inside walls seemed to say, “You will eat well, old man.”
The aroma of frying bacon and sautéed onions wafted towards us as we walked in and made my empty stomach stand at attention. (but can a stomach do that?)
Grumpy’s was the farthest thing from grumpy and the coffee was very close to excellent.
I ordered two eggs, over real easy, bacon, home fries and raisin toast.
No surprise there.
Can’t remember what Michael ordered but I do remember we both rolled out of there like the older men that we’re slowly learning to be.
After a Grumpy breakfast we decided to go back and drop off my truck before heading to the beach for the day.
And although it was mid-September, the temperature was @75 – 80° with pure cobalt skies.

“Want me to bring a cooler? We can stop on the way and throw some beer on ice,”  Michael said.

A man after my own heart, I thought.

“Sounds like a plan,” I said, “And we’re covered on cigars.”

We got to Cahoon’s Hollow around 9:45 with 2 beach chairs and a BAC (big ass cooler) in tow.
I couldn’t believe how warm it was; a kiss of Indian Summer.
The beach was totally deserted, save for Michael and I.
With a shoreline as expansive as the Hollow it seemed almost surreal.
Me, Michael and the beach.
We planted our chairs a good distance from the entrance and sat in silence for a bit.
The warm, salty breeze and brilliant sunshine took us both away.
The sunshine was like millions of tiny fires flittering on the surface of the water,
rising and falling methodically with the tide, a natural aquatic pendulum.
The blue raspberry sky told both of us that this was going to be a very special day.

“Want a cigar?” I asked.

“Want a beer?” Michael asked.

We both started laughing like two little boys playing hooky from school.
With cigars lit and beers opened we chatted the morning away, one blessed sip at a time.
I can’t even remember what cigars I brought.
They may have been Cuban, but truth be told rolled up dogshit would have tasted good that day.
Michael and I have always had the ability to talk forever.
Doesn’t matter if I haven’t seen him in 10 years (God forbid), we have some serious history.
(Remember Treasure Valley, Deg?)
And lot’s of it.
We weren’t alone for very long before we began seeing things popping up in the surf.
From my vantage point, the ‘things’ looked like shiny obsidian bowling balls.

“Seals,” Michael said, flatly.


It seemed like they were popping up everywhere.
And it seemed like we were placed there just to see them.

I wish I could put the day in a bottle and open it whenever I needed it.
My own private and saving grace.
Maybe writing it down is a step in the right direction.
But maybe Laho would vehemently disagree . . .


We interrupt this blog!

Because the writer is writing and reading but promises to return . . .
After the stuffy nose has gone away.
(and the bruised ribs heal, *don’t ask,
just know that an unexpected ice patch got said writer @12:45 last Sunday morning)

Saying no to snow

The above picture might as well be yours truly in about 12 hours.
Yeah, buried up to my chin.
We’ve got back to back Nor’easters and the forecast is calling for 12+ inches
of the crap before it wraps up.
They say we might even see thunder and lightning with this one.
Happy, happy, joy, joy.
When it comes to snow,  just say no.


His shadow, embedded in ice
frozen in time,
Inescapable in ways unimaginable
with cold that numbs the very soul,

Night train, with no destination in sight
on the broken hands of time,
a window seat overlooking an arctic world
searching for signs of his life,

Eyes cry freezing rain
a polarized crystalline blue
with hopes of some homeward bound image
but it’s never safe from zero

michael’s on ice,
a seasonal flatline in black
like the snow-tipped mountains of forever
with a soul numbing wind of 1 below zero,


I can see her from my bedroom window on some of the warm and humid summer nights.
She stands motionless bathed in a slice of cobalt blue moonlight, staring up at me, waiting, wanting, needing something my lethargic mind can’t quite comprehend.
Whispers crawl around my bedroom floor rising to my waiting ears, words that have no form, no meaning.
Off in the distance, I hear the dissonant bells of a monument in a cemetery across the rippling pond.
The solitary whistle of a passing ghost train to nowhere only adds to the soundtrack of this surreal dream world I’m in, a maelstrom of stygian tones and swiftly passing night clouds.
But it’s her, always her; waiting, watching, wanting . . .
I rise from the comfort of my bed and walk downstairs, an endless descent accentuated by the numerous creaks of an old and dying staircase.
Suddenly, I’m standing in the kitchen staring at a backdoor with its shade drawn.
The outside porch light illuminates her silhouetted shape standing motionless behind the door.
My heart skips a beat and my breath quickens as my hand willingly reaches for the brass doorknob.
Although it’s summer, the brass knob feels like ice and I freeze as the door slowly opens.
She’s there in front of me, inches from the ground slowly rotating in space and time, like a maniacal second hand of a broken watch.
When the door fully opens, she stops and seems to glide towards me, raising the hair on my arms.
She’s buzzing like neon.
I take in her face, the colour of the full October moon, creviced like a web but somehow calm.
Her lips are of Jasper, her eyes like black opals with swirling clouds of candescent lace deep within, maybe her universe, maybe another world.

I search for something to say but I am (diametrically) frozen solid in the warm humid air.

“I know,” she whispers, “I know things. I know you.”

“What do you want?” I manage to mumble.

“The soul, your soul.”

Her hand reaches effortlessly inside my chest and withdraws a beam of white light which she gently places inside a black satchel, on it is written “acceptance” in small white letters.

I exhale a cloud of crystalline blue frost into the warm summer night that envelops her.
She nods almost respectfully and begins to drift carelessly away, almost satisfied.
I look at her so confused and ask, “Who are you?”
On the warm winds of a midnight past, I hear her whisper . . .
“Wysteria . . . ”

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