Thursday, May 29, 2008

What we expect is climate; what we get is weather

The title of this post is a statement allegedly made by Mark Twain, according to the Daedalus Books catalog that arrived yesterday. His most famous comment on the weather -- at least it's famous here in San Francisco -- is "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Today it's considered spurious, but it certainly reflects the summer weather in the San Francisco microclimate where my library is located.

Maybe because I had both those quotes in mind, I found today's "Pinpoint Forecast" of the weather in the San Francisco Chronicle to be entertaining: "Today, decreasing clouds. Friday, decreasing clouds. Saturday, partly cloudy. Sunday, partly cloudy. Monday, mostly cloudy." There's something humorous in clouds that decrease, but never disappear, and then, unheralded, increase (into mostly cloudy.)

Or maybe riding on Muni just makes almost anything funny, meaning ha-ha, not odd. The oddity today on Muni was an apparent bag lady who, when I tuned into her angry mutterings to herself, was going on about "swashbucklers." The streetcar was about to arrive at my stop; I was sorry I hadn't tuned into her earlier.

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