Monday, August 17, 2009

Dawg Days

The month of August is always “down time” everywhere in the States that I've ever lived. Everyone seems to leave town for most of the month. (We could use a few altar servers at my parish through Labor Day. Any takers?) I used to take off about this time of year, but not so much in recent years. And of course, this summer I'm in school, so you can just forget it.

The phrase "Dog Days" refers to the hottest days of summer. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days: the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. The rising of Sirius does not actually affect the weather (some of our hottest and most humid days occur after August 11), but for the ancient Egyptians, Sirius appeared just before the season of the Nile's flooding so they used the star as a "watchdog" for that event. Since its rising also coincided with a time of extreme heat, the connection with hot, sultry weather was made for all time.

Speaking of school, I just finished my midterm presentation. My grade for the midterm is a B minus. Now all I have to do is actually finish the project. This whole PHP programming thing uses the side of the brain that doesn't always get a workout. So that's a big challenge now. The last class I need to graduate is offered in the spring, and the interim will be spent completing my portfolio.

I don't get out in the sun much. Even though my townhouse community has a pool, I'm getting through a fourth summer without ever using it. "Sal" and I do use the tennis courts, though. She's crazy-go-nuts about badminton, and when she can't get to a game, she stays in practice by using me as a target, as well as some degree of personal amusement. Obviously we don't keep score.

I've got at least three drafts waiting for mwbh. Now that the midterm rush is complete...

No comments: