Lovely weather, if you are a duck!

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2001

One of the least predictable things in life is the weather.

Meteorologists (just another fancy name for weather person) are basically just prognosticators.

And these people go to college for years to learn how to do it-imagine that!

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Computers and satellites track weather activity, based partially on historical data, and also on atmospheric conditions; the weather people then try to give it their "best guess" and forecast for us what they "think" the weather is going to be like.

But keep in mind, they try to "forecast", just another word for predict.

I think one reason that old Benjamin Franklin was able to forecast the weather in "The Farmers' Almanac" was because records were, and still are today, kept on weather activity.

As I sat with twinges of "old Arthur" (arthritis) flaring up during the past few days, I could probably have forecasted the mere fact that the weather was going to change, and coupled with the fact that it is winter, I probably could have gone out on a limb, saying it would be cold.

But to be able to say that it would rain today, but not tomorrow, then rain the next day, but not the following day would be somewhat of an impossibility, based on my primitive means of forecast (unless, of course, I could fine-tune my aches and pains).

Alas, I guess (there's that word again) that "someone" has to go to weather school, and who better than someone that thinks they can forecast the weather, right?

As long as the roof holds up!

Farmers no doubt need more of the same in order to attempt to recover from last year's rain deficit, but I don't think they will want it all at once, either.

Now would be a good time for a football game.

The weather has brought out the best in teams, and has also shown who the "real" teams actually are.

My dad says that you can take any good team, and either makes them shine, or flop in the mud, when the field has a little wet stuff on it.

There is some wisdom to that, if you look for it.

Athletes can work their whole career, knowing how it feels when they demand a certain response of their body in a given situation. But then, when the physics of the game are changed, such as reducing the amount of friction (slipperiness) on the ground by either water or snow-that's when the abilities of the greatest athletes take on new meaning.

To be able to twist, turn, stop, go, dodge, and anything else required on a football field in order to advance the pigskin, in a newly changed environment, brings out the best, or worst in a team.

Then, there's the plight of the duck-always in or near the water, with feet that have a thick, rubbery skin on them so they don't freeze, as the webbed-flippers propel them across a body of water.

Then there are the waterproof properties they possess in their feathers, and that thick, soft layer of down that insulates them from the heat.

Oh, well, guess I'll just wear my jacket, and use an umbrella.

Stay safe, and keep warm, from out in "Deep Left Field".