The Blizzard of ’78

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I’ve been watching the news reports about the blizzard hitting New England, when a friend reminded me that this is the anniversary of the Great Blizzard of ’78 that struck the Ohio Valley.

Jan. 25, 1978 was a beautiful day as I remember it. Unseasonably warm for January, but then the bottom dropped out during the night. I remember waking up, hearing the wind howling outside our house, realizing the power was off, which meant no heat. We piled extra blankets on our sons, who were both very young, and tried to get some more sleep.

The next morning, we woke to see snow piled high and hard enough that we could walk on top of it. By radio, we learned that it was a blizzard, and more snow and windy conditions would continue throughout the day. It was obvious that we were going nowhere, even if we could have found a way to navigate the steep hill in and out of our subdivision.

With young children, a neighbor with a fireplace offered to take us in, so we bundled up the boys and decamped to their house, where we remained for the next two days, when power was finally restored and a single lane was cleared on the county road leading to our subdivision.

Having endured a blizzard, my heart goes out to the New Englanders who are enduring the Blizzard of 2015. My prayers for their safety.

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Who needs a valet?

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I had to laugh at a story I saw on The Today Show this morning. BMW has apparently developed technology that allows a vehicle to park itself.

Called the Remote Valet Parking Assistant, the car uses four laser scanners to navigate the parking lot. Upon exiting the vehicle, the driver activates the system and the car drives off to find an empty space. When the driver returns, he or she speaks into a smartwatch and the car will come to you from wherever it parked itself.

No, I’m not going to rush out to get one of these things (walking is good exercise, remember) but I couldn’t get the image of all these empty cars driving around a busy mall parking lot during the holidays looking for an empty space. And what happens if two cars spot a space at the same time? Collision in lane 3?

And hmmm…what are the possibilities for a murder mystery involving one of the vehicles? I’ll have to ponder this.