A Continuation of the 20+ Years of
March 2021

Click here to see the other months in 2021:   January,   February,   March,   April,   May,   June,   July

The Calends  
of March  
POOR MARCH -- it is the HOMELIEST month of the year. Most of it is MUD, Every Imaginable Form of MUD, and what isn't MUD in March is ugly late-season SNOW falling onto the ground in filthy muddy heaps that look like PILES of DIRTY LAUNDRY.
-- Vivian Swift (circa 2008)

In our neck of the woods, what Vivian is describing usually fits April more than it fits March, but we should see some of it this month. At this time of the year a lot of people drive around looking at resorts to decide which one they'd like to use for their summer vacation. I really hated to see them drive into LBLR because in the early Spring resorts really look bad. The grounds look like Vivian described, but in addition to that there's resort equipment scattered around, dock sections laying on the shore, upside down boats scattered around the lawn, three pontoon boats parked on the volleyball court, picnic tables leaning against the cabins, etc. etc. And the inside of the cabins are equally bad. Besides being unheated and uncomfortable, they're still in the same state that they were left in when they were shut down the previous Autumn which, among other things, includes a dirty gas grill sitting in the middle of the kitchen or living room. Of course I always explained the state of the resort to the prospective customers before I showed them around, and I assured them that things will look much better in May. And even though they always said they understood, and they could "look through the spring mess", I still didn't like to show people around the resort at this time of the year.
March 2nd   Note to the people who have reservations for Cabin # 3 this coming summer:   When you walk into your cabin you will be pleasantly surprised, but I'm not going to give you the details.......well, maybe I will, but only if you ask me for them.
March 3rd   Number 66 of the "100 reasons why it's nice to be a male":
You never have to drive to another gas station because this one is just too skeevy.
March 4th   Click HERE.
Cinco de Marzo   I recently received an e-mail from a past customer and a good friend, and among other things in her note she said that LBLR will forever hold a special place in [her] heart. Geez.......comments like that are nice, and I feel the same way (maybe even more so).
March 6th   Here's an irrelevant (but perhaps interesting) question:   What is the farthest any human has ever been away from all other humans, ie. the "most isolated person ever" or the "loneliest person ever"?

On earth there is a place known as the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility, also called Point Nemo. It's a spot in the southern Pacific Ocean that is the farthest point from any land; its nearest land mass is Motu Nui (part of the Easter Islands) 1,670 miles away. So assuming that a person is at Point Nemo, and assuming that no one else is in a boat inside the circle defined by that 1,670 mile radius, and assuming someone is near the shore on the nearest land mass, that's the farthest from any other people that a human can be while on the surface of the Earth. Of course it's unlikely that anyone was ever in that situation, but that's the maximum.

How about someone on the International Space Station? one is ever there alone so that doesn't count. And besides that, the International Space Station is only about 260 miles above the earth's surface, which is peanuts in view of the total area of the earth.

Okay, then how about during one of the nine missions that went to the moon as part of the Apollo program (the three that didn't land, plus the six that did land). Could a person involved in one of those have been the "loneliest person ever"? Certainly not the astronauts who landed on the Moon, because there were always two of them. But how about the one who remained in lunar orbit in the Command Module during the landings; how far away from the other two astronauts did he get? Since the Moon's diameter is 3,474 miles, and since the Command Module's orbit was 69 miles high, the lone astronaut at his farthest point was in the vicinity of 3,543 miles from the two on the Moon, and about 240,000 miles from the rest of us earth-bound people. That means that one of the six Command Module pilots during the lunar landing missions holds the record for being the "loneliest person ever". I don't know exactly which one it was, and I'm not going to bother trying to find out. I am interested in who the was the "loneliest person ever" while on the Earth's surface, but I have no idea how to find out.
The Nones  
of March  
The first LBLR outdoor fire of the season usually occurred during Memorial weekend, and the final one was usually in late October, but once in awhile we had one during the Thanksgiving weekend. Outdoor fires in the wintertime were a rarity. On occasion there were some but they were few and far between. I don't remember being involved in more than one outdoor fire in any given winter (and zero in most winters). But oddly enough, I've already attended two of them in White Bear Lake this winter. Who would have ever thunk it?
March 8th   Correction:
Here is a correction to the recent "loneliest person ever" dissertation (see the March 6th entry, above). After a little more thought I realized that even though Apollo 10 didn't land on the Moon, the lander (also known as the LEM or Lunar Excurson Module) did actually separate from the Command Module (with two astronauts aboard) and it "approached" the Moon as though it was going to land. During that time, the Command Module pilot was isolated from his fellow astronauts aboard the LEM by approximately 3,543 miles, making him one of the seven people (not six, as previously stated) to be that isolated. I apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.
March 9th   The high temperatures have been near (or even above) 60 degrees for the last several days. Don't fall into the yearly trap of thinking that Spring is nearly upon us just because the weather is Spring-like. This is Winter and we're in Minnesota; there's still much winter weather ahead of us.
March 10th   As I said on the first day of December in 2011:   Christmas comes but once a just seems more often than that. But then just as soon as it gets here, it seems to go on forever. Christmas 2020 lasted longer than most, but it too, is finally finally over! This evening the last of the Christmas/Winter decorations have been taken down, boxed up with the ones that were taken down earlier, and stored in the attic. It's done.......till next year when it starts all over again, that is. Sigh.......

The Big 10 Men's basketball tourney starts this evening. Do you have your picks done?
March 11th   Nice hail stones, eh? They're from last evening and there were a lot of them. Click HERE. Do you think this was a hail storm of biblical proportions, and if so, are we in for the locusts next? Did anyone else in the area get some of this?
March 12th   Here's a reminder so that it doesn't sneak up on you:   Earth Hour this year is March 27 (two weeks from Saturday) from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM. That's local time so whatever time zone you happen to be in, it's still 8:30 to 9:30 PM. During Earth Hour we are asked to turn off all unnecessary electrical equipment, especially electric lights, as a symbol of our commitment to the planet. I know.......I know.......on a practical level it does nothing significant to reduce power usage, but it's still a neat symbol. To get somewhat of a feel for how my Dad lived for the first several years of his life, I used to turn off all electric lights and use candles and oil lamps occasionally. It gave me a small sample of what life was like after sundown not that many years ago. Reading, going into another room to find something, going to the bathroom, etc. etc., while carrying an oil lamp is troublesome compared to what we're used to. Click HERE. It's darned difficult to read a book, play a game of cards, or even find something in a drawer or closet in that environment, and it's funny how instinctively a person flips a light switch on when going into a dark room, even if one is carrying an oil lamp and didn't intend to use electricity. It would really be tough to live like that every night.
March 13th   It's the time of the year to get the cabins opened up and the spring cleaning underway.......but I think I'll leave that job to Tim and Monica again this year. YES!!!!

PS to Cindy and Tara:   What do you do with all your free time in the Spring now that you don't have to spend six days spring cleaning cabins?
March 14th   Today is Pi Day (π Day). How does one celebrate π Day, I'm wondering. Here are the first one thousand digits past the decimal point, in case anyone is interested:
3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989.......
Ides of March   Not only is today the Ides of March.......
I typed those words last evening, and then got interupted before I could finish the thought. When I finally got back to it, I had no idea what I was going to say (which is a fairly common occurrence these days). All I remember is that it was very interesting. Anyway, have a happy Ides of March and enjoy the traditional Bloody Caesar in celebration of the day.
St. Urho's Day   Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning;
Red sky at night, sailors delight.

Is there anything to that old adage, do you think? Maybe -- maybe not; click HERE.

PS:   Don't forget to enjoy a Grasshopper in honor of St. Urho's Day.
St. Patty's Day   Top o' the mornin' to ya!
As usual on this day:   Happy Birthday Ter (my dear youngest Daughter).......and Éire go Brách!!!!!

It's really the pits when it's St. Patty's Day, and it's your turn to be the DD.
March 18th   All around the bend in the river road cars are pulled over to the side, and on the bridge people have gathered. They come and go all day. They're gawking at the ice. The breaking up of the ice down the river is winter's last big show, a view of the underside of winter, the engine room, the groaning, grinding machinery.

The river is no more than 150 feet across where it makes a bend, following which, the channel widens out some. There the ice, floating down from upriver, is apt to get stuck. A dam of ice begins to rise. More ice comes down the river, meets the dam, tries to push through it, fails, tries to climb over it, and fails again. The dam grows deeper, higher. The ice blocks are 4 or 5 feet thick, gray or green, sometimes pale blue like the spring sky. The weight of the ice sheets is unimaginable, and yet they are flung up at all angles on the dam. They are shot out to the sides of the channel, where they scour the riverbanks and mow down good-size trees. As big as the ice blocks are, what is pushing them is bigger. They will go where they are pointed, and there is not too much that can stop them. The people watch silently, from a safe distance.

--From the 2021 Farmer's Almanac

That's a nice little article, isn't it? Ice movement on Little Bass Lake isn't fueled by flowing water like it is in the article, but some years the wind does a pretty good job of it all by itself. You've probably seen these before, but to see some ice damage in the Spring of 2004 and 2005 respectively, click HERE and HERE.
March 19th   Anyone who occasionally enjoys a sojourn to Las Vegas to spend a little time in the casinos has a reason for celebration. On this day in 1931 Gambling was legalized in Nevada.
Spring Equinox   Over the years these Chronicles have contained a lot of poetry in praise of the coming of Spring. In Marches past, you've seen the words of Emily Dickinson, Rabbie Burns, Christina Rossetti, Anne Bradstreet, William Blake, Marche Blumenberg, Antonio Vivaldi, Thalassa Cruso, Susan Reiner, and George Santayana. Of all those examples, perhaps Mr. Blake says it best in his poem titled "To Spring":

O' thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro' the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!
                                                  -- William Blake (1783)

If you're interested, the rest of the poem is HERE.

And Happy first day of Spring(!) which began as we 4:37 this morning (CDT).
March 21st   Several years ago I wrote: If life was a car ride from Saint Paul to Grand Rapids, I'd have just passed through Warba. Well, now I'm pulling into Blackberry, and there's no way to stop, or even slow down. But one thing is certain: like all other "times of life" it sure is interesting.......once you get used to it anyway.
March 22nd   At the moment the snow at LBLR is described as "little to none".
March 23rd   On this day in 1958 Elvis was inducted into the army. He didn't whine and cry and refuse to go like some other famous people of the time; his turn came and he served his country. And for those of you who can't remember it, the thought of Elvis with a standard GI haircut caused quite a stir.
March 24th   Freedom of the Press is called the Palladium of Liberty.......these days that means the liberty of being deceived, swindled, and humbugged by the Press, and paying hugely for that deception.

I didn't post that to make a political statement, nor do I necessarily agree or disagree with the it. It just seems like that statement (or some form of it) is often uttered by people of every political persuasion in this day and age. But what I find intesting about it, is that it was written by Mark Twain 151 years ago (in 1870). Some things never change(!) and apparently distrust of the press is one of those things.

PS:   I altered Mr. Twain's quote just a tad to make it more readable in our modern use of the language, but his message is unchanged.
March 25th   A good thing about Grandkids is that they can help you fix problems with your high tech devices. Of course you'll have to put up with statements like "Oh grandpa.......give it to me and I'll show you how to do it" in a condescending tone of voice, but that's a small price to pay for the service.

Note to Gary in Tennessee:   If your Grandkids are still too young for you to benefit from this service; be patient; they'll get there.
March 26th   The birds, they are returnin'. It's nothing like Up North of course, but they're returning nonetheless. Although a few Juncos have been around all winter (unlike Up North where they disappear completely), there are lots more of them at the feeder now as they pass through here on their way north. (I heard that there were a lot of them in the area of Little Bass Lake a week ago. My scant records indicate that they usually arrive en masse in the 1st or 2nd week of April, so apparently they're early this year.) There were also a few Purple Finches around all winter, but now there are more of them and they're wearing brighter colors than they did during the winter. Oh, and the first Fox Sparrow of the Spring appeared under the feeder this morning.
March 27th   Here are two overhead views of LBLR that I've always liked. One is from a satellite (click HERE), and the other is from an airplane (click HERE). They're neat, aren't they? That's Bass Lake in the background of the second one.
March 28th   Are you starting to think about fishing? Opening day is 7 weeks from today. If you need a little inspiration, click HERE.
March 29th   Florida is nice in March, as long as one is not in a hard-core Spring Break area. Click HERE and HERE. Quiet, calm, relaxing, right?
March 30th   Can you believe that it was 40 years ago today that President Reagan was shot by John Hinckley?   40 years ago!!!   Tempus fugit.......
March 31st   On this day in 2012 (9 years ago), I took a boat across the lake to visit my friend Randy. That was the one and only time during my 26 year tenure, that a boat trip across the lake in March was possible. The ice went out on March 27th that year; the next earliest date was on April Fools' Day in the year 2000. Geez, I miss that stuff.

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