The weather is not doing anything to accelerate the fires, but neither is it doing much to help alleviate the smoky conditions. The air clears just a bit during the day, when it's hot and we have to keep the house closed up and the air conditioner running, but then it gets very smoky again at night when it cools off a bit, so we still can't open the windows and turn the air conditioner off. Major suckage. Better news is taht while more lightning storms were predicted for this afternoon, they apparently failed to arrive— at least there was no lightning in town, and I heard no thunder from the mountains. Stay away, lightning!
I am getting used to the perpetual overcast, though, and the hour around sunset continues to provide a pale, mauve-tinted sky conducive to a pleasant sort of languor. The potential destruction of the entire town then seems hardly important at all. After all, it wouldn't be the only place to ever have gone away, and it would probably only go a way temporarily anyway.
A place that might go away altogether, however gradually, is Gackle (Pride of the Prairies Since 1904), North Dakota. Gackle's population in July, 2006, was 290, down from 335 in 2000. On the bright side (for people who aren't selling), property in the Gackle area is cheap. You can currently pick up this 160 acre farm with 3 bedroom house and outbuildings for $175,000. Not that Gackle is out of touch with the modern world: They even have a community weblog. Personally, I think it would be sad if what is probably the only place in the world called Gackle were to wither away to nothing. Save Gackle!
When languor threatens to become ennui, one can head for YouTube. This evening I discovered there two video excerpts from a 1961 television show featuring two of the best voices in 20th century music, Ella Fitzgerald and Jo Stafford, holding a conversation using bits of popular songs. Watch part one in the embedded clip below, then click the subsequent link for part two.
Part two, Yes, Indeed!