April 7th, 2005

munkacsy_parc_monceau

(no subject)

Wind arose, then rain began to fall. The almost-summer passed in a single day. I'm happy to see that April is displaying it's traditional changeability. I'm keeping the windows open so I can enjoy the sound of splashing and trickling, and the fresh, cool air. I'm also happy that I got the rain gutters cleaned out just in time. They were clogged with dead mulberry blossoms two days ago, and most likely would have overflowed should this storm produce a downpour, as April's storms often do just before they end. Spring rain is my favorite rain.

Migrating from one computer to another is remarkably bothersome. There is a steeper learning curve than I expected, too. Making adjustments eats time. I also find it surprisingly disorienting to be using two different machines, alternately. I'm still going to Sluggo to fetch e-mail, and I still have a lot of files that need to be transfered, and I find that using the old mouse is quite annoying after having become accustomed to the wireless optical mouse on the new system. How did I ever put up with that thing? On the other hand, I still find Sluggo's keyboard easier to use. The new one has many more keys, and they are in unexpected places, so I keep hitting the wrong ones.

I am enjoying Firefox greatly. I like going to ad-laden web sites and zapping ads. Hah! Take that, Verizon! Begone, mortgage company! Away with you, monkey game! This is fun. I think I'll still be using Opera part of the time, though. There are certain web sites it gets along with very well, and I like the fact that its built-in e-mail client can be set to check one of my in-boxes frequently and is handy for firing off quick messages. If Firefox had an extension for e-mail, and one for an Opera-like status bar (the best I've seen), it would be just about perfect. If I had any geek skillz, I'd make extensions for those features.

I believe I can detect the beginnings of paleness in the eastern sky. Time to fire up the Slug and see if there's been any mail tonight. I guess I'm going to have to sully the new computer with Outlook Express, eventually, but I've been putting it off. Even if it turns out to be more stable on this computer than it was on Sluggo, I shall count the days until I can be rid of it.
sutter_buttes_scene

Sun Shower

Gray hours pass, all the world's color muted, the sky slate, and yet no rain falls. Mid-afternoon arrives, undistinguishable from any other part of day. Then there is a distant rumble of thunder and a stir of breeze. Just as the overcast begins to brighten, a few raindrops fall. The dull pavement is soon speckled, and the deep green leaves of the sourgrass are flecked with bright drops. Closed flowers vibrate as the wind grows stronger and the rain falls faster. The long-inert sky moves, clouds emerging from the gray mass. Colors are suddenly richer and the air glows, as though the raindrops were bringing the hidden sun's light to earth. Thunder continues to roll, though no lightning can be seen.

Now the clouds scurry, rushing to reveal unexpected patches of blue. Amid the downpour, shafts of sunlight emerge from silvering ramparts, making the streaks of rain sparkle and all the puddled pavements shine. Shards of sky fall to earth, the streets full of reflections, and chirping birds fly through the rain. The drops grow fewer, and sun-warmed vapor skims the streets and rooftops. Broken clouds become white ghosts of the storm, dissolving in brilliance, fleeing the sun, opening vast swaths of blue.

The wind fails, the rolling thunder vanishes into the revealed mountains, taking refuge among the gray masses which linger there to make a last stand against the advancing light. Still, there is the sound of rainfall. The eaves of houses, the pine needles, the not yet fully leafed mulberry twigs, are all beaded with festive drops which fall glittering to the ground. The sun-streaked woodlands appear to be emerging from an icebound state, drenched with shimmering falls of water and light. The flowers begin to open, greeting the belated sun. Puddles reflect the sunlight, and the reflections flicker on walls and fences as rippling streams of light, flowing toward evening.