||[Nov. 25th, 2008|07:49 pm]
There's been no rain here yet, despite hours of overcast. The damp air has intensified the smell of decaying leaves, though— the year's corpse laid out as a tasty feast for the bacteria and mold to munch. It's their Thanksgiving! Maybe I'll hold a wake for the foliage. A few minutes ago I heard some animal noises down toward the orchard— something between screeching and bellowing, and I have no idea what it was. Perhaps the beasts are already holding a wake.|
But a wake requires drinking, and I don't think I can do any drinking tonight. My mom has been asleep all afternoon and evening, so she's apt to be awake most of the night and in need of constant attention. Plus there'll be muddled stories to listen to about things that happened eighty years ago. If I'm to stay awake I'll have to be sober. Of course I'm just assuming she'll wake up at all this time. We've been making that assumption for several years, and so far it's been justified, but she's been in such poor health for so long that the assumption is likely to prove false at any time. Everybody is astonished that she's survived to be 93, and nobody is more astonished than she is.
Winter is on its way, though, with or without one or both of the aged parents. Inevitability is something you get used to. If there's no rain, and no funeral to be arranged, I guess I'll rake some of those leaves tomorrow. The forces of decay and regeneration probably like their dinner served on a plate, too.
So this entry won't be too dismal, here's an interesting web site I came across, for fans of demographics. The Internets have been holding out on me, because I should have found this one long ago. The public version of Social Explorer provides goatloads of information and maps pertaining to the demographics of the United States, going all the way back to 1790.
I just put together a series of maps showing changing population density in my old neighborhood, from 1960 to 2000, and it was very revealing. Lots of other factors can be displayed in the same way. The site is quite flexible, and seems to be intuitively designed, as far as I've explored it, so it's not too difficult to use. There's also has a subscription version, but I didn't fill out the form required to find out how much it would cost. I doubt that I'd ever need the more advanced features the pay version would provide, but it would might be worthwhile to anyone whose profession or studies involve U.S. demographics.
Oh, looks like Mom is awake. She slept through dinner, so I'd better fix something for her to eat. Then I'll listen to her complaints about not being out of her misery yet. She's always so disappointed about waking up. I hope I don't live long enough to reach that stage.