After Thoughts

Mayan calendarWe made it! We survived the end of civilization, predicted by the so-called Mayan experts, and a few days later another hectic season of Christmas celebrations slipped by. Now it is all part of our history.

Most are enjoying this break between years but the Maya, who were expecting something ranging from the proverbial Black Hole, here-to-fore not talked about, that is tucked neatly in a crease in our galaxy that would have sucked us into oblivion. Or, at the very least, resulted in some increased calendar sales, are analyzing their predictions or maybe just analyzing their predictors.

Then, there are those that think or believe “outside the box”, who could afford a trip to some exotic place on the Mayan-doomed Earth to escape or better view the coming catastrophe.   Their “Spots” ranged from some remote village in Asia to a series of caves and tunnels several hundred feet underground. Sorry guys and girls, there are no refunds on travel or lodging, since the Maya, as a Race, called it quits hundreds of years ago.

Asteroid 2011Now we hardly had time to catch our breath, when NASA tells us there is another disaster waiting in the wings.  Seems they have been keeping a scientific eye on Asteroid 2011 lurking out in space and by previous calculations, it was going to do a number on us similar to that which did the dinosaurs in. Seems it could have wiped out 80 to 90 percent of life on earth, but after further calculations, measuring the size and shape,  they figure it will probably miss us by 500,000 miles.

They even had a date for the collision, February 5, 2040. I am  not sure if they figured out where it was going to impact, but no matter where it came in, something that size could be classified as world-ending for most species. Wonder when they were going to announce the arrival date of our visitor so we could prepare a suitable welcome, or maybe they figured why do we need to worry for 27 years about that asteroid when we still have to worry about falling off the fiscal cliff this week.

The scientists at NASA have been working on ways to alter the orbits of asteroids and comets, with some success. They have discovered that even landing a light-weight probe on an asteroid, as they have done before, will push it just slightly out of its orbit. It takes a lot of calculating to figure just how far to push that hunk of rock so they won’t just be lining it up for a better shot.  It is thought that there are hundreds of objects out there that could cause that catastrophe, if they collided with Mother Earth.

After Christmas SaleSpeaking of world-changing disasters, did any of you participate in those day-after-Christmas sales? Harford Mall opened at 7AM, as did most Malls in the area, and after spending nearly 600 Billion dollars before Christmas, yes that’s right Billion, those shoppers still had some dollars left for those post-Christmas bargains. We began shopping in September when all the stores started their Christmas advertising campaigns, we took a break for Christmas day, and then thousands of us went out there looking for bargains for next Christmas or just bargains because the price is right. What began in years past as a way to get rid of Christmas Cards and wrapping paper that was left,  now has turned into a full-blown sales campaign by stores, large and small. There are coupons available to get further discounts on bargains that are already selling at “cost”.

And then, let us not forget those millions of dollars in Gift Cards that the  sellers would like the holders to cash in so their bottom line looks better for 2012. To make it a more interesting day, it began with a snowstorm, dumping several inches south of the I95 corridor which was followed by rain and sleet.  North of that so-called corridor, the accumulation was a little more and the sleet and rain came a little later.

Another big part of that crowd were people looking to exchange their gifts for another color, another size or maybe a credit for a different gift altogether or like some extra “persnickety” people we all know, just like to pick out their “stuff” themselves.

All-in-all, we survived another Holiday Season, unscathed except for thinner wallets and lighter bank accounts.  Just a few more months of winter and we will be welcoming another Spring back on the scene.

Don Langrehr

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