Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Life on other planets

It was cold yesterday, the kind of cold that made you wonder who first described the Earth as a "habitable planet" and whether they had ever been anywhere outside of the Caribbean. Sure, we inhabit the Earth, but in many places only by living behind thick walls within arms distance of a heat source. By the definition, Mars is habitable. Hell, by that definition, Neptune's moon Triton, location of the lowest recorded temperature in the solar system, is habitable. And if we were on Triton, as the temperatures approached absolute zero, the dog would still demand a long walk during which she'd spend considerable time sniffing every small rock we came across, which would be impressive since Triton is so cold it's atmosphere is almost entirely frozen so there'd be very little gas for her to use to sniff but that'd bother her about as much as the temperature I'd wager.

I was hoping yesterday morning, when the temperature was around 4-6°, that she'd take a step outside, decide it was far too cold, do her business quickly, and then drag me back home. She's not the hairiest dog. In fact, she has three distinct completely bald spots; underneath both arms and on the belly, yet the cold doesn't affect her in the slightest. It might help my mood if what we did at all resembled a walk. I'm not sure how you'd best describe the drag--stop for five minutes, drag--stop for five minutes routine we have, but it's like no other walk I've ever experienced (unless you count the time when I was five and wanted to prove to my parents I could walk the dog, so, without their permission or knowledge, I leashed the dog and brought her out front where she immediately spotted a cat and proceeded to drag me down the pavement on my back while chasing after it).

In other, non-cold related news... nothing. It's all about the weather now. Well, it's the first night of Hannukah (or Channukah, for those of you who need to see a 'CH' to pronounce it with the proper volume of phlegm) so I should probably do something about that. I have a menorah... I just sort of worry about burning candles. This block already burned down once in the '20s, and I wouldn't say I've kept the place especially fire-proof (still a lot of newspaper packed moving boxes around here). Maybe just a quick light and then blow it out before I take my eyes off of it.

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