From The East Wing, The Black & White War, Santa Clause And The South Pole, A Jewish fruitcake

Greeting to all and welcome my new friends to the East Wing,

Blustery!! Of all the Winter Weather Words in the World, blustery is my favorite. Don’t know why, it just is. Blustery, it doesn’t say a lot, it’s just blustery.  The other day I read the weather report, as many of you know, I’m a meteorologist wanta be, anyways, the weather report said blustery. I knew, I just knew we were in for a show, and we were.

The very next morning I woke up to 4” of blustery, and was so surprised ‘cause it looked just like snow. Blustery, such a neat weather word, ya gota love it. But it sure looks like snow, from time to time.

Now everybody knows ‘bout Sophia,  the Calico Conservative Republican Cat and Spike, the Man Cat, along with the two Black and Whites in my Office, Miss Kitty and Little Brother, what ya may not know is ‘bout  the outside Kats of The East Wing. Got six of those kats outside the East Wing. They too are special friends of mine.

A few days ago one of the outside Kats of the East Wing got inside while I was in the process of feeding ‘em. Now ya gota keep in mind these outside kats are not tame kittens. They depend on me for food and water but not for love and affection. Those outside kats are just not tame, in fact they’re first cousins to wild kats and sisters to Bob Kats.

Now a little black and white girl somehow got inside the East Wing. Did ya ever try to catch a Wild Kat Cousin? Not an easy task, catching those Wild Kats.   The problem of catching the Wild Kat was compounded by both Spike and Sophia wanting to ward off the intruder. That and the simple fact that kats just don’t heard easy, they just don’t heard easy, never have, never will.

The East Wing’s not the largest room in the house, but its got lots of places to hide if you’re a Kat on the run, and so she was, that little black and white, on the run in the East Wing, from me, her provider of both food and shelter for all her life. But she didn’t know that, all she knew was that she was in a new hostile world and she didn’t like it one bit. A kat scorned is trouble with a Capital T and that rimes with P and that spells Problems in the East Wing.

I actually had her in my grasp one time, wrapped in a towel, when the Bentley chose to assist in the capture of the Wild Kat and jumped up and dislodged my grasp, and the little black and white ran for a different cover. Damn democrat dogs, butting in where they don’t belong, so typical, but oh well.

Not being one to give up the chase, I was bound and determined to capture that Kat even if it took me till Christmas. But the She had a different time frame, in fact, Wednesday morning She said “today the Kat goes or you go”. It was time to switch to Plan Q.  I called it Plan Q ‘cause every plan  between A and P had failed to capture the Krazy Kat who had invaded the East Wing.

Most of the day last Wednesday was spent formulating Plan Q.  Calling  on my days as the general of the Toto Volunteers, the development of Plan Q was put together with military precision. It was brilliant in its simplistic approach to the complex problem of Kat eradication. No wonder I got to be the general of the Toto Army, back in the day. Capturing a Kat was simple when compared to the Pop Bottle Wars of Toto. Ya just map out the plan and execute the plan, and it all falls into place. And besides just like every war ever fought in the past, every good general knows that God’s on his side. As Plan Q was being formulated, I too felt God was with me on this one.  The same God as when we marched in the Pop Bottle Wars of Toto.

Now the She told me that the Kat had run under a cedar chest setting in the East Wing. I didn’t think the Kat could get under, but She said it could. When the She says it’s so, it’s so.

The battle plan was to get the Kat to run under the cedar chest and when I’m sure she’s under the cedar chest, surround the cedar chest with a heavy blanket.  Have the She slowly tilt back the cedar chest while I reach my hands under, protected by the blanket, and capture the Kat once and for all .

Through out the day, last Wednesday the excitement mounted as anticipation of the upcoming battle for the East Wing drew near. After all  the She had said “the Kat goes or you go”. And I didn’t plan on leaving, that is, not unless I couldn’t get that damn Kat.

Darkness comes early on December 8th so I was home before it came.  Ya gota have all the things possible working for ya to win a battle, and the War for the East Wing was no different. The battle was joined at 4 PM.

The first phase of the fight was to obtain the right weapons of war. In this case, a thick blanket to ensure I don’t suffer lasting battle scars.  The blanket was selected from the linen closet and folded into thirds, to assure proper size and fit to surround the cedar chest in the East Wing.

Phase two of the battle was implemented with the precision that would make the Pentagon proud. I herded the Kat, and Kats don’t herd easy.  But I herded that little black and white right under the cedar chest. Thoughts of victory started go creep into my mind. I shoved such thoughts back into dreamland. The battle continued.

Phase three was deployment of the attack blanket. It went off without a hitch.  With the attack blanket in place, I had trapped the Kat in an potentially inescapable position.   I could set back and wait for the She to come home and assist in the final battle. I didn’t have long to wait, The She arrived shortly after 5 O’clock and the final phase four was underway.

After a short training session (Boot Camp, so to speak) for the She, explaining her role and importance to the success of the mission, we were ready to enter into the final step, the final battle for control of the East Wing. It was either me or the Kat, and I didn’t want to leave.

As the She slowly tilted the cedar chest backwards, protected by the thick blanket, I reached my hands underneath, and as gentle as a dandelion seed  floating on the wind, surrounded the little black and white Kat with the softness of the fuzzy blanket.

And it was right there, underneath that cedar chest surrounded by the blanket with my hands gently holding the little black and white that the battle of the East Wing ended. It ended not in death and destruction, as do so many wars, but in the warm fuzziness of a super soft blanket.  It was such a fitting end for such a worthy enemy, that little black and white Kat.  I’m so glad that war didn’t end like most where the fight don’t determine who’s right, but who’s left.

Without a great deal of  fanfare I delivered the little black and white to the north deck outside the East Wing.  Where upon she ran straight over to the other five outside girl kats and started to tell the story of her capture and escape from the other side of the glass.

One of the things that had arrived while she was held captivate inside  the glass of the East Wing was a new watering dish, heated so it never freezes in cold weather. Minutes into her story, she had to stop for a drink of refreshing water as the outside temperature of 18° displayed on the inside East Wing Weather Station, after which she continued the chronicle.  Kats tell good stories.

Now when ya think ‘bout Santa Clause and the North Pole, ya just never think ‘bout the cold of the North Pole.  But it is, cold up there, real cold. A cold so brutal that it claimed many lives of brave explorers who attempted to venture north back in the day. Before we knew how to stay warm in extreme cold, people died there in the far north as well as the far south.

Winter temperatures at the North Pole can range from about -45° F to -15° F, with the average temperature coming in at -30° F. The average summertime temperature is a lovely 32° F. Warm enough for the sea ice to melt. ‘Cause salt water has a lower freezing temperature than fresh water, so it to melts below the freezing point of water.

But the real cold Pole is not North, it’s South.  With an average winter temperature of -79° F, the South Pole is a lot colder than the North Pole. The record low temperature at the South Pole is −117° F,  while the record high is only 7.5° F. In general, temperatures at the South Pole average 30° lower than the North Pole. Knowing that, ya can just see why Santa Clause decided to move north rather than south.

The reason the South Pole is so much colder is sea level. The North Pole’s at sea level, the South Pole isn’t.  The South Pole’s ‘bout 9,000 feet above sea level. Higher elevations are colder than locations at low altitudes, because seawater acts as an insulator, holding in heat from the sun and warming the air around it. Because the North Pole is nothing but seawater, it’s able to retain heat more efficiently than the high-and-dry South Pole. Kinda like the difference between Denver CO. and Miami FL, in the winter time, but not quite the same. But one is sea level and one’s 5,280 ft or so above sea level. Wow! The South Pole is almost a mile higher than the “Mile High City”.

Now the real surprise is that neither the North or South Pole is the coldest spot on earth. It’s a place called Vostok, Antarctica. It’s a Russian Research Station ‘bout 800 miles from the South Pole.  It’s located 11,444 feet above sea level. It’s even higher than the South Pole, and for the same reason, even colder. An average temperature of -67.4°F compared to the South Pole of a balmy -56.4°F. Ant the other day I thought 5°F was cold.

One of the down sides of being a diabetic, is not being able to eat all the fruitcake I want. Don’t misunderstand,  I’m finding that there are few downsides to being a diabetic, ya just have to be more aware of stuff that goes in your mouth. Fruitcake’s just some of that stuff ya gota be aware of.

Last week a friend who knew ‘bout my amorous relationship with good fruitcake, and not knowing ‘bout me being diagnosed a diabetic last summer sends me a fruitcake recipe calling its self “The Worlds Best Fruitcake”.

I don’t think the She’ll make it for me, but I’m gona ask anyway. Things like currants, petted dates, dried apricots, dried sour cherries, brandy, ground almonds, orange zest, lemon zest, and butter, lots of butter along with lots of sugar, sure sounds to me like the worlds best fruitcake. But I don’t think she’ll make it for me.   One ingredient I did notice  that stood out is Kosher Salt. Maybe if she thinks I’m Jewish???????

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the East Wing, The Black & White War, Santa Clause And The South Pole, A Jewish Fruitcake

I Wish you well,