My landline phone stopped accepting inbound calls yesterday. It was odd. The phone rang once and then went to a busy signal. I was pretty sure that it must be a problem down at Ma Bell - that's what we used to call AT&T. So I called them. And was on hold for 20 minutes. Once they got to me, I told them that I could call out, but out only. Ms. Bell told me that my local calls were handled by another provider, CenturyLink. So I called them. They sent out a guy, but his arrival was scheduled between 10 and 2. So I waited. At about noon the guy called me on the landline, because he had fixed it. "Squirrels," he said. They had eaten away part of the telephone line and it had to be replaced. Squirrels are vermin.
In the afternoon I took a walk down by the river to contemplate the world and to wonder about the big news from Mars. "Historical," the NASA scientists have been saying. But they haven't divulged any details. No leaks have appeared in the NASA structure. They have to be sure before they say anything. So I wondered and wandered.
As I walked along the Mississippi River I came across a plastic lawn chair sitting facing the water. There was no one around. I was the only human form around. Someone left their lawn chair by the river. Maybe they went for a swim. It's sort of like a couple of years ago when I discovered a sofa frozen into the ice in the middle of the river, except there is no ice on the river yet. Maybe someone is living in the park.
There is ice on the shallow lakes, however. I still like the look of a snowless layer of ice. This is Upper Lake and the dock that sticks out into the water.
As I walked along the combination walking-bike path by the river I encountered a series of structures. At first I thought they were perhaps natural, but soon they seemed too regular to be flood water-built.
These look like lean-tos. Does someone live here?
It doesn't seem like the end of November, except for the extremely short daylight hours. It's pretty warm and the weekend promises a return to the 50's. I bet there'll be some bikers out and about, perhaps adding some December miles to their logs.