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let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I'm very amused by the widespread panic caused by the snow in London, and the COMPREHENSIVE BBC COVERAGE of same (tabbed features usually reserved for US elections and Darfur).  I know it's a rare event (they said the worst in 18 years, which fits pretty closely with my last memories of building snowmen), but really - cancelling all the buses and trains??  It's all relative, I suppose, so I shouldn't be too rude.  Over here they are a little more used to it, so in the ton of snow we've had too, the worst my (overground) train has been is 5 minutes late.  But there have been a couple of snow days over the last week, for local schools at least, and apparently that hardy Chicagoan Obama was as scathing about that as I want to be about the UK :-)

That said, if we'd all panicked and stayed indoors too, I wouldn't be into my seventh day of extreme lower back pain, having lost my legs from under me on a big patch of ice on the train platform last week (apparently they only put grit down at the most popular exit, not the one I use to avoid having to cross the road and be killed by Philly drivers) and then fallen again right onto the same place as I hobbled home.  SEPTA, I'm coming for ya... be warned........  While the UK seems to be incapable of gritting at all, over here they pretty much have it down for the drivers but they forget that some people might actually want to walk places sometimes.  The first time I experienced snow over here they ploughed all the roads on campus and piled all the snow up by the side of the road, so you had to wade through a 3-foot snowdrift to get to the other side...

(That's UK hometown... I would have taken pictures in Philly but I left my camera at J's place thinking I wouldn't need it between yesterday and Friday :-( )

In other news, I went to one of the US Senate buildings yesterday for a conference, and it was Très Cool.  Like being on The West Wing, or something.  The senators' offices really are wood panelled and have a cute intern on the phone in the main room like you see in movies.  We peeked into Ted Kennedy's office, and there was also another closed office with a plaque saying "This office once occupied by Senator John F. Kennedy" (as J quipped, "Yes, it's actually a broom closet, and he occupied it with an intern.")  Also yesterday, I witnessed an American police detective (former) advocating the legalisation of drugs - something that's up there with, say, Hell freezing over.  But then, since it is snowing in Philadelphia, I guess anything is possible.