A Saturday in February

We occasionally catch the edges of these major cold fronts that drop way down from Canada. It’s been below zero at night for the last few days, a nice reminder of winters in Iowa. Ronda and I were driving home from an appointment yesterday afternoon and observed an interesting phenomenon; the street (all of it) was smoking.

The sun has quite a bit more “punch” here at 6,000 ft and the blacktop heats up enough that the water from the snowmelt begins to steam even though the outside temp was only 9 degrees. It created this swirling vapor about 6-12″ thick across all four lanes all the way down the road. It was pretty cool.

We had just come back from a good all-american lunch at the Mason Jar. I believe it’s classified as a “family restaurant” and yes, they serve your drinks in a Mason Jar. Aside from that, it was a nice place and we both had a nice juicy cheesburger with french fries. That sort of meal is somewhat of a rarity for us these days and we enjoyed it immensely.

I had originally intended to stop at the Officers Club on Ft. Carson for lunch since we had been right next door to the post but was unable to get on base. For reasons unknown the Army seems to have a much more stringent access policy than the Air Force. If you don’t have an official DoD sticker on your car you have to get a “day-pass” and for that they require your ID, vehicle registration papers, and proof of insurance. Turns out I had neglected to update my glovebox with the current proof of insurance papers and they wouldn’t let me through. A rather interesting contrast to last Wednesday where I went to an Armed Forces Communication & Electronics Association luncheon on Peterson AFB. All I had to do there was show my ID card at the gate and they waved me on through.

I was amused by a new rule posted outside the gate: Cell phone usage while driving on a military installation requires the use of a hands-free device. I’ve always been tickled by the military’s no-nonsense approach to things like this. Problem: it’s a safety hazard to drive around while holding a cell phone to your ear (ever try to downshift and turn a corner with one-hand?) Solution: make it illegal. Makes perfect sense to me and I wish they would do the same thing for the general populace.