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“I must dance my dance… at last I am Jeffrey!”

April 14, 2006, 11:07 PM

First of all, yes, I realize that the title of this entry is a mis-quote, from “A Visit to the Opera” on Today’s Special. The correct end of that line is “at last I am set free!” I wrote it with “Jeffrey” in there because that’s how I initially heard it as a child. A little mondegreen right there. It made sense to me – the character of Lightning in “The Rainmakers” was played by Jeff Hyslop, and while it seemed odd that he would sing “At last I am Jeffrey,” it made sense.

But the reason I mention this is because you should have seen the lightning this evening! It looked like a fire drill in the sky with all the flashing going on. And it wasn’t just the twinkly kind of lightning. There were some serious lightning bolts, both in the sky, and also going towards the ground. Some of them really lit up the landscape in this very eerie blue color. They’re very spectacular to watch, but not so fun when you’re out and about, as I was. I hit the Blue Ridge Parkway after work to relax, which I take as far down as Buena Vista, where I cross over to Lexington and then go back home via US 11.

I didn’t get the lightning, though, until I got to Lexington. Thankfully, I had clear skies while I was on the Parkway, though there was a slight haze in the valley below. By the way, the Blue Ridge Parkway is NOT somewhere that you want to be when it’s raining. Because it’s high up in the mountains, it gets VERY foggy up there, and visibility often becomes practically zero.

Meanwhile, it was interesting how the lightning interacted with my reception on the Sable’s radio. When it gets dark, I make good use of the fact that I can get distant signals on my AM radio. I was listening to WOR out of New York City, and every time the lightning flashed, I got a slight buzzing sound on my car radio. Weird.

What’s funny, though, is that when I go to Lexington (which is as far south as I’ve been in the Sable thus far), I get a great signal on WOR. But when I go up towards DC (closer to New York), WOR reception is poor, but I can pick up WGN from Chicago really well. In fact, coming home from DC, after I lose WETA (which runs BBC news at night) around Woodstock, I switch to WGN for the rest of the ride home. It comes in great. I usually end up listening to their “Extension 720” program. Very interesting discussion.

Also, in case you’re wondering, I can’t stand listening to music on the radio. In fact, my presets for “FM 1” are all different NPR stations. WMRA 90.7 (Harrisonburg) is on button 1, WETA 90.9 (DC) is on 2, WMRY 103.5 (Charlottesville) is on 3, WMRL 89.9 (Lexington) is on 4, WVTU 89.3 (Charlottesville/Waynesboro/Staunton) is on 5, and WVTF 89.1 (Roanoke) is on 6. Then my AM presets are WSVA 550 (Harrisonburg) on 1, WOR on 2, WGN on 3, plus CFRB 1010 (Toronto) on 4. I don’t use all my AM presets yet. But you can see a pattern here. All news or talk stations. Keeps the mind in good shape that way.

Of course, anything is better than the radio programming I had on the Previa: Silence. The radio had been broken on the Previa since 2000, and I never bothered to fix it.

Web site: Lyrics to "The Rainmakers"

Song: Right now, the fifth-season version of the theme to Roseanne

Quote: "That's some serious lightning!"