Heading home open thread

I’m at the airport ready to head home from my Midwestern sojourn, where I helped my daughter move into her apartment. I experienced a few firsts:

I drove through falling snow for the first time. Fortunately, although it was dark, it was a medium snowfall and the flakes were small and dry. Still, I found unnerving the fact that the white freeway lines vanished under the snow.

I experienced 0 degrees Fahrenheit, not including the wind chill. It’s amazing how quickly that level of cold operates on the body. To all of you who live in this climate: I’m deeply impressed. I’m also impressed when I think back to generations who lived this way before cell phones, cars, central heating, and all the other luxuries and “necessities” of our modern era.

I learned that, when it’s really cold, you start the car engine before you take off your hat, gloves, and jacket, and before you plug in your phone or do any other pre-driving rituals.

I discovered to my horror that young college women truly worship Michelle Obama and find her inspiring, that they genuinely bitch about mansplaining, and that they no longer believe in two sexes.

I was happy to see that the same young women don’t buy into “toxic masculinity,” although they’re very clear on the fact that some people, both male and female, can be jerks.

I got a kick out of seeing how helpful college kids are to each other —- although that could just be that my daughter has found herself a very sweet group of friends (even if they do worship Michelle Obama). It was hard work getting the apartment into order, and three of the girls’ friends showed up to lend a hand.

I was reminded, as always, that the moment I get away from my desk and my computer, the big stories exploded — although this weekend the stories were, in fact, the absence of real news. Thus, I watched, as if from afar, stories break and die about Trump allegedly suborning perjury and about some nice Catholic school kids going out of their way to savage Native Americans and blacks. Both stories, of course, were absolute lies. Some people who were taken in by the latter story offered sincere apologies. Others, the weasels of the world, either doubled down under the banner of “truthiness” or slunk away with apologies. As I said, weasels.

I was grateful that the shutdown didn’t affect my airport experience at all, whether coming or going. Heading out of San Francisco, the foul weather turned a Midwestern hop into an 18-hour odyssey, but the United people couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. And today at the Midwestern airport, I got through security in less than five minutes. I get the feeling the useful employees are biting the bullet and showing up, while the slackers are . . . well, slacking.

And that’s all that I’m qualified to write about today. Please have a nice open thread.