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What’s in a name? Funeral decorum, and a new veggie?

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Does anyone remotely care that the Weather Channel opted to name 2013/14 winter storms? And can we but wonder at those names: Atlas, Boreas, Cleon, Dion, Electra, Falco, etc.? I could suggest a few more apropos labels: Gorgon (snake-haired, snake-bodied humanoid whose stare could turn a person to stone, much like this winter’s seemingly perpetual sub-freezing temps), Frankenstein, King Kong,, etc.

Random musings as this horrible winter drags agonizingly on:

• Does anyone remotely care that the Weather Channel opted to name 2013/14 winter storms? And can we but wonder at those names (which, we’re told, were developed with the help of a Latin class in Montana): Atlas, Boreas, Cleon, Dion, Electra, Falco, Gemini, Hercules, Ion, Janus, Kronos, Leon, Maximus, Nika, Orion, Pax, Quintus, Rex, Seneca, Titan, Ulysses, Vulcan, Wiley, Xenia, Yona, Zephyr?

Oh geez, those are really memorable, all right. And how oxymoronic is it to name a storm Pax — Latin for peace?

I could suggest a few more apropos labels: Gorgon (snake-haired, snake-bodied humanoid whose stare could turn a person to stone, much like this winter’s seemingly perpetual sub-freezing temps), Frankenstein, King Kong, Grim Reaper, Godzilla, Terminator, Dracula, etc.

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• I don’t by the wildest stretch of imagination consider myself a paragon of manners, decorum, or grace, but one can only wonder at the lack thereof that has been occasioned by the smart phones that now are an appendage for everyone from 6 to 96.

At a funeral I attended recently, sitting cater-cornered across from me in the packed chapel, was an impeccably-dressed, dignified-looking 50-ish guy, who SPENT THE ENTIRE SERVICE checking e-mails and/or texting. One can only speculate why he bothered to be there.

Directly in front of him was an early 20s woman, who occasionally whipped out her phone to check messages, but that was less attention-getting than the frequent huge bubbles blown from the wad of gum she was vigorously chewing.

It’s commonplace at meetings, while presentations are being made, that I scan the room and a goodly percentage of the audience is fiddling with phones, iPads, etc., paying not the slightest attention to the speaker. And of course, there are invariably those who didn’t silence their phones, which go off with ear-splitting ringtones clipped from a TV show or The 100 Wildest Animal Sounds or All-Time Favorite Rock/Country/Pop songs.

• Ronald Reagan is famously credited, during debate on a government food program, for categorizing catsup as a vegetable (although there is no credible documentation he ever actually did so). Now a move is afoot in Colorado, the second state to legalize recreational marijuana, to classify Mary Jane as a veggie so it can be sold at farmer’s markets.

Officials of the city of Boulder deem it a publicity stunt by “a marijuana venture capitalist” (picture that title on a business card), and say no honest-to-goodness farmers have made such a request.

With media reports that legal marijuana sales in Colorado threaten to outstrip the supply of legally-grown pot, one can only imagine what today’s highly productive farmers could do to boost output of that “crop.”

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