Ted Runner Stadium track at the University of Redlands this weekend

I had a whole thought-post almost cooked up, which was going to be based on a fascinating episode of the TED Radio Hour, hosted by my friend and former All Things Considered comrade Guy Raz, that I listened to while out for a run this weekend.

The episode, originally broadcast last fall, was on the subject of Quiet, and for me it had fascinating implications ranging from the importance of introversion in my line of work, to the unique mind-destroying horror of the particular kind of noise that—yes!—leafblowers make. (You can listen for yourself. They actually talk about leafblowers!) Also, the strangely powerful role that singing plays as a way to overcome stuttering. I'd heard about that connection before, and had over the years thought about a related phenomenon of "sing-talking" when it comes to speaking foreign languages. The show helped knit these and some other themes together.

I'll still do that post at some point. But for the moment I mainly wanted to send comradely wishes to my fellow citizens on the blizzard-immured East Coast, where I was all last week. What you see above is the late-January view on the running track at the University of Redlands, our base during the western swing in our reporting. Two days ago, on Saturday morning, the 40-mph Santa Ana winds were roaring out of the Mojave desert and had bent the palm trees halfway over. By that afternoon it was calm and benign and even nicer than it looks.

Of course yesterday it got a little cloudy.

Stay warm and safe, if you're in the blizzard zone! And if you happen to be in my part of the world right now, please come to a (free) convocation talk I'm giving at the University of Redlands, on "Is America a Chickenhawk Nation?" tonight at 7 pm.

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