Several of you have written to ask me after the snow. The snow is quite deep--nine or ten total inches in the last few days, by my unscientific measurement. However, temperatures remain reasonably warm, and the community has made adequate provisions against such weather. As a result, roads are clear and there has been no trouble about basic services. There's nothing to worry about up here.

I did have to borrow a snowshovel, as every one commercially available has been bought up in the last few days. It took more than an hour to dig my truck out of the frozen ice sculpture created by the snowplows, which was three feet high and frozen to the frame of my vehicle. Still, mission accomplished: all is well.

It occurs to me that this would be a good place to issue a public apology to the state of Maryland. I've spoken and written slander about it on several occasions, most recently that there were only two things to like about it (number one being, the road out).

In fact, exactly the opposite is true. There are only two or three things to dislike about Maryland. They are important matters, and serious complaints. Nevertheless, in fairness, there is far more to like about the state than not. It is a pleasant place, full of pleasant people (except when they are driving, when they unaccountably become ill-tempered monsters. Not sure why that is). If one could but banish the government from existence, it would be as fine a place as Georgia, almost.

I certainly have enjoyed taking long runs through the Black Hills, where the deer are so docile that they aren't bothered by you unless you run right into their herd. If you are fleet of foot, and enduring, you can start a herd by running right into the middle of it, and run with it for quite a while. I've started deer in Georgia afoot many times in the mountains, but one rarely gets so close there.

So, there's much to be said for the state of Maryland. She's not as bad as I've said in the past. Actually, there are parts of her I like perfectly well. My apology for overstating the case.

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