Mountain lakes

There is a lake near Pike's Peak, Colorado that froze itself into my memories. It is next to this wonderful camping ground that I went to for quite a few years, an annual tradition if you will. And, like camping there, I had a second tradition.

Swimming in that lake.

It is cold, colder than cold. The type of frigid water that sucks the breath out of you until you are shivering from fright, terrified to go deeper into the seaweed and rocks and just as terrified to crawl out, as if the warm air would melt the skin from your bones.

I love that lake.

There are two ways of dealing with that lake. One is to inch in from the shores, chatting with everyone else as you go in millimeter by millimeter. Large splashing from children who have no concept of near-zero waters turn into terrified ordeals as you watch the waves come closer.

Or, you can just plow right in. Take a deep breath and keep on driving until you are neck deep and the hypothermia ends up being just a really nice buzz of adrenaline and shivering. Twenty seconds later, you can't even feel the cold that way.

Amazingly, I have a point here. The senate has just delayed the transition from analog to digital television until June 12. I am saddened by this, not because I don't think that many people are still on rabbit ears, not because I think its bad technology, I'm saddened because we are dragging it out. Inching into it, centimeter by centimeter instead of just diving in. Yes, it would be chaos. Yes, people would be rushing out to get new converter boxes. But, I honestly think, a week later, it would no longer be news. People would have moved on. Cable isn't changing. Satellite isn't changing. Those who need it, will adapt because television is addictive. Instead, we are going to draw it out. We are going to have more endless commercials telling us that we need to change, in a few more months. And when that time comes around, someone will push to have it pushed back a few more months. Then a few more. And a few more.

If they just dove forward. Let it happen in the next two weeks, guess what? By the end of Feburary, it won't be news. People will have moved on. Yeah, they'll bitch, but we've been trying to do this transition for years.

There is another transition that I so desperately want that is doing the same thing: the metric system. Ignoring FiL's opinions that we have calculators that convert, so why bother converting, I consider switching to the metric system as part of our entry into the rest of the world. If we just held our breath and dove in, it would take so little time and be over. We are holding it as our little private secret, just us and two other countries. Yeah... pretty much the rest of the world has already moved on, but we keep inching into it. Most people could probably guess how much a kilogram is at this point, but still we refuse to take that last step.

I've been wanting to dive into that lake for decades.