First off….here’s the way its shaking out. We may get a wee bit of snow early Thursday afternoon but primarily, look for sleet and freezing rain until the evening when it turns to freezing rain. That will be the case in light forms throughout the overnight until the early after daybreak when it turns to all rain. The brine solution will help keep the roads from become icy but not completely. See, the solution is good for preventing snow and ice from bonding to the surface. But it loses some of its effectiveness when you get rain. If it rains hard, then it washes away. Freezing rain does not freeze immediately in the temperatures we will have and the temperatures of the road so it will behave as a liquid and wash some of the solution before freezing thus making the solution somewhat less effective. This initial precip though probably will be relatively light so it will probably remain somewhat worthwhile. Nonetheless, not all roads get the brine and there will likely be icy spots on secondary roads as the night wears on and perhaps even the main roads. I’d still leave work early. The heaviest precip appears to want to happen during the day on Friday when we will receive all rain.
The Eclipse: Lunar eclipses generally don’t do much for me. When its in partial form, it looks like the moon in one of its phases and when it’s total, it just looks like its been dimmed. The amber like color is due to refraction and scattering of light through the earth’s atmosphere, much like you would see at some moonrises or sunsets. The next total eclipse of the moon visible here I believe is in 2010. The picture above was from a previous total eclipse and looks much like what I saw tonight. I do not know why there is and was for me a section in the lower right that appears almost all white. It was supposed to be total as is this photo, yet it doesn’t look total to me. Someone, feel free to explain it. Either way, I disagree with the national news celebrity I saw tonight say it was “absolutely spectacular.” To me it wasn’t absolute nor spectacular.
On This Date In History: President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act on this date in 1792. It established in the Congressional domain the establishment of official postal routes, post offices and such and made it illegal for anyone to open anyone else’s mail. Previously, private companies or entrepreneurs had delivered the mail. The Crown had established the position of Postmaster General in 1707 with that person being charged with co-ordinating and improving communications between the colonies. In 1737, 31-year-old Benjamin Franklin became the Colonial Postmaster General until he was fired by the Crown for his subversive activities. In 1775, the Continental Congress named Franklin it’s first Postmaster General and he is largely, and perhaps correctly, credited with being the nation’s first Postmaster General. But, the nation hadn’t even been formed then. A few months following Washington’s initial inauguration as the first President, Samuel Osgood took the post beginning September 26, 1789 followed by Timothy Pickering on August 12, 1791 who held the post until Joseph Habersham, beginning February 25, 1795.
So…it may be more correct to say that Osgood was the first Postmaster of the United States or even Pickering since he was the first after the Act was signed. But, the Articles of Confederation of 1781 and then the Constitution of 1787 both established Congress’ authority of to establish and regulate postage. Both of those post dated Franklin who only held the post from July 26, 1775 to November 1776. I guess that Franklin had better things to do following the Declaration of Independence, like maybe avoiding being captured by the Redcoats. The job paid $1000 a year but I suppose Ben figured his hide was worth even more than that ample Colonial sum. So, he turned over the duties to his second, Richard Bache, who also happened to be his son-in-law.
So, I’m not so sure its accurate to say that Franklin was the first Postmaster General, though the US Postal Service will make that claim. Franklin was however the first to hold the post to turn a profit for the Crown when he did so in 1760. So perhaps its fitting that Franklin gets the credit for being the father of the post office. Heck, he’s probably the only guy who’s ever learned how to turn a profit. Maybe we can clone his DNA and put back at the helm.