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By Judith Welles

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Dog days

We are officially in the dog days of August. The term "dog days" is not about panting dogs in hot weather (although it could be). Rather, the term comes from the ancient Romans and refers to the 20 days before to the 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun – generally the months of July and August. The Romans and others thought that the rising of the star caused hot weather.

This year, August has been hot -- hot in the West and somewhat hot and muggy in Washington, D.C. Congress is out of session, and many people in government are out of town.

Traffic is lighter on the commuting roads, parking is available on the streets, and restaurants have tables. A silent sigh of relief is felt in the halls of government agencies.

For working parents, this is the month to get children ready for school. That brings both dread and relief.

For those in the office, the dog days can be some very good days. The halls and cubicles are quieter. Some employees might even find some time to clear out their e-mail.

This could be the time for more reflection and planning. September can blast off like a rocket without some preparation this month. With fewer people around and, consequently, fewer e-mail messages, maybe the dog days aren't so bad after all.

Posted by Judith Welles on Aug 22, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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