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10:27 a.m. - February 14, 2007
Flaky White Stuff!
Um, yeah, we had a blizzard and I’m here at work today.

Well, I have some stuff to do anyway, but right now I’m limited in my snow removal capabilities, because of a rock wedged in between the blade and the blade cover of my snow blower, and I brought the snow blower on the porch to head up and melt some snow off the rock and hopefully expand the metal or something where I can get the rock OUT.

I’m not looking forward to shoveling off the front walk or the sidewalk with a shovel. Yikes.

Anyway, ever since I returned from Chicago, it’s been interesting around here. I’ve fallen in love with Caffeine Free Mountain Dew (but don’t worry – it’s down the list from Liz, Katie and Kristin) and realized that I’m a bit out of shape.

But most of the last two days have been dealing with snow.

Indiana has, um, interesting winter weather. The last few winters, there has only been one snow to write home about, and I only used the snow blower once. This winter, this is the third snow that I’ve had to use the snow blower, and this one was a two-for-one deal.

We knew it was coming, but the forecast was vague. It said below I-70, there was a chance of snow mixed with ice, and above I-70, up to 12 inches of snow could fall with no ice.

I can deal with snow more than ice. The only compounding factor is that last week we had about four inches, and that was still hanging around everywhere, especially along the side of the road with all of the dirty ice crystals that form when the road crew clears off the highway.

One bad thing about living on a major thoroughfare, you get that crap all of the time, because the road crew has to keep it clean. But at least when you get OUT of your driveway, you can drive.

I went to work in the morning, without shoveling, as the snow was still falling. The forecast called for snow in the morning, then more snow at night.

A half-day would be sufficient. There were about four people in the office, so I was a trouper and got in here. Of course, living 2 minutes away by car helps, doesn’t it! But we needed some groceries (no bread, though) and a few other things, so I went Krogering and then went home to attack phase one in our driveway and walk.

Ah, but when I walked outside to my car, I noticed the ONE thing I didn’t want to see.

Ice. And not Vanilla Ice (he could help me clean off my car). It was ice on the car and the windows.

Crap!

The ice portion of the storm pushed a bit north, so it was snow AND ice all around. Fun fun fun ‘til daddy takes the Zamboni away.

So the drive to the store was a bit…interesting. But the necessary supplies were gathered, along with pizza, Cheez-Its (get your own bag, dangnabbit) and Cheetoes. I returned, got all of the groceries in the house, and proceeded to start in on the driveway and walk.

Except…I forgot one thing…plungers.

See, the Smed household was under a state of plunger emergency. For some reason, the plunger had disappeared. I think it ran away to the same place where all of my single socks and my good pens are – and we’re going to need Dora the Explorer to help us get them back from Swiper.

But plungers needed to wait, I had stuff to do.

So I bundled up, got out ye olde iPod, and went to it.

It was going OK. The sidewalk near the highway was tough going, because the road crews stuff had piled into there and there was just a lot to slog through. But once I got one path cleared, the second pass was easy.

There was just a lot of snow, about five inches or so, but I got everything relatively cleared out.

The iPod was a big help, because I put it on a playlist of great songs that I hadn’t played in a LONG time. So it was quite a mixture of tunes from “Pencil Neck Geek” by Freddie Blassie to “Hey Jude” to “Black Diamond” by Kiss to “Big Time” by Peter Gabriel. You know, I think Eno needed to do “Music For Clearing Out Snow” as an ambient thing, perhaps?

The big issue was the cars. Liz had left her car outside Monday night after an eventful (and late) school board meeting that she observed, so both cars were in the driveway. I wanted to get her car in the garage, but of course in looking at our one car garage her car was on the wrong side of the driveway.

So I had to move my car back, clean off the driveway there, and maneuver her car over and then into the garage. Then I parked my car where I could, since Liz wasn’t going ANYWHERE!

I then went on my plunger errand, and noticed that it was still a snow / ice mix. Joy, joy. But the plungers were secured, and I even got two (one for upstairs and downstairs)! So now the Smed world is safe for efficient and effective toilet usage.

I needed some down time, and a nap, for sure. Even though I had a snow blower, that was still pretty hard work pushing it through the five or six inches of snow we had.

During the afternoon, the wind kept howling, and the snow was flying everywhere. I had no idea how much of the snow in the air was new snow and how much was snow that was being kicked around. So I drank decaf and Mountain Dew and hung out watching TV and doing some stuff on my iTunes before falling asleep.

I woke up this morning, and looked out the window onto our driveway and I saw the wheels of my car and thought, “Well, that’s not so bad, really.”

Of course, I was bamboozled by the way the snow had blown all around my car. When I went out front and saw the front porch and sidewalk was completely covered in snow, again, after being completely clear at 1:30 PM yesterday, I knew I had more work to do.

But the snow was deeper in places, and the road crew had done an excellent job of clearing off the road, which means that there were huge piles of snow and ice in our driveway entrance and on our sidewalk.

The snow blower fought a valiant fight, but it was too thick, and then…bam…the rock.

That was a sign to just wait, shovel enough out to go to work, and deal with the rest later.

So I’m in here working (yeah, I really am!) and waiting for perhaps some (a little, a skosh) of evaporation (since it’s sunny) before attacking it all again.

Now, those of you up north, my peeps in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario, and those that have beaucoups lake effect snow in Chicagoland and New York State, are probably laughing and pointing that I’m complaining about a mere 12 inch blizzard.

Well, you know what, no matter how often you get a big snowfall, it’s still suckage to have to clear it all out. So it happens once every four or five years here, and not every two months. It’s still nasty.

But of course, the headline on MSNBC is that “Blizzard Bashes Northeast”, and in the story they talk about Illinois and Indiana, but still…I don’t know how we’re any where remotely in the northeast, unless the center of the country has moved to Guatemala all of a sudden. I missed that memo, I suppose.

 

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