Saturday, December 22, 2007

1609 Plowed on Yule!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Hairless Hunk has come through! I got a call this morning from a guy who plows, who said the Hunk had given him my number. He came. He plowed all around the edges of the turnaround. Now I can get oil deliveries! I'm so happy!

I'll trim around the edges and knock off some corners with the coal shovel and snowthrower this afternoon or tomorrow, and then it will all be perfect.

The snow banks on the sides are over five feet high. Lotta snow.


The solstice was last night, actually early this morning. This is Yule, the natural northern hemisphere New Year, when the lifegiving sun returns, light triumphs over darkness, and the promise is renewed. Happy Yule.

Happy me.

Now if only I could get to my woodpile beyond that 5' wall of ice and snow, I could celebrate it properly. I think a cup of hot chocolate will have to do.

Friday, December 21, 2007

1608 Scary

Friday, December 21, 2007

There's an Ambien commercial wherein a streetlight bends around and sticks its head through a window, and examines a sleeping couple.

The ad agancy probably doesn't realize that that commercial is frightening to people who sat through '50s sci-fi movies featuring death-dealing alien robots with heads like the streetlight, and who then after the movie rode home on a bicycle through the dark.

Fifty-plus years, and that silvery head with a glowing eye on a flexible neck is still scary.

I called the number in the letter in the previous post, and asked what my temporary password is. The Verizon person insisted the password was in the letter. I read her the sentence. Several times. She still insisted the password was in the letter. I finally convinced her I was too stupid to figure it out, and she should give me another.

That's scary, too.

1607 What's My Password?

Several days ago I attempted to open an account with Verizon. I understand that I can send photos from my cell phone to that account, and then just download them.

So, I went to the website. The procedure was that they would send me a password, as a text msg to my phone. For some reason, they couldn't. I don't know why. So the website said they would send it snail mail.

This is the letter I received Thursday:
"Your temporary Password for My Account is ."

Very helpful. Why am I not surprised?

1606 A Musical Gift

A gift for y'all.


You know, I never knew the words, anyway. Sounds fine to me....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

1605 Santa?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I awoke to another inch of snow on the driveway. Sigh. My arms are too sore today to attempt more shovel chopping, and the forecast is for some above freezing days with sun, so I'm going to let the drive go a little longer, I guess.

I walked down the driveway to go to the post office and grocery store this afternoon, and walking back up I could see my roof.

There's a trail of footprints on the roof, starting (or ending) at the garage, going across the ell, and then across and over the main roof. They're rather large dents in the fresh snow, spaced about two or more feet apart. I'd guess squirrel, except that squirrel prints would be in a line. These are alternating left and right, like human footprints.

'Tis a mystery.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

1604 Tired

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I got the snowthrower tire back late yesterday (they could find nothing wrong, and it's holding air now), put it on the snowthrower today, and tried to finish the driveway. The crust is now so firm the snowthrower won't push into it. I had to chop the snow ahead of the snowthrower with a coal shovel (the snow shovel wouldn't break the crust) at 8" intervals, then use the snowthrower to toss the resulting chunks.

We're talking several thousand lifts, stabs, and levers of a heavy all-business shovel. My biceps are in knots, and I am so very tired.

All I've got done is about 300 feet of the drive. I have not cleared enough of the turn-around at the top to get my car up yet. Well, actually, I can get it up, but there's not enough room yet to turn it around, and there's no way I will attempt to back down. I have to clear the turn-around, or I won't get a fuel oil delivery, and I suspect I'm going to need a one-a-them before the end of winter.

I have been unsuccessful at finding someone to plow it. My usual guy's truck is out of commission, the backup guy is taking on no new business before Christmas, and others take one look at the area at the top and say "No way!" (You have to be very good at directing the snow deposits. Requires finesse.)

More chopping and clearing tomorrow. I just hope my arms don't escape overnight.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

1603 Snow Emergency Pooping

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The previous post, by some strange mental connection, reminded me of a tale told by a friend who had spent some time in Antarctica some 30 or 40 years ago.

The latrines had been built a short distance from the housing. Nowadays I suppose they use chemical toilets or something, but back then things were more primitive, and not so ecologically conscious. He says it was just holes dug in the snow pack under a heated outhouse. Painted half-moon on the door and all. I guess they figured anything deposited there would freeze, and they'd just fill in the hole when they left.

It didn't freeze.

Unbeknownst to them, it moved. The deposits flowed down the slight slope, under the pristine surface. An underground brownish-yellow river. ("Kitchens uphill, latrines down!") They didn't discover what was happening until the first guy broke through the crust and almost got buried alive. It got to where folks were afraid to walk outside, because they weren't sure where it all went.

He also talks about penguins. The penguins would bunch up at the edge of the ice, peering over into the water, looking for killer whales. They had to go into the water, because they had to eat, but no one wanted to be the first in. So they'd bunch up, and then one penguin would bump another, knocking him in, and they'd all rush to that spot to see what happened to him.

If he was safe, they'd all go in. If a whale got him, they'd all go in (figuring the whale was busy, I guess).

That's REAL testing the waters.

1602 Snow Emergency Parking

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Many of the municipalities around here have snow emergency condition rules. Some say that during a snow emergency (which is apparently defined as "We gotta plow the streets") you have to park only on the even side of the street until 8 pm, then switch to the odd side until 8 pm the next day, back and forth until the emergency conditions are over. At least two local towns say that during actual snow storms, there is NO parking allowed on municipal streets at all. Even during business hours.

If you screw up during a snow emergency, your car is towed.


I've never lived anywhere that I didn't have a driveway or parking lot, so I don't understand at all how people cope with that.

All these municipalities have apartments upstairs over shops in the business districts, and no alleys or lots. Many people park on the street because there's no where else to park.

What do they do?

How do they know how long the SE lasts? It seems to have nothing to do with whether your street has already been cleared.

Street sides have to be switched at 8 pm. What if you work second shift? How do you move your car?

I live two miles outside my village, and I don't have the faintest idea when or whether they enforce SE parking rules. I have on occasion passed through the village at like 3 am a day or two after a storm, and have found that they block off streets and go down them with enormous machines that gobble up snowbanks and fill dump trucks, and during that operation there are no cars on those streets. Some of them are residential streets, where few houses have driveways. Where are those cars? I have this picture in my mind of the enormous augers gobbling up cars and spitting them into dump trucks.

It's not like I don't know anyone who lives with these conditions - I just forget to ask.

1601 Names...

Law Offices - Payne & Fears

1600 Who's Sicker

Becs has left a new comment on "1597 Storm Helps Travelers":

Another recent headline:

Ike Turner Beats Tina to Death.

Creepy yet funny too.

................And those folks thought I was sick, for Billy's Balloon? Love it! Love it, love it, love it!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

1599 So Snow

Monday, December 17, 2007

The local TV news just did a piece on ER visits due to snow, from auto accidents to heart attacks, to slip 'n' fall. The doctor interviewed?

Dr. Sosnow.

They pronounced it "sauce now", but it was written across the bottom of the screen, and I read it more appropriately. With an exclamation point.

Incidentally, I read today that the Lear guy of Lear jets named his daughter "Crystal Shanda". Is this true? When I was teaching in high school I had students, twins, named Candy and Clark. Children of a Dr. Barr. Really.

1598 Bah, Humbug!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Load of bad stuff the past two days. Bad news from one friend, and the final load of crap from another. I sympathized with the first, and will worry until things get better, and I told the second to go to Hell. I've had it with her tearing into me every time something doesn't go her way. She screws up and then blames it on me. Things I had nothing to do with. I'm just available and (until now) didn't fight back. Her meds are messed up, and her getting high all the time doesn't help, and I've tried to be patient and understanding, but I've had it.

Yesterday's storm was snow and sleet alternating, so what's out there in the driveway is crusty, strong enough that I don't break through walking on it. I started to clear it with the snowthrower, which was difficult because it wanted to ride on top of the crust instead of breaking through. The wind was blowing the thrown snow back into my face. At one point my face was covered with snow, and I was having trouble seeing, and when I took my glasses off I found that the snow had built up between the lens and my eye, was actually touching my eye, which I hadn't noticed because my eyeball had frozen solid (well, almost), and it was no flipping wonder I couldn't see.

I was making headway, three passes up and down, when the tire lost pressure again, almost came off the rim, and this time the compressor had no effect. Luckily, the Aerio was parked at the bottom of the drive, and was the first thing I cleared on the first pass down. So at least I can get out.

Ok, gonna have to get plowed. There's more snow coming Wednesday. The Hairless Hunk has plowed for me in the past, but his truck is out of commission, and he has passed all his plowing business to others. His wife said she'd ask him when he got home if he could recommend someone else.

I took the wheel off the snowthrower (luckily, it was held on with a cotter pin and was easy to get off), propped the axle on a flower pot, and took the wheel to the John Deere dealers in the village. They promise it will be fixed tomorrow. I told them if there is such a thing as a SOLID tire to fit my machine, I'll take two.

Snarl. Oh, well. Pretty good coping for a 4' 10" 63-year-old widow lady. I'll try to be satisfied with the fact that I CAN cope.

1597 Storm Helps Travelers

Monday, December 17, 2007

News blurb my e-mail server's home page: "Motorists slid off roads Sunday across the Great Lakes states and into New England as a storm ... iced over highways with a wind-blown brew of snow, sleet and freezing rain."

That's a long slide, across several states and into New England, I mean. Saves gas, I guess, if you were heading into New England anyway.