Thursday, January 27, 2011

FTT Off-Topic: A Brief And Obvious Point About The Snowiest Month In My Part Of The World In 62 Years

It sucks.

Oh, wait, you wanted more than that?

In 19, sigh, 90, I was finishing up my senior year at Syracuse University. Syracuse, for those of you who have not had the pleasure to live in a hellscape of dull wintry torment, is in upstate New York, near the Great Lakes, and basically at a similar latitude to Buffalo, Irkutsk, and Charon. (Go look it up. It's hard to squeeze in Kepler Belt jokes into a sports blog, dammit.)

Situated as it is on a lake, Syracuse can get snow on a clear day. No, seriously -- all that's needed is a bit of wind to push the water vapor off the damn lake, and voila! -- it freezes and collects on your face, as you stare up at the cloud-free sky and contemplate just how very, very screwed you are.

Winter starts around mid-October, and ends around mid-May. And in my senior year, we got some snow. And then some more snow. And then after that, a whole lot more. Nearly 190 inches of it by the end of the year. It set a record, it did.

And in the last month in New Jersey, we've gotten the same amount, on a pro-rated basis. If February and March are like January (and no, it's highly doubtful that they will be), we'll be right in the same range. I mention this to you to note that, yes, if you live near me, this winter has sucked. Much.

What happens when you get this much of the white stuff is that you get profoundly irritated with it. Last night, for instance, we got 16 inches; it finally stopped around 4am. For whatever reason, I was convinced I was going to go to work anyway; I had meetings and all, and dammit, after the first 45 inches, simply staying home is no longer a tenable option. So with my alarm set for 5:45am, I got up and shoveled. My very good neighbor with the snowplow did the part of my driveway that he could. I broke out the snow blower, despite the hour of the day and the fact that in the enclosed places of my driveway, a snow blower basically means that I'm painting my neighbor's house with what fell on my driveway. Kinda fun, but, well, I'm just not that much of a dick. And the bottom three inches of the crud was slush and ice, and the blower really doesn't work for more than 10 to 12 inches.

So I Had At It, And Gave No Quarter. My eldest eventually came outside and threw herself into it as well. And 2.5 hours later, it was all cleared, and salted, and the envy of the neighborhood. At which point everyone in my office emailed everyone else to say they were working from home, and I stomped off to the local McDonald's, just to say that I got to go somewhere today. (And to reward the eldest for helping, who likes hash browns.)

Now, had this snow happened a month ago? I'd have slept late. I'd have accepted that nothing of any great consequence was going to happen today. I'd have put my feet up, had some hot cocoa, and got on with my hibernating self. But after a month? Hell and No. Snow will be crushed. Freedom, even if it's only the freedom to move as far as the street, will happen.

This, of course, is when the infinitely amused malevolent deity of your choice drops another debilitating amount of the stuff. Probably just in time for my poker game tomorrow night...

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