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You Call This a Storm?
2007-02-14, 1:52 p.m.

Day 906

So the first “widespread snow event of the season” is underway here in the sub-arctic.

I’m underwhelmed.

Got mom all zipped around the county yesterday. Not a problem. Roads were clear & dry. Driving home from her place, the snow had just started in earnest. Right on time, according to the forecasters predictions. Some 2 hours after I got home, I left again to go to my little meeting. Roads kinda sucked. Plows hadn’t been out much yet. Get to the next town over only to find that the meeting had been cancelled. Sheeeeeyit. Had a grocery list, things I needed to get on the way home, so I got that done a little earlier than expected. By the time I got back home again, we had maybe 2” of new snow total. No biggie.

This morning wasn’t too bad either. Got my gear together, loaded up the van, backed out of the driveway. Maybe 6” of snow had accumulated over night. Hit the end of the driveway and my van stalled. Odd. Tried to restart it immediately – it just cranked. No firing. Waited 30 seconds or so, it turned right over and started up. Dropped it in gear, get moving, make it 100 feet and it stalls again. Lather, rinse, repeat about 6 more times. Got to the point where I could move forward at about 10mph, if I didn’t let the engine rev above 1500rpm or so. Made it around the loop of our neighborhood (1/4 mile or so), and got the van back into the driveway before it died again. Now it would re-start after a bit of a wait, but wouldn’t move at all. As soon as I put it in gear – nuthin. Dead. Sheeeeeyit. 5:20 am and I got a dead van. Super.

Ended up getting the driveway cleared at least. Zach is letting me use his car, Jill doesn’t want to drive in the snow if she doesn’t have to, so Zach will drive her to school and use her car. Cindy is home from work because school is closed (wimps), but still needs a car so she can do more, better grocery shopping and make a trip to the gym.

So I toodle off to the gym in Zach’s car – get in a fantastic run – best pace ever and it was for better than 4 miles. Get to work, call the local dealer (Dodge, not drugs) make arrangements to get the van towed in. Zach went out and tried the van a couple more times and got it to move in reverse, but that was it. Of course, the tow truck guy gets there, starts the van and DRIVES it onto the flatbed. Fucker. Thing is, I’m committed now. Already sang my song of woe to the service guy. And now the damn thing runs fine. It’s done this mysterious shutting down thing before, but it’s always started right up again and run well. As in from Syracuse to Rochester with no trouble, and again from Buffalo to Rochester. Now, it dies in Rochester, acts weird, then magically fixes itself just as it gets hauled off to be repaired. I’ll have them run diagnostics on it, but I doubt much of anything will show.

We’re supposed to get another 5 – 8 inches of snow thru the day today, and another 1 – 3 overnight. We’ll see. Weather guys must be expecting a wind shift then some serious lake effect snow to set in. Looking at the weather channel, it seems like the worst is past us. Unfortunately my degree is in blowing things up electrically, not weather forecasting, so I’ll have to trust the forecasters. So far, they’ve been pretty close on this one. Got the times right, just got a little greedy with the amounts. That 6” we got overnight? They were calling for a foot. So the 8” we’re supposed to get today? You do the math. Might be a problem in other parts of the country, but it won’t slow things down much here. Drive times will be a little longer, but it certainly won’t be a catastrophe.

This is what this mornings drive looked like. Not horrible. Plow crews did a good job of clearing the 6” we got. In that shot, I was putting along at about 45 – 50mph. The dark gray stripes are actually pavement. It really was snowing pretty hard, but the camera in my phone has a hard time picking that up. At least you can see that the street lights were on even at 8am. Normally, even this time of year they’re off by 7 or so.

So, yeah, driving 50 on an expressway in the snow. Not for the faint of heart. Secret is to make no sudden, sharp moves, keep your wheels on the clear pavement as much as possible, and use a very light foot on the brakes.

Those flowers I sent yesterday? Actually arrived yesterday. Ordered them at nine, they arrived at noon. Got a call from Cindy while I was headed from my Mom’s back into the city for her appointment. Her only comment was that she didn’t deserve them. Hmmmm. My fears were way off base (yes, I know – don’t borrow trouble – right Gretchen?). I really don’t mind if she gets me nothing, I just wanted her to know I was still in this relationship for the long haul. On the plus side, she didn’t drink last night, and she didn’t get all pissy when I left for my (cancelled) meeting. That was one thing we established Saturday night/Sunday morning. I was going to Al Anon meetings, no matter if she quit drinking that night, next week, next year, when ever. I also asked her to consider AA, but I didn’t get any warm fuzzies out of it.

Hmmm, just glanced through my flickr photos and noticed there’s no pics of Jill in there. I know I have some. Better get that fixed. Ought to see if I have a shot of Zach & Jill together. Everybody says they’re such a cute couple.

Lunch is wrapping up, I better get back to the zoo. If it snows bad enough, I wonder if we’ll be stuck here over night? Man, I hope not.

It’s later, cuz I’m lazy and didn’t post this yet.

Heard from the car dealer. Short in the wiring harness. $220 to fix it. Includes the towing. Plus, he’s going to fix the drivers side window which hasn’t worked for 2+ years. Well, it goes down, but won’t go up (sounds like a little problem I had once). Have to actually grab the window glass and push it up by hand. Sucks. Fixing that little inconvenience will run an extra $240. At least it wasn’t the transmission!

There go my dreams of getting a new road bike for this summer. Oh well. Still have a new computer coming. Last I saw, it had gone from El Paso to Ft. Worth Monday, then left Ft. Worth yesterday morning and hasn’t been heard from since. Circe, you’re not delaying that on me, are you? Oh – wait – it’s a PC and you’re a Mac person. Never mind.

Supposed to be delivered Friday, but with the weather (still snowing like a mo-fo up here), I don’t know that it will make it. Which is cool, because there’ll be no one here to sign for it anyhow.


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