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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Snowy Days – The Good, The Bad, and The Downright Monkey Butt Ugly

It snowed! Yes sir, a good few inches of lovely beautiful white stuff. And I am saying this even after shoveling it, driving with all the other morons (yes, I sometimes fall in that group myself) and walking the dogs in it. But that last doesn’t truly count, because if you’ve ever walked a rambunctious young Great Delay in the snow, you see it as a joy. Even if it’s a cold walk.

Let’s be honest, I just love snow. Nothing makes me think of home more. And yes, I do like the coziness of being inside with a fire roaring and a cup of tea while I watch it drift down and knit on something wonderfully warm for myself, but I also love getting out in it. I got all excited and even waxed the skis last night in hopes of going and playing tomorrow before work. I like walking in it as it drifts down, snowshoeing to my great surprise, and skiing on a quiet wooded trail in the silence that only comes with the downward drift of snow. It’s like it takes the sound down to the ground with it and muffles it in its own soft snowy baffles.

The thing I don’t care for is driving in the snow. Granted I now live in a town where the snow is a bit less regular, and the temps often keep the streets melted. However; even back home where the snow is an expected event, residents seem to forget from spring to winter what it is, and how one must drive accordingly. Really, it’s not that great of a time span for you to completely forget how to drive safely! So, for all the safety challenged drivers, I have some tips:

1. Slow the hell down. What part of ice doesn’t compute for you? If you are at risk of falling on your butt while walking on it, what makes you think your car won’t have traction issues?

2. Maybe while slowing down, give yourself a little bit of extra room between you and the car in front of you? Yeah, in other words, don’t ride ass, because when you rear end someone who is trying to brake for a stop, you get the ticket. And when driving and observing that others are giving safe breaking distance that does NOT mean that they are supplying you room to swerve through traffic.

3. Slow down for turns. If the road is icy, your car tends to want to move in the direction you’re going, and not respond to sudden changes in direction. It’s called INERTIA. Prepare for it, because it’s really hard to explain to officers how you ran into parked unmoving cars, or worse yet, jumped a curb and hit a building. No matter what you think, you can’t blame it on that thing with the foundation… It’s your fault.

4. Give yourself extra time to get from point A to point B. If you look outside and realize that hey, it’s crappy out for driving, be cautious and give yourself more time. God forbid, cancel something! If you’re in a rush, you’re going to be more inclined to speed.

5. Having Four or All Wheel Drive does NOT mean your car is some unstoppable juggernaut with infallible traction. All it means is that you can make all four wheels spin uncontrollably. And if it’s all wheel drive, it means you can make them all do it at once! No, not nifty, stupid.

6. If you don’t have traction, do not step on the gas. That doesn’t help you gain traction, it just makes your wheels spin faster. That sound of wheels whizzing at great speeds over ice in parking lots is you warning all others within hearing range that you’re stupid. Take your foot off the gas, stop the wheels and try easing forwards or backwards. You’ll have better luck, promise! And for the record, it really sucks when you’re doing that and you either cause your car to slide uncontrollably into something else, or for them to catch on a patch of dry pavement and you lurch forward at God Know’s What speed into something, or someone else. I once saw a pedestrian in a parking lot get creamed by some idiot doing this because they couldn’t correct in time as their car flew forward.

7. And finally (although I’m sure others could add to this list and I urge you to in the comments.), neighborhoods are not the place to joy ride in your big four wheel trucks or any other car. I understand being young and dumb as the gear shift knob. We have all been there, but neighborhoods with their increased foot traffic that is often made up of children and pets are not the place to drift around corners, spin 360’s and participate in other motor vehicle tom foolery. Go out in the boonies where you won’t kill someone’s loved one. Hopefully you’ll just kill yourself. Oh, that was the jaded bitter part of me that’s worked too long in Emergency Medicical Services. Regardless, it’s true.

Just some suggestions mind you. It’s almost Christmas, none of us want to be attending unnecessary funerals or bailing idiot relatives out of jail with the kiddos Christmas present funds. Of course, I’ve been known to leave family members suffering from acute attacks of stupidity in jail.

But, let’s move onto happier subjects, or at least more amusing. I started my morning with one of those, “What the Hell Am I Doing?” moments. You know the ones… Those, “I need more caffeine, anybody in the office know how to start an IV so I can mainline some coffee?!?” moments. I was just going to pour the milk in the bowl when I realized that I had put my cocoa in my cereal bowl, and the cereal in my mug. I just shook my head and mumbled something to the dogs that I swear by the grins and wagging tails were in on it. And yes, I said cocoa. I admit to being a full grown man that prefers good tea or the occasional coca over coffee. In fact, I don’t like coffee at all. I find it horribly bitter, but relax, I don’t hold imbibing in the brew against others. From there I burrowed into my chair and knit on my Ansley sweater

 while watching horribly acted Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies. Before you scowl at my laziness, I went to bed at 2, got up at 5 to feed and give the beasties their first walk before going back to bed for a few hours. I was allowed, it’s my day off. Then we shoveled.
Okay, I shoveled; they knocked all the snow back onto my clean sidewalk and driveway. Little bastards, I told you they were in on the plot from the beginning. Then I stupidly got on the road (told you I was sometimes a moron) and headed out for romp at the river. It was beautiful in its overcast snow flurry splendor.
And here I sit at the Wonder Bar drinking my black and tan and enjoying my fresh artery clogging chips while writing this post. To be honest I’ve been suffering a guilt trip today thinking about how much I’ve slacked on blog posts lately. So I’m using this outing to fill my hankering (read craving here) for beer and chips to sate my guilty conscious. Yes, yes I’m using my dear few readers as an excuse to imbibe. Thank you for being my crutch. I appreciate it!

Now, off to home to bake Bob some Christmas Sugar Cookies since he’s been in DC all week. What the hell? Where did all this bloody Christmas cheer crap come from? Who knew getting all the Christmas knitting finished early would ward of my scrooginess.

Hope you all have a great week.

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