In which I almost die because I’m stupid but then I don’t so it’s okay

I have made a number of very bad driveway-related decisions in the last 48-72 hours, guys.

BAD DECISION THE FIRST: I did not get up at five this morning to clear the driveway before going to work. This ensured that a day and night’s worth of wet, heavy snow was on my driveway– the type of snow that doesn’t basically disintegrate back into fluffy snow when the snowblower tosses it, but limply splats back onto your driveway a few feet away, ensuring that you just have to move the same snow over and over again and that the job gets harder and harder the closer you get to being done.

BAD DECISION THE SECOND: I did not clear the driveway of the relatively small amount of snow that had fallen in previous days either– basically I should have hit the driveway at least twice instead of zero times in the last four or five days– which ensured that under the wet, heavy snow is now a layer of hard-packed, days-old, repeatedly driven-on ice, meaning that at least twice I got a split-second holy shit I’m about to break my leg and die out here scare while clearing the driveway. Now, neither time did I fall and break my leg, but another inch or so of sliding either way and something really shitty woulda happened.

BAD DECISION THE THIRD: I had on my beastcoat. Understand that I have two articles of cold-weather outerwear: a “winter coat” and a Winter Coat. I wear my “winter coat” most of the time and I rarely button it. I am Of the North and the cold generally does not bother me very much, but all of the talk of fifty below wind chills over the next couple of days has somewhat thrown me off of my game. My Winter Coat is rated to sixty below zero, and I need you to understand that in the most literal sense possible my Winter Coat possesses no chill whatsoever. It’s a Carhartt, for those of who who will understand that. And I need to be careful when I wear it, because most of the time it’s way too goddamn much coat for what I need. For example, if I’m going to wear it in the car I cannot have the heat on. I’ll be sweaty by the time I get out of the car, even on a short drive. Opening the windows is actually not a bad idea.

Wearing this motherfucker outside, with a sweater on underneath, on what isn’t really that cold of a day (yet) while performing strenuous work– another disadvantage of the ice is that the wheels on the snowblower don’t work at all and I’m basically just ceaselessly shoving it through 6-8″ of, again, heavy wet snow– meant that I realized halfway through the job that I was feeling kind of woozy because of, no shit, impending Goddamn heatstroke.

Yeah. My wife wasn’t home yet and my son was inside by himself doing who knows what, so if I break a leg and then die in the driveway I’mma stay leg-broke and dead in the driveway until she gets home, because it ain’t like he can move me, or that he’d even look up from the iPad long enough to notice my dead ass out there. So I went inside for a few minutes, let my heart rate slow down, took off the sweater and the beastcoat, and swapped my soaked-in-sweat knit winter hat for a regular baseball cap. And then made …

BAD DECISION THE FOURTH, which was going back outside before mopping my stupid, covered-in-sweat body off. Because what with all of the sweating and dying from roasting myself alive inside my fucking Beastcoat I’d forgotten that, while not much by historical standards, it was actually fucking cold outside, and that you really do not want to be outside on even moderately cold days if you are soaking fucking wet. And while I can’t be trusted to say whether the temperature had actually dropped while I was inside– it’s not like I was feeling the actual air temperature anyway– I can sure as hell state with certainty that the wind picked up pretty substantially while I was inside, meaning that any residual body heat I had left was gone, gone gone within minutes of getting back outside, and I still had half the damn driveway to do. Eventually I had to come back inside and put a third hat on, and the first thing I had to do when I finally came back inside for good was mop off my beard, which is super fun.

On the plus side, now that I’ve survived all this stupid bullshit, warmed up and cooled off and dried off, I’m going to go take a shower and then change into sweatpants and a sweater and I am not going outside under any circumstances for the next three days, whether work calls off or not. Chicken soup time, motherfuckers.

In which we’re all gonna die

Eagle-eyed and observant readers may have noticed that yesterday’s non-music-related post went up at about 2:30 PM, which is a time when one might expect me to be at work. As it turned out, yesterday was a snow day; we got ourselves a nice little ice storm Tuesday that went through into the morning hours and basically every district nearby called out, so the boy and I were home together all day.

Honestly, I suspect that the cancellation was less due to icy roads than icy school parking lots; the walk to my car after work was genuinely fucking terrifying, and while the roads get salted and plowed all night, the parking lots of the many schools we have in town do not, and it only takes one person slipping and breaking a hip and then the district is out a huge amount of money.

Today, there was school. Tomorrow … well …

Twenty below zero wind chills is gonna mean no school tomorrow. There are legitimate safety issues with kids who walk to school or have to wait outside for buses when it’s that cold. It ain’t happening. I’m sure they’re gonna make us wait until 5 AM and all that like usual when they make the call-off, but … nah. It ain’t happening.

Next week? Yeah, this is next week:


Now, the 20 below thing tomorrow morning is wind chill. The temps on that image are actual air temperatures, meaning that Wednesday is gonna be fifteen below before the seventeen mile an hour winds get taken into consideration. I would not be surprised if we lost the entire back four days, and Wednesday and Thursday are Goddamn guaranteed unless the forecast changes substantially. That’s “the air is trying to kill you” territory right there.

So, yeah. If I suddenly stop posting next week it’s because the entire Midwest is frozen fucking solid. So we’ve got that to look forward to.


“God, lake-effect snow is an asshole,” my wife says. She is correct.

Snowpocalypse 2016, round 2

I recognize that I basically post the same four pictures every time we get a blizzard around here.  They’re still fun so I’m gonna keep doing it.  🙂 

Note how the fence is basically a vertical wall of snow at this point.   


On what was not

Well.  That didn’t quite work out like I’d intended.

We were supposed to spend yesterday with family up in Michigan, watching my newest semicousin– my actual cousin’s kid; I get hazy on the correct nouns at that point so they’re all semicousins– be baptized.  The weather report for yesterday indicated rain turning into freezing rain turning into snow turning into hail turning into wolverines, and since we’d planned on a one-day trip there was some worry that driving back in the dark would probably be a bad idea, so we didn’t go.  Everyone already in Michigan was supportive of this decision, so either the weather was shittier up there or they didn’t want us around; who knows.

I woke up this morning to this:


…so, not so much on Snowpocalypse 2016 yet.  We’re still supposed to get a couple of inches today, and who knows what should happen if a lake-effect band should happen to park itself over the house, but we totally could have made it to the baptism, which is kind of upsetting.

Speaking of things that didn’t happen yesterday: I, like all of you, failed to win the Powerball, meaning that the motherfucker’s gonna be at something like $1.5 billion come the next drawing on Wednesday, when I will buy more tickets and lose again. I’m fully aware of the math; I just don’t care.  Are there people who should never play the lottery?  Absolutely, but I’m not gonna point fingers and I’m not one of them.  Despite my current out-of-work status the $15 it cost to buy a handful of tickets still counts as no money, and the possible exchange for all the money in the universe was still worth it.

It’s fun to think about what one would do with that level of money.  My one resolution whenever I’ve spent time contemplating it is that basically no one I know would have student loans left by the time I was done with them.  A slightly bigger house?  Sure.  The living space in this one is actually fine but I’ve always wanted a good basement and this house doesn’t have that.  My car is old enough to drive, so that would end up getting replaced.  And at that point I’m kind of out of ideas.  If I were to try and upgrade to the Holy Shit Mansion as opposed to “slightly bigger,” I would want an honest-to-goodness library room (bookshelves everywhere, comfy leather furniture, fireplace) and an indoor heated pool that somehow magically required no effort on my part to keep in good working condition.  The healthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life was a period of a couple of years in grad school when I realized I could swim every day if I wanted to.  That hasn’t been the case for years, though– the gyms around here that have pools are insanely expensive, inconveniently far away, and have shit hours, devoting most of their usage time to free swims or classes and not lap swims, so… yeah.

Hell if I know what I’d do with the other 500 million, though.  Buy the zoo, so I could bring the serval home whenever I wanted to.  And then probably go slowly crazy after that.

Well.  I’m going slowly crazy now.  I guess it remains to be seen whether the speed of the ongoing crazy would increase or decrease.