Oh, Ricky, you’re so fine

I don’t even think it’s raining outside yet— and you might notice the typical St. Joe Valley Weather Shield wrapped protectively around South Bend at the moment– but the snowfall tonight is supposed to be just ugly enough to raise thoughts of … well … The Good Thing Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken. Go sacrifice something to Winter Storm Ricardo, please.


We may, or may not, have a blizzard coming, depending on which weather service you’re looking at right now and whether you’re looking at where I live or where I work. The weird thing is that where I live is under a winter storm warning for tomorrow at 4 AM through Thursday at 10 AM, during which we might get five to ten inches of snow, but the forecast doesn’t predict that. Where I work has word-for-word the exact same forecast but without the winter storm warning.

I am assuming that lake effect fuckery is involved somehow, as lake effect snow is famous for dumping a foot of snow on a path two miles wide and barely touching anything on either side. This leads one to wonder, though, just how screwed I’m going to be if the lake effect band lands on my house, or between me and work, but not at work.

I’d kind of prefer it to move a bit to the east, is what I’m saying.

Honestly, I’d kind of prefer to not have a snow day this early in my tenure at the new school, particularly since, for various bad reasons, I have to prepare 2/3 of my kids tomorrow for a test on Thursday, one that was scheduled before I arrived and which they have to take anyway. I had talks with all of my classes today about how I was planning on integrating their previous (miserable) grades with the Post-My-Arrival grades, as they’re all surprisingly concerned about it. And it’s 7:08 and I really ought to get to writing tomorrow’s lesson plans so that we can have a snow day or a two hour delay and everything can be all screwed up.


(Day 2 proceeded with much the same pleasantry as Day 1. So far? This was absolutely the right call, other than the fucking commute.)

Snowpidemic 2022

The new snowblower proved its worth; that’s six or seven inches of pretty heavy snow and I took care of it in maybe fifteen minutes of work. That said, that fifteen minutes pretty much wiped out the battery, so I think investing in a second for backup is probably a good idea. I’ll go out at least once more today before it gets dark and do it again and probably broaden the cleared area by a couple more feet; we had a plow come through and hit the cul-de-sac once so there will probably be another berm to remove by the end of the day too.

School has already been cancelled for tomorrow and I fully expect to lose Friday as well, since it’s going to keep snowing through late Thursday and there won’t be time to sufficiently clear side roads and parking lots of this volume of snow before Friday morning, plus the temperature is expected to plummet again. I could use a five-day weekend to start February off, frankly.

At least it’s pretty.


This isn’t just a teacher thing, is it? At the end of the day today the principal made a PA announcement that, despite the custodians’ valiant efforts to stay ahead of the snow and cold, the parking lots and sidewalks around the school weren’t as ice-free as they wanted, and reminded everyone that we should be careful while walking to our buses, or our cars, or wherever else we might be walking at the end of the day. A few minutes later, as I was walking to my car, I started musing on how many days off from work I could plausibly take if I slipped and, say, broke a leg or something while on school property. By the time I got to my car the musing had evolved to the point where because I had written an (at the time, nonexistent) blog post describing precisely this scenario work had somehow found it and determined that I broke my leg on purpose, and I was wondering what the consequences of such a thing might be and whether those consequences might mean I got to stay home from work even more.

Back to the original question; this is a standard tired-of-being-at-work thing, right? “How can I hurt myself so I don’t have to come back here” wonderings aren’t just a teacher thing? It wasn’t even that bad of a day, honestly. I’d call it mediocre at worst. It’s just that this is where my brain goes when walking out of work.

And then I got home, parked, went to the mailbox, got the mail, and was greeted at the door by my wife, who asked me to take the trash out to the foot of the driveway, and a minute or two later I was ass over teakettle in the middle of my fucking driveway and yelling words that I typically do not yell at the top of my lungs while outside, and a minute or two after that said wife came running out, not having actually heard me, but having looked out the front window of our house and noticed me crumpled and not moving much with the trash can partially on top of me.

Nothing’s broken. I landed on my left leg and my left hip; I don’t actually remember how I fell, but I don’t think I hit my head and I don’t seem to have any significant bruising or scrapes or anything. I’m not limping when I walk, although my ankle, my toes, my knee and my hip all hurt. It could have been much worse; I had a shot glass in my right coat pocket (don’t ask) and landing on that would probably have been bad.

And, truth be told, my first thought upon regaining my feet and ascertaining that I wasn’t broken was I probably can’t reasonably take tomorrow off because of this, and I was disappointed, because when one makes a fool of oneself in public, one ought to get something out of it other than pain and humiliation.

In which that’s enough, thanks

It’s not necessary to point out to me that there are parts of the country that have it far, far worse than northern Indiana does right now, and I’ve already done the “go to a hotel for a night because it’s freezing outside and the power is out” thing this year, so believe me, I get it. And the snow is drifty and powdery, and that’s the deepest part of the driveway, and a foot away there might have been 6″ of snow and a foot away from that it might have been back up to 15″. I figure the average depth of the driveway was around a foot of snow or so, maybe a bit more. The last time I had to clear the driveway there was only six or seven inches of the stuff but it was incredibly dense and wet, and that was a far more exhausting job than this was.

It sucked anyway.

We had a snow day today, such as it is; I found out halfway through 3rd hour that apparently on “snow days” I’m not expected to actually do Meets with my students. I shrugged and did the rest of them anyway. Tomorrow is Wednesday, which is supposed to be asynchronous (ie, no Meets) so that we can attend meetings and go to trainings; there have been no trainings remotely relevant to Math teachers for about two months and I cancelled the 8th grade team meeting because we’ve really only had two days of school since the last one. Combine that with the fact that I got caught up on my grading yesterday and my day is rather startlingly open, which I would normally regard as a good thing but I am definitely casting a wary glance at anyway at the moment.

This happened today, too, right outside my office window and conveniently in between classes:

I got another video of him that was closer, but this also lets you see some of the crows that were flying around (and making enough noise that they were the reason I looked around the window in the first place;) there were at least a dozen of them that I could see, and the hawk gave not one thin damn what they were doing. I wasn’t able to get a good look at what he was eating; it occurs to me that there are probably remains under the tree but I’m not going out there to look right now. I *think* this is the second time I’ve spotted this dude in my yard and I still haven’t been able to get a clear look at him– the first time he was chilling in a bush while I was taking the garbage out but he flew away before I could get a good picture. If he comes back a third time, I’m naming him.

(It occurs to me that I don’t really know where all the toads go during wintertime, so he might be eating a Deathwish. Best bet given that it was broad daylight is probably a ground squirrel or a chipmunk, but who the hell knows.)

Stay warm, y’all.