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Driving in winter and a happy, lonely valentine - Chronarchy

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February 15th, 2007


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10:09 am - Driving in winter and a happy, lonely valentine
I admit to being somewhat sore from the shoveling of ice off my driveway. . . but these things happen in winter.

You know the other thing that happens in winters in Ohio?

Yep, that's right: Snow gets on the roads.

See, it's this weird thing: when the temperature drops, precipitation that is normally liquid turns into beautiful little crystals of white death!

Oh, you have options:
  1. panic and call in to work or school as "unable to leave your residence"
  2. thank God and Country and the Consumer Need For Shit You Can't Afford To Fill With Gas Anyway (in that order) and go out and own the roads by throwing caution to the wind and knowing that everyone else's car is half the size of yours (thus, you win)
  3. panic but go out on the roads anyway and drive 5 mph through roads that are well traveled, plowed, and salted
  4. drive, no matter what kind of car you're in, like you're the only car on the road
  5. drive as if conditions are normal
I'm positive there are more ways to deal with the situation, but here in Columbus, we seem to ignore those other ways.

Anyway, as I was driving home on Tuesday through the ice that was covering the downy snow, I realized that I was thankful that my first driving experiences came in snow and fog in Chicago traffic.

Indeed, the conditions didn't frighten me at all. As I moved my car from "drive" to "intermediate" and occasionally "low", I smiled to myself. "I'm thankful I know how to drive in this," I thought. I didn't experience a single slip or moment of low traction.

Now, I'm certainly not going to say I'm a perfect winter driver. I've had the occasional bumping of another car when I misjudged ice and speed. But I've avoided major accidents thus far (the worst that has come of those "bumps" is a bit of paint transfer), and the frozen white death from the sky doesn't inspire fear in me. I think that this mostly has to do with the fact that I'm not dumb enough to feel invincible on the roads, and I'm familiar enough with the nuances of driving in snow and on ice to respect but not fear it.

I'm still astounded that an inch of snow can cause major cities to roll over and die (Atlanta is a good example), and that even a foot of snow is somehow unmanageable.

But honestly, the best Valentine's Day ever? Yesterday, when OSU called off its classes and I didn't have to go to work. I slept until noon, got up, and shoveled the driveway. I pushed Tina's car out onto the street. I baked cookies (thanks to suicidekttn) and did homework. Then I wrote a number of prayers, and did several workings that I needed to do for others. In all, it was great. And I didn't see a soul aside from Tina and the occasional other neighbor out cleaning his driveway.

This cat could use more days like that.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Train to Dixieland", -JB

(23 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:snakesinspace
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
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Nice icon. :D

While visiting England once it dusted, literally dusted, snow and the highways shut down with traffic locks. The radio stations had people calling about how they were "trapped" in their cars. It was pitiful.

I'm glad I learned to drive in New England-- even if I don't drive anymore.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. The photographer was freakin' hot.

I was thinking about my icons yesterday, and this picture just. . . fit my mood.

So I made the pic of Surya into an icon.

For the reference of others, here's the full-sized photo:

From:snakesinspace
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC)
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The photographer was freakin' hot.

Is it opposite day already?

I can say she has gotten much better and if she had her way you'd be covered in goo or being all hot for the lens come April-- but I have no idea where to get body paint in Asia.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
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I am more than willing to be covered in whatever you can find for a photo shoot.

You'll know as soon as I've managed tickets, I promise. I'll call and email.
From:snakesinspace
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
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Bleh, take your time, no hurry and all that. I'm just going to be happy to see you. I imagine it will be the only time I will this year. Of course I will have to bribe you to come to a housewarming next year-- unfortunately right now I don't know if that'll be in Thailand or Japan. :D

Be careful what you offer... I'm thinking octopus. ;)
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
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This kid ain't scared of tentacles. Tentacles are things that every person should know, love, and seek to please.

Re: housewarming: bribes are not necessary (I've been planning on "dropping in") but are never rejected and always appreciated.
From:snakesinspace
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
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Yay tentacles! Which is good, because my home in Thailand is very famous for its squid. . .

Bribes are usually appreciated, I just wish that I could think of a good one but it being past midnight now I think I'll just go to sleep and dream about tentacles.

Mmmm, sexy.
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From:prophet_maid
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
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We had something similar happen. A foot of snow fell, but with drifts going up to two feet (at least in my yard). U of I closed for the first time due to snow since 1979, and for two days at that! It was wonderful.

However, with our little Saturn, we don't get much traction in say, 3 inches of snow, which apparently is at the end of our driveway and at all intersections. It makes it very hard to get out of the driveway if they plowed the street recently (forgot to shovel AGAIN before I left) and stopping and starting at intersections is slower than I'd like. But no freaking out, just complaining that my city sucks at plowing.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, snow removal here isn't very good either. They tend to let the snow fall and *then* they start plowing. Rather. . . dumb. Chicago has it down right, but then, they have to :)
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From:prophet_maid
Date:February 15th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, we've been lamenting the wonders of Chicago's snow removal system. Champaign sounds quite a bit like Columbus.
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From:road_trip_judi
Date:February 15th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like a lovely Valentine's Day. I envy you your sleeping-in-edness. I'm an "essential employee" for the State and had to report to work regardless of conditions. I did, however, leave earlyish (i.e. after 5 hours) to make lasagna and cupcakes for John and the kids.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 15th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Crap, I didn't bring it with me.

I'll judge whether it's worth going home for between 5 and 6:30 by when I finish my work. Otherwise, maybe I'll just bring it to lab tomorrow and hand it off to you there, if that works?
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From:rfunk
Date:February 15th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
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An *inch* of rain *on the road*? Um, that's serious hydroplaning territory! 25mph is way too fast for that!
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From:viedansante
Date:February 15th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
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I once hydroplaned on 90E at 65mph. That was really not fun- I was extremely lucky that I was at a straight stretch of road and that the standing water stopped before the next curve. I got off the highway right after that (it was at Detroit, I think) and took the side streets home.

I love it that I can be specific about locations with you, and have you know what I mean :-)
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From:singingwren
Date:February 15th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
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I hydroplaned at about 20mph when it was barely even starting to rain and we all know how that ended. :( Little bits of rain are the worst, as they mix with the oil and dust on the surface of the asphalt really badly...
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From:rfunk
Date:February 15th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
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I'm continually amused at how it seems that nobody likes how anyone else drives in winter weather. Some people complain that everyone drives too fast, others complain that everyone drives too slow.

I also feel lucky that I learned to drive in winter weather early on. Though the flip side of that is that I made some expensive and dangerous mistakes in the process. (February ice storms, curvy roads, teenage drivers, and '81 Mustangs just don't mix.) Luckily none of that involved anyone else.

Of course, cities that don't get much winter weather would have a harder time dealing with it when it comes. They don't have the infrastructure (e.g. sufficient plows and salt trucks) or the driver experience.

I'm puzzled that my car was able to handle 6-8 inches of snow in my driveway on Tuesday, but had trouble with 4-6 inches in it yesterday.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 15th, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
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The picture is me. There's a larger version of it if you scroll up in the comments. mazisexton, the amazing and beautiful, is the one who took it. She gets full credit for how I look in that pic. I just moved around and pretended to be a model.

As for the phrase, hehe. I thought it was great. Regarding the skimask, when your facial hair freezes because of the water vapor getting trapped, you know it's freakin' cold.
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From:romandruid
Date:February 15th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
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I'm still astounded that an inch of snow can cause major cities to roll over and die (Atlanta is a good example)...

Try Brownsville, Texas -- on the Gulf coast right on the Mexican border. When it snowed, they could do NOTHING. No plows, no salt, and no trucks to dump it, even if they did. It only accumulated ice on the bridges and overpasses, but that meant that they closed down ALL the overpasses. It was weird -- you'd be driving down the interstate and had to exit and reenter at every exit. And those people had never even *seen* snow before, let alone the least clue about how to drive in it. (Or to dress in it, for that matter -- sending their kids off to school in sandals and shorts...)

Could be worse... of course, it could be a lot better, too. :/
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From:viedansante
Date:February 15th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
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I admit some jealousy over the snow days.

Ok, a lot of jealousy, when I remember trudging through insane sidewalks of doom and nearly falling on my ass a trillion times while at OSU (who me, exaggerate?).

It was fun when it snowed here a little, I heard of someone I know unable to go to work because of the snow ... And in my head, I was all "Haha, I'm from Cleveland. You may not understand what I mean by that, but I've had nights driving in the SW Cleveland area where it's not well lit, and the road is really winding, and perhaps I was really really tired, and perhaps the snow was coming down pretty hard, and I just kept going." I think it's an Ohio way of thinking.

That's not to say that a lot of Ohio drivers can't be summed up in the phrase "Ohio Drivers" quite evocatively ... Nor is it to say that I don't fit into that category sometimes.

But, anyway. Glad you had a great day - sounds relaxing and fulfilling. Good for you.
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From:duriyah
Date:February 15th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
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Heh. Don't ever move to the South. Four inches of snow in Greenville, SC, and people pulled out the tire chains. Two inches and school was cancelled. To be fair, the city doesn't have any salt, sand, or plows. And school has to be cancelled if the schoolbusses can't be assured to pick up everyone. Several snow days are built into the school year, so they take them. But I have driven here on unplowed side streets with 4 inches of snow and been fine.

I was lucky in that when I moved to Ohio I had some friends who taught me how to drive in the snow. I think I do alright for a Southern girl. Anti-lock brakes help a lot. The next car I get will be front wheel drive, though.
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From:singingwren
Date:February 15th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
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Everytime it snows or gets cold, my parents call me to tell me I'm going to die and should not leave the house. But then, every time I get into a CAR my parents tell me I'm going to die, so maybe I shouldn't read into too much.

Fortunately my shiny little car has brand new tires and they work hard, although I admit that I couldn't drive over OTHER cars and therefore WAS stuck in ym alley due to the cars somehow stuck in the snow on both ends. -_-
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From:suicidekttn
Date:February 16th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
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My cats enjoyed having me home for the snow day.

How were the cookies? Atleast decent I hope, I've never heard any feedback on that brand from the customers.
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From:chronarchy
Date:February 16th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
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Well, someone's been lying to the baker about how big two inches really is. . .

The back of the box says to make "2-inch spheres of dough" or something equally monstrous for each cookie. This is supposed to make 20 cookies.

Let me assure you, if you actually make two inch spheres, you'll never reach that number. We couldn't believe they actually meant "two inches", so we cut them in half and got about 10 cookies out of it.

They were a tad dry, and kinda ugly, but not bad.

In the end, they were pretty good, but they weren't the best cookies ever. But Tina ate all of them in the course of a day, and I only had about three, so I'll say that they were definitely a hit with the Vegan, and that's what counts to me :)

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