A space to post my thoughts and musings about anything. This includes but is not limited to community, politics, current events, dating, GLBTQ issues, favorite things, and stuff that would make your dead relatives blush. I am not afraid to go there, as some can attest.

February 17, 2010

Snow-"term of doom"

As many folks have either experienced or heard about, the mid-Atlantic got hit with a series  of snow storms over the last week that basically shut down NoVA, DC, and Maryland.  Being  one of the folks living in DC, that meant I got to see it first hand.  Before the storms  started, my friends and I kept on talking about the predictions being made, about whether it  was going to be SnOMG like it was in December, or if it was going to be SnoBigDeal.  My  employer, being cautious since many others were doing so, gave us early release so we could  get home before the storm hit.  The only real preparation I made was to go hunting for a  shovel.  Since it was now February, the stores had already gotten rid of their winter stuff  and moved onto the spring stuff, so I ended up settling for a garden shovel at a local  hardware store to help dig out if I would need it.  The optional preparation was that some  of us decided we would use the days of the storm to try making new recipes that we had not  tried before.  I opted for making cheddar bacon corn cakes, french onion soup, and of course, the spiced cider recipe (with whiskey available to spike it with) that is beloved by us.  Others did yeasted waffles, french toast waffles, breads, cakes, cookies, just good stuff.

So Friday afternoon I get back to Greenbelt and use my time to pick up some packages as the  snow began to fall, except that when I got to the UPS store, my key was missing, I didn't  know what had happened between the drive over and getting in, but I had my suspicions.   Along the way I had discovered that the trunk of my car had not quite latched, so when I  stopped at a red light, I jumped out and got the trunk closed.  I drove back to the area  where I had done that, and sure enough, there was my box key on the ground, I think it had  fallen out when I had jumped out of the car.

I get home and basically spend Friday night just kicking back, watching movies, and seeing  the snow fall.  It was also a night to make sure any portable devices were charged up in  case of a power outage.  I took a measurement late in the evening and measured the snowfall at 8.5 inches so far.

6:30 Saturday morning I was awoken by a loud sound and the beep of my phone indicating that  the charger had shut off, my power had gone out.  About 30 seconds later it came on again  and then I saw a blue flash outside my window, heard the noise again, and the power went out  and stayed off.  It looked like it was going to be a long weekend, especially after I called  the Pepco outage line and was informed that "Due to the storm, damage was being assessed" so  who knows how many people were out by then and what it was going to take to get back on  track.

So since I was up already I took another measurement of the snow, now up to 15 inches.  Later that morning I had nothing better to do I decided to go and at least clear off my car so that all that snow piled on top wouldn't weigh down and possibly damage it.  About an hour later, the snow was  cleared off my car, and I had done some digging around it since I was using street parking  at the time.  The plows had come through and plowed through the middle of the road, so I was  looking at about a 4 foot wall of snow on one side of the car that I was going to have to work on clearing away before I would even be able to think of getting out in the future.  I  also used this time to take a number of pictures of the snowfall and what it looked like in  my neighborhood.

Back inside it was lots and lots of Nintendo DS playing, because at that point there wasn't much else to do.  As the day went on I took out the coolers I had in storage, threw my perishables from the fridge in them, packed them with snow, and put them in my car.  Late in the afternoon I noticed that the power had come back on in the center next door when I was out taking pictures, so I raced back home to see if I had power, but I still didn't.  An hour later I was on the phone with a friend and the power came back on, which was great, then it went out again, and then finally it came on again.  The first thing that I did was start doing some cooking because I had barely eaten.  After an hour I figured the water heater was back in order for the building, so I finally got a shower in, which felt good since I had been sweating from shoveling before. The french onion soup I made was a hit, so that recipe has been filed away for usage again.  By the end of the night when the storm ended, my final measurement stood at about 22.5 inches.

Sunday morning I got up and proceeded to work on shoveling out my car, which wasn't easy due to the aforementioned plowing.  There was also a term I began using to describe this storm, thanks to my friend KS, "snowlyshit."  Anyway, so with a lot of digging, and a small push from a neighbor, I was able to free my car from my parking spot and move it elsewhere.  This would be helpful as I planned to head to a superbowl party up in Baltimore since the roads were being cleared off and such.  While doing some cooking of food to bring, I had to dash out to the supermarket behind me to get an ingredient.  It was after I got out that I realized that my keys were not in my pocket anymore.  They had likely been lost in a snowbank that I had to step through in order to access the parking lot.  Unfortunately they could not be found but thank god I also keep spares with me.  I'm hoping with this melting I can locate them because I did try digging in that pile a few times with no luck.  The problem is that people who were shoveling out added more snow to it.  Hell, if there's anyone out there that has a metal detector that would be great.

Anyway, so I did get to Baltimore, and I watched the Saints beat the Colts, which made me very happy.  I also stayed overnight because there was no way in heck I was getting to work on Monday due to the crap condition of the roads.  I hung out until about Monday afternoon before helping dig out an area for my friend to pull his car out of the garage and take the place of where I was parked on their street since he would potentially have to head to work.  I was able to get back to Greenbelt without incident, though I had to do a bit of work to find a clean enough street in Baltimore to head the right direction.

Monday through Thursday morning was spent sitting at home watching lots and lots of TV along with playing Nintendo.  I just about caught up on Dr. Who, plus I finished The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.  I also started Super Mario Galaxy, and tried out Bust-A-Move DS before putting that one back in its mailer within a day.  I loved the Wii version because you use the remote to aim and shoot, so you can be more precise.  In the DS version you're pulling it back like a slingshot, so precision is not so great.  Anyway, so by Thursday, I was going out of my mind with cabin fever because the most I could do was go walk around my neighborhood.  I got out and ran a few errands despite the crap roads in my area just so I could do something, plus I needed to cut new keys anyway.

So that's my story of this bit of craziness that I affectionately refer to as "snowlyshit."  I did get lots of good pictures out of it, unfortunately now my camera is not working, thank goodness it is under warranty.  I can't believe I got to sit all through that insanity, especially when it did smash the record for most snowfall in one season.  I hear rumors it may not be over yet...