Saturday, February 9, 2013
Photo: Movie's poster from Finding Nemo's Wikipedia page.
Some quick notes about life throughout the storm, a continuation of the previous blog entry here:
--One of the scarier moments of my life happened about four hours ago. I let the dog out in the backyard (he kept me up by whining every four hours throughout the night, including about half an hour ago, when he had to go out again) and I put jacket, gloves, etc. on to shovel off the landing and steps so he could go out easier and so I could open the door with no problem. I do this for a few seconds and he comes back to go in. I let him in and close the door so I can do a thorough job. Takes me maybe a minute, minute and a half. I open the door to go in--and it won't open. Looks like the thing you depress as part of the handle is frozen. No problem, I think, I'll just chip away at the ice with the sharp, axe-like ice-breaker--though I'm wearing jeans, jacket, sneakers and gloves, with nothing at all in my pockets, including keys, and the wind's howling and it's freezing and it's 4 a.m. (And I clasped the screen door shut on the front door, so I couldn't go around and enter that way even if I did have my keys on me.) I chip away at it and I'm able to press it in--and it still doesn't open. I begin to worry, as it occurs to me that I don't want to have to make an ass out of myself by going indoors at a neighbor's. I think that maybe the metal bottom is frozen to the wooden platform, as I notice, finally, that the black strip has partially come off because it stuck to the ground as I opened the door. (This happened to the strip at the bottom of my garage door two winters ago.) So I hack away at the bottom of the door, even after I see that all the ice is gone. Try again. Nothing. By this time I have frantically pulled at the door so hard that it should've come off its hinges, and I've noticed that the door doesn't even open a tiny bit. Doesn't budge. Finally I figure I may as well destroy the screen door, as I have a strong, thick wooden one behind it, and I so I wedge the ice-breaker between the door and its siding, where the tumbler would insert into the side, like I was trying to break into a locked door. Nothing. Then I insert the ice-breaker in between the door and the siding, thinking that I'll just pry the damn thing open, damaging it, but what the hell. After a few minutes of this, it opens, and the door and siding don't seem to be injured. The damn thing just froze against the siding, I guess. I scrape away all the tiny bits of ice and snow all around the door and casing, and call it a night until my dog awoke me again four hours later. I am now up for the day, and he'll sleep peacefully until about 2pm. Total time thinking I was locked out to freeze: about half an hour. I was cold.
--I lost power for about thirty seconds once, and for about a second to half-a-second maybe twenty times--thereby interrupting twenty phone conversations and making my Fios re-download itself twenty times--but I never did lose power. Never thought I'd say this, but three cheers for the power company.
--The plow came by maybe seven or more times throughout the night and overnight, and only once did he plow the snow to my side of the street. Hooray for me, but my neighbors have an impenetrable wall of snow in front of their driveways. I'd help them out, but I don't have a snowblower. I think another family member has it, and he lives in an apartment, and his gal pal lives in a condo. Hmmmmm....
--Is this a named storm, or what? Weather channel and weather.com say Yes, but NBC National News and my local NBC News say No. Makes sense to name them. If it's called the Blizzard of 2013, a la The Blizzard of '78, what happens if there's another one this year? I'm just sayin'.
--I might actually be stupid enough to attempt to shovel out my driveway and steps myself--in shifts, of course. I mean, what else could I do today for exercise? I've got a friend of mine willing to plow me out and shovel off my sidewalks and steps for just $40, but that's after he's done all of his other rounds, as he lives down the street but has to travel as far as East Providence. I don't know if I'm comfortable knowing I can't get my car out of the garage in case of an emergency before then. Besides, I like the outdoors, even in a frozen winter. My sinuses prefer it, big time, and the stain smell in here is still getting to me a little, though not as much as last night. And, as I mentioned before, I think if I tried to open the garage doors now, the bottoms will come off again, being frozen to the ground. We'll see.
--The snowing has mostly stopped, though it's still a little windy. Looks like Snowmageddon out there. But '78 was worse, as were the back-to-back-to-back Nor'easters we got in the mid-90s during April Fool's week. About 70" of snow in maybe five days that week. I know; I was out in it.
--If I saw someone walking outside right now, wearing short-sleeves and jeans or shorts, I'd think he was the Devil going for a stroll. Speaking of which, if there was an evil thing lurking in our midst, this would be a good time for him to make an appearance, maybe more out in the rural areas, like Exeter. Cuz my mind works that way.
--This is a good day to test the Post Office's "In rain, snow, sleet or hail" motto.
--My mailbox isn't covered like it had been in the 90s and in '78. But I still have to shovel that out.
--I'm surprised I never lost power. And grateful. All my candles are in this really old commode (Don't laugh; it's made of wood, and has a giant mirror attached to the back, and where the slop bucket would go now is a very handy storage area, and it's in very good condition. And it's actually my aunt's and uncle's, but they're awesome enough to let me keep it here until they say otherwise.), which is down here, but it has piles of the rest of my upstairs on it, and I have nowhere to put those things to get to it. (In my previous post, I explained that I'm having all the upstairs floors sanded, stained and polyed.)
--I went through hundreds of batteries last night and found that maybe nine work. But that was enough for two flashlights, plus another one I know is good that I can't find. Total stash if I lose electricity: one flashlight from the 70s that, oddly, has a strong magnet on it, in case I want to attach it to my fridge, or something; a small flashlight that has a white light, a blue-ish light, should I ever have to track the Predator; and a red laser beam, if I ever need to assist a sniper. And two and a half candles, including one tall one in a candle-holder with a handle that Dickens might've walked around with. And a tiny one in a glass teardrop thing that looks very old.
--And a ton of firewood for a ton if fires in my fireplace, had it come to that, though I wonder if I could have opened the metal grates at the top of the chimney with that much snow and ice on it.
--And a back-up generator that I stupidly put in the garage, where I would have to fight my way to since a lot of my upstairs is in the garage, and the automatic garage door opener wouldn't have worked if I'd lost power. If I was lucky enough to somehow be able to manually open the door, I wouldn't be able to wheel the thing through 20" of snow to the backdoor, where it'd be closest to the fridge, and where I could use a squid and connect it to this laptop and to a couple of lights, and maybe to my electric stove. Nope. I would've had to leave it in the garage, with the door open all night for all the mice and other rodents and animals in the state to come in (so there'd be no carbon monoxide problem), and find maybe fifty feet of extension cords to hook it up to anything. Jerk that I am. So, power company, thank you again. (Never thought I'd say that twice.)
--I need a snowblower. But I'm over it. I like being old-fashioned, but...
--Took some really good pics last night, as I was shoveling after the one time the plow pushed the snow to my side. Figured I should get rid of the wall of ice and snow so my friend could plow me out later. Why make him go through that, and maybe ruin his plow? But I'm curious as to how he's going to get through the solid wall of ice and snow on the other side of the street, because I think the old ladies who live there (who're in Florida right now, because with age comes wisdom) pay him to do so for big storms. He might have to snowblow that first. I'd do that for him, but...I'm over it.
--I think I will be like the hard-working folks of old, before all this new-fangled technology, and go out and shovel the driveway and walks--in shifts, of course. Snowblower? Who needs a snowblower?
--Or a wheelbarrow?