East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

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Holly
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East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Holly » February 5th, 2010, 5:36 pm

The Great Snowzilla has started here on the east coast. The grand total is supposed to be anywhere from two feet to 30 inches. I'm holed up here in Gettysburg, PA with all the essentials: laptop, coffee, fireplace, and my dog on the couch beside me (...that might sound gross, but hey, it's my house!).

The big questions: should I go out every 3 hours to shovel it off the driveway? Will that kill me? Or should I wait for it to stop? Will I be able to open the front door?

If you're an east coaster, where are you, and is it snowing?

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Nathan Bransford » February 5th, 2010, 6:32 pm

Argh!! So jealous!! I mean, not about shoveling the walk, but man, I miss the snow.

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Seamus
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Seamus » February 5th, 2010, 7:05 pm

We're in the Washington suburbs, the epicenter of it all. Our county (Montgomery County, MD) is supposed to see between 20 and 30 inches between tonight and Saturday at 10PM. Bill, the guy next door, already has the snow blower out, which I take to mean that we should be shoveling early and often. If I time my shoveling right, and look pathetic enough, maybe he'll pass over our driveway a couple of times and save me, oh, three hours or so. My wife, dog and I just took a walk -- while it was still pretty. I have to tell you, this storm means business. Stay warm and dry!
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Nick
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Nick » February 5th, 2010, 7:10 pm

Don't go out. I'm being spared the worst of it -- they're calling for 14 at worst here on this side of the state, although I'm told it's 8-14 inches just by 9am (God I hope so). But it's not worth it. Mind you I don't know how much you have to shovel. My driveway is 750 feet long, with an extra 30 feet of flaglot, plus 5 feet of brick walk to the porch, plus about 18 square feet of porch. Shoveling is an all-day adventure even when it's just three or four inches. Plus, I just flipping love snow. Shoveling it is like a sin to me. That big snow storm back in December? I woke up the next morning, opened my bedroom window, and leapt out past the garden square into the good twenty-or-more inches in the front yard. For the record I sleep in my clothes from the day before, so I was outside in torn boxers, thin jeans, and an LFC t-shirt. Not my brightest plan but SNOW!!!!!! It's like crack for me, really.

Me, I'm near Philadelphia. Right now it's not snowing too hard. Decent bit coming down, but not much, and not yet sticking in droves. The big stuff is supposedly coming at us from Jersey and more your end of the state, so we're kind of going to get blown from two sides later tonight. That'll be nice. But until the snow comes down good and strong, I have my bedroom library (which no longer looks like 221B thanks to having to clean because some mortgage refinancer person man came out on Monday) and my things all about the house, and I have Party Animals (which, alas, was never renewed -- two episodes in and it is golden).

Snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow~ FWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

See you've gone and got me started now.

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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Holly » February 5th, 2010, 7:50 pm

Hey, Seamus, I'm about 80 miles north of you, so I think we have the same forecast.

Nick, you have a bigger driveway. Mine is... well, I'm not sure, but it's not that big. The snowplow just went by and sealed it up with some serious chunks of white cement, so maybe I'll shovel it between now and midnight. My seventy-year-old snow removal guy (this is Gettysburg) comes when the snow stops falling, which might be tomorrow night.

But in spite of my apprehension, it's beautiful... a silent whiteout, white sky, white earth, white evergreen boughs bending to the ground.

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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Nick » February 5th, 2010, 8:03 pm

"Nick, you have a bigger driveway."

Yes, well, my driveway is a demon. Everyone else has normal driveways. Even the other people with long driveways aren't as long as us. But my dad grew up here, and didn't want to leave the area, and they were having difficulty finding a place they could afford that was actually in town and not one town over (which is no big deal, the towns pretty much bleed together) so my grandparents surrendered most of their property to us. And instead of do the sensible thing and build it on the other side of the 4.3 acres and fairly close to the road, the house was built at the far back of the property. Then at some point between when the house was built and when I was three my dad gave most of the land to his cousin, so they have a rather large house next door, where it is sensible to put a house, instead of all the way in the back. Is nice having family for next-door neighbors, though, and most of my dad's family live within a fifteen minute drive, so that's nice, too. I usually don't shovel our driveway because it's so monstrous. I just kind of let nature run its course and drive out when my car has mobility again, which considering it's a hunk of scrap metal, isn't that often even when there isn't snow. Walking everywhere is a bit annoying, but good exercise, and Lord knows I need it. Or I wait until my uncle shows up with his stuff, but that won't be until the snow has stopped coming in droves, and if it's a big storm it won't be until some of it has melted anyway. Oh well. I'm used to being isolated. Kind of hard to get out of my street on foot, and even harder to get into other towns once you've walked to their fringe, so I'm used to just chilling at home. You'd be surprised what you can find to amuse yourself with when you're a hermit.

Also I'm very ranty and divergent tonight. Much more so than usual.

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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by JustineDell » February 5th, 2010, 8:11 pm

2 feet??!?! Are you kidding?!? Well, I have to say I'm glad the storm front held off while it's passing through my state of Indiana. We are only gonna get up to 10 inches and that is waaaaay plenty for me. I hate snow and the stupid people who can't seem to drive in it...urgh!!!

As for your question, I'm one of those people who shovels as it comes - every hour or so. I think it's better than trying to dig your way through two feet all at once without breaking your back or giving you a heart attack - especially is you have 200 foot long driveway or something. So write for while....shovel for a bit....write for awhile....shovel for awhile. And pray that the weather man is wrong - sometimes that works. After all, we didn't get the freezing rain they predicted before the snow started here.

And Nathan, I'd be glad to ship you some of this nice cold wet snow to your sunny California location!

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Holly
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Holly » February 5th, 2010, 8:16 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:Argh!! So jealous!! I mean, not about shoveling the walk, but man, I miss the snow.
I've been to San Francisco twice (my husband was born there). You folks don't have snow, but you do have magical, almost supernatural fog.

I'm not looking outside for a while. I'm going to work on my novel and at midnight I'll open the front door and see what's out there.

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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by TheShadow » February 5th, 2010, 8:16 pm

Here at the beach it's only raining, which is what it usually does when "The Snow" is forcast. We did get snow last week which was a surprise, but I don't expect to see anything other than rain this week. No winterland fun for me.
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by marilyn peake » February 6th, 2010, 1:46 am

We are loving the snow!! One of my neighbors dubbed it "SNOWPOCALYPSE 2010". LOL!!
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Nick » February 6th, 2010, 7:25 am

Just woke up about four minutes ago and looked out my window. It has definitely exceeded 14 inches and it is still coming down in droves. Just so long as the storm doesn't interfere with my ability to watch the Derby later today I'm happy.

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Holly
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Holly » February 6th, 2010, 8:17 am

JustineDell, I took your advice and shoveled the driveway from 10:30 to midnight. The snowplow had sealed it up with heavy, waist-high ice. I didn't have the strength to go out every hour or so, but that's the way to do it. Of course, the snowplow sealed it up again.

You know the pretty scenes on Hallmark cards? Happy snowmen and cheerful couples in sleighs? Well, this snow is not like that. This is a "nature gone mad and we're back in the ice age, baby" kind of snow. No wonder they're calling it Snowpocalyse and Snowmageddon.

When I look out my front window (I can't open the door), the porch steps have vanished. The wrought iron rail is about to follow. No more shrubbery, no more cars. Glittering snowdrifts cover shapes that resemble sleeping prehistoric beasts... hey, maybe the bones of the mastodons under my front lawn are coming to life again. And it's still snowing, blizzard-style. It's going to snow another 18 hours.

I'm grateful for the heat and light in my own small house, for hot coffee, the fire in the fireplace, and all the other little things of civilization. I've never seen a snow like this. Mother Nature is raging.

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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Nick » February 6th, 2010, 8:44 am

"(I can't open the door)"

Same. I can open the side door right now, because it's flanked by two very large bushes and has a bit of an overhang, but the snow has toppled about half of the one hedge-tree-thing and the steps are beginning to pile up. Front door is jammed, though.

I'm glad this is the second big storm we've gotten this year (grah, not this year, sorry, that last one was in 09. School brain), though, and I'm glad for all the crazy storms over in Europe not too long ago. It goes towards proving what I've thought for years and goes toward proving the Canadian scientists right. See, the earth goes in cycles of hot and cold, usually for several decades at a time. Sometimes, nature intervenes and things go all wonky. Centuries ago some glaciers up north decided they were going to have a party. This resulted in the Little Ice Age, a mass cold cycle that began in 1250, became a consistent cold in 1650, and ran all the way up to the late 19th century. The Little Ice Age resulted in harsher winters and cooler temperatures all around, but nothing too too drastic. And as a fun fact: They used to hold frost fairs on the frozen Thames, from 1607 to 1814. Anyway, within the Little Ice Age you still had warm and cold cycles, but temperatures were on the whole cooler. Now, sometime in 1970s or 1980s, we entered a warm cycle again. Nowadays there's this whole global warming panic, and sure, it is definitely fraking the environment. But I don't think it's going to result in us turning the earth into a giant oven and baking ourselves. For years I've thought it would trigger a cold cycle much sooner than nature would introduce one, which is still very very bad, but in a different way. Now, there are some Canadian scientists who believe global warming causing ice caps to melt will trigger another mass cooling, and effectively result in another Little Ice Age while raising sea levels and probably wiping a few places off the map. Also, it should be noted that the cold/warm cycles are not mass climate change. Without mass interference (like being struck by an asteroid or melting the polar ice caps), mass change takes a very long time -- which is still, in fact, observable in our history. When old Gaius Iulius was in power, it was warm enough to have wineries "oop North". I'd love to see you try that now. But the cycles do still result in decent change. Compare whether records of the 1950s or the 1960s to the 1980s or 1990s.

So, yeah, that's my long, not-very-science-y spiel.

Edit:

Sooo I just looked out my window, and my neighbor across the street is using his backhoe and his bulldozer to dig his driveway out.

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Seamus
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by Seamus » February 6th, 2010, 8:13 pm

I hurt in places I didn't know I had places. It took about six hours to dig the driveway out, which, of course won't mean a thing if they don't plow the street. We have something just over 30 inches. The guy next door who generally numbers his grass blades so he doesn't lose track, has a big womping limb from our tree in his yard. Right now, very little of it is still showing because it's covered with snow. He helped me shovel today, so I guess he didn't notice. My daughter shoveled a dog "path" and the dog is still looking pretty nervous about her inability to find green grass. Lights keep flickering. Pray for the protection of this dog if she decides the carpet is more convenient than her shoveled area. It IS pretty, though.
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Re: East Coast Blizzard (Friday, Feb. 5)

Post by marilyn peake » February 6th, 2010, 10:28 pm

Thought I'd check in here and see how everyone's doing. Wow, do we have snow! I've never seen anything like this – about a foot of snow piled up neatly on our deck stair banister, our outdoor grill and furniture. It's like Nature drew thick snowy white outlines around everything. Our backyard fence has a ribbon of snow about a foot high running along the entire top of it as well. On the ground, we have about three feet of snow. One of our neighbors had a couple of tall trees bend down to the ground, from the weight of snow on them, and actually form a tunnel. At night, everything sparkles wherever light shines on it – really gorgeous! We’re supposed to get more snow on Tuesday.

We lost electricity for about seven hours today. I was actually kind of disappointed when it came back on. We were getting ready to “camp” inside – piling up blankets, jackets, etc. We had a nice fire going in the fireplace, and my husband made a delicious spaghetti dinner on a camp stove.

We’re going to watch THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW on DVD now – kind of spooky, considering the weather. :)
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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