December 5, 2005

You better get yourself together.

Those three posts I put up before leaving the house this morning look awfully dark. Is Althouse in a gloomy mood? Rottweilers and face-eating Labradors? Oh, my!

I left the house for the first time since Saturday and had snow a squirrel's-length deep to clear off the car. I put my bag in the trunk and took out the brush. I made sure I had the keys in my hand before I slammed the trunk. I got all that snow off the car and reached into my coat pocket: no keys! How to get into the house for my other key? Damn! It's 3 degrees. I was sure I had the keys in my hand and that I slipped them into my coat pocket. Did I drop them into the deep snow behind the car?

Ah, I see the little black hole in the snow. I'm so happy to pick up the keys with my gloveless hands and rub off the snow with my sleeves. I drive into work, my hands getting colder and colder. The gloves -- gloves the color of my crashed car Li'l Greenie -- only make it worse. I've got those John Lennon discs in the CD player:
Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead

31 comments:

Ann Althouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Meade: I'm much too old for that sort of thing. Anyway, it's 3 degrees here for persons of all ages. And we all shine on.

Meade said...

You're right. It's not like I'm qualified to diagnose such a thing. Maybe you just suffered a simple transitory Insensitive Frigid Hand Disorder due to poor blood flow to the extremities. There's a drug for it, I'm sure.

Anyway, keep on shinin' on.

Art said...

"Snow a squirrel length's deep"

Nice phrase. It made me wonder if there's a standard reference squirrel out there somewhere. Is that the length with our without the tail.

tefta said...

That's why we left Vermont and reside in sunny Florida now. Temp. 75, light ocean breezes, clear blue skies and bright yellow light from the sky. It's called sunshine. Remember? You'll see it again about May 15th.

bill said...

Tefta - every location has it's problems. I love the Atlantic coast of Florida (specifically the St. Augustine area), but you couldn't pay me to vacation or live on the gulf side.

And when Ann said it was 3 degrees, I assumed it was sunny. From what I remember of the upper midwest winters, the coldest days usually coincided with bright sunshine. No clouds to act as insulation and moderate the temps.
...
I also had the same question as Art: does that include the tail?

Rick Lee said...

Is there anything quite like that feeling you get when you find something important that has been lost? I lost my PDA the other day and I was cursing myself because I knew it had been days since I backed it up on the PC and I was wondering how in the heck I was going to find out what my appointments were for the next few weeks. I kept telling myself that it had to be in the Honda Element. That's not a simple matter because there was a ton of photography equipment in the back. Oh God, oh God, it has to be there. I tore all of that equipment out of there (in the cold, outside) and there it was. It had fallen out of my briefcase when the briefcase had turned upside down for a minute. Oh joy of joys! I promise God, I'll be good from now on and always back up every day!

Ann Althouse said...

Art: Without the tail. I've been watching squirrels burying acorns under the snow, with just their tails showing above the snow. Mildly amusing. I talk about it in the podcast...

Verification word: puzie. Use it in a sentence: I'm feeling all puzie today.

Ann Althouse said...

Bill: If only 3 degrees were considered one of the coldest days! There are many days around here when you wish it would warm up to 3.

As to the nah-nah-ing from Florida: You know, we don't do that to you when you have your hurricanes. Should we? If the answer isn't yes, then back off.

Anyway, it is sunny. Quite pretty, seen from the inside. Christmas-y too. On Saturday, with the snow falling, I was reading sitting by the fireplace at Starbucks, next to a picture window, and I kept looking up to see a car drive by with a Christmas tree tied to its roof. That was lovely.

Joe Baby said...

The opinion here at Palm Station Zebra (Phoenix) is that 3 degrees and snow is a much more horrifying situation that having your face snacked on by greedy mutts.

Of course, you could move to a certain Canadian Atlantic Province and have both, I suppose.

bill said...

Ann, I know what you're saying about 3 degrees. My first job (early 80s) was as a warming house attendant for an outdoor rink for a St. Paul, MN suburb. Official rules were we had to stay open until -20. Still, +3 isn't a bit chilly for this early in the season?

But after too many years in Atlanta, I've lost all my cold weather cred. It's currently 42, but it's a damp cold and feels like 37. Brrr.

Pat Patterson said...

Snow, you mean like the white stuff in a Bing Crosby movie. I do know what gloves are, in fact I was planning to use some this afternoon to prepare the ground for the daffodill bulbs. It will probably get to 65 today and that's too cold.

Dale B said...

...to clear [the snow} off the car.

You don't have a garage?

Minneapolis and Madison have similar weather. It was +3 here too. That's 12 deg below the average low for this time of year but not particularly unusual. There is a lot of year to year temperature variation in Oct-Dec.

I know that complaining about the cold and snow is the only recreation some people get this time of year but I sort of like winter. I even like shoveling snow. It gets a little old by March but by then winter is essentially over. I'd better like shoveling as I live on a corner in a city with sidewalks. That means I have 240' of sidewalk to shovel plus the driveway. It's good exercise (if you're in shape) and more rewarding than going to the gym. When you're done you've actually accomplished something.

Plus the snow is pretty, especially when it's fresh.

Sorry for the thread creep.

brylin said...

Where's the global warming when you need it?

Icepick said...

Ann, you can make fun of us for the hurricanes all you want, it's a free country. But the thing about hurricanes is that they're a tropical weather event. Key word: tropical!

Having experienced both snow storms and hurricanes, I can say this: I'd rather go through a snow storm than a hurricane, but I'd rather live in hurricane country.

Ann Althouse said...

"You don't have a garage?"

Essentially, no. (There is a garage around in back, not part of the original house, and not convenient enough to use.) I live in an old neighborhood that's especially pretty because of the lack of unsightly garage doors. Small lots, houses built in the early 20th century. Quite lovely.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Cosmic green gloves....the last memento of the love that was Li'l Greenie. Too useful to replace. Too green to discard.

tefta said...

bill, I must have read your mind. I live just south of St. Aug. in a town time forgot and Ann, I don't mind people ragging on our hurricanes. It's a small price to pay for not having to wear boots and gloves or defrost our ears and noses.

Meade said...

"the last memento of the love that was Li'l Greenie"

Talk about sentimentality! A freakin' non-sentient motor vehicle! Awww... look at the cute little baby pictures of Li'l when she was just a little... baaaaaby.

Dave said...

Three degrees?

Wow.

I'm glad I live in NYC because it doesn't get quite that cold, except very rarely.

But I'm thinking of moving to Hawaii.

Icepick said...

Tefta, which town? And have you ever eaten at Salt Water Cowboy's?

Palladian said...

I'm pretty creatively stunted until the light starts to get an amber quality and the shadows grow long and the trees start to retreat into themselves. To me, there is nothing better than when the sky and ground both form a continual field of white and there is silence in the air. Nothing is better for the deepest thinking and most honest, complex expression of human creativity than the golden chill of autumn and the sublime, severe cold of winter. I can't imagine anything more boring than an endless string of warm, pleasant days. Constant warm weather breeds intellectual and artistic cretinism. Just look at Hollywood. Or Florida for that matter. Nice enough places, but if you stay there too long you're in real danger of giving up trying to say or do anything important. Your brain turns into a pleasant slurry of piƱa colada.

bill said...

Icepick, I was hoping to hit Tefta up for recommendations south of St. Augustine Beach, myself (email me). But until Tefta returns I'll say that Saltwater Cowbys is ok, but I prefer the Gypsy Cab Company. And for a cheap lunch, it's hard to beat Nalu's fish tacos in front of the Surf Station.

Icepick said...

Constant warm weather breeds intellectual and artistic cretinism.

Yeah, that's why nothing of any artistic importance ever came out of Greece, Italy or Spain.

Icepick said...

Bill, I've always found the idea of fish tacos and fish burritos to be revolting, so I'll pass on Nalu's.

But what kind of fare does the Gypsey Cab Company serve?

Palladian said...

"Yeah, that's why nothing of any artistic importance ever came out of Greece, Italy or Spain."

I was being hyperbolic, darling. I thought this was the free association post.

tefta said...

Yes, I've eaten at the places mentioned. Gypsy Cab Co. have enlarged their quarters and gone upscale (for here). Still an interesting menu though.

You can find us if you keep driving south along A1A until you don't see any more gated communities or high rise condos or golf courses or, and this is the most important clue, really anything at all but miles of unobstructed ocean to the east, and an ordinary town to the west.

There are some good eateries along this stretch, none of which look like much, but almost all are very good, one of our favorites is a beach shack that has really excellent food at the far southern end of town right before the state camp grounds. Can't miss it. Building on the beach hasn't been permitted for years, but this one is one of the few that have been grandfathered.

If you like camping right on the beach, Gamble Rogers State Park has a limited number of camp sites. It's a really beautiful location nestled between the ocean and the intracoastal waterway.

Sorry, I can't mention the name of the town or we'll be crawling with more people clamoring to live here and our property values will shoot up another 300%.

Say hi as you drive through.

bill said...

tefta, ok - close enough. There's about a 20 mile stretch south of Marineland with maybe one gas station, a fruit stand and a couple fish fry restaurants.

Ann - sorry for the travelogue conversation.

back on topic: Dear Diary: Today was the first day below freezing and I actually had to scrape the car windows!

Icepick said...

jnocdTefta, thanks for the note. I'm pretty sure I know where you're talking about now. Isn't there a little Italian place along there? I might be thinking of someplace farther south though.

And good luck on keeping the place secret, but I doubt it will do you any good to try. They'll find it eventually. Personally, I think you need to play up the hurricane angle.

I'd love to see large stretches of the coast depopulated. A1A is such a great drive when you get away from the sprawl. But I think the coast is pretty much solid strip mall now from Homestead to Ormond Beach, and there's a fair amount of that between Ormond and St. Augustine. I do miss the days of my youth when we had about one quarter of the people down here than we do now, but that time is gone....

Back on topic: This morning it was so cold I almost pulled the comforter back up on the bed.

Buck Pennington said...

I know from snow and cold, to wit (in descending order): North Dakota (a year), extreme northern Hokkaido (2.5 yrs), Upstate NY (4 yrs), and Detroit (10 yrs). The first snow is glorious, but by March you want to break things and/or people.

The only place I want to see snow these days are the pages of NatGeo and on TV. I know where to get it if I want the real thing: Angel Fire.

All that said, we have snow in the forecast tomorrow (flurries) and it will get down to about 3 degrees tomorrow night. But it's a passing thing here on the High Plains of New Mexico, next week we'll be in the 70s.

tefta said...

You both got it. No names to protect us innocents.