December 24, 2007

"I know it's the holidays but we hope people use some common sense when traveling."

Did the weather wreck your Christmas plans?
Highways remained slippery for some holiday travelers Monday in the upper Midwest in the aftermath of a blustery snowstorm that blacked out thousands of homes and businesses and snarled air travel....

Early Monday, Sgt. Tim Elve of the Dane County Sheriff's Office said: "The roads aren't quite as ice-covered but we're still telling people not to drive unless they have to. The interstate is still slick and the rural roads are really bad."

Authorities had issued urgent pleas for travelers to stay home Sunday but officials worried that people would insist on driving Monday, regardless of the weather, to get to Christmas Eve destinations.

What are you doing to save Christmas?

IN THE COMMENTS: All I'm getting is people bragging about how good the weather is where they are. No one want to talk about the bad things that happened? Well, I know I don't. But I was trying to send out a subtle signal of empathy.


John Stodder said...

Out here in Southern California, the Santa Ana winds have returned, so we're mostly trying to avoid starting massive wildfires.

Right now, the sky is blue, it's 66 degrees, and there is a faint mist over the ocean. Yesterday, there was snow visible on the peak of Mt. Baldy, but I'll bet it's melted.

Paddy O. said...

John, I'm about half the altitude of Baldy, and we're totally green again after getting snow this last week.

Fifty degrees or so. Not a cloud in the sky. Only the tiniest of breezes.

Christmas saves itself in California.

Baldy almost certainly has some snow at the top, but I'll bet the ski resort isn't too happy right now.

dmfoiemjsof said...

I went surfing this morning. It's nice and sunny now.

Revenant said...

What are you doing to save Christmas?

Vacationing at my parents' place in Florida. :)

Fen said...

A nice brisk 60 degrees here in Dallas, clear blue hemisphere stretching across the horizons [usage?]. We did upgrade our flight to non-stop, to avoid being trapped in Chicago or Atlanta. Worth the extra dollars.

Paddy O. said...

No one want to talk about the bad things that happened?

Let me empathize then. In late October my house was surrounded my major fires. One massive one a few miles to the west, one even more massive one about ten miles to the east. About 400 homes burned between these two fires. The whole mountain would have burned up except for the absolute heroic and amazing work of the gathered fire departments.

So I sit here in this lovely weather thankful with all my heart for the beauty I see and the safety I now feel, knowing full well the feeling of present dangers that can be and can't be avoided.

Thank God my home is safe. I pray those who lost their homes are feeling a sense of recovery now a couple months later and are getting back to semi-normal lives. I pray those who are risking danger and who danger is pressing upon will find peace and safety and utter Christmas joy during this holiday season.

Chip Ahoy said...

I finally had to come in out of the heat. There's only so much sun a person can take before one's skin goes all darkened.

These gently perfumed breezes with the sweetly singing avifauna is all most annoying when combined with playful laughter of children.

Revenant said...

In late October my house was surrounded my major fires. One massive one a few miles to the west, one even more massive one about ten miles to the east.

Are you up in Irvine, Paddy?

Paddy O. said...

Revenant, I'm up near Lake Arrowhead, in the San Bernardino mountains.

Lots of fires everywhere that week all around.

Theo Boehm said...

Well, you have my sympathy, Professor A, if your travel plans were messed up.

We've had our dose here in Boston, too, but it was mostly last week.  My son's Boston Boy Choir concert was canceled Sunday before last because of a Nor'easter on top of lots of snow already.  A total mess.  Last week was pretty stormy, as well.  Looks like smooth sailling for the next few days, though.

So, we're okay at the moment on the East Coast, but we can always relate to rotten weather.

I'll tell all of you smug residents of warm areas that I was born in LA, grew up in Inland Empire (yecch!  Sorry, Paddy O.), moved to Santa Barbara (paradise!), then back and forth to Berkeley (dank, but never a dull moment), and finally to Boston, where I've been happily enjoying the real world for these 20-odd years.

Rotten climates build character.  I now feel like a fish out of water when I'm in California. Where's the weather?  Other than a little fire and earthquake now and then, it's too damned convenient!

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, earthquakes and fires aren't weather. I need the changing seasons to feel alive. It's a primal struggle. It's exciting. But it totally screwed up my Christmas this year. I'm trying to find the true meaning of Christmas, because my pat understanding -- i.e., my plan -- was destroyed.

Paddy O. said...

Ann, I hear UC Irvine is opening a law school. Lovely weather in Orange County and they adore freedom of speech (now).

Sorry your plans were ruined. May Madison be extra Christmassy for you to make up for it.

rhhardin said...

There's nothing wrong with being at home with the dog.

A little corn for the unannounced roosters out back, and the social obligations are satisfied.

I understand that women need more interpersonal complexity.

Weather is fun but not obstructive of anything.

The day's realization : if you put out water for birds in plastic ice cube trays, you can get the ice out really easily in the morning for refilling. Now to get them to realize that there's water in the little trays.

A couple years ago we had no power for a week over Christmas after the Big Ice Storm (fortunately always about ten below outside, so I just moved the freezer contents to the back porch - no food lost) and the chief effect was that the computer and phone didn't work. The dog liked it. I had more time.

Dave F said...

Anyone bitching and moaning about the weather here in the States would do well to consider the weather, in say, Perth, Australia.

ron st.amant said...

Well the weather here in Southern Ontario could be a great deal worse, but hopefully we won't have too bad a drive tomorrow for our brief travel to my in-laws.

I hope all the rest of the House of Alt, near and far, real and blog based, have a safe and very Merry Christmas.


peter hoh said...

My last minute Target run almost resulted in a really bad Christmas. Driving away, I took a side street to avoid some traffic in front of the store. Halfway down the block, I tapped the brakes and realized that I had no traction.

Brakes on full, I continued to slide all the way to the intersection with a busy street (two lanes of traffic in each direction). Fortunately no one was driving in the first lane, and I was able to regain control and make a right turn into the first lane of traffic. Had I slid into the second lane of traffic, I would have been struck by a minivan that was doing 20.

peter hoh said...

But hey. let me add that the deep snow cover makes everything outside look a lot like Christmas. I love it. And I didn't mind shoveling twice this weekend.

jeff said...

We had a blizzard on Sat with about 8 inches of snow. Sat night when I left the house to go to the first of two Christmas parties, I found about 18 inches of snow from the back of my car to about 8 feet out. Spent Sat in my apartment. That kinda of blew. Got out Sunday. Supposed to snow again Wed. Driving to Dallas on Sat, so I hope the weather is warmer down there.

Kirby Olson said...

In the Catskills we had about a foot of accumulation over the last week but yesterday it hit fifty and it rained an inch on top of it so many of the communities south of here will be flooding. However, the snow is mainly gone.

It's a drag not to be able to get together with family on these days. We opened the presents here this evening and the kids went wild. I spent the whole evening putting batteries into bizarre little toys and stringing guitars, and then tuning them and such.

Plus, I'm stuffed.

I got the new Steve Martin book about his career in stand-up and can't wait to get started on it.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Richard said...

"Authorities had issued urgent pleas for travelers to stay home ..."

Oh, please. Weather As Drama has become so prevalent and completely weird anymore. What a weak and pathetic nation we've become.

And Merry Christmas too, and all that stuff.

Paddy O. said...

Inland Empire (yecch! Sorry, Paddy O.), moved to Santa Barbara (paradise!)

No sorry needed. You're exactly right. I lived in Santa Barbara for about 3 years in the mid-80s, and it certainly is paradise.

Headless Blogger said...

Where are these icy roads?

Waukesha County to Madison & back was ice free today. The traffic heading south into Madison on 90/94 didn't seem affected, either.

reader_iam said...

Holiday blast of irony.

Given the original intent (though definitely not the orginal, or even of the originals).

Though apparently this grande dame has done a recent reprise.


Oh, good ... gracious!

Just goes to show: you never know what's going to turn up, or how it's going to turn out.

Eli Blake said...

Here's a Christmas bummer:

being convicted of murder because the jurors were in a hurry to get home for the holidays.

I really loved this quote, from one of the two jurors who were pushed to change their vote from 'not guilty' to 'guilty.' because the judge and other jurors didn't want to miss Christmas:

"I thought about my family and the families of the other jurors," Larche said. "It was not worth it in the end."

Yeah. I guess the family of the man you convicted despite believing there wasn't enough evidence to convict, wasn't worth it in the end either.

Remind me to stay out of New York.

rightwingprof said...

Sunday, the temp went up to the mid-40s. We had enough snow that it wouldn't have melted off, except that it rained. All day long. And almost all of the snow is gone.

Merry Christmas!

Ann Althouse said...

Headless: My problem had to do with multiple cancelled flights and the alternative of jumping in the car at the last minute for a mad 1000+ mile drive.

MadisonMan said...

headless: Madison to Waukesha Cty and back on Sunday was dreadful. I saw about 8 cars off the side of the road, and actually witnessed an SUV roll over a couple times in the median. The driver was okay, but I'll be the rollover was at least $3K in damage.

George said...

Through many dangers, toils and snares we have already come. T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far, and Grace will lead us home.

From an old song....

Titusrare said...

Happy Holidays fellow republicans.

My travels home sucked.

I was stuck in Detroit overnight and made it into Madison on Friday.

The weather in Madison was very foggy, snowy, windy, cold and wintery.

I did go to Paisans and had my porta salad-yum. Nice new location which would normally have a view of the lake but because it was foggy there was no view. The table next to me was bitching because the "democrats" were declaring a war on christmas-lovely.

I saw the family in Waunakee, Mazomanie and Cross Plains.

Madison now has an Apple Store which was nice, as well as a Pottery Barn and Aldo.

I ate like a pig while I was home. I went to Culvers, Crandall's take out fish fry, Mariner's Inn and the Waun-A-Bowl-yum.

I purchased cheese curds to take home for the flight home tonight which was very pleasant.

I am going to be taking a LOA from work over the next three months because of some medical issues-yuk. I am kind of nervous and a wreck because I have to tell work but my doc said doctors orders.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Sorry to hear your plans were altered because of the weather Althouse.

And we rented The Kingdom (ok); Flags of Our Fathers (ok); and Babel (which I have seen before and love). The soundtrack is amazing. My favorite part is when the japanese woman goes into the club and the remix of the Earth Wind and Fire song is playing and her friend ends up making out with the guy she likes.

Titusrare said...

On a side note the passengers on the NYC flight to Madison through Detroit are fabulous.

There were about 20 of us stuck in Detroit and they were absolutely yummy. Originally from Madison and now living in NYC-a delicious combination.

Ann Althouse said...

Titus, I'm sorry to hear you have a medical problem.

Revenant said...

I guess the family of the man you convicted despite believing there wasn't enough evidence to convict, wasn't worth it in the end either.

Maybe the defendant should have thought about the effect on his family when he shot a kid in the face and killed him.

Because I'm guessing that Daniel Cicciaro's family isn't having a very merry Christmas this year either.

Kev said...

What are you doing to save Christmas?

I rented a car to finish my trip from Dallas to Mom and Dad's in Houston (by way of my sister's in Austin to drop off/pick up presents) since my car broke down about 2 1/2 hours out. I benefited from the generosity of a local mechanic, who loaned me his old parts truck to get to the next town and snag a hotel room until the rental car place opened the next morning.

It's definitely been the most "adventurous" Christmas trip I've had thus far.