Friday, January 30, 2009

On Thick Ice

On Tuesday when the snowfall seemed to be subsiding I took my dinky – but suitable for most things Virginia can throw at me – plastic snow shovel and cleared off my sidewalk, figuring that we wouldn’t get too much more accumulation.
We didn’t, but I hadn’t factored in the freezing rain that would turn what little additional snow we did get into slippery, concrete-hard ice.
Yesterday when I got home I figured I should do something about it, but found that my shovel wasn’t up to the task, so I headed to Home Depot to pick up something more substantial.
The mindset of retailers is a mystery to me. The area has just experienced its first real snowfall of the season, and a lot of people – like me – are still trying to dig themselves out from the aftermath, so what do you put prominently on display? Why, outdoor grills, of course, along with patio furniture that will allow people to really take advantage of the balmy sub-freezing weather! It makes perfect sense!
And what do you keep hidden as far from the view of customers as possible? Snow removal tools and equipment. Duh! I mean, we just had a snow and ice storm. Who’s going to be thinking about dealing with that? Put the shovels on display in July, dumb ass.
Seriously, I’m baffled by the way stores do things. Try buying summer clothes in the summer sometime.
In any case, eventually I found a more substantial shovel, which, while still plastic, did at least have a metal edge.
This is Virginia, after all; you’re not going to find proper, high-quality snow removal tools here. And you’ll especially never see a Yooper Scooper (not that one would have been especially appropriate for the task at hand).
The new shovel proved to be even less effective than the old one, in that after a few stabs at the ice it actually cracked. The old one wasn’t doing much to break up the ice, but at least it retained its structural integrity.
Luckily I’d made another purchase: a bag of salt.
That shit ate through the ice like nobody’s business, and what ice it didn’t eliminate entirely was at least pitted and crumbly enough to walk on safely.
So that was my Thursday evening excitement.
I had a pretty busy week at work, with a few different projects thrown my way, as well as a cry for help on another. The latter involved many hours spent in Excel copying and pasting information, and ate up most of my time from Wednesday afternoon through about lunchtime today.
As I was working on it, I couldn’t help but think of an article by John C. Dvorak that I read recently in which he writes about the 30th anniversary of the spreadsheet application and the evils that it has unleashed on an unsuspecting world.
In any case, the busy week made me glad that I randomly decided to take Monday off. Theoretically I’ll be taking advantage of the time to get some stuff done, like getting my emissions inspection for my car, but we’ll see how that actually plays out once Monday rolls around.
I was supposed to meet up with David tomorrow to talk more about the whole blogging project, but this afternoon he called to ask if we could push it to Sunday.
He said that he’d make sure it was early in the day so that I wouldn’t “miss the Superbowl.”
I said, “You don’t have to worry about me missing the Superbowl; I fully intend to miss it.”


Merlin T Wizard said...

I kinda want a Yooper Scooper now. I ended up shoveling both my walk and my neighbor's, as well as all four of our parking spots. My back still hasn't recovered.

Heimdall said...

I didn't have any trouble with my back; it was my hands that bothered me (and still bother me). My palms got all bruised from pressing against the handle.

Merlin T Wizard said...

Ah, so that's what you're going with, "pressing against the handle?" When are you going to admit he's hurting you, Luca?