Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The wrong way to catch a spider larger than your face

I found this at the Laughing Squid and actually fell OUT of my chair. 1 minute vid. OMFG.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snowmaggedon, part 2: the aftermath

Tycho gazes down the street.

These people are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Snowmaggedon: the aftermath. It took two of us 8 hours to clear a narrow lane from the front porch to the cars. This is the second time in my entire life that I've ever had to shovel my car to clear it of snow. (The first time was in December's snowmaggedon of, pssht, 16 inches.)

The narrow icy path to the front door. Welcome!

26 inches, on average... but many drifts were higher than that.

Did I mention another storm is coming tomorrow? They're expecting 10-20 inches and windy blizzardy conditions. Wow! Anyone want to move to DC?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The snowpocalypse II hits!

Snowmaggedon! snOMG! DC was hit by the biggest blizzard it's ever seen and it's awesome. (Well, because the roof hasn't collapsed and we still have heat.) There are reports of at least 3 roof collapses in the area (one at a Dulles Airport hanger for private planes, one at a church downtown and another at a house). <-- how much would that suck?

As of 7am this morning, we had 23 inches in our lil' Maryland suburb about 13 miles outside DC. I haven't measured the totals yet -- will tomorrow -- but it's staggering. Maybe around 30 inches? Here are some photos taken around dusk, right around when it finally stopped snowing:

Snow is higher than my knees on the front stoop. And that's WITH the overhang.

Dan, waist-deep in snow, attempting to photograph the dog swallowed alive by the white stuff. The huge lump next to the nearly-invisible canine is actually a car.

A better view of the frozen white lumps concealing what used to be vehicles capable of motion.

Tycho up to his chest in snow. This is his unamused "Byatch, please. Now what??!" face.

But once on the street, playtime begins! Here he is ripping down the road with our neighbor's dobie.

Light bands of pink laced the sky at sunset; first time the sky's been clear in (what feels like) a week.

Tycho has some mad dawg skillz. I bet you didn't know he could conjure a snowball by telepathy alone. It's all in the concentration.

By now, I could no longer feel my face, lips, nose, fingers, toes, or spleen. Neither could the dog, I think, because he was actually eager to go back in (which almost never happens). Also, maybe it's time to take the lights down?

Relief! Hot water, and only hot water, warms teh feets.

Friday, February 5, 2010

snOMG (AKA, been looking for an excuse to go foodshopping in PJs)

Yes, I went to the store. Like this. Been waiting my whole life for a good excuse to go foodshopping in pajamas and this "historic, crippling s'noreaster" did it. Totals keep adjusting from 18-30 inches. We shall see. I'll keep you posted.

View of teh whiteout from inside. More impressive photos await for the morning. I cancelled a trip to NYC, was originally taking the bus but will wait the storm out at home instead.

If you're home for snOMG, what are you doing today? Do you like snow?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

on cookies and humanity

Student watching as the truck slowly pulled her car out of the woods.


Right now we're getting some slick weather, possibly 4-6 inches by morning. And so this reminded me of something that happened just before the holidays.

I was driving to work on a sleety morning when I saw a woman standing next to a car in a very incongruous place. My brain didn't understand -- a woman in the woods next to a car?

I immediately pulled over to see what happened.

The young lady was a university student driving to class when she slid on an icy patch and spun into the brush. She was shaken but ok. You know what it's like when you have your first accident and you're trying to remember who to call and what to do? She was like that, scared and confused and very grateful not to be alone.

Luckily nothing was wrong with the car (save for a dented trunk) but her tires were absolutely mired in mud. I tried putting floormats under them to gain some traction and pushing as she shifted into drive -- if we could just move it a couple of inches! -- but I wasn't strong enough and the car was too stuck.

We stood there contemplating how many hundreds of dollars a towtruck would charge when suddenly two other folks pulled over. They tried pushing too but no luck. Then a third guy pulled over and shouted, "I have a truck at home, and a rope!" He left and returned with a Ford F-150 and a chain, hooked the car up and hauled it out of the mud effortlessly.

I was so touched by the sight of all these strangers who stopped to help, people rushing to work in sad, gray weather that no doubt already slowed down their morning commute; two in business attire (now covered, like me, in mud); and the third guy, still learning English. He could have chosen to not use his resources in a country that isn't always friendly to strangers but he helped anyway.

All of us stood there in the sleet. Suddenly political differences, religious views, backgrounds and culture didn't matter. We were united without motive or reward, driven only by compassion and humanity. It was a beautiful moment.

No one asked for anything from the student, they only gave.

And the last thing they gave was a warm, wide smile as she got back in her car and headed safely on her way.

I was so moved by this that I got everyone's contact info and partnered with my buddy Vaughn, chief cookie guy (what a job!), to send the good samaritans cookies. He had just started his cookie company and the timing seemed right. It was a small reward for their time and muddied suits but nevertheless something we could do.

Cookies with a note of gratitude: "Thank you for your selfless act of concern for a fellow neighbor. Many people drove right by but you stopped and offered whatever you could (even getting dirty in the rain and mud). Your acts of kindness will not be forgotten. We hope you enjoy sweet cookies to match the sweetness of your good work. Happy holidays!"

I sent Vaughn's magnificent chocolate chunk cookies with whole cherries, but he sells other stuff too. See --> Decadent Cookies (But don't blame me if you eat the whole lot in one sitting! They're *that* good. I mean, Vaughn & I are friends and all, but not the kind where I would lie about a cookie just to be nice! ;)

Easily the best cookies I've ever eaten in my entire life.

Anyway, so thanks for sharing a memory that is sweet on more than one count.
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