Zen and the Art of Snow Removal

In New England choosing a snow removal method is kind of like choosing a religion.  There’s the mainstream snowblower sect.  Then there are those plow guys both the ones that mount it to their family truck and the ones who buy those ATV looking vehicles that zip around after major snowstorms cleaning off people’s driveways.  They’re probably pagans or something.  Then there are the hardliners who own a tractor to which they can attach plows, blowers, even trailers in which the snow can be collected.  These guys are ready for the apocalypse.  And finally, there are the fundamentalists; the shovel guys.  To them moving the snow is the punishment we all deserve.

A week ago, I was walking in the haunted forests and swamps of Dunwich and observing the first little buds and leaves opening up on all the thorn bushes, briars and poison ivy vines.  But now there’s eight inches of snow out there again!

And so, I spent Tuesday and today on snow removal.  I skipped Wednesday because, dammit I’m an American.  My weapons were the snowblower, the snow shovel and the ice scraping shovel (technically it’s a roofing shovel used to scrape the shingles off a roof, but it’s really good for smashing and scraping ice off a driveway).  And I got all of the top driveway done and the lower driveway so-so.

And that’s just in time for tonight’s predicted one to four inches of new snow.  Now what kind of prediction is 1-4 inches?  When the maximum is 400% of the minimum it shouldn’t be called a prediction.  Clueless guess is probably closer to the truth.  But the last five hours of snow removal has brought me back to the zen-like state that eventually sets in near the end of a New England winter.  And this is even true during extremely mild winters as we’ve had the last three or four years.  Because an inch of ice can cause more grief and work than two feet of dry snow.  In the zen state you abandon the idea of gritting your teeth and pushing through until spring.  It’s too long.  There are still seven weeks until snow is unlikely.  So, you must embrace the crappy weather and become one with it.

And so there I was, lavishing loving attention on asphalt that needed the snow coaxed off of it with a light, almost delicate touch to the shovel at just the perfect angle to get it to peel off the pavement.  I experienced ineffable contentment as I worked down the driveway six inches at a time.  I had become a snow clearing zombie.  And I loved Big Brother.

As you can tell I’m suffering from the last stages of cabin fever and I’m contemplating warning Camera Girl to abandon the Compound until spring when hopefully I’ll regain my sanity.  She knows my weaknesses and it’s just too reminiscent of Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance in the movie version of “The Shining.”  If I do go berserk, I won’t use the weapons that Jack Torrance took up (a fire axe in the movie and a roque mallet in the book).  I will instead embrace my most formidable weapon, bad puns.  The poor woman.

Anyway, I’m enjoying the posting of my novel fragment.  It’s cathartic to put it out in the real world and get feedback.  I’ve been trying to figure out a strategy to get it in the public eye.  I’m thinking about putting it on a crowd-funding site to see how much visibility that would give it.  If anyone knows which sites are best for our side of the political spectrum, please chime in.

12DEC2022 – OCF Update – Back in Winter Form

As forecast we got a couple inches of snow last night and after breakfast I set to work clearing the driveway.  Since it was a small total I decided to forego the snowblower and just use the old snow shovel from last year.  Well two and a half hours later it was done.

So much for that COVID from last week and as far as I know this makes myocarditis or endocarditis from the vaccines I took last year much less likely.  After all a few hours of vigorous cardio-exercise should have induced heart failure if those conditions were present so, take that Fauci and company.

After my morning chore the rest of today was a day for relaxation and enjoyment.  I watched the 1951 British version of “A Christmas Carol” with Alistair Sim and later the 1938 Hollywood version with Reginald Owen.  They were very enheartening.  And I had the Monday zoom call.  The boys were in high spirits and we discussed Christmas menus and the coming gatherings.  We also discussed Elon Musk’s recent releases of transcripts of the plots to shadow ban conservatives.  They felt some good would come from these revelations.  I was less hopeful.  We all agreed that the Democrats would use every minute until the end of the congressional session spending every last penny they could before their loss of the House majority.

So the week begins well.  Christmas approaches and the nonsense in Washington becomes less and less interesting to me.  But of course I’ll follow the news just to see if they can shock an already jaded world.  After all thermonuclear war is still a rabbit to be pulled out of their hat.

27NOV2021 – OCF Update – The Curse Has Come Upon Me

Well it had to happen eventually.  That it held off until my Thanksgiving hosting was over last night was a gift I should appreciate.

I’m a little under the weather.  I blame the Omicron Variant.  I should never have gone on that Zimbabwe Big Game Safari but who could resist the thrill of shooting and stuffing the last Black Rhino in the world?  I will have him displayed in the smaller trophy room next to my Yeti and the Blue Whale that got stuck in my larger anchovy net.

Now that the first holiday food onslaught is done I will clear my thoughts for whatever new disasters Dementia Joe has planned for us this week.  They’re bound to be impressive.  With his colon cleared of all obstructions his mind will be razor sharp.  December promises to be a gaffe-tastic extravaganza.  My hope is for a cat fight between AOC and Pelosi on the floor of the House chamber.  My money is on that old bag Nancy.  I think she keeps a razor hidden in her fake eye.  AOC’s just not ready yet.

So stay tuned.  If I don’t succumb to the Bungle from the Jungle I’ll faithfully opine on the comedies of our times.