so you think you have snow?

Here are a few snapshots from around Castle Frostbite, for those of you who live in a place where you don’t get to see much of the white stuff.

Jan 2010 002

The main portcullis of the Castle.  See the relative lack of snow on the roof of the main building?  That’s our new self-clearing miracle roof.  The snow slides off all by itself.  I’ve not been up on that roof once this winter—in fact, I’m under orders not to set foot on it, since it’s both unnecessary (the stuff slides right off as soon as it gets heavy enough) and dangerous (the PVC membrane turns into a Slip-N-Slide when it gets wet.)

To the right of the door you can see my little friend and helper, Mr. Sears Craftsman 9HP Two-Stage Snow Thrower.

Jan 2010 003

Snow pile in front of the kitchen wall eaves.  This is where the stuff slides down.  I have to be careful where I park the van now—a little too close to the wall, and the ice lands right on the Grand Marnier.

Jan 2010 005

That’s the area to the left of the door.  The trench you see is our alternate footpath, for those times when we have to park at the bottom of the driveway due to ice.  I refresh it with the snow thrower every time it snows more than an inch or so, and by mid-January, it looks like the Somme at Christmas 1916 out there. 

The white pizza box on the side of the house is the antenna and receiver box for our new wireless Intertubes. 

Jan 2010 004

The driveway.  Had it covered with hardpack a few months ago, which helps with the snowblowing (fewer large rocks to pick up), but when it gets good and icy, we have to park on the turnaround spot at the bottom, because our front-wheel drive cars can’t climb a slick 6% incline.

Jan 2010 007

The view from the office window.  That’s where the snow slides down on the other side of the house.  The snow pile in front of the window is close to four feet tall at this point, and will grow a bit still before spring.

Jan 2010 010

While we’re in the office, let me show you Transcription Corner, where I sit to transfer my longhand scribblings into Scrivener on the Mac.  That’s a G4 eMac, set up for just that one job, and intentionally left without an Internet connection.

Jan 2010 014

Our tertiary heating system, the wood stove in the second living room.  It’s so efficient that the room is pretty much at 90 degrees whenever we have wood burning in there.  As you can see here, the dogs love that stove.

I’m sure someone out there reading this lives in Upper Canadia, or some other arctic environment, and will shortly laugh at our puny buildup of snow, but it’s probably more than you folks from down south see in any five of your winters put together.


23 thoughts on “so you think you have snow?

  1. Kevin S says:

    Very pretty to look at, buy one winter living in the mountains shoveling snow off my driveway when I got home from work cured me of that… I’ll go play in it, but I don’t care to live in it.

  2. joated says:

    Thanks for the tour.

    That last photo brings to mind the saying “a three dog night.” Do they also serve as the quantinery heating system?

  3. MauserGirl says:

    I like the pile of Dachshunds in the chair, myself. 🙂

  4. RevolverRob says:

    For the first time, in 76 years we had a white Christmas in Dallas. It was amazing and annoying at much the same time. Trying to drive a rear wheel drive, tail happy, Mustang around in the snow and ice, is like trying to balance on a unicycle while speed reloading a J-Frame.

    Castle Frostbite and the inhabitants seem very well equipped to deal with the snow and the idiosyncrasies of it, so, I applaud your efforts and I thank you for the tour. I’m just glad, I don’t even know how to start and run a snow blower. 😉


  5. Anon says:

    Late January and high temps here are around 80; it makes you think you’d like to trade that for some actual winter weather.

    Then a helpful mini-tour of your ranch in the Great White North demonstrating what that would actually entail, drives that notion right out.

    It is beautiful, but right now I think I’ll take my pooch for an evening walk wearing shorts, tactical tee, and barefoot.

  6. maddmedic says:

    Snow. Good for the soul. Keeps the riff raff out, crawly, slithery and 2 legged. Plus it is fun to play in!
    Of course living in Minnesota you almost have to at least tolerate it!!

  7. perlhaqr says:

    Yeah, I think that’s more snow than I’ve gotten in the last 20 years here in Albuquerque.

  8. Joat says:

    That’s a little more than I have, I’ve got about a foot in the yard, and beside the pole barn I’ve got about 18″ of very solid packed snow. I don’t have a hill to deal and the drive is about 100 yards long. I expect the snow to go down some tomorrow it is going to be raining, and I’m going to be snowmobiling in the rain.

  9. Hey!
    You got a Warner woodstove!

    One of mine is the same unit- damned good heater…

  10. Ritchie says:

    Just the thing for a shop class project. Some fabrication (mechanical) required.

  11. Lissa says:

    Awww, pretty German-for-Roomba puppies 🙂

  12. Will says:

    have you tried going up the drive in reverse? Weight distribution, and the lower gearing in reverse vs first, especially with an auto trans, will have some effect. Visibility can be a factor, also. If it works, think about mounting a couple of driving/fog lights on/under the rear bumper. You can tie them into your backup lites circuit. Or, mount them up top on the roof (rack?). Make sure not to impede the rear gate movement.

  13. You drive a Grand Marnier. Kills me – does it smell like oranges? My drive of choice is a 1995 Uisge Beatha.

  14. Fred2 says:

    “Trying to drive a rear wheel drive, tail happy, Mustang around in the snow and ice,”

    There are certain tricks to driving RWD up north.
    A. Snow Tires – It is SHOCKING, if you have not tried it, what a difference real snow tires make in snow.
    B. Gingerly using the gas pedal in conjunction with low torque gears.
    C. A couple of 100lbs of sand/grit bags over the back axle can do wonders too.
    Also the sand is nice when you get stuck. You do have a shovel, right?

  15. (from South Texas) So, what exactly is all that white stuff everywhere, anyway?


  16. Jenny says:

    Honestly, it’s not that much deeper in South Central AK right now.

    After a certain point, it’s not so much how much gets piled on as how long it sticks around. 🙂

  17. Glamdring says:

    +1 on snow tires used them on Ford Tempo to deliver pizzas for 10+ hour shifts during blizzards more than once here in MN could do anything in snow 4×4 with all season tires would.

    Sand on top of ice helps a lot also

  18. Scott says:

    +2 for snow tires. I put a set of 4 on a Fiat X1/9 once upon a time and haven’t been without them on my cars since. The difference in traction between a modern snow tire and an all season tire is amazing. I recommend Blizzaks or Michelin Alpines mounted on a spare set of steel wheels. When bought from someplace like the Tire Rack cost will probably be less than your insurance deductible.

  19. Doug says:

    You’ve even got Southern Germany (Baden-Württemberg), beat. But they are calling for snow all week, so we will see.

  20. Firehand says:

    It IS more; and I like it that way.

  21. Bill Johnson says:

    No, in fact, I know I don’t have snow. And that doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, it’s one of the appealing features of ’round here. Thanks for askin’, though.

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