white! fluffy! death!

Three guys, three shovels, two hours to clear the snow off the garage and slightly-less-than-lethal part of the house roof.

With the temps never getting above freezing for weeks now, the slip-‘n-slide self-clearing function on the roof only works on the steeper pitch, not on the low-pitch back of the house.  In addition, the garage roof is thin sheet metal and flat as a billiard table, and it had about a foot and a half of snow on it.  Since we’re looking at 12-22″ of additional snow tomorrow, that had to come off, lest the additional mass of heavy snow makes the garage pancake in onto our water pipes and well pump (possibly flattening several dachshunds in the process.)

These last few weeks have been expensive in the “Hired Help” department.  Between plow guy, the garage defrosting, and the roof shoveling, we’ll be out a few bucks when the bills get in later this month.

A few pictures for the “That’s a lot of snow” album:

The front of Castle Frostbite as of, uh, fifteen minutes ago.

The unheated porch (a.k.a. the Barbecue Wing) of the Castle.  Note the popular Avian Bar & Grill to the left of the porch.  It’s  the top place in town to grab a lunch if you have feathers.

The driveway, freshly plowed and navigable.  This is a temporary state.  Barring frequent snowblower intervention, by tomorrow the only thing that will be able to come up this driveway needs to be wearing tracks or chains.

The snow pile in front of the back patio door.  This mostly came from the roof right above.

And that’s your news update from Snowmageddon XI 2011.  Stay tuned for the Dog Lottery to find out which one of the dachshunds we choose to be eaten last.  Now I’m going to eat some lunch, and have a cider with it, so there.


26 thoughts on “white! fluffy! death!

  1. Fred2 says:

    Hold on.

    Someone built a structure in Cryogenica that is NOT built to handle snow loads that are expressed in round feet >3? Seriously? Where exactly do you find such optimists.

    I’m from where “southern vacation” means New Hampshire, I only ever see anyone here plow a roof when A. The roof is dead flat and it’s the 4th snow storm of the week or B. They didn’t design it for the local climate, inthe latter case there’s usually an architect and a civil enginneer hanging in gibbets outside “pour encourager les autres”

    • TimP says:

      I think a lot of people believe that if something hasn’t happened in the last 10 years it will never happen again. See for example the new houses along the river near my place. You can spot the people living in houses less than 20 years old; they’re the ones nervously glancing at the ’54 flood level sign (which is higher than the floor of most of the new houses) every time it rains heavily. Also for another example I can point at the people who are shocked and horrified that a big flood has hit Brisbane in the same way as a big flood hit Brisbane in ’54 and then again in ’74; yep, that was totally unexpected. And since stupid things come in threes you can also refer to all the houses built about two foot above the high tide mark in a place that gets hit by a cyclone about once every quarter century

      • KD5NRH says:

        You should see some of the road “improvements” done around here that don’t take into account the *annual* rainfall. I could understand allowing for 100-year flood levels to shut down a few side roads, but when people are having to lay in supplies before spring because the same stretch of road becomes impassable 2-3 times a year, somebody needs to be flogged.

  2. Matthew Carberry says:

    On the plus side any dachshunds that survived would enjoy the new tunnel complex toy playset daddy made for them.

  3. Just finished a pass on the road. The dearth of melting over the past few weeks has resulted in today’s pass with the blade shaving snow from both sides of the road.
    Methinks the snowblower on the tractor is in store for tomorrow’s festivities…

  4. Tam says:

    What I wouldn’t give for a foot or two of good, honest snow right now, instead of the steadily accreting ice that is gradually pruning the neighborhood trees.

    If we still have power at sundown, it’ll be a miracle.

  5. Mike Dodson says:

    May I suggest you buy one or more “snow rakes.” You can get them through Homo Depot or order one from Amazon.com. Originally, I’m from Wyoming where most of our building in heavy snow areas are built with roof pitches that “automatically” drop the snow before it builds up too much. Nevertheless, when someone from out-of-state hires a contractor or architect (also from out-of-state) and a house gets built that has a shallow pitch, the roof rake comes in handy.

    Roof rakes are anywhere from 15-30 ft. long with a “rake” bow (flat bottomed) from 24″ to 4 ft. wide. You can stand back and drag it off into the yard.

    Good luck.

  6. MaddMedic says:

    Lots of global warming there!!

    Piles of it!! You should be proud!!

    Just used the roof rake last night on an area with ice dams…2nd or 3rd time this winter….

  7. abnormalist says:

    Everyone at my work is preparing for the next iteration of Snow-pocalypse Now! (I love the smell of snowblower exhaust in in the morning)

    Its amazing, I live in a state where the slogan used to be “Winter Wonderland”, we have about 6-8″ on the ground now, and everyone is acting like its the end of the world because a lousy 15-20″ is forecast to fall in the next day or so.

  8. The Other Jay says:

    I just got back to the house after spending time trying to get to the office. While there is ice on about 1/2 of the roads, today’s blockage was much more a factor of the people (Texans and other southerners) who should not try to drive on it, leaving that to us northern transplants. It was a giant game of bumper cars out there this morning in conditions that are not worth worrying about in the north country, except for the facts that…:

    1) Texans CANNOT comprehend that 4WD does NOT help with braking. Your King Ranch Edition F-250 SuperDuty Off-Road will slide through the intersection and into the ditch just as well as the Prius you just passed.

    2) SALT is evidently deeply misunderstood in the Texan mind. There is none in the possession of TxDOT, nor of the various and sundry county and/or municipal organs of government. Texas uses sand. On a fairly nice, dry day, when even one sand truck converted to dispensing salt could have cleared up 80% of the slippery in the DFW area, we have streets that closely resemble gritty luge runs instead. NO. I am not kidding.

    3) The translation of American to Texican is a little short in effective wintertime phraseology. The phrase “Caution! Bridge freezes before pavement!” translates in Texican to: “Get on Bridge! Slam on Brakes!”.
    I’m seriously considering taking a lawn chair and a thermos of spiked hot chocolate to watch the chaos at a nearby overpass. Cheap fun.

    4) On the GOOD side of getting side-swiped by The Storm: It’s very likely that Jerry Jones will be throwing himself off of the top of Cowboy Stadium very soon. This is NOT how The Jerry planned the JerryBowl (Superbowl XLV to the rest of us..) at all.

    5) Also on the good side: TJMaxx and WalMart will be seeing huge increases in faux-fur winter coat sales, as the vast majority of the strippers that came to town for JerryBowl week didn’t quite pack for 10 degrees.

    • Tam says:

      And remember: Anti-Lock Brakes let you slide sideways into the intersection with all four wheels still turning instead of locked up like Fort Knox…

    • LittleRed1 says:

      In the defense of Texan drivers, 1) we don’t see the stuff enough to remember what we’re supposed to do. And 2) those of us who come from that part of the state where it does snow do remember. Our road crews from out here got sent to the Metroplex since all we got was below zero temps and a ground blizzard. We use some salt up here, so I’m puzzled why they don’t down state – cost maybe?

      • Tam says:

        Like back in ATL, it’s cheaper to just let the city shut down one or two days out of the year than it is to invest in the entire panoply of proper road-clearing equipment and keep it maintained. Plows and salt trucks would rust away to nothing between uses.

      • The Other Jay says:

        LittleRed1 – You have my gratitude. I’ve seen Randall and Potter County trucks all over the place, and THEY certainly seem to know what they’re doing.

  9. Dov says:

    Markoo what is your 2nd car? Besides the minivan?

    You might want to think about a pickup with fullsize cab and put a snow plow on it. Or a farm tractor with bucket, with tractor and PTO [power takeoff unit] you could also run a generator or pump or other stuff if you need.

    You don’t need 4×4 for most things snow tires make huge difference. Though snow chains are nice insurance.

    +1 on the snow rake

  10. Fred2 says:

    You know I wouldn’t mind it so much if southerners just admitted they can’t/shouldn’t drive on snow and ice and their local road maintenance crews aren’t up it and STAYED INDOORS, or drove REALLY REALLY slowly. (or went and practiced in some large empty parking lot)

    It’s the insistence on driving like lunatics that boggles my mind.

    Mind you, lots of Northerners are “from elsewhere” and that’s always a painful learning curve.

    • Tam says:


      The biggest problem in the South is damnedyankees who have spent their life driving on flat, straight roads cleared of snow that venture out all full of hubris onto hilly, curved roads covered in ice…

      • guy says:

        Heh, there’s a reason Cheeseheads refer to the IL crew as Flatlanders 😛

        I have to agree with Fred2 though, why doesn’t a house built in cryogenica have an OMFG roof pitch standard?

      • Mopar says:

        Flat, straight roads? Tam, I know you’ve been up here in New England. The only flat, straight roads we have are in the cities along the coast. Once you get inland even the city streets are hilly and curvy.

    • George says:

      Yankees can’t drive on ice, either (which is what we get down here instead of real snow).

      Seen it more than once ( “You guys don’t know how to drive down here in the snow! *Yankee goes out to car and gets in, despite pleas not to* *Yankee crashes into lamppost before making it out of parking lot*)

  11. libertyman says:

    Heute habe ich ein neues Wort lernen “hundewetter” !

  12. Brigid says:

    Dog Lottery. I think of the Far Side Cartoon with the some men and a large dog in a life raft, and one of the men has drawn the short straw, deciding who would get eaten to survive. The dog, with the longer straw, is sitting there with a smug look on his face.

  13. Justthisguy says:

    Tam, I mind that bad snowstorm we had in Atlanta in ’81 or 82, maybe. I grew up in Florida and didn’t see snow until I was old enough to vote, but I knew how to work a motor vehicle. I put lots of ballast into the back of my ’81 Courier, let most of the air out of its tires, and then practiced on the snow on the parking lot. I think it helped that I did not have power steering, and could feel it when the front wheels were getting disconnected from the surface. Anyway, I had no problem driving on the snow, except for dodging the doodahs who had no idea how to drive. You just have to be sensitive to yer vehicle.
    Entirely too many neurotypical socially facile dickheads are insensitive to their vehicles.

  14. […] white! fluffy! death! It's the top place in town to grab a lunch if you have feathers The driveway, freshly plowed and navigable. This is a temporary state. Barring frequent snowblower intervention, by tomorrow the only thing that will be able to come up . […]

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