January 28, 2009
This winter officially enters the record books!
thumbnails below for a larger picture
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Yesterday the snow began falling in
the early morning, dropping some 6 inches before turning to sleet then
rain later in the day. By evening the rain had tapered off to drizzle,
after turning the mess into about 3 inches of dense, compressed slush -- which would
freeze overnight. (Jan. 29, 2009)
The lot was plowed after dark. It was
going to be a mess when it froze, immovable. Before going to bed, I went
out into the drizzle and cleared the front steps and the path from the
firewood racks to the kitchen door on the side of the house. The slush
was heavy, saturated snow; difficult to move, but it hadn't frozen to
This morning at sunrise I went out and
took these photos. As expected, it was like a skating rink out there,
thick solid ice. The plow guys came by pre-dawn and sanded the lot, but my
path to the wood racks was treacherous, and will be until it melts. The
only way I could move around was wearing my
I've given up keeping a path open to
Chip Ahoy, parked alongside the house. I didn't bother with the many
other paths through my yard this time either -- the slush was too heavy and
unwieldy to move, especially in last night's late drizzle. I was soaked
last night just clearing the critical path to the firewood and the front
I've done a better job in winters past
of covering Chip Ahoy. This season, the weight of snow and ice
keeps catching in a pocket formed between the PVC ribs and lifeline. I
should have made sure the ribs went above and over it. Each storm I've
to get out there and empty
before it damages the tarp.
That snow pile out front from the plow continues to
grow -- and the upturned dinghy (on the left) is looking more and more
like an igloo! According to a National Weather Service report (see below), this
winter's weather is breaking records for amount of snowfall and cold.
Where's that "Global Warming" when we need it ?!?
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
After a Two-Day Thaw
On Sunday I uncovered the aft tarp over Chip Ahoy's cockpit
enough to reposition the PVC
skeleton frame beneath, tied it down over and
outside the lifelines, then resecured the tarp. That should take care of
the "pocket" problem for the next storm due tomorrow through
Wednesday morning, when I'm scheduled for surgery. (Feb. 2, 2009)
By Monday afternoon, the second day in
a row of temperature in the mid-40s, the "skating rink" lot out front had
finally thawed down to mostly dirt again beneath the spread sand, though
ice remains. The upturned dinghy (center-left) is beginning to look a
bit less igloo-like, though
that mountain of plowed snow out front hasn't diminished much if any.
From atop the mountain: Two days of temperatures above
freezing, with lots of rock salt and daily ice-chopping, has mostly
cleared the iced-over
path across the front of the house. The
patches of thick ice that remain, a result of the roof's down spout
drainage, will make
future shoveling more difficult, and the next storm is due this morning.
(Feb. 3, 2009)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
"Boston has been blasted with 49
inches of snow so far this year, more than double the
average at this date of 22 inches. Temperatures this
frigid month are also well below the January average of
29.3 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
On many days the temperature plummeted more than 15
degrees below the historical average for that day."
Winter's accumulations deepen gloom in Hub
By Michael Levenson
Retirement accounts have evaporated.
The world is in turmoil. Jobs, if they're still there,
seem at risk of washing down the drain like so much
slush on the street. And now, as if to pile on, winter
has become a parade of insults: dump upon dump of snow,
followed by sleet, wind, and bitter cold. And it's only
"I'm sick of winter already," grumbled Kerry Guiliano, a
downtown office worker who was being pelted with snow
and rain as she trudged along State Street, swathed in a
heavy coat and wool hat, enduring the seventh storm this
season. Temperatures have been far colder and snowfall
much heavier than average.
"I feel like I'm in Minneapolis," said her co-worker,
New Englanders are hardly strangers to long,
endurance-testing winters, but this year's onslaught has
bludgeoned already bruised spirits. Everywhere in the
city, it seems, grim faces are grimmer than usual.
Tempers are short, outlooks glum.
"Look at this," said Hassan Akdogan, the owner of a
Faneuil Hall jewelry kiosk who stared morosely out the
window at snow falling on sidewalks bereft of shoppers.
"No one wants to come down here when it snows. It's
terrible. Even last summer was bad because of the
economy. Everybody is having it tough, not like it used
Everyone's complaint is slightly different. The new
mother in Roslindale suffers from cabin fever, the bus
dispatcher from Puerto Rico longs to go back home where
it's warm, hordes of homeowners fight the endless battle
to keep driveways and sidewalks clear.
"Everybody's complaining," said Khalid Ourdani, a taxi
driver who hears the gripes coming from the back seat.
"There's no business, especially with the weather right
now. And with the customers - you can tell from
conversations with people - people are losing their
In a typical year, a vacation to a warm destination
would sustain people going through the worst of the
winter. But with 401(k)s and pensions vanishing and jobs
in peril, many have had to rule out a getaway.
"I can see the people who go every year: They're not
doing it, and I just feel bad," said Joe Wagg, a travel
agent who books cruises to the Caribbean and the
"The other side of that is, there are great bargains out
there, absolutely great pricing," he said. "But if
you're worried about your 401(k) or even the company you
work for, it's not the time to be spending money. . . .
It's very frustrating."
Boston has been blasted with 49 inches of snow so far
this year, more than double the average at this date of
22 inches. Temperatures this frigid month are also well
below the January average of 29.3 degrees, according to
the National Weather Service. On many days the
temperature plummeted more than 15 degrees below the
historical average for that day.
"It just goes on and on and on," said Sonny Lane, a
49-year-old construction worker who was shoveling the
walk in front of his house in South Boston. "As you get
older, it's sort of like you don't deserve it. You
deserve to have a little R and R."
On Washington Street in Roslindale, Felix Del Valle, a
53-year-old bus dispatcher originally from Puerto Rico,
shoveled snow from the sidewalk in front of his house.
"As soon as I get my retirement, I'm out of here, back
to the island where I belong," he said. "I'm sick of it
already. There's nowhere to put the snow. It seems like
every week it snows and you don't know where to put it."
Nevertheless, some seemed to stay upbeat, even
delighting in the cruel elements. "I love it!" shouted
Kyle Redmond, a 48-year-old maintenance worker who was
gleaming in a yellow slicker and fluorescent orange hat
and gloves, shoveling snow in front of a State Street
office building. "I'm going skiing this weekend, and
they're getting at least a foot."
"Business as usual," said Janice Weber, smiling as she
used a shovel to hack away at a bank of snow and ice
that was blocking the storm drain in front of her house
in Jamaica Plain. "Good exercise, right?"
Yet, more often than not, gripes and worries are easier
to come by than enthusiasm and good cheer, uniting
people from different communities and different
neighborhoods in a chorus of complaint.
"You do have this kind of Northeastern bonding, and
everyone's telling their war stories," said Anastasios
Theodorou, a business analyst who was taking a cigarette
break outside his office downtown. "I talk about '78 and
other people talk about - when was it, '97? - when we
had that huge blizzard in April.
"There's nothing you can do about it: It's the weather,"
he shrugged. "You can complain, but it's not going to
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