Friday, December 29, 2006

DIA, Take Note

Two major storms within a week of each other; Denver and points therearound are struggling to cope as best as they can.

In the last storm, professional sports were even affected: both the Nuggets and Avalanche (ironic) had games postponed due to the weather.

Try telling that to my sister's soccer-playing dog, Merlin.

I received this photo from Loveland, CO, this morning; proof that not everyone is inconvenienced or daunted by the weather.

My own snow photos are coming....soon as the photo lab can return the developed 35mm dinosauric photos to the store I dropped 'em off at a week ago...seems they have more problem with the snow than ol' Merlin does...

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Plutonium Shovel I

Someone wasn't careful what they wished for, for Christmas.

Granted, lots of folks up north wish to have a "White Christmas". Sometimes, they come to regret it. Lots of folks down South can only dream of one; sometimes, they -- visiting up north during the holidays -- come to regret it.

We haven't yet figured out who wished for this one; but we will. We will...

On Saturday, December 16, Denver was told by the local meteorologists to expect a wee snowmaker that would do little more than put down a 'dusting' of snow by the early part of the week. Not enough, they assured us, for a "White Christmas". One weather maven went so far as to inform listeners that, contrary to the proximity of ski resorts and the mountains, Denver only experienced the "White Christmas" gig about 30% of the time. Not a lot of hope was held out for this year -- 2006 -- to join the minority ranks.

On Sunday, December 17, Denver was told by some of those same weather folks that the snow was now due in on Tuesday, and might actually amount to 4"-8" inches in Denver. Maybe.


On Tuesday morning while driving to work, I heard that the storm was still due in, though now not until evening, but was still only bringing 4-8" to Denver.


By mid-afternoon Tuesday, however, someones' wish meter had gone ballistic: an updated weather forecast was headed Winter Storm Warning, and was beginning to include metro Denver. Snow amounts were now projected to go 6-10", with more to the west.

That wish for a "White Christmas" was becoming a reality for someone(s).

Before I left work Tuesday evening -- with clear skies still and no sign of an incoming storm -- the forecast had become more ominous: 10-20" of snow in metro Denver, with more to the west, south and east/northeast; blizzard conditions possible. The snow was projected to begin early Wednesday morning.

Eh: I've seen many a dire prediction of a major snow event go phffffft around here. I'd believe it when I saw it.

I turned in at 10pm Tuesday night; the skies were still clear. I arose at 5am and peeked out the window.

It was just beginning to snow. Light snow, with little wind.


By 7am, the picture had changed radically.

By 10am, the Winter Storm Warning had been cancelled; it had realistically been replaced by a Blizzard Warning. Denver now stood to get up to 26" of snow by Thursday noon.

Two hours later, the photo (top right) defined travel on one of the local interstates, soon to become impassible.

By 3pm, DIA -- Denver's infamous "all-weather" airport -- was completely shut down. So was I-70 from Denver to Kansas. Not that anyone would want to go to Kansas, but for those trying to flee there, they were stuck wherever they'd made it to. Soon to follow was I-25, north and south of Denver to Wyoming and New Mexico. And I-76, from Denver to Nebraska.

See the Kansas comment on that last.

Not that it bothered me much: Wednesday-Friday were my days off. I'd already visited the grocery store Tuesday. I had no reason, save for one errand, that would prompt me to venture out on Wednesday. That reason was rescheduled by 8am on Wednesday.

I was not planning to be as inconvenienced by this storm as perhaps hundreds of thousands of others would be. True, I knew I'd have some shovelling to do when the storm ended. But not that much: this is an apartment complex; they (the property management company) are responsible for snow clearance.

One thing I did plan to not forget -- unlike the storm in March '03 -- was that I had a camera, and three rolls of film. Mid Wednesday afternoon, I ventured out to shoot some photos, and assess my auto's dig-out project. While so engaged, I became involved in my first two vehicle dig-outs and assists. One -- a full size SUV 4 wheel drive -- was being dug out by the driver's wife...with an ice scraper. I graciously retrieved my trusty shovel (one of those back-friendly ergonomic designed ones), cutting a hopeless job to about 40 minutes. I would later assist a contract snow plow driver in freeing his 4x4 Dodge Ram w/plow from being high-centered in a snow pile he was busily crafting. I retired early Wednesday evening, feeling pretty good about my minimal contributions, even knowing that I still had the extraction of my auto project awaiting me in the morning.

I thought I knew what awaited me in the morning. I was wrong.

Next up: The Plutonium Shovel II.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Winter Blunderland

A week ago, a local meteorologist was discussing the reality of that seasonal wish for folks who love a truly festive holiday: in reality, Denver only sees a "white Christmas" about 30% of the time.

Up to about Sunday, December 17, a "white Christmas" did not appear to be in the cards for Denver and the Front Range.

Then someone, somewhere, put in their DVD of It's A Wonderful Life, closed their eyes, and asked Santa for "a white Christmas".

Careful what you wish for.

December 20, 2006: the Christmas Blizzard of 2006 has arrived along the Front Range of Colorado.

The three radar images above are from 7am Wednesday, and 1pm Wednesday, from 600 mile radius down to 100 mile radius. 'Nuff said there.

The following is a quote from the National Weather Service, after they had time to finally decide that we were no longer in for "a trace of snow in Denver": a blizzard warning remains in effect until 12pm MST Thursday. Total accumulations are expected in most locations of Denver by Thursday morning. As much as 2 feet of snow will fall in the southern suburbs and Palmer Divide Area. North winds increasing to around 25 mph with frequent gusts up to 40 mph especially east of I-25 will produce blizzard conditions. Travel is rapidly becoming extremely hazardous and will likely become impossible this afternoon. Travel is NOT RECOMMENDED through Thursday morning.

'Nuff said there.

Photos of the storm -- from beginning to end -- will appear once I dig out and get 'em developed.


Sunday, December 17, 2006


finding myself at a loss for a reply to the latest email scam from wherever -- one claiming to be from the UK, yet sent from an email address of -- I pondered long and hard about what to do with it. It was another in those long lines of lotto scams, wherein "my email" was a winner.

Santa's too busy now, what with crunch time near upon; and even his most acid-tongued, recalcitrant of elves is too busy to give it a rapier-like reply. And it's too soon for me to bring back the deceased U. R. Phulovit.

So I cast about for someone else to come up with something caustically amusing to use in reply to these total ass-wipes.


Let the National Lottery, PO BOX 1010, Liverpool, L70 1NL, United Kingdom, learn first-email what it's like to deal with the one, the only Eric Cartman* of South Park fame.

Here's what the self-absorbed Mr. Cartman returned in place of a winner's application and testimonial:

Dear Mr. Smith and his bitch slut Mercy,

My email address won the National Lottery? Sweeet. That's totally kewl, dude. More presents for me, nothing more for you guys, nothing more for you guys....I was, of course, referring to my less-gifted friends, Kyle and Stan. Sucks to be them right now.

I wish to thank everyone who made this possible, with me being the most important on that list. Of course, I recognize that since I'm only 8, you think you can play this totally gay and suck ass scam on me, because you think I'm as stupid as Butters and Pip. Or maybe it's because you think I'm supposed to believe in miracles, like that animated talking turd, Mr. Hanky, that my Jewish friend Kyle bought into with a little Metamucil in his kibbutz 'n matzo balls.

I bet you're probably involved in killing Kenny, you bastards, even though his family's poor and they keep producing new Kennys like rabbits, like all stupid people on welfare.

I see that I have to fill out an application to get what you say I won; I wish you would deliver it to me in person, so I could teach you to respect my AUTHORITAH you wimpy buttlickers, and I could kick you squah in the balls. But since you won't, I'll just fill out your totally suck ass application, which is longer than my ass is wide, at least according to that total wad, Stan:

1. Full Name: Eric Cartman, Esquirah

2. Nationality: What the hell does my gawdamn nationality got to do with anything, assholes? What do you think I am, Jewish or Ethiallenian?

3. Age: 8, but I'm big-boned for my age. No, gawddamit, I'm big-boned, not fat!

4. Sex: are you crazy? I said I'm 8, buttwipe!

5. Marital Status: Hey! I said I'm 8, you son of a bitch!

6. Contact Address: That's more like it! 1017 Main Street, South Park Colorado

7. Telephone: 970-555-4377; call before 7pm, or my crackwhore mom will be on the phone.

8. Occupation: I'm totally occupied with 4th grade, growing into my big-boned body, and solving world hunger and politics, you dumb ass! Refer to #5.

9. Brief description of individual: I'm told I look like Brad Pitt, but more buff, dude. Totally.

10. Winning Email Address:

11. Winning Number: Gawdammit, you're supposed to know that! Read your own email you lazy sons of bitches!

12. Total Amount Won: Screw you guys, and refer to #11.

The reply ended with a typical Cartman flourish: "Screw you guys...I'm going home. You go yehah...and I'll go yehah".

I'm not sure what'll come first, if either: a tart reply from the lotto scammers, or a threat to sue me from Parker/Stone.

Whatever if any does, film at 11.

* or at least, my very piss poor imitation of Cartman, at any rate...