Thursday, December 18, 2008


There are icicles on my car. Icicles on my car. I drove that car not three hours ago and there are icicles hanging down a few inches from it.

Hang on, this story starts much earlier then this. Remember my last blog post, about the purity of nature and snow and all that. Yes yes, all well and good, but the problem with natural epiphanies is that they wear off. Saturday night was magic but Sunday morning was just cold. The real problem was Monday. See, Seattle doesn't know what to do when it snows. They get kind of freaked out. So schools close as one, and the city grinds to a stand still. Tuesday and Wednesday were bright and Sunny, which was terrible.

You see snow in Seattle, as light as it may seem, is actually worse then that of Minnesota or other northern midwest states. Around here it doesn't normally snow, and when it does snow it's because it's gotten really cold for Seattle, which means around 30. So every day it gets above 30, and everything begins to melt. Then that night it gets below 30 and everything freezes. So Monday and Tuesday left a lot of Seattle with an icy sheen. On Wednesday cloud cover returned, and sometime overnight it began snowing again.

Now I've only driven in the snow once before. I don't have chains, I don't have snow tires, I don't have all wheel drive, and until today I didn't own a snow brush. This, of course, did nothing to stop me from driving around in clear defiance of the reccomendations of the Washington State Patrol. And as it turns out I had the one key thing that you need to be able to drive in the snow in Seattle. I had the absolute foolhardy assurance that I was going to be okay, and that this wouldn't be very hard. Everyone else in Seattle, who was equally ill prepared in terms of gear, had an outlook on driving in snow that goes something along the lines of "Fuck!!! Snow!!!" Luckily for me, that usually translates into them not driving.

By Thursday, today, things had gotten trickier. The ice has gotten pretty bad, and the snowcover is on top of that. This, of course, still did nothing to stop me.

I'd like to take a break for a moment here and thank the engineers at Saab for my Traction Control System. They have my Kudos.

Anyway, I learned a lot driving around today. First of all I got one of the Three remaining snow brush/ice scrapers from Target. I learned that I can drive uphill on ice, but that I can't come to a complete stop going downhill. It also turns out that the street from which I normally access the ally where my parking spot is has become an ice slide. Entering onto it from any other streeth lead to me sliding around, and laughin to myself as I realize that a front wheel drive car means I can just point the wheels and accellerate and I'll gradually move that direction.

All was resolved, eventually. A very careful 15 point turn done from the opposite end of the alley got my car in and only kind of pointed wrong. The night was not fully over though. I had to trek to safeway, supplies for the days ahead, and as I head out, across the frozen deck, knowing that I'll be sliding up and down hill the way there I'm faced with the single perfect symbol of how cold it is.

There are Icicles on my Car.


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