Friday, January 22, 2016


I didn't take this picture, I am not getting that close to a food store today 
I am home awaiting as Fred Sanford would say "the Big One!"  Washington DC is expecting a major blizzard, forecasts range from 18 to 30 inches of snow.  At the moment it is overcast, and I can see bare pavement in most of the parking lot, but the storm is on it's way.  The radar shows is 50-miles or so south of here and moving this way.

This area does not cope well with heavy snow.  We don't get it that often, once every five to ten years we will get this kind of snow, the last time was seven years ago (the weekend after I moved into the Condo.)  Places that receive this kind of snow every winter, have heavier snow removal equipment.  Seven years ago, the state of Virginia admitted that it had fewer than ten pieces of snow removal equipment capable of handling more than 10 inches of snow - for the entire state.  If the build up was deeper than that, they had to move it one scoop at a time with bucket loaders, a process so slow that the snow generally melts before they can get to it. I dare say the bankrupt City of Detroit has more heavy snow removal equipment than the entire state of Virginia, because they deal with this kind of snow nearly every winter and sometimes several times in a winter. I don't think the District of Columbia has a single heavy snow plow.  

My office closed today.  A very wise move as the storm is forecast to move in mid-day.  Your Federal government, was open today, closing at noon.  Meaning that 300,000 federal employees will be trying to get home, just as the storm is setting in, so they can die in traffic gridlock trying to get home.  I was proud of my office for breaking with Feds and saying, don't come in and then turn around and leave three hours later.

Wednesday evening, we had a little snow, the first quarter of an inch froze as ice, covered in about an inch of snow.  No one was prepared, and the streets became impassable.  It took me over an hour to drive home from the subway station, less than a mile away, and I ended up parking off the side of the street on a steep hill a quarter mile from the house and walking the rest of the way.  I had driven to the station because I had late meeting in the city and it should have been the easiest way to get home.

I tried to explain to one of my student interns what a snowbird is.  A snowbird is a person (or family) that lives in the north and spends the winters in the south.  When I was in the 8th grade, my parents became snowbirds.  We started spending winters in Florida.  I would start school in Michigan in September, the first of November we would go to Florida and I would go to school there, in mid to late March we would go back to Michigan and I would finish the school year there.  She thought it was impossible, no one could do that, how would you finish school?  I did.  It probably explains parts of who I am , why I am who I am today.


  1. Bet youve seen this before!

  2. yep. in my 20 years down there, every damn snowfall was a clusterf*ck.

    up here, we are prepared; I am now at home for the duration. we are in the 12-24 inch range. spouse and I have everything we need. stay inside, dear!

  3. I grew up in Southern Hampton Roads area of VA and only remember 1 "real" snowstorm in 1966. I had turned 7 the week before Norfolk got hit with 2 storms within days of each other and we ended up with 15+ inches of snow at our house. Back in those days there were NO plows or sanders in that part of VA(and they still have very few)and school was closed for weeks. As a little kid this was glorious. lolz

    After I left home for college in 1977 I had my second real Blizzard experience in Baltimore, Feb. of 1979. 2+ feet of snow with 4-5 foot drifts.
    Massive looting downtown Balto due to impassable roads and the police couldn't get anywhere to stop it. The police commissioner put on a cowboy hat and got a horse and joined the mounted police division to patrol the city. I saw him ride by though I was not out looting at that time. lolz
    Curfews, National Guard called out, the whole nine yards. College was closed for 3 or 4 days as was the city.

  4. Anonymous1/22/2016

    It's like this down in TX, too. Every freaks at the mere mention of snow and the stores go bare. Luckily, businesses/schools are pretty hair-triggered about it and we're told to not even come in the night before if it looks remotely bad.
    Right now, though... it's cold, but weather looks clear. Good luck with all the snow!