Weather!


There’s lot of weather out there. When it gets this cold, it doesn’t matter if it is Celsius or Fahrenheit, although I’m pretty sure when somebody writes 1 degree F, the F starts to stand for something else.

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That was an impressive cloud rolling in. I managed to slalom into work with relative ease despite the zero degree temps and most of my commute having the same texture as most NHL rinks. A few folks in SUVs still think their four wheel drive makes them invincible to sliding and skidding, but the fact of the matter is they be just as “vincible” as the rest of us.

I dawned on me during the last round of snow that this is more the real deal for winter in Buffalo. This as I micromanaged my 8 year old Corolla on the snow covered thruway for the first time. The point really resonated with me on New Year’s Day (All was quiet) on a trip up the Queen Elizabeth Way to pick up my son from an overnight with friends.  The trip up to the Grimsby area was no big deal, clear roads, but the snow and temps started to fall. That’s extra fun as darkness falls too. That doesn’t slow our friends to the north down.

By the time, we crossed the Rainbow Bridge (with no line), everything was snow and ice covered and cold, not unfamiliar cold, just been a long time since this area had hit single digits. Cold enough that only a few folks, like my work colleague, below, are digging the return to old school Buffalo winter.

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Snowtorious B.I.G.


So, it was a big inconvenience, but so what. The sport in anticipating snowstorms around here is betting on which weatherman can’t contain their excitement. I couldn’t help but notice the amount of moaning on facebook about how we gyped at the snow amount, can’t believe we closed for this, can’t we handle this, we never close, we never got snow days when I went there….yada, yada, yada.

Settle down ya’all. Let me bring forth some pragmatism. If you got the day off, relax. If you didn’t lose power, it isn’t a comment on your manhood. If you can’t believe we closed for this, it wasn’t your kid trapped on a school bus or a west side supermarket late into the evening during the thanksgiving storm of 2000.

Behold the good things, didn’t lose power, beer and cable were just as reliable as they were on Monday. If like me you had to go to work today, think of the open road. With the exception of the BMW driving chucklehead who had to tailgate all the flipping way down Delaware, it was a pretty straightforward commute. This was true, despite some odd plowing patterns.

It was actually a little worse this afternoon, with a few whiteouts down the line, but we shouldn’t temp fate. Sure, we kicked the Blizzard of 77, 85,2000 and others, but as recently as this winter snowstorms have bumfuzzled agencies who should know better based on their being located….here.

Perhaps school could have opened, but I for one am glad my kids were waiting for buses in freezing rain on streets that were hit and miss (and still are I write this) in whether or not a plow had been by. If you got the day off, bask in it, think of things you don’t have to do on the weekend. Course, if you sat on your ass, that’s your issue. I worked and was almost jerk-free in my incoming calls.

Play the winter hand you are dealt, let’s not tempt fate, heck that nearly made the snow turn around this afternoon.

 

What, me, flurry?


There really isn’t mystery to snow here, or at least there shouldn’t be. I’m finding entertainment in the battling weather anchors on how his doppler is better than his Storm Team and accu-weather was first to need a battery, blah, blah, blah, it’sgonnasnowcakes….

Aside from that bit of entertainment, I read with some interest of the carping of early closures. It’s a bit of a knee jerk reaction to both close early before we haven’t had anything. Obviously, the city and thruway authority might want to think of a practice now and again based on the early storms this year, but I don’t mind the early closures.

I think back to the the thanksgiving snow storm of 2000 where if it was not for the grace of a teacher’s conference my clan would have been all over the place, so I’m cool with it.

We need to be cool, don’t want to get all crisis-like, like we’re the new New York City for example.

Supposed to dominate Wednesday then go away. I look and see a couple days of milk in the fridge, sufficient beer to the cause, me thinks I can skip Wegmans today, but I think I might be the only one.

Mr. Plow


This weather has side effects. Combine it with the holidays, and punch-drunkedness becomes an easy reach. Last night’s and this morning’s show meant my usual seven minute commute reached a new high of 44 minutes on the trip into work.

Caught sight of some joker in a pick-up truck fish tailing last night on my way home for the evening. I’m thinking that is God suggesting that you might want to slow down, else you are taking out your aggressions, like a certain bus driver.

One nebbish just posted on Facebook about how the temperature in Key West is 75….”just sayin.” Aside from that doing nobody who was stuck on the road this morning any good, I wonder if he considered that if you have to end a sentence with “just sayin,” there is a pretty good likelihood that it didn’t need to be said.

Al Roker tweeted about landing in Buffalo last night and the weather didn’t seem like that big a deal for Western New York. I tweeted back that he must of lost the office travel pool. It snows and is cold in Buffalo, that ain’t news. Our recent sudden ability to be bumfuzzled by that probably should be. It cracks me up that there is always a soundbite about how we pull together during the nasty weather (we do and it is great), and how that kind of implies other places don’t. I think we do to make sure you have a good supply of storm stories for the drinking that follows.

Ever notice for all the preaching about pickups, 4 x 4s, jeeps and “is it good in the snow?”, there is a high percentage of those very vehicles in the ditches and snowbanks.

If I receive a $1 from every tv personality who will use the phrase “Winter Wonderland” to describe the snow on their broadcasts this evening, I can run up pretty impressive bill at the nearest available watering hole (their money, so I’m not choosy).

I don’t mind the snow really, that is part of the four seasons of being here. What is worrisome that the guys who are supposed to remove it are seemingly having greater difficulty cleaning up. Past few storms have required an “examination of our procedures” or some other banality. I remember the Christmas storm where we got seven feet over the course of the time between christmas and New Year’s without so much as a platitude. It makes me wonder if the crews that made us all hubris laden have retired and the newer arrivals can’t match the predecessors.

Careful on the roads, and if you see a snowman in the street, honk first.

Lake Effects


You’d think this region would stop being surprised at snow fall and the ebb and flow of lake effect snow storms. They’ve been part of the vernacular around here for as long as I can remember. And I remember making my first capitalist inroads during the famed Blizzard of 77. Previous to that helping my Dad clear snow from the driveway largely consisted of me staying inside and watching TV. Pretty sure he’ll back me on that one as the last thing you want while running a snow blower is something else on the driveway. Prior to that storm, I was largely something else.

The big storms have been no big deal, you pick up, you shovel, you move on. I remember a Sunday afternoon storm that dropped 4 feet over the course of an afternoon and nobody was overly stranded, but we seem to be losing our grasp a bit. I don’t know if it was the Thanksgiving storm of 2000 or the surprise storm of October 2006, our mojo is lacking a little. As Buffalo Pundit pointed out today, we don’t embrace fully this season as much as we should.

After the events of the past day or so, we seem to be losing a little of our winter hubris. The Thruway Authority might want to relabel itself after the fiasco that had folks trapped on that roadway for almost a day. Aren’t these the things we should have plans for? Shouldn’t they are a strategy beyond collecting tolls? If they were a little overwhelmed, should somebody call the county who apparently had people ready to help? Should I even know that Michael Buble’s tour bus got stuck?

Apparently there are some calls to get most of those questions answered by reviews from folks from all corners. I guess my thought is that none of this is new. Witness the story on Channel 2 of the poor devil who got trapped on the Thruway in the storm in 2000, only to get stuck pretty much in the same spot Wednesday night.

You can’t predict the variabilities of Lake Effect Snow Storms, but haven’t we had enough to at least have a plan. I’m with pundit in that we need to embrace all four seasons, but a good chunk of the fun is chuckling at the areas where they close after two inches of snow. We need to reclaim our rightful hubris when it comes to snow.

The Powder Keg Fest and Flurrious are great starts for the fun side of the snow, but we need to get our crap together for just living with it. From the city northwards, there wasn’t much, but folks shouldn’t have to get their storm stories from being on the 90.