Thursday, February 15, 2007

'Midwinter' Addendum

A fair visual approximation of this afternoon and evening
Figures. I decide to write one toss-off post admitting that winter weather ain't so bad sometimes and all Hell breaks loose a week and change later. Sheesh.

We were hit by the biggest storm of the season yesterday and today (about a foot of snow, though it's impossible to know for sure thanks to all the attendant wind), and we have more snow on the ground and drifted up against everything in sight than I have seen in years. Looking out the front bay window of the condo, I am faced with a snow drift that reaches as high as my chest, fer cryin' out loud.

All of this started sometime Tuesday morning: the roads were already pretty iffy when I got to work. As it turned out, showing up at all was ultimately a waste of time as it was pretty much a morgue in that place from the moment I got there until the moment Greg called at 7:00 PM and gave me the green light to shut everything down and go home early. The rather terrible sales figures from that day and the next took a nice chunk out of our once-blazing pace, and now the month of February is looking a bit up in the air unless we can make up the lost ground (and considering that this month is shaping up to be remarkably weak on the new release front, we aren't holding our breath) and have a few days in a row when it doesn't, you know, snow.

Driving home that night was a blend of the worst parts of dealing with winter traffic along with the best: none of the roads had been plowed yet, and Mentor Avenue in particular was an utter clusterfuck as none of the lanes were moving, and the vehicles that were in motion were being piloted by suicidal cockmops. Simply getting out of Mentor was what ate up most of my 30 minute drive home as a desperate attempt to access westbound Mentor Ave. by cutting over to Route 306 (by way of a few deserted side streets) put me in the exact same traffic situation, with people making up new and exciting traffic lanes as we went along. Sigh.

By the time I'd gone through Willoughby and down Vine Street, I'd had enough of dealing with street traffic and decided to cut over onto the freeway for the rest of the way home. This was probably not the brightest idea I ever had as far as safety was concerned: the exit ramp, also unplowed, was invisible under a blanket of white, and Route 2 really wasn't much better. That said, at least there were only about two cars in my field of vision heading westbound with me, which took a lot of the worry and stress out of driving (once you realize you can't hit someone else, worries about such things as traction and skidding magically vanish!). It was also odd looking down the limitless deserted expanse of westbound Route 2 before me, while on the other side of the concrete barrier, the eastbound lanes were bumper to bumper as far as the eye could see.

A fair visual approximation of this afternoon and evening
There were a few tense seconds spent aiming my car at the exit ramp when I finally reached Willowick, but once I had slowed to a complete stop a quarter mile later, all was fine (parking in a freaking snowdrift in our unplowed parking lot exempted) and a nice, warm, early evening at home was had by all. I think we need to do these more often.

The next day, as blindingly white and cold as it was, felt like a bit of a drag as it seemed pretty much everyone in Northeast Ohio scored a snow day, save for us hapless retail pukes. Blah.

NP James Brown Star Time

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