The Great Blizzard of ’13

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

Related Post Roulette

26 Responses

  1. NewDealer says:

    All my friends on the East Coast seem to be bundled up in their apartments with food, alcohol, and movies/netflix.

    I kind of miss snowstorms.Report

  2. Kazzy says:

    We’re all well and good. Personally, I’m not so sure what the big fuss is over. This snow storm doesn’t seem any different than other ones in the recent past. Why do they keep calling it historically large?Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

      Because the networks are all based in your area and narcissism reigns.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

        Heh. Maybe… but they’re calling it a Once-In-A-Century storm, which makes no sense given that I lived through three 36″ blizzards while living in Boston for five years in just the last decade. They’re just making it up at that point, no?

        For the record, snow fall has ceased where I am. Looks like we got between 12″-16″. Very light, powdery stuff. Chewed right through it with the snowblower, clearing the entire driveway in about an hour. The mountain should be good for snowboarding today or tomorrow, provided the mountain pass is clear. The fresh powder should cushion my many, many falls.Report

        • James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

          The national media aren’t the best and brightest. They don’t know the terms quinquennium or decade, but they have heard the term century. They don’t know what it means, but it sounds impressive, so they stick with it.Report

        • kenB in reply to Kazzy says:

          It seems that the measuring of snow is a difficult matter — my town officially got 32 inches, but as I’ve been fighting the driveway this morning, it’s “only” 22 for us. And I saw on the news that the record snowfall for Boston is officially a little over 27 inches, which makes the ‘historic’ talk a little more defensible given that there was a possibility of three feet.

          Unfortunately I’ve got a long driveway and my snowblower was designed to clear the 8-10 inches that’s our usual max, not the 22 inches we have (especially with the bottom 10 inches being heavy and icy). It’s going to be a long weekend…Report

          • Kazzy in reply to kenB says:

            Ugh, good luck, Ken. Ours was light and powdery, probably 12-14″ total. Snowblower chewed through it with a second pass needed just to clean up the leftovers.

            Maybe they just exaggerated the storms when I was there, though technically I was in the suburbs (Newton, Chestnut Hill, Brighton) and I’d venture to guess our accumulation was slightly higher due to the city’s proximity to the water. But I remember each storm being called a 3-footer.

            I realize there are a lot of areas that were hard hit and understand a number of people remain without power, which I can personally attest to being a pretty miserable and frustrating experience. I just don’t think it does anyone any good when the media indulges in deliberate sensationalism. Tell folks what is reasonably going to happen or what is really going on so they can prepare properly and respond effectively. It doesn’t do folks in my town, which had widespread outages after Sandy and gas shortages but suffered little chance of seeing the same thing again this go around, any favors by convincing them their world is going to end again and turning grocery stores and gas stations into war zones on Thursday.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

              I wonder exactly how they measure… the blizzards I remember were slower affairs… 2-3 days of constant snow. Then again, I was usually drunk during them, which might be toying with my memory.Report

            • kenB in reply to Kazzy says:

              Thanks for the good luck wishes. I managed to clear what I hope is a big enough path to back out, so that I can go get more gas for the poor overmatched blower tomorrow. And since then my body has been complaining at me mightily, except when I shut it up with some ibuprofen.

              With the media, I’m sure most of it is ratings (I guess my wife and I are part of the problem, because whenever these big weather events happen, the two of us spend hours in front of the news), but I wonder if a bit of it is also a sense that they’re better off overplaying it and having everyone run around for no reason than underplaying it and having people get caught out.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to kenB says:

                That wet, icy, heavy stuff is the worst. We had a snow/rain fall right after Christmas that left no more than a few inches on the ground, but which my snowblower could barely move. I was able to make two tracks for the car tires and couldn’t get any more done. And we had to maneuver backwards and uphill when leaving since I didn’t even bother with our little turnaround spot. Aren’t there some teenagers you can get to take care of that stuff in exchange for some cookies?

                Your second paragraph is why I’d prefer there to be some sort of public or non-profit television news/weather service that wasn’t beholden to ratings. I understand the value of private/for-profit news services, don’t get me wrong. But over sensationalizing something to the point of causing a panic is dangerous. Erring on the side of overestimating makes some sense, but not to the point I saw some stations go.Report

          • zic in reply to kenB says:

            To measure snow fall accurately, they collect it in a drum; that’s calibrated to a rain gauge. After the snow fall, the drum’s emptied inside, and melted, then poured into the rain gauge, which tells the actual amount of water that’s fallen. (Or at least that’s how my sweetie did it at the Mt. Wash. Weather Observatory.)

            Snow fall, in inches, is sort of meaningless, since it depends on the types of crystals and how they pack.Report

            • kenB in reply to zic says:

              Ohh, that’s interesting. I do recall a newscaster saying that if the ice that we got towards the beginning of the storm had been snow instead, it would’ve added quite a few inches to what we ended up seeing, so that might explain the discrepancy.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to kenB says:

                Indeed. The colder it is, the more snow you get. 1″ of rain at 32-degrees makes less snow than 1″ of rain at 25-degrees. There is a point where it is too cold to snow, though I’m not sure what that is. Antarctica, for instance, is technically a desert, based on the lack of precipitation it receives.Report

  3. zic says:

    We’ve gotten a foot of snow and still falling. Up here in the Mountains of Maine, it’s a light, fluffy snow of great beauty. But there is wind out of the north and it’s cold, hence the fluffy snow.

    Great for our economy, this is a ski town, and before you ask, no, I don’t ski. I do snowshoe. There are two downhill resorts and three nordic resorts, and most folk around here need people to come and play to pay their bills. The place is hopping with folks coming up to get here before the big storm and have a great weekend playing in the snow. I haven’t been out on the roads, but I’m told they’re filled with fools who don’t know how to drive in snow. Fancy four-wheel drive vehicles with bald tires seems to be a growing trend on out-of-state cars this winter. People would rather pay for a day on the mountain then a safe ride there and back again. I question their priorities, but welcome their pennies spent this way.

    The wood stove’s burning, I roasted blue potatoes in it for dinner, which caused bursts of, “This is Wonka Food,” at the dinner table. And my latest design is knitting up wonderfully, though really nice yarn (50% alpaca, 50% silk, hand dyed an intense blue with indigo) which matches the color of the potatoes helps there. Long as the firewood lasts, the yarn doesn’t run out, and the snowbanks don’t block the driveway beyond digging out, we’ll be fine.

    Welcome, Nemo.Report

    • Anne in reply to zic says:

      what are you knitting Zic? your yarn sounds yummyReport

      • zic in reply to Anne says:

        A sweater. It starts with two stitches at the center-back neck, and grows from there down (rather like a vector graphic would be render a skin) in bias panels of garter stitch, separated by double-knit seam stitches. It’s completely reversible. Also a shawl, starting from the bottom back and knit up in concentric rays.

        It’s just applying basic geometry to the concept of knitting in triangles, and from triangles to rectangles and curves, to clad the body; but I had to figure out some very specific techniques to make it work well; particularly to develop a way of edging panels (think the lines you’d draw to define a space in geometry class) with enough structure to contain the spring inherent in a knit stitch, and I’m proud of having done that. The reversible is just a bonus. Now the question will be if I can actually explain/teach it to others in some sort of competent manner.Report

        • Anne in reply to zic says:

          I am more partial to crochet but I knit, spin weave and sew. That sounds like a very interesting technique. If you need a guinea pig for beta testing I would love to see your ideas. Also the thought of wood stove roasted blue potatoes…..drools ala Homer SimpsonReport

          • zic in reply to Anne says:

            I might just need that; I’ll let you know. If you belong to Ravelry, you can see a very early prototype here. It’s a wonderful sweater, but putting it on and off is like a sponge, which is how I learned I needed a satisfactory containment system.

            I definitely don’t sew, which is why I make seamless garments whenever possible.Report

          • zic in reply to Anne says:

            And, if you’ve ever a desire to sell some handspun. . .Report

            • Anne in reply to zic says:

              Don’t have that much on hand right now. Life has gotten in the way of my artistic side in the past decade. Doing the best I can to reclaim it and get all the stuff (loom, potters wheel, kiln) I stored in my dad’s shed when I moved to NYC form Denver back out and up and running. Hopefully going to NM this summer and will get some Alpaca wool and start spinning again. Switched Gravatar back to a fellow I met at the Victory Ranch in NM they have great yarn and fleeceReport

              • zic in reply to Anne says:

                I’ve gotten to help with sheering day at local alpaca farms over the last few years. I love the face. (Alpaca’s want you to offer your face in way of saying hello, it’s good manners if you’re an alpaca.)

                But man, do they spit when they’re peeved. That’s when the real camelid comes out. And it reeks of their fermenting-vat digestive system.Report

              • Anne in reply to zic says:

                green yellow slimy spit…but they’re sooo cuteReport

              • zic in reply to Anne says:

                And fuzzy. Nothing like a fuzzy cria.Report

    • Will H. in reply to zic says:

      I used to drive a Sable, and that thing handled better in snow & ice than the Explorer.
      Sitting closer to the ground is meaningful in such situations.
      I was in some few situations with that Sable that I know darned well would have killed me in the Explorer.Report

  4. Peter says:

    We got about 30 inches. Even now, over 36 hour after the snow stopped, our street has been just barely plowed, and some of the major streets aren’t much better. You can get around, but driving anywhere takes about 3X the normal amount of time.Report

  5. Everything was pretty much fine in Ottawa (though we generally have the infrastructure to deal with these things), though I know that there were some nasty accidents throughout Ontario.

    To add insult to injury, it’s raining today. I fishing hate rain in the winter.Report