Is it spring yet…?

Ottawa winters can usually fall into two categories. “Six layers required” cold, or enough snow that the first step of getting out of your driveway is, well, finding your driveway. This winter, Ottawa has decided hey, let’s go for the best of both worlds. So, because it’s either holy crap cold or holy crap snowing and I’m not looking forward to stepping out into either, have a half-assed version of a not even close to official spring countdown entry. And because I’m still not quite awake, have it in a list format version of things I’m, well, pretty much done with until next year.

  • Before Christmas, my hockey team was… well… was. Not perfect, but not crap. I wasn’t on the “we’re going to the freaking cup” bandwagon, but hey, not being in last place is an accomplishment. I’d have accepted that. Yeah, about that. Go Leafs go, and all that.
    • Yes, we beat Edmonton last night. But a wet noodle could have beaten Edmonton last night. Talk to me in a week.
  • I mentioned we go one of two ways most winters–extreme cold or extreme snow. I’m staring at -28 degrees c. It’s been as cold as -35. And they don’t list “you’re fucking nuts if you think I’m walking outside in that” as a valid reason to skip class. Related: get on that, Algonquin.
  • Related partly to the point above: There has been snow removal equipment doing the rounds since last night. There is still snow equipment doing the rounds. Which pretty much means, well, if and when we decide to venture out in that mess, it’s probably going to suck a little. Not cool, winter. Not cool.
    • Oh look. It’s snowing again. That was not a challenge, dammit.
  • Anything wintery causes pretty much a citywide shutdown. People forget how to drive. Buses are delayed. And the place where I love to live gets just a little bit annoying. And that’s before some jerk decides he doesn’t want to be stuck behind a snowplow. A ten-minute trip by bus can very easily take closer to 45 minutes–unless you’re smart, at which point these guys will probably get you home in 15.
  • I absolutely love having the windows open pretty much any chance I get. And in this apartment, I can do that with some pretty nifty results. Just… not particularly, uh, right now (see also: -28 degrees c). I love fresh air. Just not quite, well, that much.
  • And probably the thing I’m most done with this winter: the Ottawa freaking Senators. Not kidding. Anywhere that happens to have a radio on (yes, surprisingly, there are still people who listen to the radio in 2015) is guaranteed to put up with a Sens advertisement in one form or another at least twice while I’m in earshot. Look, guys. I get the whole team spirit thing. Trust me, I do–I’m a Leafs fan. Our team spirit’s through the freaking roof (for better or worse). But see, here’s the thing. You’re in the tank. You know you’re in the tank. Well, okay, maybe you don’t–but the NHL does. Chill, already. You’re making Toronto look good.

So yeah. About that spring thing…

Dear winter: Nice try. Do better.

I love Ottawa. Which probably has a little bit to do with the fact I’ve been here for college once and here for grown-up reasons twice. What I find amusing, though–I can’t quite decide if I love it or wish it dead–is it seems like weather paterns up here like to play with us. The entire first half of winter, it barely dropped below freezing. And, if we got any kind of snow at all, it was that really light dusting that was just barely enough to make things go crunch and that’s about it. Also it usually took a hike a day or two later. That threatened to change near the end of December, but I’m pretty sure that was just mother nature screwing with us a little more. Doing the false sense of security thing, you know how it goes. My proof? It built up to the white smackdown of Friday and parts of Saturday.

I’m not calling the dumping we got on Friday a white smackdown–I’ll leave describing it in terms of epic badness up to the media. Why? I’ve seen a white smackdown. Lived through it. Blogged it. Then called in sick to work the next day and slept in ’til about noon or so–because, goddammit, they were right. *That* was a white smackdown. Friday? Practice. Decent try, though, considering it’s still got the first half of winter to make up for. And it did give me wicked nifty opportunities to test my ability to navigate a neighbourhood I know next to nothing about while capturing a wayward dog and dragging her home–yes, this is how I occasionally spend my mornings, okay? But it could do better. I mean, hell–I honestly expected not to be able to open my back door. Well, not without aid of a shovel, anyway.

Winter actually had me somewhat concerned. Then it happened. I’m still waiting on the snow storm. Nice try, winter. Now, do better.

I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas?

Ottawa’s weather paterns are doing it to me again. there was actual, honest to goodness white stuff on the ground 3 days ago. There still is–in places. But largely, thanks to some nifty shifting in temperatures, the majority of that white stuff became very incredibly wet. to the point of there was a rather impressive river out in front of this building when walks were needing to be taken. Environment Canada’s recent forecast says the majority of Canada will have a very green Christmas this year. Apparently somebody somewhere is dreaming of a wet one. And that dream’s coming true. They’ll just have to move to Ottawa.

Happy snow week, from snow central!

We’ve been getting snow, recovering from getting snow, and been forecasted to get even more snow all week. And probably parts of the weekend too, but I haven’t been brave enough to look. So this, yanked shamelessly off Caroline‘s blog, couldn’t be better timed. Thanks, Caroline. Oh, and by the way? If we end up getting this much snow this year, I just want you to know I’m blaming you.

The Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8
6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I
took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft
flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So
romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of
the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in
the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had. Shoveled for
the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway
and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the
sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a
perfect life
December 12
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor
tells me not to worry; we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on
Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of
winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s
possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14
Snow lovely snow! 8″ last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold
makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up
by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came
back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would
have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape
this way.

December 15
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires
for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants
a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We
aren’t in Alaska, after all.

December 16
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting
down salt. Hurt like heck. The wife laughed for one hour, which I think was
very cruel.

December 17
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was
off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do
but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought
a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. God I hate it when she’s right. I
can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20
Electricity’s back on, but had another 14″ of the damn stuff last night.
More shoveling. Took all day. Darn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a
neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I
think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about
buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March.
I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it
done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white
crap fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Took
me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to
poop. By the time I got undressed, pooped and dressed again, I was too tired
to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the
winter; but he says he’s too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23
Only 2″ of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate
the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn’t she tell
me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24
6″ snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having
a heart attack. If I ever catch the man who drives that snowplow I’ll drag
him through the snow by his nose and beat him to death with my broken
shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish
shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws
snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing
Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching
for the snowplow.

December 25
Merry Christmas! 20 more inches of the slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of
shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver
came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel.
The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s a fricking idiot. If I
have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to stuff her
into the microwave.

December 26
Still snowed in. Why the heck did I ever move here? It was all HER idea.
She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze, plumber came after 14 hours
of waiting for him, he only charged me $1400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in.
That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30
Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver he is now suing me for a
million dollars not only the beating I gave him but also for trying to shove
the broken snow shovel up where the sun don’t shine. The wife went home to
her mother. 9″ predicted.

December 31
I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Well. Hello, fall. Goodbye, fall. Hello, winter.

Ottawa and the valley is absolutely famous for getting snow usually before just about anyone else–particularly south of the border. It didn’t stick around, but we got our introduction to it today. And tonight, for perhaps the first time this year, we’re receiving an introduction to sub-zero temperatures. It surprised us earlier than last year, when I had the good sense to be in Rochester and therefore delay the introduction of *me* to winter. Not happening this time. Dammit. Well, we had our fall. It lasted about a week or two. Now, hello first signs of winter. Welcome back. Will you be leaving soon?

Winter tries to say hello to Rochester. Finally.

There’s about a 6-hour drive between Ottawa and Rochester, where I’ve been spending the last few weeks, which one would think wouldn’t amount to a whole lot of difference weather-wise–when we’re freezing, they’re usually freezing. But there’s been a winter trend that, until just yesterday and today, has been trying to buck the usual tradition. Winter has been playing head games with us. It teased us near to the beginning of November. And just when I thought we might escape the month snow free, not quite. And now, well into the month of December, we finally get serious about winter.

Ottawa got hammered yesterday with its first major snow storm of the year, as did the Pembroke area. And, surprising the hell out of me, as did Rochester. We’re still catching it good out there right now, and I’d be laying money on roads not being very fun to drive on this morning. It played with Ottawa and Pembroke, teased us up there, then finally decided to have at it. It didn’t once touch Rochester all month, but when it finally did, I do believe it made up for the teasing. Ladies and gentlemen, fans of Christmas everywhere can now relax. Winter has screwed your travel plans.

Winter drops in at home, while I’m out of the country.

Shortly after I revived this blog in its third reincarnation, we were teased with just a small sampling of wintery weather, which ended up not actually sticking around. We were well on our way to the first snow-free November I can remember having in the Ottawa valley area. Temperatures were still well above freezing, the most threatening of weather we ever had to hear about was the odd patch of fog at 6:30 in the morning, and layers were most asuredly not required. Flash forward to this morning. It’s dipped below freezing, and at last report, was still snowing north of the border. And, also at last report, it’s supposed to dip just a little farther into the below freezing end of the spectrum, at somewhere around -4 C (31 F for those of you reading from the comfort of your US locations). Winter’s definitely moving in. And, like the relative you don’t want showing up but who’ll show up anyway, it waited until I wasn’t home to do so.

Well hello there, winter.

I got the distinct impression when I got up this morning something was up. It wasn’t forecast to get all that cold last night, but I definitely needed to add some heat to the mix. Now, I know why. Apparently, at some point before I got around to actually getting out of bed, we were on the receiving end of a little dusting of snow. Hardly enough to do anything except make people reconsider road travel at breakneck speeds, but still an indication. Winter, in all her uh, glory, has returned to the great white north. Now, which box is my winter gear in?

We have snow? And, um, what is he doing…?

I got up about 9:00 this morning. And there was 4 inches of that white
crap on our front lawn. In November. The middle of freaking November.
Mother nature and I are apparently going to need to start having our
series of less than friendly conversations again. This aughta be…
well, um, fun. I still maintain snow should be here on December 23rd,
and gone by the 26th. And that’s if it must make an appearance at all.
Don’t get me wrong; I loves me some serious snow. Just not in the middle
of bloody November when literally 2 days ago I could and did walk
outside to Trish’s car to come here in a t-shirt. That’s just not cool.
In completely unrelated news, there are currently pieces of floorboard
strune about outside the computer room as I type. Apparently at some
point a couple weeks ago, dad decided to replace the carpetting we had
in our hallway with hardwood instead. So this weekend he’s decided to
finish the job. Naturally, that makes walking in spots a trick. But,
small issues. It’s actually more amusing than one might think. Mostly
because he’s getting frustrated to no end over a couple of less than
cooperative boards. If ever you wanted to hear someone curse up a
ETA: I just had to go help him try to lock down one of said less than
cooperative boards. It’s more amusing when you’re right there.
ETA 2: Now I think he’s just getting frustrated for getting frustrated’s
sake. Freaking hillarious.

Should this amuse me half as much as it does?



It’s official. We have way, way, way too much snow around here. Someone south of the border should just come on over and nab half of it. I wouldn’t complain.