Saturday, January 22nd, 2005
11:21 pm - Stopping by LJ on a Snowy Evening  
It snowing like crazy outside, although the promised 60 mph gusts of wind have yet to arrive. I am snug and warmish in my home (more on the warmish part later), drinking hot chocolate (although I must say that those fancy gourmet hot chocolate packets are nowhere near as chocolatey as plain ol' Swiss Miss, much less honest-to-god cocoa), listening to a mix CD that arrived in the mail today from theodosia (thanks, Theo!), and occasionally glancing out at the snow flakes dancing about in the glow of the porch lights outside my window.

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There is enough of a wind that the snow is already drifting up some. The streets are covered, yet the walk from my side door to the drive way is still mostly clear. The flakes hit the ground and are immediately swept to the sides by the wind. Neat, that. It'll be interesting to see it that pattern continues through the night. It'll certainly make it easier on me when it comes time to dig out.

I got spoiled a bit at my old house, shoveling-wise. It sat in the middle of a sod farm, so there was nothing to block the wind as it whipped across what was equivalent to the open prairie. Nothing, that is, until it hit the house, when all that moving air had to go to one side or the other, taking all that flying snow with it. Made for some truly amazing drift patterns. It also meant that even if there was a foot or more of snow, the area immediately behind the house would be swept clean down to the bare ground. I could step out my door on the west side of the house onto a stoop that had been blown clean, and walk around the back of the house all the way to the driveway on the west side without ever having to use a shovel. The driveway also benefited from the same wind patterns, so there was rarely any shoveling that needed to be done there, either, unless we got plowed in. Even then, the guy driving the plow down our road was usually the same guy who pumped out our septic system every year, so he knew us, and if he plowed us in he would stop his normal route and clear the end of the driveway for us. My landlady and I sent him a fruit basket after one particularly bad storm. Although we get wind at my current house, it just doesn't seem as forceful. It gets broken up by the surrounding houses and trees, as well as the evil thicket.

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We have an quality system audit scheduled for Monday, and when I left work last night I still had a few things I needed to do to get ready for it. I figured I could just go in today and do them. Then I got home, started listening to the weather reports, and had a few moments of panic. I began to wonder if I would be able to get into work at all this weekend. Fortunately, it was actually sunny when I woke up, so I managed to go for a few hours this morning and get most of the loose ends tied up. The really annoying thing about all this is that I had plenty of time to do all this stuff during the week, but I procrastinated. I seem to be able to focus better when I'm there on a Saturday. Maybe it's because I know that if I actually finish the job I can go home.

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Coming home from work I stopped at Wal-Mart and spent a bunch of money on an assortment of things. My main purchase was an electric heater for my nerd hole. The heating system in my house is whacked. It a forced hot water system, but rather than use baseboards sized to match the size of the rooms they are in, they basically just wrapped the entire house (except for the kitchen) in baseboards, This leads to absurdities like my 12' x 11' back room having 23' of baseboard. Since that room is also the first room in the system, all the heat gets dumped there. Meanwhile, by the time the water gets to the dining room/nerd hole at the far end of the system, it's merely warm. The kitchen adjoins that, and depends for warmth on heat drifting over from there. This morning when I woke up, the kitchen was 53°. I have an electric radiator that works pretty well, but still wasn't really warming things up on really cold days like we've had lately.

Anyway, now I have the electric radiator stationed by the kitchen door, and the new convection heater stationed by the front door, and it is tolerably warm finally. The only problem is that the radiator turns out to be plugged into the same circuit as the microwave, and anytime I use the microwave while the radiator is on it trips the circuit breaker. I keep forgetting. Happened twice today. Turns out my computer is on the same circuit, as well. I shouldn't be surprised. I presume the guy who designed the wiring plan was the same guy who designed the heating plan.

I was thinking about ways to moderate the heating problem, most of which involved removing about 10' of baseboard from the back room and replacing it with insulated pipe. Then it occurred to me that I could probably accomplish the same goal by just swapping the system connections down in the basement so that the dining room gets the heat first, instead of last. That would probably be easier, and any mess involved in the switch would be confined to the basement. I need to check that out in more detail. It'd make a good summertime project.

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The thing I was looking for that I didn't find at Wal-Mart (or Home Depot, for that matter) was one of those small electric snow blowers (a.k.a. a power snow shovel). All that anyone had were largish, gas-powered snow blowers. Very nice, and I'm sure I'd be able to make good use of one tomorrow, but I have nowhere to store anything that big. I really need to build a shed of some sort.

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When I got home I started a batch of my famous maple-oatmeal bread in the bread machine. Since I was doing it during the day, rather than overnight, I decided to just use the machine to make the dough, and for the initial rising. When that was done, I transferred the dough to a regular bread pan, let it rise again, and then shoved it into the oven. It all seemed to be going pretty well. The second rising made a nice bread-shaped loaf. But as I moved it from where it had been rising over to the oven, it fell quite a bit. I wound up with a pan-high loaf - tasty, but denser than usual. Next time I'll just keep it in the machine.

After that, I spent most of the day reading back issues of Fables. I managed to get through all the ones I've downloaded. Now I just have to finish the last few I bought at Newbury. I also read the latest issue of Powers, which was great, as usual.
 
 
Current Mood: snowy
Current Music: "Someday, Someway" -- Marshall Crenshaw
 
 
( Post a new comment )
(no subject) - ww1614 on January 22nd, 2005 - 08:37 pm
Hugh Likes Carrots: cowboy callumtheodosia on January 24th, 2005 - 06:27 am
You got the CD already!? I'm impressed by the swiftness of the PO! And pleased that you're listening to it!
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