Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
3:31 pm - I'll Huff and I'll Puff...  
I am home. I actually got home last night. Old Bridge got 2+ feet of snow, so I had to spend an hour or so digging both the truck and Alex's driveway out before I could leave. Apart from a great deal of turbulence, the ride back was only eventful at the beginning.

Getting out of Alex's development was interesting, not because the streets weren't plowed (they were in pretty good shape, all things considered), but because the light for the left turn onto Highway 9 (as in "sprung from cages on...") wasn't working. Rather than chance crossing three snow-packed southbound lanes sans signal to get to the northbound side, I turned back into the development and drove to the other end of it where there was a bridge over Rt. 9 to the northbound side. Turns out the bridge wasn't working, either. There some sort of blockage, likely an accident or stuck vehicle that I couldn't see. Fed up, I turned right onto the southbound on-ramp and drove down to the first jug handle with a working signal, turned around, and finally got myself headed in the right direction.

The condition of Rt. 9 was a disgrace—barely plowed, yet with piles of plowed snow blocking access on and off the highway, many of them with cars stuck in them. This isn't some country road. It's a major route with three lanes in each direction. Fortunately, there wasn't much traffic. It got me to the Parkway, and from there things got much better.

The plows had done a much better job on the Parkway and the Turnpike. For the most part they were dry as a bone. The Palisades Parkway was a little worse, but still easily passable. After that things were a snap.

It's an amazing thing to be able to drive the Connecticut Turnpike (aka I-95), at rush hour on a Monday with traffic levels more akin to those at midnight. Connecticut and Rhode Island got about half the snow NY/NJ got. My own street was well plowed. All that remained to do was shovel out the driveway.

I hauled the snow blower up from the basement and started in. It was wicked windy out, but I managed to clear about half of the driveway. Then disaster struck. I must not have latched the side door properly. A gust of wind ripped it right off the side of the house, smashing the adjacent light fixture as it whipped around. It stayed attached only by the chain and spring that's supposed to keep it from opening wide enough to hit the fixture. I had to detach it to keep it from doing more damage. Bother.

Discouraged and beat from all the earlier shoveling, I gave up on trying to continue snow blowing into the swirling wind in the dark, and left the truck parked on the street. I went inside for dinner and a hot shower. I finished up this morning when it was much less windy and very sunny.

So, now I need to replace the storm door and probably the flood light fixture. I'd been planning to do the storm door at some point anyway because previous experiences with wind gusts had bent it slightly out of shape, making it both drafty and difficult to open and close. OTOH, I had just replaced the flood fixture a couple three months ago. That's annoying.