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Bloviating Zeppelin: Healing

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Wow. I spent all day yesterday shoveling snow. Yes, that's 8+ hours of digging out my car, digging a new parking spot across from the cabin, moving the car to that new spot, and then digging a path from the street to the gate, down the steps and then clearing the front deck.

All during this time the snow was relentless. Then the worst of all possible circumstances occurred: it turned into the dreaded Sierra Cement. Shoveling Sierra Cement is just as it sounds: shoveling load after load of cement -- the snow has such a high water content that lifting each shovel-full is agony. It took me a full 6 hours just to clear the side deck under the metal roof. At this time each year, I could kill the asshat who decided to build my deck directly underneath the severe pitch of my roof which, naturally, sloughs off snow remarkably well. I turned the corner to find six feet of heavy snow covering the deck.

With me and my trusty Grain Hog (best snow shovel of them all), I created another 6' pile of snow on the lower property, having to move each shovel load over the railing and onto the sloping terrain below. The night came and the mercury fell. The Cement turned into blocks of ice that I had to hack away, bit by bit.

This was the worst time I have ever had clearing the deck; I've never seen the snow so heavy and agonizing to lift. I came into the house around 7 pm and every Goretex item was soaked. my feet were soaked, coat, socks, hat, everything. I tried to get warm in the bed but found myself shaking and teeth chattering. I hadn't realized how cold I'd gotten outside, as the snow had stopped and then turned to heavy, very wet sleet. I stood in a hot shower for a good half hour.

No politics today; today is recovery day: an Ibuprofen day, reading day and watching movies day. The DirecTV system is out due to the snow. I checked the weather and I'm supposed to have some varied snow flurries and rain. Good: no heavy snow.

Today I'm on a deck-shoveling moratorium.



Blogger BB-Idaho said...

'sierra cement? If that sort of
weather continues, I'd recommend a

Tue Feb 27, 07:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

BB-I: don't laugh, Union Pacific still operates rotaries up Donner, though they mostly rely on the flangers first and then the spreaders. But I can always hear the rotaries coming past the house, because they still have steam whistles instead of air horns!


Tue Feb 27, 07:57:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

BB-I: matter of fact, last time I saw a rotary in operation was at the Soda Springs crossing, and I met Richard Steinheimer and Dick Dorn shooting. Another guy was shooting video for the tape "Extreme SP." I got the tape and can hear my scanner and my chattering in the background as an older SD40T2 rumbles by with the engine room doors open. I tell you, it was a kick to meet Stein not at a book-signing but in the field, and it was an even greater kick to watch the rotary cranked up and to hear it run by.

The storm I just drove through has heavy snow down to Auburn and I would not at all be surprised to hear a rotary cranked up for this storm. I got 4 feet at my house and I'm only at 4,000 feet.


Tue Feb 27, 08:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

BB-I: funnier still, because I know you're a railroad devotee, I was in Dunsmuir a couple days ago, again in heavy snow, and it was VERY strange to see a newer SD70M hooked up to a UP armor-yellow ex-SP flanger. Bizarre indeed.


Tue Feb 27, 08:03:00 PM PST  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

Welcome back BZ... Gore says all that snow is just in your head ... it never snows anymore in your area ... LOL ... Sorry to here you got so much. This has been an extremely long cold snowy winter up here as well. People up here are just born with wider feet so we can walk on top of it... LOL

Tue Feb 27, 08:47:00 PM PST  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Wow, I'll have to replace my old
SD40-2 which has been pushing the flanger! I've been running about
20 SD70s, but keeping them for freight duty. Seriously, shoveling heavy snow that long is
'heart attack' sister
in the upper midwest has a little
rotary (std snowblower), which she
cranked up for their latest 13"
storm. I would think that at 4K
altitude, the stuff might melt before too long?

Wed Feb 28, 08:54:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

BB-I: and, as I'm kinda pushing 60, I'm thinking that a mechanical snow blower is starting to look pretty good, though I'd use it only 3 times a year or so. I may steal that idea. . .


Wed Feb 28, 11:50:00 AM PST  
Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Blame it on global warming. My dad used to spend a month almost every winter over in Cheyenne Wyoming repairing and upgrading rotary plows for the Union Pacific

Sat Mar 03, 08:22:00 PM PST  

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