Flurries on a Few Things

The weather tops my attention for this post (written yesterday/Monday), and that was not just flurries…

Snow is cascading from the sky. It has been since sometime in the night, although the heaviness of the snowfall has apparently only increased as the day has dimly brightened.

I awoke on time for my run, but I was already aware from the weather forecast Sunday night that Iʼd probably be shoveling instead. I did, although there was less than an inch of snow on the concrete of the driveway. Even so, it took me about an hour to scrape what I could clean, some of it twice, as I was not keeping up with the snowfall. I got back inside in time to stir Janet from bed, telling her she probably wanted to give herself a little extra time for the drive. Then I showered and shaved and got her stuff ready and packed for her car. We ate our little breakfast (two of the little mini-quiches apiece, half a grapefruit each, milk and tomato juice) and got her on her way, just after the plow came through. So I redressed myself in winter gear and headed back outdoors as she drove away. This time I could keep up even less well than in the full dark earlier, but I scraped away the driveway and half the street in front of our residence again.

Now itʼs 10:00 AM, and the driveway is again full of snow. The plowʼs been through again, but only along the middle of the street. As this little storm is supposed to last into the night, it looks as though I may have a busy day.

Of course you should be reading all of this in past tense, as Iʼm not going to post these unremarkable observations until Tuesday morning, when hopefully the clipper storm has passed.

I clearly (heh heh) waited too long (or should have waited longer) to take some shots, as there was no visible snow in the air at 11:00. “Lookinʼ out my back door…” at ugly Gasser True Value, where some poor schmuck was trying to clear their delivery zone, reminding me I needed to get back out for a third spate of scraping and shoveling this newfallen snow.

The snow keeps changing from tiny little darts to big fat fluffy flakes and back. The wind seems to have let up somewhat, as the flakes I am watching out the window are mostly falling straight down. When I went out at 5:00, the wind was whipping pretty briskly from the southeast, cutting right through my layers of sweatshirts, especially when I was at work out in the street. So when dressing for my second round with the shovel, I decided to try out the new white windbreaker Janet had given me for Christmas. It worked quite well, keeping me warm enough that I think I’ll try dropping one layer of sweatshirt when I decide to go back out again, probably around noon. Of course the weather Monday/today isn’t supposed to be terrifically cold, with the forecast temperature here in town just at or below 32°.

The warmth of the day is one of the problems with this storm. There is a chance for freezing precipitation if the air gets warm enough. I am hoping Janetʼs drive home after 5:00 PM won’t be during a time of sleet or icy downpour. (I must admit, that when I got back indoors about 8:00 AM, I was relieved I had no message indicator for a substitute teaching job today. Iʼd rather not be driving on the roads, although I should go out this afternoon to pick up a prescription for The Lovely One and some stew meat for Tuesdayʼs dinner.)

Speaking of temperatures, the furnace seems to be working fine — the rest of Saturday, that night, Sunday and Sunday night, and even now. Currently, through the day, I am keeping the place a couple degrees warmer than usual, but we should still be in “testing” mode after the boiler’s misbehavior on Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

Also working fine is Dictate (okay, saying that was a mistake; that dang program just interpreted the opening of this paragraph as “Also working phone line is Dictate”). However I am getting more accustomed to its shortcomings, and overall it does seem to be more accurate than it used to be as MacSpeech. I also donʼt appear to be inserting as many random syllables, my breaths or sighs or chuckles, as I used to. Of course, Iʼve also gone to using Dictateʼs own Notepad within which its accuracy is best (when “best” means adequate, as it tried to make that “its” into “itʼs”).* In most other programs, even trying to dictate into e-mail, the oddity of ignoring the final few letters or syllables, particularly of long-ish phrases, from what I have said persists. That’s frustrating. Then again, the instructions with the software told me plainly that the program works best with its own Notepad.**

(I really shouldnʼt complain about Dictate. Revising/editing right now with my aching fingers and hands, rather than my mouth, Iʼm typing as many goofy mis-strikes and other typos as the mishearings the dictation software devises. For instance, I just actually typed, “Iʼmm tyrping as many gofy misstrikes…”*** and even now “oinstance.”)

So, including deliberately recorded mistakes, now I have constructed a post, saying absolutely nothing, for this Tuesday. The snow keeps falling and remains heavy. But the radar shows weʼre covered by precipitation only just past Cedar Rapids — good news. The bad part is the amount of pink (freezing precip) that map indicates as well.

Winter in Iowa. What can you do? Except shovel and shovel and keep on shoveling. It could be worse. I could live in, oh, Wasila, Alaska, and then imagine what Iʼd have for neighbors instead of creosote-hell Gasser True Value…

Now itʼs time to try for a photograph of the snowfall to illustrate this post. Benevolence, all!

* Unfortunately, within the Notepad, apostrophes are regular typewriter straight marks, not the curly apostrophes I prefer. (I hope I caught and corrected them all, having forgotten to just “Find/Replace” once I copied the text over to Scrivener before moving the HTML version into WordPress on the browser. Learning, always learning.)

** Strangley, I have switched the iMacʼs sound output back to the microphoneʼs earpiece, at least for a while Monday, as I dictated and after, because it seemed soothing (and of course, the mic couldnʼt hear any of the music from iTunes and try to interpret those noises as parts of my messages). I also just realized that the sound of the music, which right now isnʼt particularly harmonic, being some jagged King Crimson improvised composition from the Eighties or Nineties, can give me a clear signal of just how far from the computer I can go before losing the Bluetooth connection.

*** Seeing “misstrikes” made me decide, however, that the invented word needed to include the hyphen: “mis-strikes.”

(At just shy of 1200 words for today, I am finding, that especially with wordy captions and all these footnotes, I am not doing well at keeping my posts shorter than last yearʼs. I hope thatʼs not a problem, faithful readers.)

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A

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