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February 4th, 2007

Snow Day: What a Florida Boy Learned about Inclement Weather @ 01:34 pm

This past Friday my school was closed due to snow. Apparently this happens in places. The most I know about snow days was from reading “Calvin and Hobbes” comics when I was growing up. Being from Florida, I had never had the pleasure of experiencing a snow day. We had “hurricane days” but it is a little less fun being out of school because there is the threat of your home and life therein being picked up and taken to the Land of Oz. But a snow day. That means that the school feels that it is not safe for you to drive to school because the roads may have ice and snow on them. Which of course means, jump in your car and run around town having fun.

My day started very much like any other day. I had no idea about the fun that would be contained in the rest of the day as I lay in my bed trying to figure out how I could, for the fourth time, hit the snooze button on my alarm clock across the room without getting out of my warm cocoon of blankets. Eventually the loud annoying garbage-truck reverse alarm could no longer be ignored and I got up. Upon stumbling to the alarm clock I realized that I had to get up or risk being late for class. I then checked my email and upon getting on my school's website there was a fairly large banner that announced that all classes had be canceled.

Now of course, the instant that I read this and could now sleep most of the morning away in winter-time hibernation mode, I was no longer sleepy. But, since I didn't have to go to school it didn't matter. I decided that I could go run errands and maybe see a movie. But first I have to dress.

Proper attire is required for going out in snow. I wish I had been armed with this knowledge BEFORE I made my first attempt outside. In Florida, a person, if they so inclined (and I was), can get away with wearing sandals 365 days a year. Occasionally the weather will make wearing them slightly uncomfortable, but not to the degree where toes must be cut off. Wearing sandals in snow gives you exactly 12.2 seconds before frostbite sets in and your toes don't have to be cut off because they have frozen solid and break off all of their own accord. Also, jeans that you pull out of the dryer and are still a little damp but you decide that they are dry enough to be wearable, should be avoided at all costs. After a few minutes outside they will actually freeze leaving your attempts to make a quick return into the house in order to save your remaining toes much more difficult. It becomes similar to the final showdown in “Terminator 2” when they douse the T-1000 in liquid nitrogen.

After I made it back inside, and replaced my hypothermia-inducing clothing with something more appropriate, I decided to give my outing another go. This time I made it all the way to my car. Funny thing about snow is that it tends to accompanied by ice. A fine sheet of ice may look very pretty at some point in time (although I am not really sure when), however, when it is preventing you from opening your car door, it is just a nuisance. I did manage to break through the ice and get into my car. I carefully inspected the layer of snow that covered my front windscreen. There didn't appear to be any ice under it so I decided that the easiest way to remove it and thereby giving me visibility for driving was to use the windscreen wipers. It worked. But I was dumb and had left my door open for some reason and the snow, now removed from the windscreen, found its way into my car and somehow into my lap. I decided to ignore this and continue on my outing, cold wet groin and all.

Having seen snow less than a dozen times in my life, it goes without saying that I am not used to driving in it. Especially not in a rear wheel drive vehicle. I am glad that other drivers quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing which made my ice-capade performance on the roads not end in death. Figure ice skaters ain't got nothin' on the performance I put on. After blocking traffic for a moment or two I finally did get the hang of going down the road instead of going around and around on it. And eventually even made it to my destination.

Another important thing to remember is to make sure that you have footwear that has good tread so you can get traction on ice. This was something else that I wish I did not have to learn the hard way. I was wearing an old pair of Adidas that have a slick bottom from a lot of wear. Upon walking across my first patch of ice, I quickly was not walking as much as laying on the ground trying to figure out why gravity was such a bitch to me. But at least the back of my pants were cold and wet in order to match the front.

Nevertheless, I was excited about getting the day off from school. It didn't matter that I had dressed poorly, driven a little poorer and walked even poorer yet. I was having a good time, bruised ego and equally bruised posterior and all. It was then that I made the biggest mistake of the day. Up to this point I had been calling people to exclaim that I was experiencing my first snow day. Another of my tips from the day: Your boss is not someone who you should call with this information. It resulted in me having to go spend my snow day at work instead of playing and wasting time. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. After all, I did get the day off from school.
 
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From:kreepindeth
Date:February 5th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
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Snow days are easily my favorite feature of moving further north.

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