Friday, January 07, 2005

Special Guest Post

Hi .. this is umm .. me. I think I'm supposed to blog here, but usually I don't. But not because I don't want to. Mostly because, umm .. all my words are used up by the end of the day. At any rate, I think Cheryl has done a fantastic job of picking up the slack - and it was pretty slack!

Cheryl says to say, "Jumping Jehoshaphat!" -- whatever that means.

Anyhow, I am glad we are moving: although it is and will continue to be a very time-consuming project. Cheryl has done an amazing job of getting the bookshelves in the office taken care of. Of everything in this house, I was dreading that the most.

The next thing I was dreading the most was getting the utilities and our bank accounts, drivers' licensing, etc. etc. sorted out. Cheryl has made huge progress in that regard by sorting out our utilities, but I'm not looking forward to standing in line at the driver's licensing office.

We're also taking the advice of getting rid of as much as we can before we actually start packing. Less clutter means less stuff to shift!

I will be within a 1/2 hour bike ride of my office so I can justify riding to work and home. Woohoo!

And while we're on the subject of commuting, I just want to comment on this general attitude of hilarity other Canadians have whenever it comes up that an inch or two of snow have fallen here in the B.C. and that has brought traffic here to standstill. To a certain extent I can see how, when most of the rest of the country has to contend with snow drifts and blizzards of thee white stuff 9 months of the year, they think it's just pathetic that drivers here can't handle an mere centimetre or two. But all in all I have to say that all the news stories on the CBC and Globe & Mail are founded in envy and pure ignorance of what the conditions are like here.

First of all, when it snows here, it is a wet snow. It's wet coastal slop that the experienced locals know to stay out of until all the refugees from other parts of Canada who 'think' they know how to handle it have filed all their insurance claims.

Every fall most Canadians get snow tires or at least switch to all-season M+S (mud and snow) tires. Not so here in the Lower Mainland. Since we get snow so infrequently, very few people do the seasonal tire switch. Even folks from other parts of the country quickly get lulled into not doing this. The bottom line on this is that very few cars here are equipped for dealing with wet slushy snow.

Secondarily, if the cold snap that caused the snow to fall is of any duration, experienced locals know the snow (and the inevitable sand put down by the highway department) will harden overnight into concrete/ice. So day 2 of the cold snap is usually when all the other drivers from elsewhere who survived day 1 get to play bumper cars with each other.

The good news in all of this is that snow rarely lasts here beyond a week or so. After a day or two, the arctic outflow windws that caused the cold snap are driven away by one of the many 'pineapple express' fronts that we get from Hawaii: we go back to our usual spring-like conditions and the rest of Canada goes back to having to endure the rest of winter.

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