First Snow Of The Season

We got our first snowfall last night.  Its appearance moved me to compose this bit of doggerel about snow, and its impact on some of my fellow Ohioans:

The First Snow Of The Season

It’s bright outside and what’s the reason?

We’ve had our first snow of the season

We’ve seen a flake or two before

But today we got a whole lot more

So now the ground is oh so white

And the gelid air has a special bite

The cold and snow make a special code

Telling snowbirds they should hit the road

Farewell for now, my thin-blooded friends

We’ll meet again when winter ends!

Snowy April

IMG_0787We awoke this April 9 to a fresh dusting of snow on the ground, and of course temperatures in the 20s.  Sure!  Why not?  There’s not quite enough bad news in the world, so let’s add some really crappy spring weather to have a depression multiplication effect!  Thanks, Mother Nature!

OK, we probably shouldn’t be whiners.  After all, it’s not even an inch of accumulation, which is less than those poor schmoes have been getting in the Northeast.  Still . . . it’s the principle of the thing.

Sometimes Ohio weather blows.

Obtuse Opening Day Optimism

This time of year you’ll hear a lot of people talk about how wonderful baseball in the spring is.  Every team is still in it.  Hope springs eternal!  And everybody can still cling to their most optimistic tendencies.

3You want optimism?  Here’s optimism for you — the baseball powers that be scheduled the Cleveland Indians to play their Opening Day game today, in Cleveland.  Scheduling baseball games in Cleveland in early April:  now that’s optimism!

Of course, the game was postponed because the weather sucked.  My friends in Cleveland reported temperatures in the 30s and a likelihood for snow flurries.  That’s not baseball weather, not by any stretch of the imagination, and it’s unfair to the Big Leaguers to even suggest that they should consider playing under such conditions.

I know Clevelanders like the idea of starting the season there, but it’s lunacy.  Give everyone a break and play the first few weeks of the season in southern cities and cities with domed stadiums, then let the rotation work its way to the Clevelands and Detroits and Bostons.

There’s optimism, and then there’s insanity.  Scheduling baseball in Cleveland in early April falls into the latter category.

Life In The Splatter Zone

  
Walking to work during a Midwestern winter is not for the faint of heart.  When the dreaded “wintry mix” of snow and sleet falls, as it did this morning in Columbus, careful foot placement is the order of the day.  Icy patches of sidewalk must be given wide berth, unexpectedly deep, ankle-dousing pools of slush must be avoided, and above all, the inside lane next to the buildings and as far as possible from the street must be maintained.  For the street on such days is the splatter zone, where a car or bus hurtling past will inevitably coat the luckless walker with icy muck.

Beware the splatter zone!

Mother Nature And The Storm

We think we’re pretty advanced, scientifically and technologically, but Mother Nature can still throw us a hard slider every now and then.

Consider the blizzard that is battering that East Coast this morning.  New York City might get as much as 16 inches of snowfall, Philadelphia is canceling public transit, thousands of flights at the Charlotte and Raleigh airports were canceled, and motorists have been stranded on snow-covered roadways.  (Surprisingly, the storm bypassed those of us in the upper Midwest, which is the normal habitat of appalling winter storms.)

Storm RdpAnd Washington, D.C. — well, let’s just say that the Nation’s Capital freaks out when even a tiny bit of snow is forecast, so a big storm causes runs on stores, gas tank topping, and other over-the-top, panicky behavior.  That’s the way it was 30 years ago when Kish and I lived there, and according to news reports that’s the way it still is today, too.  It doesn’t exactly give you much confidence about how the citizens of D.C. would react in a real crisis.  The frightened, frantic crowd scenes when Godzilla appears above the Tokyo skyline probably would be an accurate depiction.

The storm also reminds us of our interconnectedness.  With some of the nation’s busiest airports affected, good luck traveling by air today.  Airlines are estimating that more than 7,500 flights will be scrubbed, which is like dropping a paralysis bomb into the nation’s transportation grid.  Even if you’re on a flight that is leaving from an unaffected city, you might learn that the earlier leg of the flight was coming in from, say, Philadelphia.  And trying to get anywhere by roadway if you’re in the snow-battered regions is foolhardy unless the trip is essential.  If there’s one thing I learned living in D.C., when the snow does fall in Washington it’s wise to not get into your car, because people who live in places where snow is rare just don’t know how to drive in it.  Why expose yourself to the possibility that the person trying to navigate a multi-ton missile on icy, snow-covered roadways doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing?

From the news stories, it looks like Mother Nature won this round.

White World

It has been brutally cold here in Columbus, with several below-zero days.  Yesterday we got a lot of snow and the temperature almost hit 32 — but we didn’t quite make it, and now the mercury is plunging down again and more frigid weather is in the forecast.

I’m not complaining; other parts of the country have had it worse than us.  In fact, there is cold, snowy weather throughout the heartland of America.  A photo taken of middle America by NASA’s Terra satellite shows the wide snow belt, with the Buckeye State right smack dab in the middle.  It makes me shiver just to look at it.

Hey, it’s winter — what did you expect?