Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fluffy white stuff

The streets of the city are very quiet at 5 am. The only sound you hear is the wind, blowing the drifts ever so higher or your shovel, cutting into the path you are trailblazing. The freshly fallen snow adds beauty to the serene neighborhood.

I like to take some time to take in this view when I am out shoveling. I feel like I am the only person alive in the area. A rabbit may scurry by, or the occasional car down the street. But usually it is just me, a shovel, and a sidewalk full of snow that needs to be cleared.

Getting up early to shovel the walk is quite invigorating. Who needs coffee when you can get out in the cold and move about for 25 minutes?

I was glad I did some shoveling after work yesterday. There was around 3-4 inches on the ground when I got home. There was at least that much- if not more- that had to be moved today. It is all light and fluffy snow. The easy kind to dispose of. You can push this aside with ease. Not much lifting is required. Only when you need to build up the snowbank at the end of the run.

As I was clearing the corner, I noticed the newspaper guys coming down the road. One was driving a big pickup while the other ran towards the houses and flung the papers onto the porches. He would then catch up to the truck, pick up some more papers and begin to deliver to the correct houses. The other guy would get do the same, but get back into the truck and drive further down the street. I watched as the one guy did the majority of the running down the street just to catch up. When I saw that not many houses were getting a paper, I wondered if this was profitable for these two guys. How much did they get paid to deliver the paper? Two men (guess the day of the newspaper boy getting up before high school to deliver the paper is dead), working with their own truck, spending money on gas to deliver the paper. Unless they had a huge area to work with, I cannot see how this would be a good business model.

Once the walks were cleared, I headed back in to get ready for work. The radio made it sound like the roads were very crappy so I figured I would go ahead and get to work. The drive home yesterday wasn't that bad. A 25 minute trip took about 50. One stretch of highway that I usually drive was backed up pretty good. A normal 8 minute drive was up to 72 minutes! A drive through the ghetto had me avoiding that mess. But I couldn't bypass the freeway entirely. I did get back on by the stadium to get through downtown. As we crawled, I wondered if anyone heading west ever took Blue Mound Road or Wisconsin Ave. to avoid this nightmarish traffic? One should always know of an alternate route when traffic sucks. I find it amazing that most people apparently don't.

More shoveling is scheduled for tonight. But I rather have this kind of weather than the arctic temps we had this weekend.

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