Thursday, January 18, 2007

Horrible Austin Ice Storm of 2007

The great Austin ice blizzard of 2007 is sadly melting to a close. Icecicles are withering and collapsing into eye-gouging projectiles. Sheets of ice are flying off of the roofs of cars on the way to work for the first time in days. Water is drip dripping everywhere.

As far as civilization-halting natural disasters go, ice storms are ok by me.

The time off work is great. We all get a de facto holiday break. Either work is officially cancelled, or all my peers are "working from home." Strangely enough, even with hundreds of people working from home, there is no e-mail traffic and no conference calls.

Playing in the ice is fun. We're adults now, so we don't really sled or have snowball/ice ball fights (we are aware of the co-pays and the expense of visiting an eye doctor). Adults have fun in the ice in more subtle ways. First, there's that little thrill from 'living on the edge', knowing that you are a split second from a firsthand study of ice storm physics, namely the interplay of friction, gravity, and force that culiminates in your brain box crashing into concrete. Garrison Keillor once said, "Winter is the season when Mother Nature makes at least two serious attempts on your life." This is true, and it feels good to survive.

Destroying ice is more fun that popping packing bubbles. When you are swiping away a long row of icicles, you feel like "Master of Nature." How about breaking off a wicked icicle and threatening your loved ones with a scary ice dagger? Believe me, it's fun.

Plus, deicing a car is immensely satisfying. The process starts slowly: start the car and turn on the front heater and the rear defroster. At this point, it's easy to get discouraged. The ice is implacable, and the scraper cannot find purchase. Then, almost imperceptibly, the ice weakens. Now, instead of impotent little scuffs, the scraper sends long cracks spidering across the windshield ice. Suddenly whole sheets of ice come loose and float on a thin layer of water. A few swipes sends the ice sheets crashing to the ground as your car's Ice Age comes to an end. The bigger the sheet of ice you can detach, the better. This is officially "some unpleasant chore that I have to do to get my car ready to drive to work." Unofficially, it's flat out fun.

Snow Day 2007:
Finally, being homebound can bring out the best in friendships. The Floyd Boys came over and we had awesome Snow Day 2007 activities. We played Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. We braved freezing sleet for games of Ice Bocce and football toss. We rocked some Guitar Hero 2 on the old Playstation 2. The hot chocolate was flowing like water. This would have been a normal workday but for this horrible, horrible ice storm.

Thank you, nature, for the freakish winter storm and the horrible ice storm of 2007. It was a good run while it lasted.


Anonymous said...

Snow Day was a blockbuster of a hit, but how would the sequel turn out???..... Unfortunately, Snow Day II - "Revenge of the Sloth" just couldn't live up to the fun and excitement of the original. Godfather II was really one in a million.

word to ya mutha,
Chris F.

Anonymous said...

DRS says...

The last snow day I had, ironically, was in Austin. I think it was '98 (could've been '96). Anyhoo, it all iced over and we (Chris, Chris, Nickel, others, maybe those mentioned weren't there, who knows or cares) spread some cardboard out on a hill and tried to sled. Good times...

Sarah said...

Sadly, our ice day in Waco was not nearly as fun! I guess they gave the hamster who runs on the wheel that keeps our electricity pumping the day off to stay home and play with his little hamster buddies because our power went OFF at 4:30am and did not come back ON until 3:30pm! It was needless to say VERY cold and Clay's constant propositions of how to warm up were none too welcome. Ah well, even a day in a freezing cold house is better then a day at the office, right?