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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

So the truck started but guess what wouldn't?

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

So the truck started but guess what wouldn't?

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We left Liberty at around 12:30 today. Bobby had been talking with our friend Dawn, who lives in town and was watching the Goldens, for the two days while we were gone. Last night, she informed him that the town had run out of salt and so wasn't able to salt the streets. We live within town limits (barely), so the town does our street. We also live at the top of a huge hill; continue up our street past our house, and you look out at the mountains from the highest point in Carroll County. So getting home with the Yaris if the roads were not salted could prove treacherous. Given that, we decided to wait till later in the day, to let the town hopefully get their hands on some salt and, at the very least, let the sun do its work.

Once we were off Route 140, the roads weren't great: still snow-covered in places and a slushy mess in others. This seems to be the MO lately. I don't know what's going on and why it is lately taking so long to clear big roads after a snowfall. Bobby saw something online where a lot of plow drivers were commenting that they hadn't even been called out for this storm; apparently, the state is trying to save money. Wonderful ... because Marylanders aren't perilous enough on the roads when it snows. Ironically, for all of our worry about Manchester, once we crossed into town, the roads were beautiful. I guess they got a hold of some salt. They always do a good job on the roads, and this is definitely one of the perks of living in town. (They also vacuum up the leaves in the fall and pick up Christmas trees, brush, and bulk trash for free.)

Our driveway was, of course, completely inaccessible, since it had a foot of snow as well as a nice pile from the plow at the bottom of it. We parked in Neighbor Bob's driveway while Bobby went to get the snowblower going. And guess what wouldn't start? It is not our luck, it seems, to have motorized things start as they should when we need them in inclement weather. Bah. So we both grabbed shovels and went to work. Luckily, it was a light, powdery snow, and we quickly cleared enough space to park the car and a path to the front door.

Of course, once we were inside, Bobby went to start the truck, and naturally, now that we don't need it, it started right away. And today is much colder than it was on Wednesday; my only hypothesis is that it wouldn't start because of the rain. I don't know enough about cars to know what might be affected by rain that would cause a car not to start, but it's the only thing different between Wednesday and today that makes any inkling of sense.

The official snowfall for Manchester was 11.8 inches/30 cm. Bobby showed me a chart from the National Weather Service last night that ranked the reported snowfall in various locations. Check out who's sitting pretty at #6.

 photo March5snowfallNWS_zpsuzrbuw2s.png

Boo-yah, Manchester, in the top ten! I did see an unofficial report from the NWS with a report of 12.5" from Lineboro, which is the next town east of us, although they share our zip code. I'm not sure if they weren't included because of that or because the report came via CoCoRaHS and not from an NWS-trained spotter. (I am an NWS-trained spotter, yo. Although I haven't actually done anything with that for a couple of years now. After my MA, yaddayadda.) But then there's our friends in Westminster in eighth place! (I don't know where Funkstown is except that it is west of us--in Frederick or Washington County, I think; I used to know when I still assigned parole retake warrants and could tell you where every one-horse town in Maryland was located but that knowledge faded pretty fast--but I always imagine everyone there walks around in bellbottoms and platform shoes.)

My dad swears that Manchester is the coldest place in central Maryland. He insists that when Manchester [rarely] gets a spot on the evening news' weather map, it is always the coldest. I don't watch the evening news, but Manchester does have something of a microclimate. It is colder here, and we do get (and keep) more snow as a result. Not only are we pretty much as far north as one can go in Maryland--I like to joke that I can stand on my front porch and spit into PA--but we have a high elevation relative to the surrounding area. Our house stands at 1040 feet/317 meters above sea level. As noted above, the highest point in Carroll County is just up the road from us; to offer a point of comparison, my parents also live adjacent to the highest point in Baltimore County (the next county east of us), which is 505 feet/154 meters above sea level. Driving west on I-70, you have to go quite a ways into the mountains before the elevation signs show that you're above where our house sits. So it is not unusual, when driving from the bottom of the hill to our house near the top, to watch the thermometer in the car click down 2-3 degrees F as we drive.

With the driveway clear, we enjoyed the nicely cleared town roads as we drove into town to pick up the Goldens. We had a pristine backyard to let them out into; I took a video because they're funny in the snow. Apologies for the jiggly camera work; I was very often looking at something other than the camera.

In summary, these past two days have been awesome, despite first the truck and then the snowblower not starting. I was a good girl the other day and did download the syllabus for my next class, and I got one book read (Frankenstein) and two pages of notes typed up on it. I also got to play around a lot online, so it has not been all work and no play (for which I would get in trouble with a few people around these parts). And Bobby snowboarded for literally 15 hours, which seems ridiculous to me but makes him so very happy.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • (no subject) -
    • It was very nice! I was beginning to worry we'd get nothing this year, at least nothing to write home about. Bobby kept on with "it's been cold enough so our number will come up," but I am permanently traumatized by my first two years teaching when we got no snow days!!! :D

      We had a great time with you guys yesterday--thank you again! I hope Florence is feeling better today.
  • I loved seeing the Goldens do their thing. No wonder you like them! They were cute and funny.

    I am glad you got home safely and you sounded relaxed. So I won't scold you for doing little work. Sometimes resting for me means the chance to do a little work in peace. (Like there is ever peace around here!? I remember another life where there used to be occasionally. Because my ex- like to work in peace.)
    • They are usually funnier in the snow, but it was like they knew I was filming them! When it gets over their legs, they leap through it like dolphins. Maybe I'll try again later and take their stupid pink ball out with me that they're obsessed with; they still haven't touched half of the yard.

      It's a good thing they're cute because they smell horrible right now. They both need baths, but it's been too cold to do it.

      I am laughing because you knew you were one of the people I was thinking of when I said I'd get in trouble for doing too much work. It was also Frankenstein, which is just too entertaining to think of as work. That is one good thing about being in the Romantic period for this class: It's not my area of interest for study but the texts are hella entertaining!
      • It was also Frankenstein, which is just too entertaining to think of as work. That is one good thing about being in the Romantic period for this class: It's not my area of interest for study but the texts are hella entertaining!

        What I read for fun and what I want to study are usually two quite different things. The Romantic period is just a hoot and a half of outrageousness and incredible talented poets. Frankenstein is awesome and ground-breaking.

        Is it really true that she wrote Frankenstein to give herself something to work on while her husband was being fucked by Lord Byron all over their house and its grounds and she recovered from childbirth? Or did I just now make that up by mixing a few different incidents? That might have been a fanfic actually (although totally believable). There are a few, but not nearly enough floating around.

        Hard to believe such scandalous behavior, rebelliousness, debauchery, and icon-breaking could take place immediately before the Victorian period.

        You really should tape the golden boys again in the snow and then make a best-of-leaping-like-dophins material and post it on Youtube. I would watch it over and over with a little appropriately silly or overly dramatic music.
        • I love reading the Romantic period with almost no interest in studying it. Victorian novels are also a guilty pleasure of mine; I have this massive Kindle anthology of them that cost something like 99 cents that I crack open whenever I really have time to waste.

          Mary Shelley claims that she wrote Frankenstein while vacationing in the Alps during a rainy summer as part of a challenge from Lord Byron to write a ghost story to match those German stories they were reading to each other at the fireside at night. I don't think she'd cop to your version, though! :D

          I would watch it over and over with a little appropriately silly or overly dramatic music.

          OMG, I have the perfect song in mind. Bobby's about to take them out to play; I may have to take my camera out with them (I filmed yesterday's on my phone and miss the quality of my handicam).
          • This is really silly. I found my source information:

            Some Sublimer World by valderys
            Fandoms: RPF - 18th-19th c Arts and Sciences

            Explicit, No Archive Warnings Apply, M/M, Complete Work
            George Gordon Lord Byron/Percy Bysshe Shelley
            Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin
            First Time

            Summary: On the banks of Lake Geneva, Byron, Shelley and their parties spend the summer of 1816. At least one result of the trip is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. But what causes might there have been, to start her writing such a horrible tale? What stresses and jealousies? And what kind of love did Shelley and Byron discover in themselves?

            Fanfiction is awesome! I looked first in history books and articles and then in historical fiction, when all the time what I was looking for was on AO3!
            • Lol and wow! The funny thing is that we both were like, "Yeah, those crazy Romantics ... that sounds wholly possible!" :D
  • The boys in the snow are the cutest! Luckily everybody enjoys it!

    There's a town called King of Prussia (two below Funkstown)! People there go around in spiky helmets? Amazing name :D
    • King of Prussia is home to a huge mall (the King of Prussia Mall); it's one of those places where you hear the name your whole life and so don't fully realize how weird it must sound! :D Like, "I need some new jeans, so I'm going to go to King of Prussia this weekend."

      We have some great town names in Maryland (Accident and Boring being my two favorites ... Boring is a few towns south of us, and we pass the Boring Volunteer Fire Department every day going to and from work :D), but Pennsylvania does have us beat. My personal PA favorites: Bird in Hand, Intercourse, and Blue Balls. Yikes. One can get commemorative souvenirs in Lancaster County for their blithely sexual town names!
      • I have a really hard time deciding between Intercourse and Blue Balls! :D I'm trying to picture the founders thinking "What name can we choose for our new town that will make it memorable?". They really did it!
        • All of these are in Lancaster County, which has one of the highest Amish populations in the country! When my sister and I used to titter over the names when we were younger, my mom would say, "Oh, it's Amish country! They didn't know what those things meant!"

          I call bullshit. Blue Balls and Bird in Hand, maybe, but the Amish sure as hell know what Intercourse is! :D

          Edited at 2015-03-08 07:17 pm (UTC)
  • Glad you're home safely, and watching the Goldens in the snow made me smile. Oh, the wonderful smell of wet dog - NOT!

    Sorry about the snowblower not starting. We needed ours last year, but this year has been very kind to us and we've shoveled. Shoveling does get old quickly, though - LOL.

    You're entitled to a little bit of down time, even though it's something you rarely allow yourself to have. Bobby spent 15 hours on the mountain? Fabulous!

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • The Goldens smell awful right now. I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, but they have not had a bath since before Thanksgiving. My family came to visit from England for the holidays and we just ran out of time in December, then it got too cold. When Golden Retrievers go out in the cold, they smell like the palm of your hand smells if you've been clutching an old penny. Yuck.
  • We had to drive from Frederick to Westminster yesterday, and the difference in the road conditions was amazing. As soon as we crossed in to Carroll County, the roads were pristine - y'all must be doing something right over there!
    • They seem to have done a good job with the main roads this time, but they still haven't or have barely touched some of the side streets! Manchester did a wonderful job, as always, but the county road that we take home from Westminster is still enough of a mess that we've been bypassing it and taking the longer route through town. The county side of our street is unpaved; I haven't even looked at that. O.O
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