Sunday, 10 January 2010


On Wednesday, some 15 centimetres of snow fell overnight. And, from this season on, the city council is responsible for cleaning the sidewalks as their owner, not the owners of adjacent houses who were used as slave labour and fined if the sidewalks weren't dry and clean to their full width or to two metres of width at least. Since the city council is run by brainless individuals, they don't actually clean the sidewalks, they throw salt on them in indecent amounts. The popular myth is that the salt teleports the snow somewhere else while the grim reality is that the melting point of saltwater is lower than of salt-free water and since sodium chloride is hygroskopic, it dissolves ice and snow in temperatures above around -15 (when it's colder, calcium chloride is needed to do the same job). However, dissolving a film of ice after freezing rain is totally different from salting a layer of snow – then it changes into godawful dirty goo that dissolves shoes and dogs' feet, makes sounds as if frogs had rained when cars drive through that and it's plainly ugly.
I don't get it. Every year, there's collective whining from the beginning of December that the winters should be white, idyllic, with muffled sounds and kiddos building snowmen. When the actual snow falls, people do their best to change that white, quiet idyllic beauty into an immense puddle of dirty salty crap.
The Wednesday snow was partly turned into dirty crap but Nature is mischievous. Yesterday, it started to snow and it snowed and snowed. (Alright, the today morning's rain wasn't really needed but the glassy crust is pretty on its own.) The salt solution is way too much diluted, the road maintenance needs to maintain the main roads first so our dead end alley in a sparsely populated residential neighbourhood remains slippery. It should be snowing and snowing for a few days yet, with sunny and very frosty weather following. I haven't had a winter in years so I'm enjoying it immensely.

On Friday, it was still snowing heavily so we took turns in shovelling the snow out of the driveway. Still, dad managed to drive into the garage door frame and had a general lack of happy because the aluminium cars are hard to fix neatly.
Dad had an argument with the next-but-one door neighbour some seven or eight years ago. Something work-related, I don't really know, and they stopped talking to each other. My mom is loyal to dad so she stopped talking to the folks too (1). On Friday, dad was messing with the snow, so was the neighbour and some sort of enlightement happened because dad dragged the neighbour to the garage. I went to bed at usual time but I heard them drinking (2) until around one in the morning. Snow causes people return to normal, apparently. Since the world is a lousy place, it's not snowing anymore, we have rain and sleet. I guess that it would have to rain frogs or brass bedposts (3) to reconcile with the next-door neighbours. But that would be another stories.

(1) I do think that this attitude is utterly and totally stupid and I've said it aloud repeatedly.
(2) that thermonuclear calvados. It was a loud party
(3) now, from which book does this vague reference come from? The first right answer wins chocolate.

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