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Snow Day Adventure - Elf M. Sternberg
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Snow Day Adventure
 
Good-looking snowman in Belltown.
I made it into work without too much trauma. It was getting home that was much more difficult. At first, I thought I could just catch the 12:25 bus out of downtown, but at 12:00, just as I was getting to leave, I was instead hauled into a meeting where the project manager announced that several options offered in our current project were confusing to support, so we should take them off the control panel. This took only a few minutes to design, implement, and have code reviewed, but I missed the 12:25. So I waited around until it was time to leave for the 1:30.

The bus to take me into downtown so I could catch the 121 was way too late. I was destined to miss my bus and the next one wasn't for half an hour, so I decided to walk it. Along the way, I spotted this handsome snowman standing in the snow. Someone put a lot of work into this guy, including the authentic carrot and the not-so-authentic tennisball eyes. But he's quite good-looking, no?


Bicycle courier in snow
I kept walking, grabbing a hot reuben sandwich from a deli as I walked. Cars slipped and slid along first avenue, but no buses passed as I maintained a pretty good pace. The snow was soft and slightly wet, and it felt like I was walking across a giant slurpee. Although it had been coming down hard until noon, it cleared up afterwards, and only the wind whipped everything around.

I'd lost my knit cap on the bus months ago. shemayazi had made me a lighter-use one and I'd been using it, but I'd left it at home today and I needed something heavier anyway, so I peeked my head into the "Army Navy Surplus Store" and bought a new one. It was only a couple of bucks, and it was probably the smartest investment of the day. I would have been in a world of hurt if I hadn't picked it up, as I would spend the next two hours at a cold, windy bus stop. When I stepped out, I saw this guy on a bicycle with a courier's pack. He wasn't the craziest guy I saw all day; I reserve that for the guy in shorts and a t-shirt taking his lunchtime jog. Now that's hard-core.

The stop at 3rd & Bell is where I usually pick up the 121. There were only three other people there, and one woman told me she'd been waiting for over an hour. Buses come every half hour. The same woman eventually told us, after making a phone call, that Metro recommended we move closer to the downtown core.

I started walking again.


The Entrepreneurial Spirit
I passed by this sign, which I have to admire for its entrepeneurial spirit, but really-- it's freezing outside, and you're going to ask someone to perform a painful procedure that takes off more fur? Down there? By now, my balls were complaining about the cold, and the idea of being even more furless made me wonder if any would take the shop up on its offer.

I reached Pine street and waited. And waited some more. By now, five buses should have passed me by. But no, not a one. I wandered across the street for a coffee, hoping I wouldn't miss my bus. I had a clear view two blocks down the street from the barista's bar, so I felt pretty safe, and no buses came while I got myself a hot drink.

I returned to the stop, which was packed. Lots of people muttering back and forth. This is Seattle, sadly, so when three buses went by all reading "Returning To Base," there was only dejected moans rather than cries of anger and the raising of the black flag.

Eventually, a 121 did show up. Pine is its third of seven stops downtown before it gets on the freeway, and it was the last stop that the bus would take on passengers. Less than halfway through the loading segment of its route and it was full. Well, of course, it had all of the passengers that the previous five buses should have carried.

The drive back to my little suburb was unremarkable except for the guy behind me who clearly had been spending his snow day wisely; he was drunk and reeked of whiskey-- and he wanted to talk and talk. Every snippet of conversation around him sparked him into a long, rambling monologue about how bad the weather was, or how mean the cops were, or how shitty his job was, or how much he'd rather be out snowboarding. Every ramble would taper off into a mutter on an inverse power curve, only to soon be sparked again.

At the Park'n'Ride the car was buried. I had fun learning how to put the new chains on; they were different from the last model. Easier, but still, different. And they got me home. A normal trip that should have taken no more than 40 minutes, and 25 usually, had taken four hours, almost all of it outdoors in below-freezing weather.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Nightwish, Walking In The Air

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Comments
From: technoshaman Date: December 19th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Ouch. Dude. Suck. I see you thawed out finally...
gromm From: gromm Date: December 19th, 2008 07:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw this guy on a bicycle with a courier's pack. He wasn't the craziest guy I saw all day; I reserve that for the guy in shorts and a t-shirt taking his lunchtime jog. Now that's hard-core.

Hehe. You're so funny.

Biking in slush? No problem. Biking in 8" of snow? Done that. When I lived in central BC, I would bike until about -15 C or so. At that point, I couldn't put on enough socks to keep the frostbite off my toes.

As for the jogger, he's probably from Saskatchewan or something and is only back in Seattle for Christmas. Jogging at 0 C is enough to keep you warm enough, especially once you're used to it being -30. Hell, I've shovelled snow in boots and shirtsleeves at that temperature.

Even so, winters down here on the coast are cold and *wet*, which is far worse than colder and dry. Cold and dry can be fixed with another layer of clothes. Cold and wet can't.
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