I wouldn’t even think of driving in the winter anymore without my winter tires. Though, I may need replacements soon.
The family went on a road trip this weekend… without me. I painted Karin’s office, changed all the tires, cleaned up the yard (just in time for the snow!) and did a few other need-to-do jobs. #productive
Despite what I wrote in a previous post about bike shopping, the epic-craziness of our schedules as the school year ends and summer cranks into gear means the careful and thoughtful shopping exercise, filled with research and test-riding, to procure a new bike for myself is likely going to take the better part of the summer. As a temporary bike fix, I broke down last night and bought some replacement tires and tubes and –though much more repair is required for shifters, gears, brakes, etc– now I (at the very least) have a semi-functional bike with (huzzah!) two inflated tires, as opposed to the recent state of a bike with rims and bits of cracked and decaying rubber on them. It was actually a lot more work to swap out some tires than I would have expected… as obviously I’ve never done that before.
It snowed this morning.
I was driving Claire to school and as we were wending through our neighbourhood she says, “Dad, everyone is still asleep.”
There is about four seconds of silence from the backseat and then…
“Maybe they just turned their lights off before they left their houses and when they left for work.” I suggest.
There is about four seconds of silence from the backseat and then, “But there aren't any tire tracks in the driveways.”
Out-thunk by a five-year-old. Is it just me, or is that wicked-clever? I told her she was pretty clever for a kid and that it was pretty observant to have noticed that. Then I had to explain what “observant” meant and that it was a compliment.
The roads were not quite as icy as the radio suggested. I haven't swapped over to my winter tires yet, and my summer tires are actually proper summer tires — “three season” the guy at the tire shop told me — so I was driving like a little old lady on the off chance I hit a slippery patch on the drive over to the school and then down to the coffee shop where I'm writing this.
Did I mention I have the day off? It's not a snow day, but it kinda feels like one.
I was going to sit here and write some epic post about life, the universe, or something important…
I was going to sit here and write some epic post about life, the universe, or something important, but for once in the last few weeks I seem to be tapped out. It's been a busy week. I'll blame that.
Instead I was flipping through Facebook…
I still don't really like the infamous social network. In fact, I still feel like I'd rather just be done with them, but until I convince the rest of the world of that fact, I'm stuck with an account else risk missing out on an entire facet of social life. I meet people who still don't have an email address and wonder how they get by in 2012. Well, the same rule seems to hold true for Facebook now: You don't get by, you get passed by.
I'm sitting back in my own private little coffee shop here in the far south, under-construction, corner of the city. A few random people wander through, but no one sticks. They buy their coffee and get to work, so I can sit here for hours sipping at my large brew and not feel guilty about occupying a table like some aimless hipster with an iPad.
…something cold, half-built, and very suburban…
My view is a mix of something cold, half-built, and very suburban. So again, not exactly inspiring me to pepper out substantial words of wisdom.
I take that back. Not five minutes after I write proclaiming my solitude, I'm crowded by company at the next table over with a loud conversation and heavy on the perfumes. *sigh* Productivity = sapping.
The other side of that equation is that along with my day off comes another edition of daddy day, or more precisely, daddy afternoon. I should be planning how to amuse my daughter in the chill and October snow and not filling the web with my rambling posts. Stop me if you've heard this rant before…
…an hour at the swimming pool with her old man makes for a golden day…
The kid thinks an hour at the swimming pool with her old man makes for a golden day, so who am I to argue? A hamburger, a trip to the library and an hour in the water: its turning into a routine. I really should mix it up a little more.
This is the same kid who just an hour ago I credited with the title of “observant” so to think she's not noticing is really only fooling myself.
I probably look like a bit of a techno-douche sitting here. I've got an iPad (with keyboard), my work phone (because I'm expecting a thumbs-up-or-down on some last minute stuff for my boss from yesterday), and my personal phone (because it's my personal phone.) Like I said, techno-douche.
I'm enjoying my new phone. I've had it for a little over two months now. Some suggested that the Galaxy Note would be a little too big as a carry around, but I got used to it really fast. It's comfy and customized to my needs now, so I've definitely set up camp on the Android side of the fence these days. Plus the whole Apple-Samsung-Google grudge that resulted in the upgrade-but-really-a-downgrade to my iOS devices might be some cryptically genius strategic business play from Apple, but that idea is getting harder to believe that each day.
I get asked for my geek-tech opinion a lot…
I get asked for my geek-tech opinion a lot and in the last couple months I've stopped just recommending Apple products as a catch all, out of hand, you'll-be-happy answer. Apple seems to forget that they're not paying folks like me to be their public relations department. Like when someone who I recommended to get an iPhone last year suddenly can't use YouTube because Apple pulled the app out of spite. I just tell them Apple are kinda dicks these days, riding on their laurels — so no different than anyone else anymore. So much for thinking different. There are a lot of great phones, tablets, and laptops out there: how much do you want to spend?
I've got my personal phone all synced up with DropBox which is an awesome little third-party storage tool. I take photos on the Note and about ten minutes after I get home and auto-link back up with my home WiFi, all the photos I took while out and about are in my online folder and copied to the hard-drive on my laptop. It makes it really easy to write those photo-heavy posts I've been publishing here a lot more lately.
I mean, I'm sure you love my writing. It's why you keep coming back. But a photo says so much more than my rambling ever could.
It's still snowing. I've been sitting here for an hour writing, sipping, and now trying very hard to ignore the animated-doting-mommy conversation going on about five feet away. And it's still snowing. And there are plenty of tire tracks zigging and zagging, crossing, and weaving all around now. The local world is definitely not sleeping anymore. I’d better get on with it, eh?
In the spirit of the quickly fading summer, we ordered our shed package last week. Building it will be one of two last outdoor projects to accomplish before the weather turns cool and the insides of our house echo with the sounds of parenthood.
The shed package itself — an eight foot square, barn-style contraption — comes tomorrow, neatly stacked in a decidedly non-shed-shaped pile, probably to be delivered in the driveway. I’ll be spending the hours after work shuttling the pieces into the garage.
It’s a necessary task. We need the space in the garage, and there are a number of outdoor implements, hoses, planters, and furniture — not to mention my summer tires — which will find a winter home in the frozen sanctuary of the yet-to-be-built shed.
It’s going to be a busy weekend.
Apparently, our bout of unseasonably warm weather is coming to an end. It’s weird observation of the humanity around us that everyone tries to blame the weather on themselves. A superstition, I guess. But so many people I’ve talked to lately have some cornball theory about how their actions have doomed the string of warmth we’re experiencing, like they actually have some effect on the outcome of the global climate.
I’ve heard car related reasons: “Oh, I just switched my tires!” or “I just washed my car!”
Sometimes simple activites seem to be the force behind climate change: “We bought season passes to the ski hill this year, now everythings gonna melt!” or “Just when it got time to take down the Christmas lights — bam!”
Often they are travel related: “Just when we get back from somewhere warm, it turns cold!” or “That cloud is following me wherever I go!”
I mean, I understand superstitious pattern-finding behaviour, but c’mon! This is the twenty-first century. We’re people of science and communications, and the intraweb! Once and for all: it’s not you, it’s not your dog or your house or your car, it’s not even some angry norse demi-god raining chaos down upon us. Everyone should understand by now that it’s the government –using satellites and big quantum magnetic weather rays from space. Jeesh.
Third hand, here’s what I know, or, as Dad whom had it explained to him explained it to me over the phone as mostly understood, as follows, might be…
Ode to a little red Sunfire — and her driver (of course).
‘Twas a few days before Christmas, and out on the farm,
Ma’s Hutterite pupils, (no need to alarm!)
Were singing some concert that I (regrettably) missed.
Though not so lucky, pops and dear little sis.
Now, dear little sis, driving ma’s little red car,
Snuck out a bit early to work at some bar.
The roads were not icy, they barely had snow,
(Perhaps that is why, they had decided to tow.)
Sis rounded the corner, came over some bend,
And sped past some cattle, (lowing?) and then…
Oh, what to her wandering eyes should appear,
But a big flaming tire, and some crumbling gears.
The bits and the pieces were bouncing quite fast,
Velocities gouging as they tumbled past.
Sis swerved and she braked and avoided the tire,
A big three foot beast, flaming, on fire.
It seemed, they would learn, that the chunks of some tool,
Had crumbled to bits on the road, (that’s not cool!)
Equipment, is strong if used without fault,
But doesn’t last long when dragged on asphalt.
Oh, dear little sis, stopped ‘long the side of the road,
Looking back at the mess of someone’s lost load.
She (apparently, now) went to see if she’d aid,
(All that medical training may finally have paid?)
Things were mostly ok, but the car, what a mess!
Some flung bits of metal had gouged, well… guess…
Scraped off some paint, and dented the finish,
And ratched up the engine (and saw her oil diminish!)
Not that it’s funny, but just then pops came,
He rounded the corner, probably cursing some name.
Checked over his daughter, checked over the mess,
Pulled out his BlackBerry, and managed his stress.
The cops soon arrived, took over the scene,
(Here details get fuzzy from what I could glean.)
Those boys, the ones towing, oh, they’re in trouble,
If nothing else, their insurance will double.
Yet, things could have been worse, someone had said,
Sis could have been hurt, or, you know, been dead.
Tho they found that ol’ tire, way out in a field.
(Well, rather it there, than in the windshield!)
They summoned a tow truck, and he gave a low whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I’m sure they exclaimed, as they towed out of sight,
“We should call the insurance! Oh, what a night!”
I figure since there is less than a half day of this crazy year left — 2004 sitting just on the horizon over there (yeah, I can see you buddy) — I had better say a few words to mark the occasion. I might get introspective tomorrow or something. I’ll need an activity to occupy yet another day off. For now, however, maybe I’ll just reflect on the snow in this silly little city, and my top ten reasons why it (really) must be a rare thing here:
10 :: This would be higher on the list but, considering how I was going to take the day off from work anyhow due to this annoying cough/cold/runny nose-thing anyhow, it is only a side benefit. Snow in Vancouver means the roads are closed, buses run late, and work becomes something that only crazy, reckless people attend.
9 :: Karin got the day off too. Happy cool fun!
8 :: The news reporters use big words like “snow-warning” and “sanding-trucks” — and they build snowmen on live television.
7 :: Spinning tires are everywhere.
6 :: Brad’s public service announcement #72322: Umbrellas are for rain. Repeat: Umbrellas are for RAIN!
5 :: There was never that much YELLOW snow in Alberta. Come on, people. It’s not THAT funny.
4 :: I still think the funniest thing I’ve seen all day is the little moron SHOVELLING his CAR with a STEEL shovel. And not an old wreck: a Mercedes.
3 :: Both fender-bender accidents I saw while walking five blocks (each way) to the mall and back. Get some snow tires.
2 :: Snowmen made by little kids are everywhere.
1 :: For some reason people are friendlier. I’ve been walking that same route almost every day for the last year. How many people have even said “Hi!” as I pass them on the street. I’ll give you three guesses, and the answer is less than “two” so you should get it. From door to door, apartment to mall and back, I was greeted with no less than eight friendly “hellos.”
Photos of the events can be found in the gallery.