The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

November 19, 2010

It’s Not 40 Miles In the Snow Until the Grandkids Hear About it

Filed under: Random Stuff, weather — Brian Lutz @ 1:13 am

Between settling down into the new job and a project that I am currently working on (you’ll hear more about this after Thanksgiving, when the results of said project will be revealed at our family’s traditional annual ornament exchange,) I’ve been fairly busy lately.  In theory, this new job is supposed to mean that I’ve got more time to do other things like Blogging (mostly by merit of not having to commute to Seattle and back) and eventually I’m sure I’ll get there, but it seems like just as soon as I get more time there’s always something there to fill it.  I suppose I’m the type of person who isn’t particularly good at doing nothing (at least not without the proper circumstances) but those tendencies don’t leave a whole lot of time for Blogging.  I do have some posts in the pipeline that I’m working on, but in the meantime, I’ll toss out a few random thoughts to keep the place warm for a while.  After all, the weather reports seem to indicate that warm things are going to be in short supply for the next few days…

One of the nice things about my new job is that I now have the ability to easily walk to work.  In some ways this is nice.  I get some exercise out of the deal, my company pays an extra $30 a month for not driving, and I’ve already found that I’m doing a lot less driving than I normally would (not that a commute that short would be putting much mileage on my car in the first place.)  I describe the walk to work as being roughly 2 1/2 blocks, but if you’ve walked around downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue, you’ll find that a “block” is a bit of a relative thing.  If you compare the two downtowns on a map you quickly find that Bellevue’s blocks are much larger than Seattle’s blocks, and that 2 1/2 block walk turns into roughly 4/10ths of a mile each way.  For comparison, back when I was working at Teleca in Seattle the walk from the International District station to the office at First and King was roughly six blocks, and came out to a bit more than 1/3 mile each way.  On most days if I can catch the crosswalks at the right time I find I can make the walk to the office from here in 10 minutes, give or take a minute or two.  That’s actually not far off from how long it would take to drive to my last Microsoft job from my old apartment at a distance of about 2 1/2 miles.

All in all, it seems to be working out pretty well, but there’s one pesky little detail to the whole thing that I may not have thought all the way through:  The walk to work is, as one of the various panic-inducing news stations might boast, ten minutes of uninterrupted weather.  And lately, most of that weather’s been pretty lousy.  So far I haven’t managed to get myself caught out in the rain yet, but especially over the past week it’s been windy, ranging from merely breezy to some of the just plain mean stuff that wears the term “Wind Chill Factor” like some sort of twisted meteorological badge of honor.  Combine this with the fact that the North Face jacket I’ve managed to somehow get fifteen years of reliable service out of doesn’t seem to do so great with the wind, and that it seems to now be showing signs that it may be approaching the end of its useful life (my mother might argue that this happened roughly a decade ago) and it looks like it might be time to make some updates to my winter wardrobe.  After all, we’re still a month away from the start of Winter at this point, and something tells me there’s going to be a lot more of this stuff to deal with.

And that’s even before the much vaunted cold snap we’ve been hearing about from the local Weatherati shows up sometime this weekend.  Most people would probably argue that whether or not they are fans of the snow, last year’s winter was just a bit of a letdown.  There were no major snow events anywhere in the Puget Sound lowlands, and aside from the one big December cold snap we got, the vast majority of the Winter weather we got was just one big generic mass of cloudy-and-45 for three months straight.  In fact, there really hasn’t been much snow here at all since the unpleasantness back in December of 2008 that made a huge mess out of, well, pretty much everything.  Naturally, this means that the various weathermen have grasped onto the first thing that looks like it might be snow in the forecasting models as far back as last Wednesday, and have been playing up the whole thing as some sort of potential snowpocalypse…  except for the fact that the models really don’t show much chance of lowland snow at all.  Most likely it’ll end up getting reasonably cold for a while, but won’t do much more than that.  Oh, and there’s also the fact that they all were so busy watching the forecast models several days out that pretty much everyone completely missed the windstorm we got on Monday that managed to cause some widespread (but ultimately fairly minor) power outages. 

Oh well, until I manage to turn into some sort of evil genius, build a diabolical contraption to change the weather and use it to hold the world for ransom there’s not much I can do about it except bundle up and slog through the stuff.  Still, I’m sure there will be something in the forecasts sometime during the next three months that I can exaggerate into a story I can tell the grandkids, right? 

(Well, I’m afraid we’re gonna’ have to count this one as your monthly weather complaint post.  -ed.  Yeah, so what else am I supposed to write about, cute little frozen puppies?)

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