November 14th, 2014


What A Difference A Day Makes

Thursday I left home at 7:25am and got to work at 10:00. Today I left home at 7:28am and made it to work at 9:00.

It wasn't exactly clear sailing. Coming home yesterday, Warner was unplowed, so this morning Warner was something of an icy rutted mess. Indeed, half a mile east of us, just past 84th Avenue, there was a car in the ditch with flashers on. Not sure if they just lost it, were turning off of 84th too fast, or a car slid through the stop sign on 84th and this car had to swerve to avoid it. 68th was wet, but clear. Sidewalks at Western were scuzzy with ice and snow, very slippery.

It took 2½ hours to get to work yesterday -- and nearly 3 hours to get home. It wasn't that the roads were that much worse in the evening, though M-6 ground to a halt just after Wilson, until I could take the exit lane to I-196 east. From the backups, there must have been a problem at I-196 west at the M-6 merge. (And the late news reported that M-6 was closed westbound around milepost 1, the 8th Avenue exit.) No, the real issue was an email that Mrs. Dr. Phil had sent me in the morning saying that one of the windshield wipers had broken off.

I decided to swing by GVSU on the way home, and see if I could put one of the old blades I've got stowed in a Rubbermaid tub in the back of the Bravada. But both our vehicles -- and others I saw in the lots at both WMU and GVSU -- had doors which were stuck. And I couldn't quite tell if the blade had just come off its attachment or had actually cracked off (it had). So I settled for starting the Bravada and turning the defroster on the elephant gun setting, so that when the 50 Connector bus dropped Mrs. Dr. Phil from her late night class on the downtown campus, she'd be able to see.

Of course the drive home with Mrs. Dr. Phil following me was excruciating agony because of miscommunication. I kept seeing the Bravada drop further and further back -- maybe because she couldn't see? So I would slow down. She wondered why I was being crazy and driving at 25mph with flashers on and braking from time to time. (it's-funny-now-grin)

All told, Allendale got 8" of snow -- Coopersville on the other side of I-96 got 9" -- which was the peak reported this morning in West Michigan. That pales in comparison to the 45" reported in the Marquette area in the U.P. But of course we always have more problems with ice down here. Closer to the lake, lake effect snows yesterday and today are still snarling up the roads.

Not only is it not yet officially winter, it's so early in November that firearm deer season doesn't even open until Saturday, tomorrow!

One of the differences between last winter and this winter is that the Great Lakes are a lot cooler to begin with. The good news is that hopefully they'll freeze over sooner -- once they do, then the lake effect snow machine gets greatly diminished. (evil-grin)

We'll see.

Dr. Phil

Oh Poop -- No Chicago

Uncertainties with the weather and road conditions in what would normally be the first hour and a half of driving for Saturday, pretty much meant that I won't be doing a day and night trip to WindyCon at the Lombard Westin. Canceled the reservation this morning. I'll let them keep the Saturday day membership...

Man, I have the worst luck getting to WindyCon. One year I was sick. One year Wendy died -- Happy Birthday, Sister! (She would've been 59 today.) Last year I was just coming out of 5½ months of hospitals.

At least I was taking this as a target of opportunity. Hadn't decided to go until after they closed Programming, so there are no panels I have to cancel.

Still, the program schedule had some good things. And dammit, missed another steak dinner at Harry Carey's -- was even going to have Momcat and Joe meet us there Saturday night.


Oh well. If you're going to WindyCon, be safe, have fun!

Dr. Phil