They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

Blue Skies and Shiny Ice

It's Thanksgiving Eve. The East Coast is getting pummeled by the remains of Winter Storm Boreas. They started naming winter storms, what, last year? And in Winter 2013-14 we're already in the B-name? Anyway, we missed most of Boreas.

Saturday there was a light dusting of snow out this way. Mrs. Dr. Phil had a sketching workshop on the other side of Grand Rapids. She found that some intersections, especially at the top of the exit she was getting off, were extremely slippery with ice. The AWD Bravada did fine, but other cars were squirreling around. There was freezing rain messing things up in Allegan County, probably some in Kent County, too. More snow during the day, but not a lot of accumulation.

Sunday we got maybe an inch or so. Windy, providing some horizontal whiteout snows. And some calmer snows with big compound snowflakes by Monday.

Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment and the weather turned nice for a few hours. Concern about slippery roads, not much of a problem. Wednesday I went by myself for more appointments. Fasted for the annual cholesterol blood draw. The McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin breakfast.

The roads and a lot of the parking lots had been plowed so the pavements were dry, with a couple of inches of crumble along the sides from the plowing. McDonald's? Not so much with the plowing. The main parking lot was a mess. The truck parking lot was an icy covered sheet. I'd parked there to eat before the dentist appointment for the teeth cleaning I missed six months ago.

A long frame bobtail cab -- "10-wheeler" = an 18-wheeler without the trailer -- came looping around the lot, skidding and fishtailing before sliding into its stop. For sure I thought he was going to hit his butt into the delivery van nearby.


Speaking of vehicles, I should point out that gas has jumped about twenty cents -- just in time for the busy holiday driving -- to $3.30.9/gal for regular.

Meanwhile, there were big solid gray cloudbanks off at the horizon. Prevailing winds were coming straight south along Lake Michigan. Lake effect snow on the shore and heavy bands coming ashore at the Michigan-Indiana border. Thanksgiving Eve was NOT a good day to be taking I-94 to Chicago.

But it was bright blue skies here. A good thing since the backup generator repairman was here in the afternoon. Tuesday we noted that the automatic transfer switch had one green light and one rapidly flashing light, instead of two steady green lights. Failure to transfer, probably at the last weekly self test.

So during the sunny afternoon, our power was cycling on and off. But then our backup generator repairman was making it. Mice had built a nest blocking the carburetor -- so the generator failed to start on its weekly self test and that's why we had a rapidly flashing green light on the transfer switch.

We've seen this before -- the mice that is. When the Suburban was parked outside, I tried to start it one time. Found the plastic duct to the air cleaner was packed solid with grass, etc. The red 1994 Blazer, when parked outside, once had mice in the tailpipe. But the Suburban is long gone and the red machine was donated to charity this summer. So when fall started, the mice looked for the next gasoline smelly home? Actually, the Kohler 12kW generator has an engine block heater, so maybe the carburetor WAS a pleasant place out of the wind to nest. And this must happen -- the repairman had mouse bait in his van to put inside the cabinet. And caulked some of the unused access holes into the generator housing.

Gotta love country living.

More lake effect bands coming in through parts of Thanksgiving. 1-2" snow for Holland? We could hit Holland midday for a movie. Or maybe not.

Meanwhile the brine is ready for the turkey thighs and wings in the morning. Cranberry relish made. Stuffing fixes prepared. Pumpkin pie baked.

Bring in the REAL Thanksgiving! And not the nutty one with the camping tents set up outside Best Buy... Way to ruin a holiday, guys.

Dr. Phil

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