Tuesday, Winter Death Storm Janus slipped underneath us to stomp on the Northeast Corridor, DC - Philly - New York - Boston. But here it was bright blue skies and brilliant sunshine. The parking lot was a mass of salt crystals and churned snow in the morning. By afternoon the sun had turned the pavement to just wet, despite the cold temps and the wicked bitter wind.
Wednesday the drive in was fine, even sunny for a while. I had looked our through the small exposed piece of window between the blinds and the pillar outside to see a light coating of fluff on car windshields, only to see sunshine an hour before I had to go for PT. Coming out I didn't have to brush off the car. The wipers took care of the windshield dusting and the rear window wires took care out back.
I had to get gas at Wayland, but was concerned with all the flashing lights beyond the overpass on the merge ramp on the other side. But eight minutes later when I went to get back on US-131 north, it was all clear on the roads. But not above -- the sun long gone beyond the heavy leaden clouds. By the M-6 freeway, it was starting to snow and the ramps were definitely slippery.
Which if course is where the genius in the white Honda comes in. Driving at the speed limit, there's a ramp coming in from Exit 1 that forms the exit lane from the M-6 to I-196 East/North. Assuming it's clear, I wait until the lane markings open up before merging right. Not good enough for Mister White Honda, who gunned it and swerved behind me to cut me off on the right. Of course as soon as this jackass was clear of me, he swerved to cut in front of me, crossing across all three lanes to get in front of this Voyager minivan who had the gall to be driving in the left lane at merely the posted speed limit.
You can tell the asshole was driving while pissed from the way he got his Honda to rock laterally on his poor abused suspension during his NASCAR moves. Though not quite as bad as the jerk on Tuesday doing high speed last moment slaloms in traffic. The bad person in me hopes they both slid off the road a few miles ahead and totalled their sorry cars' collective asses.
On I-196, I moved over to the left lane because this contractor's minivan was pulling in from Chicago Drive and didn't look like he was going to delay merging, especially in light of the fact that his merge lane doesn't exit for another mile or so. I was right, the van forced this white Infinity out of his lane and into mine. Meanwhile this white Infinity got off the freeway at Wilson just behind me, and tried to merge straight into the left lane without regards to the traffic in front of him. He finally passed me on the right.
At Lake Michigan Drive M-45 he slowly began to merge into the left turn lanes in front of me, then at the last moment he slid into the leftmost left turn lane, cutting off the car racing in on the far left. When the green arrow came, Mister Infinity tried to turn from the leftmost left turn lane into the rightmost lane on M-45. Well, actually he did do that, but I was watching him, blew the horn, so he slowed down to finish turning, then raced ahead to the next light where he dove into a bank lot.
What is it with white cars?
Got to the Allendale physical therapy place and just starting to snow at 3:45pm. An hour later it was snowing heavily and there was an inch of snow on the Blazer. Still, it wasn't heavy snow, so I took a chance that windshield wipers, rear wires and rolling down the side windows would clear things enough to see. Waiting for the rush hour campus traffic on 48th Avenue, I shot a picture of the nearly whiteout conditions at the light at M-45. Given the cold I dragged out the professional 35mm film Nikon F4s the past two days. I've been playing with the lighter weight D100 and N2020 so much, holding up the solid F4s brick was nearly a shock, but at ISO 400, I could still shoot at 1/350th at f3.5 in the impending gloom.
That was the best visibility I had going home. You could just make out the tracks on the roads and heading west into the storm rapidly coated my windshield. Alas the driver's side washer jet was buried in snow for most of the trip and by the time I made onto Warner, visibility sucked hairy eyeballs, especially when traffic the other way sent big plumes of snow into the air. Made it home at about 25 mph.
Mrs. Dr. Phil stayed late to hear a program at GVSU, but felt it was easier to deal with given fewer vehicles on the road. In the snow and dark, the streetlamps kept the way marked through town.
Along the lakeshore, snows were much heavier, up to a foot or more. I got up today ten minutes early and observed a nice bright waning quarter moon overhead shining brightly. Mrs. Dr. Phil went out to scoop the turnaround and a quick pass to the road and back. Slow going through town, but things cleared up by US-131. Brilliant Sun on campus, though I had to use a further handicapped spot because with the markings covered in scraped snow, there were four hang tag vehicles covering about five wide handicapped parking spots.
One of the weather reports talked about a winter storm warning for Friday -- another talked of snow and 40mph winds and blizzard conditions. As usual, what does one believe? I turned tomorrow's in class quiz into a take home. (grin)