Posts Tagged ‘Snow’

Leaving on a Jetplane – just in time for snow

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I’m currently sitting in a lay-over in OAK (Oakland Airport) in the Bay Area. I love it here – wouldn’t want to live here, but I love visiting. The Wife and I were engaged at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco almost 4 years ago now. As I’m sitting here in the newly redesigned airport, I’m looking out on the bay, remembering a time when this wing didn’t exist and OAK was more of a bus terminal than an airport. I’m gazing into the distance, wishing I could go and hit all of the hot spots we know and love in The City: Sears Kitchen (Favorite Breakfast place), The Gallery Cafe (Great coffee shop next to the Cable Car Museum!), The Sugar Cafe (hip lounge off Union Square) and so much more!  We really need to get over the The City and visit.

Sears Fine Fod

Sears Fine Fo0d

I’m on my way to Las Vegas to visit my clients and spend some quality time with Mike of Mike and Jersey Jen (From Michigan). I have some time, so I decided pull out the old MacBook Pro and log in.  I just noticed that Spokane is expecting snow, of course because I’m out of town.  I have this ongoing battle with snow, it seams.  Ever since we moved away from Las Vegas, the snow has really messed with me.  When we first moved to Spokane, last December, we were moved in for about 6 days and then it snowed.  5 Feet over 30 days.  I was so sore from shoveling, that I decided to bite the bullet (not advisable) and purchase a snowblower.  If you read my previous post, You’re Welcome, Inland Northwest, you’ll recall that just before the snowblower arrived at the house, it stopped snowing in Spokane.

I’m back on the plane, headed to Las Vegas now.  I’m sitting next to a girl that The Dragen would dub a SMHH (Smokin’ Molten Hot Hottie).  The Dragen is a little bit of a troublemaker – I recommend you watch your ladies as he tends to unknowingly pop up in pictures around the world.  This girl is perfect for him.  We struck up a conversation about iPhones because her screen was smashed and mine is perfect.  I sort of hazed her about it and told her how I baby mine. She told me she is from Seattle and visiting friends in Las Vegas.  The Jury’s out on whether she’s really a stripper or not.  I snapped this little covert photo with the iPhone while I was grabbing the MacBook Pro back out of my coveted Johnston and Murphy computer bag.  You be the judge…

The Dragen's SMHH

The Dragen's SMHH

…I’m rambling.

That’s right folks, 30 days, 5 feet of snow and then a few days before the beast arrives?  Nothing.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  It did snow one day in March or April.  I was so excited that I waited all day to let the snow accumulate on the driveway.  At about 2PM, I walked out to a delightful inch of snow on the driveway.  Excited like a kid in a candy shop, I fired that sucker up and blew that inch of snow to Alaska.  Well, that’s not entirely true either.  You see, the problem with a spring snow is that the air temperature is warm enough that it is a heavy, wet snow.  If you’ve ever shoveled wet snow before, you know why this is a Frerking pain (big ups to The Greatest Vet of All Time, Dr. Thad Frerking) in the butt.  It’s bad enough shoveling 5 feet of light powder.  But an inch of wet snow is like shoveling mud.

This guy sitting next to me just pointed his head toward The Dragen’s Southwest SMHH, smiled and winked. He apparently approves as well.  He looks like an Italian mobster.  I’m rambling again.

I decided I would document my snowblower’s first use.  I took my Olympus Waterproof Camera (this is camera # 2 – that’s a story for another time) because waterproof camera’s are essential when documenting the first use of my Troybilt Snowblower.  I managed to record several shots of me firing it up, idling it and then running this 6 speed piece of art.  One problem.  The snow is supposed to fly out of the blower hood like a Christmas Snowstorm.  However, apparently when snowblower in the springtime with wet snow, it basically falls out of the blower hood and clumps up on the top of the auger lid.  Not very impressive.

I was a skateboarder back in the day, currently snowboard and aspire to learn to surf.  One of my favorite things about these sports are the various videos that are created of these guys putting it all on the line to get that one trick.  I love the snowmobiling ones too.  These guys make snowmobiling look so easy.  I’ve always wanted to make a video like that, and with all of the snowblower first use clips I had, I called in a favor to my good buddy, Matt Struck over at Crosspoint in Denver, ColoradoMatt’s a really talented video editor.  I’ve seen tons of his work – it’s absolutely incredible.  I sent the clips over to him as well as a Beastie Boy’s  song from the Paul’s Boutique album – The Sounds of Silence.  You have to understand Matt’s talent here.  These 8 video clips are taken from either the bumper of my FJ Cruiser or The gUrt-Cam.  Lets say that it’s pretty boring footage.  Then, to top it off, it’s not like I’m jumping a snowmobile over the Grand Canyon, right?  I’m just blowing an inch of snow off the driveway.  Even then, it’s not shooting out like a snowstorm, rather dropping out of the top like an upside down soft-serve ice cream machine.

I’ll tell you what – the man’s got skills!  He managed to take some seriously crappy, boring footage and turn it into a snowblowing frenzy.  It’s crazy! Enjoy…

Many, Many, MANY thanks to Matt Struck at Crosspoint in Denver, Colorado.

Crosspoint, Denver, CO

Crosspoint, Denver, CO

The Hand You Were Dealt

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I spent the better part of last week in Denver.  Now, if you know your timelines, then you are correct if you thought to yourself, “Wasn’t there a big snowstorm in Denver last week?“  If you haven’t read my “You’re Welcome, Inland Northwest” story, I recommend it.  You’ll understand my next comment.  That’s right folks, I am officially traveling with the snowblower.  It dumps snow for 5 weeks, I buy a snowblower and then it doesn’t snow a bit.  Then, I travel to Denver, who hasn’t received snow all winter, and it dumps 18 inches.  No snowblower means I had to shovel out Bab’s Diesel VW Passat on Friday morning.  I flew back on Saturday night and have been in pain again for the last 5 days.  Frerking shoveling (big ups to The Greatest Vet of All Time, Dr. Thad Frerking).  I think I slipped a disk.

I had an interesting situation occur while I was traveling back home.  I was on the plane on Saturday night, just after my layover at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.  I had just boarded as I am always top 25 on Southwest Airlines (A-List BABY!) so I get priority seating and I was doing my usual ritual.  I typically choose the aisle seat in one of the first few rows of the plane so I can get off quickly when we land.  Being that I am probably the most impatient and most claustrophobic person on the plane, it’s best if I am off ASAP.  If not, I’m liable to hurt someone, or say something totally inappropriate.  The other part of my ritual is that I try not to make any eye contact with the people walking past me.  Now, don’t think I’m not scoping out the people whilst they’re walking by.  Oh yes, I’m profiling baby.  I’m hand picking the person that is going to be lucky enough to sit next to me the whole flight and typically once I choose that person, I’ll make eye contact.  Then, usually, they’ll look at me like I’m oozing gross and walk right past me.

On this particular flight, I happen to see a pretty good looking woman walk through the door.  Now, she was definitely striking, but I could tell she was about 2 inches from her cougar years.  Still, for a pre-coog, she was way hot.  So as she walks through the door, I thought to myself, the hot chicks never sit next to me.  I always end up with some guido in a track suit (Credit goes to Jersey Jen, From Michigan), yelling at his wife, spilling over into my seat, forcing me to lean into the aisle.  I’m always having back pain after flights – maybe because it’s the fact that guido is forcing me to sit sideways on the plane.  Maybe…or maybe it’s because I’m so far in the aisle that I end up getting smashed in the back by everyone and their mother as they walk up and down the aisle to the restroom.  They should remove those.  I’m rambling.

So, this pre-coog.  She walks right up to my aisle and says, “Is that seat taken?”  I was out of my seat before she could finish her sentence and grabbed her suitcase and started stuffing it into the overhead.  She said, “What a nice guy!  Thanks”.  Then I sat down, said my ‘Cool Guy’ (as The Wife calls it) “You Bet”, and proceeded to start reading my book.  Yeah boys, I turned ignore on full blast!  As I was reading I looked down because I noticed she was opening her book, being the totally nosy person that I am.  As I was looking at her book, I noticed out of the lower left corner of my eye that her left hand was loosely holding the book – and then I heard the sound of gears turning and her thumb mechanically clamped down on the book.

You guessed it, she had a prosthetic hand.  So, as your typical guy would do, I started panicking that my chivalrous act of grabbing her luggage may have been misconstrued as a leap to help the poor girl with the prosthetic arm.  Because it’s all about me, I stressed about it for about 2 minutes (which is pretty long for me to stress about offending someone) and then delved into my book.  About halfway through the flight, I overheard the woman in the window seat asking her about her arm.  I just had to force my way into the conversation.  There was no way I wasn’t going to stay out of this one.  I have always wondered how those prosthetic work.  As she was explaining the mechanics behind it, I saw an opportunity to explain that my chivalrous act was in reality a chivalrous act and not some sort of pity thing for the girl with the prosthetic arm.  She said she thought I was just being a gentleman.

At one point, the conversation turned to me.  We started talking about the book I was reading and I explained that it was actually the Bible and that I was reading it because I hadn’t ever read it cover to cover before.  I explained that The Wife and I are doing this scheduled Bible In A Year reading where there are a certain number of pages you read every day.  I also explained that I was reading it on the flight because I was about 3 weeks behind on my reading and that I wanted to capitalize on the long flight to catch up.  I’m only 2 weeks behind now, by the way.

One thing led to another and we found ourselves in a discussion about theology and I began to explain that religion is a good foundation in life, but it is important to be active in life and make things happen to yourself.  I explained that I didn’t think that it was good to sit around and wait for things to happen to you.  Then I went on to explain that bad things happen to everyone and that it was a fact of life.  I tend to like to use a lot of words to drive my points home (surprise), so I went forth with what I thought was a pretty groundbreaking statement, since we were coming from Vegas:

“Sometimes, you just have to deal with the hand you’re dealt.”

I’m an absolute Geniou…idiot.  There was a long pause. I thought she was going to open the emergency exit and toss me out.  Then she said, “Or in my case, the hand you WEREN’T dealt!”  Then she laughed really hard.  Now we’re friends on FaceBook.

You’re Welcome, Inland Northwest

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I’d first like to start by apologizing.  I know this is delayed – I didn’t realize that those of you readers out there need Home Sweet Homme to get through the week.  I did get all of your responses, however, so this one’s to you!  Now, this was actually written a few days ago, but I’ve been told that it is a bit controversial, so I apologize in advance to those of you offended by this post – namely Mamma J and The Big Guy.  Enjoy!

In Late October, The Wife accepted a position in Spokane, Washington.  At the time, we had been living in Las Vegas, Nevada – not to be confused with Las Vegas, New Mexico (home of the dirtiest toilets in the world!).  In a whirlwind move, The Wife gave her notice at her position in Las Vegas and moved in with her aunt and uncle in Spokane.  I felt bad for them.  She was there for 3 weeks and trashed the place.  We still get invited over for Wednesday Soup Nights, but I don’t know why.  She had her stuff everywhere.  When we arrived, it was four boxes and two tubs.  When she moved out, it took 4 trips to move everything over to the house.  Another time, we took The gUrt over for dinner for Wednesday Soup Night right around Christmas.  Within three minutes, he managed to eat half their toys into chunks and started grabbing toys off the Christmas Tree.  It was like a pirate who just stormed a ship – pillaging everything in site.  Man, I felt so bad that we proceeded to bring him two more nights.  The third Wednesday Soup Night at their house, he was so annoying that he is no longer invited.  That’s so embarrassing.  I uninvited him, but that’s because I could see it coming down the pipe anyway.  “Hey, Ash, ssssoooo…Hogan’s real nice and all, but…why don’t you plan on…leav…” – thanks, but I’ll cut you off at the pass! By the way, I think The Big Guy and Mamma J (my Father-In-Law and Mother-In-Law) are a little jealous of Wednesday Soup Nights.  They used to live in Spokane years ago and came up with the concept.  Then The Wife decided we’d do it with aunt and uncle.  So I thought I’d do some Wednesday Soup Nights T-Shirts.  I think I’d use a Cup-O-Noodles cup on the back and then say Wednesday Soup Nights on the front left or right chest.  Then I’ll put above the Cup-O-Noodles this: “What’s my weakness?  SOUP!” Yeah, that’d be so sweet.  I’m rambling.

So – Whirlwind Move – yes, The Wife was in Spokane in 3 weeks.   I stayed behind in Las Vegas and packed the house.  It was crazy – I packed the entire house in 1 week.  The movers came on a Thursday and packed everything up (remind me to tell that story – WOAH) , then I drove to the Northwest, my new home.  Now, this whole move was two weeks earlier than I had hoped for.  My plan was to send the movers off on a Tuesday and then drive up to San Francisco from Las Vegas, stay there for a day, drive up the coast from San Francisco to Tillamook and stay there for a couple days and let The gUrt play on the beach.  Then I’d leave, drive to Seattle, hang out with ServiceSucksNick (my Cousin-In-Law) for a day, then head over these crazy mountains to Spokane.  That’s right, drive some really high mountains in December between Seattle & Spokane.  Yes, I was going to do all of that – and all the while, leave The Wife to receive the movers in Spokane.  What a guy huh?  Well, I was quickly brought back to reality and we pushed the date forward 2 weeks to beat this HUGE snowstorm that Spokane could get.  Mind you, when I agreed to move to Spokane, I said I would do it on one condition – that I could get a snowmobile.  Correct that, two conditions.  That I could get TWO snowmobiles.  The Wife made fun of me, but I suggested that snowmobiles were needed in Spokane to get around in the winter.  She quickly corrected me and told me that Spokane barely get’s much snow in the winter.   So here she is saying one minute that Spokane doesn’t get much snow, but then that we needed to be up there two weeks earlier to beat the snow?  What gives?  I think she was just jealous of the “Ash and Hogan Road Show” and that she wasn’t going to be able to attend.  That’s what I think.  So we did it her way and moved up 2 weeks early.

We moved in and we were comfortable in our new digs.  She was right, the weather was really nice.  For 6 Days.  That’s right folks – 6 days.  Spokane proceeded to receive 61 inches of snow.  FIVE FEET of snow.  And here I am, Mr. Las Vegas, and I’m out side every hour shoveling snow.  To the point that I had 8 feet of snow on either side of the three car driveway and broke my back trying to lift it over the hump to remove it.  The first couple of weeks, I was meticulous with my shoveling.  I would shovel to the edge, then I would cut the edge and shovel snow away so there was a clean sliced edge along each side of the driveway.  All the neighbors probably thought, “Look at this A-Hole, he’s spending way to much time shoveling.  Most people would just shovel to the sides and then toss it on the edges in this half-assed manner.  Some would even leave one bay of their driveway un-shoveled and even stack some of the snow on it.  I thought that was “real smart.”  I laugh at them now because they have these driveways that have 8 feet of hard packed snow in them.  Some people, the one’s with the extra car they don’t drive, didn’t shovel them out.  Now those cars won’t go anywhere until next August!  HAH!  Not the Ash & Hogan Show – no way, our driveway is perfectly groomed!

I spent the better part of December and the beginning of January in pain.  It was a good pain, but I thought my back was broken.  So, we decided to break down and get a snow-blower – or snow-thrower for the fanatic readers!  I’ll tell you that whole debacle another time, but I managed to buy one online and have it delivered.  It took 2 weeks.  I shoveled that whole time just waiting for the day that the snow-blower would arrive.  I couldn’t wait!  I wanted to go out and buy gas and oil and all the fixings, but I didn’t know what I’d need, so I just waited.  About 2 days before the snow-blower arrived (January 8), it stopped snowing.  They delivered it, I went out and bought the gas can, filled it up, bought the oil, then I came home and fired that bad boy up!  OH YEAH – it’s a beast.  It will tear through a snowstorm like a hot knife through butter.  Just beautiful!

I can’t Frerking (big ups to The Greatest Vet of All Time, Dr. Thad Frerking) believe it.  After all of that, it hasn’t snowed since the snow-blower arrived.