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Archive for December, 2008

Arctic Blast 2008

It’s that time again, time for an Arctic Blast. Only happens about once every five years or so in Portland, Oregon. Only this time, for some reason, it seems to be lasting a very long time. Our first little bits of snow starting coming down about a week ago, and then there was snow blanketing the city on and off since then. Over this past weekend we received the motherlode of snow, somewhere around 6-8 inches I’m guessing. It appears to be still snowing.

At first it was rather exciting. My boss, who is originally from San Diego, declared that the roads out to our office with their mere dusting of snow were too hazardous to drive. We all went out and fetched our computers and worked from the comforts of our houses, all week. I went along with the game and pretended to feel equally snowbound, all the while driving out to the horse barn everyday to take care of my horse, who lives very close to this supposedly “snowbound” office. But now, now that we are actually snowbound, I’m beginning to feel differently. We’ve sort of run out of snowbound activities, you could say. We have already had “nights out” at all the bars within stumbling distance of our house. We have played all the board games in the house that are appropriate for two people, and when those were over, we got drunk with the neighbors. We’ve had movie nights and baking nights. I even had a letter writing night, yes, actual hand written letters on paper that I will now take to the post office and mail with actual stamps. Everybody on my street keeps bringing over cookies and scones and shit they keep baking in their ovens, with nothing else to do. In my neighborhood, which tends ever so slightly towards “urban redneck”, people are driving past my house on ATV’s.

The problem comes that Portland is incapable of doing anything about the snow. There are very few snowplows, no such thing as sanding trucks or even perhaps accessible stockpiles of sand. The prevailing snow mentality is to require everyone to use tire chains and just hope it melts. 4 out of 5 times this proves to be an acceptable strategy, as the snow really does melt quickly. But tire chains are relatively helpless in large accumulations of snow, and there is that 1 time out of 5 where it sticks around for a week or so, and the city shuts down. Like now.

The plan for today? Another booze run. Maybe buy some new toys. And we had a wholesome board game playing letter writing night last night, so it might be time to start cycling back through the neighborhood dive bars.

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