Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Like I already said, I was erroneous in this assumption.
This morning soon after the sun arrived, under a clear blue sky, I headed to the cool pool and hot tub with the outer world being much colder than I had expected.
19 degrees. With the Wind Chill Factor making that 19 degrees feel like 11 degrees.
11 degrees is getting into the temperature range where I start feeling cold.
So, this morning I had only on brief jump from the hot tub to the deep end of the cool pool, which was much warmer than 11 degrees, then a fast move through the cool pool to the shallow end for a swift entry back in to the hot tub.
Last night I called my Arizona sister on my Google phone which identifies me as Maura Collins. I'd already called my sister, on the Google phone, a couple days ago, with her Caller I.D. telling my sister it was Maura Collins calling, with it taking two attempts before my sister would answer the unknown Maura's call, that first time, but with my sister answering on the third ring last night, because now my sister knows about my new identity.
Anyway, somehow the subject briefly switched to my cool pool dips, with me mentioning that the icy hydrotherapy seems to have abated, totally, for now, my mild arthritis symptoms. My sister opined that this seems to be the opposite of what cold usually does to arthritis symptoms.
But I am quite happy to be an exception to the usual arthritic rule regarding sore joints and the arthritic reaction to cold weather.
With most of the white ice in full retreat I discovered a new peril this morning. With that new peril being small spots of ultra-slippery clear ice.
Be careful out there, fellow North Texans.....
Monday, December 9, 2013
An Escape From The Great North Texas Ice Storm Of 2013 With A Walk With The Village Creek Indian Ghosts
|Two People & Their Dog Pony|
And so I aimed my steering wheel towards Arlington, to the Village Creek Natural Historical Area.
I was half expecting the park to be closed, due to fallen tree limbs, or dangerous slipperiness.
However, entry to the parking lot was not blocked, and so I parked and had myself a mighty fine time walking with the cold Indian ghosts.
I came upon two other people enjoying the invigorating cold, along with an animal that looked like a cross between a small pony and a dog.
Driving-wise, the only icy treachery was on the two over passes I had to pass over on my way, back and forth. The John T. White over pass over I-820 was the more adventurous of the two, with it being a very bumpy, very icy section of road. The Cooks Lane over pass over I-30 was not as iced up, but still, everyone was doing their passover in slow mode.
The ice around my cool pool was mostly in full retreat this morning. Thus I was able to test what it is like to get into a cool pool when the outer world is chilled much cooler than the cool pool. It was one quick dip and then a retreat to the hot tub.
But then I got too hot in the hot tub and so I did two more quick dips in the cool pool. It actually is very invigorating to do so. I think more people should give this form of hydrotherapy a try.
I needed milk and a couple other vittles-type items. And so I made a quick stop at ALDI after walking with the slippery Indian ghosts. Having an ALDI now so conveniently located is very convenient.
I hope this Ice Storm is the last of this type weather event for the year, and into next year, til spring arrives.
But, I suspect this Ice Storm was only the preview of a wicked winter to come....
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Including the guy on the ground, kneeling by his blue car which he slid perpendicular to the curb.
When I first saw this particular perpendicular blue car the driver was still behind the wheel, spinning the rear wheels in a futile effort to get moving.
Then he exited the car about the time one of Fort Worth's finest showed up. I could not hear what the cop in the car was telling the guy on the ground.
Soon another Fort Wort cop car showed up. The cop cars and the stuck car and the other stuck cars were making the road impassable for those vehicles who were not stuck.
After about a minute the cop in the second cop car got on his loudspeaker and said something funny like "Please move your police car, it is blocking traffic."
Soon all the cops were helping the guy in the blue car get moving again, telling him to put it in 1st gear and not to push on the gas pedal.
At one point all four cops were pushing from behind the blue car. After that all four pushed the blue car from the driver's side, with the ice being so slippery they were able to move the car in the direction it needed to go.
I was quite impressed with how nice the cops were whilst dealing with this. I'm sure this was just one of many similar type incidents they've been dealing with the past several days.
I am ready for the Great North Texas Ice Storm of 2013 to fade into history....
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Yesterday, on Day One of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, I was a little surprised to see the Fort Worth buses busy rolling over the ice, with no noticeable problem getting up and down the hills which were being major vexations for those driving cars.
I thought the Ice Storm may have grounded the buses. I thought wrong.
Today, on Day Two of the Great North Texas Ice Storm, with the ice having grown much slicker over night, I was again surprised to see the Fort Worth buses busy rolling over the ice.
However, today the buses were rolling noticeably slower. And whilst I was helping Miss Puerto Rico deal with a fallen tree this morning we saw one of the buses come down the hill, slowly, and then have a little sideways sliding action whilst maneuvering around a couple stuck cars.
With the Fort Worth bus system, known as the "T", delivering its people packages so reliably under these dire conditions, it occurred to me that it would be an excellent idea, excellent, I tell you, if the "T" would announce via radio and other means that bus service, system-wide, was free during the duration of the dire weather event.
Free bus service on an occasion like this would accomplish several things.
One good thing would be offering free bus service would likely cause a lot of people to decide to take the bus, rather than risk driving.
Another good thing is offering free bus service under these dire conditions would cause people to ride the bus for the first time, and thus discover how good the Fort Worth bus system is.
Additionally, getting extra weight on the bus, in the form of extra humans, would likely make the buses more stable in these slippery conditions.
Also, offering free bus service would likely cause more people to decide to risk the ice to go shopping or to a restaurant.
Due to going slightly stir crazy I was tempted to go on a bus ride today, and pay the fare, which is still way cheaper than driving. And safer.
The stir crazy thing had me back in the outer world late this afternoon. I managed to slip my way up to Albertsons, which is where I saw the Fort Wort bus in the picture above. I saw three Fort Worth buses in the short time I was exposed to their route this afternoon.
Speaking of the sliding. I saw some major slipping issues in the Albertsons parking lot. One was a pickup truck which could get no traction. And then, after many minutes of tires spinning the truck began to slowly move. Another vehicle, of the car sort, could not make it up the gentle slope which leads to the parking lot.
On my way back to my abode I had myself one incident of extreme sliding. I had no control. I was able to ride it out without falling. That slide was at least 20 feet. Very unsettling. And yet, also sort of fun.
I am ready for this to end. But, I believe we are scheduled for several more days of ice and the deep freeze....
To the left of the fountain is the hot tub I use to get hot if I get too cool in the cool pool.
This morning, what with it being a measly 16 degrees, I thought some hydro-therapy in the hot tub might have a salubrious effect.
My original plan had been to get in the hot tub and then try one dip in the cool pool, curious was I as to how that would feel, what with the water being much warmer than the air. However, the ice cover had grown more slippery overnight. I did not think it a good idea to try and walk, barefoot, from a hot tub to a cool pool over thick ice.
Whilst in the hot tub I noticed the icicles you see in the picture. After finishing the hot tubbing I returned to my warm abode and outfitted myself in proper attire suitable for not getting cold in air chilled to 16 degrees, then returned to the outer world to take the above picture and to check on the icy condition of my motorized transport device.
It was on my way to that aforementioned motorized transport device that I discovered I'd made the right decision not to walk barefoot on ice. I was barely on the ice, with my slip resistant waffle stompers over my formerly bare feet, when I had myself a sudden fall from the vertical position. I had a fairly smooth landing and am fairly optimistic no damage was done, other than startling me out of my peaceful frame of mind.
Reading the news this morning I should have realized the level of slipperiness had amped up overnight, what with the news that I-20 west of Weatherford had turned into a treacherous thick ice impassable mess after the melted ice re-froze.
I-35 north of Denton, to the Oklahoma border, also had to be closed, with a lot of travelers stranded on those sections of road, and other locations.
So, for the first time in a long time I will not be going on my regularly scheduled Saturday treasure hunt at Town Talk.
Today I don't think it is safe even to take myself on a neighborhood walkabout. I don't think I could make it to Albertsons without falling.
Friday, December 6, 2013
I opted to take an icy walking tour of my neighborhood and found myself surprised to find people risking driving on the ice, with that risk being too risky for several that my eyes witnessed.
As you can see my pool is looking particularly cool today, with its new white and turquoise color scheme.
I quickly realized walking on the ice of this Ice Storm was not as difficult as other ice storms I've walked on. And so I decided to try to walk and slide to Albertsons.
I quickly came upon the scene below, on the hill below Albertsons, with cars spinning their tires, with various levels of success, trying to get up the hill on Boca Raton Boulevard.
I learned later the white car on the right slid to that location hours previous and was abandoned by its driver. Not a good place to leave ones car. I saw several incidents of near misses as cars and trucks careened up and down the hill. The car on the far left was also stuck, but the driver was still behind the wheel. The blue car was trying to push it to no avail. Eventually a truck with two big burly guys showed up who were able to push the car enough to get it moving on its own.
As you can see, Albertsons is open, with a few people successfully managing to slide their way to the parking lot. I only saw two Albertsons checkout people checking people out. Both were dressed as if they were out in the cold, complete with stocking caps.
Leaving Albertsons I soon came upon Miss Puerto Rico. None of her co-workers were able to make it in today. Miss Puerto Rico asked if I wanted to tour her property with her, looking for ice damage. That sounded possibly entertaining, so I walked along, for awhile.
The only problem found whilst I was part of the Miss Puerto Rico inspection team was a big branch which had broken off and on to two vehicles. Neither vehicle appeared to have suffered any damage.
After I abandoned Miss Puerto Rico's inspection team I tried to open the door of my own personal mechanized transportation device, to no avail. The driver's side lock was covered with ice, with more ice sealing the door shut solid.
I was able to get the key in the passenger's side door and unlock it. But that door was also sealed shut with ice.
I then got myself a pitcher full of hot water which was able to do enough melting that I got the passenger door open and then was able to open the driver's side door by pushing from the inside.
I wanted to get my vehicle motion ready in case of an emergency need to drive somewhere. Apparently we are not scheduled to get any addition ice coverage. What we get to deal with now is continuing below freezing temperatures which will prevent much of the ice cover from melting.
I am sort of already over winter and winter has not even yet made its official arrival...
On a normal day at this point in time I would be up close and personal with that cool pool.
But today that cool pool is way too cool.
As in the predicted Ice Storm has stormed in with a White Vengeance.
Icicles formed over night on various surfaces. Frozen water pellets pummel relentlessly, making a tinkling noise as they make earth contact.
The outer world at my location, according to my computer based temperature monitoring device, is currently frozen to 26 degrees.
I have not lost power.
But, apparently, over 100,000 in North Texas are currently in shiver mode without electricity.
It just occurred to me I should make a big pot of coffee for backup purposes, kept in the refrigerator, for emergency iced coffee medication if the power goes out for an extended time.
I really don't want to suffer caffeine withdrawal in addition to Ice Storm misery.
China's Dragon King Harbor River Vision Sees A Cooler Bridge Than The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Sees
And then it was explained to me that this is not one of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's bridges to nowhere.
Instead it is a bridge, called the "Mobius" bridge, that is part of the Dragon King Harbor River Vision in the town of Meixi Lake in a place called Changsha, China.
What with China being a thriving progressive democracy, I assume, unlike in totalitarian Fort Worth, the Chinese public voted to support the funding mechanism needed to build this amazing looking public works project.
I wonder if the Dragon King Harbor River Vision has Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats at a place called Dragon King Harbor Pavilion?
I also wonder if the Dragon King Harbor River Vision's executive director is the unqualified son of a local politician?
I suspect not, what with China being, like I already said, a thriving, progressive democracy....
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Ice Storm hath arrived.
Soon after the sun left for the day, rain began slowly dripping.
A short while after the departure of the sun, and the arrival of the drippage, the temperature dropped below freezing.
The temperature continues to drop.
I called my mom today to let her know I may be heading into primitive caveman status for the unforeseeable future, due to predictions of wide Ice Storm caused power outages and so I may be incommunicado due to the fact that all my communicado devices require electricity.
Except for my carrier pigeons.
My mom does not like to get messages via carrier pigeons due to her irrational flea phobia.
I just returned from stepping outside. The ice is already coating the outer world like clear slippery frosting on a very cold cake.
I have a bad feeling about this, a very bad feeling.
However, I do take comfort in the fact that my bad feelings are rarely validated by reality....
Methinks the cold that has descended upon the western half of the United States is portentous for some icy times ahead, what with the fact that we are still 16 days from the start winter. As you can see, above, my current town of residence, Fort Worth, has a similar 7 day forecast to my former town of residence, Mount Vernon, Washington, as you can see below.
A major difference between the Fort Worth forecast and the Mount Vernon forecast is there is no Ice Storm scheduled for Mount Vernon. I don't know if an Ice Storm has ever happened in the Skagit Valley. I know I never experienced such a thing until I experienced Texas, with my first Ice Storm wreaking havoc about two weeks after my Lone Star State arrival. A shocking, unexpected, welcome to Texas.
And then we have the 7 day forecast for the zone of Arizona where my parental units, sister, favorite brother-in-law and my two youngest nephews live.
Also cold, with some Phoenix area temperature predictors issuing freeze warnings.
I am preparing for the coming deep freeze and potential power loss. I have located extra blankets. I have so far been unsuccessful at finding firewood. I have never burned firewood in my fireplace.
I have a gas-fired lantern ready to be lit. A gas-fired cook stove ready for emergency cooking. An ice chest ready for emergency chilling.
And I have located my previously lost long underwear. I think I am ready....