Wednesday, March 20, 2019

As the snow melts

A week ago today -- March 13 -- we got hit by the blizzard. The forecasters were very accurate in their predictions, and just as they'd warned, the storm began with overnight rain. Once the air temps fell below the freezing mark, what would have otherwise been a wind-lashed deluge of liquid water became a howling blizzard. As predicted the storm lasted about 36 hours, When it left there was a lot of snow on the ground.

It was kind of a mess.

Now, a week later, a great deal of the snow has melted. There are still a lot of drifts remaining, and some of them are still huge, but they are rapidly disappearing.

Over at my favorite step-running viaduct/underpass, for instance, a huge drift completely covered both sets of steps on the north side of the tracks immediately after the storm, and both the roadway and walkways underneath the tracks were completely choked with snow. I should have got some pictures but I didn't. Interestingly, due to the vagaries of the wind, the single stairway on the south side collected no more than a foot of snow, and I've been able to run on that one since Sunday.

Working out has been tricky since the storm. Scooping tons of snow last Thursday and Friday provided a solid total-body workout, and that was good, but I missed the high level cardio of running. Through the weekend my usual running paths were walkable but running was pretty much out of the question. Need is the mother of invention though, and I found a lot of places to run through smooth and relatively shallow snow. That's some good cardio right there.

Speaking of working out, a few weeks ago our local VFW had an annual PFT challenge. The idea was to see if any of us olden codgers could meet the active duty PFT standard. Eight of us participated and I was the oldest by 15 years. The local Chief of Police, a good Navy man, was the next eldest, but he's only 43. The other six were former dog-faces in their early to mid 30's. Interestingly, the standards haven't changed much since my day back in the black and white cold war era. There's the 2.5 mile run (19 minutes), as well as pushups, situps and -- new to me -- pullups. The standard for those is 40/40/20 in a two-minute period.

Surprising everyone, including myself, I came out on top. I didn't have the best time on the run but I was middle of the pack at 18:13. I crushed the pack on everything else though, with 61 pushups, 49 situps, and 41 pullups.

It'll be interesting to see how it goes next year. The youngsters should be able to beat me handily, now that they've been warned that the old dude isn't as creaky as he's supposed to be.

The downside to the whole thing is that in my zeal to show the youngsters how we did it back in the stone age I managed to tweak my shoulder pretty good. I'm resting it to let it heal, but it seems to be taking forever to get back to normal. I'll have to be careful with rehab and pay more attention to proper form rather than trying to power through on strength alone.

Now, about that flooding...

First of all, there's no flooding here. That's all well to the east of us, at least 200 miles away. Second of all, and most importantly, the flooding is just flooding, and not the end of the world. It's exactly what happens in this part of the country every time there's more precipitation and/or runoff than the ground can soak up. It looks bad on the tee-vee, and it does a lot of damage, and it inconveniences lots and lots of people, and it even kills a few folks. But it's just nature doing what nature does. It's not climate change. It's normal climate variability. A pox on everyone who is sensationalizing the situation for fun and profit. Bad people!

And I need to wrap this one up if I want to actually get it posted. Spring arrives at 4:58 p.m. local today, and the forecast is for sunny and warm. I plan to enjoy it.


  1. Good the read that the media are doing their usual bang up job of making mountains out of mole hills. Also happy to read that things are mostly well with you.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Thanks for stopping by Paul. As always, mostly well here in this part of the world.

  2. Did you get to play with your Bobcat? Stay warm and dry, Shaun!