Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yet Another Urban Legend

The snow and cold is taking its toll on everyone. People who use to be outside golfing, doing yard work, hiking, etc., are now forced to move their activities indoors. The weather is causing all sorts of urban legends to surface. Again, remember, urban legends are modern day folklore consisting of stories passed around by word of mouth, the printed page, and the internet. Some are true some are not.

This urban legend has it that a snowplow driver uncovered a restraining order. While weird behavior continues at many local shopping malls, it is unclear if the restraining order was ever issued or if it was accidentally covered by snow.


Mr. DoDo who resides at you know where, is hereby instructed to cease all activity at the Shop’s A Lot shopping mall and all malls within a fifteen-mile radius based on the following allegations. All incidents were documented on video surveillance.

December 19: Mr. DoDo took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

December 20: Mr. DoDo walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in house wares... and watched what happened.

December 21: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.

December 22: Mr. DoDo moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

December 24: When a clerk asks if they can help him, Mr. DoDo begins to cry and asks, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'

December 26: While handling guns in the hunting department, Mr. DoDo asked the clerk if he knew where to find the antidepressants.

December 28: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.

January 2: Looking right into the security camera; Mr. DoDo used it as a mirror, and picked his nose.

January 5: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browse through, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"

January 10: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumes the fetal position and screams "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!

January 19: Went into a fitting room, shut the door waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here!"

Is this urban legend fact or fiction – you be the judge.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Urban Legend

I know I have been writing a lot about snow lately, and I am sorry. I promise you this, I will quit when the snow does. Right now, I'm taking this as personal challenge to outlast those sparkling little white flakes – they have such an attitude!

Friends in Nebraska namely Cliff and Marilyn, and their friends Jim and Frances revealed to me an urban legend I was unaware of. In case you are not familiar with urban legends, they are modern day folklore consisting of stories passed around by word of mouth, the printed page, and the internet. Some are true some are not. You be the judge.

Recently an urban legend surfaced in Denver. The scary thing about this legend, at least for me, was some of the names. Supposedly, a journal was uncovered following a recent snowstorm. It may be true, maybe its not, but I can relate to what was written in the pages of . . .

Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8: It started to snow. The first snow of the season. Char and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Shoveling the snow made me feel like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14: Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and two extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. Char wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt in the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. Char laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for five hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. Man, I hate it when she's right. I can’t believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20: Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the white stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower, and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas, because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt 'til August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel, and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel! Tried to hire Bob, who has a plow on his truck, for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think he is lying.

December 23: Only 2" of snow today, and it warmed up to "0". Char wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What, is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did, but I think she's lying.

December 24: 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the driver of that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over everywhere I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the snowplow driver.

December 25: Merry F!=3D@x@!x!x1 Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. Man, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life” one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30, and the pipes froze. Plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him; he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in.

December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver. He is now suing me for a million dollars; not for only the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his butt. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31
: I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8: Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Take a Guess

No really I mean it – take a guess. Below are four statements but only one of them is true. Read the statements, ponder them for a while, and then see if you can select the right answer. Before you get started, I’ll give you a couple of hints: this is not a trick quiz, and there is only one right answer. Now to make it easier I have even embedded another clue into the choices.

If you think you have the right answer leave it in the comment section. The correct answer will be posted in a few days. Ready? Then let’s begin!

We are expecting snow again this weekend and because of that:

A. I’ll be standing at the window, sipping hot chocolate, looking out in awe thinking how white, crisp, clean and pristine everything looks.

B. For most of the weekend, I’ll be walking around, a smile from ear to ear, singing, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”.

C. I will take my hot chocolate and my singing outside because I’m just giddy with excitement about being able to use my new snow shovel again.

D. I’ll be walking around most of the weekend saying things like “This crap is never going to melt! Never!” AND “That’s it! This is our last year here – we’re moving to Nebraska!” AND “I feel like a caged animal! I feel like a caged animal” AND “We have had snow on the ground for the past 39 days! To put that into perspective it only rained for 40 days when Noah was on the Ark!”

Well good luck everybody. I never said it was going to be easy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yes, Deer!

No this post is not about Char. It’s about deer – with two e’s. Not dear as in “your every wish”.

My office outside Denver is located at an airport which is close to a six-lane highway, that carries traffic from Boulder to Denver. It is a busy highway. Yesterday I was meeting with a person I work with and we were discussing the need to bring rural forestry and urban forestry closer together. It is not an easy concept to grasp. That’s when I looked out the window and saw this. . .
And this. . . .

Denver now has an abundance of deer in places like my office parking lot, people’s backyards, and even shopping centers! Know why? According to the division of wildlife, there is so much snow in the high country that the deer are coming into town (Denver and the surrounding communities) looking for food.

Okay, now that we are talking about food and with all due respect to my vegetarian readers is it just me or is anyone else thinking barbecue?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Falling Temperatures

Lately I have been writing a lot about snow. Some people, like Cheyenne, like snow and want some of it. I wish it were in my power to give her some of what is piled up in my yard. I’m not greedy. I’d give her most, if not all, of it.

But it has also has brought cold temperature. Everyone got excited the other day when we warmed up to 32 degrees. Thirty-two degrees – that’s freezing. Cold temperatures and falling temperatures are nothing new this year.

Saturday morning I woke up and according to the TV the temperature outside was 13 degrees. That’s when I noticed it was also a little nippy inside the house. Our programmable thermostat read 51 degrees! That is a far cry from the toasty 70 degrees I am use to waking up with. The furnace wasn’t working.

That’s when I called my neighbor, my good friend, my golf partner. Did I happen to mention he owns a heating and air conditioning business?

Ralph: Bobby my furnace isn’t working.
Bobby: I’ll be there in a minute.
Ralph: Say, there’s no hurry, whenever (Yes, I was lying)
Bobby: I’ll be there in a minute.

About a minute later, Bobby was at my door. Now this is where the story gets good. He took the panel off my furnace, looked at it for about thirty seconds, then within a minute he had it going again. I’m not kidding! It took less than three minutes to look in there see the problem and fix it. That is what I call expertise.

I have always appreciated people with that kind of expertise in their chosen field. But I can tell you first hand, when the temperature is rapidly falling inside your house you REALLY appreciate it.

On another note, it is snowing again. We already have about six inches and it is still snowing hard. This is the fifth weekend in a row it has snowed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Like The Saying Goes. . .

. . . out with the old, in with the new. This is my old snow shovel. I’ve had this beauty for around fifteen years. It’s seen its fair share of snow. But with all the recent snowstorms, and the amount of snow we had, it was getting used up. The right side is worn off a little, the left side is bent in a little, and the handle is slightly twisted so you had to watch how you held it. In short, it has served it’s time.

So, I broke down and bought a new one. I’m not completely happy with it because it has that new ergonomic handle. I prefer a straight handle shovel but couldn’t find one. But the real exciting news is on that little yellow sticker.

It has a nylon wear strip!

That will extend the blade life!

Maybe I’ll get more than fifteen years out it.

The shovel will be put to the test this weekend – we are expecting another snowstorm.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Weekend Off

If things go according to plan, I am taking next weekend off. Not from work, not from blogging, but from partying.

Last weekend we had Tiffany’s party. That was a lot of fun. Last night I invited a few friends over and we celebrated Char’s birthday. That too was a lot of fun.

Back when I was younger, I remember going to one type of party or another four or five times a week. I think the key phrase is – “back when I was younger”

PARTY ON – I’m taking a week off!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Better NOT Older

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate Char’s birthday. I wrote a pretty good post about her birthday last year – not sure I can top that. You can read it here.

So what did Char get for her birthday? Among other things, I got her a collapsible snow shovel and a bag of kitty litter to keep in her car. I thought she might need it in case she gets stuck in the snow. No sense both of us being out in this cold weather.

Happy Birthday Char!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Moving On

We had a lot of fun yesterday but it was a little bittersweet.

Tiff graduated in December and yesterday we had a little party for her. The chocolate fountain next to her seemed to be a hit with everyone. It provided a lot of entertainment. I have to admit I am really, really proud of what Tiff has accomplished and I am sure, like her mother, she will be a great teacher.

The bittersweet part had nothing to with the chocolate fountain. Rather, it had to do with people moving on. Yesterday afternoon I kept looking at our good friends from Nebraska realizing they would be leaving soon. Then all afternoon I listened to our son explain to people how he was taking a job, in another part of the country, and would be leaving soon. It is a great opportunity for him, I just wish it were here.

Then in the back of mind was the fact that bright and early this morning we would have to take Tiff to the airport to return to Chicago. Here is a picture of her hugging Char goodbye.

While the chocolate fountain provided some great entertainment, it could not compete with our friends from Nebraska - Cliff and Marilyn. They drove close to a thousand miles to attend this party. I thought it was a petty remarkable feat that people from Denver and Fort Collins showed up given the weather. Cliff and Marilyn crossed two states to be here. As usual, their visit was way to short. But, as usual, it was a lot of fun.

The chocolate fountain was whirling away and Cliff and I were given the task of setting the table. I don’t think this is what Char and Marilyn had in mind but it worked quite well.

Anyway, thanks to Cliff and Marilyn for making the long journey. Thanks to all that showed up. Congratulations to Nate on the new job. And a special thanks to Tiffany for giving us a reason to have a party.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Oh No! Not Again!

Well it’s snowing again! Or, should I say still. We had another eight inches of snow in the driveway this morning and it is still coming down.

The biggest problem is where to put the snow. There are huge piles of snow everywhere.

A couple of years ago my good friend, Bobby, gave me this snow blower. I have been storing it in the shed. During our last blizzard, I took it out and Bobby got it running pretty good.

I used it this morning and it works quite well. It’s a lot like mowing the grass – in the winter.