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Snow storm lessons

February 13, 2007

Schools are closed today.  Even the university is closed. Snowploughs have been called in off the road as there is no use until the wind dies down – just wasting fuel.

Here are a few snowstorm lessons:

  • An unheated garage is a fine place to rebuild a snow-blower carburetor… if you do it in April.  February during a massive blizzard?  Not so good. (The alternative is to spend a week with shoveling-related back pain, or worse.)

  • If you run out of carburetor cleaner, brake cleaner will do, though it is not optimal.  Either one will suck the heat out of your hands in nothing flat.
  • When they talk about “gum” and “varnish” in old gas, that is not a metaphor.  Don’t trust “fuel preservatives” – just empty the damn thing in the spring.
  • That flat-top style on top of my car looks pretty cool, though.  I have always thought snow shapes were nifty.
  1. janet
    February 13, 2007 at 21:05 | #1

    I have used a bent-handle snow shovel for fifteen years.  I have a bad lower back, yet I do successfully shovel my own driveway which is 125 feet long.  Granted, it takes me two or three days to finish shoveling a deep snow like you just received, but it really is possible!
    Using the shovel requires a little bit of re-learning because you position your hands a bit differently.
    The bent-handle shovel to buy is the one with a METAL scoop.  These can be difficult to find. 
    Menards sells a bent-handle shovel with a plastic scoop but it is poorly designed; I’d only recommend getting it if you plan to replace the scooper with another one from another shovel.
    There.  That’s about all you ever wanted to know about snow shovels, isn’t it.

  2. February 13, 2007 at 22:40 | #2

    Actually, we have two shovels with the bent handle.  And they are about 15 years old, since I remember using them when I was the church custodian.
    They have a sturdy plastic scoop yet have served us well.

    The snow is so deep and heavy that the aid of a machine is necessary.
    It’s going to take awhile to dig out of what this storm brought.

    Schools are closed again tomorrow.  It’s nice the announcement was made so we can skip the alarm clock.

  3. February 14, 2007 at 07:43 | #3

    I miss snow – except for the shoveling and driving part.

  4. February 14, 2007 at 13:42 | #4

    That picture looks familiar, and the carb story is all too familiar. In Mexico they have Montezuma’s Revenge, here in New Hampshire it’s Techumseh’s Revenge. Engineers have gone to great pains to insure that there is no way to remove a gas line or a carburetor bowl without getting gas on your hands, short of using Waldos. I know. I’ve tried.

  5. February 14, 2007 at 18:33 | #5

    I’m with you – we’re getting slammed right now!  Hope you got the blower going!

  6. February 14, 2007 at 21:31 | #6

    Janet – good call on the bent-handle snow shovel, that’s what I like to use.  It was probably invented by a muffler-shop owner (who would have had access to a large tubing-bender machine)  But I do prefer using a snow-blower to shovelling.

    Breakerslion – they’re not thinking about us when they build the thing; the carb is dry when they assemble it and that’s all they care about. 

    Lisa – Yep, got ‘er running, though it was too small for the drifts and I wound up shovelling quite extensively anyway.  Should add to the lessons that dropping a tiny needle valve on a garage floor littered with assorted debris makes for a long search.  Someday I’ll become a tidier person, someday. 

    Hope you don’t get buried too badly.  Heck of a storm.

  7. February 14, 2007 at 22:42 | #7

    Things were pretty damn cool here in Kodak-land today, too.  I got out the house earlier than usual, anticipating a much longer commute to work.  (12 inches of snow?  No biggie … the schools closed, but the wheels of business needed to grind on.)  Turns out lots of folks (my better half included) stayed home and “telecommuted”, so the traffic volume was much less.  The plows had been out overnight and done a pretty good job, so the drive in was easy.

    Going home the roads were worse due to icy surfaces,  but I waited until after 6PM so that most of the traffic was gone … save for the folks on the shoulders who had crushed bumpers.

    BTW, a CR-V with Nokian Haakepellita 2 tires is a real fine ride.

  8. February 15, 2007 at 03:41 | #8

    Please tell me again what snow is.

  9. February 15, 2007 at 08:11 | #9

    Snow is the FSM‘s way of helping his favored people keep the beer cold on the way home from the store.

  10. February 19, 2007 at 17:37 | #10

    Nostalgia attack: 35 years ago, a Beetle that very light blue colour in our garage.  Magic.

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