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The Tentacle


February 8, 2010

Itís-sNOw-problem

Steven R. Berryman

If you can read this, then you are some of the lucky ones; still with electricity, and having free time from shoveling and plowing chores. Since we are now low on Pringles and instant coffee, this may be close to the end at our place, out in Dearbought.

 

Held out as long as we could…

 

Must get thoughts onto paper, in case nobody survives here. So that future generations will know…

 

The Great Blizzard of 2010 is now at pause today, and there is time to reflect:

 

**********

 

My “Dear Diary” entries for the period:

 

Thursday February 4th – The buzz is all about a big storm interrupting everyone’s life. Forecast is dire, so I know from experience we will get a dusting of 2-3 inches at most. They…are always wrong.

 

But being prudent, I took blueprints with me to work from home on Friday, and headed to Grove Hill Road after work to pre-record “The Forgotten Men” radio show, which airs on Saturday.

 

“In the basement” with the program director, Frank Mitchell, we cut about 45 minutes for the fans of The U. S. Constitution, and solved all of the world’s problems. Mostly.

 

Notable was a discussion of the infighting at the national TEA Party Convention in Nashville, where the grassroots came to devolve, speakers forgot their notes and ad-libbed, and Sarah Palin attempted to bring unity.

 

How are these guys going to impact the “two party system?”

 

We celebrated the federal government spending an extra $1.9 Trillion in voted extra-debt ceiling by Congress, and looked forward to a trek to Annapolis on February 17th to support the Tenth Amendment resolution being introduced at 1 P.M. that day.

 

This will be available as a re-air on WFMD.com soon for those that missed the fun.

 

Next:

 

Directly after that, headed to 50 Citizens Way to sit-in on the Frederick County Republican Central Committee monthly meeting.  These party leaders were fresh on the heels of appointing Blaine Young to his new job as county commissioner.

 

The new guy will be easily recognized by last name only, and in the future for his “Blue Collar Panel” work toward business streamlining, and jobs for Frederick County.

 

Strangely, County Commissioner Kai Hagen publicly warned him not to act out in session like it was a radio show – this, in the most condescending manner – as Blaine has gone above and beyond with his reassurances.

 

But back to the central committee meeting, a main concern centered on just why Gov. Martin O’Malley has not followed up on confirming their formal recommendation of the open seat on the Orphan’s Court. Since this is a non-partisan position, a judge, it is possible that Governor O’Malley could have pulled a political end-run to appoint one of his own.

 

The above would be a shame to the process, and could include under the table collusion with local Democrats.

 

Then:

 

After a quick after-meeting meeting at the Green Turtle – with hockey – home to get some sack time, in anticipation of shoveling duty.

 

**********

 

Friday February 5thDay started like usual, with calls to general contractors, a couple of small bids, and chasing emails.

 

No snow. I knew it, nary a flake till bout 1P.M.; even then it was wimpy. Still, The Weather Channel was basking in full glory and self-importance…

 

Later that afternoon… Did a full inventory of all foods with extra salt and sugar added, and of all board games. Playing cards, check; Jenga, check; chess, check; Risk + Monopoly, check.

 

Hit the sheets, usual time. Winds whipped-up bout 11 P.M. Good sleeping weather.

 

The storm stayed up all night…

 

**********

 

Saturday February 6thWell, it snowed. Most of what would be 28+ inches and drifts to four feet got dumped overnight, quite stealthily. And WHY always on the weekends this year? Up to three inches per hour, I heard.

 

The City of Frederick Department of Public Works plows hit it hard all night. Never seen such good work. Their repeated passes took the time to be careful and not re-block driveways.

 

Living in the furthest North-Eastern part of the City of Frederick, at that moment, I just felt proud to be paying those city taxes!

 

The kids finally got out of bed – noonish – mostly just in order to eat. We have three, mostly teens, and they live to feast, text, and then sleep more when allowed.

 

Our smart neighbors had snow-throwers a-plenty, and offered us help. We...shoveled, and pretended it was great exercise! And….”family building.”

 

This act was a futile excuse in pride, as ironically Maria works for SEARS, and we had spent several years in Ithaca, NY, so knew the drill!

 

After four shifts we were dug out, now looking like the Grand Canyon, only white. Where is the Tylenol, dear?

 

Then, retreating to the family room, we watched other people shovel on The Weather Channel, and on ALL of the other channels.

 

Local Washington news channels kept showing 3,000 folks on DuPont Circle having a mass snowball fight. My guess is that it was Twitter-induced, but given the tendency to fight when bored in that part of the nation, I was not much amused.

 

That, while others were without electricity, and running short on Pringles and instant coffee…

 

For us, the worst was hearing of my parents stuck in Montgomery County without their Pepco-lectricity. Couldn’t use gas fireplace as vents may be blocked…..And we couldn’t get to them.

 

But then, living in Montgomery County, under Ike Leggett, county executive, they had bigger things to worry about.

 

My sister Susan and family from Gaithersburg rescued them, quite heroically.

 

Later on Saturday

 

We got through the worst of it and managed to make it the best. After poker, chess, and fighting over Facebook access, and actually talking, I felt the family bond growing stronger.

 

The kids went back out to dig forts inside of the snow berms. I personally savaged their squandered junk food just then …just out of sight.

 

We watched more of “other people complaining about snow” on TV, and felt smug about our survival efforts, and warm, and cozy.

 

It was sNOw problem at all!

 

srbmgr@comcast.net

 



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