Tag Archive for snow

Winter Break(-In)

Today starts winter break. Just shy of two weeks off work, during which I plan to finish up several writing tasks.

Unfortunately it hasn’t started well. The blizzard tearing through the Midwest didn’t hit our area hard, but a window broke in our garage and the snow blew in. I opened the garage door this morning to get a shovel, only to find Lenore plastered with snow.

Poor Lenore

Not cool.

So, too, was most of the back wall of the garage, a lot of our stuff, and one side of the grocery getter. It’s powdery, frozen snow, too. Clingy stuff, a real pain to clear off. Thanks, nature. I’ve never had to shovel a garage before.

Insult to injury: while shoveling the garage and the drifts that built up across the driveway and front porch, the city snowplow came by and knocked our mailbox off its post. This is three years running, and it’s the fourth or fifth time in those three years. Even after I put in a smaller mailbox, and later mounted it farther back on the post. This has to be personal.

All in all, a shit start to what should be a productive couple of weeks.

All in all, good reasons to move to a warmer climate.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Icy Doom Hates My Tree

Icy Doom Hates My Tree
Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

This is the small fir tree near our front porch. It sprang back after an icy rain last year, and hopefully it will again.

The power went out about an hour ago, and there’s no ETA on restoration. I went on a brief photo expedition and will have more pics to share, including an example of why the power lines don’t fare so well in this stuff.

The roads aren’t bad, though, so once we figure out how widespread the outage is we can go get some chow and check out some more of Mother Nature’s ice performances. If it looks like it will be a while for power, we can also take a run to pick up my father-in-law’s old generator.

I laugh in Icy Doom’s face!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Why Did I Move to the Sticks Again?

Ice Road Truckin’
Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

Sights like this are one of the few things that make me miss living in the ‘burbs, or at least living in larger towns.

The drive from my office to our second campus is six miles, and today four miles of it were covered in the ice and snow you see here. We face a double whammy: the county is low on funds and thus is low on road salt, and there is nothing in our wide-open fields to stop the wind from blowing snow across the roads.

I realize the city streets may not be ideal, either, but you’re typically going to be traveling at a lower rate of speed and at night you have streetlamps so you’re not surprised by sudden drifts.

Yes, drifts. Though a lot of the ice had melted off on the other side of town by late afternoon, driving home from karate this evening I ran into knee-high patches of snow along the center line. If there hadn’t been a steady stream of traffic to keep the snow from building up in the traffic lanes, the road would have been impassable.

It’s days like this that it would be nice to have a much shorter drive to the dojo, or be able to walk to the corner store, or to have dinner delivered. I think it’s going to be another long winter.

Now I understand why we have so many neighbors who are snowbirds.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Blizzards & Brimstone

After the rugrats woke me by pounding on my kidneys, I looked outside and saw snow. A few inches of snow, in fact, covering the ground and streets. No wonder they were so excited. I took them outside while I shoveled, then we had a snowball fight. I continued an unofficial Oliveri tradition by blasting the Squirt in the forehead with a snowball.

I didn’t think much about the weather after that. We see snow like this in Illinois all the time, and generally if there’s no wind we have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately the wind kicked in around nightfall. I was supposed to go see a kamiza (black belt promotion ceremony) at my karate school, but the roads outside of town were too dangerous and I had to turn around.

The way I see it, the weather owes me one. It can repay me by snowing all night (weatherman seems to think it will) so we have a snow day at work tomorrow. I’ve never seen a kamiza before, and it seems like every time they have one I’m either out of town or have something else going on. My own is still a few years off, but I’d really like to see one.

In other news, I finally got around to finishing Brimstone by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child this week. At the beginning of the book I said I wasn’t fond of their Pendergast character, but he grew on me by the end.

So, of course, they killed him.

Sort of. It looks that way, but he’s in the next book in the series, Dance of Death, so he must live somehow (thus the lack of a spoiler warning). I picked it up the other day, so I’ll find out how Agent Pendergast got out of his predicament after I finish reading The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski.

I’ll wait until after Dance of Death to decide whether or not it’s worth chasing down the rest of the Pendergast books. There’s a lot of hints to back story in Brimstone, and I don’t imagine Dance of Death will be any different. I do hope, however, there won’t be another monologuing villain. I know such monologues — by both heroes & villains — tend to be a staple of mysteries, but man, I kept waiting for D’Agosta to start shooting or for the villain’s cape to get sucked into a jet engine (yes, folks, it’s a The Incredibles reference). Nothing breaks up tension like a couple pages of monologue.

Note to sit and worry about whether or not I’ve done the same thing in my own work…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.