Sunday, February 10, 2013

Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Snow

Get it?  Because it's about the Nemo storm

Anyway, I live in Northern New Jersey -- about 20 or so miles from New York City -- and we got hit pretty hard.  I'd say about a foot or so.  Thankfully, the past few winters haven't been too bad.  We've gotten maybe one or two big snowfalls each winter, to the extent that I usually didn't even bother starting up our snow blower.  This time, however, that snow blower was going to be a necessity.

What resulted, in regards to the snow blower, was a combination of Murphy's Law and a comedy of errors.

I checked -- the thing had gas.  But for whatever reason, I couldn't get it started up.  I kept tugging and tugging the cord, until it happened:  The cord completely tore off.  I'm looking at this snow blower, now impossible to start, and then the driveway (which ended in a giant wall of snow, caused by the plows) and I wondered what the hell I would do.  And then I saw a message engraved on the top that read "Electrical Start Up."  I had never noticed it before, but upon inspection I noticed that there was indeed an electrical outlet on this thing.  How have I never noticed this before?  So I grabbed the extension cord, hooked this thing up, and after a couple tries got this thing started VERY easily.

So there I am, for about two hours, walking through the driveway and walkway with the snow blower attached to this giant extension cord.  I had the cord over my shoulders at certain points because when I'd go in reverse, I didn't want the blades to catch the cord.  After about two hours, I went a bit too far and the extension cord detached.  And that's when I discovered that you don't actually need to keep the blower hooked up -- it just needs to be plugged in for the actual start.  Boy, did I feel a bit foolish there.

Basically, I ended up learning two great lessons.  The first is that you can just plug the snow blower in and hit a button to get it started, instead of dealing with the insufferable pull cord (which is now no longer an option anyway).  And the second is that you can just unplug it once it's started, and walk around freely.  Suddenly, using the snow blower isn't even a hassle!

Unfortunately, though, my driveway gets absolutely no sun.  So while my neighbors across the street have beautifully clean driveways, there are still patches of snow and ice on mine.  That's unfortunate.  But I did reward myself after an entire morning of snow removal (and that's no exaggeration -- it took several hours even with the snow blower AND a few hired Middle School kids helping out) by having a cold beer in the snow:

I hope all of you stayed safe!

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