austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow

It's been a gentle winter by any standards, especially so in contrast to last winter, which still hasn't ended, but we finally got a substantial snowstorm in. This was easily a foot of snow over the course of Saturday night through Monday morning, and it was one of those things that just kept coming down.

Unhappily it forced us to miss our big Sunday plans, which were to go to a Free Play Day at the bar The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids. This is a hipster bar, yes, with many pinball machines --- though no TVs, so we'd have to keep up with the Splendid Bowl by the light of other people's iPhones --- and they have a true free play day, letting all the machines run at no cost, with no admission fee. This would also give us a chance to play the machines ahead of next weekend's state pinball championship for which I am, somehow, an alternate alternate and theoretically if many people are unable to make it a candidate for maybe being the bottom seed. It would also let our pinball friend who actually is in the tournament a chance to get the feel for the machines.

But, given the heaps of snow falling down we concluded it was wiser not to drive sixty miles closer to the Great Lake, and we even ultimately didn't walk to our local hipster bar for non-free-play pinball because the snow was serious, nothing was plowed, and it was like fifteen degrees and stingy.

We got up to what bunny_hugger called a ``Christmas Miracle'': apparently the Neighborhood Batman is back, as someone had shoveled the walk and the driveway and even the path to our door. The neighborhood has its problems, certainly, but it has got people who take the chance of a heavy storm and their snow-clearing equipment to do stuff like that and it makes a cold weekend that much warmer.

(It was, on the ground, a very light, dry snow, great for tossing around, as I learned digging out some stuff which Neighborhood Batman quite reasonably didn't do, like the area around the trash bins or the fish pond out back.)

Trivia: Preparing a Boeing 747 to serve as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft required structural modifications that added 11,500 pounds to its empty weight, and for its engines to have maximum thrust increased from 43,500 to 46,950 pounds. Source: Development of the Space Shuttle, 1972 - 1981, T A Heppenheimer.

Currently Reading: Magnificent Mistakes in Mathematics, Alfred S Posamentier, Ingmar Lehmann.

PS: Denominated Mischief, a spot-the-error mathematics puzzle I liked and taken from my reading mentioned above. Second of these since the last roundup.

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