Posted by: David | December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice

Yeah, it was yesterday. The days are now getting longer. Hooray. The waxing moon will be full on xmas eve. But it’s now officially winter. Measured our snowpack, and it’s about 18 inches. It’s supposed to get warm tomorrow and they’re saying the precipitation will be in the form of rain. The snow has been pretty dense and the rain soaking into it will make it very heavy on the roof, so I went out to shovel off the roof this morning. OMG that sucked so bad I can’t even begin to tell you Internet! It was slippery up there, and there was just so much snow! Wearing the blue exposure suit that I got at the dump some years back I was sweating like a pig. I had to stop and rest and change my undergarments as they were soaked.

I had to switch to a regular shovel because this snow pusher was just too hard to push.

Wasn’t really sure if I was going to be able to do it. While resting I tuned in TVLand and caught a bit of I Love Lucy, wherein Ethel had learned fortune telling with playing cards. And Lucy lost her murder mystery book, accidentally tossing it out the window when Ricky scared her out of her reading trance. What an idiotic show. I got stupider watching it. Went back out and finished the roof. Then had to snowblow away what I’d thrown off the roof. God I’m tired now. But I can stop worrying about my roof collapsing. Probably don’t need to worry about it anyway, but it’s not that steeply pitched, and as the snow load builds we can hear the house creaking. It’s that disaster-just-around-the-corner-osis thing acting up again. Also known as the dreads. Just like hemorrhoidal flare ups! Which is worse, the swelling or the itch? Each of us must decide.

I’m on vacation now. The college where I work shuts down for a couple of weeks. It’s a really nice break. So after getting the roof cleared off and taking a shower we gave Oliver a bath. In spite of all his frolicking in the snow lately, he doth stink. I know how you like the pix of this cute little doggie, Internet, so here ya go.

“CRAP I hate baths!”

“Did I tell you how MUCH I hate baths?

I got him started with the 8-In-1 Perfect Coat Natural Oatmeal dog shampoo, and then Ollie’s mom took over. She gave him the deluxe treatment. Dr Bronners peppermint castile soap, and then a little Fructis Conditioner for Dry and Damaged Hair. Once he’s been towelled and released he runs around the house as if on fire. Rolling around on the rug and up against the furniture and shaking from nose right back to feet and tail over and over. For like 10 minutes. Then he calms down and smells much better. To us anyway. He probably prefers the dead crap and dog sweat smell.

And that’s Saturday.



  1. That’s one pampered pooch you have there. I’m grateful that snow here never builds up like that, or I’d have to climb the roof too. Hope you have a nice holiday break.

  2. Hurrah! for my steep pitched roof-roof! (I have to say it twice because I mispronounce it according to my neighbors… So I say it the midwestern way and then say it the New England way – mostly because I can’t remember which is which anymore…)

    The O-dog is lookin’ sharp now!

  3. Thanks for your comments ladies. Yeah Oliver is ready for company now. Let’s hope that he doesn’t pee on anyone’s boots.

  4. “Which is worse, the swelling or the itch? Each of us must decide.”

    I’ve been doing a lot of blog-reading today, and that is most certainly the “line of the day”…seriously LMAO 🙂

  5. Dr. Bronner’s– good for humans, dogs, gerbils, dishes, laundry, grills, and flux capacitors.

    I cannot imagine living somewhere where you have to shovel the roof!

  6. Never tried Dr Bronners on the flux capacitor, but now that you mention it, whaddya think, Lavender or Peppermint? Oh wait, I don’t have that flux capacitor anymore. I left it in my other post.

    Yeah, shovelling off the roof sucked so much that I don’t want to imagine it either.

  7. Peppermint! You just can’t beat that burn-your-skin-off feeling!

    Thank you sooo much for the link!!! Hilarious! I’ve ordered two capacitors (one as a spare), and am saving for the porcupine seat covers!

  8. Yeah we always use the peppermint, though we did have a lavender phase a decade or so ago.

    Unfortunately there’s only one unit in stock at KaleCoAuto, and it’s already in my cart. I can’t really afford it but I like having it in my cart. It makes me feel powerful. I’d like to install it in my Husqvarna lawn tractor (I should be able to cut the grass forever, right)?

    So my advice, you should get the porcupine seat covers now for yourself for xmas.

  9. The O-Man! He looks great even when wet. The peppermint spa treatment sounds terrific. My dogs tear around the house after a bath, also. What is that? Is it because they’re happy and their skin feels so wonderful? Or is it relief to be out of the tub? I wish I knew, it’s something I’ve wondered about for years.

  10. I meant to mention that the full moon/winter solstice thing had the callers on Coast to Coast whipped into a frenzy Christmas eve. The Wiccan people were cool with their obscure celestial info, but the other callers were just crazed, it was like being a fly on the wall at a loony bin. Needless to say, it was awesome.

  11. I think that the post-bath hysteria is caused by the removal of the carefully cultivated layer of smegma and dirt that “covers” their personal scent to hide them from predators and prey. Or what you said …

    Did theCoast-to-Coasters think Mr. Christ was gonna land his UFO on the Mount of Olives and save humanity again? Is there any way to listen to this Noory guy for free?

  12. The Coast-to-Coasters think Mr. Christ, Mr. Devil, and probably Amelia Earhart are all capable of coming into their homes at night and rearranging furniture, so landing a UFO in the snow of the winter solstice would really be no sweat.

    Coast to Coast is free on FM and AM radio every night, seven nights a week, all over the US. starts late at night, though. For instance, in NH it’s on WXKK FM starting at 11 PM, but on WKBK AM it doesn’t start till 1 AM.

    You can look up all the stations by going to :

    The most disturbing thing about C2C is that it’s supposedly the “most listened to radio station in the world.” And when you hear the guests and callers, you’ll know why that’s disturbing.

  13. OK, thanks. I’m sure not gonna be staying up past my bedtime (10pm) for that. I can find all the lunatic crap I need on the Blessed Web.

    It’s great when nuttiness is entertaining, but most of the time, unfortunately, it’s just sad. I guess when we lose the ability to tell one from the other, then we’ve “crossed over”.

    I did find a sort of podcast of George talking (gushing more like) to Mellen-Thomas Benedict, a “near deather”. It was pretty interesting actually. The guy was clinically dead for like 90 minutes, going into rigor, then “came back” and his terminal brain tumor went into complete remission. He learned a lot of stuff about the universe from “The Light” while he was dead.

  14. See? Not everyone on C2C is a total nut job. Some of the guests are really interesting. But I was listening to an older broadcast last night when George started fretting about how in a billion years the earth won’t be here any more. At that point, even his guest told him to move on.

  15. It is a pity one cannot really see Oliver hating that bath. —

    When I was little I gave my grandma’s kittens a bath and then, to prevent them from getting a cold while wet, I enclosed them in a box. They died of suffocation. My grandma was smart enough not to tell me until many years later. At the time she only told me that kittens hate baths and so they had gone to “that other farm that you can see from your window.”

    The snapshot doesn’t show the shivering, the attempted escaping from the bathtub, nor the subsequent rampage of running and rolling that is the aftermath of every bath. It would be amusing video, but only to us humans, who are inured to bathing.

    Your grandmother was very wise indeed.

  16. That snow photo: do you know there is also a way to put wax on the shovel so that the snow glides better.

    Yes, I have heard of such things. But there are types of wet snow, cantueso, that you may have never seen, which can stick to anything, even to wax. I certainly appreciate your helpful suggestion though. 🙂

  17. I also thought that that static bike of yours could be connected to a dynamo and that way while spinning you’d produce the energy to heat up a wire strung across the top of the roof. However, I don’t like this idea.

    The best idea I have had so far, IMHO, is to find out how to create little avalanches up there on the roof; and I would first try by getting on a ladder, but not a ladder that has to lean up against the house; I mean a ladder that looks like an A.

    You say that the snow is wet, and the avalanche you get from wet snow is called a Schneebrett, a snowboard. I was thinking of the other kind of avalanche, where a little snowball starts rolling and either collects more and more snow as it rolls down or sets other little snowballs rolling.

    Oh yes, I remember your avalanche idea. The real problem (as I hope I mentioned back then but am too lazy to page back and see if I did) is that the roof of my house is not steep enough to encourage any kind of avalanche action. An ideal house design, IMHO, has a 45° pitched roof.

    Also tricky are the many consistencies that snow can assume, from continuously varying conditions during its formation, descent, and settling. Winter looks like a horrid mess from the November end. Last year was historically snowy (2nd highest measured total since records have been kept) here.

    Your dynamo idea I like. Even more so because you say you don’t like it. Hmmm.

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