Posted by: David | March 1, 2008

Man I’m Tired

I came home early from work on Friday with the intention of shovelling the snow off of my roof (AGAIN!) in anticipation of last night’s snowstorm. We’re close to breaking the all time total winter snowfall record (for Concord, NH) of 122 inches in the winter of 1873-74. I think it’s likely as we always get some good storms in March, which just began today. Hooray. Love breaking them records.

So anyway, I shovelled off the house roof in about 4 hours. A nice guy who’s kind of a pro at this saw me on the roof and stopped to see how I was doing. I was tired but close to done. He offered that the snow “scoop” or pusher thingy, as I like to call it, is usually more effective for clearing off the roof. I explained that I’d tried that last time and found I could not really push the compressed snow all that well so had to revert to the trusty snow shovel.

Here I was using the pusher thingy back in January.

Had I tried pushing diagonally, he asked me. Yes, I had. It was nice of him to stop and ask me how my back was feeling. I wonder if he was looking for work? I can’t afford to hire someone to do this kind of work. This kind of work really sucks, and therefore is expensive. Anyhoo, I’ve hired this fellow before to bring loads of various types of gravel and sand. Nice guy he is.

My daughter came over for dinner (eggplant parmesan!) and I helped her make restore DVDs for her laptop. After dinner I took a few ibuprofen and went to bed. The snow was supposed to start around 10 and continue through Saturday afternoon. 5 to 10 inches. Saturday there would be more snow moving.

Guess we got about 6 or 7 inches of fairly dense snow. After our traditional weekend bacon and egg breakfast, I was on the garage roof by about 11 sweating like a pig. Resting frequently, breathing heavily, and sending snow down to the ground, where I’d later need to move it again. And you know what? When it falls from the roof to the ground like that, its falling momentum helps to compress it a little more. That means the snowblower had to work extra hard to throw it. At around 1, having discovered that I broke a shear pin, I decided to give snowblower and my body a rest.

I browsed the web for a few minutes and found this lovely nugget.

Man dead? Man’s father pictured here? Where are Men?

Then I decided to have a bit of a lie down, as the Brits would say. Read a little Asimov (Nemesis still has my attention) and make some ZZZZs. Couple hours later I get up, nuke some coffee, go outside, replace the shear pin in the snow blower, gas it up and blow snow for a few more hours. I calculate that I moved 17 metric tons of snow in just over 24 hours. Actually no calculating happened, just the rough estimate and conversion to metric. Anyway I’m so tired and achey now that I’m not sure any of this makes any sense. Nor do I really care. But thanks for reading anyway!



  1. I ate a light dinner early, watched 1.5 movies, slept for 8 hours after 3 am and had milk with a light lunch.

    *diziness expected*

    Dizziness has 2 Zs. You must be totally knackered!

  2. That made a lot of sense, in a “holy crap your town gets a lot of snow” kinda-way…

    PS: at some point or another, I find myself referring to everything in my life as some sort of “thingy” at least once, and I think it’s great 🙂

    My BFF and I had a quote for this when we were teenagers back in the 1970s. “It’s kinda like a THING, y’know?” And if you cannot find what you’re looking for at the “Things ‘N Stuff Superstore” then it just don’t exist.

    And don’t get snow like this up there in Canada?

  3. Opps, I am sorry. I also have a back pain right now, because (as I have asthma and it is spring here=pollen) I tried to sleep somehow sideways to improve breathing and slept wonderfully well, until I woke up with incredible spasms in my back.

    Those are still there, so I tried resting etc in the dark etc with paracetamol etc, and I get easily drugged. When I was drugged I started to wonder whether the roof of your house was not a bit too flat. When I am a little drugged, one single notion can keep me thinking and wondering endlessly. When I had finished imagining your roof, it was Bush and Condi’s turn, the age-old joke about

    Condi, tell me, who is the president of China?

    Hu is the president of China.

    Yes, who is the president of China?

    Hu is the president of China.

    Yes, that is what I want to know: who is the president of China.

    Hu is the president of China.

    Well, let’s get Kofi.

    Coffee? Would you like me to order …

    It goes on for about five minutes, and when you are at the end of it, you can easily start it all up again by saying:

    Condi, tell me, who is the president of China.

    Ha ha cantueso, that paracetamol makes you very funny! And smart too. My roof IS just a little too flat. It’s also my paranoid, disaster-obsessed mind. Those 2 things plus the 5th snowiest winter on record and a number of building collapses all around the state have forced me up on that damned roof. But today I can rest easy and waste all my time on the internet!

    I hadn’t heard that Bush variation of the ever-entertaining Abbot & Costello Who’s on First? bit. Thanks for including it! (At the risk of taxing your English comprehension, may I recommend this YouTube video of the routine with a Shakespearean twist on it? And here’s the original: My apologies to the bandwidth deprived. 😦

  4. Isn’t there also a risk that you might slide off the roof?

    Yes, there is. Especially with the layer of icey compacted snow that is at the bottom of the snowpack. That makes it all the more entertaining. And keeps me well away from the edges of the roof. If I did fall off, I probably would land safely in deep snow, but I don’t want to test that probability.

  5. knackered, but not totally.

    Haven’t had enough water, again didn’t have a proper dinner. 😦

    At this point, if you were Indian-Indians, you’d have asked if I’m in “lau” (which is how I wish they’d pronounce “love” when they mean actually infatuated).

    Strangely, everyone wants to know who my girlfriend is, and when I say I don’t have one, they’re shocked and think I’m joking around with them, get offended and never talk me again!

    So yes. Knackered. Strangely enough, not very hungry.

    So have you read Romi’s blog? I’m no matchmaker, but it sounds like you need a girlfriend, and she just goes on and on about how she needs a man before her parents force her to marry her 52nd cousin’s friend. Romilata’s all over the map on this stuff, she’s Indian but lives in Canada somewhere, and she’s funny as hell. Read her blog if you need a laugh! Or maybe you’re just dehydrated, I don’t know.

  6. cantueso – did you go to the doctor about your back pain?

    I speak from family experience – please take care! Back pain is no joke as your spine is almost always under pressure (unless you lie down on a not-very-soft mattress back-down, straight as an arrow).

    😦 If any part of the back hurts, be careful.

    So either get yourself checked out or I’ll break this pencil in my hand. Do you want an innocent pencil to DIE? DO YOU?

    Nimish is right! The human spine is quite miraculous, but prone to problems. Perhaps we never should have started walking upright? Here in the USA we have all kinds of “professionals” to help folks with their aching backs. I hope that you’ll take Nimish’s advice cantueso, so we don’t have to witness the senseless slaughter of another innocent pencil!

  7. Seriously, is it compulsory to have found “lau” before you’re 23? Because if it is, I’m pretty sure I’ll get arrested/fined come 2009.

    I’m fairly comfortable with myself for now. Am I *really* missing out on life

    Wrt Romi’s article – at least my family’s cool on me right now. Who knows about teh future? Because she’s not joking about the core facts you know. And LOLs about the rest.

    +1 for funny Indians abroad!

    Getting comfortable with yourself is Step 1, and it’s a critical step. I think I can tell when Romi is being serious, since it’s a rare event. Those ‘core facts’ seem strange to an Americano like me, but hey, at least India has a REAL and unique culture, not a “melting pot”. Love-based marriages have only a 50% chance of success. What’s the success rate of arranged marriages I wonder?

    +10 for Romi!

  8. That article has FORTY TWO comments.

    Now call me crazy(… on second thought, let’s not go there… )

    Forty two. Tell me 42 everywhere is a coincidence. Tell me.

    It’s a damn conspiracy to hide the truth. It *is* the answer. You know it to be true. Stop denying the power of 42!

    Cool! 42 is a sacred number. 6 7s. Or 7 6s if you like. 7 is goodness, 6 is evil. That explain it?

    If I go and leave another comment, to make 43, will I be a bad person?

    Romi gets lots of commentary and hits due to her fearless references to body parts, horniness, and bodily functions. She takes no prisoners! We love her!

  9. I’ve gone comment crazy from lack of food, sleep, water and fresh air. 8gulp*

    I’m sorry to hear that. I hope that these necessities are available to you and that it just poor time management that is working against you.

    What is “8gulp*”???

  10. Wow, that’s a lot of snow. I finally feel a bit lucky that I live in this damp Pacific valley that only gives us about 2-3 inches of snow every other year.

    I absolutely love that news headline!

    Hi Adam, thanks for stopping by. I like your Buster Keaton avatar! Your avatar and Moonbeam’s avatar ought to go on a date, don’t you think?

    Re: Snowy rooves … you ARE lucky. And, even though I have to shovel snow off my roof sometimes, I am lucky too. Lucky to have rooves at all. That news “clipping” was from our local TV station’s website, which is even more lurid than what they broadcast over the air. We depend on that station for weather forecasts, school closings, etc.

    Please come back. I like your “Hall of Notoriety” entry for yesterday. Dr. Seuss was a bit of a quack. Him and Dr. Pepper. If only I’d had a better lawyer at the time. Word to the Wise: Beware of Go Dog Go.

  11. Do you have one of those snow shovels that is bent, to make it easier on your back? Know the ones I’m talking about? We had those and they really did help. But I had to buy them of course, because Buck would have used the same old snow shovel from Hell until it fell apart.

    Don’t you envy those people whose daughters marry into the town snow plow family?

    Hi Wendy! Welcome back to Blogsville! I really missed your words!

    You know, I’ve never even tried one of those bent shovels. I would feel like the crooked little man in the crooked little house if I had one of those. My wife might like it though. I’m using the snow shovel from Purgatory right now, but it’s got some pretty bad cracks in it.

    And honestly I don’t have such envy, though my daughter is marrying a guy who takes his trucks very seriously, and will probably someday have a truck with a plow on it. Up here, it seems every family is a snow plow family. Or their brother is. That doesn’t make much sense now does it?

  12. Tell ya what .. I’ll figger out a way to get there, without flying thank you very much, and I’ll shovel it off the roof for ya . . Help ya save your back a bit. And I wont charge you a dime .. just a eggplant parmesan dinner 🙂

    That’s a might kind offer Red! Thanks! I’ll ask my wife to stock up on the eggplants! I can’t get enough of that stuff! When we make it, we (I say we but it’s usually she) always make 2 pans of it, one for the freezer. I could eat it for breakfast lunch dinner and a midnight snack. 🙂

  13. Actually this year has been one of the snowiest in our parts, but still I think you guys over there take the cake, given the inch-stats and visuals (yo…what am I talking about here?? Haha.. 😉 )

    Oh Romi! You are encouragable!! 😉

  14. To David:
    Listen. There is something called “parafin” that skiers put on the base of their skis to make them glide. It is also used as a substitute of bees’ wax to make cheap candles. There are many different kinds. I wonder whether it would not be possible to get a few liters of that in late autumn and paint the roof with it, loosely, for instance with a mop, to make the snow glide off?

    And what about using a hose with hot water? Or could one use a long rope, at the end of the rope tie on something shaped like a rake, throw that up onto the roof and pull the snow down from below? I think it might take a little practice but might work. — I forgot. What is the roof covered with? I was thinking of burnt clay tiles.

    And I am sure there is a way to tie yourself to a rope up there to prevent a sudden fall.

    Very interesting suggestion cantueso, waxing the roof. Properly designed rooves are steeper and have smooth metal covering that sheds the snow. My dream house has a 45 degree-pitched roof and standing seam metal roofing.

    Hot water not so practical because of all the energy it takes to heat water and the volume needed would be great. The snow rake is a popular tool up here. Maybe I’ll try one some day. The ones I’ve seen for sale always look so flimsy. The rope is a nice idea, but there’s nothing to tie it to. I appreciate all your helpful suggestions!

    I make too big a deal out of this, but it does get me a blog post. And sympathy. My house can probably take a better snow load than I imagine, I should try to measure the roof’s deflection somehow. It’s my dread that gets me up there. Plus I like a workout where some additional purpose is served, like moving dirt, snow, water, rocks or wood.

  15. To Nimish Batra:

    What is this name?

    No, my back is very good. It is not a problem of the spine. People with asthma can walk and run and sit, but often have a problem sleeping because in that position one’s lung gets all wrinkled.

    I see you said something about two zz. You watch out, child, or you will create a terrible backlash of indignation and surprise with various references to your upbringing.

    My BFF has asthma. I’m sorry to hear that you do too, cantueso. It sucks, as we say here in the USA.

    I don’t understand your second sentence.

  16. I’m from India. It’s an Indian name. 🙂

    Good to hear it’s not back pain, but sorry to hear about asthma. 😦 See both my parents got back pain of different kinds. 😦 So I just very anxious whenever someone says back pain. I almost punched a guy (not really) at work for trying to ignore back pain.

    I hope you understand. 🙂

    8gupl* was meant to be *gulp* … typos abound!

    I dunno much about snow, but isn’t paraffin going to make a roof slippery? Sorry if it sounds silly, but I don’t have snow-experience.

    Can you fed-ex some snow wehn you have spare time?

    I would punch ANYBODY who tries to ignore back pain too! 🙂

    I’m sorry about the asthma too. I have close friends that suffer from asthma. It sucks!

    I should have figured out that typo, but I don’t fully register the asterisk as a punctuation mark. So, help me here, what is the difference between this:


    and this:



    Sorry to be so dense. Maybe I should call Mr. Ascii and ask him.

    I would LOVE to send you some snow. I can’t really afford to FedEx it to you so I’ll just send it regular post. I’ll see if I can find a Tyvek envelope. Snowflakes individually are actually very cool, but when there are too many of them it kinda sucks.

  17. Hey also,
    I didn’t say anything about zz’s. David did. I hope the comments that came after you talked about “zz” are a result of some misinterpretation, and that you don’t actually mean what I think you said (it’s very impolite to say that in India. Extremely.)

    Is this “ZZ” reference (which I don’t understand) because I decided to take a nap Saturday afternoon?

    The slang expression “make some ZZZZs” means to sleep. The Zs are an iconograph for snoring in cartoons.

    Or when I corrected your typo on diziness?

  18. Ok — aside from a lot of sympathy (and companions for eggplant parm) you really do need a roof rake. Ours has a 16 foot handle and it is shaped just right to pull the snow off the edges of the house to keep those horrid ice dams from forming. I love the ingenuity of hosing the house down with hot water (although we all know the result would be a scene from Doctor Zhivago — for those old enough OR the ice hotel!) Soon it will be spring — so they say!

    Yeah a roof rake. I’ll try one some day. The hot water suggestion was great! cantueso’s a city girl I think.

    A friend at work wants to invent some kind of energy beam that would turn the ice directly into water vapor, which I guess he figures, would then just kind of waft away in a big (!) puffy cloud.

    But, as you say, Spring will be here soon. With mud!

    Sympathy and ATTENTION, thank you very much!

  19. Wow, I can’t wait to hear how the ZZ debacle turns out… I’m completely mystified.

    LOL about the avatars. But I get the impression that she goes for the B-List actors… Buster Keaton is undoubtedly too high-profile for her avatar’s tastes. …Maybe if I’d chosen Roscoe Arbuckle.

    I actually miss the snow, sometimes we go 5-6 years without seeing accumulation. The rain here keeps the humidity so high that winter temperatures often don’t fall below 40 degrees. But I do feel thankful that I don’t have to climb the roof, or even shovel the walk.

    Thanks for the words of support on my Dr Seuss issue. He’s creepy.

    I’m mystified too. Nimish makes a lot of typos, but he’s very funny!

    I read a lot of Dr. Seuss to my kids when they were little, but I don’t want any sneeches in MY neighborhood!

    Now that you’ve thrown down the gauntlet I think I’d like to imagine Theda Bara and Buster Keaton mud wrestling nude. In black and white. Yeah. I guess Fatty can watch if he wants to (which I don’t think he really does) … I think I know who’d “win” that one. It would probably be better as a silent picture. Hmm.

    Guess I’ll go out and shovel the walk. We’ve had a couple-few years of very easy winters, so we had this one coming.

  20. Wow– I was going to leave a comment, but your post wore me out, so I had to take a nap. Then I started dreaming of eggplant parmesan and I got hungry, so I had to go eat. I came back and read some of the comments, and I got confused. So now I think I’ll just go back to bed.

    (Try not to overdo it, okay?)

    Sorry moonbeam, but going back to be probably is a good idea. When is it not? Thanks for the overdo advice- my specialty is NOT overdoing.

    The comments WERE a little confusing. But I guess that’s to be expected with our friends Nimish and cantueso. Scwewy Wabbits!

    People say I’m indecisive, but I don’t know …

  21. HA! I just now read your comment about Theda and Buster nude mud wrestling!!! I really AM going to bed, though I’ll probably be having some strange fantasies.

    Just go with it moonie. In black & white!

  22. Okay, I’m totally lost. LOST. Is there a glossary link you can give me, like the one at the back of A Clockwork Orange?

    It’s OK Wendy, just ease back into it. I think Nimish and cantueso could each write up some very interesting glossaries! Fortunately for all of us, a new post will come soon to confuse you even more!

  23. To Nimish Batra:

    I see it is David who corrected you on the zz of dizzy.

    You say that you hope I do not actually mean what you think I said . This is hard to figure out, because I have no way of knowing what you think that I said.

    Now we know that your name is Indian, but you have not yet told us what it means. To me it sounds like “Very Little Castle”, because there is a castle of Batres somewhere near here, and “Nimish” sounds like “nimio”, which is a literary word for “minute”.

    Thank you for retracting whatever insult Nimish though you may have been intimating. Maybe Nimish will explain that, or maybe, just maybe, he was being silly. He does that sometimes. Given the deadly serious nature of this blog, I can’t imagine what could inspire such comedy! 🙂 From what I gather at his blog, Mr. Batra recently finished college and entered the workforce as some kind of IT worker in Bangalore. I don’t know how the heck he found my blog, but I’m glad he did!

  24. To David:

    I had a better idea. You get on a ladder at a little distance from the roof. In your hand you have three ropes. At the end of each rope there is a rectangular piece of wood weighing maybe one to two pounds. You throw these three pieces of wood onto the roof where they would land near each other. And then you pull all three ropes simultaneously towards you while standing on the ladder.

    The idea is to create a few little avalanches on that roof! Perhaps it would even work if you threw a rope with a loop of the lasso kind. The loop would sink in, and then you would pull, not from the ground, but from a ladder.

    I imagine that pulling from the ground would create a strain on the edge of the roof.

    Thanks cantueso for putting so much thought into roof snow removal! Mini avalanches would be fantastic! Entertaining too. I know that they use dynamite in the Alps to get things started so if I could find some kind of explosives. Wonder if Home Depot sells TNT?

    Believe it or not, some lunatic was in the news recently for burning down his garage trying to use a torch to melt snow in his driveway.

    Today (Tuesday) brings warmer (40 F) temperatures and rain. So we’ll get some melting. By the end of the week the snow levels should be lower.

  25. To me it sounds like “Very Little Castle”, because there is a castle of Batres somewhere near here, and “Nimish” sounds like “nimio”, which is a literary word for “minute”.

    That’s amazing! Because I’m very much likely to end up as Don Quixote (castles!) and Nimish literally means “time span elapsed in the blink of an eye” in Sanskrit and was once formally defined as a precise unit of time in ye olde India of pre-medieval times! I was even in a physics book :). (No one has ever figured told me what Batra means, so I wait till someone comes along.)

    Little Castle. Nice. I’m using that form now on.

    Wendy – there IS a glossary. But you need a guide to use the glossary.
    Glossary – The Meaning of Liff.
    Guide – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy.

    Please have both at hand always. I have both partially committed to memory.

    Some of spelling mistakes are intentional. The trick is to find which one is funny.

    Nimish, you really wrapped this whole thing up very nicely! Thank you. 🙂

  26. It is odd to see how hard it is to imagine REAL winter when it is real summer.

    Rather than odd, it is alarming.
    You know what I just read? The “Surge” in Iraq? Wasn’t it odd to see that the bushies would have got a handle on the war?

    Well, the commanders say they have been paying off the Sunnis. The New York Times IHT edition calls the practice “highly unconventional”. Problem is now the Sunnis want more.


    Money is all to these people. Artificial value. It’s like a black hole. Cannot be filled.

  27. […] The pictures are from Brueghel published by Noguer Rizzoli in 1971 and by now available only second hand, for instance at ABE Books. There are 60 large colour plates and then his complete works as thumbnails. — And below is………. a more contemporary view from the US. […]

  28. RE: the “post” just above this one.

    This has not happened before, that a link reproduced itself as a post. Strange.

    It is an old post, but I thought the link had changed and corrected it.

    Those are called “pingbacks” I think. Confused me a bit too at first. Still do- I wonder why it came from an old post. They can be blocked by changing a setting somewhere in the dashboard. But I don’t mind them. Thanks for linking back to my blog cantueso. You’re a good blog friend. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: