The dig-out.

Needless to say, the hole in the sky closed up nicely, and we got…choose your verb. Slammed, dumped on, buried, pounded, whatever. I’d say maybe six inches on the ground, which was getting off easy in terms of this storm. The Fort got close to a foot, Indy a little more.

Needless to say, school’s out. All they’re missing is the all-day (no, I’m not kidding) Valentine’s Day party, so no biggie.

But I have to hit the road in a bit, so I’ll leave you with a few conversation-starters:

Why No One Reads Newspapers, chapter I-can’t-remember-what: Because, with a straight face, we repeat advice like this:

AAA Michigan suggests you stay bundled up while driving and keep these items in your ride during the winter months. The items include ice scraper and brush, coffee can furnace, tools and flashlight, sand or cat litter, food and blankets, jumper cables, first aid kit, cell phone, flares or reflective triangle and a shovel.

Note “coffee can furnace” hiding in the middle of that list, like we’re not going to notice it. Some people can make a case for packing some of that crap, although the only people I know who carry sand are pickup drivers who use bags of it to weigh down the rear wheels. If you need to travel in the remote country, sure, carry a collapsible shovel. If you’re crossing the Rockies via back roads, some Balance bars might come in handy. But for most of us, a cell phone and a snow scraper do just fine. I’ve pushed and/or rocked myself out of deep, icy ruts without kitty litter approximately a million times. And the last time anyone jump-started my car, we had a tiff over whether it’s universal knowledge that the red cable always goes to the positive pole on the battery. (I say yes; he claimed ignorance; a fuse paid the price.)

But the coffee can furnace — that’s a new one. As usual, it raises more questions than it answers. What do you burn in it? (Old parking tickets.) Where do you vent it? (The sunroof.) What do you use it for? (Cooking squirrels you catch in snares fashioned from useless jumper cables.) Now that’s some useful information.

And for those of you who enjoyed the “CSI:Miami” ham-fest the other day, you’ll love this just as much. Note, please, the critical role played by the Sunglasses of Justice. I think they actually trigger the critical event in the clip. He takes them off, the device is armed; he puts them back on, kaboom. Those are some crazy sunglasses:

Posted at 10:22 am in Current events, Television |

19 responses to “The dig-out.”

  1. Joe Kobiela said on February 14, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Just finished digging us out down here in northern Indiana, not as bad as 78. Now I’am just waiting for my fema check.
    I figure this is somehow Pres Bush’s fault.

    169 chars

  2. alex said on February 14, 2007 at 10:37 am

    It sure is, Joe. It’s God’s wrath for taking His name in vain and using it as a political wedge issue.

    I’m not dug out yet. My truck, with 700 lbs. of sand on the rear axle, got me out of the garage this morning but now it doesn’t want to go back in so I’m leaving it at the end of the drive. And waiting for God to do His job cleaning my driveway since I’ve got other things to attend to like a furnace drain that’s emptying into an ever-growing iceberg that has already swallowed my adjacent central air unit.

    514 chars

  3. Emma said on February 14, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Oh, God. That really is beyond stupid. The other day I realized that you don’t realize how ridiculous “CSI:Miami” is until you listen to it — without watching the picture. Give it a try.
    (Also, what’s a redhead doing walking around Miami in a black suit with no hat? My theory is that his character is only 25 years old, but has been aged by the sun.)

    353 chars

  4. Mindy said on February 14, 2007 at 11:22 am

    I’ve heard of candles and matches being part of the kit for surviving a blizzard in a stranded car, but never the coffee can furnace. And here I thought that the can was meant to be a port-a-john. Silly me.

    The debate among the pick-up owners I know is whether to carry tubes of sand in the bed or bags of water softener salt. The salt advocate argues that the bags just go to the basement to be used eventually while the tubes of sand take up space in the garage, leak, and become places for mice to live. The sand advocate insists that the salt bags leak and cause rust to the truck over the winter. The salt gets my vote, but I’m married to a sand guy.

    663 chars

  5. alex said on February 14, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Sand can always be used around the yard for something or other. Besides, the tubes go kaput after about one season anyway. Salt, on the other hand, eats into an already nicked-up bed and hastens the demise of the truck.

    God is smiling on me this morning. Was gonna wait for Him to bring the temps up to the 30s next week. Instead He sent over a neighbor with a plow who didn’t want any money.

    395 chars

  6. Dorothy said on February 14, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Well Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all, and I just read this great article and wanted to share it with all of you. I’m trying to think of a diplomatic way to print it out and mail it to my mother, who is widowed and told me, on a recent visit to my house, that some of her neighbors in her building are still a little frisky.

    386 chars

  7. colleen said on February 14, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Positive to positive, negative to ground is what I’ve always done.

    I also heard that to make a coffee can furnace, you soak a roll of TP in rubbing alcohol and light it. Never tried it, so I don’t know if that is true, or if it turns into a Molotov Folger’s Can.

    Much snow. And on this Valentine’s Day, I think I heart my Subaru…..

    341 chars

  8. Mary O said on February 14, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    At least Horatio’s got Sunglasses of Justice this time. I remember when David Caruso was on “NYPD Blue” and he had what I guess could be best described as the Bare Hind Cheeks of Justice. Amusing montage and bonus kaboom clip!

    226 chars

  9. LA mary said on February 14, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Here in LA we carry earthquake survival kits in our cars. Walking shoes, food, water, flashlight, pitbull…

    108 chars

  10. Andrew Jarosh said on February 14, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    My dilemma was deciding which style of flip flops to wear on a day in the mid-70s in sunny Fort Myers.
    Yeah, I know, that was insensitive.
    Nancy, stay warm.

    166 chars

  11. nancy said on February 14, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    I will, Andrew. And enjoy the Early-Bird Special down in Florida.

    P.S. It’s sunny here, too.

    95 chars

  12. brian stouder said on February 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    It’s sunny here, too.

    Yes – it’s actually a very beautiful day. The plowed snow is still all clean and fluffy, and glittery in the sunlight

    151 chars

  13. Jeff said on February 14, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Nothin’ like shoveling your central Ohio snow cover with a spud bar and garden spade (snow shovel only for the fine work to tidy up). Between sand, salt, and kitty litter, i’m gonna weigh myself down with a large pot of Jambalaya heavily dosed with Cholula.

    Gorgeous sunset hereabouts, but lovely from inside, with the electric working (for which i give sincere thanks).

    374 chars

  14. LA mary said on February 14, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    You are all making me think of this poem by David Budbill:


    Tonight at sunset walking on the snowy road,
    my shoes crunching on the frozen gravel, first

    through the woods, then out into the open fields
    past a couple of trailers and some pickup trucks, I stop

    and look at the sky. Suddenly: orange, red, pink, blue,
    green, purple, yellow, gray, all at once and everywhere.

    I pause in this moment at the beginning of my old age
    and I say a prayer of gratitude for getting to this evening

    a prayer for being here, today, now, alive
    in this life, in this evening, under this sky.

    623 chars

  15. Marcia said on February 15, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Nancy, this sort of line: Note “coffee can furnace” hiding in the middle of that list, like we’re not going to notice it. is why I love you.

    Dorothy, thanks for the timely link. My grandfather passed away in 1985, after 45 years of marriage to my grandma, who promptly went out and married another man who waited on her hand and foot. Where she finds these sorts, I obviously don’t know.

    Her second husband passed away last October, shortly after she had a stroke, and they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

    She had to move into assisted living, and I’ll be damned if the first thing she did there wasn’t to find a boyfriend. Oh, she’s 85.

    676 chars

  16. Marcia said on February 15, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Oh, and Andrew, have a seat on the “commenters I hate” bench, will you?

    71 chars

  17. Casey said on February 15, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks to my husband, the risk-averse, triple redundancy civil engineer, our car has a coffee can furnace, collapsable shovel, kitty litter, jumper cables, extra windshield wiper fluid (he says the only really good stuff can only be bought in Canada at the Canadian Tire – then again, he’s biased since he’s Canadian), extra wiper blades, hazard triangle, road flares, wool blankets and a tyvek jump suit (to wear over dress clothes when changing tires).

    Only right now, dear husband is not here, he’s in Aqaba Jordan, drilling water wells and scuba diving in the Red Sea, and since I live with an ambitious cookie salesgirl, said winter kit is now in my den having been replaced with 200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

    If he were here (and knew about the switch), he’d be worried everytime we set out in the car.

    It’s all about priorities.

    853 chars

  18. brian stouder said on February 15, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    said winter kit is now in my den having been replaced with 200 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. If he were here (and knew about the switch), he’d be worried everytime we set out in the car. It’s all about priorities

    Well – if you get stuck, you won’t starve!

    268 chars

  19. Andrew Jarosh said on February 16, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Oh, and Marcia, flip flop weather is just a $200 airline ticket away!
    Stay warm.

    81 chars