Disappointment of ’11.

Hate to say it — I was really looking forward to a true blizzard — but what hit last night wasn’t anything close. Total snowfall of maybe four or five inches. Lots of wind, which made driving difficult, but the apocalyptic scenario promised all week fizzled. When will I learn? Take the forecast, divide by two. I did just check the weather radar, and there’s another big blob moving through at the moment, so we’ll get more, but the worst is over, and it wasn’t all that bad.

I did finally get enough sleep last night, with Kate being off school. Our district is infamous for never calling snow days, but they did today.

So now I’m drinking coffee and reading about Egypt. Also, thinking about my Arab students at Wayne State, who have been one of the great pleasures of this job. Many of them could easily make the grade at places like Michigan, but I suspect they come from conservative families who wouldn’t allow their sons — but especially their daughters — to leave home for a college dormitory. So much the better for me. I discovered a kindred spirit, i.e., a fellow Mitch Albom non-fan, in one, a girl who wants to be a sportswriter. Big hockey fan. She goes to Red Wings games in a jersey and matching hijab.

I just sent her this story, which I posted on Facebook last night. Delta airlines just did a special edition of their in-flight magazine all about the wonderfulness that is Detroit, a real boosterama of in-flight journalism. When I saw it was a million pages and stressed such unknown, uncovered stories as the blooming artists’ community and film industry, I gave it a pass. So I’m grateful someone else didn’t, and found the part where Albom is asked what he loves about the city, and he replies:

“I can walk into a coffee shop and see people reading my work or clipping columns to mail away, to give their loved ones a piece of home. As a newspaper columnist, there is a real sense of the community embracing you as one of their own wordsmiths — and that’s one of the reasons I’ve never left.”

This is an old theme with our boy, and he’s written several astonishing columns pledging he’ll never leave because you love me so much!!!! (Meanwhile, people who work close to him will tell you he’s looked many times for his next local fan club, but can’t find one worthy of him, i.e., a media market with four pro teams, a sizable newspaper and a radio station that will host his show and meet his salary demands, which speaks very well of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, in my opinion.) Anyway, let me see the hands of anyone who believes Mitch Albom has ever walked into a coffee shop and seen a single soul “clipping columns to mail away.” He’s not even trying anymore, but I don’t think they put the A-team on this project in the first place, as just this brief, four-question visit with Mitch includes a usage error (Detroit is “family-orientated”) and misspells the name of Joe Louis Arena.

Anyway, I think my student will get a kick out of that.

OK, it’s time to go outside and get a-blowin’. I think I spent 14 hours at or near a keyboard yesterday, and frankly, I’m real damn sick of it. A swell day to you, whether you’re digging out or digging in.

Posted at 10:09 am in Media |

72 responses to “Disappointment of ’11.”

  1. Bob (not Greene) said on February 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Nance, no disappointment here, unfortunately. Five-foot drifts around the garage and the street is blocked by some dope who tried to plow his way down the road by pushing the snow ahead of him with his compact car. He’s abandoned it. No mail delivery in my paper’s coverage area, because the mail trucks never showed up with the mail and only one or two people showed up for work. And it’s still snowing like hell. My boss just closed the newspaper office (!) and moved deadlines for the paper that was supposed to go out today back 24 hours.

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  2. Heather said on February 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    We got the predicted Snowpocalypse in Chicago. High-powered winds, motorists stranded on Lake Shore Drive for hours (sounds like its closing could have been handled better, but who goes on LSD in the middle of a blizzard? I avoid it even when it’s just raining hard), a big chunk of Wrigley Field torn off, etc etc. The local NBC affiliate preempted the Today Show for nonstop weather porn. I would enjoy it more, but as my place still has electricity and heat, I’m expected to work, even though the office is closed. But there are too many photos and posts on Facebook and Twitter to look at!

    The weirdest thing was the thundersnow and lightning–very very frightening, or at least very very odd.

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  3. alex said on February 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

    For me it’s not so much disappointment as relief.

    This morning will attempt to see if my leaf blower can double as a snow blower, and if all else fails, call back the neighbor who offered to plow the driveway depending on the $$ involved.

    Seldom do I get to spend time with the morning news shows and was astonished to learn today that rubbing a moist teabag (green tea only) on your face will help you get rid of zits, while eating fruit supposedly destroys the collagen in your face and promotes premature aging.

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  4. UncleRameau said on February 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Here in the Great White Northern wilderness of Upperest Canada, an hour or so east of you, the wind left my car clean as a whistle. But there is a wind packed crusty drift waist high across my N-S driveway, and virtually all the rural roads are closed. SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!

    just to add, my avatar looks, appropriately, like the CBC exploding pizza.

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  5. nancy said on February 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I’m so glad to know I have Canadian readers. Welcome, Uncle, and glad you’re here, Randy, and greetings to all the other hoseheads out there, as well.

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  6. Connie said on February 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Disappointment here too, a few inches, light snow now. About to do some bread dough in my continuing experiments with the recipe from the book “Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day.”

    I can hear the snow blower running in my driveway. Thanks honey.

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  7. Linda said on February 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I had the same experience as Uncle Rameau here in Toledo. My car had 1/2 inch of snow this morning, but the drifts were 3-4 feet. We have a Level 3 snow emergency (in which it is illegal to drive, unless you are emergency or medical personnel). But I have a webinar to attend this afternoon. The beauty of modern life.
    Postscript: my cousin in Chicago facebooked a pic of his daughters standing in their garage, with the door open, and 3 feet of snow outside. There is no question of them shoveling out.

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  8. LAMary said on February 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I’m trying to imagine the scene of folks at tables in coffee shops, all reading dead tree news, clipping articles of any sort, tucking them into envelopes.
    Mitch, you’re an ass.

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  9. Mark P. said on February 2, 2011 at 11:11 am

    We have already had our snowpocalypse down here. Of course it would have been much less serious if my home town/county had a plow. It sounds like the local TV weatherpeople up there are the same as they are down here. There is one in the city where I work whose snow forecasts I like to sum up in one word: RUN!

    Is it possible that Albom is a Saturday Night Live skit instead of a real person? Probably not. SNL is not that good any more. How could anyone be so unselfconsciously a butt?

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  10. Scout said on February 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Scissors wielding hipsters in a coffee shop? Really? Mitch is a total retard.

    I know this is shrug worthy for all of you midwesterners, but there are icicles on my backyard fountain this morning. That is a first for me and I’ve been in Phx since ’83. I guess that proves global warming is a hoax, haha.

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  11. Linda said on February 2, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I think Albom writes for elderly shut-ins who imagine a world where people sit in coffee shops and cut out paper news articles. I know my 85 year old mom loves him, and this fits entirely into her world view.

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  12. Sue said on February 2, 2011 at 11:20 am

    There is a real Martha Stewart vibe to that Mitch quote. Mitch Albom Omnimedia, anyone?
    My brother in law showed me a blog yesterday from Tom Skilling, asking me to read the comments. Of course they were silly and hostile and trollish, but the one that stuck with me was the commenter who stated that if Chicago got what the doomsayers predicted, he would vote for Rahm and Obama (apparently over-the-top weather forecasting is a Dem conspiracy, or something).
    Glad to have your vote, pal.
    Last night after I got home from work I opened my car door and stepped into snow almost up to my knee. By the time I got to my front door the walk was clear.

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  13. Sue said on February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Oh, and ‘wordsmith’? Really?

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  14. alex said on February 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Legend in his own mindsmith.

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  15. nancy said on February 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve just been struck by a thought (the thought escaped uninjured):

    The Q-and-A with Mitch in the original document was, I’d wager, conducted via e-mail. The long, complex sentences and subordinate clauses set off by dashes suggest written answers, not a spoken-and-transcribed interview. Do you think it’s possible that Mitch Himself misspelled Joe Louis’ name and used a word like “orientated,” and the writer and editor just left them alone, figuring he of all people would know the arena’s proper name? (Or maybe they feared the tongue-lashing all editors who dare monkey with the Great One’s prose are said to risk.) The more I think about this, the more I like it.

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  16. Kim said on February 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Alex@14 – outstanding summation!

    Sue@12 – I think you are on to something. How about the Mitch Albom Network, or MAN?

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  17. Sue said on February 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Nancy,or the writer or editor left them alone for the entertainment value to a small but discerning section of the reading public?
    Kim, I like. All Mitch, all the time.

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  18. MarkH said on February 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Does anyone remember when Albom had a show on msnbc? It consisted of a televised airing of his radio show, where the screen was filled with Mitch in headphones going on and on about…Mitch. Think about that (briefly, please).

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on February 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    One of the nice things about condo living is you never have to shovel. At least, not most of the time. There’s a gigantic drift on my balcony that I’m afraid will break the damn thing off if I don’t clear it. I’ve already warned the lady downstairs to be ready for another snow drop.

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  20. Dexter said on February 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    We got ten inches said the voice on the radio, but an average of fifteen measurements in my back yard indicated 14 and a half. I got my van stuck three feet from the freedom of the plowed street…a quick dig out and I was off.
    My brother in a Chicago exurb had snow blowing steadily in through his kitchen stove-exhaust fan.
    I heard Amtrak had stopped Chicago service. Wow…that’s a big one, and with all the airport shutdowns also…
    Best video today had to be the live shots of mounted security camels charging the demonstrators over in Cairo. Fearsome! The people scattered, double-time. Quite a site…I had never seen camels used to charge humans. Amazing video.

    Mitch is king of Detroit…he seems to love the town because he can write his own ticket there. He’s Detroit’s Irv Kupcinet or Wally Phillips, two men from the past who were so revered in Chicago. I feel Mitch pulls it off better than Kup or Wally did…I never thought those latter two were such gods like their worshipers did.

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  21. deb said on February 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    just checking in with the milwaukee weather report — city is virtually shut down with epic snowfall. (we DID get a blizzard, as promised; it was lovely and terrifying.) hubby spent the night downtown — hey, somebody had to get the paper out today — so our 16-year-old wielded the snowblower for the very first time. (tough way to break him in.) he did an outstanding job, despite the woman across the way who was blowing her snow into the street (illegal here) AND our driveway, where it was already three feet deep. stoopid.

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  22. paddyo' said on February 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Over here on the Front Range of the Rockies, we got only a skiff or two of snow the past couple of days, maybe 2 inches total. That kind of snow we sweep with a broom.

    But we got a cold-air blizzard big time: Yesterday’s high was 1-below, setting a new record for the date, and the overnight was 13-below. This morning’s low was 17-below, and it’s still 2-below right now (11:20 a.m. Mountain Time).

    Ahh, but this IS Colorado — they’re forecasting mostly sunny and a hight of 46 by Friday.

    Nancy’s dead right about the Mitch errors. That kind of stuff routinely goes uncorrected in email and online, and it starts and ends with the “author” . . .

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  23. Deborah said on February 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    It’s finally letting up in Chicago. The snow tapered off by 7am and then started up again big time from 8:30 till about 11:30, could barely see out the windows. Now I can observe a lot of people milling around Oak Street Beach, probably kids enjoying the snow day (seems weird to use the word “beach” on a day like this). LSD is still closed. Not much traffic anywhere. I’m supposed to be working at home, but mainly I’ve been sleeping, curled up under a nice warm down comforter. I’ve got a hankering to take a short walk just to see what it’s like up close, instead of from the 27th floor.

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  24. Dexter said on February 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Mitch Albom has many detractors. I was thinking of two men who I read and listened to for many years and never heard a bad word spoken, never read a derogatory comment about; those two were Neal Shine and J.P.McCarthy. Shine was Senior Managing Editor of The Detroit Free Press and later a professor at several institutions. What I loved about him were his Sunday columns.
    McCarthy was a long-time morning voice at WJR-AM in Detroit. He knew kings, he knew Presidents, he knew everyone it seemed.

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  25. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm


    Amen on J.P. McCarthy. My best friend’s father listened to his show religiously while living in the suburbs of Cleveland, a feat he could accomplish given WJR’s massive clear-channel beam. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. I cannot think of a comparable talent with a comparable demeanor anywhere else.

    I just shoved out our sidewalk and teamed up with a renter down the street to dig out my next door neighbor, whose husband has been confined to bed for more than three weeks. It’s not the most snow I’ve seen –I was here for the two-foot drop several years ago– but it’s within spitting distance. I’d estimated 18 to 19 inches. Only two SUV’s went by –both driving far too fast considering kids are playing in the snow, but that seems typical for the pilots of these land battleships– and no one has even tried to dig out a parked car because there’s no sense. The street is snowed in. Our car is tucked safely in a garage on the alley, but it will be days before I can get it out given the drifts. In fact, I’ll have to move many, many, many pounds of snow just to get to the garage.

    This is the fun part. Tonight, it really gets ugly. They’re predicting zero degrees in our neighborhood, which is about two miles west of Lake Michigan, but minus 8 degrees in the ‘burbs. When the wind picks up, they’re predicting minus 20 degrees wind chill.

    I rather wish Bob Greene and Mitch Albom would team up someday, maybe on radio or co-authoring a book. I wonder what would happen with so much smarm and self-regard in the same room. The mind boggles.

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  26. alex said on February 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Dex, during my years in Chicago I thought of Kup as a lightweight. He had become a doddering geezer with a ghost writer cranking out celebrity fluff under his byline. But longtime Chicagoans told me that in fact he was once considered a very serious journalist and was probably best known for a TV news show in which he interviewed Malcolm X the way 60 Minutes might do a story on, say, Julian Assange. He was criticized for allowing the Black Panthers a soapbox just the way 60 Minutes is taking heat for the Assange interview last week.

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on February 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Driveway cleared, runways are cleared, it’s sunny and 78f in Orlando. Flight time form Auburn to Orlando 4hr and 15 min anyone interested? I will supply drinks and home made chocolate chip cookies.
    Pilot Joe

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  28. Randy said on February 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    In Winnipeg, we’ve had a lot of snow this winter, but no single event that would match the Snopocalypse. We have had many significant storms, but it’s been nearly 14 years since we’ve had a blizzard on that scale.

    The snow that has accumulated (along with soaked ground from a rainy summer/fall 2010) has us braced for once-in-a-century flooding this spring, from here all the way down to Fargo ND.

    Take it easy digging out from the blizzard. This is always an event that leads to over-exerted shovellers collapsing in cardiac arrest. Stay safe!

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  29. prospero said on February 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I get a kick out of 10 or 12 in. snowfalls. Lived through the Blizzard of ’78 in Boston (36-48 in., 70 mph winds), driving a TR-6 (about 8-in. ground clearance). Four-hr., 7-mile trip home from work with at least a foot and a half on the ground in the first few hours. In a Triumph. Had to keep the windows open or the windshield fogged in two seconds. When I finally got home and poured a few fingers of Jack, the phone rang. My brother stranded in Kenmore Square. 10 miles away. Mass Pike was closed, so I had to take Comm Ave. into town to rescue him. Came home by a different route to go to a discount packy. Managed to fit 10 cases of Molson Golden (thank God for that sporty luggage rack and several half gallons of Mr. Boston cherry brandy (seemed to fit the weather) into the car, and made it home without misadventure.

    Next morning, weather still raging, I made it to the neighborhood Mom & Pop, and bought all the cappocola, salami, mortadella, bread and mustard in the place. The proprietor came by snomobile. I walked through chest high snow four blocks to get there and four more back, hauling a large box and about 35 lbs. of supplies.. When the sun finally came out, in the afternoon, we had drifts as high as the roof of our building. Then, most people, settled in to watch Mike Dukakis in sweaters urging people to leave their cars at home. Peole did go out after a few days, and it was like a gigantic block party. We had way more brewsis than anybody else, so we were excavation central for the whole neighborhood. Unfortunately, nobody came to plow our street. Finally, the town sent a front end loader , which managed to tip itself over running into the ice pack. For a week, the weather was stunning. My godchild was born in the midst of all of this insanity. We drove his mom to the hospital with a n emergency banner streaming from a fully extended radio aerial. Only way to navigate intersections with 25 ft. snowpiles.

    What the ocean was like during the Blizzard. The whole thing was awe-inspiring. What people forget, to this day, is that less than two months later, during Easter week, we had another storm that dropped more than 20 in. Mayhem was far worse than the original storm. No place to put the snow and ice.

    So buck up campers, it could be worse. Meantime, Summer music for the icebound, snow-blind and cabin-fevered. Looks like Brian Wilson got his facial expressions and dance moves from David Byrne.

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  30. Mark P. said on February 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    TR-6. Cool. I had one of those at just about the same time, but it never saw snow, much less that much snow. I wish I still had it, except for when I remember how it squeezed the bushings out of the front suspension every few thousand miles.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    And don’t forget those delightful Lucas electrical systems in every British Leyland car. I believe they were manufactured already broken.

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  32. mark said on February 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    joe- How long will you be there and can you take 2?

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  33. Sue said on February 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    ‘from here all the way down to Fargo ND’ sure has a frigid ring to it.

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  34. moe99 said on February 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    When I was living with a family in Offenbach Germany the summer of 69, I got into an argument with Marita, the daughter, about whether Bert Bachrach was a German or an American citizen. I’d grown up listening to Mr. McCarthy on the morning radio and he knew it all, so I wrote to him from Germany. Only I addressed it to Charlie McCarthy. However, he was kind enough to respond and tell me that Bachrach was indeed a German citizen at the time, so I lost the bet.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on February 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    It’s looking very calm and snowed out here now. We’re going to make scalloped potatoes and watch Groundhog Day. Looks like it’ll be back to real life tomorrow.

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  36. Mark P. said on February 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Jeff – yes, Lucas, Prince of Darkness.

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  37. Joe Kobiela said on February 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Sorry Mark was just trolling for a charter.
    Not really going, just saying I was available.
    Pilot Joe

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  38. basset said on February 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    The English have Lucas refrigerators, that’s why they drink warm beer.

    Joe, sounds like a fun trip but I have to wonder about one thing… four hours plus is a long time without a comfort stop, do you carry a coffee can for your passengers or what?

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  39. nancy said on February 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Have I ever told my heaven-and-hell joke here? Oh, OK:

    What’s the difference between heaven and hell?

    In heaven the English are the innkeepers, the French are the cooks, the Germans are the mechanics, the Italians are the lovers and the Irish are the cops.

    In hell, the English are the cooks, the French are the innkeepers, the Germans are the cops, the Italians are the mechanics and the Irish are the lovers.

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  40. Julie Robinson said on February 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    My Dad’s old Fiat joke–Fix it again, Tony.

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  41. Deborah said on February 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    basset your question about the comfort stop reminded me of a project I once had for the company that makes Southern Comfort. They couldn’t figure out why they weren’t selling that particular product in Bangkok to their satisfaction. It turned out that the traffic in Bangkok was so bad that it took hours and hours to only go a few miles and frustrated drivers kept a “comfort cup” in their cars for relief. The color of Southern Comfort and what ended up in those cups was too similar. That’s what someone who worked for the company told me anyway.

    And speaking of comfort stops and bad weather in Chicago… I heard that people were stuck in their cars and on buses on LSD last night for as much as 5 to 9 hours. What did they do for comfort? As a female I wouldn’t want to have to drop my drawers in that situation, talk about UNcomfort. Not to mention cracked cheeks.

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  42. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm


    First, Chicago firefighters on snowmobiles visited every stranded car to check on the health and safety of the trapped occupants. They carried water and some energy bars, I’m told.

    Second, drivers of cars trapped on LSD near the Gold Coast were invited to come into the lobbies and public areas to warm up, according to one report.

    Third, the snowmobiles returned to the drivers, ferried them by ones and twos to waiting rescue squad vans, then delivered them to St. Joseph Hospital, where they were checked for exposure and allowed to spend the night.

    An articulated CTA bus started the whole mess by getting sideways and blocking multiple lanes. This began the backup that trapped all those people and cars.

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  43. nancy said on February 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    The Tribune story points out that motorists had been warned that LSD would be risky going. The ones quoted in the story blamed the city for not closing it sooner. Of course it couldn’t be their fault.

    I probably would have taken LSD, because I’m incapable of not taking it. But I hope, having screwed up to that extent, I’d have the ovaries to shrug and blame myself.

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  44. LAMary said on February 2, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I am so showing all these anti English things to the in- house Brit. See if he supplies any new rhyming slang stuff to you guys in the future. I think you’ve done it now.

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  45. Sue said on February 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Hey Chicago people, Athenae blows you a kiss:

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  46. Sue said on February 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    If it helps, LAMary, everyone assumes the in-house Brit looks like Colin Firth, because they all look like Colin or Hugh Grant or Alan Rickman, right? So that’s all right.
    Stop bringing up Winston Churchill and just about any pre-Diana male member of the royal family, everyone.

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  47. brian stouder said on February 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Mary, for the sake of old raspberry tarts everywhere, I think you should give us a break

    edit: neat picture, Sue! And note that the one son of a bitch (in the background) has their car all dug out, and no place to go

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  48. Deborah said on February 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Jeff, we can look right down on LSD but are a bit south of where all of that happened. This morning we watched them tow a bunch of cars that we could see off in the distance along the drive, it looked like a parking lot not LSD. Glad to hear they were offered help, it must have been horrendous.

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  49. Dave said on February 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Goodness, this retirement phase of our lives that we entered into almost a month ago now, with the chance for us to escape to the Gulf Coast of Florida for much of the winter, seems better and better.

    I used to listen to J. P. McCarthy on the frequent drives I used to make from Central Ohio to the Sandusky area back in the seventies if I wasn’t playing my 8 track player. Hadn’t thought of him in years.

    Moe, would you perhaps be thinking of Bert Kaempfert? I really think that Burt Bacharach is a natural born U. S. citizen.

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  50. coozledad said on February 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I don’t know if the Irish are all that bad as lovers. After all, it’s a hell of a lot easier to pitch a pup tent than a skyscraper. I will say one thing about the Irish: They are not astronomers, and if me and Billo are any indication, they’re too easily fuddled to even pretend to talk about science.
    I say stick to what you know, Bill, and if it’s whirring battery powered devices, well, there was a time on our ancestors’ godforsaken little archipelago they would have been plenty enough evidence of God. Who made the vibrator, anyway?

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  51. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    The item by Athenae gets at why I love living in Chicago, even though it sometimes frustrates the holy hell out of me. People do seem to look out for each other in ways large and small.

    The former baseball coach of a Catholic high school lives on the other side of the street and can be depended on to fire up his industrial-strength snowblower and clear the sidewalk from one end of the block to the other. On our side of the street, even the renters were out in force, as noted earlier. One of the guys down the street was pulling a sled loaded with 7/11 bags containing foodstuffs for the older lady on the next block who didn’t properly prepare for the snow.
    And another neighbor, who grew up just north of Boston, was using her snowshoes to help her roommate get down the street toward Damen, so the roommate could catch a bus for her job at a coffee bar in Andersonville.

    The 11-year-old and 7-year-old next door teamed up with the 6-year-old twins down the street to build an igloo on the tree lawn and keep our 8-month-old pup occupied while I was shoveling. Cosmo came in after about three hours of play, sighed deeply and fell over into a deep sleep all afternoon. So much for worrying about what to do with the dog.

    When we were contemplating a move to Chicago from Charlotte, my lovely bride-to-be worried this town was like the caricatures of New York City, which I tend to think are overblown, but there you have it. She feared she’d be bulled over on the street by hustling urbanites, when she wasn’t being mugged by hordes of criminals roaming the streets. I told her Midwesterners were just as nice as Southerners, but without the accents. She now accepts that as fact.

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  52. Little Bird said on February 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Coozledad, a man invented the vibrator. A doctor. It was in-office treatment for hysteria. Nuns especially were encouraged to seek such treatment at one point.
    I am a veritable font of useless knowledge. I do not know how this happened.

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  53. coozledad said on February 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Well, Little Bird, we know these weren’t southern Italian nuns, because relief would have been easily obtainable without recourse to prosthetic devices. Wasn’t the Germans or the aptly named Poles, either. I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate the dildo itself was imported to Rome via contact with the Hibernians.

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  54. LAMary said on February 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Sue, the IHB doesn’t look like any of the folks you named, but he does sort of look like Mike McGinn, the mayor or Seattle. But his hair is not grey. It’s light brown. Our bond is our lack of grey hair even at an advanced age.

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  55. moe99 said on February 2, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Dave, you’re right. It WAS Bert Kaempfert. I just could not believe that the guy who wrote “Strangers in the Night” was not American

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  56. prospero said on February 2, 2011 at 6:43 pm



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  57. Little Bird said on February 2, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Vibrators only go back to the Victorian era. Dildos go back to the time of cavemen. Different functions.

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  58. coozledad said on February 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Little Bird: If Tesla had narrowed his research into the area of oscillating gyroscopic motors, Virginia Woolf might have lived to see the Beatles!

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  59. holly said on February 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    You should see my back yard. 6 foot snow drifts. Can only get a path on the patio for the dogs to go out. Com Ed called and said that we have to go out and read our meters for them. I cant find my meter to read it. Have been digging around trying to find the exhaust for the dryer vent outside. Need to do laundry. One thing I will say about this storm. My neighbors are wonderful. We don’t have a snowblower. Some nice neighbor went this morning and did my driveway apron. They went up the whole block and did what they could. But then the plow came through. The news said that O’Hare got 20 inches of snow. This was the 3rd biggest storm for the Chicago area.

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  60. moe99 said on February 2, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Ok, coozledad, that Virginia Woolf reference went right by me. I don’t get it. Can you help, pls?

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  61. coozledad said on February 2, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Moe: It was simply a drunken sexist remark about the relative impotence of Vita Sackville-West.

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  62. Deborah said on February 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Trying to rectify a duplication, disregard this comment.

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  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    This is where several half gallons of Mr. Boston cherry brandy are not your friend, even in a blizzard.

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  64. Deborah said on February 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Someone is stuck on the caps key.

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  65. Deborah said on February 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I promise this is the last thing I have to say about chicago weather. 218 cars are still stuck on LSD between Fullerton and Belmont. A total of over 900 were towed today off of LSD. There were winds that gusted up to 60 to 70 mph. LSD is still closed because of the continued towing although looking from our vantage point south of the catastrophe it is clear as a bell.

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  66. Jolene said on February 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I was impressed to hear that this was the first time in twelve years that the Chicago schools had been closed for snow. Here, as many of you know, schools in several counties are closed at the first sign of wintry mix.

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  67. moe99 said on February 3, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Frank Zappa: Don’t eat that Yellow Snow


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  68. Dexter said on February 3, 2011 at 1:35 am

    *Sigh* I miss the S Curve on L.S.D. It was such fun, and everybody seemed so civil as they negotiated that engineering marvel. Now, it’s long gone.
    The lanes were not marked clearly, always worn off, still, I never saw any wrecks when I drove it.

    I see nobody mentioned it, but Jack and Meg White have dissolved The White Stripes. Some say it’s Meg’s anxiety disorder that forced the issue…I don’t know.
    I do know Jack White is a very busy man and we will be hearing a lot from him in the future. Best of luck to his sister, too.

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  69. prospero said on February 3, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Blizzards. You people have got to be kidding. “78
    AND YOU re jokinng, ans that wSa rhw rwL DEl Rwl SWl, just shut up. We RW Rlking BOUT HORSHSHITHIT.

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  70. Little Bird said on February 3, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Dexter, that S-curve is the source of many, many accidents these days. Thanks in part to a video game. Grand Theft Auto. One of the routes is LSD, that curve. I counted ten in one day once.

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  71. prospero said on February 3, 2011 at 6:53 am


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  72. prospero said on February 3, 2011 at 8:24 am

    LSD ia getting a bad name here. It was actually much fun. For those that couldn’t handle it, so sorry. Kinda like carving the turkey. Kinda like mowin’ the lawn. Everything get’s to this certain perfection, winds up on a customer’s plate, then it’s gone. Yes, we’re talking about the good life, in the foodd chain, love among the ruins, Everything gets to this certain perfection, nothing you can do about it.

    Hatred. Fountain of Sorrow my ass.

    Which was the great CELTIC band It sure as shit wasn’t that pompous ass Bono and his auto-tuned guitar player. It was Stuart Adamson. Much better singing and much better guitar playing, Of course, there’s the Pogues, that are wayo great, there’w no point in bringing them up. They’re in a KIA COMMERCIAL. IF i should fall from grace with God. Are these people nuts? Do they know what the song’s about? Shane is taking your cash and laughing his toothless ass off at you.

    And In a Big Country was a better song than anything U2 ever managed. Far better. If you don’t think so, you are a pawdeen, and have no taste, or critical intelligence. U2 sucks, bigtime, and Bono can cram his moniker up his widely spread asscheeks, Who needs this revolting self-promoter? He’s an ass.

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