winter #$&*(@&$@* wonderland…

Here’s what greeted me upon waking up this morning:

(Actually, that’s not actually what greeted me upon waking. Instead, I was treated to the dulcet tones of JJ swearing – not singing, mind you – in the shower about snow, tendency of the heating system in the uphill landway snaking out of our parking lot not to be turned on so that Mario, the superintendent can ensure his big end of year “I saved a bunch of operating costs” bonus from the landlord, etc. etc. – this at 4:45 in the morning, mind you.)

Here is the actual (annotated) forecast right now:

-4 °C (24.8 °F)
Light snow (…which will later become freezing rain, which will become treacherous. SIGH).
Feels Like: -13 °C (8.5 °F) (Yeah – thanks for that – -4 wasn’t cold enough?!?!?!)

Sunrise: 7:32
Sunset: 16:42

OK – that’s enough, I’m completely depressed. So much for my little trip to the Shoe Company this afternoon. I was too chicken to drive JJ to work to get the car. I am a big wimp when it comes to winter driving – mainly because I did not drive for the first 15 years or so I lived in Toronto.

So, who shall I blame for this nonsense??? Let’s check out the Environment Canada weather warnings: ah, great. Both a Winter Storm warning and a Freezing Rain warning!!! Sorry for the shouting below – blame the Ministry of the Environment, not me!

A MAJOR WINTER STORM FROM COLORADO IS MOVING OVER THE GREAT LAKES. THIS WINTER STORM HAS A LARGE AREA OF HEAVY SNOW AND FREEZING RAIN ASSOCIATED WITH IT EXTENDING FROM THE COLORADO AND NEBRASKA AREAS ALL THE WAY UP TO THE GREAT LAKES AND NORTHERN ONTARIO…

Blame America!!! Amy, tell your local weather guy in Tulsa to take that on my behalf, wouldja?

Do I feel better now? Not really.

Having said that, it gives me a good excuse to put in a bunch more work on JJ’s Brioche Rib Vest – I finished the back yesterday….

(nd it’s even been blocked as we speak. I really do impress myself sometimes. Funny how I almost never block stuff intended for myself, but do an impeccable blocking job on stuff intended for others…)

…and got a start on the front left side of the vest:


So if I’m forced to stay inside all day (although, come to think of it, I will have to venture out at some point for cigarettes. Damn and blast!!!), I might well make some progress on it. I would really like to be finished this by the middle of this week so that I can start on the Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughan.

And the laundry pile, which has reached brobdingnagian proportions?… well, maybe I can manage to get off my @$$ and at least sort it for hauling to the Wash ‘n Fold (I hate to think what that’s going to cost, but the prospect of joining the Sunday fray in the communal laundry room – especially since this month looks to be a dry month for scoring any leftovers from people’s moves – is offputting, to say the least).

I just hope I don’t get too distracted by a long-lost book I discovered while cleaning the spare room (!!! Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles!) yesterday. This is one of my all time favourites, as you might be able to tell by the title. I have consulted this book so much that it is literally falling apart. It is set up like a dictionary, with bizarre links and references everywhere (sound familiar?!), and is worth hours of entertainment as far as I’m concerned. Here’s an example:

Canada: Although no longer a part of British North America, it is clear that Canada retains a sense of decorum. It is illegal, in the streets of Winnipeg, to use a bow and arrow.

See also: Antarctica, beer, gerbil, pumpkin, saints, seaside.

???

Antarctica: The sourth circumpolar continent. One was to reach Antartica is to set off from Cape Beale in British Columbia, Canada and sail due south. But if you only want to go there to see the snow, you might as well stay in Canada. The city of Montreal spent $32 million in the winter of 1979 keeping the streets clear of snow.

See also: ice

Well, that makes sense…

Ice: Eighty per cent of all the ice in the world is in Antarctica. If all the ice in the world melted, the sea-level would increase to such an extent that the Empire State Building would be submerged up to the twentieth floor. People visiting floors up to the twentieth would probably also complain that the refrigerators were malfunctioning.

See what I mean? Hours of entertainment…

Oh, and what are the links to “Canada” and the other five “see also” items?

Beer: The consumption of beer in a privy, toilet or lavatory is forbidden in Manitoba, Canada.

(What fun is that?!?!)

Gerbil: The Canadians have a squad of gerbils trained to sniff out drugs in their gaols.

Hmm… I knew there was a reason I didn’t like gerbils!

Pumpkin: The world’s biggest pumpkin in 1982 had been Canadian, produced by Mr Howard Dill of Nova Scotia and weighing in at 493 1/2 lbs.

I love roasted pumpkin seeds! In Greece, they are called “passatempo” and sold in the streets in the autumn…

Saints: Saint Joseph is the patron saint of both Canada and Belgium. In the event of a dispute between these two nations, he is believed to favour a position of strict neutrality.

I didn’t even know that Canada had a patron saint! How bizarre…

Seaside: If you do like to be by the seaside, try Canada. It has the longest coastline of any country, six times that of Australia. Canada also has the world’s longest street, Yonge Street in Toronto. If you find yourself at the wrong end, you could be in for a walk of over 1,000 miles. Should you pass through Quebec on your way to and from Yonge Street, remember that it is illegal to sell antifreeze to the Indians there.

Enough!!! See what I mean – I can waste even more time reading this book than I can playing the computer backgammon game at work. And that is saying quite a bit indeed.

Happy Sunday – and stay warm! (and, if you’re from some balmy clime where it is 28 degrees celsius and sunny, keep that information to yourself, please!).

Today marks the first day of the Greek Civil War between Communists and Royalists, in 1948. There is a very interesting (and depressing) book about this by Nicholas Gage called “Eleni”, which was made into a movie starring Kate Nelligan… a Canadian.

Why did I have to find that $#*(@@)( book, anyway?!?

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