Dopes courting disaster

I’ve lived in this climate for about 20 years. That means I’ve seen 20 winters. In all that time, I’ve seen quite a few “cold snaps,” during which freezing temps lasted for maybe four or five days. So far this year it’s been nearly four weeks with maybe a couple of hours above freezing on a few days—just enough to make everything icy everywhere. All the time.

The lake down the street has iced over maybe four times, with just a bare skin of ice, which is no relation to a bearskin. At most, a bare whisper of ice that covered the whole lake for a little while.

So imagine my … well, surprise, when I saw this the other day:

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I’m used to seeing this in North Dakota, where I like to joke that I did hard time. Not here. And a look at the ice tells me it’s a) not all that thick and b) not all that strong where it is thick and c) really pretty likely to collapse under the weight of a couple dozen people walking on it if they get too close to each other. In fact, a shot taken closer to shore shows this:

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and yes, that’s open water at the edge, to about five or six feet in from the shore.

And take a look at this wee delicate little ice tent, baby sibling to the four- and five-footers a handspan thick we used to see on Sakakawea:

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So delicate it’s collapsing under its own weight.

Snaotheus and KrisDi were up on Sunday and, as we drove by, we gave each other the goggly eye and said No way in this reality would I ever be walkin’ around on that, let alone skating or playing hockey. Crazy people. Dopes.

In other news, the Snaotheuses came up to bring me this:

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It turns out that the beer fridge they replaced because it wasn’t working wasn’t broken.  Snaotheus had merely neglected to notice that the thermostat had been turned to “cold,” which was the fridge’s word for “warm.” So they’d gotten a new beer fridge while the old one, which is larger and probably newer than mine, still worked fine. Mine is now living in the garage upstairs ’til I can convince PG&E to come pick it up.

Only one small catch: If you’re observant, you’ll see that there’s no handle on the freezer compartment in the above photo. In an Engineering Fail, the handle was broken and the fridge’s surface dented. We postulated several uses for the handle mount. I determined the best one was this:

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You’ll also notice that it’s sparkly clean and white. This is nothing short of a miracle wrought by tons of elbow grease and some adhesive solvent applied by the generous KrisDi. The fridge spent about five years of its life as the primary sticker recipient for both Chilkat and Chilkoot, and it was one honkin’ massive job to get that all cleaned off!

Posted by wordsmith

1 comment

Hey. I just realized I’m pictured in the blog post entitled “Dopes courting disaster.”

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