Throw Winter in The Woods

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I am near my breaking point. Today may just push me beyond it. A foot of got-damned frozen white shit is headed this way. It is 15 degrees outside.winter 1


How long, Oh Lord?

Two or so months of cold weather, I can handle. Most December-January-February days here in the south are in the high 30s, low 40s; maybe a few days and nights in the 20s. Sprinkled throughout, a few downright decent days in the middle 50s. Warm enough to wear shorts if you also wear wool socks and a  sweatshirt. Warm enough to not need a jacket or gloves or a ready-to-rob 7-11 balaclava.

You not only can go outside, you want to.

You can live your life. Do things – like take one of the motorcycles out for a ride; go for a run, work on a project in the garage . . . instead of huddling inside by the fire thinking about doing those things, remembering what it was like to do them. Wondering whether you ever did them at all.

After four months of serial teens and single digits – without those days in the 50s and 60s sprinkled in? With no respite, months on end? You start to understand why Alaska has the highest per capita suicide rate in the country.winter 2 I have not ridden a motorcycle in months – the longest dry spell in my adult life. My classic car goes nowhere, not so much of the cold but because of road salt. The roads are white with it when they’re not white with snow.  The koi that thrived for ten years in the pond I dug outside my kitchen window are dead, entombed in bricks of foot-thick ice. It’s too cold to cut down trees and split them up for next year’s winter. I’ve spent $800 buying wood to feed the stove to try to keep the pipes from bursting.

The dreary days pass – right word – glacially.

It feels like it’s never going to end because in a very real sense, it doesn’t end. Four months of deep freeze and house arrest is fully one third of the year. If the brutality begins in November – as it did here this year – and lasts through April (as it did last year) what you are looking at is recurrent shit cold and all that goes with it endlessly recycled, the good months of summer insufficient to allow adequate recovery time from the bad.

It begins to wear on you.

I think I know now what it’s like to have been convicted of some minor white collar crime – and sentenced to house arrest and required to wear one of those electronic ankle brace monitors – only this is worse because (cue OJ) I didn’t do it – and because at least when you get sentenced to house arrest, it doesn’t mean being sent to Siberia, too.

Winter is worthless, pointless. Miserable. Vile. It is an appetizer of death, cold and dark.

I realize some people enjoy it. Some people also enjoy scat porno too. Whatever floats your boat – or freezes it. But this is not for me. I wave the white flag of surrender. Enough. I give. Uncle.winter 3

If this becomes the New Normal for our area there are two options open. A Mossberg in the mouth – or a move. It seems more prudent to take a look at Zillow – and what the real estate market is like in New Mexico or Arizona (Caifornia’s out; obnoxious cost of living and even more obnoxious politics can never compensate for endless 70 degree days). I know the gun laws are pretty good in AZ – and a cold day in Phoenix is 50-something. New Mexico is also warm – and very attractively depopulated. An RV in the desert is looking not too bad as I look out my window at all this white shit piling up outside.

No mas.

Throw winter in the woods….


  1. Yep, true enough! Check out the Table Rock area – looks interesting. Keep us posted about your search – that area sounds promising!

  2. DD is in SC with hubby. It’s mercilessly hot June-September – I could not bear that. But their winters (even this one) are pretty mild. Their politics are a bit better, as well. But I don’t get a good feeling in rural SC. Just too red-necky for me.
    There really doesn’t seem to be any way to escape the humidity except moving west of the Rockies, Eric. I’ve traveled all over the U.S. in every season, and the only place I’ve consistently found bearable year-round is San Francisco, but that’s out of the question. I doubt southern Oregon is any better, but it may be. Too bad we can’t transplant more of NH mentality out west!

    • I need to check into rural SC – the “hills” (as in SW VA, the elevation makes the summers very pleasant).

      Rednecks don’t bother me too much. They – in my experience – mostly will leave you alone if you leave them alone. I’m very cool with that.

      • For what it’s worth, the neighbors who keep a place next door to mine down here in N. Fla spend the warm months in the northwestern area of SC. Needless to say, they are very happy not to be there these days. And they’re from OHio originally so they know what cold is. Honestly, I think the only place that you’ll find a relatively hassle-free winter and still be in the lower 48 is along the Gulf coast. Of course the summers are rough but we live on a continent of extremes. Only the people in San Diego can escape this climatic reality.

  3. Yeh, Eric, I hear you. And, thanks, Mama L, I’ll check out the site.

    Well, the winter has been rather relentless, at least in terms of temperature. 2009-10 was the snow champion – we had so much snow that winter I got a snow blower! Which was largely unused for a few years, but really saved the day last week. I’m pretty sure that we’re in for a period of colder winters, much like I (vaguely) can remember growing up around these parts in the sixties. It’s possible we may be in for something more like the Maunder Minimum, a period over a century ago when the sunspots went away mostly and the cold descended for decades (solar activity is the cause of our weather, as most sane people realize, not “carbon.”) If we are entering a new MM, the cold here will be a small thing compared to worldwide starvation as crop production plummets.

    If I had to live only one place year round, I expect it would have to be Northern California. The problem is that state’s politics – don’t think I can tolerate those. I’ve spent a good bit of time in the desert SW, and, for the most part, it’s just too boring for me – not enough green.

    We’re supposed to have fifties most of this week, so maybe the back of the winter has been broken. Let’s hope so!

    • Ditto on CA.

      Beautiful state – ugly politics.

      The gun thing along is sufficient to keep me outta there. But the exorbitant cost of living (including obnoxiously high taxes) is the clincher.

      I agree on the green, too.

      I’m wondering whether there are places in rural South Carolina that approxiate SW Virginia’s topography and summer weather (not too hot) but which also have moderate winters such as we used to have here.

      I actually kind of like a couple of months (two months) of mild cold (30s) weather, bracketed on either end by temperate falls and springs (50s-60s).

      What I can’t abide is four-plus months of severe cold (20s and colder).

      If I wanted that, I’d have moved to Minnesota!

  4. Great rant and thread! As a near neighbor, I can relate, Eric. Have been thinking a lot about how to balance the seasons, as it were. The only thing I can come up with is you need to have TWO places to stay – one for the cold season, and one for the mild season (forget hot – I won’t go to the deep south, as the humidity is bad enough in the Mid-Atlantic!).
    Last summer was particularly nice in the Appalachians – very few periods of 90s and humidity, mostly very pleasant nights. I can hang with this for 9 months a year, no problem. But, after the Xmas flurry(s), I’m about ready to boogie out of here! As S.O. and I begin to realistically think about “retirement,” or at least “semi-so,” I’m wondering how others have handled the situation.
    We’re really not in the league of affording a second “vacation” home, with all the extra expenses and taxes that incurs, but have considered more of a “Winnebago” lifestyle, pulling our home behind us as it were – traveling vagabonds. Wonder if others have experiences they’d like to share with that lifestyle. I know it can’t be as idyllic as I picture it in my mind’s eye, so would like to explore the plus/minus side of a mobile lifestyle.
    What I like about it is being able to “follow the weather.” It would also be interesting to spend time places I truly have enjoyed visiting, such as the southwest in the winter (Tucson is nice!). I hear you can park for free in Walmart lots? Not my first choice, but keeping costs down is nice.
    What say folks? Is the mobile lifestyle do-able for a couple months a year?

    • DR, it’s been a while, but you might check out the “Good Sam Club.” ( It used to be a big, loose organization of “snowbirds” and others who liked the mobile lifestyle you mention. I had dear friends who lived in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, and traveled the southern parts of the US every winter, staying at various campgrounds and participating in some of the club events. They enjoyed the larger “community,” but were not locked in to any schedule or itinerary. They had a mail forwarding service, so they never had to change their address.

      But I highly doubt it can be done cheaply in any case these days. I’m sure there are dozens of financial and governmental barriers. And I doubt you can park overnight at WalMart anymore either. One thing my friends said over and over (and this was 30 years ago) was to stay away from “motor homes” and keep your rig as simple as possible. Pull a small trailer with your car, so you can unhook to sightsee or grocery shop. The cost of gas these days would almost make that imperative. The big 5th wheel trailers, pulled by big trucks, that used to be so common on the roads all seem to be parked in someone’s back yard now and used for guest quarters… Just a thought. 🙂

    • Hi DR,

      I like the idea of having a second home (or even an RV) but it’s out of our budget – and the other thing is, it’s more work… more things to deal with… and I’m booked up!

      In all seriousness, much as I love our place, much as I love this part of Virginia, if this winter is a sample of the “new normal” – four to five months of biting cold, chopping wood in the biting cold, hauling wood to the house in the biting cold, chucking logs into the stove endlessly – I’m making plans to skeedaddle.

      Maybe not the extreme step of AZ or NM – but there has got to be a place that’s reasonable most of the year, temperature-wise – and not unreasonable, cost-of-living-wise.

      Speaking of that: One of the inducements to living here has always been affordability. But this winter puts that into question. I’ve had to buy two loads of wood (at $400 a pop) because I burned through what I cut up. And we still have likely eight weeks of shit cold to combat. Our electric bill is higher now than it’s ever been, too. Even though the heat pumps come on only every now and then – as at night, when the fire burns out.

      I’m just sick of it.

      Looking outside my window at a wasteland of white and cold. And I have to go out in a few to undig our mailbox, which the VDOT plow knocked over (ruined post, mailbox partially smashed).

  5. Eric,
    I have live in many parts of the US including Hawaii and there’s no one place that is really perfect, IMO. North Florida, where I live now (and where I was raised) is nice….if you can handle heat and humidity. The winters, though, are right up your alley. It’s just cold enough here to kill off the bugs and make the leaves fall, and yet too cold for most of the snow bird geezers that infest the rest of the state. Our pipes froze for just 12 hours this winter and that is normal. Culturally this region is best described as Deep South Lite. And we like guns here.

    But Arizona? Yikes. I lived in Tempe-Phoenix for 3 years and had enough of that over-the-top, my-hands-have-melted-to-steering-wheel summer heat. Though traveling isn’t the same challenge as in the north east in the winter, you will not be getting out of doors in the summer, at least not in the valley. It’s just too damn hot.

    Coastal NorCal has great weather and incomparable beauty, but you’re right about the politics and cost of living. I would only move back there if I expected to make big money.

  6. Everybody already lauds the rancher or utility pole climber. That’s a given. But what about when they ranch on Federal land. Or the Utility company is owned by a City?

    Am I the crazy one, or are you insane, for meekly acquiescing to this inhuman system? Look at me, I’m Annie Oakley with my cute little guns. You almost killed a man? They did kill millions. And killed the souls of millions more.

    How many health professionals are on witch hunts for “bullies” right now? And hundreds of other made up ailments and dis-eases.

    Why is it everyone in nearly every profession is such a spineless kiss-ass to authority now? What happened to those who do the work being the ones in charge? That mostly seems to have vanished within my lifetime.

    I guess M.A.S.H. was just a movie. Nobody really stands up to unjust authority, or finds ways to thwart it anymore.

    Here’s a new paradigm to explore: Management: “we’ve declared the building smoke-free.” Workers: “no fuck you. first they come for the smokers, then they coming for me.”

    Random drug testing. Companies reading everyones email. Speech codes. Dress codes. Backstabbing. Narcs. Dehumanizing consultants. Hell no. Enough. We won’t work until that ends. Where is the backbone and spine. Somehow, American workers are now lower than the lowest African slaves fresh off a slaveship.

    This idea that there can be a mixed economy is a nasty baseless lie.

    Most of Europe, is no more, eviscerated. America is also slipping away fast.

    Why are women always so quick to declare fealty to the men in charge, without questioning, instead of their own sons, husbands, and neighbors.
    Gee willickers, My neighbor Bob seemed so nice, too bad they had to gun him down for being a child-molesting dead-beat terrorist drug-dealer. Oh well.

    Ask any Mexican man about the women who helped the Conquistadors. They still curse them today. If woman stood up to this police state as one, this shit would get better in a big hurry, I’m sure of it.

    Such idiocy. You chase off a small time crook with a shotgun. But the organized small town city and county gang with the gold plated eagle bling bling you welcome in your front door and poor them a cup of coffee. Think about what you’re really doing, before it’s too late.

    If the West is so free, why does New Hampshire have so many fewer restrictions? Where are all these liberty heroes? Why can’t Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming be more like New Hampshire?

    Look your postman in the eye. He might not be the devil, but he’s in collusion with someone who’s in collusion with someone else who is the devil. Dear Jesus, this is a warrant for you to report to Golgotha for a hearing on an important matter. Please see the attached booklet that explains your rights under Roman Law.

    I wish someone in the know would enlighten me on hospitals. Why are they run like prisons? Why does everyone accept that as normal? You’re the one paying the money, yet the workers their answer to some far away bureaucracy and not the customer. Why is that the case?

    You have to question everything. Does anyone really have Aspergers, or is the psychiatric diagnosis system part of the problem. Is it part truth and part of a control narrative. Why aren’t nurses, doctors, and medical professionals speaking up now, before they get fully digested in the belly of the Federal Beast?

    Mental Illness is the New Normal

    Department of Health & Human Services – 1 Trillion budget.

    Do you agree with Them, the ones Rappoport thinks believe at least half of all Americans have a mental illness. So who did the hard jobs in Rome. Who built Golgotha. who built the crosses. Who held the trials. Who played wet nurse in all the sanitariums?

    Article 99

    “When Dr. Morgan begins his medical internship at a Veteran’s Administration hospital, he expects to breeze through on his way to a cushy practice.

    Instead, he’s thrust into a bizarre bureaucratic maze where the health of patients is secondary to politics. The temperature really rises when he teams up with some freewheeling physicians, who’ve had to learn how to break the rules to save lives and do the right thing.”

    Maybe I’m incoherent at this point. This movie shows what I’m saying. Maybe I pine for Americans who never existed. Maybe they’ve always been Sheeple and my childhood and young adult memories are all mistaken? I’ll continue to listen to everything everyone here says, take it to heart and reflect, and then try to post more constructive comments next time.

    • Thing is, a snowmobile would have done nothing for me. Yeah, it snowed the other day. First snow all winter (other than dustings). What we’ve had is three months’ running of arctic cold. 18 degrees during the day, 8 degrees at night… that sort of thing. For weeks at a time, with a few “warm” days in the 30s. But almost no days above freezing.

      The snow sucks, too.

      I spent most of the past two days trying to excavate us from two feet-plus of it. Overwhelmed my tractor. You pretty much needed a front end loader – seriously – to push it. Not my idea of a fun time. Neighbor’s carport collapsed on their car – couldn’t bear the weight of two-plus feet of snow. Thousands in damage. I took photos for them to show the insurance Don Corleones

      I’m only bitching because this isn’t what I signed up for. If I wanted to play Eskimo – if I enjoyed being cold for a third of the year – I’d have moved to donchaknow country (Milwaukee, Minneapolis, etc.). But this here am the south. It ain’t supposed to be single digits and teens for weeks – for months – on end in the south. A big reason for living in the south is to avoid severe, long winters.


      • LOL – You know, it never occurred to me to be a strange thing to use a full size, John Deere 310 series backhoe to pile snow up higher than the second story of my home.

        I understand your aggravation, but that’s one of the reasons why I live in upstate NH.

        The fact that most “normal” folks would not.


        • I have, they are (fun). So is ice hockey (I used to play) and skiing (used to do that, too).

          But when I was done skating, I could leave the ice arena. Or the ski resort.

          Hard to do anything with three months’ running of absolute shit weather (17 degrees here now; feet of drifted snow everywhere).

          Throw it in the Woods!

    • I prefer blowtorch. 😀
      Problem is, I need one to clear 1/3 acre at a time… From 2 feet of snow right now. (I exaggerate, after the last melt, it’s only about 12″. but another foot due for tonight / tomorrow.)

  7. Panarch, I can understand why you couldn’t stand not being outside and doing stuff in the summer. It’s because you’re snowed in all winter. So to you, summer is “the” time to be outside.

    And Mama Liberty, I agree that 120 sucks! Believe it or not, there is a world of difference between 120 and 117, which is the highest it almost ever gets.

    So we each avoid the weather extremes which seem the worst to us. But you won’t hear me whining much in the summer. Only exception is early Sept, when Monsoon Season makes it more humid…..and it just won’t drop below 105. However, that only lasts for a couple of weeks at most….not “months,” like the winter most of you guys are having.

  8. Eric,

    I too sympathize.That line about winter being “a preview of death” sums it up perfectly.

    New Mexico my be pretty and empty, but politically, it is screwed up.

    I won’t taunt you much about how it’s mid 80s, with blue skies here in the Phoenix region. Fact is, it’s almost “too” perfect for mid Feb. Makes me anticipate a Very Hot Summer.

    But you know what? A Very Hot summer in Phoenix isn’t as bad as what you’re experiencing. Even 115 degree days are very survivable outside for a minute or five….provided you’re in the shade. That “dry heat” helps a lot. The rest of the time, we’re in air conditioned cars, coming or going to or from our air conditioned homes, offices, schools or stores.

    It’s true you don’t spend much time on outdoor activities during the daylight hours, unless you have a pool. But it’s way better than being snowbound.

    Heck, until if and when the power grid crashes Big Time, spending summer in Phoenix is totally stylin’ 🙂

    • MikePizzo wrote, “I won’t taunt you much”


      And I was just feeling good about how the temp is just now above freezing for the first time in forever.

      In the 30’s, drove by a bike path and noticed a teenaged girl jogging, in short-shorts. …Vitality on display.

      Now that I think about it, I don’t understand this:

      “if and when the power grid crashes Big Time, spending summer in Phoenix is totally stylin’”

      Especially in light of this observation:

      “Even 115 degree days are very survivable outside for a minute or five….provided you’re in the shade. […] The rest of the time, we’re in air conditioned cars, coming or going to or from our air conditioned homes, offices, schools or stores.”

      Can you run an A/C or CAC on solar power?

      I couldn’t even imagine Not being outside and doing stuff during the day in Summer. Gives me shivers just thinking about being, sunbound (?) or, sun’ed-In (?) for more than a week or two.

      One thing is for sure, I’m really going to appreciate Spring time this year.

      • Thing is… you can always put on more clothes, go to a warmer environment even in a blackout situation… but there are only so many clothes you can take off. And even stark naked, 120 degrees in the shade is not all that nice. I’ve been to Arizona and New Mexico in the summer… and, aside from the mountain tops, you can keep it. 🙂

  9. I worked for the local electric company for most of my career operating a bucket truck, and it wasn’t too bad when I was a young wiseass, but the older I got the more I felt the cold. I worked a lot of storms and the money was good since you were basically on the clock for the duration, but working in a heat wave was way better than working in a blizzard IMHO. You can always keep drinking (not necessarily water either 🙂 ), but once you get cold you’re screwed. Hands and feet numb and will never warm up until you get back inside for awhile. In conversation with my buddies who are still on the job the sentiment is to stay indoors and hibernate till May.
    A few years back, shortly after I retired there was a freak Halloween snowstorm that caused massive outages since most of the trees were still in leaf; they called some of us recent retirees back to help out, and I lasted about a day, reminded me why I retired in the first place. I am sooooo glad I don’t have to go to work this winter, probably one of the worst ever. Now I just pull the blanket over my head on snowy mornings, and give the snowblower a workout later in the day, though we’re running out of room to pile it up. Give me a dope slap in August if I bitch about the heat.

  10. This is why we yankees learn to ski. When you get good at it, you actually look forward to powder days. And you’re not too far from some great east coast skiing like 7 Springs (Pennsylvania), Massanutten (Virginia), and quite a few places in WVA that escape my memory at this moment.

  11. While I appreciate hard work and shovels in the dirt value creation to no end. And especially those who brave the field and possess rare skills and talents. I applaud them and fully recognize their contribution when I see it. But I do so only ti the extent that it is done voluntarily, and not as part of some coercive plantation system of control.

    I have nothing but disdain and disgust for any who imagine it beneficial that there is some mythical band of heroes that “serves” us in any way, whether great or small. The few and the proud braving sleet, snow, and dark of night. Fuck them all, I say, if they are not fully private and without public aspect.

    First Responder Tribute

    I loathe cops, firefighters, librarians, EMTs, social workers, red cross workers, teachers, soup kitchen soup ladelers and all the rest equally and completely, if they exist by the filthy lucre of the ruling class.

    I consider any man who accepts a mantle of authority and would place his hand on me to rule me or extract tribute in any way from me as my enemy and predator.

    Any member of a guilded state conferred profession or authority is assumed to be anti-freedom in my book. They get one chance to relent and repent when the time comes. If they fail to do so, I am every bit as OK with them being violently displaced and removed as I am cops and soldiers.

    • “I have nothing but disdain and disgust for any who imagine it beneficial that there is some mythical band of heroes that “serves” us in any way, whether great or small. ”

      Has absolutely nothing to do with what I was saying, Tor. I’m not talking about any form of “altruism,” or state sponsored “authority.” I’m talking about people who do difficult jobs, including our volunteer firemen and EMTs… because they want to do it, and find satisfaction in doing a job that makes a positive difference in the lives of their neighbors and friends. And some people actually manage to make a living doing the same things. At least here, they do not pretend to “rule” anyone.

      Let’s work to provide a better alternative to the state, a free market answer to all of life’s problems. Some “jobs” will vanish, absolutely, but most will simply change to a voluntary option. If people develop a better answer to provide electricity than men climbing power poles in the freezing wind and blizzard snow, I don’t think many of them would object. I don’t know a single cattleman who actually WANTS to crawl around in the snow and melting cow shit to deliver the calf. If there are better ways to do things, we must be free to find and utilize them. But it just doesn’t hurt to be grateful that some people are willing to do things the hard way until then.

      Despising things merely because of their current labels is rather self defeating, I think.

      • I’m with you, and I actually enjoyed reading that post of yours. This is where the appreciation SHOULD be going, to people who do hard jobs that help people, not those who kill, kidnap, and steal for the State. This is the kind of social change that should be happening.

        Of course, there is a point where appreciation becomes worship, and I think its become that way for the military even aside from the fact that nearly everything they do is wrong. But I don’t really think you’ve gone anywhere near that line.

  12. Hey Folks,

    I live currently on the Cumberland plateau in TN….about 2000ft asl. We have had some cold days and nights….currently have a little snow but I actually enjoy this weather for two reasons. It makes me appreciate spring and fall and it totally blows away the predictions of the AGW crowd whose track record is virtually 100% incorrect. The alternative is to move to a place much closer to the equator….Costa Rica or Panama might be doable, but I’ve been there and to Singapore…..boring weather to my way of thinking. Meanwhile, this appears to be winter’s dying gasp unless we have an anomalous event like the “endless winter of 1816”. Cheer up, the weather is the least of our worries…..

  13. Gabe… what if nobody did? 🙂 Glad some folks have the luxury of that choice, but I’m even more grateful for all of those who choose the hard jobs and especially those who do them well, regardless of the weather.

    I was one of those nurses… for 30 years. I drove in every weather, day and night, and I drove three or four hundred miles a day for the last 14 of those years. And yes, I’m glad to be retired now.

    Trust me, I did my share of griping and whinging about the cold, heat, wind, etc. But those things didn’t seem to matter so much after a long day making a real difference in people’s lives. And I’ve always made a special point to appreciate the efforts of all the folks who go out in the bad weather to make a difference in my life as well. Nobody’s forcing them to do that…. They could have chosen a different profession too. But I’m glad they didn’t. 🙂

  14. I feel your pain, Eric. We’re one state south and moved here from the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts to get away from this snow and, recently, ice. It definitely makes you want to eat a bullet. The only upside is this weekend it’ll get up into the high 40’s again and the 50’s next week.
    And MamaLiberty – I do think of those people; It’s a reason I don’t work in those professions.

  15. It’s been really strange watching the severe weather in the east and south this year, while we’ve had a very mild winter in NE Wyoming. Only a few nights below zero, and not a lot of snow… just enough in the mountains to meet our requirements for a low fire risk summer.

    I have no idea why anyone puts salt on the roads. We’ve always used plain old sand/dirt. Makes terrible mud, of course, but we don’t have the salt rot on our vehicles.

    If you are feeling glum about being housebound because of the cold and snow, spare a thought for all of the people who must work out in the weather all year long. Think of the linemen and telephone workers struggling to keep your electric and phones working. Imagine life as a long haul trucker, braving the ice and wind to bring groceries to the store near you. Think of the cowboys and ranchers slogging through the freezing wind and snow to save the calf that will eventually become your dinner. Think of the nurse and doctor who must drive the icy streets to get to the hospital to save lives and bring comfort.

    I cried because I had no shoes… until I met a man who had no feet.

  16. I like the cold and the snow myself, which is part of the reason I came up here to Alaska… where it’s not cold or snowy at all this year. The big races (Iron Dog and Iditarod) are coming up within the next few weeks, and there just isn’t any snow or any frozen lakes for them to race on. Who knows what they’ll do.

  17. In regard to moving, a late fiend of mine used to say, “Always taste the water first.” Make sure there is plenty of it too. Northern California has a wonderful climate, beautiful topography, and a far more libertarian perspective than the rest of the state (there is an even an independence movement near the Oregon border) but ground water is often hard to come by. Even surface water can be scarce if the mountains don’t receive much snowfall during the winter. It isn’t all that hard to find areas with mild winters but the summers might be intolerable due to heat, humidity, dust, threat of forest fires etc. “In Search of the Perfect Climate” or something along that line should be a permanent thread.

    • @Marc – It exists, I have been there- San Clemente and Avila Beach CA. You only know it is winter because you need a light jacket at night.

  18. I don’t think its been “below 0” on Long Island, but its definitely been in the teens and probably single digits at some point. Its definitely too cold. FL was too hot but I’d take it in comparison. ‘m still hoping I can get out of a school day because of it, though.

  19. Sorry Eric, your complaints sound like nothing to me. We are heading towards a record year of below zero F temps. Yes, more than in the 19th century. I think only two more days and it’s a record. I haven’t seen snow build up like this ever.

    Thankfully there hasn’t been a blizzard. Just weekly typical snow falls. However now I am into snow pile management. I fear a sudden melt because the water is going to want to go into my basement. I’ve had to develop strategy and have been moving snow by wheel barrow. I’ve had to dig trenches to open up new ground to pile snow.

    Oh and the roads…. A road on my way home from work was resurfaced a couple years ago… the winter has broken it. I now know how it is to drive on roads in a third world country. The pot holes, the frost buckling, and now something I’ve never seen…. large heaves and sinks. Some of them ramp shaped.

    I had to take the ’12 out the other night just because the roads were finally dry enough. The temp on the dash said 8F. The summer tires were not liking it but I had to get the fluids circulating. Otherwise I haven’t driven the car in months. I am thinking about buying another set of wheels and snow tires just so I can drive it.

  20. Its been cold on Long Island for awhile now, we’ve got snow and rain coming tonight. I just hope we get enough of it that I can skip a day at college. Sitting through five classes, including a math class (I hate math at least as much as Eric hates snow) just does not appeal to me. Would be nice to get to sleep in.

    Other than that, though, winter in general is starting to wear on me. I remember moving from FL to NY when I was 13… I loved snow back then. Now I just find it annoying.

  21. I haven’t seen a blue sky or the grass in so long… I have a picture of it in fact… January 1st 2014.

    I yearn for the day when I can drive down the road without hearing the sound of small gravel rocks or ice/salt chunks hitting my wheel wells.

  22. Could not disagree wiff ya mo’ mang. I love this white stuff! I live on a mountain too! Temperature outside is 5 degrees. I have my beer sitting on the deck in the snow as I type this. It’s coming down like madness outside and I fucking love it! I thrive in all conditions and enjoy doing so. God gives you snow, you buy a snowboard. I sent you an email inviting you to go snowboarding with me the weekend of the 22nd. Bring whatever technologically advanced piece of shit press car you have that weekend and let’s get a snowboard session in!

    • Dom,

      This weekend I plan to go skiing near Mercersberg, PA. If I am properly attired, I can usually enjoy all 4 seasons.

      I do, however, sympathize with Eric. (Eric, do not use the Mossberg. There are more productive ways to spend your time. 🙂 ) Even though I enjoy winter when it is here, I too am tired of this extended cold spell.

      This is the first winter, in my memory, that was consistently this cold (sub 32°F ) for over 6 weeks. (New Jersey)

      I have experienced colder temperatures, but usually these cold snaps do not last for more than 3-4 days at a time. In between there are stretches 40+ and 50+ daily temperatures.

      This winter is seems as if there is another snow event each week. At this point I am eagerly awaiting the spring and the warmer temperatures that arrive with the spring.

      • Just got back in from snowblowing mine and my three neighbors driveways. We all have long gravel drives. It took a little over three hours and a bit over a six pack. It’s still snowing pretty good. I think we’re a little over two feet.

        • Dom,

          Some good powder this weekend. (~14″-18″ or 36cm-46cm) Hopefully I remember how to ski. 😉

          Expecting about another 2″-3″ in NJ tonight. It should be a simple commute to work tomorrow.

          A six pack with friends after completing a job is good way to end the day.

  23. You guys are crazy for considering buying real-estate now, imho,

    See also:

    And mang, I thought you guys wanted to escape to another planet?
    Just put on your cover-alls, go for a walk, and pretend you’re walking on the moon. You know, for practice. What a perfect opportunity? Ha.

    The Police – Walking on The Moon

  24. Eric, – dude,- get your ass over to Phoenix for 5 days and rent an Eager Rider bike before you take out the neighborhood. 🙂

    I feel a little of your pain. Two years ago after two snow storms in a row the third really wet one took out the power poles and trees. It left my area with zero electricity for 7 days and cold, slusshy, on and off frozen new snow. You really begin to appriciate hot water, big kitchen box refrigeration and such niceties of our “evil earth destroying civilzation.” Now I feel for the old cowboys and indians of Montana and the Dakotas. I call them “The Greatest Generation”.

  25. I couldn’t agree more, this winter sucks big time. I’ve lived in the Boston area for almost 50 years (came here for college and never went back to NJ), and there’s never in my admittedly not perfect memory been a winter as brutally cold and snowy for as long as this one – and we’re not even half way thru February, which is usually a big snow month. Now I know why my parents moved to Florida after they both retired. I visited them during the winter off and on before they died, but couldn’t live their myself, just too humid no matter the temperature.
    I can feel the pain of people like Eric who just shouldn’t be having weather like this; cities down south just aren’t equipped to deal with snow and ice, just saw some video of Atlanta covered in ice that’s worse than anything up north so far.
    It really bites to be trapped indoors, I always try to go out for a walk each day which is pretty much impossible without snowshoes since there’s been so much snow there’s no place left to put it and it isn’t going to melt anytime soon.
    Hopefully this is a one of event, but if this becomes the new normal we’ll be packing up for Arizona or Nevada too.

  26. haha, great rant.
    i think you cussed more in this article than every other article I have ever read by you. you effectively conveyed you are not a fan of winter or believer in global warming (lol).
    winter f’n sucks, it doesn’t just need to be thrown in the woods. it needs to be doubletapped, quartered and then thrown in the woods to be fed to wolves.

  27. You are having a warm chicago winter down there by you. Up here, we are getting what wisconsin normally gets- I am waiting for the floods when this melts- the snow is up to my knees as there has been no snow melt for at least a month. I know when it did melt a little last time, the ground froze completly saturated. We have had -20 degree temps here not including the wind chill, and I have been waiting to take the bike to the shop since early december for carb cleaning and painting. No chance here since the salt will cause epic rust on the chrome even on the off day the roads are dry


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