Well – a day late and a dollar short. This is where I talk about snow.
But first, to recap – I was offered a job at SOLGPS yesterday. Don’t know what to do. Talked to many people. I’ll follow up all the comments this evening. Still haven’t decided. I’m way less frantic than yesterday though.
As the Dude stated: “This is a complicated case. A lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous, a lot of strands to keep in my head, man.”
Anyway, last week it snowed. You may not have noticed. Quite a bit of snow. I found the limitations of my scooter. Light snow – a skiff of snow maybe – does not bother the scooter. Snow formed into light fluffy drifts? These are not my scooter’s friend.
Wednesday – three weeks before my consulting company rep arranged to take me our for lunch (which I will feel guilty about if I jump ship). We decide on last Wednesday. On Wednesday there is snow. I scoot downstairs in the Toll building and eye the weather guardedly. We are going to Lazia’s. It is in Edmonton Centre. I should only need to cross the street. The road looks like a mess, but it seems passable.
Wrong. (wrong, wrong, wrong.)
I don my toque and gloves and set out. I skirt around a drift on the sidewalk and come to the intersection without problems. But there is a dip see – the road slopes to the curb and the curb has the little ramp onto the road. Where the two slopes meet is a divot and that divot is filled with snow.
I back up and bit to get a run at it. I wait for the light and turn my governor all the way up. Light is green and I’m off. Whumpf! I plow through the drift. I cross the rest of the road with ease…until I reach the other side where the same divot exists, but deeper.
Vroom! If I make car noises the scooter goes faster. Plumf! I stop dead.
A nice Samaritan pushes me onto the sidewalk. I say “Thank you!”
Mistake #2 – instead of going into City Centre East, I decide to stay outside and go into City Centre West. This mean I need to cross one more road.
Wait for the light. Turn it up to eleven. Vroom! I whiz across the street. On the far side, snow blankets the whole curb. I keep it pinned. Ka-clump! I miss the little ramp on the left side. My foot flies off the foot rest, but I plow through the snow like a sled dog.
I stop and adjust myself. I am getting cold. The wind is blowing into my face. But I am able to dodge any more drifts on my way to the door. Trip there was a success!
Now the trip back. I wisely decide to take the pedway between halves of the mall. When I get into City Centre East the elevator is shut down for maintenance. I ask a guy in a booth if there is a freight elevator I can use. He looks back at me blankly. “How do they get stock to their store?”
My consulting rep is still with me and he finds a janitor who calls security who gladly helps me with the freight elevator.
Back outside and only one street to cross. But I know I’ll get stuck. So I decide to use the other crosswalk. The snow looks shallower there. Vroom! Plumf! I’m barely off the curb.
Different Samaritan pushes my into traffic. Whoosh, I cross the street, but I’m on the west side of the intersection and must pull a left turn and cross rice howard way too because I choose the other crosswalk. The problem is getting on and off the street so I don’t stop. I shoulder check and then jay-scoot and skip the divot.
Plumf! No dice. I’m across the street, but stuck again. No Samaritan right beside be because I skipped the light. I put it into reverse and rock back and forth. I make a little progress and then another Samaritan gives me a push.
Thunk. There is no steering in the snow drift. I am pushed right into the scaffolding around the building.The scooter would take it, but it is my knee that hits hard. I stop before I rip my left off and with momentum lost I’m stuck again and butted up against the metal post. I crank the wheel and the Samaritan pushes one last time. Pop! Just like Pooh Bear from Rabbit’s hole.
Three feet. Remember the very first snow drift I skirted around as I left the building? Well I have no steering as I pop out of the divot and I can’t avoid it this time. Plumf! Grr!
The Samaritan pushes for a third time, but this is a deep drift. Deeper than the divots. A second Samaritan lends a hand. Pop! Yay! I return to work. Colder and Wiser.
But my adventures in the snow are not yet done. Nay nay!
I take Dats home. The parking lot here at Todd’s Cabana is unplowed and even the concrete pad outside the door has defeated the maintenance guy. A narrow walkway is shoveled – about scooter wide – but it is partly snowed over. The bus tentatively pulls up near the pad. The driver is quite worried about being stuck in the snow. But he gets to where the ramp can be lowered and lines it up with the half shoveled path.
There is a divot! An area of parking lot between the bus and the pad I need to cross. I gun it. Vroom! And through! I break on through to the other side. And I’m home safe.
Now I worry that evening. It continues to snow and the maintenance guy won’t have had a chance to improve things outside by the time I leave. I decide to take a snow day. I call into work, cancel DATS and roll over and go back to sleep.
Friday morning. No skipping work two days in a row. That would just be lazy. It snowed less Thursday than Friday though. I’m tentative, but Peter has the pad nicely cleared. However the parking lot is worse than ever and the morning DATS driver is very cautious. He stops and sets up so that the DATs lift comes down not at the end of the pad, but in the visitor parking space which is covered in a foot and a half of snow.
“Don’t worry, I’ll shovel!” he says.
“Why not angle the bus so that the lift lines up with the pad?” I ask.
“I’ll get stuck.”
I watch him shovel. I’m highly skeptical. I won’t be able to back onto the lift. It takes slow going to manuaever and I’ll need to gun it. It also takes a wide swath to turn around in and it would take 20 minutes to shovel that all.
“No worries. Today, you go in front ways,” he says.
Second worry. I’ll need to weave an S shape to leave the pad, avoid the lift, turn in the visitor space and get on the lift. Can’t be done at speed even going forward.
“No worries. I shovel straight path.”
“But it will end at the curb not the ramp off the pad,” I say.
He is energetic. The shoveling takes only a minute. It isn’t nearly down to pavement. I turn it up to eleven and rush the L shaped path he has created.
Clunk! Off the curb and the tires immediately sink into the snow. I’m stuck deep. No going forward and I can’t go back because I can’t climb the curb.
“This isn’t going to work,” says the driver as he mightily lifts the end of my scooter back onto the curb. “I’ll angle the bus.”
He raises the lift and moves the bus. But he is soooooo cautious. He is at the right angle. It is a straight shot from the end of the pad ramp onto the lift, but he is in the middle of the parking lot. There is 15 feet of snot to cross.
Shovel, shovel, shovel. He clears the snow. But when he lowers the lift because he didn’t shovel under the lift the front end doesn’t reach the ground. He is getting tired now though and half-asses the shovelling under the lift. It now mostly touches the ground.
Vroom! I gun it. I cross the parking lot and clunk! I run into the lift. The tires don’t make it up. So once again there is a mighty lift. Finally I am on the lift and on my way to work.
But I’m not yet done. Oh no. At work the streets have been plowed and the sidewalks cleared, but the street snow isn’t cleared. It is piled into moraines along the sidewalks. There is no where to lower the lift because of the three foot high mound of snow along the whole curb.
Once again, shovel, shovel, shovel. The driver levels the moraine. Success on the first try! I get to work safely.
Valuable lesson’s learned. Arrange to work from home during and immediately after heavy snowfalls. With a less energetic or strong driver, I might still be stuck out there.
This is running really long. The only other activity of note was two excellent gaming nights on Friday and Saturday. I’d describe them, but I am tired of writing now. 🙂 G’night and sleep well.