Of flame throwers and door zones

Digging out
Last Friday, with our street still sloppy, the UPS truck finally made it down our street (two days late) to deliver my new snow boots.  With temperatures in the 40s and 50s, our ten inches of snow is almost entirely gone.  Guess I’ll have to try out the boots later.

On Sunday, we were returning from brunch at my FIL’s when I witnessed not one, but two, rather insane snow-removal methods in my ‘hood.  Method 1 involved using a garden hose to spray water on the snow-covered parts of the sidewalk.  I was still trying to wrap my head around that one, when, less than a block later, it got better.  Method 2 involved a propane tank (like you would use for a gas grill) powering what appeared to be some kind of jury-rigged flame thrower.  The inventor of said device was directing the flame at some ice near the edge of the road.

The kicker is that it was 55º F at that point, so a good old-fashioned shovel, not to mention just leaving it there to melt, would have been more effective and less-wasteful of resources.  We were in a bit of a time crunch to get Sir home for his nap, or else I would definitely have photo evidence of Method 2.

Open with care (and don’t EVER ride in the door zone)
Saturday afternoon we took Sir to the zoo.  I snagged a street parking spot and proceeded to almost take out a kid (couldn’t have been more than fourteen) on a bicycle.  Since the very dangerous practice of door zone cycling is relatively common, I do try to check before I open the car door, but this particular time, I didn’t.  Fortunately, the kid swerved out of the way — very fortunately not into the path of an overtaking vehicle.  I don’t know if I would have even been aware of the near disaster if not for his startled, “Oh, shit!” as he swerved and rode on his way.  Yikes!

I wanted to give him a CyclingSavvy card, but I didn’t react quite quickly enough to run after him.  There was, however, a suspiciously similar-looking bike locked up outside the zoo entrance, so I tucked one of the cards into the helmet.

Aldi by bike
The clear roads mean that biking is a go once again.  The amount and longevity of snow and ice so far this winter is making me rethink not needing snow tires.

Yesterday, I road my bike to my nearest Aldi grocery store.  For various reasons (I’ll save my thoughts on Aldi for another post), I had never visited this Aldi location, despite living just over a mile away for a year-and-a-half.

The trip was mostly an excuse and motivation to step away from the computer and get outside for a bit, spurred by their weekly advertisement mentioning that they now carry [some] organic produce.  I bought some citrus fruit (the main item on my list) and a couple of other items, which ended up filling the milk-crate on my bike.

Working girl
For the past week, I’ve been rather busy with paid work, which means spending a lot of time with Microsoft Office products, completing tasks that require a good deal of focus and attention to detail.  This is something I do well, but it leaves my more creative side (including the ability to write here) locked-up and whimpering in the corner, hard-pressed to produce, even if I did want to spend more time in front of the computer.


  1. Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 says:

    That is hilarious about the propane tank, and a very good point about the temps. Our driveway and sidewalks were perfectly clear by Sunday afternoon, just by way of the higher temperature!

    Scary about the cyclist, and a good reminder that we’re all in this together and we all have to work together. I posted a video to Facebook this weekend called “Dear Motorist” that had been shared by the bicycle shop where I worked in high school. It was a nice, balanced reminder that the people on bikes are parents, children, friends, spouses, etc., and both offering and requesting a pledge to avoid distracted driving for everyone’s well-being.

    I haven’t been to an Aldi in a long time! You can get amazing deals on the most random things sometimes, but I tend to avoid their meat, especially after a mislabeling issue with their beef. My brother and sister-in-law swear by the produce, though.

  2. EcoCatLady says:

    Holy Moly! Garden hoses and flame throwers?!? I’ve seen people out with pick axes breaking up the ice in the shady areas but that’s a new one. Gotta say – door zones scare the bejeezus out of me!

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