16. January 2007 · Comments Off on Global Warming??? · Categories: Critters, Domestic, General, Pajama Game

As best I know, Al Gore has not come to San Antonio lately to bang on about global warming; this winter ice storm is just one of the usual South Texas winter things, only colder, icier and more of an inconvenience than usual. Ice, freezing rain, bitter north wind; all the elevated highways and overpasses closed, school classes cancelled, and as many people as possible being urged to stay home. As Blondie lamented this morning to the Lesser Weevil:
ďYa suppose if we gave you the leash, you could just walk yourself?Ē

Itís a good thing that I still have all of my serious winter gear from when we lived in Utah. At the rate I wear my winter parka, insulated boots, gloves and other necessary winter stuff, they will last me the rest of my natural life, since they only get good use maybe three or four days of the year. This being one of them: our version of a snow day. Residents of northern tier states are laughing their asses off, though. By their standards, this is a good winter day. Only the ice all over the roads is cause for pause. Iíve seen these folks here drive on wet streets, the last thing they need is black ice. I am not keen on being anywhere in the vicinity when Bubbah from the West Side zips up to the big intersection at Thousand Oaks and Perrin-Beitel in his monster SUV, slams on the brakes as he hits a patch of ice and spins all the way down to the Post Office, scattering other cars before him like ninepins before a 3,000 pound bowling ball. I can drive on ice, and in snow, I just have no faith in anyone else on the roads around here being able to do so. After all, they only have to do so about once every five years, and that is just not enough to keep those skills current.

At least we had plenty of warning about this cold front; so all the tender plants are in the garage, or under cover on the back porch; so far the only potted plant badly affected is Blondieís painted coleusÖ which may or may not make it. I just donít think it is any more sheltered in the garage than it is on the back porch.

We walked up the hill with the dogs at about midmorning: treacherous patches of ice in odd places on driveways and on the sidewalks. Spike the toy shi-tzu is always invigorated by cold; must be all that fur. She bounded ahead, displaying every evidence of keen enjoyment. Sometimes I amuse myself by picturing a team of six or eight little dogs like her, all hitched to a miniature sled and dragging it through the Arctic snow. Even if it is a breed which is supposed to be pampered lap-dogs all, I suspect that Spike and her tiny kind actually have dreams of glory, and heroic deeds. Today she skidded on a couple of patches of ice, and did not venture onto a lawn more than once. The trees, the lawns and parked cars are all glazed over with a layer of ice, crackling underfoot as if you are wading through cornflakes. The scattering of trees which still have leaves are coated also; the north wind rattles the leaves and branches like bamboo castanets. We met one of our neighbors, grimly scraping ice off his windshield with a credit card, and we both tried to remember how far down in our respective glove-boxes are buried the plastic ice scrapers.

Blondie was to start classes today; something she was looking forward to after three weeks of being bored out of her mind at home, but classes at most schools today are cancelled. Practically every elevated overpass and freeway ramp is closed, so even if she did still have classes, it would take at least half the day to get across town to them. Public events and lectures have also been cancelled or postponed, and a couple of corporations and city offices are either closed, or ask only essential employees to come to work. No, this is a day to stay home, and stay warm, and work from home. My sometime boss, the real estate broker doesnít even want me to venture out: the ice is even worse in his neighborhood. And most unusual for here, it looks to carry on for more than one day. Itís rare for a winter storm to discommode San Antonio for more than one day at a time, but this one looks like going for a record. No word on snow, though. It last snowed seriously here about twenty years ago, and people are still talking about it as if it were a blizzard that left fifteen-foot deep drifts.

Iíll flog away on the next book, and Blondie is going to do some loaves of bread: all you can do on a day like this! That is, as soon as we melt the ice around the door lock to Blondie’s car. Global warming, indeed.

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