I’M SO SORRY TO WELCOME BACK SNOW-RAVAGED GUEST BLOGGER, RICHARD GALGANO

Guess what? It’s 4:00 a.m., it’s snowing again, and I’m outside. Thank God! I have a multiple-week streak of daily shoveling going and was afraid it would end. This may be my best chance to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. There are officially two categories in the book: pro and amateur. Technically I’m an amateur, but I don’t think the term is appropriate in this case. “Amateur” derives from Latin and means “one who does it for the love.” I think we need to develop a third category referring to necessity.

I’m sacrificing my parking spot in the driveway. I’m considering a mess of helium balloons to tether the car above the snow but I’ll probably just play “musical cars.” There just isn’t any more space.

Boston received five and a half five inches of snow through January 22nd. Since then, in 23 days, 84 more inches have fallen. A normal winter has about half that much snow.

Yesterday, for the fifth time, I removed the peaks of the snow piles at the foot of the driveway to about 4 and a half feet. All I can say is… They’re B-a-c-k!  The snow piles are over 7 feet right now, and growing. The taller mountains in the yard are so high that you need to wear supplemental oxygen when climbing them. This Spring, my yard is going to look like the summit of Mt. Everest with empty canisters all over the place.

After removing the peaks with my wheelbarrow, I washed clothes by hand. Yes. I am building the helicopter, using parts from the washer and dryer. (See prior blog posts.) As it took an hour to drive 3/4 of a mile, the chopper will free up a lot of time, for shoveling.

The local hardware store was packed yesterday. Unlike the big box stores which already showcase spring equipment, winter items are still available locally. Well, they were. There was a run on “ice melt,” the shovels are sold-out, and the bin with the grips for your boots had 1 pair left (men – size 15). Fortunately they had a chain saw (more on this below).

I considered buying salt but I don’t want to screw up the environment any more than necessary. Wandering through the aisles, it hit me. I ran over to the electrical department and bought every foot of wire they had. I stopped at the auto parts store and picked up a couple car batteries.

Last night I stripped about five miles of insulation off the wire. My dog is outside running around in a back and forth pattern, having the time of her life, pulling wire from a spool. She’s pretty fast and as soon as she’s done and back in the house, I’m going to hook up the wire to the batteries. (Safety Note: if you walk by our house today, please wear rubber boots.) Let the melting begin!

Years ago, I learned how to cut trees and got reasonably facile in having the trees (usually) fall in the intended direction. As the battery power is limited, I’ve decided to cut down the trees in our front yard and set them on fire. Hopefully they will fall in the direction of the sidewalk and driveway. Ha! With all that melting, I’ll be able to see one of my neighbor’s houses in no time! After the trees burn out, I can toss some furniture on the embers. I got the idea from La Bohème. But don’t worry — there are piles of rubber insulation in the house and they are comfortable to sit and lie on. I soon may be able to see out my windows!

Back after a couple hours. Huge miscalculation. HUGE. I cut the first tree but the snow is so deep, it’s holding the tree upright. And the electrical approach didn’t quite work as intended. From the window, my dog and I witnessed one major league spark (okay, explosion). The dog had run around the fire hydrant a few times and I think the metal hydrant caused a short circuit. However, the area around the hydrant is totally clear and the five-foot hole in the ground should fill up with snow quickly.

My dog is sitting at the kitchen table, pawing the keys on my laptop and has my credit card. It appears that she is trying to book a vacation package in Cancun. She is willing to take me with her but I’ll have to ride in the cargo area with the other humans.

Time for breakfast while listening to music — Christie McVie was right: “I’m over my head, over my head in snow.”

Richard Galgano

February 15, 2015

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CAN’T DRIVE. NO ROOM FOR SNOW. MUSCLES SORE. MUST BLOG. (WELCOME BACK, GUEST BLOGGER RICHARD GALGANO)

5 a.m.

It has stopped snowing!

The entrance to my driveway is filled again. I’ve resorted to using the wheelbarrow to move the snow to the other end of the driveway, where the front of my car would usually go. Fortunately, I cleaned out the garage a few weeks ago and may be able to fit a car in it. Hopefully the roof won’t collapse from the weight of a glacier.

Ad for Craigslist — Needed: One dog team, sled, and driver who has a permit to carry fuel. I found an Army Navy store with a Korean War flame thrower. The ban on driving doesn’t say anything about dog sledding.

Uh-oh. Miscalculated (underestimated) the amount of ice created by using flame thrower on a cold day.

Eureka! Acme Supply Company (of Road Runner and Coyote fame) offers a special on ice crampons and studded snow tires. Unfortunately, they can’t deliver due to ban on cars and trucks.

Next ad for Craigslist – Wanted: Helicopter with payload capacity to drop above package into our yard.

On the phone with Acme again. They are balking about inserting an electronic tracking device with the package. I’m trying to explain that the package may be lost for a long time in snow drifts.

Where there is crisis, there is opportunity. In addition to a new mountain for the winter Olympics, I’ll have more than enough ice for a speed skating track! Wonder if I’ll get to meet the Erics (Heiden and Flaim)? By the way, the largest snow mountain in my driveway is now tall enough for the downhill race.

Check this out! There is a St Bernard across the street thumbing (well, “pawing,” actually) rides. The sign reads “Florida or bust. Will share brandy.”

One of the meteorologists of Armageddon Storm Team is broadcasting. (I must have missed the others who went to the Florida Keys). We are going to get, you guessed it, MORE SNOW in a couple days.

It’s a good thing I have a two story house. I can still see out of the second floor windows.

Richard Galgano

February 10, 2015

Welcome Back Snow-Weary Guest Blogger, Richard Galgano

Armageddon Storm Team reporting live from just west of Boston.

It continues to snow and the piles in my driveway are taller than Kareem Abdul Jabbar. They are too high for Dwight Stones (high jumper) and too wide for Carl Lewis (long jumper). If they continue to get larger, Boston will change the bid and go for the winter Olympics instead. I’ll have a front yard view to the super giant slalom.

We have no place to put the newly plowed snow in the driveway so we cleared the lighter, 3+ feet of snow in our front yard to make a large, open area. We found our wheel barrel and have been “trucking” the heavy, salted snow from the driveway to the yard. Fortunately that section of the yard is half weeds, so the salt shouldn’t matter.

My hands are frozen despite wearing ski gloves. Time to use the Kelvin thermometer.

I have to dig out the crampons and ice ax. The icicles hanging from the gutters are now large enough to climb.

Watching a really proficient truck driver plow is a thing of beauty.

What’s this? Just turned on the TV and regular programs are airing! The meteorologists are on “assignment” in Key West.

The snow is so deep that our dog is teaching herself how to use the loo.

Wish I had taken up fly-fishing. Hip waders would come in handy right about now.

Call the police! The 5 feet tall wooden post fence in our back yard is missing! Never mind, it’s just buried under a drift.

Santa just called. He wonders if it’s okay to move his operation here.

Breaking news from the American Geological Institute. The earth has “rotated” and the 42.3 north longitude is now where the north pole used to be. Can’t wait to see the aurora borealis — that is, if we ever have clear skies again.

Maple syrup should be very tasty this year.

I’m going to find a bear den and try to hibernate for a while.

Richard Galgano

February 9, 2015

QUICK NEWS COVERAGE UPDATE FROM A MAN WITH NO DRY CLOTHES SHOVELING AGAINST THE TIDE — WELCOME BACK GUEST BLOGGER RICHARD GALGANO

“If one more plow fills in my driveway while I’m standing in it…”

Armageddon Storm Team 6 update: “It’s still snowing.” Thank God. I couldn’t tell with all that white stuff pelting my windows. So far, 24-plus inches have fallen. I’m grabbing a bite to eat and trying to warm up – for the past hour I’ve been attacking the glacier at the end of my drive. The glacier appears to be winning.

One of the city barns is on my street. All the trucks in our end of town have to drive by to get back to the barn to reload with sand, and so our street is always well-plowed. The disadvantage is that there is a whopping 10 feet of hard packed snow in our driveway.

Special Alert: As all the meteorologists are working, the broadcast cuts back and forth between them. One meteorologist standing outside near a highway, just announced, “When it’s snowing hard and it is very windy, you can’t see far.” She also said, “When there is a ban on driving in the Commonwealth, the highways tend not to have many cars on them.” God, what an education I’m getting.

Cut to the beach. It’s snowing.

Breaking news: “If it snows a lot, it can get deep.”

Ahhh! Something different! The station is now advertising their continuous coverage of the storm as well as cell phone apps.

Oh, Thank God… a real commercial!

Here’s something: One of the Armageddon Storm Team 6 vans is reporting and broadcasting as they drive down a local street. Sure hope the camera operator isn’t the driver. Oh well. It must be considered an essential vehicle. I wonder if they could pick me up a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

More news: “If you see the snow blowing sideways really fast, it’s probably windy.”

Change of pace: The regular news anchors are talking about… (wait for it), the weather!

We are at number 8 of the biggest snowfall totals of all time. Worcester is at number 3 all time. The airports are the official measuring points. I’m guessing they didn’t record the Ice Ages because there were no airports then.

Back to the beach. Do I see someone surfing? It must be the total white-out conditions wreaking havoc on my brain.

I changed channels; a rerun of a 70s police drama is on. Those ties are back in style.

None of my four pairs of gloves are dried yet; I can’t go back out. Why aren’t Dunkin’ Donuts delivery vehicles considered “essential”?

I need a change of pace. Time to flick on the radio and get the latest on Deflate Gate.

Richard Galgano

January 27, 2015

WELCOME BACK, GUEST BLOGGER, RICHARD GALGANO – IT’S SNOWING!!! WE’RE GONNA DIE!!!!! AAARRRHHHHH!!!!!

Today Armageddon Team 6 will be covering the end of the earth as we know it, live and remote, via digital TV, streaming video, radio, text alerts, loud-speaker, Morse code, semaphore, smoke and hand signals — 72 hours a day. Our digitally enhanced coverage of hell freezing over will turn you into a mass of shriveled, huddled, hyper-paranoid, bread and milk-hoarding, cabin-fever hallucinating, carbon fuel seeking, valium needing, sleep deprived, whining horde of viewers who will stay fixated on us and drive our ratings into the stratosphere. All other news and sports information will be suspended pending the next global warming.

To yesteryear: In business, the Dow rose 10 points to finish at 750. Soybeans are up, corn is down. And now for the weather. We’ll be getting a ton of snow. In sports, the Bolts won a close one in overtime……

Richard Galgano

January 26, 2014