At the time of this posting, 1324 US soldiers have died in Iraq.
Source: http://icasualties.org/oif/ No change for the last 3 days. A very welcome development.
(Why is this "The Top Story"?
1. Each of these soldiers died in a war that was initiated by a President who intentionally misled the American people about the reasons for war in Iraq, (and
2. Like Gen. Anthony Zinni, I believe that this has got to be more important than "American Idol").
Today's Feature: The Blizzard of "Ought-Four", Part 3.
Friday, December 24, 2004
7:45 am: We get up for the pets and are discouraged to look out the front windows and see no change in the street. Mary sees our neighbor Bill outside shoveling the distance between the base of his driveway and the track in the middle of the street. A bit later, I call next door and ask Bill if he has heard when our street will be plowed. He replies that he saw a private vehicle with a plow go down our street the previous evening around 6:00pm. It cleared a single lane on our street only – did not touch the side streets. He’s not sure why this happened, but we agree that it’s probably the best we’re going to see for awhile. He has already dug out to the path. That will be my next task. We need to get out to buy a few groceries.
I spend an hour or so digging out the last 10 feet from the base of our driveway to the plowed track. It’s not very difficult since I’ve finally figured out which shovel to use when. We have an ergonomic snow shovel, with a curved handle and a deep bucket. It’s great for scooping the top layers. It allows you to lift and pitch the snow with your arms and shoulders – sparing your back – but isn’t much good down close to the pavement. The other snow shovel has a straight handle and shallow, flat blade – good for digging the last couple inches close to the ground. I also use a standard square-blade shovel from my garden tools – great for breaking up packed snow and ice.
The last 10 feet.
It is a beautiful day, even if the temperature refuses to top 10 degrees. A sunny winter day in Indiana is rare!
Clear and cold.
12:00noon: We head out to run errands. Our macro plan is to go to the grocery store across from the drug store with a good wine selection. Before or after, depending on traffic, we’ll also hit a bank to make a deposit. Once we’re out of our neighborhood, we find most streets plowed, packed, and passable – and being thoroughly tested by everybody else in town who’d been cooped up at home for a couple of days. We ditch the idea of going to the bank and head straight for the grocery. The parking lot is bounded by huge piles of plowed snow. (We’ve heard that the city is trucking snow out of the downtown area because there is no place let to park it. It’s later in the day before we get a newspaper delivered and can verify this story. It’s true.) The parking lot is bumper-to-bumper. We find a spot far away from both destinations and agree to split up. Mary will do the grocery shopping. I will go to the drug store and select the wine, then will catch up with Mary at the grocery check out.
We find long lines in both stores, and expect to encounter short tempers and rude clerks. Surprisingly, in both stores the cashiers are friendly and cheerful, almost amused by the scene unfolding before them.
1:00pm: We get home and put away the groceries, then lay out lunch. The girls arrive shortly after and report that they had no problem getting in from Indianapolis, except for a stretch around Whiteland where traffic slowed down to 20 to 25 mph. We have heard a report that traffic coming north on I-65 from Louisville is also limited to that speed. Imagine a 5 hour drive from Louisville to Indianapolis (100 miles).
Other news stories report on a number of people complaining that nobody rescued them when they were trapped in their cars in bumper-to-bumper stalled traffic during the blizzard. Given that the roads were impassable, and that ample warnings had been published telling people to stay home, I find it difficult to have much sympathy. I can, though, imagine how frightening it would have been, but remain dismayed by how irresponsible we can be…unable to take responsibility for our own actions, no matter how stupid. “C’mon kids, let’s ignore all the warnings, hop in the minivan and drive through blinding snow tonight.”
6:00pm: Katie makes a trip back to Greenwood (on the outskirts of Indy) for a party at the home of her boyfriend’s parents. She gets back home by 11, without incident. While she is gone, the rest of us enjoy a dinner of Steak Diane, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. Mary got the recipes from a new Cuisine magazine. It’s a tribute to Julia Child. Delicious! Bon appetit!
Steak Diane...prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Oscar
10:30pm: The doorbell rings. It’s Will’s friend Max. When he got off work at the new Chili’s restaurant, he drove over to our neighborhood to see Will, but got his car stuck on a side street when he tried to turn around. We round up Will and several other friends and get Max unstuck, after helping another motorist who got stuck trying to avoid Max’ car. It’s nearly zero degrees outside. We work quickly. We need to get back inside before Santa comes….
Saturday, December 25, 2004 – Christmas Day.
No weather worries today. It was a day to stay indoors and celebrate with family.
What's better at Christmas than new slippers?
Sunday, December, 26, 2004
7:30am: Will has to be at work at Fazoli’s this morning at 8:00am. Yesterday he dug a path to the street to get his car out. We hear him up and moving, and get up ourselves, expecting there might be a problem getting his car out of the driveway. Sure enough, he gets stuck in the middle of the street, blocking the exit of a couple of neighbors headed to early church services. They help us dig him out and get him back in the driveway. Two more tries later, and he is on his way to work and I’m headed back in for a first cup of coffee.
That sturdy old Mercedes Benz he bought is REALLY HEAVY!!
The local paper says that all street will be plowed by tomorrow morning. We’re hopeful it will happen during the day today so we can clean up after.
9:30pm: Street still has not been plowed. Guess we’ve got something to look forward to tomorrow.