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Tuesday
Jan202009

There is Always a Catch

When I started pleading with Mother Nature to drop some snow in my yard, I neglected to factor in one major issue: Pittsburghers do not know how to drive in snow. Despite the fact that it snows EVERY year, it seems that there are a fairly large group of drivers that just. don't. get. it.

I get it, though. Living in North Dakota will do that to you. I took my driving test in the midst of a whiteout so severe that I got to skip the parallel parking portion of the festivities since it was impossible to see if there was a vehicle behind me. It's not really that difficult to drive in heavy snow--just slow down a little, increase the distance between you and everything else, and assume that it's going to take twice or even three times longer than normal to come to a complete stop.

Rather than following those basic guidelines, it seems that many Pittsburghers fall into one of two categories. First, there are the OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOWs. They are the ones that sit hunched over their steering wheels, fists clutched tightly as they crrrraaaaawwwwwl down the road. They will drive 5 mph when the road is totally dry, I guess because they are convinced that the snowflake they saw a few miles back might grow legs, get up, and run under their tire, causing them to wreck. They refuse to switch lanes because OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW. They refuse to pull over because OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW. If you get stuck behind one, I hope you have a day or two, because you ain't getting anywhere fast.

The other disease that courses through many Pittsburghers' veins can often be spotted from miles away. Does the person drive an SUV? Do they think that 4-wheel drive is a solution for ice? Are they convinced that having an SUV makes them invincible? Then they have Jackassitis. Those with Jackassitis are the people who don't slow down, don't increase following distance, and don't really care if you are on the road with them. In fact, they are stoked that they finally have an excuse to drive their big honkin' vehicle like a jackass, so they speed up, intentionally try to slide, and get annoyed at anyone that gets in their way. They do serve a useful purpose when they try to push everybody else out of their way; they are so close to the vehicle in front of them that snow never has a chance to hit the road.

The only thing worse than encountering one of these people is encountering two of them. That is EXACTLY what happened to me last Friday night as I drove over to a local bowling alley for a little fun. In front of me was the OMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW and behind me was someone with Jackassitis.

It was ugly.

And infuriating.

As the OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW slowly craaaaaaawled down the road, the Jackassitis tailgated me from behind. It was a little two lane road with no opportunities to safely pass, but that didn't stop Jackassitis from continuously weaving left of center to scope things out. Every time he or she did, OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW would slam on the brakes. Genius! Let's all crash!

Of course, my reaction to being tailgated is to increase my distance with the vehicle in front of me. It turns out that when you are only driving 5 mph? It's really hard to do that. When I finally came to a nearly complete stop, Jackassitis found his or her horn. So helpful!

It took over 15 minutes to drive one lonely mile. 15 minutes that I was the sticky white creme in an Oreo, desperately trying to make sure that the chocolate cookies stayed away. 15 minutes that I was thisclose to jumping out of my car and walking up to OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW's window to yell at him or her to just move over. 15 minutes that I was thisclose to slamming on my breaks and letting Jackassitis buy me a new car. 15 minutes that I was REALLY glad I didn't have Alexis with me because girlfriend would have learned a LOT of new words that night.

OK, Mother Nature, I'm good. We don't need any more snow. My heart can't take the stress.

Monday
Jan192009

Just Another Crazy Sunday

It was just a Sunday. A Sunday that was filled with fun stuff--a Pens game, snow, and a little Steelers game. It was just a Sunday.

We started the day watching the Pens finally break free of the vacuum of suck they've been they've been hovering in for a few months. Alexis was overjoyed to find her good bud Sidney Crosby back in the line up, and spent a great part of the game chanting, "Sid-ney, Sid-ney, Sid-ney." A Pens victory was sweet.

Then Alexis and I wandered outside for a few hours of romping in the snow. We took the dogs along, of course, and it took 1.45 minutes for Meg to remember that she doesn't do cold. Or snow. Or anything that isn't 72 and sunny. (Fortunately, she didn't wimp out before this.) Cody, on the other hand, prefers to defy all breed information (and common sense) and LOVES the snow. A lot. Don't tell him Havenese are from Cuba and don't like the fluffy stuff, because he loves it more than anything in this world, except maybe Alexis. He will play with Alexis for hours and hours and hours and hours, never once tiring of running up to her, "tagging" her, and then taking off as fast as he can.

After a couple of hours of giggles, grins, and glee, I finally drug Alexis back into the house so that we wouldn't miss a second of the Steelers game. As I was peeling off her fourteen thousand layers of cold weather gear, she asked, "What day is it?"

"It's Sunday," I told her.

"It's a great Sunday," she said with a grin.

I told her that the day wasn't over yet, and that we would see if it was truly great after the Steelers game.

I guess she already knew.

It was a great Sunday.

(In case you hadn't noticed, I decided to do Project365 this year. I'm using Flickr to house all the photos that don't make it here, so wander over and check it out!)

Sunday
Jan182009

Here We Go!

When she was 9 days old . . . the Steelers won the Super Bowl.

When she was one-year old . . . her Grandpa's favorite team, the Colts, won the Super Bowl.

When she was two-years old . . . the Penguins went to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Shortly after she turns three-years old . . . the Steelers will be in yet another Super Bowl.

I'd lend her skills to the Pirates, but I much prefer things this way.

SUPER BOWL!