Admittedly I’ve said it before – I said it two weeks ago – on another sunny, warm, ‘hardly any snow left’ day… Two days later we had a blizzard that dumped 10 cm of the white stuff on us (that’s about 4 inches in regular units). Now that may not seem like a lot to my friends and relatives in eastern Canada – where 10 cm of snow is considered a ‘light dusting’ – but in Edmonton, well, 10 cm of snow pretty much shuts the city down. You see – they don’t really believe in snow ploughing here… After all – this stuff just melts and disappears (eventually) doesn’t it? Why waste time and money moving it out of the way? And they don’t really believe in snow tires here either… After all – why spend all that money on something you only need – oh, say, 6 months a year?
I said it again last week – yes, on another sunny, warm, ‘hardly any snow left’ day… the following day we got 1 cm of snow at near zero degrees (that’s 32 F in regular units). It instantly turned to ice on all of the roadways around the city. It was a skating rink out there. Not a problem for me – I have AWD and Michelin Ice tires – I could drive up the side of a glacier with those suckers. Unfortunately, as noted above, no one else seems to have the same gear – so I spent a hour and a half sitting in a parking lot, on what is normally a 100 km/h freeway (that’s about 60 mph in regular units). They not only refuse to move snow that will (eventually) disappear on its own here – they don’t believe in sanding roads that will only be slippery for a few days. After all – why throw dirt all over the roads and make a mess that you’ll just have to clean up later? So none of the 16-wheeler (and bigger) trucks could get up the hills around town – and the rest of us got caught behind them.
Keep in mind this is Edmonton… in Alberta… on the (flat) prairies… These are not exactly big hills I’m talking about here – they’re more like (very) slight inclines. But – duh!- they were steep enough to stop those trucks, because they were coated with ice… hmm, let’s see now, coefficient of friction about 0.4… inclined slope about 10 degrees… carry the 2… Guess what Edmonton? When the roads are coated in ice and the temperature is near zero… YOU NEED SOME BLOODY SAND! Lucky for me I was able to work at home the next day, because they didn’t sand overnight either and it was another big mess out there the next morning. So, they managed to save a few bucks on sand – and they caused about 230 accidents as a result – talk about government downloading costs back to the citizens… What the heck are they doing with all the taxes we’re paying anyway? (Oh ya – probably paying people to sit on committees that never meet… but don’t get me started on that!)
Anyway, winter is all behind us now. At least for this year… Today it’s sunny, it’s warm, there’s hardly any snow left out there… What? …just a second, my husband is interrupting me here… What’s that? Snow in the forecast for Sunday? You’ve got to be #$%$#% kidding me! That’s not funny! What? You’re not kidding…?
Where’s the #$%%$^&^ Tylenol?