Friday, December 17, 2010

A limited view of Thursday's ice storm

Wednesday night, as Jeannie and I were leaving a spontaneous dinner at the Olive Garden with Jeremy (who is now three and will repeat any word he hears; hearing him blurt "sloppy freakshow babies", which he learned from watching "Glee", in the middle of the Olive Garden made me laugh so hard I almost choked), we felt a tiny drizzle of rain on our faces.

By Thursday morning, the city was shut down. The University was on a delay until 10 AM, something that's only happened twice since 2006 (and one of the those times was this past Monday; we're having a pretty bad winter by Tennessee standards), and then was delayed again until noon. At 9 AM, I thought I might leave my apartment and go take some pictures around my apartment complex before I had to leave for work.

Before anyone says anything, yes, I know you're not supposed to do that and it's one of the very things that the police warn you against. I've been in ice storms before, more than once. Cars slide all over the place, tree limbs crash without warning from the weight of the ice, and power lines fall down and electrocute you like Elijah Wood in "The Ice Storm", although that leaves open the possibility that your death will be a hauntingly beautifully filmed scene courtesy of Ang Lee. Fully aware of the danger, I reasoned that I could stay inside my apartment complex walkways and still see railings, trees, bushes, and other things coated with ice without going anywhere near power lines.

Unfortunately, I could not get off of my porch. There are eight or ten (I've never counted, and I'm already comfortable so I'm not going to count now) steps leading from my porch down to the ground, and they are solid concrete. Like the rest of the porch, the steps were completely covered with about a half inch of ice:

half inch of ice

and the only way to get down them would have been to sit down and slide down them on my butt. I thought about this for a moment, as I could deal with a bit of a wet butt if I might end up with some nice pictures to show for it, but then I realized that if I got down the steps I might not be able to get back up them. I'm a large person, and gravity is not usually my friend, which means I try not to mix gravity with concrete. As such, my photos of the ice storm are limited to the things I could see from my porch:

plant hooks

frozen beetle

After that I went back inside and called in to work for the day.

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