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  #1  
Old 01-09-2010, 11:33 AM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is online now
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Some snow questions

Since most of the country's frozen, I thought I'd ask some snow questions that have always been bugging me

1. How long can you stay in a car in a blizzard before freezing? Let's say you're driving alone and your car dies in the middle of a blizzard (I'm actually fairly concerned about this as I've never driven through snow before). I've always wondered if I should make a break for it or wait it out. In TV and movies, they always try to get help (probably because it's better TV than just sitting in a car). But to me, if I have shelter and relative comfort, I think I'd be stupid to leave the car. As long as I drink snow to keep hydrated, couldn't I survive for days inside? My body heat's gotta warm up the car some right?

2. How do snow days work? I mean, do you call in sick to work or do some workplaces with frequent snow actually have snow day designations on your time cards? I read in another thread that some employers expect you to make up the time or take it off as sick. What if I brave the snow and come in even though nobody else is at work? Can I get credit for that or does it not count because nobody else is there? It's not my fault nobody else wanted to wade through the snow

3. Do you guys really have to get up hours before you have to go to work to shovel out the driveway? What if you just get up at a normal time and back out of the snow? Can't that work?

4. Is it hard to make a human-sized snowman? Can you really just roll a snowball around in the snow and it gets bigger and bigger? I mean, snow pieces don't fall off of it, it just keep building? And can you roll a snowball down a hill and watch as it gets huge or will you still end up with a small snowball at the bottom of the hill?

5. If you get hit in the face with a snowball, does it hurt like a rock hit you or does it break apart fairly easily and is soft?

6. I've seen pictures of people playing out in the snow with their dogs. Dogs don't get that cold in the snow? I would be afraid of letting it outside naked like that

7. Do people still get out and exchange insurance info for little fender benders when everyone's cars are slipping in the snow? I watched these videos of dozens of cars just sliding into each other but it doesn't seem like anyone got out to exchange insurance info. They acted like it was normal and it happens, so why bother?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2010, 12:02 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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1. If your car dies, you'll be cooler than if you're stuck with a running engine and a full tank of gas. Of course, then you have to worry about exhaust gasses getting in the car. If you are prepared, you can keep warm enough. Look at the igloo. It has to stay cold enough not to melt; but it's significantly warmer than outside. If you're prepared (for example, you have a Winter-weight sleeping bag in the car) you only have to keep the air around you warm; not the whole inside of the car.

There are two problems with melting snow: First, how do you melt it? You've got your trusty Svea 123, right? But do you really want to use it inside an enclosed space? Second, snow has more volume than water, so you'll have to be gathering a lot of it. Eating snow is a bad idea. You don't want to use your body's energy warming up snow. You want your body to keep itself warm.

2. I've had a few snow days, but I telecommute regularly so I just 'go to work' from my couch. We've been sent home early from the office for snow and for street-clogging marches, and we got paid for full days. I assume that businesses have plans in place, but it will vary by business.

3. It doesn't snow so much here that I need to shovel the driveway. Besides, the Prius doesn't like snow. So I just jump in the Jeep.

4. I haven't made a full-sized snowman since I was a teen. Easy enough making the balls, but they are heavy. Rolling the balls around have created satisfactorily-large balls.

5. Stings a bit, because you have cold, sharp crystals hitting your cold skin. You can make hard snowballs if you're evil.

6. Dogs have fur to insulate them. Sled dogs often stay outside in the weather.

7. Most of the videos I've seen are shown during the sliding or just after. I'm sure information is exchanged as soon as feasible.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:11 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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3. Addendum: In case of a snow-covered Jeep, I like an extra 15 minutes. First, I clear the snow off of the driver's side door. I get in, start the engine, and turn the defroster on high. Then I get out and use a push-broom to remove as much snow as I can -- including from the roof. I don't like it when people don't clean the tops of their cars and it blows off on the freeway, so I clean it off so I won't be 'that guy'. Also, it saves a little gas. If it's a wet snow, there will often be ice on the glass. Scraping the ice takes a little time. By the time I get the snow and ice off the Jeep, the inside is tolerably warm.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:12 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Posting from Saskatchewan, where snow and cold temperatures are a fact of life for about five months of the year:

1. Always stay in your car, for several reasons:
(a) Windchill can kill, by triggering hypothermia.

(b) In a blizzard, it's extremely easy to get disoriented and get lost, leading to hypothermia. See (a) above.

(c) If police are notified that you're lost, it's a lot easier for them to find a car, even one partially buried in snow, than it is to find a human wandering and lost.

(d) You can stay in a car for a long time and avoid freezing, provided you're well equipped with warm clothing and a blanket. If you're stuck but the engine works, you can survive by starting it every hour or so to get some heat, then shutting it down - can last several hours that way. You should also have a couple of candles (the big fat kinds, not tapers) to generate heat if you can't start the car. You should also have a pan and candles to melt the snow - eating snow is not recommended, because the amount of heat that the body uses to melt the snow in your mouth can be significant.
2. Snow days are extremely rare here. I've never had an employer shut down just because of snow. It normally takes an extreme blizzard, where the employer might advise employees that they can go home if they wish, especially if they live outside the city and have to travel on the highways. But even in those cases, I don't recall my employers ever actually closing. This is likely a YMMV thing, depending on how familiar your region is with heavy snow.

3. Depends on how heavy the snowfall is, and how good your vehicle is in snow. If there's been a heavy snowfall, doing that in my car would likely get the car stuck. In a four-by-four, maybe not. That's why a lot of people have four-by-fours up here.

4. Depends on the temperature. The snow has to be close to melting point to be sticky enough to form a ball. Up here, we normally only see snowmen towards the end of the winter, as the melt starts in. When the temperature is around -20 C, like it is today for us, you can't make a snowman. If the snow is sticky enough, the size depends on your time and how much snow is around. The bit about a snow ball rolling down hill and getting huge is just poetic licence.

5. Hurts like hell.

6. Dogs aren't naked. They've got fur. How long a particular dog can stay out depends on if they're short-haired or long-haired, and how cold it is. My little dachshund loved playing in the snow, but would have to come in fairly quickly if the temperature was low. Long-haired dogs like collies and retrievers can stay out a lot longer. Farm dogs often aren't allowed into the house around here - they have a dog-house or access to a shed or barn.

7. I've always stopped (not that it's happened to me very often - I tend to slow down in snow).
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:25 PM
HongKongFooey HongKongFooey is offline
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Remember that if you're running your car once in a while to stay warm that you need to check peroiodically and ensure the exhaust pipe is clear.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:53 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Remember the sad story of that guy from CNet and his family who got stuck in their car on a road way out in the back of beyond. He eventually went for help, she stayed with the kids. It got pretty bad in the car - she breastfed the kids and they burned tires, but they survived. He didn't. Stay in your car. Somebody will probably eventually find you.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:55 PM
Athena Athena is online now
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Upper Peninsula of Michigan here. We get 200-300 inches of snow a year, so I figure I'm qualified to answer.

1 - stay in your car, unless you're familiar with the area and know there's civilization within walking distance. Or, better yet, don't drive in blizzards. You usually know when they're coming; stay home. If you're forced to go out, have gear in the car in case you do get stuck (blanket & water, a shovel and sand or cat litter to help get out of a snow bank, etc.)

2 - What Northern Piper said. The only places that I know of that have official snow days are the schools & universities - they'll announce on the radio, TV, and the web in the morning if they're closed, and if you work there, you get a snow day. I'm pretty sure you get paid for these. Normal businesses pretty much just assume that you know you live in a snowy area and you'll get to work or work from home if it snows.

Snow days are actually more common in places where it doesn't snow much, because those places don't have the equipment to clear the streets when it snows. Around here, it's very, very rare that you can't get around town ever. The snow plows go almost constantly when it's snowing hard. If you can get out of your driveway, you can drive. It might be slippery and you might have to go slow, but you can do it if you want.

3 - What Northern Piper said. And keep in mind that 4x4s also get stuck if the snow is heavy enough. We personally pay a guy to come and plow our driveway with a truck & blade, because we have a really long driveway. Most people have snowblowers, and yes, they get up early and snowblow their driveways before going to work.

You don't want to just drive over the snow on a regular basis and never clear it; you'll get big ruts and it'll eventually become impossible to get through.

On a side note - clearing snow over the winter is not just as simple as "get it off the driveway." You have to plan ahead, because the stuff doesn't go away for months. We've had a few years that we came close to having to get a front-end loader in to clear away some of the snow piles because it was getting to the point where we had no more room to put the stuff.

If you live in the city, it's illegal to dump the snow on the street or sidewalk, and it's also illegal to put it in your neighbor's yard.

4 - Not all snow is "snowman snow." If it's too cold, the snow doesn't stick together. Being able to build a human size snowman is easy enough if it's the right conditions, but at least around here, it's usually too cold to get the snow to stick together.

5 - Once again, it depends on the snow & how well it packs. Some snowballs are light & fluffy and don't hurt at all. Some are thick & dense and hurt a lot. Sometimes your brothers put ice chunks in them and throw them at you and it REALLY hurts but then you can run inside and tell Mom and they get in trouble.

6 - Depends on the dog. My pugs are not snow dogs, they have short coats and get cold pretty quickly. I've had other dogs that slept outside down to zero degrees. Most dogs seem to do fine and really like the snow. I just got back from cross country skiing, and the trail network I was on allowed dogs (not all do), and there were lots of friendly happy doggies happily running along while their owners skied.

7 - Dunno. I think I'd get out and exchange info, but it's never happened to me. Like I said above, they know how to maintain the roads here during the snow, and people know how to drive on snow. Fender-benders happen, but they're not super common. It's places that don't get snow that have lots of snow-related fender benders.

Overall, it's not really all that crazy to live in a snowy place once you get used to it. I grew up here, and I missed it like crazy when I lived where we didn't get much snow. It's very pretty, and there's lots of stuff (skiing, snowshoeing, etc) that you can do in the snow. I like it here; I have no desire to move because of the weather.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:47 PM
Declan Declan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
1. How long can you stay in a car in a blizzard before freezing? Let's say you're driving alone and your car dies in the middle of a blizzard (I'm actually fairly concerned about this as I've never driven through snow before). I've always wondered if I should make a break for it or wait it out. In TV and movies, they always try to get help (probably because it's better TV than just sitting in a car). But to me, if I have shelter and relative comfort, I think I'd be stupid to leave the car. As long as I drink snow to keep hydrated, couldn't I survive for days inside? My body heat's gotta warm up the car some right?
Carry a cell phone, even if the rescue people cannot get to you right away, they can triagulate your signal for your location. If your in North America, any cellphone will work regardless of contract or time remaining , as the 911 feature is paid by other users.


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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
2. How do snow days work? I mean, do you call in sick to work or do some workplaces with frequent snow actually have snow day designations on your time cards? I read in another thread that some employers expect you to make up the time or take it off as sick. What if I brave the snow and come in even though nobody else is at work? Can I get credit for that or does it not count because nobody else is there? It's not my fault nobody else wanted to wade through the snow
You make a personal decision regarding your ability to drive in inclement weather, either you make it in, late or on time depending on when you left or you call in. Your employer will have documentation regarding your getting paid or not getting paid. Its one of those your milage will vary things.

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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
3. Do you guys really have to get up hours before you have to go to work to shovel out the driveway? What if you just get up at a normal time and back out of the snow? Can't that work?
Most folks that live in the snow belt will have snow blowers , at least us in the burbs do so hours is a bit much. If we leave at normal time , you are on the tail end of rush our as everyone is leaving several hours early to make it into work, you learn to pay attention to the weather channel and adjust your life accordingly.



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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
7. Do people still get out and exchange insurance info for little fender benders when everyone's cars are slipping in the snow? I watched these videos of dozens of cars just sliding into each other but it doesn't seem like anyone got out to exchange insurance info. They acted like it was normal and it happens, so why bother?
Your supposed to go to a collision reporting center, at least here in Ontario for damage under a certain amount. I havent been in a winter bender yet , thank you so I dont exactly know what the procedure is.

YMWV

Declan
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2010, 03:31 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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If you're stuck in a blizzard in your car, keeping the exhaust clear is NOT trivial. You're more likely to die of carbon monoxide poisoning in there than of hypothermia if you don't make sure the exhaust isn't venting into the car.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:59 PM
Digital Stimulus Digital Stimulus is offline
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Never mind rolling snow balls down hills, I stumbled upon an article about self-rolling snow balls.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2010, 05:16 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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And then there are the moving rocks of Death Valley.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:36 PM
freckafree freckafree is offline
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Never mind rolling snow balls down hills, I stumbled upon an article about self-rolling snow balls.
My mom and dad saw some of these in WV, in one of the rare places with flat, open land.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:11 PM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
2. How do snow days work? I mean, do you call in sick to work or do some workplaces with frequent snow actually have snow day designations on your time cards? I read in another thread that some employers expect you to make up the time or take it off as sick. What if I brave the snow and come in even though nobody else is at work? Can I get credit for that or does it not count because nobody else is there? It's not my fault nobody else wanted to wade through the snow

3. Do you guys really have to get up hours before you have to go to work to shovel out the driveway? What if you just get up at a normal time and back out of the snow? Can't that work?
2. From what I have seen if the company decides to close because of the weather everyone who is sent home is paid and it is the companies loss. If they are open and you stay home you have to use sick time or whatever. Of course this may vary at different employers.

3. Depends on the size of your driveway and the amount of snow. You need an extra 10 minutes or more to clear the snow off your car so you can see no matter what you drive. When the plow goes down the street it leaves a pile of snow at the end of your driveway. If you get stuck on top of it you make way more work for yourself because you have to get the snow out from under the car to move it. Usually I just knock the pile down low enough so I know I can plow through it.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:57 PM
Anachronism Anachronism is offline
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5. If you get hit in the face with a snowball, does it hurt like a rock hit you or does it break apart fairly easily and is soft?

7. Do people still get out and exchange insurance info for little fender benders when everyone's cars are slipping in the snow? I watched these videos of dozens of cars just sliding into each other but it doesn't seem like anyone got out to exchange insurance info. They acted like it was normal and it happens, so why bother?
5. It totally depends on the type of snow and how hard you pack it. If you hold the snowball in your hands for a few minutes it turns into a ball of ice and feels like it when it hits.

7. Those videos are extreme cases and I imagine at some point the people exchange information. People trading insurance info doesn't make for exciting video If you get in an accident you still have to trade info and attempt to figure out who is at fault. Most drivers in the north go years without accidents, it's not like our cars are all beat to hell and no one cares.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:19 PM
Gbro Gbro is offline
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2. From what I have seen if the company decides to close because of the weather everyone who is sent home is paid and it is the companies loss. If they are open and you stay home you have to use sick time or whatever. Of course this may vary at different employers.

3. Depends on the size of your driveway and the amount of snow. You need an extra 10 minutes or more to clear the snow off your car so you can see no matter what you drive. When the plow goes down the street it leaves a pile of snow at the end of your driveway. If you get stuck on top of it you make way more work for yourself because you have to get the snow out from under the car to move it. Usually I just knock the pile down low enough so I know I can plow through it.
2. In 34 year working in the Iron Mining Industry we never had a snow day. There were an occasional day where one would be allowed to leave early and only b y contract, get paid for the hours worked or reporting pay was the only contractual obligation the Company gave wich meant one would get 2 hours pay for showing up and there was no work for them and therefore could go home or maybe pick up a broom.
3.And just as soon as you get the drive shoveled out the snow plow comes by again and rolls a nice new berm so you can start all over again

We here in Minnesota shake our head at the big deal made of a little snow.

En route to Colorado one year for Elk hunting we hit a decent blizzard west of Cheyenne Wyoming on I-80. We were the 1st to pull off and take shelter under an overpass to wait out the storm. The DOT opened up a path back to Cheyenne and directed everyone (about 40 units) to return to Cheyenne as the pass was closed to Laramie I told them we would wait at the spot and they said NO, Well when we were ordered out I took the trail through the median and headed west instead. I was expecting a welcoming squad at the freeway gates in Laramie, but nothing happened. It was quite a sight to see the change in weather on the west side of the pass and all the cars and trucks lined up behind the gates. That was the only time I have ever seen gates closed on the freeway. There are no gates in Northern Minnesota.

Last edited by Gbro; 01-09-2010 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:33 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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There are no gates in Northern Minnesota.
That's because there are few blizzards in Northern Minnesota. Heavy snow does not make a blizzard. A blizzard is heavy snow and 30mph+ winds over a period of time greater than three hours. Roads ice up and visibility can approach zero. I've seen video of stationary cars being blown across a flat road by the wind. In the plains states, there are no trees to block blowing snow, so even if it is not snowing, blizzard conditions can exist.

Every couple of years you'll hear a story of someone in Kansas or the Dakotas being found in their car a week after a blizzard. Sometimes they're alive, sometimes not. Those gates exist not because people are wusses about driving in the snow, they exist because a real live blizzard is deadly.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:46 PM
Gbro Gbro is offline
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That's because there are few blizzards in Northern Minnesota. Heavy snow does not make a blizzard. A blizzard is heavy snow and 30mph+ winds over a period of time greater than three hours. Roads ice up and visibility can approach zero. I've seen video of stationary cars being blown across a flat road by the wind. In the plains states, there are no trees to block blowing snow, so even if it is not snowing, blizzard conditions can exist.

Every couple of years you'll hear a story of someone in Kansas or the Dakotas being found in their car a week after a blizzard. Sometimes they're alive, sometimes not. Those gates exist not because people are wusses about driving in the snow, they exist because a real live blizzard is deadly.
I absolutely agree, remember, we were the 1st to pull off the road in that blizzard, and we were also prepared for the conditions. Had tire chains along and used them when it was appropriate. There were many on that freeway that had never driven in snow and we were all treated just alike. I know I would have done the same if I worked for the DOT, and I expected to get that welcoming squad but didn't
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:20 PM
unclelem unclelem is offline
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2. How do snow days work? I mean, do you call in sick to work or do some workplaces with frequent snow actually have snow day designations on your time cards? I read in another thread that some employers expect you to make up the time or take it off as sick. What if I brave the snow and come in even though nobody else is at work? Can I get credit for that or does it not count because nobody else is there? It's not my fault nobody else wanted to wade through the snow
In places where it snows frequently, you are generally expected to be able to deal with it, and get to work. It is only when you have some exceptional event that things shut down. The only time I have ever had work shut down due to snow back when I lived in upstate new york, the Emergency Broadcast System was warning people to get food and water and prepare for six feet of snow in the next 24 hours (and we got it too). Fallout from some fizzled hurricane off the coast as I recall. It was illegal for people to be out on the roads, so naturally employers couldn't really blame you for not showing up, and it just sort of was granted off. People were busy shovelling their roofs to prevent them from collapsing, and then literally unburrying their cars.

Schools have a quota of pre-planned days that may be missed, and have to make them up at the end of the year if they miss more than the quota.

Quote:
3. Do you guys really have to get up hours before you have to go to work to shovel out the driveway? What if you just get up at a normal time and back out of the snow? Can't that work?
This is what children are for. One of their chores is often to shovel the driveway before dad gets home from work. In the morning you only need to punch a hole in the pile that the street plow has pushed into your driveway overnight (yeah, it's illegal for you to shovel snow into the street, but not for them to plow snow into your driveway).

punching through with your car works in a pinch, but long term you're just packing the snow down into ice at the end of your driveway - and that is even harder to chip off when the inevitable comes.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:46 PM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
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My family endured the winter of 2000-2001 in St. John's, Newfoundland - 648.4 cm - over 21 feet of snow, "the highest all time snowfall of major Canadian cities".

1. How long can you stay in a car in a blizzard before freezing?
- Well answered above. Stay with the car. Pack the car with emergency gear. Drive safe.

2. How do snow days work?

They announce on the radio that things are closed. Usually they are penciled into the school schedule when it is drawn up. Most normal jobs - like a university, say - you just don't go to work, and you don't make it up - nobody is shopping, nobody is going to work, it just an involuntary holiday. Hospitals are an exception - I snowshoed to work once.

3. Do you guys really have to get up hours before you have to go to work to shovel out the driveway? What if you just get up at a normal time and back out of the snow? Can't that work?

2 problems with this: 1) if there is 8 inches of snow down, you need to get it off the driveway before the next 8 inches arrive, and the 8 inches after that. Our yard was about eight feet deep, and the driveway would have been to, if we* hadn't shoveled. 2) the plow driver has left a 2 foot bank of hard packed snow at the end of the driveway. You're not getting over that in a Hyundai, you're just gonna get stuck. May as well shovel it before the plow man comes back and puts in another layer. Bastard.

4. Is it hard to make a human-sized snowman?

Good snowman snow is rare. Bits fall off as other bits are going on. Most real snowmen are about 3 to 4 feet tall. Calvin and Hobbes style snowmen are therefore uncommon.

5. If you get hit in the face with a snowball, does it hurt like a rock hit you or does it break apart fairly easily and is soft?

Depends on the snow. It's usually shockingly cold and goes down your neck at least, but it is usually a fairly hard - at minimum it is somewhere between a nerf ball and a tennis ball. At worse, it is between a tennis ball and a frozen soft ball.

6. I've seen pictures of people playing out in the snow with their dogs. Dogs don't get that cold in the snow? I would be afraid of letting it outside naked like that.

They do get cold. The thing they really hate is the frozen balls of ice on their paw fur.

7. Do people still get out and exchange insurance info for little fender benders when everyone's cars are slipping in the snow?

Yup. When it's safe, and after they've crawled to the sidewalk.

* Ms. Attack did most of the shoveling. Almost all. Okay, all.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:12 AM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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OK, I'm going to answer some of the questions from the POV of someone living in a place where snow is rare but does happen occasionally. That changes our responses to snow. I have no idea about the car questions because I don't drive.

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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
2. How do snow days work? I mean, do you call in sick to work or do some workplaces with frequent snow actually have snow day designations on your time cards? I read in another thread that some employers expect you to make up the time or take it off as sick. What if I brave the snow and come in even though nobody else is at work? Can I get credit for that or does it not count because nobody else is there? It's not my fault nobody else wanted to wade through the snow
In the UK, usually it would be written into your contract in some way - the contract might not specifically mention 'snow' but some clause or other would cover it. Unless you're a temp on a really shitty contract you will get paid if the whole business is closed. For example, last year I was a supply teacher of sorts - employed by an agency and technically a temporary worker but I had my own classes and was treated like a 'real' teacher - and I was paid when the school closed. After all, I was available for work and had scheduled that work into the day rather than scheduling other work.

If the school had remained open but I couldn't get in then I wouldn't have been paid per contract but would almost definitely have been paid as long as it was clear I really couldn't get in, because I was a good worker otherwise and keeping me happy was worth a day's pay.

Quote:
4. Is it hard to make a human-sized snowman? Can you really just roll a snowball around in the snow and it gets bigger and bigger? I mean, snow pieces don't fall off of it, it just keep building? And can you roll a snowball down a hill and watch as it gets huge or will you still end up with a small snowball at the bottom of the hill?
One of the things that makes really big snowmen hard is that, once you have a decent sized ball for the body, it starts to freeze and that makes it more difficult for extra snow to stick on it. Snow is 'grainy' and sticks to things. Ice makes things slip off. Snow turns to ice pretty quickly when it's exposed to sub zero air.

(An aside to this: one of the reasons that the UK is finding it hard to cope with the snow is precisely because the snow hasn't been constantly falling. From personal experience I'd say that trudging through knee-deep snow is much safer than sliding across a pavement that had an inch of snow which then turned to ice without a soft, insulating covering of snow above it).

Another problem is that your hands get bloody cold even with gloves on. Better gloves help, of course, but even they have their limits. A team of people building a snowman has more chance of making a human-sized creature than an individual does.

If the face freezes solid that makes it harder to stick in a carrot for the nose, too.

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5. If you get hit in the face with a snowball, does it hurt like a rock hit you or does it break apart fairly easily and is soft?
Those snowball fights that you see in movies, where people are speedily tossing snowballs at each other amidst mounds of just-fallen snow - those snowballs won't hurt unless you're very unlucky and get one right in the eye. They are soft and do break apart easily.

You can make those soft snowballs painful by compressing them in your hand until they're more like an ice ball. That takes a little time, however, and you'll be pelted while you're compressing, unless you're hidden well. It's bad sportsmanship anyway.

Occasionally snowballs will - unintentionally or not - have rocks inside them. They hurt.

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6. I've seen pictures of people playing out in the snow with their dogs. Dogs don't get that cold in the snow? I would be afraid of letting it outside naked like that
Depends on the amount of fur, the amount of snow, how long the dog's legs are and how accustomed the dog is to snow. Friends of mine who have dogs have posted pictures and videos of their mutts gamboling about, snouts down, amazed at this white snuffly stuff. The cats tend to hate it. Other friends have posted videos of their cats treading very carefully in fresh human footprints to get to the one snow-free area in the garden.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:55 AM
Mr. Duality Mr. Duality is offline
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En route to Colorado one year for Elk hunting we hit a decent blizzard west of Cheyenne Wyoming on I-80. We were the 1st to pull off and take shelter under an overpass to wait out the storm. The DOT opened up a path back to Cheyenne and directed everyone (about 40 units) to return to Cheyenne as the pass was closed to Laramie I told them we would wait at the spot and they said NO, Well when we were ordered out I took the trail through the median and headed west instead. I was expecting a welcoming squad at the freeway gates in Laramie, but nothing happened. It was quite a sight to see the change in weather on the west side of the pass and all the cars and trucks lined up behind the gates. That was the only time I have ever seen gates closed on the freeway. There are no gates in Northern Minnesota.
You are fortunate to have avoided the hefty fine for driving on a closed highway. I live in Laramie and I can tell you that stretch of highway is murderous in Winter. It includes the highest point on I80 at 8,260 feet above sea level. The wind is often the worst part of it.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:36 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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I live in an area that gets a LOT of snow. The county I work for has 4 ski resorts. Since our business is snow, we are well prepared for it. Not making it to work because of snow is not unheard of, but it is very rare.

In 18 years my office has shut down once. I come in early so I was already there. We got paid for that. If you call in for a snow day, you would need to take vacation time.

4x4 and dedicated snow tires are a must for my Wife and I. The more ground clearance the better. Also, I have my own snow plow. Getting to work in the morning is not too bad, my driveway goes downhill to the road. I can handle about 2 feet of snow. What I have to do is plow when I return from work.
We live about a mile from the main road. A two lane state highway. Our road is the last to get plowed, so it can be tricky. But as long as I can get to the highway, Iím in good shape.

I have been stuck a few times in my driveway. But I can use my truck to pull myself out. Iíve also stuck my truck a few times. It has chains on all four wheels. When that gets stuck, you got problems.

In fact, I had a plumber to my house yesterday. He got stuck but I was able to pull him out with my SUV. SOP around here.

And like Athena said. You have to have a place to put the stuff. Snow storage.

Our dogs do OK. We take them snow shoeing behind the house. If itís colder than 10 F we wonít go.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:45 AM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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I'll answer the ones I have direct experience with:

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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
2. How do snow days work?
It is completely up to the individual employer. Around here, it varies by employee, too. I wouldn't expect an employee who lives out in the country to be able to get in to work after a 2-foot overnight snow dump, but someone living in town should show up. School snow days have make-up days, but they're pretty rare out here.

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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
3. Do you guys really have to get up hours before you have to go to work to shovel out the driveway?
Anyone who lives in a place where it would take "hours" to shovel the driveway probably has a snowblower, tractor, or plow, or a contract with someone else who does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
4. Is it hard to make a human-sized snowman?
Depends on the snow itself and the outside temperature. If we get light, fluffy snow and it's ten below zero, you'll have a devil of a time compacting that stuff. If it's "snowman weather," it works just like in the movies: just roll the ball around and it gets bigger and bigger (and heavier and heavier).

Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
5. If you get hit in the face with a snowball, does it hurt like a rock hit you or does it break apart fairly easily and is soft?
Again, depends on the snow. I've been hit with some snowballs that felt like baseballs.

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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
6. I've seen pictures of people playing out in the snow with their dogs. Dogs don't get that cold in the snow?
It's not the snow itself that's the issue. My dog loves the snow! We let her outside when there's a fresh couple of feet and she'll run and leap and roll and eat the snow and play, often for over an hour at a time. That's assuming it's 20 degrees above zero (Fahrenheit). If it's 20 below, she runs out, pees somewhere close, and runs back in.

Cold is a matter of what you're used to. It's 29 degrees F outside, and I just went out and fed the horses wearing slippers, pajama pants, and a sweatshirt.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:40 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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With regards to driving and blizzards, I can't speak for all Canadians, of course, but I think for most of us that have lived here all our lives, we make accommodations automatically without really thinking about it. For example, driving in iffy conditions, we'll take the commonly-used roads with traffic, not a back road where it might be hours between cars. My husband and I both have survival gear in our cars (blanket, snow shovel, candle, matches, granola bars, that kind of thing). If we're going out all dressed up, I'll still put my snow boots in the car (and my cellphone in my purse). We tell someone when we're heading out on the highway, and when we expect to get there. Canadians highway drive A LOT, but I think we drive a lot less in winter for just these reasons.

Living in a city we're less careful these ways since we know we're always minutes away from someone's house, but if we lived in the country, we'd pay a lot more attention to snow survival techniques.

Regarding snowballs - chinook snow makes the BEST snowballs! Snow is not like they show in the movies and on tv - it rarely sticks together into snowballs unless it's wet snow. I threw a whole bunch of snowballs at Jim last night - I missed with every one. He's lucky my aim sucks.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:19 PM
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If we're going out all dressed up, I'll still put my snow boots in the car....
Good point. It's not uncommon for people to talk about "dressing for the ditch," which means just what it says. If you end up sliding off the road and going into the ditch, or having some other accident or problem requiring you to get out of the car, you don't want to be dealing with it in a suit and tie and dress shoes (or, for ladies, a nice suit or dress and shoes, etc.). You want warm clothing that you don't worry too much about if you end up needing to push the car out of a snowbank, or to walk through slush, or to wade through snowdrifts.

On the occasions when I have needed a suit and tie and shoes for work (like when I meet clients, for example), but the weather conditions indicate that I should dress for the ditch, I've packed what I need in a bag and worn good, warm, work clothes and boots. I change in the washroom when I get to work.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:38 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Originally Posted by Gary "Wombat" Robson View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
3. Do you guys really have to get up hours before you have to go to work to shovel out the driveway?
Anyone who lives in a place where it would take "hours" to shovel the driveway probably has a snowblower, tractor, or plow, or a contract with someone else who does.
I forgot to mention that we do have to get up a bit earlier under certain conditions to clear off the car itself. It's worst when there's a warm (above freezing) night that moves into snow and sub-freezing weather. The snow that hits the warm windshield thaws, getting it wet, and then the weather goes below freezing and the water freezes. You think there's just a bit of snow on the windshield, but there's an underpinning of ice that you have to scrape off.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:06 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Dressing for the ditch. heh.... Thats pretty much all the time where I live. 'Fancy' clothes just don't make it. It's jeans and heavy shirts all year round.

'Dress' clothes are pointless. I work a desk job, but will often ware my snowshoe boots into work. A long sleeve t-shirt and fleece with a down vest is my choice during the day in this modern office. That's what you do in cold weather. I keep a lamp close to keep my hands warm while working. It used to be 55 degrees in the office when I got there. It's now about 65. Reasonable.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:25 PM
Dandmb50 Dandmb50 is offline
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I can answer one of your questions about staying warm inside the car when it breaks down in a snow blizzard or when it's cold outside. I remember one of the tips about a snow storm and being stuck in your car they always recommend you have a small candle in your safety box in the trunk. You light it in the car with the window open a bit and it keeps you safe and warm in the car.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:52 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Getting up early to shovel your driveway and sidewalks is optional, too - you can often shovel them off before bed (as long as the snow has stopped). Sweeping and scraping your car is less optional without a garage, though.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:16 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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I was a teacher and we had to make up all of the days that we missed because of snow. We were paid for the snow days and they were worked off at the end of the year. Once I was in the hospital when the school had a snow day and the school secretary saw to it that I didn't get paid for that day. It counted against my sick leave. She refused to change it. So I just said, "Oh, great! Then I don't have to be here the last day of school when all of the records are due." She changed her mind.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:34 AM
Ruby Ruby is offline
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<snip>En route to Colorado one year for Elk hunting we hit a decent blizzard west of Cheyenne Wyoming on I-80. We were the 1st to pull off and take shelter under an overpass to wait out the storm. The DOT opened up a path back to Cheyenne and directed everyone (about 40 units) to return to Cheyenne as the pass was closed to Laramie I told them we would wait at the spot and they said NO, Well when we were ordered out I took the trail through the median and headed west instead. I was expecting a welcoming squad at the freeway gates in Laramie, but nothing happened. It was quite a sight to see the change in weather on the west side of the pass and all the cars and trucks lined up behind the gates. That was the only time I have ever seen gates closed on the freeway. There are no gates in Northern Minnesota.
You do realize that your arrogance could have not only put your lives in danger but the lives of the emergency responders that have to save your sorry butt when something goes wrong? What could have been so important for you to defy the DOT personnel? Yes, you made it...this time. And because of stories like yours, many others who aren't so lucky will also make a bad decision. Do yourself and the rest of us motorists a favor and quit telling this kind of anecdote. <deep breath, Ruby. OK, I'm stepping stepping off of the soap box now>
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:35 AM
WhyWhyWhy WhyWhyWhy is offline
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Originally Posted by unclelem View Post
People were busy shovelling their roofs to prevent them from collapsing
How do you do that!?!

With snow and ice, I can bust my arse on flat pavement. Can't imagine removing snow from a 2nd story roof that is at a 45 degree (more or less) angle.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:19 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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If it's at a 45 degree angle, it likely wouldn't have much snow on it. However, most modern bungalows have a roof with much less angle - more like 10 degrees. Snow accumulates on roofs like that.

I once went out on our porch roof to shovel the snow off - it was about three feet deep and I was worried it might cause something to go "pop". Then, once it was on the ground in front of the house, I got to shovel it a second time - away from the foundations, because I didn't want a flooded basement in the spring when it melted. By the time I'd done shovelling, I had a berm of snow about 5 feet tall in front of my house, about four feet away from the foundation.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:32 AM
Gbro Gbro is offline
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Originally Posted by Ruby View Post
You do realize that your arrogance could have not only put your lives in danger but the lives of the emergency responders that have to save your sorry butt when something goes wrong? What could have been so important for you to defy the DOT personnel? Yes, you made it...this time. And because of stories like yours, many others who aren't so lucky will also make a bad decision. Do yourself and the rest of us motorists a favor and quit telling this kind of anecdote. <deep breath, Ruby. OK, I'm stepping stepping off of the soap box now>
We were going hunting. Everything needed for 8+ day in the wilderness was with us. We even had a popup camper for our base camp along with tent for the spike camp. To me, sending us back was absolutely nonsense. We had CB radio, cell phone, everything! We even had the whole freeway all to ourselves
One thing we didn't have a whole lot of was time.
Again, our 1st intention was to stay put, but the DOT wouldn't allow it. and I could understand that.
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  #35  
Old 01-11-2010, 07:55 AM
Telemark Telemark is online now
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One thing we didn't have a whole lot of was time.
This is probably the number 1 reason that people get into trouble outdoors. They have a limited amount of time for vacation and they are determined to do things that are ill advised and place themselves and others at risk.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:08 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Originally Posted by unclelem View Post
People were busy shovelling their roofs to prevent them from collapsing
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Originally Posted by WhyWhyWhy View Post
How do you do that!?!

With snow and ice, I can bust my arse on flat pavement. Can't imagine removing snow from a 2nd story roof that is at a 45 degree (more or less) angle.
snow rakes with extension handle sections are used on steeper and high roofs. you can reach 40 feet away you can work from a ladder if needed.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:13 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Since most of the country's frozen, I thought I'd ask some snow questions that have always been bugging me
In western Canada, and especially the north, it is recommended that you have survival gear for any extended road trip - blankets, candles, food (chocolate bars) plus be sure you have air in the spare tire, etc.

One group of kids I heard of went 4-wheeling down the power lines. None were dressed for -40 - sneakers and windbreakers, since the jeep was warm. It got stuck in a drift, they couldn't get it out. One walked back to town (8 mi) and was found disoriented wandering down the street and taken to hospital; he lost a few toes. Another was found at the river bank outside town, where he fell trying to climb the bank and died. The other two burned the jeep tyres but still froze to death in the vehicle.

You hear stories from time to time in parts of Canada; the question is - you are in a relatively windfree and somewhat insulated container - but no heat once the gas runs out. How long can you stay warm? With thick blankets and food, a weekor three. Without, a few hours. Snowmobile suits, for example, keep you warm at -30 in a strong wind. A car's single ply glass is not a great insulator. The big deal is no wind and usually, no leaks from the wind blowing cold air in.

Walking in deep snow is tough; a blizzard usually means a white-out and you have no idea where you are going; if you are lucky, you can see the fenceposts and follow the road without stumbling into 4 feet of snow in the ditch. You certainly will have trouble driving any decent speed if you can't see; and snow tends to drift, meaning you may not realize until too late that you are stuck in a 6-foot deep snowdrift dune built up behind some obstacle beside the road - not to mention hitting other cars or walkers.

The onset of hypothermia means you don't think straight. So it's less likely that someone can actually find their way in an unfamiliar situation.

I have driven in good visibility but with a drift of snow blowing across the road at 30mph, making it look like the road (the whole landscape) is flowing sideways across your track; very disorienting, and on a prarie with very few cues you may find yourself of in the ditch before you realize it.

Not to mention icy patches. Generally those news reports showing cars spinning and sliding into each other (with waltz music playing) are in places like Atlanta where this weather is rare, the temperature is close to zero and the ice is wet enough to be uncontrollably slippery; but even at -10 or -30, enough traffic can polish a layer of snow into sheet ice - usually at intersections where people skid stoppijng and then spin tires starting up again.

Snow days are like any other time off. If your employer pays you or has some arragement, great. Generally either you are paid by the hour or day (did you show up? No? No pay!) or you are paid regardless. (Good luck finding that job!). It's a rare event that results in a snow day in a typical wintery area. Not more than once every 4 or 5 years... School closures are more common because many rural schools can't allow kids to wait around for the bus or walking home off the bus, etc.

If it takes you hours to shovel your driveway, you need a better shovel or a shorter driveway. If there's 12 inches of snow on the street, and the city hasn't plowed yet, what's the point of shovelling and getting stuck at the end of the driveway? Yes, get up an hour earlier if you didn't shovel most of it last night. Besides, some places the city plows a big lump across the driveway anyway - you're not going anywhere til that's shovelled.

I used to just run over the snow (lazy me) when I had a nice light Honda Civic hatchback years ago. We didn't get a lot of snow, it just never melted until spring -packed down nicely. Then one day a friend dropped by in his Aerostar, parked, and sank to his axles - relative weight distribution, I guess. We needed another guy to get a 4-wheeler and pull him out.

As others said, it has to be a peculiarly warm time to make snowballs or snowmen. Below a certain temperature, snow does not stick well. Rolling a 2 or 3 foot ball is not difficult. You have to be careful and keep changing direction or you just get a drum, a big cylinder, if you only roll one way. I remember a bunch of York U students once got into trouble in the mid-70's one night for rolling a bunch of 6-foot high drums onto the road.

I've never seen a snowball made rolled downhill. To make a ball, you need soft unpacked snow which has good rolling resistance so you'll need a good, untouched hill. As it picks up speed, it could break from any bumps it hits.

Snowballs can be a soft lump or an ice rock; and it depends on the thrower's pitching arm. Usually they are wet and slushy and hurt, or really soft and fluffy and funny. In "Fifth Business" by Roberston Davies, one boy throws a snowball with a stone inside; misses the other kid and hits the pastor's wife and causing brain damage, setting off a lifelong chain of events.

Some dogs like other animals ahve the body mass and pelt to tolerate snow; smaller, shorthaired dogs - not. Husky sled dogs, for example curl up in the snow overnight, and have hair between the toes to help insulate the paws. Not so much snow as cold. OTOH, animal lovers claim that long-term cold exposure will lead to arthritis and shortened life span. If your dog gets outside then starts lifting paws one or two at a time like they are so cold they hurt - that's a clue. The local SPCA will investigate and warn over dogs left out here when it's -30 or -40.

You really want to be careful walking around in a vehicular equivalent of a target practice zone, whether due to slippery conditions, or fog or reduced visibility. Grab your stuff and get onto the sidewalk or as far away as you can to exchange pleasanteries, assuming it's walkable outside; make sure nobody's coming first; or if you need a tow truck anyway, you'll be waiting until then so there's no hurry.

OTOH, we don't have to worry about hurricances; just tornadoes in the summer.

Last edited by md2000; 01-11-2010 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:46 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is online now
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Thanks for all the info guys, I feel like a seasoned snow veteran now (not really, still can't stand the cold)

I have a follow-up question regarding the snow shoveling. I have a friend who lives in a cold climate. He says that when it's cold, he goes out to his car in his driveway, turns it on and leaves it running for 15 mins while he goes back into the house. I told him I was shocked nobody stole his car. Do people really do that or is he just crazy?
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:58 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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What md2000 said - excellent post, dude. Gbro, you're a lucky fool. I don't know about the US American highway people, but they don't close the passes here unless they need to - I don't second guess that.

We're not supposed to leave our cars running for 15 minutes, but the reality is that sometimes it's frosted on the *inside* where you can't scrape (the curve of the windows makes it damned near impossible), and you have to wait until it clears to drive. I have always had two sets of keys - one to leave the car running, and the second to get back in. My one beef with my 2005 Corolla is that the manufacturer has made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to lock it while it's running - thanks for nothing, Toyota.

You might also be interested to know that we plug our cars in outside when it's cold enough, too, and I have never had an extension cord stolen. I've never even had it unplugged - there's a certain etiquette that makes it extremely uncool to unplug someone else's car and not re-plug it, and I suppose if it's cold enough to plug your car in, it's too cold for punk-ass kids to run around unplugging them on people.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:19 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Thanks for all the info guys, I feel like a seasoned snow veteran now (not really, still can't stand the cold)

I have a follow-up question regarding the snow shoveling. I have a friend who lives in a cold climate. He says that when it's cold, he goes out to his car in his driveway, turns it on and leaves it running for 15 mins while he goes back into the house. I told him I was shocked nobody stole his car. Do people really do that or is he just crazy?
I let my car run for about 15 min too. But, car theft isn't an issue where I live. Not to many car thieves about at 6am miles from the closest town.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:31 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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Thanks for all the info guys, I feel like a seasoned snow veteran now (not really, still can't stand the cold)

I have a follow-up question regarding the snow shoveling. I have a friend who lives in a cold climate. He says that when it's cold, he goes out to his car in his driveway, turns it on and leaves it running for 15 mins while he goes back into the house. I told him I was shocked nobody stole his car. Do people really do that or is he just crazy?
Yeah, I used to live in a small town and everyone left their car running... Although anything more than 10 or 15 minutes is a waste. they'd go in and have coffee at a restaurant, for example. The first car theft I heard of was about 1980. By mid-80's everyone locked their car when running. Less so in a driveway in a suburban setting, but in a downtown populated area - don't leave it running unlocked.

Even better than leaving it running, if you park in a garage overnight the heat from the engine before it cools off will get rid of the frost usually.

Some cars - like BMW - do not put block heaters in the engines. However, they use synthetic oil which flows at -40. Regardless, when it's -20, let the engine run a minute or two to get everything lubricated before taking off.

There's the story I heard on the radio, from an ancient (1930's) aviation pioneer. They would fly into remote communities when it was -20; first thing they would do is run around to the engine, undo the oil plug, and drain the oil onto the ground.

When it was time to leave, they would dig around in the snow, pick up the oil spill, roll it up, and take it inside. There, you boil it in a pot until it's liquid again and boiling hot. Pour that in the engine, and you had about 5 minutes to get the engine started before it got too cold.

Last edited by md2000; 01-11-2010 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:54 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Y<snip> Regardless, when it's -20, let the engine run a minute or two to get everything lubricated before taking off.
<snip>
I remember listening to some advice about not leaving your car idling in winter; some environmentalist was saying cars only need a minute or two for the motor to get warm enough to drive, but he reluctantly admitted that in extreme cold temperatures, you sometimes do need more than two minutes to get your car ready to go. I just filed that under, "No shit, Sherlock."
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:14 PM
unclelem unclelem is offline
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snow rakes with extension handle sections are used on steeper and high roofs. you can reach 40 feet away you can work from a ladder if needed.
Indeed, or in that particular case, the accumulated snow (remember we had six feet of new snow on top of what had already fallen that season) and drifting from the wind made it so that some people had to exit from a second story window anyway. It was heavy stuff too, so you could easily walk up to a first story roof at waist height. I had a drift that allowed me to walk right up onto my (flat) garage roof.

The steeply sloped roofs weren't in danger so much as the flat, or nearly flat, roofs on carports, sheds and older garages, apartment and commercial buildings. We lost several old theaters and a school gym roof before they could be cleaned off.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:28 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is online now
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
You might also be interested to know that we plug our cars in outside when it's cold enough, too, and I have never had an extension cord stolen. I've never even had it unplugged - there's a certain etiquette that makes it extremely uncool to unplug someone else's car and not re-plug it, and I suppose if it's cold enough to plug your car in, it's too cold for punk-ass kids to run around unplugging them on people.
Plug it in? You mean you have an electric car? Or is this something that cars in cold places are naturally manufactured with?

Also, what is a block heater?
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:32 PM
Grey Grey is online now
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A block heater is an electric heater mounted at the front of a car. A small power cable sticks out the front grill. You plug it into a regular wall socket and effectively thaw ( or keep warm) your engine block.

Last edited by Grey; 01-11-2010 at 02:33 PM..
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  #46  
Old 01-11-2010, 02:33 PM
HongKongFooey HongKongFooey is offline
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Plug it in? You mean you have an electric car? Or is this something that cars in cold places are naturally manufactured with?

Also, what is a block heater?
The block heater is what is plugged in. It keeps your engine block warm so your car doesn't work so hard turning with cold oil and everything.
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  #47  
Old 01-11-2010, 02:56 PM
Spoons Spoons is online now
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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
You plug it into a regular wall socket....
The problem is getting the car into the room with the wall socket.

Seriously, YogSosoth, most people run an extension cord from an outdoor outlet to the car's block heater plug. It's not uncommon in these parts to see extension cords outside of every house, all winter long. Some parking lots also have outlets for just this purpose, and drivers will have another extension cord in the car to plug into these.
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  #48  
Old 01-11-2010, 03:02 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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I remember the first time I ever encountered a car with a block heater. I grew up in Pennsylvania, where the winters generally don't get cold enough long enough to need specially equipped cars, but I took training in St. Paul, Minnesota. Didn't have a car myself. I used to take walks around the neighborhood where the training center was (this was in the summer) and I noticed these cars with electric plugs sticking out of them. It baffled the hell out of me (this was before even hybrids were common, let alone fully electric cars).

I finally asked one of my local classmates about it and they told me it was a block heater. It made sense, but I would never have figured that out on my own.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Grey Grey is online now
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The problem is getting the car into the room with the wall socket. :
You'll note my clever omission of which wall the outlet is in Mr. fancy lawyer guy!

YogSosoth some people actually put their car in their garage/car port which normally have some sort of outlet so a short extension cord works. Others leave the car in the driveway and run a 20/25ft cord out to the car. Obligatory link for block heaters
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  #50  
Old 01-11-2010, 03:16 PM
Surly Chick Surly Chick is offline
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Everyone starts their cars early in the morning here (New England) and leaves them running. It would be poor form to steal it. I'd like to get one of those automatic starters so I don't have to go out in the cold to start it. Anyone know if those can those be installed on older cars, say like a 2004 Explorer?

I always keep blankets, a cigarette lighter, a metal cup and some tea lights in my car just in case. You can use the lighter/candles to melt snow in the cup.
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