One in which we had such a stubborn ice mound in front of the mailbox that I had to use a pitchfork to break it up.
One in which the snow bank on the corner is mounded up almost to the top of the street sign.
One in which we spend all our daylight hours either working, or driving to and from work, or clearing snow at our house, or clearing snow at our next door neighbors’ house while they’re away, or clearing snow at E’s mom’s house. Which is why I didn’t get a daylight picture of M on top of the snow bank at the corner, but I can at least annotate the picture above so you know what you’re looking at.
February may have only 28 days, but it’s still the longest month of the year.
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In a recent snowstorm, we got about a foot of fluffy snow before the weather changed over to sleet/freezing rain. The rain soaked into the upper few inches of the snow. And then the temperature dropped below freezing again. When I went to clear the driveway with the snowblower, I noticed a really interesting phenomenon that I hadn’t seen before.
At the edges of the driveway, the top rain-soaked layer of snow had solidified enough that it cracked off from the more level sections of snow and slid off the snowbank as a couple of sheets. It was just like a mini-avalanche. (You can click to enlarge the photos, to better see what’s going on.) Cool!
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Every once in a while, it’s hard to figure out where the cat has decided to tuck himself in for a nap. Recently I made the rounds of the house, including sticking my head into M’s room, and didn’t see him.
On round 2 through the house, I finally found him. He had crawled all the way into the sleeping bag (note the small cat-sized lump.) That’s one good way to spend a chilly winter evening!
Other times, of course, he is much easier to find. Fortunately M is OK with the idea that he and the cat have joint custody of a cot, a sleeping bag, a bed, and pajamas.
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M was looking through one of those guidebooks that profiles a few hundred colleges, when he asked me whether college students were really as divided into groups as the book made it seem. (For example, some descriptions talked about nerds vs. athletes vs. hipsters vs. tree-hugging Birkenstock-wearing vegetarians.) He wondered what group he might be part of, and we agreed he was likely to fit into the quirky/nerdy crowd. But then:
M: “Maybe I like wearing Birkenstocks.”
Me: “You don’t even own Birkenstocks,.”
M: “What are Birkenstocks?”
Me: “They’re a type of sandals.”
M: “Well, maybe I’d like wearing them if I had some.”
Me: “I’d suggest clearing up your athlete’s foot and toenail fungus before you take up wearing sandals as a lifestyle.”
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As soon as I got home from work yesterday, M helped me load the snowblower into the car. We drove over to E’s mom’s house and spent about 45 minutes clearing her driveway and walkways from Thursday’s snowstorm. (Good thing we got it done before today’s storm starts… it’s one of those winters.) We drove back to our town and I dropped M off at a friend’s house for a sleepover before heading home. E got home from a very long day at work just about the time I got out of the shower and no longer smelled like gasoline from the snowblower.
We were both too tired to do anything exciting for dinner. But I made a big pot of popcorn — slightly more than the pot could hold, as it turned out — and we gave each other Valentine’s Day cards, and we relaxed and watched TV together.
And life was good.
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My company has an in-house blood donor program, so that if researchers need to use fresh human blood or plasma as the sample matrix for their experiments, they can obtain it more cheaply and easily than by purchasing it from an outside source. The researchers contact the folks in occupational health with their needs, who then contact someone on the list of volunteers to set up a time, and then occ health draws the blood. It’s a nice simple system, and the only problem is that the guy in occ health who actually draws the blood is terrible at it. At one of my most recent encounters, he only needed to draw 10 mL (a couple test tubes) and yet it took him 5 minutes of digging around with a needle in both arms before he had enough. And he left me with a truly spectacular bruise afterwards. (I’ll stick the graphic pictures after the jump.)
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I just finished filing our income taxes. As usual, it was complicated and tedious. But this year, for the first time, I was able to check these boxes for the federal taxes:
I was able to enter all our info just once into the online tax program, and it handled both federal and state returns. No more of this single/head-of-household/married-filing-separately mishmash of entering info for 4 completely different returns that we’ve had to do for the last 3 years.
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