ellyssian: (Default)
With more threatening of the coming snowpocalypse by the media, I thought it would only be fitting to (almost) wrap up the heavy metal humor with Flight Of The Skajaquada, a heroic tale of psuedo-but-not-really-prog from Cereal Killer Soundtrack, in which an evil snowman holds upstate New York hostage with cold and blizzards.

From what some people in that area have said, this is a common occurrence. =)

It's time to grab your magic shovel...

To wrap up, I'm going to paraphrase (or at least allude to, because I don't remember the exact wording) what a member of Green Jellÿ once said: "We'd be nothing if it wasn't for latex, Papier-mâché, chicken wire, and couch cushions."
ellyssian: (Default)
I don't know what it is about a bit of ice and a stream, but I just love to look at the formations that result from a bit of water splatter and cold temperatures.

Here are some shots of the Rachel River* from earlier in December:

The Rachel River

More and larger under the cut... )

As always, click on any shot to see it over on Flickr. Comments over there are especially welcome! =)

Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] naturesbeauty and me own journal.

* The runoff along the front edge of our property.
ellyssian: (Plow)
We got 2-3", I plowed, we got 2-3" more, plowed again; got back from the client sites after dark, so I just did one pass up the driveway to clear off the inch or so of ice and frozen rain. Finished it off today. Fun! =)

The Truck, Post-Plowing

A few more under the cut... )
ellyssian: (Plow)
Before lunch, I went out and cleared the driveway. Now it needs some more cleared, although it has turned to rain (for the most part).

While I was plowing, the turnpike was empty, until I saw the huge tow truck backing down the northbound side. It picked up after, but has been stop and stop longer for the past hour or two. At the moment, it looks to be moving about 2-3 mph. If you have to head north on the northeast extension today, leave 6-8 hours extra travel time. =)

I'm going to head back out and get some more work done, just to clear the weight off the sites.
ellyssian: (Plow)
See icon.

Yep, I hooked up the plow, turned the truck around to prep it for a straight shot down the driveway, and, if anything, the snowfall increased.

We will have plowing today!

And, if the weather folks are right ~ which they're not, by the way: this light fluffy powder we're getting is not a 100% chance of ice pellets ~ then this will last for three days. And then another storm Wednesday.

Already there's about an inch or so... and they're now calling for 8-12 inches by tomorrow morning...

The scene looks much better than it does in this picture from last week:

Got Snow?

ellyssian: (Default)
Look closely at the picture, taken yesterday.

I can walk to that spot from my house.

We had no snow accumulating on the ground - maybe a thin layer of slush on the sandbox for a few minutes, but nothing white on the ground at all.

ellyssian: (Plow)
re: this

Got it!

ellyssian: (Plow)
Man, why is everyone else getting all the snow?

Not fair!

~ ~ ~

This is, realistically, a good thing. My mission to recycle oil failed. Apparently, you have to leave the container, which would then prevent me from draining the hydraulic oil. Of course, not getting the container emptied also prevents me from draining any more oil.


If I need to plow, I'll hook up and top off the existing oil, and drain it as soon as I get a chance.

~ ~ ~

My other mission, to get a quote on an underhood compressor and an automatic chain system was a success. If I knew that place had existed before, I'd likely have gone to them for my truck. The really good news? They can also fabricate a tool holder and do all the light work as well, although I'm not at the point of quoting any of that yet.

The bad news is that an underhood compressor - above and beyond the minimal 12 volt model that will only work with the chain system and not provide additional utility - is about $10k. The slightly good news is that my choosing not to get a PTO didn't impact that cost much, if at all.

Hey, Cool!

Oct. 28th, 2008 12:01 pm
ellyssian: (Plow)
Rest of Today: Snow and rain. Snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches with up to 6 inches in the higher elevations. Windy with highs in the upper 30s. Northwest winds 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Rain and snow likely in the evening...then a chance of rain and snow showers after midnight. Total snow accumulation of 6 to 12 inches in the highest elevations with less elsewhere. Windy with lows in the upper 20s. West winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

Won't get the lights done, but at least I should be able to get the plow ready for action... just in case any of this actually happens and sticks around. Weak pun intended.
ellyssian: (Plow)
The rain that's falling is doing so rather slowly, despite the winds whipping around at there...

There was even some visible accumulation on Mr. B's sandbox lid, but that slushified after a moment or two.

This afternoon, I'll be recycling the oil slurped out of the DR, and then I can slurp out the hydraulic oil from the plow, refill it... and I need to pick up some grease so I can take care of the fittings on it... and I still need to finish figuring out how to get that beacon wired and installed*... and likewise the reverse/work lights... and I also need to replace the snowblower chain that broke last year...

Yeah, I'm one of those people hoping for lots of snow...

* I have the one fitting I needed; it's a lot narrower inside than I had hoped - very thick wall is good for stability, not so good for squeezing a connector in there like I had planned; need a smallish junction box that I can stick out there at the end of the pipe, which changes the bracketing needs completely. Very glad I didn't custom order a pair already - although my estimated sizes were accurate, so that aspect of it would have worked.


Feb. 27th, 2008 08:20 pm
ellyssian: (Default)

by Everett A Warren
December 9, 1996

first of the fallen
sweet snowflake's kiss
in moonlight
with the stars
in the night sky
in my arms
with a touch
in gentle warmth
colouring the forest
in iridescent illusions
from heaven
from ice to dreams
ever so gently
from my heart to your soul
sweet snowflake's kiss
first of the fallen

Copyright (c) 1996 Everett A Warren

ellyssian: (Plow)
One more thing that we had a bit of trouble with - maybe even worse than lack of traction on the hill - was the windshield wipers slushed up again, as they did with the last storm. Thick wet snowflakes just cling to the wipers. They melt enough to stick, and then they stay.

I scraped each blade clean before we left, and we didn't even get to Millers Market before we were down to maybe 10% visibility. Almost ran someone off the road because I couldn't see. I stopped at the township yard and had to scrape them off again. They stayed clear after that, mostly because the snow was shifting over to more of a sleet or rain.

After filling up the rear tank, we stopped off at an auto parts place to see if they had a particular device I had heard of - they didn't, but as soon as we got back, I ordered some Slushbusters. I think next year I'll make sure I put heavy duty winter wipers on as well - visibility needs to be clear through those windows, especially when I'm aiming a plow at people.

Or, rather, avoiding aiming it at them. =)

As for the slipping and sliding business, I think an Onspot system might be in order. Maybe not for this winter, but certainly for the next. Chains are about one order of magnitude cheaper if you just look at material costs. The difficulty is that installing them is a pain. Justin and I have had personal experience installing chains on the snowblower, and that was difficult enough. And they only slipped off a half-dozen times. Chains on a truck would need to be put on and taken off repeatedly, in less than ideal conditions. There's been a lot of times the road to the nature center was clear and dry and the gravel road there was not - which would mean installing and removing them all the time. I'm thinking time spent swapping chains on and off - as well as a higher replacement cost (replacement cost for the Onspot chains are an order of magnitude less than the cost of another full set of chains) - would easily exceed the difference in cost between the two.

Not to mention, flipping a cool safety trigger switch vs. crawling around in slush and snow on a highway roadside during low visibility winter weather conditions.

Anywho, that's a high priority for Fall 2008. Unless I absolutely can't get up the hill next time I plow, I won't consider it for this season.

Some Snow

Feb. 13th, 2008 01:08 pm
ellyssian: (Plow)
While parts of the country are getting hammered - 20" at a shot - this is only the second real, measurable snow since January 1st. That first time was barely enough to plow, this was a bit more but still just the minor league.

Justin and I went out last night and plowed the nature center. Had a chance to speak to one of the residents (a number of homes are off of the two LGNC-owned dirt roads) who usually plows, and he was surprised that the LGNC was having someone plow, but happy for any help I could give. Eases their burden - although it seems the two guys who plow both live off the same flat road, not off the hill that leads up to the parking lot. That latter part is my big focus.

Anyway, discoveries last night: If someone was to read my fortune, they'd very likely find that Everblades are likely to be in my future. The stuff clung to the wiper blades, and we had to stop several times to scrape the blades clear so we could see. Not like the tunnel-effect of the snow wasn't enough to reduce visibility to maybe two feet in front of the plow. Additional lights for the front might also be in order - now I know why the HID lights are $3000. Probably worth it. I suppose I'll go for two additional lights instead of replacing the plow lights. The work lights also need to go up ASAP, because backing up was almost blind, which is not Of The Good.

Today, Justin started the vehicles and then headed to class. I cleared them, which was easy on account of the rain, and annoying on account of the rain - soaking my jacket so much that it puddled when I set my arm on the center console! I backed the truck down, then took the two cars (or car and small SUV, really) down. One pass up the driveway with the V, and then angled to the right to clear the right most edge, and two passes as a scoop to clear the rest. Went much faster than the first time, of course.

Went back to the nature center and cleared the lot again, as well as one V pass down the hill. I could have skimmed the top off the stuff on the flat road, but it was fairly clear, and the weight of the ice brought some evergreens very low. I didn't want them to catch in the ladder rack and break or tangle. Some of them were so low, they'd catch in the grill...

So that's that. Even remembered to stop and get milk on the way home. After circling once. =)
ellyssian: (Plow)
Ummmm, yeah. Just a little excitement.

Not enough to plow. Yet. Looks like it's heading that way. I even had to use 1st & 2nd gear on the ride home, and spent a half hour on a stretch of road that usually takes 40 seconds.

One car had made a left turn to a side street to avoid all the traffic. He finally ground to a halt after spending about 300-400 feet plowing through some yards. Apparently he hadn't realized he was parallel to the road and not on it. That's actually giving him more benefit of the doubt than anyone deserves. Judging from his trail, he took the turn too fast, dropped over the edge of the road, and, being a moron, tried to keep going and make it to the driveway and back up to the road (at this time his roof was level with the road due to a bank).

Two other cars were pulled one to each side of the road a bit further on. The bright pink lowered, flared, and wannabe-racified little import had its hazards - four-ways - whateveryacallums locally - on in back, and his tail lights as well, but the entire front of the car was lights-out. The bright yellow mini-SUV was not rolled over in a ditch - I say this, because SUVs from the tiny Suzuki's to the hugeous Expeditions are what I usually upside down in a field - but did have a deep impression in the drivers-side doors that rather matched the boxy front grill of the pink thing. My guess - the SUV pulled out of a driveway, possibly cutting off pinko, possibly just taken out by the get-off-my-racetrack speed of the pink thing, which had no doubt been chortling along with an exhaust note similar to my bargain lawn mower (the big DR has a much deeper sound than those modified mufflers lend the import crowd).

But soon... soon! Plowing! =)
ellyssian: (Default)
Justin and I are preparing for our annual pilgrimage along the Forest, through Fairyland, and Beyond and Back Again!

Yep, it's almost time to go pick up the New Year Chinese feast (as opposed to the Chinese New Year feast, which we don't often celebrate, but we probably should...)

As for the updatia bit, we got a ton of snow (or 5", which ever comes first), and me without my plow. Snow forecasted for tomorrow, too. Plow forecasted for Wednesday, and sunny after that...

Brandon took his first solo sled ride - the soft yet heavy stuff slowed him to a sedate pace. Very entertaining to watch him sitting still so long... all the way down the front lawn. He sat upright and serious and, although I only saw him from the back, I'm almost positive he didn't even blink for the entire ride.

Rachel built a real, live, actual snowman - one of the life-sized guys - with some assistance from Mr. B. Deb took some shots, and I got to see them, but most others won't because she never posts anything. =(

Justin and I cleared the driveway - he cleared the walk and around the cars (and the cars themselves) and I took care of the rest, using the DR with the plow. It did a great job, pushing glaciers in front of it. Snowblowers around me were choking on the stuff, so it's probably a good thing the chain had snapped a few weeks back and I didn't even attempt it. First time I used the plow on snow (used it on the gravel to get that in place Autumn 2006) and I liked it. Took longer than the Boss will when it's on the truck, of course, but nice nonetheless.

Anywho, off I go... time to get dinner!
ellyssian: (Default)
Botched Billy S. quotes aside, I'm keeping a weather eye on whether or not the weather situation is such that I should head home.

I have all-wheel-drive, and I'm not afraid to use it.

However, all the maroons in big HUGE SUVs - some of whom even have four wheel drive! - will be on the road, along with all the hapless lesser beings in front and, worse still, rear wheel drive. I'm not so much worried about me being able to pilot home in this massive 0.25" layer of snow and ice (climbing to an estimated 1.5" of snow at home) as I am concerned about those who don't understand things like proper distance between moving vehicles based on speed and road condition, let alone the whole Panic! I saw a snowflake! thing.

Funny thing, this morning. I came in a bit late, trying to make sense of the forecasts, and waiting for the wheatherfolk to come to a consensus. When they finally narrowed down the potential snowfall for my neighborhood to be somewhere in the one to twelve inches range, I decided that was close enough and headed in to the office.
ellyssian: (Default)
First, Justin and I did stuff and some top sekrity type stuff, and then, on Sunday, we didn't do stuff. But I did excerise the camera, and I even took it outside. On to the porch. Photographic evidence might be able to be found here and here.

I say "might" because LJ seems a bit iffy today.

For the record, snow continued to fall, and sometime overnight the driveway and roads were lost. There looked to be a good 6-8" on the back deck rails - heavy, wet snow packed down nice and tight. These rails were cleared yesterday while the kids were out playing. They had 3-4" of snow on them at the time.

Although the house had power when I left, it doesn't now, and I haven't heard from them yet. Rachel had a two hour delay, although districts just up the road were closed.
ellyssian: (Default)
Heavy wet snow has been falling all day.

Driveway is still clear - except down in the wooded bits, where its sticking a bit - although its been clinging everywhere else.

So the tree will just have to wait.

It is very enjoyable to watch, though - especially when watching also includes looking at Mr. B as he first looks outside...

When he woke up I asked if he spilled the baby powder. He said "no?" and so I said: "Well, how do you explain this?" and threw the door open.

The challenge, then, was keeping him from running out to play in it while he was still in PJs and with bare feet... =)

21 Trees

Mar. 24th, 2007 07:10 pm
ellyssian: (Default)
Woke up bright and early and, with Justin's help, twenty one trees were planted. Well, eleven trees and ten shrubs. To be even more specific, 5 hazels, 5 winterberry holly, and 11 hemlock.

We found a few spots where the ground was still frozen - despite a sloppy, muddy, clay surface. Several locations for hazels were left as false starts - two not even deep enough to be noticeable due to ice, and one because we found a rock that has a face of at least 2'x2'. At least that's about the size of the hole before we gave up, and we never found even one single edge of the rock. We unearthed a couple other good sized rocks, added to the foundation border in front of the kiwi trellis, and one monster. We needed to get the 6' bar out to pry that sucker from the ground - and it was only about a foot in diameter and two feet long.

It's raining now so that should help get those guys off to a good start.

After a few days that topped sixty degrees and rain - heavy at times - there's still quite a few spots with snow, but it is starting to fade away. The Rachel River is running wild and free, even under the 4-6' of snow plowed over it just north of our driveway.

In other news, the guitar lesson with the new student went well today. Slightly more details over on the musical blog (aka MySpace).
ellyssian: (Default)
.. quoth the snow. What's the past tense of snow? Snaw? Spring?

Took down half the holiday lights - haven't had them lit since January, but we missed the window to break out the ladder and take them down prior to the onset of Snow in February. The other half will have to wait for aforementioned ladder, which means Light and Lack of Snow, which should happen this weekend. Took them down while Justin was clearing off some cardboard that was allegedly going to be recycled but was left on the porch too long and turned into a sprawling cat bed (complete with decorative decapitated meeses).

Of course, the reason we were out on the porch was because the Musser Forests order had arrived and needed processing (unpack, shake out packing material, wrap in newspaper, put in buckets, moisten paper and add some water). Due to worries of freezing temps, they're down in the cellar - the garage gets too cold. Of course, the cellar has the dehumidifier, which is basically anti-plantlife, so we'll have to watch the moisture and get them into the ground as soon as we can.

Hopefully snow will clear down along the stream where the winterberry holly are going, and along Chestnut Grove where the hazelnuts will be. We're pretty much SOL for the hemlock - those are going along the back edge of the property in the trees, so it's not very likely that we'll be 100% snow cover free.

I have reviews to post - they're halfway between this system and that, and they'll be here. Eventually.

New guitar student starting Saturday - the father of the second student, who wants to make use of the guitar and some musical interest. Also have another two potential students - a guy at work and one of his daughters - that will hopefully be scheduled soon.


ellyssian: (Default)

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