Christmas Blizzard 2010 / Irish Voice review

Originally this was going to be a blog entry on this cool review I got on the Irish Voice newspaper website today, but I realized that the Scotch Plains Christmas Blizzard of 2010 is just as worthy to talk about…

I’ll talk about the book stuff first since I think its pretty major – AND it will let me end the blog with the blizzard videos and pictures… So here goes…

After shoveling out from the Christmas Blizzard (see later on), I sat down to surf the net a bit, and I got a Google Alert email telling me that
James Hannon” and “Lost Boys of the Bronx” was mentioned in a news story entitled “Don’t Bet Against Spider man“.. Didn’t know what connection I had to Spiderman, but news is news right?

Popping the article up on my screen, I realized it was from the Irish Voice newspaper and was written by “Off the Record” columnist Mike Farragher – Now things made sense….   A few weeks ago, I had went to the Irish-Mexican Alliance benefit (see my blog from then for what that was all about) and I met Mike in person there.  We’ve been “virtual” colleagues for a while since both of us were part of the Irish-American Writers & Artists group and had a lot of the same friends (most notably god-amongst-men Larry Kirwan – who somehow is getting mentioned in every blog lately LOL) – We finally met in person, and I passed my book to him hoping he would find the time to check it out…

Well, he did and he wrote a wonderful review of it…  Check it out at:

http://www.irishcentral.com/story/ent/off_the_record/dont-bet-against-spider-man-112497839.html
I know Mike has both an online edition of his column and a “physical newspaper” edition.   I’ll find out Wednesday if I made it to the paper version…

Now  onto the Christmas Blizzard!

Everyone knew this was coming – kinda… In the days prior, there were reports of it being anywhere from a dusting to 2 feet of snow…  Would it come on Christmas Day or the day after – or not at all???  Details were sketchy, but “something” was gonna happen…  Eventually reports started remaining consistent and we were gonna have a Nor’Easter the day after Christmas…

Now, this sucked for a lot of people in a lot of various ways…  Some really bad – especially plane travellers, but most of us were just inconvenienced…  We were also inconvenienced at Camp Hannon, but nothing too bad…  Jackie’s mom was over for Christmas, and we have to drive her up to the Bronx – preferably after Christmas…   Sunday, the day after Christmas the snow started falling around 11am, so we decided to keep her another few days to save us from traffic and the road dangers…   That’s pretty much it our inconvenience – thankfully nothing too bad…

From 11am to 4pm on Sunday – the snow was falling and sticking steadily. But, after 4pm – thats when it started getting crazy…  Looking out the window, we didn’t see anything but snow – I guess this is what is called a “white-out”.   We stood indoors, watched a few movies, and when we looked out the window around 11, things were looking the same – except the snow was starting to block the door from opening…   I probably “should” have gone out and did some initial shoveling to keep up with the snow, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go out there – especially knowing that there were quite a few more hours of the white stuff coming…   We went to bed, wondering if the snow would completely cover the house and suffocate us – it was coming down a LOT at the time…

Got up Monday morning and turned on the news… And every news-person was cheesing in their pants about the snow…   Maybe it had been a quiet news week, but it seems these people were trying to out-do everyone else on how bad the weather was…  Sure the weather was bad, but did they have to make it even worse?

I am on vacation this week, but if I was working i wouldn’t even have bothered setting the alarm for this morning..  The news kept saying over and over is that people should STAY HOME! But every couple of minutes, they showed another dumbass who got stuck because he had to get to his (non-essential) job that probably was going to be closed anyway…  A friend of mine was worried about going to her (non-essential) job over 30 miles away because they were low-staffed, etc…  I told her that its better to take one legitimate snow day off where there aren’t going to be many customers, rather than take off a couple of weeks or months  because they got clobbered by a snow plow driving into work…  I have no idea what she did, but I hope she stayed home…

Y’know, maybe I understand why the news makes things worse than they are…  Because some people don’t have the common sense to stay home on a day like this…

Got changed and went downstairs to see how bad the snow was… I went out to my deck and dropped a ruler in the non-snow-drift section and it read 19 inches…    Yeah, it was pretty bad out there…  But hey, the world didn’t end right?

Got my snow gear on, and headed out to shovel…   I’m not gonna lie to you, it sucked out there… It was cold and windy, and every time you turned around you were getting pelted by the snow being kicked up by the wind…  But between Jackie and myself, we took care of the driveway in about an hour – including the plowed snow which is a LOT heavier than the snow that just landed there…  We have a walkway, but both Jackie & I said “screw that!” – We were both beat from shoveling, and didn’t want to do any more than we had to…   Plus, nobody uses the walkway even during the warm weather, so we were safe…

Shot some video of the post-shoveled area at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93CaqnzA4Bk

One thing that really bugged Jackie and me is that right as we were in the last 5 minutes of shovelling, two different sets of neighbors came up within 2 minutes of each other with snow blowers and said “I see you guys are almost finished, we were gonna help, but… ”   Seriously???   I mean, if you see us finished, just keep moving… Don’t even look our way dammit…  What the hell do you expect us to say?  “Gee whiz – Thanks for giving us an excuse why you didn’t help us…  But you are still a good neighbor, so feel free to ask us to babysit, etc…   Jackasses…   (for the record, they walked right by us with their snowblower when we would’ve actually paid them to clear the driveway – Jackie says she heard them ask one of the people they plowed to fill up their gas can…)

On the flip side, we went inside and got tea and warmed up for a bit when I heard my awesome next door neighbor outside with his daughter – AND THEY WERE PLOWING/SHOVELLING OUR WALKWAY (the one we didn’t shovel because we were tired). They didn’t ask, they just did it…  They’ve done this a few years ago when a similar storm happened, and we had to ask everyone who did it before they admitted to it..  They just wanted to be good neighbors without any credit…  This is why we love these neighbors…  They’ve always been great neighbors to us…  (and yes, we try to return the favor)   I went outside to thank them, and talk a bit, but they were ready to do good deeds for another neighbor..

A short while later, I was up on the 2nd floor taking pictures of the snow, and I was watching the 50-something Dad and 20-something daughter running and diving into the snow banks by their house… I grabbed my flip cam and had to get video of them…And here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RcjdLp7LzQ

As always, thanks for reading
-=J

Pix below

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