Snowloween Blizzaster 2011

How was your Halloweekend guys? Mine was full of snow.

On Saturday the lovely state of New Jersey got hit by a snowstorm of epic proportions. Granted, the Garden State is no stranger to winter blizzards, but this was a blizzaster of the kind that we have not seen in decades. We have been caught by it completely unprepared, and with our pants down. The frozen sky water fell upon us like the Spanish inquisition – no one expected it to be so bad. Normally his kind of thing happens much later in the year. Our trees only begun shedding their summer leaves last Tuesday, and most of them still had lots of green foliage. As you can imagine heavy snow accumulation in the leafy tree crowns was a bit of a problem, and most of the load bearing branches were not prepared to carry the extra weight. So in addition to a sudden snowpocalypse we have been also experiencing a branch breaking bonanza.

Driving on Saturday was an exercise in dogging falling trees while trying to maintain minimal amount of friction between your tires, and the thick layer of ice that covered all the streets. Most highways looked as if the drivers suddenly decided to re-enact scenes from Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Salt truck and snow plows were nowhere to be seen – probably still slumbering in their subterranean lairs where they spend all summer. If mother nature wanted to give us all a fright on the weekend before all hallows eve, it certainly succeeded. That fateful night, the air was filled with snapping sounds of angry trees lashing their breaking snow covered branches against defenseless power lines. Regular humdrum of highway traffic was replaced by skidding sounds and metallic crunches as automobiles collided on ice. Instead of trick or treaters, the streets were full of snowpocalypse refugees, being frozen out of their own homes – cut off from the electric grid by the frozen claws of the local oaks.

On Sunday morning, most neighborhoods looked like Isengard after the Ents marched through it. Broken branches, overturned power lines, lifeless homes, and wrecked cars on the driveways. Among this destruction frolicked kids, unaware and unperturbed by last nights events. Spider Man, hand in hand with a woodland fairy and Batman whose cape was tucked in under thick winter jacket all hopped over the splayed cables, and threw snowballs at each other as I drove by.

Me? I have spent most of the weekend without power, and freezing my ass off. In fact, this very post was typed up with my frost bitten hands, on my laptop (thankfully fully charged the night before) which somehow managed to pick up an unprotected Wifi connection of some more fortunate, and electricity wealthy neighbor. For once in my life I am thankful for living near really stupid people. It is completely beyond me how you can exist in the year 2011 without ever realizing the folly of using an unencrypted wifi connection but, I am grateful for this sort of reckless idiocy. It comes in very handy in a pinch. Plus it feels great to be on the internet while the house is blacked out and without power. The only thing that does not feel great is typing in a sub-freezing temperature, as your hands slowly transform into numb and solid claws.

As you probably know, I do most of my writing on the weekends, but unfortunately this post was about as much I was able to get done under these circumstances. I will probably have some new content for Wednesday and Friday, but it may not be high quality stuff. For this, I apologize but I don’t have the power (as in electricity) to do more.

How was your Hallowweekend? Hopefully better than mine. Do you celebrate it where you live? I know it is a popular holiday in most English speaking countries, but when I lived in Poland we never really bothered with it. If you do celebrate it, did you dress up for a Halloween party this weekend? Are you dressing up today? And is your costume geeky or not?

I wish I could tell you that I had an awesome costume, but I didn’t. I was browsing reddit the other day and I was totally jealous of all the awesome video game/pop culture inspired costumes people were sharing. Sadly, these sort of things take effort and dedication to pull off and I am way to lazy and unmotivated to even consider it.

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4 Responses to Snowloween Blizzaster 2011

  1. Victoria UKRAINE Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    You, poor thing!

    I had a blast on Sat – we had a corporate Halloween party, which basically meant that people got drunk wearing costumes, but it was fun anyway – there were many hand-made costumes that were really great. My look was commented on by some QC girl as ‘hey, I didn’t do much preparation either’ which in my case meant dress and shoes ordered specifically for the occasion, two hours in hair salon getting my ‘crazy hair’ look and an hour of make-up :) I guess, I was too subtle.

    On Sun I turned into one of your stupid neighbors: I bought a new PC case with a more powerful built-in power supply (I’m getting a new display and a new video card), disemboweled my computer, started on putting all the stuff into the new case when I realized two things (and then a third – that I am stupid): a) the new case is too lopsided to carry the motherboard, and b) the old power supply that I had for 4 years is more powerful than the one I bought and is well suited for the new card.

    Soo, the only good things to come from the day of tinkering are a) a clean PC and b) I finally installed a new DVD-RW (which I don’t need but people still ask me to burn something for them).

    The new case goes back to the retailer, and I curse those QC who put the approval stamp on its bottom, because it’s like ~7mm lopsided on the inside.

    Sorry for the rant, all my usual tech-people/rant-listeners are on vacation :)

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  2. icebrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    Nope. Where I live we don’t celebrate it, except for the TV channels which schedule “spooky” films for that day (Monster House for the kids, some death thriller for the adults).

    We did hear about that snowstorm there in the US; but in my town no one can remember the last time it snowed. To even be able to touch snow we need to drive 200 miles to the nearest mountain.

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  3. icebrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    By the way, about your stupid neighbors: nowadays all our ISP only have “unlimited” connections¹, and the biggest one know uses Fonera routers for their clients, so if you have one too (either one of theirs, or bought from Fonera itself) and share your connection, you have free internet anywhere ;)
    I was planning to contract a 3G plan for my laptop, but now that free APs are everywhere, it’s not worth it.

    ¹ there are some “reasonable usage policies”, but I know people who use 500GB+/month and their ISP doesn’t complain

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Victoria:

    I did end up going to a Halloween party (or should I say skidding accross the highway) and wore a crappy store bought cowboy costume which I obtained the day before. It was super lazy, but actually looked as if I put some effort into it when I was standing next to a guy wearing a smurf hat and a blue Old Navy t-shirt and jeans. :P

    @ icebrain:

    Wow! That’s nice. Here in the USA (aka the internet third world) most ISP’s have data caps and open Wifi hotspots are virtually unheard of. :(

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