We awoke this morning to the blizzard of 2010. The ground outside our bedroom window is blanketed with about two feet of snow. Wanting to get a jump on the competition, I immediately phoned our snow plow service to get on the list, and was told our 130 foot, gently sloping drive could be plowed sometime in the next few days. Since we expected to be snowed in this weekend, this wasn’t a problem.
I was pleasantly surprised to get a call about an hour later. Our plow driver was in the neighborhood and decided to move our job up the list. A few minutes later, his Dodge Ram 4 Wheel Drive pickup arrived at the top of our drive. A few minutes after that, the truck was lodged sideways on our driveway, rear wheels on the asphalt, front wheels on the grass, which slopes somewhat sharply down from the road surface. Roy, the driver, had brought his fiancee Kay with him at her request. She didn’t want to be snowbound all day while he was out working. So Roy broke out the snowblower, which he had been up all night repairing, while Kay began shovelling snow from under the stuck truck.
An hour or so later, the drive was blown free of snow, which I measured with a yardstick at 17 inches in the shallows and 24 inches at the deepest part. Kay and I had succeeded in clearing a swath around the truck, and Roy jumped in to pull it free. We watched in anticipation as the truck lurched, hesitated, then came around onto the driveway. We then groaned as the truck slid sideways down the embankment, coming to rest with four wheels spinning in the mud.
We invited Roy and Kay inside to warm up and call a tow truck. As it happens, finding a tow truck in a blizzard is no easy feat. Calls to most listed companies were answered by machines. One company, York Towing, told Kay they don’t service this area (West York!) Another, Anderson Towing, said they weren’t accepting tow jobs today. Kay left her number with several companies, then Roy, getting increasingly aggravated, decided they should walk out to the main road in hopes of flagging down a passing snow removal vehicle. I called AAA, where a recorded message informed me of longer than usual wait times and suggested I place a service order on their website for faster response, which I did.
A few minutes later, I received a call from a tow company Kay had called. They had two trucks in the neighborhood, and were willing to come “take a look.” I called Roy and informed him of this, and sure enough, about 5 minutes later, two tow trucks arrived at the top of our drive. Immediately behind them was a large yellow earthmover. Hanging from the cab door was our driver Roy. Following the Cat was a red flatbed tow truck from Anderson Towing. The driver told Roy he had been dispatched by AAA.
Roy compared rates among the three services and went with the Cat, who he had flagged down on Carlisle Rd, just a block from our house. The driver had asked his boss for permission to detour to our house to help Roy out. We sent the other trucks away while the Cat driver produced a chain, which Roy fastened to the tow rig on the front of his truck. Within a few minutes, the stuck truck was free, our driveway was clear of snow, and Roy and Kay were on their way to earn a living from this beautiful blizzard, to finance their wedding in September.
Karma smiled on us today, and gave us a snowstorm to remember. When we call Roy to plow the next snowfall from our drive, we’re confident he’ll remember us!
I awoke this morning and went to the kitchen for my morning juice. My loving wife Kate had been shopping, and I found a new Tropicana variety, a blueberry pomegranate concoction boasting 50% less sugar and calories. My first impression was that the carton seemed smaller than usual. Sure enough, in our local grocery store, a half gallon is now 59 oz. Come on Tropicana, how stupid do you think we are? Answer: apparently stupid enough to fork over the same amount of money for 5 oz. less juice.
Ah well, life is wonderful, be positive, no big deal. Tropicana makes the best juice around. So I poured a glass, eager to wake up my mouth. BLECHH! I’ve had better tasting Kool Aid. My first thought was that this swill was sweetened with some carcinogenic substitute for sugar, thus the “half the sugar, half the calories” moniker. So I retrieved the carton from the refrigerator and checked out the ingredients. Filtered water; not too surprising, that’s kind of what it tastes like. Apple juice concentrate; okay, didn’t they label this Blueberry Pomegranate? And what’s with the concentrate, Tropicana? You’re the guys that make that great orange juice, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE (does that come in a 59 oz. container now too?) Pomegranate juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, blueberry juice concentrate; okay, shouldn’t this be called Pomegranate Grape Blueberry juice from concentrate? But then, who would buy that? Natural flavors; always a pet peeve with me. Which flavors are natural? Malic acid, citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C); fillers attempting to restore the flavor and nutrition you sucked out when you concentrated these wonderful ingredients? Trying to make the filtered water taste more like fruit juice? Then we get to the kicker. Reb A (Purevia brand); This is the “all natural stevia sweetener” that makes this juice taste like toilet water.
I don’t want to live forever, folks. I just want to live well. Give me sugar! Also, give me caffeine, fat, calories (we need them to live, you know.) Stop processing my food so you can take more of my money in return for less value.
But hey, let’s be positive today. The carton can be recycled somewhere (”visit recyclecartons.com to see if recyclable in your area”) the smaller carton uses less packaging than the one we THINK we’re getting, and hey! I can go to Tropicana’s website, give them all my personal information, enter a 10 digit code from every Tropicana product I buy, and…someday….”Redeem your points for incredible savings…and enjoy!” Incredible, yes. But I’m not talking about the savings….
Have a great day.
It’s 3:30am, Kris Kristoffersen is winding down his set on public tv, I just lost a 3 page entry I slaved over for the past hour, and I’m tired. Maybe a blog wasn’t such a good idea. More later when I’m in a better mood.
Oh yeah, and the weather report is calling for 28 inches of snow over the next 2 days.