Snow… continued… again

After yesterday’s slightly-more-than-a-dusting it looks like we’re going to get some real snow tomorrow. Here’s what weather.com has for Methuen, MA:

They also have a local weather alert that has some fun info:

SNOWFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR ARE LIKELY FROM MID FRIDAY AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING. ROADS DURING THE FRIDAY LATE DAY/EVENING COMMUTE WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND TREACHEROUS.

and

IT LOOKS AS THOUGH MOST OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND WILL RECEIVE 6 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOWFALL BY MIDNIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT.

In the past my company has been pretty good about kicking everyone out of the office early when the weather is going to be bad. Last year that backfired in a huge way during one early season storm. My one hour drive between Framingham and Tewksbury took… took… was it four hours or six hours… I can’t remember. Every business in the state let their people out early and they all hit the terrible roads at the same time. I was okay until the battery on my iPod died. I switched to Christmas music on the radio in an attempt to keep my spirits up, but almost as soon as I did that my windshield wipers started to freeze. I’m sure the drained battery on the iPod had nothing to do with the wipers, but you never know.

People around here are already asking their supervisors if they can leave early tomorrow or if they can cancel meetings just in case they have to leave early. We’ve been told not to ask to work from home because if one group lets their people do it everyone in every other groups is going to want to do it and our system can’t handle 2,000+ remote connections. It’d be nice, but it isn’t going to happen.

So we’ll all go to work in the morning. Maybe the bright side will be that so many morning commuters will be scared off by the afternoon forecast that there won’t be any traffic. That’d be nice. Hopefully everyone will just remember that they are New Englanders and New Englanders should know how to handle a little snow.

Still… I hope Jen’s boss lets her telecommute tomorrow. I don’t mind being stuck in the snow traffic, but I’d hate for it to happen to her.

………

Update – 5:02pm
Five minutes after posting this one of the other supervisors in my group asked me if I could telecommute tomorrow. Snow/traffic problem solved!

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Traffic Blues Again

You know it’s going to be a bad commute when you see this before you even get onto the highway.

To make it even worse, that is a picture of the third fire engine to pass me on the on ramp. Urgh.

There was an accident at the 110/113 rotary. I take that exit going home, but it’s tied up so bad in the morning I actually get on one exit to the north and drive past it. Seems like a bad move today.

I tried to get a picture of the accident, it was a car badly smashed up in the left lane, but there were these two firemen standing next to the wreck and I felt like a schmuck lining up the camera… so I tried a quickie out the side window as I passed. You’d think by now I’d know better than to do that.

Kinda looks like modern art, doesn’t it?

More snow tomorrow. Yippee.

Snow

This morning, a few minutes after 7:00am, I told my fiancĂ© that I actually love it when it snows. I just happen to love it when it doesn’t snow 1000000000 times more.

There wasn’t a lot of snow. Maybe an inch. Maybe a little more than that. It was coming down hard enough as we were leaving for work that we had to re-brush off the car windows after we finished brushing off the car.

We got a little good news while we were in the driveway. Our next door neighbor reiterated something he said to me back in April when we moved in. He told me that our landlord hired him to shovel out our driveway. This morning he asked if both of our cars were going to be out so that he could shovel everything. I didn’t doubt that he’d said it to me, but eight months is a long time and I was a little nervous that maybe the arrangement might have changed. It hasn’t. That’s good.

I had taken our one shovel out of the house just in case we needed it this morning though… and proceeded to leave it leaning against the front of the house. Whoops.

The commute started out slow. Methuen hadn’t gotten around to plowing yet so the roads were a little slippery getting to route 93. Unfortunately, Massachusetts hadn’t gotten around to plowing route 93 either so that was pretty slow. I would guess it averaged about 30-35 miles per hour at first.

Once I reached the 495 in one mile sign though the right lane stopped. The merge onto route 495 took me 25 minutes. The cause was an accident on 495. A car went off the road to the left about half a mile South of the 93 junction. There were a couple of cops, and that plus the snow makes a huge curiosity delay.

The situation on my exit ramp was made much worse by the stream of douchebags who decided to avoid the right lane back up by taking the exit from the second lane. If all those pricks had just done things correctly it probably would have been over and done with in 10 minutes instead of 25. I hate stupid people.

At least I wasn’t alone in the traffic jam. There was a kindred soul in front of me. See if you can make out the license plate on this car (click to enlarge). I wonder if I know him/her?

Once I was past the accident on 495 South the going was okay again. Back in the 30-35 mph range. I got off at exit 37 in Tewksbury and the going was a little slippery. Like Methuen and both interstates, there was no evidence of any plows having plowed anywhere. I crossed into Billerica and nothing changed. I saw a Lowell Transit bus spin out pretty bad while taking a left turn out of the North Billerica MBTA station.

I also saw an schmuck driving the wrong way on a one way street near the Billerica House of Correction. What is it about a dusting of snow that makes people act as if all the rules of the road are off? I hate stupid people.

Everything was okay from there with the exception of a backed up stop light in Concord that took nine minutes or so to get through. Bedford and Concord had plowed already, but Lincoln, and Wayland hadn’t. It was raining by the time I reached Framingham so it’s hard to tell if they plowed or not. It was just slushy and wet everywhere.

There was one other interesting moment. I was tooling along in Wayland on a little short-cut-side-street and I saw a deer. A Buck with antlers and everything. Pretty cool. I didn’t notice a red nose, so I am assuming it wasn’t Rudolph, but was just a run of the mill wild deer. I came close to getting a picture, but he ran off just before I could snap it.

Friday the forecast is for six inches of snow. Like I said before, I love it when it snows… I just love it when it doesn’t snow a whole ton more.

Gasoline Smells Bad

On Friday I had to drive to a gas station and fill up a 5 gallon tank to put into Mike’s generator. My car’s trunk is full of stuff so there was no room to keep the tank there. I had to put it in the front with me.

The fumes started getting to me before I even found a station that was open so I opened all my windows. That helped quite a bit.

Early on Saturday I had to go out again and refill the container. Unfortunately my windows were all frozen shut. My car began to smell of gasoline fumes as I drove down route 28 looking for an open station. It wasn’t until after I was on my way back to Mike’s that I was able to get a window open. I was afraid my car was going to reek like that forever so I left the window open all morning. When we left the house about three hours later the gasoline smell was gone. Bullet Dodged.

While Christmas shopping on Saturday afternoon I did something I have never done before. I went into a Yankee Candle store, braved the ridiculously long lines, and bought one of those silly little car air freshener smelly things. Christmas Cookie scented. I was paranoid about the smell of gas. Now the interior of my car smells of Christmas Cookies. Every time I reach my destination I am STARVING.

This morning it came in handy. I was driving on route 126 in Wayland and some one was leaking gas. Lots of it. There was a streak of spilled gas on the Westbound lane that ran for at least half a mile. The smell was overpowering. When it ended I was very thankful for my stupid little Christmas Cookie thingie. It helped a lot. Until, that is, after about a mile of clean road there was another gasoline spill in the lane that lasted for another half mile or so.

So some one spilled a ton of gas onto the road, it stopped on it’s own, and then after a while started again. Huh? Did the driver of the spilling tank car notice it, turn off his/her engine, coast as long as he/she could, and then start up the motor again?

Regardless of the circumstances, the gas reeked to high heaven. Glad I had that cookie thing.