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Another Portland Blog

Monday, January 17, 2005

 

Lessons the ice storm taught me

- You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may ask yourself, how did I get here?

- You may also find yourself in a poorly-insulated house with no power, surrounded by a city covered in ice. Under those circumstances you may ask yourself, "Goddammit, why can't Lake Oswego go without power today?"

- Heading outside on a day like this is a terrible, terrible idea- an even worse idea that sitting around a drafty house with no heat.

- Never trust a Tri-Met driver dressed in shorts on the coldest day of the year. You'll find yourself traveling no less than 45 minutes out of your way and trapped in downtown Portland.




- The minute inclement weather hits, at least one section of MAX will stop running. No matter how many times the city of Portland confirms it will withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it, and that they've learned their lesson after last winter's debacle, at least one section of the MAX will stop running.

- No matter what shoes you wear, no matter how slowly you walk, heading up a 30 degree sidewalk incline covered in ice is a terrible, terrible idea. You will slip. You will fall on your back like Joe Pesci in Home Alone. Meanwhile, the middle-aged woman carrying a sack of groceries will have no problem. The teenager wearing Nikes with no treads? He'll be jogging up the hill as you slide down it. There is no getting around this. This is an inevitability.





- Riding a sled with a box of kitty litter tucked between your legs after a family member gets his car stuck at the bottom of a street is a lot of fun. Realizing they've abandoned the vehicle to walk home through the neighbor's yard, missing your daring rescue altogether? Not so fun. Losing control of both the litter and the sled? Fun. Slamming into a patch of English ivy, somehow avoiding serious injury? Also fun.

[FYI: Using kitty litter for tire traction is one of those handy household tips you never hear about]

- Everyone hates ice storms. As for The Ice Storm, everyone hates that too...except for movie critics, Christina Ricci fetishists and creative writing majors.

- It's high time I bought a gas-powered generator. If the neighbors can't handle the noise or the exhaust fumes, that's their problem. On Saturday it took me three hours to get from my freezing cold house to my parent's place and their 28-inch television.

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