You Know You're in Houston

Thursday, December 11, 2008

When snowfall makes the news!

Yesterday evening, as I was heading home from work, I got to witness something I've seen only two other times in my soon-to-end fifteen years in Houston: snow! (Read the news story while you can: The Chronicle likes to yank 'em off the web within a day or so. But I do see this made news in Chicago, too.)

Wednesday's brush with winter left some Houstonians less enamored with the snowfall, including those stuck in delays of up to three hours at local airports. Drivers unaccustomed to snow encountered difficulties on the roadways, and even getting into their cars.

Paul Ramirez spent several minutes digging through his truck Wednesday evening outside the Fry's electronics store on West Road, trying to find something he could use to scrape the ice and snow from the windshield of his truck.

"It's really coming down," said Ramirez, 33, as he tried dragging a large envelope across his window. "This is crazy. It's Houston -- we shouldn't need to keep ice scrapers in our cars." [bold added]
Chortle! I don't know about Paul, but where I come from, windshield wipers are sufficient for trivial amounts of snow like what I found on my car. (It was less than half an inch at its thickest.) That said, I do own a scraper, it's in my car, and I know how to use it!


Realizing I had a camera in my computer case, I whipped it out to snap a few pictures along the way to dinner.

My heat's out, and so I'd already decided to have dinner in a restaurant, in order to enjoy a warm place that wasn't work. The above shot (click to enlarge), taken from the lot of the 59 Diner, is as close as I could get to capturing the moment. You can see snowflakes falling and a palm tree in the background at the same time. Reminds me a little of a similar shot I took in Nafplion, Greece back in 1987, but have long since lost. That's too bad, because then, it was daylight, the snowfall was intense, and there was a small fortress on a hill behind the palm tree.

Inside the diner, everybody was all atwitter about the snow almost to the point of there being a festive atmosphere. All in all, it was a very pleasant change of pace.

But the heat's still out here in the house! My wife, in Boston, is warm, and I'm ... not! How screwy is that? On the bright side, I got to see what one of the sleeping bags we bought for camping, but hadn't used yet, could do. They're rated for temperatures down to 30 degrees, so I slept in one of those. Not too bad! All the same, I'm still looking forward to the heater repairs being finished today!

Hmmm. Maybe I should have titled this post, "Winter in Camp Houston"!

-- CAV

9 comments:

Richard said...

Clearly the diabolic result of global warming. Or cooling... I forget which one is in vogue this decade.

Gus Van Horn said...

Climate change.

And when anything changes, you know we need the government to step in to save us!

Luckily, when you're a statist, you already have the answer to everything!

Harold said...

Climate change.

And when anything changes, you know we need the government to step in to save us!

Luckily, when you're a statist, you already have the answer to everything!

Exactly. It was snowing here in New Orleans, too.

Gus Van Horn said...

Didn't know you're from New Orleans, Harold! My wife, who lived all over the place growing up, went to high school there and considers it her home town. The in-laws have a place there, too.

I any event, I did see a picture of a green streetcar with snow falling in front of it on the Drudge Report today, and saw on the local news here that a county east of here actually got 6 inches.

Matt said...

The snow was great. I haven't seen snow in six years or so. We had ourselves a pitiful little snowball fight.

I was in House of Pies with a good book when it started coming down. One of the waitresses almost lost her mind

Harold said...

Didn't know you're from New Orleans, Harold! My wife, who lived all over the place growing up, went to high school there and considers it her home town. The in-laws have a place there, too.

Cool.

Well, I'm not from here, but I work as an analyst and that involves traveling around. I'm stationed in the NO area for a few months.

Gus Van Horn said...

Matt,

You said it! It was funny how excited people got over the snow, myself included.

Harold,

I see. Well, enjoy your stay in the Big Easy. That place is still recovering from Katrina, but the older parts of town near the River are fine.

Gus

Jim May said...

It's like that in Vegas when it rains. Coming from a temperate zone as I did, where rain is usually a drag, I gained a new appreciation for it when it happened in Vegas, unleashing a plethora of smells I didn't know I'd been missing. The one part of your body that finds the least employment in the desert, is one's nose.

Gus Van Horn said...

That would give "rain smell" a whole new meaning, and reminds me of an odd smell peculiar to Houston.

On certain days in the spring/early summer, there will be a trace of an almost coffee-like odor in the air. I'm pretty sure it's oak pollen, but I never noticed it until Houston.