Backing Up Is Hard To Do

15 02 2007

I was unable to go to work yesterday, I was forced to concede defeat to the Nor’easter that dumped a couple feet on snow on the area.  Damn, I was forced, forced, to stay home and watch The Departed.

Today I woke to clear blue skies and knew their would be no staying home from work today.  Right?

Unlike the previous day, everything was plowed this morning.  All I had to do was back out of my parking space.  Turns out, backing out my parking space was going to be as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Plow.

The plowing had created a wall of well-packed snow behind my car, which was deep enough on it own.  I started backing my car out of the space but only got so far before the tires starting spinning fruitlessly.  I spent a while rocking forward and back, forward and back, occasionally stepping out to dig out snow from under the car and tires.  I spent at least twenty minutes in this fashion and managed to back out only three feet or so.  I was also moving steadily sideways to the right where there were concrete parking dividers and then a lovely and inviting hill.  I was beginning to wonder if yet again I was going to be unable to make it to work when a couple of Alfred University Physical Plant crew happened to be driving by.  They stopped and helped push the car as I attempted to back out.  Together we made another foot of progress until the car reached a state of apparent equilibrium.  There was no forward, no back, no movement save the spinning of my tires.  No amount of help was budging my car.

The helpful Physical Plant called for backup and in a minute another gentleman arrived.  He joined the pushing-crew, but to no avail, the car was well-rooted.  They called for additional backup and left briefly while help made its way to me.  On my own I managed to rock the car back another couple inches.  After a few minutes of trying, everyone was back with three new men and two new trucks.  Together, all SIX men helped push my car.  I tried moving forward and back, but still, the car was simply stuck.  Since it was clear that pushing was useless, eventually one of the plow drivers backed up his truck to my bumper and hooked a chain to the back of my car and pulled me out.  Even that wasn’t doing much at first.  In the end, it took a total of 45 minutes to get me out of my parking space, but I was free free free.  Free to go to work, but that was the goal after all.

The ride to work was thankfully uneventful.  The drive to work looked less like I was driving on roads and more like I was riding a path carved out of the wilderness.  It was all snow, the black of the asphalt could not be seen through the well-packed layer of snow on top.  It looked like driving through a canyon, not that the walls of snow were that deep on the sides of the road, but that was the impression.  I was surprised that despite how snowy the roads looked, the car didn’t slip at all.  I arrived at work an hour late, soaked through from digging out of my parking space.

Viva winter!


Back Door Man

16 01 2007

I leave the building to go to work this morning and head towards my car.  It’s clear, but cold and wintry.  At least it isn’t the ice storm from the previous day.


I go to unlock the car, but the lock is frozen over.  I push the key into break through the ice and it goes in about a quarter inch.  I jiggle the key, I push in on it but I just can’t get the key in.  I suppose for some people, this might no be a problem.  Just go around and try the lock on the passenger door, right?  Ah, but my Nissan Altima doesn’t have a passenger side lock.  It only has one and it’s got ice jammed in it.  I’d love to use my keyless entry but I broke the remotes quite awhile ago. 

I’m standing outside in the cold wondering If I’m going to be able to go to work today.  But then I thought, “A-ha!  The rear seats flip down, maybe I can get through there!”  I open the trunk and check, but there is no trunk-side connection to the latch to flip down the seats that I can see.  I try the lock again, but after a quarter inch, it feels quite solid.  So I go back to the trunk to take a closer look at the seat just to make sure.  Fortunately, whenever I used it last, I wasn’t careful to make sure it was latched again and it folded right down when I pushed it. 

Nothing quite like getting into your car through the trunk.  But don’t worry, at the end of all that frustration, I got to go work…

Hello, is thing on?

11 01 2007

I took eleven days off from work to visit family for the holidays.  During that time, I think the pilot light from my brain went out.

 And I can’t get it lit.

It’s fine at home, the TV is there if my brain doesn’t want to do anything.  At work, however, it’s becoming a source of frustration.  I receive projects to work on, and I can’t come up with anything.  I’m being paid for my time there and have to do something.  But what do you do when you’ve got a whole lot of niente?  My job requires an idea first and foremost to get started with anything.  Nothing comes, or quite possibly the wrong thing.

Me:  Okay, Brain, what are we going to do with this project?

Brain:  Do we really have to do this?  I’m just not that into it right now?

Me:  C’mon, let’s start with something simple.  What about the color?

Brain:  I like cheese.

Me:  Mmm, cheese…

 Work gets rather frustrating when you’re constantly trying to force things out.  Of course, it’s also quite possible that since I find my job completely uninspring, time away simply strips away whatever artificial motivation I’ve been up and it just takes time to rebuild. 

My brain is tired now from thinking about this.