Thursday, March 01, 2007

Shovel or freeze?

So I noticed that St. John's is apparently bracing for more ugly weather this weekend. Probably more snow. Probably more than 20 cm, which ought to fill the residents of the fair capital city with the joy. I'm sure everyone will handle it with the typical calm and grace that St. John's residents are well known for.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a proud, unabashed townie. But by god we can whine about snow clearing like nobody's business. Every goddamn year I read the same stories about snow clearing.

Anyway, we've been going through our own streak up here. It's been a solid week or more of temperatures around -40 or colder with windchill. The temperature itself hasn't been too bad, around -20 or so, which is doable. But when you throw in winds around 50 km/h for most of that time, it's pretty bitter stuff. The poor dog got his first walk in a week today when the winds died down. He can handle the cold better than I thought, but -40 is a bit too much for him. And, quite frankly, it's not the nicest walking weather either.

This is a long way of getting to a question. Feel free to answer in the comment section. Which would you prefer - a week of several blizzards and having to dig out from that, or a week of temperatures -40 or colder with high winds?

I've done both now. I spent a couple of winters on Bond Street in in downtown St. John's. I've shovelled my share of snow, nearly killed neighbours and cursed on cars. I can safely say that I'll take the -40 any day or the week. I think I've shovelled snow for a grand total of 10 minutes this winter.

The nice thing about -40? No snow falls because it's too cold.

So...shovel or freeze. Choose.


Brian said...

Freeze wins hands down. As long as you have a good wall of snow around your house that is.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the freeze any time. I'm so tired of shovelling snow. Not sure how much more my back can take.

Vicky said...

Shovel any day of the week. I hated the -40 days in Fredericton. Having frozen nosehairs and losing all sensation in any piece of exposed skin within seconds is less pleasant than imagination would have it be.

Tina Chaulk said...

Craig, there was an editorial read on the radio here this week. It was from a newspaper in the late 1800s in St. John's. The editorial was a complaint about the bad state of snow clearing and how hard it was for pedestrians to get around what with the carriages taking up all the roads. Things never change.

Anonymous said...


No contest. And I don't even shovel our snow, Hubby does it.


Kirsten said...

I haven't done the -40, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer the question. But I'm inclined to go with shovel, because I hate the idea of the painfulness of bitingly cold weather and how it's hard to breathe and everything. At least with snow you can stand to be outside.

Of course, if you factor in the months and months of no sidewalks, constantly chipping away at the ice on your windshield, and the dark sludge in spring when the snowbanks melt and all that's left is the dirt and exhaust that's been piling up on them.... I might have to try out that -40.

Any wonder why I live in Vancouver? We had about 1 cm of snow yesterday and it was melted by the evening.

Jason said...

I take neither, I'll deal with mild sandstorms every once and a while.

dups said...

Odd as it may sound from a Sri Lankan, tropical boy trapped in the prairies, I like the super freeze (I've been complaining that winter should stay below -5 the entire bloody time rather than tease us with these warm spells). I love the snow too, but for sheer walking pleasure, I can walk farther and longer in -30. In fact I go running in -20, but I couldn't go running in -5 in SJ because of the salt bite in the air.

But hey, maybe I'm just, oh, I don't know, insane.


towniebastard said...

Well, I look forward to most of you moving to Iqaluit in the near future. Hell, it was nice today. Only -16 today. Lovely weather. And no shovelling....

colette said...

Freeze! As long as it's a dry cold, that's fine. You can always dress for the weather (or just stay the hell indoors).

Dear God I hate shovelling. And Stephenville hasn't even had a good honest snowstorm--just those bloody snow squalls which dump 10 cm everytime your back is turned.

But above all of the other choices, I will agree with Jason and prefer duststorms above all. Himself is in the Middle East again for the third time since Christmas, I can't wait for my next trip over and we're preparing to go ex-pat to sun, sand, and the wonder that is the Dubai Shopping Festival when I finish up my current gig.