Twitter and Facebook have been blowing up this week with people posting pictures of forecasts and temperature displays, as well as pictures and videos of the weather outside and all the cool, unexpected, and bizarre phenomena brought on by the extreme cold. I'm not going to join them in the pics/videos department, but I guess I'm going to write about it. It sure is cold.
"How cold is it?"
Well, let me tell you--I've had two straight days off work...and I work at home. Right now my weather app informs me that it's 6°, -8° with the wind chill, and that represents a significant increase from what it was yesterday and earlier today, when wind chills dropped below -30°. That's pretty fuckin cold, not to put too fine a point on it. Now, I had every intention of working yesterday, but the office was closed; at some point over the weekend my PC in the office lost power, and there was no one in the building to turn it on for me. I connect to that PC remotely to do the overwhelming majority of my work, and without it I had nothing to do. Even if I had been able to work yesterday, I wouldn't have today, because I would have caught up on everything with nothing new coming in.
The company I work for is in the Toledo area, which was hit even harder by this "polar vortex" than we were here in Troy, about 120 miles south. They were hit with a bunch of snow on Sunday night (the totals I've seen seem to be in the 7-10" range), which we were supposed to get, but which (for the most part) didn't happen here because of much higher temperatures than expected (i.e. we got rain instead). At any rate, the resulting wind and cold have made it nearly impossible to clear the roads in that area; hence, the two-day company closure. I fully expect we'll be back up and running tomorrow, but we'll see.
If it's anything like it is here (and I imagine it's not like it, it's worse), travel is definitely no picnic. Brandi reported yesterday that the interstates were in pretty good shape, at least between here and Columbus (which is east, not north). When I went to the gym around 11:00 this morning, though, I found that the surface streets are still pretty well sheeted with ice here in Troy. I expected it in our neighborhood, which sees little traffic, but I expected Main Street to be in much better shape. I've found the Neon to handle pretty well in snow and ice, especially for such a small car, but today was a slip-and-slide fest until I got a feel for just how bad the streets were.
I'm supposed to travel to Toledo on Thursday and Friday this week for our monthly catalog deadline, so that should be interesting. On the bright side, it's supposed to be significantly warmer by then--we may even rise above freezing! Of course, I also see that the forecast for those days calls for snow and rain, which would mean ice on the roads at the times I'm driving. So, we'll see how it goes--I ended up cutting my trip short last month due to impending snow, and at this point I wouldn't be surprised to see deadline postponed by a day or two to make up for the two days we've lost (that would be unprecedented in my 9+ years with the company, but then, so is a weather-related closure, let alone for two days).
But hey, it's only 37 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Better days are on the horizon!