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Author Topic: Hi, I'm Todd. Welcome to my world . . .  (Read 35035 times)
Rather B.Blown
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« Reply #135 on: January 05, 2014, 01:30:51 AM »

Great story and pictures Todd. We decided to go to Pigeon Forge for Christmas so we could get away from all of the family and be to ourselves. Crazy weather that week. We went up there through the Smokies on the Saturday before Christmas (18th I think). It was 76 degrees the day we went up on Sat. Our Cabin had a hot tub outside with a screened in porch around it. By late Sunday night it was 14 fucking degrees. I left the cover off of the hot tub to cool it off some (it was boiling hot) and the steam coming out of it froze all over the screened in porches and the walls and screens were covered with ice the next morning, lol. 
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Oldcarsarecool
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« Reply #136 on: February 15, 2014, 04:58:25 PM »

Winter pays Athens, GA a visit .  .  .  
February 12 - 13, 2014





I live in the south where what I am used to calling "winter" doesn't make an appearance that often.  Last winter, Athens, Georgia received precisely zero   inches of snow, which is the perfect amount.  The winter before that proceeded in roughly the same manner, as did the winter before that.  As far as I'm concerned, this is the primary benefit to living here in the first place.  

Every so often, Mother Nature takes the opportunity to remind all of us exactly who is in charge.  She is quick to point out a) we can think   we are able to forecast the weather if we want, and b) what we think   is irrelevant anyways.  This means that no matter how I feel about snow, ice, and cold, chances are that I will have to deal with it at some point.  

Our news media loves buzz words and phrases.  This year, we were introduced to the "Polar Vortex," and how it is responsible for all that is undesirable.  Looking beyond the Doomsday reports, however, it has been colder than typical in this part of the country.  Where there is cold air, snow is a possibility.  And on January 29, 2014, the Polar Vortex brought a "Crippling Snow Storm"   to northern Georgia.


 


Oh my, it was terrible !  All the local school districts were closed.  UGA was closed.  Not a loaf of bread or gallon of milk could be found at Kroger.  Life in Athens ground to a halt.  But the trauma was quickly forgotten thanks to several subsequent days in the mid-60s.  

I admit that I am quick to bust the government and news media for thinking of themselves as our nannies and trying to shelter us from everything.  But there is some truth that exists beyond the excessive hype.  Southern states don't have the fleet of snow removal equipment that I am used to seeing in Pennsylvania, (I’m not sure if Athens has any   snow removal equipment at all).  Snow becomes much harder to navigate when you are unable to physically do anything with it in the first place.  And unfortunately, there does exist a segment of the population that should not be allowed to roam the earth unsupervised.  I can see how the idea of taking a one-size-fits-all blanket approach does become necessary at times despite the fact that I don't agree with it.  

I’m happy to report that I survived January’s ”Crippling Snow Storm”   unscathed, and got a day off work in the process.

I spent some time on Sunday February 9 riding around with the roof down in the sunshine and low 60s.  And all was happy and wonderful until the words “Winter Storm Warning” caught my attention.  The end of the world was on the horizon once again, this time in the form of “sleet and freezing rain” on Tuesday, followed by a full-blown “ice storm” on Wednesday.  So great were the warnings from the radio and television that Georgia decided to take the proactive   approach and declare a State of Emergency on Tuesday February 11.  

School districts, UGA, and just about everything that requires human interaction to operate were all closed.  Shop Foreman Brent called me around 11 AM.  “We’re shutting down early,” he told me.  “There’s no point in you coming in.”  Awesome !  I can do this.  Later that night, I got the email saying UGA would be closed on Wednesday February 12, and that a decision regarding Thursday February 13 would be forthcoming.  

I awoke Wednesday morning to find to conditions much worse than had been seen in this area in a long while.  Knowing that we had closed early the day before, I decided to head into work earlier today.  I am, after all, part of the Inclement Weather Crew, the exact definition of which is conspicuous by its absence.  

I began my 10 minute journey to work knowing that the weather may turn my commute into 15-or-so minutes.  The hardest part of the trip was getting out of my neighborhood.  Despite the lack of any snow removal equipment, travel became easier once out on the main roads.  Gaines School Road is one of the primary roadways in this part of town.    





This is how everything looked.  The roads were covered, but not slippery at all, (unless you do something stupid, something that Athens has plenty of, unfortunately).





I followed Gaines School Road until I got to Kroger, then turned right onto College Station Road.





College Station Road is the primary route to and from the heart of campus from this side of town.  Travelers on this two mile stretch pass some of the outlying facilities on the way to campus.  Crop and Soil Sciences is on the left in the photo above.  Next to that will soon be the new Veterinary Medical Learning Center (the construction fences can be seen on the left in the photo below).  UGA’s Vet Med School is one of the best in the nation.





One of the Poultry Science labs sits next to the Vet Med complex.





Further down the road are a couple of residential neighborhoods and a few more outlying facilities.





My shop sits about ¼ mile from the edge of campus.  I arrived to find the gate locked and no cars in the parking lot.  That which was defined as “closing early” the day before had morphed into “not open at all” today.  I had to laugh.  This is no big deal.  The roads are covered, but are by no means “bad.”  I’ve got plenty of traction with the added benefit of having the roadway all to myself.  Travel to work during the State of Emergency was an extremely underwhelming experience.  I expected the travel from work to proceed in the same manner.  However .  .  .





I’m not sure which of these two knuckleheads is worse  -  the guy riding the bicycle during the ice storm, or the person in the Porsche Cayenne who stopped   in the middle of a bridge that sits at the bottom of a downhill blind curve to give the bicyclist a ride.  Porsche drivers, I tell ya’ .  .  .  





Thursday morning February 13 arrived with the news of UGA being closed once again.  Instead of sleet and freezing rain, today I was greeted with partial sunshine and upper 40s.  





In total, Athens received about 2 inches of heavy packed sleet.  





Everything looks covered.  But I could tell walking out to the car that traction would not be an issue.





Well, I am on the “Inclement Weather Crew,” am I not ?  I better get going into work.  





You can tell from the above photo that, once again, getting out of my neighborhood was going to be the hardest part of the trip.  The mature trees kept the sun from melting the sleet.





Conditions were vastly improved out on the main roads.





I am traveling on Whit Davis Road in the photos above and below.  





I made a right turn onto Cedar Shoals Road.  Whit Davis above runs east/west, meaning the rising sun will hit the road steadier than on a north/south road like Cedar Shoals.  Conditions confirmed this.





The intersection at Gaines School Road was empty.  





Well, almost   empty.





Evel Knievel wasn’t having the best of luck today.  If he could have stayed out of the show, he may have been able to make some progress.  This is difficult when the snow happens to be everywhere.





I made my way past Kroger and turned right onto College Station Road.  





The Richard B. Russell Ag Center is off to the left is the photo below.





The College of Education’s River’s Crossing building is just ahead of me to the left in the photo below.  I’m about ¼ mile from my shop at this point.





Today’s Inclement Weather Crew consisted of myself, my neighbor tech Phil, Shop Foreman Brent, and fuel island attendant Terry.





I brought one of my snow shovels with me today.  My first words to Brent were, “Now, I realize that you Georgia boys may not know what this is.”  Despite being from Georgia, fuel island attendant Terry operated the snow shovel pretty well in the area in front of the door.  





The Botany Greenhouses across the parking lot dropped off one of their tractors for servicing last week, which Phil immediately commandeered.





The bucket on the front and blade on the back were about to get put to the test.





This turned out to be a great idea.  Notice in the photo below that you can tell where the sun had been shining the most.  The blade dug clear down to the pavement.





Phil decided to hit the sunny side of the building first.  I would clear the doorways with the shovel and he would plow everything toward the center of the lot.





The storm drains are located in the center of the parking lot.  The idea was to dump the snow there and let the sun work its magic.  





It’s amazing what even a small amount of sunlight can do when the temperatures moderate.





With the Rental Department side of the building clear, Phil headed to our side and used the same procedure.  





Plow everything into the center of the lot where the drains are located and let the sun take over from there.  





Brent got the word from higher up that we were going to close around 2 PM.  The couple hours of effort paid off.  We got the parking lot cleared and headed home.  After a few hours, the difference in the condition of the roads was also quite noticeable.  The photo below is of College Station Road headed away from campus.


 


No knuckleheads stopped on the bridge today !  





The bicyclist probably would not have needed a ride anyways.





College Station Road had improved from this at 10:30 AM .  .  .





.  .  . to this at 2 PM .  .  .





And with that, the State of Emergency was over.





If this is what is defined as “winter” in this part of the country, I’m ok with that.  The storm that hit us made it to Pennsylvania overnight Thursday into Friday.  My brother sent me a picture of his back yard .  .  .





He can keep it .  .  .
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 12:48:30 PM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #137 on: February 20, 2014, 12:36:12 AM »

You fared a bit better than I did up here in the north end of the state. We got a little dusting in that episode around Jan 29th, but it had been super cold and it all stuck instantly and turned the roads into an ice rink. Really dry powdery snow, but that thin layer was brutal for traction. This is what I got out of that....



It was about 17 degrees when it snowed that, which is unusual down here. You normally don't see it snow when its that cold in the South. Later that night the bottom fell out and it got down into single digits. Only got up to 15 the next day, and the next night it got down to 4 below zero, coldest temp I've ever seen here at the house. It was brutal. Didn't get above freezing for 4 days straight.

However, you REALLY fared better than me on the Feb 12th storm. They were wishy washy about it here for days leading up to it, saying the worst would be down around your area. They were going back and forth between 1/2 inch at one newscast to up to 4 inches the next then back to an inch or so.

Well Tues the 11th it snowed about a 2 inches and quickly melted. Then Wed the 12 it snowed about another 2-3 inches early in the morning and then changed to sleet and then rain which melted most of that. About 5 o'clock that evening it changed back to snow. Big snow. Heavy, wet flakes the size of half dollars and coming down hard!!







And it just kept going, it would slack off and you'd think it was about finished and then it would come back full bore. They were a little more prepared this time and I heard a plow come by about 10 or so that night. I decided to walk back down to the road to see how it looked. By that time it was already covering the road back up it was coming down so fast.

Couldn't see shit so I had to use my flashlight to try and take a pic, lol.






And it just kept going. I thought it was done until about 3 am when one of my HVAC units started making a hell of a racket. I went out to investigate and it had started snowing again. The stuff was piling up on the unit, melting, then when the water dripped down into the top it was freezing up and stopping the fan blade when it kicked on. I was out there with a flashlight and a spatula cursing in the snow at 3 am trying to knock all the ice loose. 

I finally went to bed only to be awakened just after daylight to an eerie silence in the house. Yep, the freakin' power was out. I'd heard trees cracking in the woods over night so I should have known it was only a matter of time.

Got up to have a look-see and was stunned. The sun was out and the sky was about as blue as I've ever seen it. The 1/2 or 2 inches they were predicting had turned into 10 inches of wet sticky snow that clung to everything, trees were down everywhere in the woods, across the road, across power lines, etc. and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Only the sounds of limbs cracking and big piles of snow falling from tree tops.

It was beautiful, but I would have preferred having power and not freezing my arse off.  Since there was nothing else to do, I walked around the yard and took a few pics.














Of course that was exactly a week ago, and today it was 72 degrees, 74 tomorrow, and they're calling for severe thunderstorms with a risk of damaging winds, large hail and scattered tornadoes. Gotta love the weather in the South, lol. If you're not happy with the weather down here, just wait a few hours and it will change. 





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« Reply #138 on: February 22, 2014, 12:09:49 AM »

Great pics Lee !  As much as I hate snow/ice/cold, I do have to admit that it is beautiful to look at in the right setting.  Your yard is the perfect example.  I would speculate that you are somewhat higher in elevation than I am ?

During the week, I encountered what you described  -  snow for a few days followed by temps in the upper 60s/low 70s, (we had 77 degrees on Thursday !).  

The picture I posted from my brother with all the snow on his porch was from Friday morning (Feb 13).  I sent him an email on Saturday morning asking him how things were.  He said that he got 4 more inches Friday into Saturday, for a total of around 16 inches .  .  .
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 12:12:29 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #139 on: February 22, 2014, 12:54:47 AM »

Great pics Lee !  As much as I hate snow/ice/cold, I do have to admit that it is beautiful to look at in the right setting.  Your yard is the perfect example.  I would speculate that you are somewhat higher in elevation than I am ?


Oh yeah, at least 3 times the elevation of Athens. We've had some brutal snows in the past, things that most people do not realize happen in the South. You may remember the blizzard of '93 even when you were up north, it was called the storm of the century. It was basically a hurricane that met an arctic cold front. Even Florida had several inches of snow, along with tornadoes. We got 3 feet of snow here at the house in less than 18 hrs along with lightning strikes and gale force winds, which decimated us considering we are not prepared for stuff like that, especially back then. We didn't have power or water (everyone has a well) for weeks after that clusterfuck. Even the National Guard couldn't help us. I was with a group of them trying to get insulin to elderly people and their Humvees were getting stuck, high sided with the snow packed up under them.

I had a lifted Bronco, tried to leave the house but the winds had gotten over 50 mph and temps dropped near zero as the snow tapered off. I tried to leave the house in the Bronco with chains, made it about 100 yards and snow was packed up to the hood in drifts and stopped it dead in its tracks. Had to shovel it out just to get it back in the yard in reverse.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 01:18:05 AM by Rather B.Blown » Logged



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« Reply #140 on: February 22, 2014, 01:01:46 AM »

As for this last snow, the pics are deceiving as to how big the trees are and how much snow there was.

Look for the power lines in the middle of the pic on this one...

 

And look closely at the right side of this one. The trees may look small, but notice on the right hand side, that is my power pole with a transformer on it that is feeding my house.





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« Reply #141 on: June 18, 2014, 01:31:15 AM »

A sad day .  .  .  
June 16, 2014





Not too long after we moved to Georgia, my ex-wife and I rescued two older cats in need of "staff."  Opa and Topaz looked at our resumes and qualifications and decided we would be "acceptable," and began our training and orientation immediately thereafter.  




We knew when we rescued them that we were taking our chances with regard to any health issues that may be present, as this information was not available.  Opa's health was suspect from the beginning, and he died a couple of years later.  

Aside from a minor hiccup here and there, Topaz was actually quite healthy.  She did really well until this past weekend.  Long story short, I discovered on Sunday that she was unable to stand without staggering and collapsing.  A trip to the vet's office confirmed the worst - a tumor.

RIP Topaz .  .  .


« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 01:19:49 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #142 on: June 18, 2014, 02:24:14 AM »

Very sorry to hear that Todd. They both look like cool cats and I'm sure you gave them both the best life possible.
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« Reply #143 on: June 18, 2014, 02:32:32 AM »

I'm sorry to hear that, but it is good and I am glad you and your wife were able to make her last years way better than what they could have been.
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« Reply #144 on: June 18, 2014, 09:40:36 AM »

It is sad to lose a pet.  My mother recently lost her 16 year old Silkie (big Yorkie), named Dixie.  We got her a beautiful white and golden haired tabby cat named, Boo.  That cat is so cute to watch and play with.
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« Reply #145 on: June 20, 2014, 01:21:47 AM »

Thanks guys.  I appreciate the words of sympathy.  That was our goal all along - to give them the best life we could.  It feels strange coming home to a completely empty house now .  .  .
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« Reply #146 on: July 19, 2014, 09:32:30 PM »

Mother Nature puts on a show .  .  .
July 11, 2014





Mother Nature decided to put on a great light show while I was at work .  .  .


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyAo4_QMvOI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyAo4_QMvOI</a>


The best part about this was that it was still light outside, which made it easier for the camera to focus on something .  .  .
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 12:46:48 AM by Oldcarsarecool » Logged

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« Reply #147 on: September 03, 2014, 01:16:33 AM »

The evening sky .  .  .
September 2, 2014





As I was leaving the Hibachi Grill after dinner, I couldn't help but notice the awesome looking sky.





The angle of the setting sun made for some great cloud formations and colors.





I'm sure we could all put our active imaginations to work to figure out what we "see" here .  .  .


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