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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

In the old days, Ottawa used to get much more snow than today. I used to shovel driveways for after-school income (football great Bobby Smpson was one of my best customers) and there was never a lack of work. I lived first in the Glebe, then Alta Vista, and we had ditches back then - the road grader plowing the snow would, without fail, land up in the ditch unable to get out. We moved to Nepean in 1959, and, although our house was in the middle of a block with a very straight road (and ditches on both sides), the snowplow nevertheless managed to land halfway up the hill in front of our house. I think we were cursed. [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]


Have not come across a snowplow in the ditch, but had to recover my mailbox several times from the ditch after the snowplow 'plowed' it.

I live on the border between two counties and when the snowplows come scraping by early in the morning, with their blue blinking lights reflecting on the bedroom walls, then winter has been here during the night.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

One of the things I don't like about winter is the inevitable 'cabin fever' when the weather starts to get really oppressive.


I am waiting for the freeze so I can play hockey and skate outdoors. Seems to me that in my youth this area of the country (Ottawa-Montreal) was snow and ice covered this time of year. Granted next week I will be in Vancouver. I went to the Christmas CBC Montreal sing-in yesterday which is an amazing event. Made it feel seasonal.


-25C and still dropping!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

-27C and windchill of -38C; windchill will be -43 for the next two days, then temps go up, and then the snow falls. Typically brutal Canadian winter.


I don't think there is a wind tonight so it is just bloody cold.

A few minutes ago I was settling down with a book and I glanced at the dog. His tail started to thump on the floor. I went back to my book and then glanced again at the dog. More tail thumping.
I really hate to ask him what he wants as he becomes very enthusiastic and runs over and goes woof! I ask him him if he needs to pee. Another woof. I head to the door, he starts looking less enthusiastic so I give him the evil eye and tell him to move his black ass out of the house.

He does and sits on the porch for a bit, freezing his ass off I hope.... I kindly open the door and that will be the end of tail thumping until the morning.
I have a feeling that neither of us knew what the other wanted. Oh well it is midnight so back to the book and then to bed.

The cats are a lot smarter they don't even think about nearing the door.


-30C at 8 this morning. I plugged my car but when I tried to start it no go. I think the idiot dog probably knocked against the plug just a bit and so it was not connected. Now it is connected and we shall see in awhile if it goes.


"The cats are a lot smarter they don't even think about nearing the door."
Organic cow pies
First they check out the front door. If the weather is not good there they go to the back door to see if the temperature is warmer.
Ten minutes later they are at the door again. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I let the furnace go out just long enough to pay some bills at the bank, shop for a few groceries, and get the mail. Return and find the house is cold, again. Windchill is only a mild -33C, but this house (a trailer conversion - basement and extension added) isn't well insulated. [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]


It's viciously cold in Halifax too -- and I smiled at you, Boom Boom, for saying the wind chill is "a mild" -33. I think it's around that here too although it was colder and windier overnight. (Not that I've been out. I'm just quoting news reports. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] )

We replaced several windows in our elderly (about 100 years old) house in the fall -- all the bedrooms and bathroom and upstairs hall, a big window in the kitchen and two windows in what we grandly call "the office" which is a little outcropping someone built on off the kitchen.

Also, last year we had to replace the roof and it had been poorly insulated up there. The roofers told me I would notice the difference within an hour of the new insulated roof being put on -- and I did!

I think the new windows and the new roof have made a huge difference. I used to sit here at this computer and freeze -- especially my hands and feet. But I've got the heat at about 17 and I'm dressed cozily -- and quite comfortable. And the furnace is not running that often.

And so, Boom Boom, my advice is -- put insulation at the top of your priority list. I'm pretty sure we're saving a lot of money so far this winter.



Originally posted by glasstech:

First they check out the front door. If the weather is not good there they go to the back door to see if the temperature is warmer.
Ten minutes later they are at the door again. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]

Heheh I don't have a back door......I do but the cats never go out that door. They look out the window or listen to the weather report.

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]


At the start of December, we in London were smucked with over a meter of snow-- the largest snowfall in thirty years, which had me trying to remember... and then I did-- the killer blizzard of '77. Haven't had a blizzard since. But the meter of snow we got on that night in early December all melted away within a few days.

Never seen anything like that.

Winter has been absent since then. Green Christmas, Green new year. But it seems to have made an appearance, as it has for the past couple of years half way through January. It came with freezing rain, and although it was supposed to finish with 10 cm of snow, all we got was a dusting.

The ice is still on the trees, not much, but enough to make them spectacular under lights or in the sun.

Yesterday, it was about -9c. It felt very cold to me, even though temperatures of -30c`used to be nothing unusual at this time of year here. It has been years since it's been that cold. If those temperatures ever return to this odd bit of Carolinian Canada, cars won't run, pipes will freeze, all manner of hell will break loose, because we just haven't seen it in so long.

The Discovery Channel ran a story about our frogs here, and how they might just die because it isn't cold enough to send them in to stasis. They-- until this last cold front, were still active in ponds around Toronto, without anything to eat. If it stays cold like this for a couple of weeks, they might just live.

I'm hoping that the lack of snow is allowing the Junko's to eat all the weed seeds out of the lawn. But something tells me that, all in all, this isn't good.


Very odd winter. Last weekend no snow to speak of. Sunday morning still playing street hockey. Monday 15-20cms of snow. Temperature drops, rink gets flooded by Thursday folks are out on the outdoor rink. Coming out of the Canucks-Canadiens game the other night it was near -30 with the wind chill. My buddy who'd had a few at the game decided to relieve himself in a parking lot. Wow, sometimes the human memory is really short! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Heavy snow mixed with rain coming down now. I had a leaky roof in December, fixed it, now the roof is leaking in anoher location. Problem is that it's warmed up quite a bit - it's now 0 degrees C - and heavy wind, so the rain or melted snow is being pushed underneath the roof shingles. Tomorrow morning I'll have to go on the roof and push the snow off. I hate winter. [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]


HEY. Don't do that. Snow, ladders, rooves and the reduced dexterity that comes with men of a certain age is a recipe for disaster.

I have a lean to roof on the back (eastern) side of my house. It's the south west and north west wind that brings snow, so you see how it drifts onto my lower kitchen lean to roof.

I used to clamber up the ladder to shovel it off, but a few near falls had me getting another product.

A roof rake.

It's a plastic blade set at a right angle to the handle, and comes with three detatchable aluminium poles. I guess the reach is about twenty feet. (Keep away from hydro lines)

I still use the ladder to get the right angle to pull the snow off the roof, but it's much safer.

I would also recommend getting some hockey tape to wind around the poles for extra grip.

[ 20 January 2007: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

As it happens, I went out this morning, and discovered the wind had blown the snow clear off the roof. However, there was a lot of deep and heavy snow mixed with rainwater on my bridge (porch) that had to go, so I shovelled it, and had to lie down afterwards. I had to shovel the snow off my truck which is parked at the back of the house for the winter, as well. The snow and wind blew a huge six foot drift on my driveway, now packed so hard by the rain that followed that it will lilely remain there until spring - it's a massive snowdrift. I ain't touching it. I wish I was younger and stronger.


I used to be young and strong. Shovelling wet snow wasn't any easier then.

I saw that nasty weather on the weather channel. Holy Crap. Rain after the snow, then cold again. You can't even use a snow blower on that stuff, it just clogs the shute.

And, at our age, who needs a clogged shute?

What I have done in the past when the snow in the driveway just got too much for me is to get a hold of someone to plow it out. It's worth the few bucks.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

There's no one here willing to shovel for a few bucks. And no snowplows (I'm on Quebec's "Forgotten Coast").


There's no one who uses a 4x4 to plow parking lots etc?

Well, in the past when I've had to shovel a lot of snow I take it in stages, and I don't try to do it all at once.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

None at all. And, the reason is because our roads are basically shut down to cars and trucks from mid-January right to the first week of April, during which time only skidoos and sometimes ATVs can be used. I live in an isolated, undeveloped region of Quebec, with no road connections to the mainland. In fact, winter is the only time you can travel cheaply (by skidoo) from one end of the Lower North Shore (Kegaska, where I live) to the other (Blanc Sablon, in the east, near the Labrador Straits). Winter also means that we can leave the LNS - also by skidoo - and go west to Natashquan and from there by car or truck to Sept-Iles and beyond.

edited fer grammer

[ 21 January 2007: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


I knew you were on the North Shore, but I had no idea you were that far east.

Well, pick up a second hand ATV, preferably one with a constant velocity transmision. Lot's a fun. I think you can even get a blade for pushing snow for them.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I sold my ATV last year to afford the down payment (and legal fees) on my new place. I have a lot of expensive work to do on the house and property, so I doubt I'll be able to afford another ATV anytime soon, even a used one. BTW, they're useless with plows here. They've been tried.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The red and grey squirrels are squabbling over the seeds that the neighbours have put out. Right now a very fat grey is gorging himself to the consternation of a watchful red.

The Assiniboine River has finally frozen deep enough to allow skating to and from The Forks. Should be a good day for a skate.


-30C last night and -20C now. Very sunny so it is really quite nice.

remind remind's picture

Balmy 0 to -1 here today,the Fraser River, at its headwaters, still remains unfrozen.

Snow pack heavy, glaciers melting.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Currently -19C with a windchill of -30C. No snow in the forecast right through Thursday. Yay!!!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Windchill presently -38F / -39C here and I have to go out. Drat.

If it hits -40F, I'm hibernating for the rest of the day.


"Talk of your cold! Through the parka's fold, it stabbed like a driven nail."

According to folklore I have read, when it reaches minus 40, your spit will freeze before it hits the ground.

Also, that at these temperatures, exposed steel tastes just like chocolate.


Oh good God Tommy, children read this board!

Reminds me of back in Inuvik though, the coldest I remember was -58 C. The flag pole at the elementary school had a whole bunch of little tongues stuck to it. It was easier on the fire department though. The flames would just snap off in the cold and they'd take them outside of town where they'd safely burn out in the spring.



Oh good God Tommy, children read this board!

Quite right, oldgoat, sorry.

I'll knock off the lyrical poetry quotes.


Well I should hope so! In these permissive times we don't need to be making things worse by quoting Robert Service.


Speaking of temperatures, in the early 60s I was aboard a ship in the Caribbean and it was 117F on deck.

Fortunately, there was always a nice sea breeze.



Originally posted by oreobw:
[b]Speaking of temperatures, in the early 60s I was aboard a ship in the Caribbean and it was 117F on deck.

Fortunately, there was always a nice sea breeze.[/b]

Would someone ban this person! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]


Well, in astronomical terms at least, February 3rd or 4th marks the half way point through this season.

Here in the Carolinian zone of Canada, we can expect another six weeks of real winter, followed by six weeks of a non-season you can't call winter or spring. Then the first two or three weeks of may will torture us with nice weather, followed by cool wet set backs.

I'm almost 48, I've seen this before.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've lived on Quebec's Lower North Shore since 1995, and I don't see any real changes in our winters, although it [i]does[/i] seem to me that the snow arrives later in the season than before; but the cold weather hasn't changed at all. We can expect the cold right to the first week of April.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Still quite cool here, but it's also nice.
Everything is bathed in white snow as
far as you can see. I just finished digging
out, and made a trail around the house with
my skidoo - snow was too deep for walking,
and a skidoo trail packs the snow down.

Typical Canadian winter so far, although it
arrived late. What it lacked in promptness,
it has more than made up for in intensity.

I'm feeling strangely 'fit' today.


Ah, well, we are in a deep freeze here. The van made noises I've never heard before when I went to start it this morning. Guess I shouldn't have let it sit all day yesterday.

It's windy, too. This is supposed to last a while.


Everything is relative, it is cold here (about -12c with some significant wind chill) but I was talking with a relative in Winnipeg yesterday, he said something about -39c plus windchill!

My god, that must be cold.

[ 05 February 2007: Message edited by: oreobw ]

[ 05 February 2007: Message edited by: oreobw ]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

We had six days and nights of -39C weather not long ago. It's been -37 windchill here since Saturday, and heavy snow all day today. You get used to it.


You don't get used to it , you endure knowing it can't last past spring.
When the temp warms up to -20C or so, it's amazing how comfortable you can be!!



Originally posted by oreobw:
[b]Everything is relative, it is cold here (about -12c with some significant wind chill) but I was talking with a relative in Winnipeg yesterday, he said something about -39c plus windchill!

My god, that must be cold.

[ 05 February 2007: Message edited by: oreobw ]

[ 05 February 2007: Message edited by: oreobw ][/b]

Yeah, but it's a dry cold.

Tell Winnipegers that, it drives them nuts. That, and keep correcting their pronunciation of Portage street.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Been a rough day - the skidoo's engine was frozen and I had to get it over to a buddy with a heated garage to get it thawed out. Carburetor and choke were frozen solid from snow and -39C windchill over the past few days. The heat of the engine melts accumulated snow under the hood which in turn freezes very quickly when the engine
isn't running.

Without the skidoo to pull my komatic (box on skiis) I had to bring several loads of firewood to the house with my wheelbarrow - through deep snow. Thought I'd have a heart attack, but thankfully, no. Still quite cool.

Today's experience gave me some ideas on what I need to do before next winter: purchase, and install, a wood stove in the barn, so I can get the skidoo defrosted before trying to start it; a ramp to make getting in and out of the barn easier; and a second door at the far end of the barn to allow me to drive in and out more easily - reverse on a skidoo is problematic sometimes.

Some of my garden seeds arrived today! Have to research which to start indoor potting for transplanting in the spring.


Hey guys, he says cheerfully, you know what they say about moving to the tropics? That you miss the change of seasons?

Well, you don't, actually. After a few years you begin to notice the [i]tropical[/i] seasons...the differences are slight, by robust, not to say suicidal, Canadian standards, but they're real for all that.

From the pull-the-sheet-up chill of "winter", when you wear long pants and even two shirts at the same time, to the warm times when if you get a cold you can just lean forward and breathe the steam rising off your belly.

Grass gets greener, then yellowy. Different things fruit and blossom; of course, there is always something fruiting and blossoming. The rain acquires a bit of a chill to it, then returns to its usual harnmless tepidity. Indeed in the old days before the CO2 reforms there would be marked differences in rainfall.

And it's like, it's almost like, the first biting air of October, the first breeze that didn't hurt in April, that even thinking of returns me to old Montreal...

But I have to say that when now and then I see leaves collecting on the ground, and for a flash my hindbrain thinks Fall! and a strange slipping happiness comes, but then goes.

And if I could feel the snow crunching under my boot..I'd get very solemn, I think, find it hard to speak for a bit.


Well, it's been cold here in London the past couple of days. Only -20 or so overnight, but it hasn't been that cold for a few years. Water mains are breaking all over town.

The snow has taken on that high pitched squeal underfoot, and all last night ice crystals fell from the air. Snow from a cloudless sky. Haven't seen that for a while.

I don't really like these temperatures. I mean, I would if it didn't mean extra stress on the van, or that the furnace never seems to take a rest. And I hate the hassle of getting extra clothes on and such to go out.

But, on the other hand, I miss some of the magic of very cold weather. Like the pillars of light you see when prism ice crystals are suspended in still air, and the waste light from street lights gets chanelled straight up. I think it needs to be less than -25 or so for that to happen, and the air has to be still, and the ice crystals a certain shape.

Haven't seen that phenomena in years.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Our -30C windchills here continue right through Thursday, with yet more snow coming all weekend. We need a break from this, certainly before we get hit with March blizzards.

ETA: it's a gorgeous, cold, sunny, crisp day here - perfect for X-cross country skiing. I'm kicking myself for not buying a pair when I was out last year. I'll be out on my snowshoes tomorrow.

[ 07 February 2007: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


I'm heading to Ottawa in two days for a nice, relaxing few days away. It just occurred to me...who in their right mind decides to vacation to Ottawa in February?

On that note, we're just about at 100 posts. I'm going to have to close this up!


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