John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow day 8

Now we get the How come? What do you mean? questions. How come you say you’re still stranded at home? What do you mean, you can’t get off your street?

For those of you who live in places that enjoy services, let me explain. Once again, the block of Roselawn onto which our garage opens has the accumulation of two major snowfalls. At this point, it is doubtful that anything less than a halftrack could drive on it. Yes, we should have thought to park at least one car on the street where it could have been dug out, but we didn’t think of that. Both cars are immobilized.

My request to the city, made Monday morning, for a plow on Roselawn languishes in Baltimore’s vast archive of unmet requests.

Plymouth Road is little better. The only places where pavement shows are those that the residents have cleared by hand, assisted by the sun. The middle of the street has a double-rut of compacted snow made by various SUVs and pickup trucks. That hardened snow melts a little in the sun during the day and refreezes in the night. In the absence of a salt truck, we should have a nice treacherous little glare of ice in another day or so.

A little stir-crazy, I ventured over to Harford Road this morning for a reconnoiter. Hamilton Avenue on the far side of McClean/Laurelton/Woodbourne — that is, on the other side of the street from our neighborhood — has two clear lanes. That is a good thing, because no more than half the houses on Hamilton have cleared the sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to resort to the street and dodge oncoming traffic. (Not everyone has a copy editor’s brute strength to shovel his weight in water several dozen times.)

I took a cane on this walk, in part for balance in the slippery patches, but also because even in this society motorists are reluctant to run down a gray-haired cripple.

Harford Road appears to be largely clear and well-trafficked. The #19 bus is running again. So on Tuesday morning, assuming that classes resume at Loyola, I should be able to travel by bus from Harford Road to Charles Street, allowing a couple of hours or more for the walk, the wait, and the transfer. Assuming that Baltimore will shrug off the snowfall projected for Monday. I can hardly wait.

Kathleen and J.P. got a ride this morning with a friend who was able to drive within three blocks of our house, so she is catching up with work at Trinity Episcopal in Towson and he is serving soup at the Atwater’s at Kenilworth. I have custody of the cats, who are dozing.

I may follow their example.

5 comments:

  1. Rumbling sounds upstairs lead me to think that either the cats have taken up tap dancing or stuff is sliding off the roof.

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  2. I am on the other side of Woodbourne (at Woodbourne) and the road is two-one-two lanes, depending on where you are on the road. I took the bus on Tuesday which was okay going to work. The way home? Four hours door-to-door!

    I stopped at the Goodwill (pay by the lb.) on the Alameda at lunch and bought a pair of cross country ski poles, just in case, for the next storm. There were numerous times I wished that I had them over the past few days.

    Stay safe!

    PS. Big Bad Wolf BBQ is 7 minutes from my office on Woodbourne Ave! WOOHOO!

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  3. WaPo:

    - 'There was a big old jolt'
    - Witness: Train was going to slow to cause many injuries

    Apparently, had the train maintained speed, people would have been uninjured, or at last there would only have been a few, and not "many" injuries... This poses the question: if it sped up A WHOLE LOT, would miracle cures result?

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  4. Oh, how much I like this Nopocalypse journal! But... how come you say you're a gray-haired cripple? What do you mean???!!!

    (Thank you!) :)

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  5. I admire your determination; central Texas got a dusting of snow last night, and I hoped for a snow day because any accumulation at all paralyzes us. In your position, I'd probably be imprisoned behind a wall of snow for the duration. Probably would never have had the imagination to grab the cane and play the gray-haired cripple—but I love it!

    ReplyDelete