Summit Up 12-21-10: Special Sierra Cement issue!
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s starting to feel more comfortable with the term “Sierra Cement.” We’ve heard that’s what our mountain-town friends to the west call their snow and, even though the term probably doesn’t surface in their ski-area marketing materials, it makes sense. What is UP with this Slurpee-like stuff falling out of the sky in December? Not that we’re complaining – snow is snow, snow is good, yay snow – but we have to, y’know, complain. This stuff is a bitch to shovel! Our snowblower took one whiff of it and blew a gasket, then threw a rod, then blew another gasket and burst into flames. So we had to resort to manual shoveling, at which point our lumbar vertebrae threw a rod, then our liver blew a gasket (although that might have been from all the Harvey’s Bristol Cream consumed at the Tim Tebow-themed Christmas party we were at t’other night). Either way, suffice to say this stuff is about as easel to shovel as swamp mud – and driving in it’s no picnic, either. You need nice, new, deep-treaded snow tires to push through it, and woe to all you rental car schlubs with all-seasons up here this week! Best stick to the Summit Stage.Speaking of driving: One Summit Up Central Staffer stuck his head in our office to register a complaint about I-70 drivers who decide to become the illegal, unofficial left-lane pace car. We’ve observed this before, and it’s never good. Someone gets in the left lane and decides their 30 mph or 20 mph or whatever is really what’s best for all concerned, and they’re oblivious to the line of traffic behind them who have other ideas about proper speeds.Folks, the rules in snow are pretty much the same as with no snow: Get the hell outta the left lane if you’re in front with a line of cars behind you. It’s simple courtesy. Let the bats outta hell in the left lane do their thing if they want; it’s not your problem (unless they spray demonic guano on you as they pass, and there’s really not much you can do about that other than make a beeline for a Catholic church and a quick exorcism – and those are tough to schedule this time of year, we’re led to believe.)Speaking of cars, one thing we do like about this wet, heavy snow is that, in addition to Sierra Cement, it can also be known as “carwash snow.” No one really wants to wash all the gunk (or hellish guano) off their car at this time of year, but this snow picks it up and sloughs it off like, like …(sound of simile/metaphor machine being primed and fired up)… like the tail of a Labrador retriever clearing everything off the coffee table. It’s amazing – works better than any carwash you’d pay money for, we tell ya.Celebrate it.Speaking of heavy snow and its relationship to cars, we received an e-mail from a company selling something called the Snohoe, which is a device for pushing and pulling snow off your car and other things such as hot tubs, dumpsters and the like.MILLIONS OF SUMMIT UP READERS: (sound of giggling)SU: OK, OK, no cheap jokes about the name and how it sounds like some kind of moniker for a promiscuous mountain woman. This is serious business, and we all know that trying to push snow off the car with that little brush you bought for 57 cents at Walmart just doesn’t cut it. And you don’t want to use your summertime garden hoe, cuz then your car will look like it was parked in the South Bronx for a week or something. The Snohoe uses polypropylene material, so no risk of scratches, they say. Check out http://www.snowhoe.com if you want to buy one – looks like it’s about 20 bucks plus shipping. Or use a regular hoe with an old brassiere or T-shirt wrapped around the business end.On the other hand, it seems to us that a lot of folks really like having a huge mound of snow atop their car – it’s a symbol of mountain pride or something. Nothing says “I love snow and its presence doesn’t faze me” like a 4-foot pile on top of your van. Who wants to get rid of that badge of honor?OK, that’s enough about snow for one day, except for this one last observation: Does anyone recall it being so warm in mid-December and having snow like this around Christmas? Not in 30 years do we recall such a thing, but, then, we can’t recall what we had for breakfast this morning either.Good thing climate change is only a figment of Al Gore’s imagination, eh?***We’d like to register a complaint against the Gillette razor company, which is obviously run by evil men and women intent on destroying Christmas and further persecuting the middle class. See, we like to put things like razor blades in the Christmas stockings of our loved ones. Practical, useful gifts like this are, we think, better than cheap stupid crap like fake dog-doo or Chinese finger traps and the like. But as you can see from this photo from the Frisco Walmart, Gillette (a division of Procter & Gamble, BTW) has increased the price of its blades to the point where you have to take out a loan or knock over a convenience store to buy them anymore.Of course, in a county where beards, hairy legs and pits are rampant, maybe it’s not such a big deal. But still – sheesh! Thirty-four bucks for 15 lousy blades! Why, that’s …(sound of calculating)… $2.26 per blade! Outrageous. We’re outraged. And we think we’re going to learn how to shave with a straight razor or something – if we can ever hack through this winter pelt on our face to get down to skin level.OK, that’s quite enough for one day, don’tcha think? Enjoy the “snow” out there, folks, and drive safe if you have to get out in it.We out.
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