by Mark Scheinbaum
Angel Fire, N.M.
February 4, 2011
GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME VODAFONE
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 4, 2011 -- We've spent the last two days here in Indiana trying to fend off the snow and ice storms that blanketed the entire eastern half of the country, and snowed me in for two days. Luckily, I own the company, so I can work from home if I want to.
Of course, my kids are home schooled, which means they work at home every day.
I missed working in my office this week.
After a mix of snow, ice, more snow, and then more ice, my yard has turned into a frozen lake. My kids enjoy it because it's a big, slippery slope of frictionless fun. My dog hates it for the same reason.
My wife reminds me constantly that taking the dog out is not "dog hockey."
We were hammered by the ice and snow after an entire weekend of dire predictions and scary warnings from the TV weather people. A lot of people didn't take them seriously at first, but they kept talking about how Indiana was going to be pounded with the "worst ice storm in years," and we began to pay attention.
The problem is the weather people don't have a great record in predicting the weather. We've been warned time and again about the impending doom of a giant snow monster heading our way, only to be pelted with a light dusting of snow, or a mile long snow squall that's gone in 10 minutes.
By my count, they've been right twice this winter about major storms heading our way. Of course, one of them was the big blizzard in January that hit every state in the Continental US except for Florida, and this one, which went from Texas all the way to Maine.
So, the weather forecasters getting these two right is sort of like the only French military's victory happening during the French Revolutionary War. When the entire continent is being pounded by an icepocalypse, you're bound to get a win.
Icepocalypse: It was one of the many terms people were using on Twitter all day Monday, talking about the coming storm: Snowmageddon, Coldemort, Kaiser Snowze, or my personal favorite, SNOMG!
It doesn't help when forecasters are screaming about the dangerous storms heading our way like used-car salesmen blaring their Big Savings at Crazy Low Prices!.
"Today only, we've got three feet of snow that threatens to smother us all like a needy girlfriend with mother issues. Come on down and tell 'em Big Phil sent you!"
"We ordered too much precipitation, and we're pricing it to move before the tax man comes!"
Still, thanks to our local news stations' overinflation of the drama of these two storms (not to mention their many other overdramatized misses), only managed to frighten the bejeezus out of most Hoosiers, and many of us flocked to the grocery stores for fear that we would be snowed in by the impending Ice Age, and that the roads would not be cleared off until sometime this summer.
I even ducked out early from an evening networking meeting, because I was worried about the coming storm that was already looming in the horizon. After talking to a few friends who weren't as overly dramatic as the tv weather people, I realized that we were probably going to be buried under a thick sheet of ice by bedtime, so I ought to head home.
I stopped by the grocery store on the way home, getting there around 7:00, just as the rain was turning to ice.
I had been hearing all day that the grocery stores were jam packed and that people were swarming over the food like flies on dog crap. When I showed up, the stores were nearly empty, both of people and food.
But I had a secret weapon, something that apparently no one else had: a shopping list of healthy foods my wife has been feeding us for the last several months. Oatmeal, organic yogurt, whole grain pasta, and oranges. And with the exception of one item -organic ground beef - I was able to get everything on the list.
The other essential items everyone else needed - bread, eggs, Captain Crunch, potatoes - were long gone. Shelves were empty, and the stockers were standing around in a daze, like they had just been raided by Vikings, and faced the daunting aftermath of cleaning up the carnage.
So, the tv weather people got themselves a second win in just as many months. That's great for them, because their other panicked screams about life-threatening weather have melted away like snow flurries in June.
Their much-needed wins have inspired a lot of people to never give up on their dreams, no matter the odds or how awful their past performance.
In fact, I hear the French Army has been trash-talking the Germans again.