Bah! Plastic coal-shovel style shovel and the hp in my arms!
The ultimate multi-tasking!
No, I'm thankful for my snowblower. I still do the stairs, clean off the cars and widen the drive over the days after a storm, so I'm not scot free, but I no longer have to spend an hour or more of backbreaking work (with my sons helping!) to dig through the wall of ice that builds across the end of the drive. The snowplows work all night to widen the road and pile snow and wet slush to harden like brick. Typically, the last two feet of the driveway would take three or four times as long to clear as the rest of the drive.
Yeah, that is always the worst part of it. At least today's had not yet set into concrete - still heavy and hell but not in need of a pickax to break up.
I can relate. I've thought about getting a blower, too. However, we don't need one THAT often out here, and there is some of the macho pride on my end that I can damn well do it by hand, thank you! It's also never as hard or as time-consuming as I predict it's going to be at first, especially once I get a good rhythm going. It also does help if I make sure to use proper form so I don't screw up my lower back.
The Buddha said to chop wood and carry water to attain Enlightenment. Well, he never said anything about how far to carry the water or whether or not it had to be in liquid form, now, did he! ;}
Yeah, form is important. We have a "coal shovel" style shovel, which takes longer than a push shovel for light snow but is absolutely superior for lifting and throwing.
And there is a certain macho aspect to it, I must confess!
Oh, I'm so jealous! We haven't had a single day of snow on the ground. We're supposed to live in the frozen northlands, but it's like spring in February. It's so wrong. I want my snow!
I'm celebrating my non-polar-bearness as we speak.
2008-02-27 03:38 pm (UTC)
Sad but true
here's the thing... the reason I got a SMALL snowblower last year...I always go sick at least/season once when shoveling show. Also I need top be able to get out of my driveway fast @ 6am often for work. So I'd have to shovel often. I don't use it every time, and I do feel bad both about the noise and emissions, but I'm not sick, and I am on time. :(
2008-02-27 04:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Sad but true
You are definitely an exception,in your line of work.
I love having a snow blower. Not just for my own driveway and walk, but I live on a major street near a commuter train station. With the blower, I can not only do my own property, I can also clear the sidewalk all the way down the block for commuters.
I bought my snowblower because it was cheaper than the shoulder surgery I would likely need if I kept shoveling. And it's fun. This morning after I finished the drive, and then the sidewalk down to the corner, I looked up the street and though "I could keep going..." That was when I realized I was just playing in the snow and should probably go to work.
The folks around us who have blowers do their own sidewalks and that's it. We need more community spirit.
(Um, no, I didn't have time to shovel the sidewalk. Why do you ask?)
In this, you are a hero. I fully applaud your snowblower use!
I have yet to witness snow that needs shoveling, even though I have a snow shovel (a cheap one). But I still can't make it out of my house today because it's too cold to walk and I can't drive in snow like this (I've only had my license for a month and a half and my car doesn't have AWD). I'm... slightly disappointed. XD I had to make an effort to be, there's so much to do around the house that if I do end up being stuck here all day, that's not a bad thing.
You should try and practice driving in the snow or you will never learn. I never used AWD to drive in Alaska. Most cars don't have it, so don't think it's necessary. But getting a feel for snow driving is. The best thing to do is get to a snowy but empty parking lot and practice driving, braking and turning. It's completely possible to do it, but you need to be comfortable enough not to panic.
I think I'll start doing that when I've been driving for a year. XD I intend to live up north eventually (on the East coast, probably), so I know I need to do it, but I've really only had my license for a month and a half. I never had a license before and had very little driving experience up until the month before I got it. I still need a lot of practice to be a good driver in normal weather (I'm competent, but not really good), so I think I'll try to master that before I take on driving in the snow.
EDIT: I'm moving away from my current town this summer, so after winter ends here I won't encounter snow as bad until I do actually move north. So it isn't an extremely pressing issue right now.
Edited at 2008-02-28 12:11 am (UTC)
Yes, but you don't want to be stuck when you get up north. Learning when the pressure is low is always a good idea.
Honestly, the entry was just an excuse to use it.
I had my first experience using our snow blower last night, and by the end of it I couldn't decide whether it was better or worse than just shoveling the damn stuff. Our snow blower is a ridiculous thing, as heavy as I am, and utterly baffling to a person used only to shoveling. Still, I'm less sore today than I might have been, and I got in some workout in wrestling with the machine. ;-)
Last year we did get mileage out of it in our big blizzards, so I don't really regret having it. And I did, in all good conscience, plow the sidewalks to the ends of the neighbors' properties before wrestling it back home.
I've seen your monster. It's a lawn tractor with a buggy handle! No wonder you were wrestling!