Random Morning Stuff.

The one thing I really like about arising at 3:30AM: Nothing.

After shoveling the driveway at 4AM, and imagining how much the neighbors must have loved the sound of my snow shovel scraping and grumbling along, I discovered the planet Jupiter. It was just hanging there in the constellation Gemini. A pretty good place for it, I think. I was hoping to spot a satellite flying by but the odds of that are pretty low from where I was standing, with so much of the sky obscured by house and trees. And it’s cold enough this morning that my summer acclimated body was urging my brain to direct it back inside where it was warm. 14° just now, according to the weather widget on my desktop.

According to the folks who measure such things, the Upper Colorado River Basin, which is where we live, is at 164% of normal snowpack for this day, just 36 days into the snow year. But what’s normal these days? Abnormality, mainly. (I almost fit in!) It’s such an event that it was the banner headline in last week’s paper, even. The paper said that at this point we’re already a few inches ahead of the total precipitation for 2012 — the calendar rather than the snow year, that is, and with a good bit of our annual snow yet to come. Unless the abnormality swings the other way, anyway. If this keeps up, all of those folks downstream might be told that it’s okay to water their pointless lawns again.

You know you live in a dinky town when the local paper is weekly and the banner headline is about snowpack levels even though yours is not a ski town. Also when you start your pickup on the west end of town, and must drive all the way to the east end of it before the heater starts to work. Which proves that our technology is insufficiently advanced. If our technology were sufficiently advanced, the damned heater would provide heat instantly under any conditions. I suppose I could install a block heater — this is the first vehicle I’ve owned in more than 20 years that hasn’t had one. But it’d be wasteful as the truck is parked in a garage that never really gets all that cold so it wouldn’t be protecting the engine from potentially destructive freezing. It would be just so I’d not have a reason to bitch.

I’ve considered installing an electric heater in the cab, but it being a more modrun truck there’s not any unused space that might be safe for such a thing. I suppose I’ll just have to keep bitching.

I figure that if we had the flying cars of the 21st century that we were promised in the 1960’s we’d have by now they’d have excellent climate controls and would never be too hot or too cold. And would also travel any reasonable distance at any desired rate of speed on nothing more than the energy provided by, say, a cat’s sneeze or a butterfly’s fart. And as long as I’m dreaming up a fantasy conveyance, it would have a cannabis vaporizor for the driver and, at the driver’s option, front seat passenger, and a dispenser of some harmless soporific vapor for the back seat to make children and others easier to get along with on long journeys. Then the driver could set the autopilot, knock the passengers out, and enjoy the company of the cat whose sneeze provides the power for the thing. Gone would be the days of the mother-in-law calling out from the back seat, “I think you just missed our turn!”, or kids demanding to know every three minutes, “Are we there yet?”.

Of course we’re there, ya little idiot. That’s why the autopilot switched off the gas.



5 thoughts on “Random Morning Stuff.

  1. solberg73

    Ah, everything is relative. On Jupiter there are 600mph winds and the snow is methane or CO2 (need to look that up). On the kelvin scale your 14 Fire’n’height is280 something. Not perfect, but still something of an anomaly in the wider universe.
    I had to chip ice off my windshield last winter in PA and caught myself saying ‘Did I really put up with this atrocity for decades?’
    As to heaters, I suppose you *could* cardboard your radiator A bit inelegant, but….

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I won’t be vacationing on Jupiter any time soon, I guess. The winds in Wyoming are enough to keep me from going there on purpose.

      If I were less forgetful I’d probably have a winter front, or at least a piece of cardboard, in front of the radiator. I’m just worried that I’d end up overheating the thing on almost every trip to lower elevations. I do have an electric fan conversion (with a properly fabricated shroud rather than hanging the fans on the cooling fins) on my to-do list, though. That’ll speed the warm-up considerably in addition to its primary purpose of reducing the parasitic load to improve my in-town fuel economy. And be less inelegant! 🙂


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