Friday, November 19, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does...

It's winter.  It takes some adjusting.  Time to get the long johns out, find all the missing mittens, snow boots and scarfs.  Get the equipment up to winter requirements.  Oh wait, isn't that last part supposed to happen before winter really sets in.

Last night I did something so stupid I can't believe I did it.  Denial being my first form of defense.  Our Trusty 4X4 Toyota is down for an engine replacement.  We had to pick up some freezer stock from a butcher yesterday.  Of course it was -20C and over a foot of snow.  He warned us that he wasn't plowed out yet so we had better bring a 4 wheel drive.  Our 16 year old Ford Aero Star van is AWD and has great studded snow tires - but it only has a summer thermostat.  Useless in this cold.  Of course the first thing was to charge the batteries, and then we were off to Pick up the meat - the sun was out so it wasn't too bad.  But we were running late so we turned around and headed to Burns Lake where Jo had a three hour genealogy event to attend.  Coming back the sun was down and temperatures dropped.  We were both wearing full winter gear including snow boots but it was cold.  When we got home we were pleasantly surprised to find our kilometer long driveway and yard was snow plowed.  Brother Tom had dropped by with his skid steer while we were away.

Back to the Stupid part.  I had  meeting in town about 17 kilometers away but thought I would take the car as it has a better heater.  I assumed.  Didn't seem to be working all that well tho.  So I put a catalytic heater in the car.  Just in case.  Scraping and squinting I managed to travel down our driveway and onto highway 16  and made it 7 kilometers to my brothers house where I parked it.  The windshield was iced over.  The heater fan was not blowing.  I put the catalytic heater on and went in the house to thaw out over a coffee.  When I came out 45 minutes later the window was largely cleared.  I congratulated myself but thought better about continuing on to town.  Despite offers of a vehicle with working heater I thought I would just go on home and fix the heater in the morning.  About two kilometers down the highway, wind chill- even at 60 Kmh I was traveling- being what it was, the windshield iced right over.  Even the catalytic heater, which has a fan on it, couldn't keep up.  I was one of those stupid guys I always disparage driving down the highway trying to see out of a four inch sort of clear spot on the windshield. Fortunatly the rear window defroster was working admirably.  In hind site I probably should have backed up!   Limping along, pulling over when ever a vehicle came up behind me I managed to get home.  My self talk on the way up our driveway wasn't particularly helpful.  Colorful - but not encouraging.

Today I am finishing the garage dung out so I can get some heat in the vehicles.  And try and get our skid steer drive line working.  We are going to need it.

4 comments:

Suzanne said...

Gee and I was just irritated 'cause I had to clear my car off and then drive on already cleared roads.

Cathy L said...

I am very glad you got home safely Art. After all you've been through freezing to death on the side of the road would be silly.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Oh Art. I am sorry to tell you that today it will be 60 degrees in Central Illinois but because of you...I plan to get more winter prep done on our farm. How you two manage with such short summers. Saints. You must be saints

Art Blomquist said...

Take my advice, I seldom use it. Get 'er done before the snow flies! When we come to visit we'll be easy to identify: We'll be the ones walking up your driveway in tropical shirts and shorts! When you guys come here to visit I have two words: Long Johns. :)