Oh the Humanity

We decided to head into Maddie’s park.

I’m sitting here on Sunday, watching it snow, trying to follow the Steelers football game against the Browns and corresponding with former coworkers who are wondering who replaced me in the “do we close the office” decision making role. I hated to tell them, but it’s the CEO, the guy who grew up in Buffalo, owns a Jeep and loves to drive in snow. I find myself paying a little closer attention to the Internet, my blog comments and your blogs, but my inbox is driving me crazy,

First off, my unscientific averaging – because if I gave you data-driven-statistics on a Monday I’d be in trouble – tells me that my inbox includes an equal amount of “Last day of Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday starts today” ads and offers. Two allegedly one-day events that have been littering my inbox for weeks are ramping up the sense of urgency today.

Perhaps that’s due to the second absurd thing that’s making my head spin. Are you aware that there are fewer shopping days before Christmas because Thanksgiving was on November 28th? Despite the fact that Target was putting up Christmas decorations in October, and Black Friday sales have been running since Veterans Day, retailers are complaining that the lateness of the fourth Thursday is costing them millions. As if anyone has been waiting until this weekend to start shopping – it’s not NASCAR, you can shop at any speed before the Thanksgiving Day pace car pulls into pit row. Heaven help us in 2023 when Thanksgiving will fall on November 30th.

The third absurd thing today is the weather. Not the actual weather, but the forecasting/reporting of same. The National Weather Service has predicted that we will get between 4″ and 11″ of snow (10 – 25.4cm). I’m sorry, but that’s hedging your bets a little too much if you call yourself a weather service. That’s the difference between “I can push most of this around with a shovel” and “fire up the snow blower.” The most absurd part of this is this is New England! Last time I checked, we have winter every year. Winters have actually been getting milder in recent years, but weather people act like every snowstorm is a potential apocalypse.

The fourth absurd thing, clearly related to the third, or at least the underlying cause – to make news seem relevant – is the offering of travel tips. These include: “drive carefully” – I understand, most New Englanders normally drive with reckless abandon, but to offer this as if it’s sage advice is a bit much. Coming in at a close second to that bit of wisdom is: “start your journey early” – let’s all say it together… duh! The most absurd travel tip is: “consider changing your plans to an earlier flight” – like that’s even possible. For a family of four, on most airlines, that’s an $800 effort that will leave all four people sitting in a center seat rows apart from each other.

As I close this post, let me offer you my forecast. I have no doubt the storm will be blamed for tragically dismal retail sales, even though Monday is a day dedicated to shopping online. People will spend valuable time clearing their driveways and slogging their way to work. Once there, they will collectively grouse about having to come to work on such an awful day before returning to their desks and beginning their Internet shopping. Shopping will likely be interrupted, often, by checking the weather and the list of cancelled events (which will include everything). Making matters worse for those poor retailers, the storm is supposed to return late Monday afternoon, which may prompt employers to let people get stuck in the evening commute earlier.

At least the Steelers won!

Today’s gallery are some photos from around the neighborhood on a cold weekend.


  1. Weather forecasting has taken on a life of its own. You and I could have guessed that we’d get 4-11″. I also love it when they show someone out in the field when we haven’t gotten as much as forecasted, and s/he picks up the snow to show us what it does look like. Unless a person just moved here from Bermuda, they’ve probably seen snow flakes. My weather app tells me it will start snowing in 67 minutes. How could I drink my coffee if I didn’t know that? Happy snow moving with no real schedule. :-) I also don’t think I’ll spend much time feeling sorry for the retailers as I heard the billions just spent shopping on smart phones. I think they’ll do okay, and as you said, the season started months ago. :-) Maddie certainly looks stylish in her buffalo plaid coat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. I’m not sure what’s sitting out there or what’s falling at the moment, but it’s closer to the low end of that range. Maddie likes walking around in the snow. I’ll get it cleared at some point. Maddie did like her warmer walk.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Agreed on all points. Weather people. I get that there is new generation of potential reckless fools up and coming but history is there for anyone who cares to check the ridiculous nomenclature regarding hurricane forecasting has gone from laughable to ridiculous.20 degrees. I’m glad Mother Nature erred on the short side of your snow prediction. Congrats on no longer being in a grouse group at work. You can sleep in a bit before dealing with the snow! Go Steelers. LSU rocked their game against A&M. Next those dogs……😏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love that line – this is New England, we have winter every year! So true, every one in the media wants to have the top story of the day – if it’s snowing – you know what yours will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Because I spent my teens and twenties in Florida, I was pretty late to the “drive carefully!” party. Though I’m in my 28th year in the Midwest (we have winter every year here…though I hesitate to count the scalding-hot 2012), so I have had experience with slick conditions.

    I learned about careful winter driving in a cab ride home, near midnight after landing at Midway, when the snow was falling rapidly, by the fistful.

    The driver grumbled about the unsafe pace of traffic before yelling at a SUV zooming dangerously past us on Lakeshore Drive (in SNL Bill Swerski’s Superfans accent): “Yeah, ya can go faaast, but caaan ya staaaap?!?”

    Then he resumed talking about “Da Bulls” game.

    So, if former colleagues contact you about whether the office is closed, perhaps you can respond, “Caaan ya staaap?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha! That is the thing about 4-wheel drive, it only helps you go. When my daughter was learning how to drive, I had a big 4-wheel drive Dodge pick-up. That thing could go through anything, but it was very heavy. We talked about “momentum” and the limited friction available from those four big tires. We used to get up before the plows came, to drive over to an unplowed park that had a back exit through the woods. They have since closed that :(


        • (last comment attempt got away early)

          My son had a summer job with irregular hours so we didn’t get to do (required here) driver’s training course.

          Last month, he had window between sports seasons, so I we enrolled in that section.

          I remember thinking: “Oh it’s early in the day, and before snowy season.” Of course, I’d forgotten about time change, and we got early snow. So he’s already had some good exposure to slick conditions in the dark.

          I’m not sure what I can teach him now…other than driving in car without AC in 95-degree heat; including having to pullover, to hand-crank the back windows.

          Current phase is 50 hours of driving with parents before he can ascend to next level (thoughts and prayers are appreciated).

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ll keep a good thought. Here in CT, parents are now required to attend a 2-3 hour course on the laws that limit teen driving (no passengers other than family and stuff like that).

            I got my permit in November. My dad put me on the road the next day, in snow.

            Can you find him such a car? One with vent windows?


  5. Great rant about the weather forecasters. I’m going to drive in the snow and rain today for the first time in years. We’ll see how it goes. I’m planning to go really slow. As of Friday we’ve had 4 inches of snow. He-Man has been keeping the driveway and sidewalk clear for us.

    Maddie looks great in her Buffalo Check winter coat.

    @ Scott Smith, I laughed out loud reading your comment! I’ll be thinking and chuckling ” Caaan ya staaap?” as the cars are zipping past me on I395 this morning!

    Go Steelers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. Good luck driving in the snow. Common sense usually wins. I’m getting ready to clear the driveway and the sidewalk. We didn’t get nearly as much as that worst case prediction. More is coming tonight, but we’ll be ready. At the moment, there’s nowhere we have top go bad enough to put ourselves out there with the people who forgot/never learned how to drive in snow. Scott’s right, it’s not about going.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This Christmas stuff is nuts! I just keep hitting DELETE on those ads. Ha! Dan, the CEO has nothing on you–I think it’s great that your coworkers ask you if they should close the office. Why not just tell them, ‘Yeah, shut it down.’ Who’s gonna know? :) Maddie looks so cute in her Buffalo check! We drive carefully down here only because the drivers in Alabama don’t have a clue!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think my coworkers just wanted to know who to pester. They were pretty clear about the fact that I didn’t care. Maddie likes that we can extend the range of walking weather. You have Alabama, we have Massholes from the next state up.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. First, I have to say, Scott Smith’s comment had me laughing out loud! 😂😂😂

    Maddie looks quite comfy in her toasty warm coat!!

    Don’t even get me started on weather forecasters! 😡 It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the weather but everything to do with ratings. And who has the latest hair style, the sharpest outfit….and that includes the men! 🙄

    In the meantime, I hope we stay on the low side of snowfall. Glad you don’t have to commute in the white stuff any more.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger (and thanks Scott). Maddie likes her coat. We still have to worry about her feet, but this let us walk when we would have skipped it due to the cold.

      Weather does drive the ratings. The worst part is “important weather info will be shared at 11:00” If it’s important, tell us now!

      We got about 6”. I’m good with that. It was nice not having to start at 5:00am.


  8. I’ve noticed weather forecast seem to be more vague than ever. For around here they usually, in a round about way, suggest multiple alternatives. Could be this, could be that, might see this, might see that.
    Yes I agree, some travel tips are so obvious they are stupid, and don’t get me started on the finds of some studies.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Dan
    I agree with all of your points! Congrats on the Steelers win, at least we have the Stars since our beloved Cowboys refused to show up for their last game. Maddie is a beautiful dog! Kudos for you for walking her in the freezing temps! Not my cup a tea!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You must realize that if we don’t have enough shopping days that people won’t have enough stuff that they don’t really want to bring back on return day. And then things will really get serious. No really. PS it is just starting to snow here. And try as I might I have never had any success on trying to return snow on return day. Or any other day for that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The absurdities of life… I can’t believe those goofballs were calling (or emailing) you about office closure, Dan. Well, actually I can, and I’m sorry.
    You forgot about one sale — the AFTER Thanksgiving sales. LOL. My inbox agrees with yours.
    That purple morning sky is gorgeous — great shot. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can tell how bad things are for travelers by the number of planes that are circling over our valley. We’re on the alternate landing path for SFO. When I was in the corporate world I had flexible hours – thank goodness. Rush hour here is from 6:30 to 10:30 am and 3 to 7 pm. Brutal. We’ve got nonstop rain – still better than forest fires – so I’m not complaining!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did enjoy having flexible hours, but the last two years, I had to research new “back ways” to come home. The highways were untenable, even leaving as early as 3:00. I hope those planes (people) get home.


  13. I loved your take on the weather forecasters, Dan. Down here the subject is rain. There are always possibilities four days away and then zero when the four days get here. Great photos. It even looked cold. Travel advice is best left unsaid.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post, Dan. Had me laughing through my headache. I think I need junk food, bern eating too healthy!😀. I still can’t get out to get my mail, the apartment complex is being lazy. Of course they expect rent paid today. . . So shovel my sidewalk you slackers!😅

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Let’s add onto your lists of complaints, Dan. How many times have I found myself kicked off your blog by WP? Twice so far that I can think of and today when I came on by, I again was not following you. Now here’s the thing. Someone who I had been following who hasn’t been blogging for well over one year, her post showed up in my reader cuz I was still following her blog. But lately those blogs I do follow and comment on a regular basis, I’ve gotten kicked off of. Grrrrrrr ….. !
    We’ve had ice and snow here. Took lots of cool pics of ice yesterday. Hopefully I can find the energy to edit some to show you. Yawn.
    Advertisers have been pushing Christmas since Halloween. Give me a break stores are going to loose millions. BS! Seriously?
    Loving Maddie’s coat. She is so adorable!! Great gallery …. sorry but it still doesn’t look as cold as it does here. I’ve got you beat there!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I had similar thoughts as I cleaned out my inbox this morning – hundreds of black this and cyber that – GO AWAY and leave me be!

    And the pictures of storm-shut four-lane highways – traffic backed up for miles – what the heck are these people doing out in weather like that in the first place? Stay home people! Use your brains and ignore the email messages urging you to shop!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ah, the first snow of the season always causes more panic. Thank goodness our school superintendent wasn’t from Buffalo. 🙂 I know what you mean about the shopping crazies, but in all fairness to shoppers, who wants to do Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving? That feels wrong, or at least un-Christmas like. I was happy to go online after shoveling our foot of snow. We have round #2 today. Great photos, Dan, especially the sunrise, and of course Maddie.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s sad that the calendar says it’s only the 3rd of December and yet I’ve already had too much winter. I’m looking out at a winterscape that screams February.

    I’m appreciating your rant about Black Friday ads. In the last couple of years, the Black Friday frenzy has found its way north of the border and I can’t begin to tell you how annoying I find it. Unless we are going to be given the holiday that goes with it, I don’t want to hear about Black Friday ads!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t think I’ve ever done Black Friday or Cyber Monday. When news clips of shopping mobs come across my computer, I scratch my head in bewilderment. Nothing to me is worth that experience, but I did venture into our small town on Saturday for Small Business Saturday. That was fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I crack up at here in So California with the weather forecasters and the doom and gloom with any approaching rain storm. Folks, rain is a natural phenomenon not armageddon. Try dealing with lots of snow and/or ice….that’s a bit more challenging. Having grown up in the mid-west and lived in Denver a number of years, trying to make drama with rain ( I get it if you have a number of inches in a very short time, especially here) coming…I shake my head!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Aw so that weather people hype is a thing over there too. (New England? Is that US?) I thought they did that mostly in Sweden where I’m from. Every change in weather is an apocalypse. “The horror snow is coming!” “Shocking rain!” and all that. I haven’t seen such headlines yet in Ireland where I moved in February. Maybe they are more down to earth here (I know they are in other contexts). There was quite some hype before storm Lorenzo was supposed to hit, but at least that was understandable.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh my goodness, I love her little plaid coat! How darling is Maddie off to trot through cold weather :)
    I agree with all of this. All of it, but especially the 4-11″ of snow. That’s far too general. Also, I hope you and your kin will survive the impending horrors of typical and expected snowfall. I know how very shocking the typical and expected snowfall can be when you live in a place with typical and expected snowfall. Prepare yourself mentally and please, do not wear short pants.

    Liked by 1 person

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