Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It hardly snows

on the Wet Coast but yesterday was our first taste of Winter

The snow was stuck to the windshield like frost and I had to scrape it off.  The roads were mainly clear until I was about half way to work when it turned to white

I just don't understand how some drivers can just hop in their car and drive blindly down the highway without clearing their windows.  They are a hazard to others

Unlike dry snow, ours is wet and with the frozen pavement there is no traction.   I have 4 snow tires installed and even on the flat portions I was slipping as I started  from a standing start

We have lots of steep hills around here so you have to keep your speeds down

Here is a view from my office.  Nice and bright, much better than our dull, rainy grey days

Sunrise as I arrive at work.   This is one of those rare sun shots

Before long our clean snow turns into a messy slush .    This morning it started out worse than yesterday with more snow accumulations.  As usual, I clear off all the snow from the hood, roof and trunk areas

but there was no frost to scrape.  The snow layer came off easily but the roads were very slippery as I spun my tires all the way around the block on my way to the main road

but as I neared work, the roads were nearly bare.  There was a heavy snow warning forecast for later in the day and it started to snow around mid-day.   We had so much snow in our area that we had a power outage around 2pm, but unlike SonjaM ,  we had to remain at work.   We are computer dependent and there is nothing that can be done manually so we had to sit in the dark.   We had no phones, and no computers.  I was lucky to have my office chesterfield (or settee, divan, davenport, couch, or whatever you call it) where I took off my shoes and had a short nap until the power came back on about an hour later.

After work it was a challenge to get home with all the accidents, downed power lines, and closed bridges.  My afternoon commute has doubled since Mrs Skoot can't drive due to her broken wrist, so I have to leave my office in Coquitlam, drive through New Westminster and Burnaby to arrive in Downtown Vancouver to pick her up and take her home.   I have one busy serious commute to get myself downtown, and then another maze of traffic to navigate in order to get home.  It takes between 1-1/2 to 2 hours by the time I leave work and arrive at my front door.  Hard to believe that it takes this long to travel only 36 kms but we have no fast way to travel through our city due to lack of freeways

Now that we have arrived home I have to change into something more comfortable (get rid of shoes) and start a simple meal.   The hardest part of meal arranging is to decide what to make.  Today is pizza night

I turn OUR counter into a pizza production line.  I bring out OUR cutting boards, and OUR kitchen knife.  To cut down on carbs we use whole wheat Pita Bread.  I use left over chicken cut into thin slices.  I put on a tomato base, then the chicken and add Mozzarella cheese

I have enough to also make one each for lunch tomorrow

The chicken is a left over from yesterday.  A BBQ supermarket chicken which cost $7.99 which we had for dinner yesterday along with two ears of corn each .   So for a low cost we had enough for two dinners and one lunch

I use OUR hand grater to shred the cheese

and I just love Cilantro  (aka: chinese parsley)

Since these pizzas are so small, we use OUR toaster oven.  I pop the first completed one into OUR toaster oven as I am still producing the others and when it is done, I sprinkle the cilantro on top

OUR Pizza cutter does a fine job of cutting the pizzas into segments.   For portion control I usually make 3 pizzas which we split evenly


  1. Traffic was horrible indeed the last two days. You would think that the people of the great white tundra should know how to negotiate through wintery conditions, but all I have seen was people skidding into my lane, bouncing into curbs and doing other crazy stuff like you mentioned, driving without cleaning your vehicle from accumulated snow. Sigh! Glad your commute was without incident. Drive carefully out there.

    1. Sonja:

      My commute home was a nightmare as I had to go downtown first, and then home. All roads were heavily backed up with many closed, like Fraser Street, Knight & 41st, Cambie & 41st, Granville from 16th to 41st, King Edward and Quebec, Port Mann Bridge was closed. It was a parking lot. Cambie was stopped as far as you could see, and Broadway was a skating rink, icy and hard to start rolling due to spinning wheels. Too many drivers only had summer tires.

      We had to take backroads through neighbourhoods on unploughed side streets to get home

    2. I also went back roads, at least it was nice in quiet there.

      Have you heard on the ice bombs on Port Mann bridge smashing windshields and car roofs?

  2. Wow that is really scarey. Do those people change lanes or do they just stay in the one lane. I may be wrong in this but I thought being able to see out the cars windows would be a pre-requisite to being able to drive.

    1. Chillerteck;

      It appeared that car could only see out from where the windshield wipers cleared off. Nothing else was touched. Some people are just too lazy . . .

      and yes, there is a rule about being able to see while you drive. They used to give out tickets for this, especially for your snow covered back window. If you leave a clump of snow on your roof it will eventually fall on your windows when you stop.

  3. Ah, hazardous weather followed by good food. Are you sure you don't have Midwestern roots?

    Our vehicles have become so enabled that we lazy drivers seem to think that it's the car's job to deal with all contingencies. I'm sure they weren't shaving, gulping coffee or texting though.

    Stay warm and dry Bob.

    1. Coop:

      The problem here is that we have no efficient way of navigating out of the City. Once one road is blocked there are no escape routes. We also have a lot of hills and many cars with only summer tires which block all the ones behind them when they can't go up a small hill. Then there are the aggressive SUVs whom think they own the road and tailgate and pass when unsafe. They drive at summer time speeds, but then they can't stop causing accidents which block the roads

  4. I have a hard time with people that are too lazy to brush the snow off their cars before they start driving. I've seen them leave the snow on the front bumper and headlights and then wonder why they can't see in the dark! They are the type people that will blame me if they change lanes and hit me!
    It always takes a few good snow storms for everyone to remember how to drive in the white stuff too. I guess everyone forgets all they ever learned about winter driving in the the 5 months that we might not get snowed on called summer.

    So Bob, a chesterfield? Do you use settee, divan, and davenport too? Do you have a chifferobe?
    I think it's very interesting to see the difference in language that 20 miles and one International border make!

    1. Erik:

      Winter driving here is different from where you are with your dry snow. We cannot get traction even with snow tires. Slush on top of frozen pavement causes slippage. Then we have lots of people who drive on all season or summer tires who block cars behind as they can't get up small hills.

      . . . I changed my wording "just for you"

    2. hehehehe, you're so funny!!!!

  5. Greetings! Long time no write. Our snow wasn't as bad. Lucky us. Glad to see food is still important to you. This is the first post I read and I'll travel back in time from here. So maybe I missed something. What is with the "OUR" thing with kitchen utensils?

    1. Dan:

      I tried to find you back in July. I was in the Bateman office !

      But due to Webshots shutting down their server, I have lost all the photos on my blog from the beginning to about mid October, 2012 when I changed hosting providers.

      The OUR was put in for Trobairitz. I mentioned "MINE" a few times when using kitchen appliances and she made mention of it, so now most everything I own are OURS.

      Welcome back, we all missed you

    2. I was just teasing Bob, but it is funny that you ran with it. I always chuckle when I see OUR in your posts.

      Traffic sure gets snarled with that type of weather. The pizzas look tasty, I've been craving vegan pizza lately. I might have to make some.

      Oh - and Hi Dan!

    3. Trobairitz:

      I smile every time I type "OUR", but I'll try to make it a bit Less noticeable to everyone else. You could substitute Tofu for the chicken, or just add broccoli and tomato bits and Vegan Cheese. SEE, I'm learning. One day I may have Vegan guests and I am preparing/practicing ahead of time.

      Traffic was very bad on the commute home. Lots of ice on the roads and lack of traction. I was going up a hill and had to stop and lost momentum because the car ahead was afraid of traffic. I was caught in the middle of the intersection when the light suddenly changed to RED without warning. I had to spin my wheels to get out of there

  6. Bob:
    Boy! Yesterday and today show just how close we really are. Perhaps we are long-lost siblings.
    Hotei laughing away in the background, tasseled good luck piece; the oak table, bright-red flower plates, hardwood floor - it's kind of scary.
    AND NOW, you're cooking italian, while I'm perusing my 2-inch volume of The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook, seeking inspiration.
    When you get out here, we may never get to leave the kitchen.

    Our snow is gone but rain and snow are in the forecast. Our problem is the (sorry about this, but it's true) 20-some odd female drivers in their Volks Jetta who believe the TV commercials and proceed to drive at 30-mph, hit the brakes and spin merrily away. Between them and old guys wearing hats and driving Caddys, life can be exciting.

    One last item: I think the cliantro should be chopped finer.

    1. Mike:

      I think we are brothers from a different Mother.

      Baking was previously my hobby, but lately I am forced to cook our main meals. The most challenging part is to figure out our menu and shop accordingly. The first week I bought too much protein and we were running out of time to cook it up before it got outdated. So the next week I bought less but having to plan what to eat on every day to have supplies on hand. Baking I always do from scratch and not using prepacked products, where possible. Daily cooking is different where you need to use time savers, otherwise you would be chained to the kitchen. We put a HDTV in the kitchen so I wouldn't be so lonely.

      Your Jetta drivers are like our SUV drivers. They blast through like it was summer and then wonder why they can't stop. Plus they don't have sense to put on snow tires.

      I disagree with fine cut cilantro, the correct way is to hand break all the leaves and spread according. Same as with lettuce or romaine for salads. The leaves should be ripped into pieces, NOT cut.

      It's the same with coffee beans. We have a manual cappuccino maker and a burr grinder. Those blade grinders hack the beans apart when the beans should be ground to a fine powder and only just before brewing to maintain freshness and coffee smell aromas . . .

  7. The wet snow looks pretty dangerous and a power outage doesn't help the traffic situation any. I think I like our nice dry snow...

    1. Richard:

      No power also means NO signal lights. It takes much longer in our traffic to do the 4 way stop procedure and aggressive drivers always "jump" the line. I have never driven in dry snow, but at least you have bare roads. Our wet snow is slushy (ie: slippery), and nearly always over an ice layer. Snow tires can't get good traction with all the hills we have here.

      We also have lots of pooling water due to snow plugging the drainage. They are hard to see when the road is wet. You can't tell there is a puddle there. Not good for riding a bike, so I don't. Not so good for a car too if you get too much water in your engine compartment

  8. I just saw video of ice falling off the cables of Port Mann Bridge. Pretty scary to have to drive through that. Interesting design feature!

    1. Erik:

      Traveling within our city usually involves crossing a bridge. The Port Mann takes a lot of commuter traffic and when it shut down it created a huge backlog and stressed the alternate bridges. You have to pay a toll to cross the Port Mann, the other bridges are FREE (of tolls), so naturally it is busier as people don't want to pay anything. Heavy truck traffic snarled the Patullo Bridge as they couldn't manage to go up the incline and stopped all the traffic behind. Then a semi-trailer closed the Golden Ears Bridge so that only left the Alex Fraser Bridge to come into Vancouver. Needless to say this cause hours of waiting and going nowhere. Many of our staff took up to 6 hours just to get to work as all our roads were parking lots.

      The Port Mann bridge was just opened and now there is controversy about the ice-up of the cables and the resultant ice bombs falling down. So far there are over 100 vehicles damaged by the falling ice.

  9. Oh dear Bob!
    I don't mind going to the snow in our high country on occasions but I'd hate it to come to me! Having said that, we're probably going to get hammered by the remains of a tropical cyclone sometime over the weekend!

    All the very best to you and the family for the festive season mate!

    1. Geoff:

      WHAT !! you mean a storm is coming to Paradise ? what is happening with the Global Warming ? Can't say I am feeling sorry for you as we have been getting storms for the past 2 months. Hope all is going to be okay. I think your Striple should be able to "outrun" the Storm if you crank it a bit.

      A Very Merry Christmas to Jennie & Yourself too

  10. Looks like our "snow". So far we have little over an inch. And just slush. The path of never know sometimes...but plenty of wind.

    1. Martha:

      It's been raining very hard all day and our temps are above freezing so our snow is nearly gone. Looks like you got away lucky this time

  11. Not missing the snow Bob. Today it was about 60F. and not a flake in sight. I know we'll have to return to the Great NorthWet sooner or later.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Mrs. Skoot and all your readers.

    1. Chris:


      Just kidding, unless you like rain, snow, frost and scraping your windshield. You are better where you are.

      Merry Christmas to you and Pat and hope to see you soon