Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vancouver Cold Snap

Vancouver doesn't do snow well. It's a rainy city. Snow is an affront to it's character.
I grew up in Winnipeg. People think that makes me an expert on this weather. "You're from Winnipeg. You know how to handle this weather." Sure, I say thinking a man whose done 20 years in the pen probably knows something about a night in jail. It doesn't mean he likes it anymore. I'm no longer prepared for the cold.
Living in Winnipeg I had studs for my tire. I had parkas and togas and fleece lined gloves, snow shoes and long johns. I have this gear here in cammo colour for hunting expeditions. None of it is 'stylish'. Winnipeggers actually make snow wear 'stylish'.
Today the lines froze on the complex causing a water main break. No shower today. Thankfully there was water to flush the toilet. Brushing teeth using mouthwash and toothpaste. Dry shaving. Thank god for the heat.
The truck's brake fluid line cracked. I don't know why there was a leak today. Maybe a coincidence. But ice on the windows after finally warming it up to drive on the freeway moving at 40 ams instead of 100 because of the 'conditions' and sluggish brakes. I 've a 'courtesy car' with a heater that works after I arrive where I'm going. In Winnipeg, we plugged in our cars, I had a timed 'heater' so I went from house to garage to hot car. There I remembered to do up my coat before I went outside. Here I'm freezing in the chilly breeze cleaning my windshield of ice and snow only to realize I've not done up my coat.
Driving to work I'm at least cheered by 104.9 FM playing 'continuous Christmas music'. I love the Beach Boys Christmas Carols. Gilbert eyes me oddly and doesn't sing along.
I actually bought a jacket my dog a winter coat. Our dogs didn't wear jackets in Winnipeg. In Vancouver I'd get ostracized and called in by the SPCA for dog abuse if I didn't dress Gilbert for the cold. I actually was asked if I didn't think he needed non skid boots. The girls asking was beautiful or I'd have shared my thoughts more honestly on the subject of "the dog". "He's a dog!" is a decidely politically incorrect statement to make in Vancouver. The damn chihuahaus have raised the fashion standards to such a level that my poor cockapoos self esteem is decidedly raised by his new Christmas red coat.
At the office, the temperature is little better than outdoors. Buildings here are not made to withstand blizzards. In my own office I brought a portable heater to offset any cost saving by management but at this clinic its just older building with a Vancouver heating system.
The announcement on the radio is that there will be 4 new dog friendly Grocery cart friendly winterized homeless shelters available next week. I don't think I'll need one myself. They say the water main will be fixed shortly.
The clear blue skies were a delight. But rain is expected by Friday with warm temperatures. Only time Vancouverites look forward to the rain is after the snow. We're looking forward to rain now.

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