Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Cat in Repose... and a Vancouverite Remembering How to Shovel Snow

Uploaded by gailontheweb.
Hugh is very popular in Flickr -- every time I upload a photo of him, he gets floods of comments. In this pic, he even got a kiss! (You have to click on the pic to see the note in Flash.)

His most popular photo in his set is this closeup, and in David's Flickr photostream, this closeup gets a lot of views.

In other resting news, I'm taking a break from shovelling snow. I haven't shovelled snow for YEARS, and it probably shows. There's probably a correct way to hold the shovel, and whatever it is, I'm not doing it. I'll probably wake up in the morning unable to move, then roll off my abnormally high bed and crash to the floor with such force that Hugh will leap off the couch directly below me and hide under the cabinet. It's a good thing I brought the phone into the bedroom -- you never know when you'll need to call the paramedics.

David, considerate as always, brought out the shovel from the garage before he left for work this morning because I don't have a key. Casting my mind back to my childhood days shovelling snow in WinterPeg, I gazed upon this one appreciatively. For one thing, this shovel is lighter. I think my father only bought shovels from Canadian Tire when they were on sale -- the ones he brought home were crafted with the heaviest wood possible. I distinctly remember one that felt like lead disguised as stainless steel, painted fire-engine red, with a handle thick as a flagpole. I could barely lift it, let alone toss snow with it. Free labour, that's why people have kids... go ahead and scoff, but in the prairies, where it snows 3 feet every 30 seconds 6 months of the year -- well, you do the math. That's what kids do in the winter, when they're not hiding from menial labour by going to school.

As I was clumsily shovelling the front steps with my ergonomically-designed 2005 model made of tubular lightweight aluminium, I was thinking there are probably higher-end shovels on the market, too. With today's technology, why not ones with weighted sections calculated to shift intuitively with the user's tossing motion? And give you a massage afterwards... Of course, Microsoft will jump on the shovel bandwagon with WiFi internet access and Apple will demo their iShovel with Airport Extreme and built-in iTunes, shuffling your favourite workout music.

I cleared the front walk more quickly than I thought I would, but I forgot about the drainage ditch between the road and the walk and promptly fell in it. Well, better me than the postal carrier -- the last thing we need is a lawsuit!! Feeling rather chuffed with myself for maintaining a fine shovelling pace, I continued to the back of the house, which nearly did me in. We hadn't cleared the snow that was there before, so it got hard-packed and turned to ice. Whoa! I nearly took off my foot chipping at it with the sharp-tipped shovel, but nothing that would send me to the ER, thankfully. It turned out we didn't get mail today, so I'm betting my labour was all for naught -- they didn't deliver after last night's dumping (I just found out there was no school, either) -- and it will probably snow tonight and I'll have to do it all over again!!