Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘blizzard’

Skiing Red Rocks Amphitheater

Posted by Richard on March 25, 2016

We had snow in Denver Wednesday. More accurately, we had a blizzard with 30-50+ mph winds for about 12 hours. It dumped 12-18″ in Denver and 20-30″ or more in the foothills. The airport closed, highways closed in every direction, the National Guard was called out to rescue stranded motorists, and it made the national news.

But the good news is it gave Nick Gianoutsos a chance to check something off on his bucket list: skiing Red Rocks. 7NEWS Denver has the video. Check it out:

They also have a charming video of how a cat named Boots enjoyed the snowstorm. Boots’ owners opened the sliding glass door with snow piled up against it, and … well, just watch:

 

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Another nor’easter??

Posted by Richard on February 26, 2010

Jeez, you guys in the Northeast have just been hammered this winter! Are you hanging in there? Have they called out the National Guard?

Is there anything we can send? Snow shovels, sled dogs, space heaters, flashlights, Al Gore pinatas …?

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Caring about cattle

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2007

As the third sizable snowstorm in just over two weeks slams into eastern Colorado (Denver’s expecting about 7" today), it looks like a cattle catastrophe has been averted in southeastern Colorado, where the New Year’s Eve eve storm dumped up to 48" of snow, with 10-15′ drifts. For the past week, ranchers and volunteers, with help from National Guard planes and helicopters, struggled mightily to get feed and water to the stranded cattle. Officials initially predicted tens of thousands might die, but so far the toll is much lower than feared:

About 3,500 cattle are believed dead, a relatively small fraction of the 300,000 cattle snowbound in six southeastern Colorado counties, according to estimates by experts at the state Department of Agriculture.

In regional feedlots, another 1,000 cattle deaths were confirmed by veterinarian Bill Bennett, homeland security director for the state Agriculture Department.

The toll may rise due to this latest storm, but because of the wind, not heavy snow. Here’s a fascinating fact I bet you didn’t know:

Bennett expressed less concern about snow accumulation with this storm than the anticipated driving winds that may cause cows to suffocate. …

"If it’s blowing when it snows, cattle start inhaling so much snow that it gets in their lungs and they literally drown," explained state veterinarian John Maulsby.

Meanwhile, a couple of Denver radio jocks contacted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about helping to save the cattle, antelope, and elk facing a grim, cold death in that area. PETA basically said, "Who cares? They’re going to die anyway." The Center for Consumer Freedom is all over the story, and has links to the audio:

The dustup started when KRFX morning hosts Rick Lewis and Michael Floorwax (yes, that’s his real name) called PETA to ask if the group would help feed and rescue the snowbound herds. PETA spokeswoman Reannon Peterson took the call, and bluntly replied: "You’re going to save them, and then in six months they’re going to be killed and end up on someone’s plate. So I don’t know that it’s really the most noble cause." [click to listen].

Peterson also put the blame on ranchers, criticizing them for "leaving [the cattle] outside" in bad weather. Mind you, this is the same group that rails against "imprisoning" animals in pens or barns.

Peterson added that wild animals caught in the blizzard’s wake — the same animals PETA routinely criticizes hunters for bagging — also weren’t worth spending PETA’s money to save. "It’s an act of God," she said. "There’s really nothing to be done" [click to listen].

She’s right, of course — animals dying in storms and being eaten by predators are part of nature and the "cycle of life." The irony is that this is PETA, a group that works tirelessly to promote the Bambi / Peaceable Kingdom fantasy about animals, that mourns every animal eaten by a human, and that sheds tears over the dashed dreams and lost liberties of lobsters.

I suspect that many PETA members are secretly glad to see cattle die in a way that prevents humans from benefitting from their deaths. Like the environmentalists who’d rather see a forest consumed by fire (contributing to particulate pollution, greenhouse gases, and global warming) than cut by loggers, the animal rights crowd is largely motivated by antipathy toward humans (at its root, their own self-loathing). They’ve long reminded me of Macauley’s observation about the motivation of Puritans: "The Puritan hated bearbaiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators."
 

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Send snow shovels!

Posted by Richard on December 28, 2006

We were just about over last week’s big storm (see my pictures here). Tuesday and Wednesday, Denver and the state Dept. of Transportation made visible progress. Some of the previously-unplowed lanes were finally cleared, and the interstate entrances and exits were much improved. Delivery trucks were having an easier time, grocery shelves were being refilled, and the Postal Service had almost caught up.

Then the next storm started.

It started snowing about 11 AM today, and it’s coming down heavily now. Depending on which forecast is right, it won’t be over until Saturday morning, Saturday evening, or Sunday morning, and Denver will get somewhere between 10 and 24 inches. Right now, there’s not much wind, but that’s supposed to change later tonight. Blizzard conditions east of Denver are likely, and maybe in Denver, too.

There’s not a snow shovel to be had in the entire metro area. Last night and this morning, people poured into the grocery stores and carted off all the milk, eggs, bread, meat, and the like that they could carry.

Contact FEMA, and have them start emergency deliveries of snow shovels. And rye bread. For some reason, there’s no rye bread!

OK, parrotheads, sing it with me!

Boat drinks. Boys in the band ordered boat drinks.
Visitors just scored on the home rink.
Everything seems to be wrong.

Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap airfare.
I’ve got to fly to Saint Somewhere.
I’m close to bodily harm.

Chorus
Twenty degrees and the hockey games on.
Nobody cares; they are way too far gone,
screamin’ "Boat drinks," somethin’
to keep them all warm.
This morning I shot six holes in my freezer.
I think I got cabin fever.
Somebody sound the alarm.
I’d like to go where the pace or life’s slow.
Could you beam me somewhere, Mister Scott?
Any old place here on Earth or in space.
You pick the century and I’ll pick the spot.

I know I should be leaving this climate.
I got a verse but can’t rhyme it.
I gotta go where it’s warm.

Boat drinks.
Waitress, I need two more boat drinks.
Then I’m headin south ‘fore my dream shrinks.
I gotta where it’s warm.

I gotta go where it’s warm.
I gotta go where it’s warm.
I gotta go where there ain’t any snow,
where there ain’t any blow,
’cause my fin sinks so low.
I gotta go where it’s warm.

— "Boat Drinks" by Jimmy Buffett, from Volcano (1979)
 

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After the storm — update with photos

Posted by Richard on December 24, 2006

In the aftermath of Denver’s holiday blizzard, three people died from shoveling snow. I’m not one of them — although I think I came closer than I’d like. I went through a lot of ibuprofen after clearing my sidewalk and digging my car out. I haven’t even tried to get out the back door to shovel the long walk to the alley.

Driving isn’t too bad on the main roads, except that the right-hand lane occasionally disappears because the plow drivers, for no apparent reason, swerved to the left. The entrance ramps on the interstate are a bit of a problem. Many are still somewhat snow-packed, and the "acceleration lane" is plowed clear for at most 30-50 yards. That makes merging into 60-mph traffic a bit of a challenge. Some of the exits are problematic, too. I saw a guy blocking an exit ramp completely. He’d obviously tried to exit too fast, lost it on the snow and ice, and buried the nose of his car into a 4-foot wall of snow.

It’s not a good time to go grocery shopping. The parking lots are a disaster. Inside, the shelves are a disaster, too. The supermarket I went to today had had its produce section practically stripped bare, and the milk coolers held just a few forlorn cartons of fat-free, 2%, and soy milk. Couldn’t find any egg nog at all, dammit.

Enough bitching. Here are some snapshots. Apologies to those of you on dial-up — but I tried to keep the file sizes reasonable (~30-40KB each).

2006 blizzard - neighbor shoveling driveway
As soon as the snow slacked off, my neighbor began shoveling her driveway. It took her all afternoon.
2006 blizzard - snow cornice on Pathfinder
The snow cornice on the back of my Pathfinder is evidence of the strong winds.

2006 blizzard - yardstick measuring snow depth
Here’s the depth in the middle of my front yard, under a big maple tree. It’s probably a bit deeper in the back.

2006 blizzard - deck
Looking out the back door at my deck. There are three steps under the snowdrift at bottom center.

2006 blizzard - back yard
Looking across my back yard to the alley. At some point, I’ll have to shovel a path to the dumpster.

2006 blizzard - side yard
It drifted up against the gate a bit in the side yard.

2006 blizzard - shoveling walk
The neighbor kid shoveling the walk. He wasn’t very good, but maybe I should have tried to hire him.
That’s enough — you get the idea. Hope your Christmas is merry, but not quite as white!

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