Friday, February 12, 2010

Snowy Change of Heart

image I worked at home yesterday.

One time, many moons ago, I was working in Fulda, Germany. I had a rental car and when I drove to work it was cold and overcast. A dreary day.

After I arrived and was parked comfortably in front of my laptop hashing out some code, it started to snow. It was unnatural. By 2 PM, I was convinced there was no way I was going to be able to drive back to my hotel. Cars were already starting to slide down hills as they attempted to navigate the roads and, for the most part, Germans know how to drive in snow. Or perhaps it’s just that their road crews know how to keep the roads clear. Now that I think on it, I really don’t know.

At 5 PM I was asking people I had met at 8 AM (I was at a customer site), if they could give me a lift back to the hotel. This was both difficult and embarrassing. I was in a small town in Germany and the English speaking folks were sometimes hard to find. I had to find someone that I had met, that could speak English and was either staying at the same hotel or lived nearby.

I finally found someone and we went down to his car and he backed out, but the first hill we came to all forward progress stopped. He started speaking in German and I felt completely out of place. He finally realized what he was doing and switched to English. It’s a rental car and for some reason he’s not getting any traction. I could offer to read the car manual, but it’ll be in German also.

Being the hacker that I am I started looking at buttons. I saw one that looked vaguely like the traction control buttons I had seen before. I mentioned to him that he should try pushing that one since it’s probably not a good idea to have an anti-skid mechanism engaged in the snow. He did and we went.

Wow! This post took a savage left turn. I had intended to write a simple little anecdote as to why I don’t go to work when it’s going to snow and it turned into a mini-epic biography. I profusely apologize.

After my episode in Germany, I, as a rule, don’t drive to work when it could turn nasty (like yesterday). Today I am working at home again simply because I don’t drive in the snow or on the ice or when it’s raining real hard or when the butterflies fly in a counterclockwise fashion.

The change of heart? Yesterday, I was complaining about the snow. Yesterday when my wife got home from work… Okay, damn it, small right turn. I encouraged her not to drive in the crappy weather, but she doesn’t listen to me. Can’t you get that on your own simply by the definition of the word “wife”. Wives don’t listen to Gar.

Sorry. Yesterday, when my wife got home from work, she got stuck in the driveway. It’s a pretty steep uphill run. I had to put my Rasta hat and my boots back on to go outside and assist. I ended up fixing her problem with a shovel, a broom and carpet. That story may require a post all on its own.

After I got the car into the garage I started throwing snowballs. That’s right folks. Yesterday evening at approximately 7:30 PM, my wife and I had snowball fights in the front yard. It may not seem like much, but it brought a cheery glow to my demeanor and my heart grew two sizes. I also have a mild case of frostbite on two of my fingers on my right hand.

“Your right hand?” you ask knowing all too well that I am left handed. “Yes, my right hand.” I explain. I only write and eat with my left hand. Everything else I do with my right hand. I explain it like this: if it requires dexterity I use my left hand. I can play racquetball with either hand. Ball placement is better playing left handed, but I get much more zip with my right hand.


  1. I find this phrase “or when the butterflies fly in a counterclockwise fashion” charming~! Can I write it down in my diary..? By the way, do butterflies fly clockwise..? do they..?? I didn’t know.

    I really enjoyed listening to your snow-related anecdote.

  2. Of course you may.

    As to it's meaning or basis in fact, I must sadly refer to the title of my blog. It was completely random.

    If I were to try and put some truth to it, I'd say that I was trying to think of the most chaotic comment I could make.

    When I think of chaos, I think of butterflies because of "The Butterfly Effect". Counter as an adjective can mean contrary or opposed. If clockwise is normal then counter clockwise is not normal.

    Thanks :)