SNOW AGAIN, BUT THEN RAIN

At around 4pm this afternoon, it began to snow again. It was a very light snow at first but half an hour later, it started to come down heavy, with big wet flakes of snow. People at work started to leave in great numbers when that happened.

I stuck around until 5pm before leaving. My bus needs to go up a hill and I was afraid if I waited too long, the new snow would make that hill too treacherous to pass. I wasn’t the only one to think that. When I got to the bus stop, I had to watch five full buses pass me by before there was one with enough space to even stop at my stop.

It was smooth sailing after that but it continued to snow until around 9pm, at which point it turned into rain. The temperature is now above zero and it seems like it’ll stay there overnight. The rains have not subsided, so I imagine I’ll wake up to a slushy mess tomorrow. At least, I’ll be able to get to work though.

DEATH WALK

I made it to work this morning. The commute was relatively normal but when I walked the five minutes it took to get from the bus stop to the studio, I knew my journey home was going to be an adventure.

Some parts of the sidewalk had been shoveled but not enough that you could make solid contact with the concrete below. It was a combination of slush and a thin layer of hard packed snow. Walking up the street was reasonable but I knew that the slush had all day to freeze up into ice.

On the way home, I reversed my trek and it was treacherous. Sheets of frozen ice covered parts of the sidewalk. It was actually safer to walk on the snow located to the side of the sidewalk because the snow offered more traction. In some areas, there was no snow to go and I had no choice but to risk it on the icy sidewalk it self. I nearly slipped and fell twice. I made a conscious choice to slide across large patches of ice because that felt safer that trying to walk it.

This happens every single year it snows. The municipality never clears the snow properly from the sidewalk and I think it’s pretty dangerous. I overheard one of my coworkers say that she wants to bring a plastic sled with her to work so she can just sled down the sidewalk to the bus stop instead of trying to navigate it on foot. That’s a great and fun idea!

WORK TOMORROW?

I’ve been working from home for two days now because of the snow. On this second day, I might have been able to get to work. Since so many schools were cancelled, the roads and public transit were apparently very lightly used in the morning. Also, many people decided to just stay home instead of attempting to get to work. Getting home today, however, probably would have been a challenge. It began to snow heavily again in the late afternoon. What were clear roads earlier in the day became covered in snow again in about an hour. One of my coworkers reported that along the road where my bus runs, there were stalled buses and cars that had smashed into curb.

The forecast calls for just a small amount of snow tonight to fall. I’m going to try my best to get to work tomorrow. I think it’ll be possible to get to work in a reasonable and safe manner. Wish me luck!

SO MUCH SNOW

This morning when I woke up I saw that no snow had fallen overnight. Despite weather warnings for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, no appreciable amount of snow had fallen in any of those days. How wrong those forecasts were I thought!

I had to drive to get some lunch and as luck would have it as soon as I got downstairs to my car, I saw the first few flakes of snow falling from the sky. It was as if nature heard my mocking and now wanted to show me the snow. I didn’t really think it was going to amount to anything however. The flakes coming down were small, light, and weren’t sticking to the ground. As I drove the ten minutes to lunch, my unease began to grow slightly as the snow picked up a bit.

At the restaurant, I had a clear view of the street during lunch and the intensity of the snow ramped up considerably while I ate. The flakes were now huge, in great numbers, and the snow stuck to the ground. It was a bonafide snow storm. I wasted no time in finishing my meal, paying, and getting the hell of out there. Others must have had the same idea because there was quite a line to pay.

Once outside, I saw a sizeable blanket of snow on my windshield. It had accumulated in less than an hour. My wipers were barely able to remove the snow and I really should have used a brush but I wanted to get out of there quick! By now the roads were getting bad by the minute. At a few intersections, I could feel my car sliding a tiny bit. I breathed a sigh of relief once I was able to get my car back into the parking garage.

I spent the next several hours watching the snow continuously come down and just cover the entire city in a thick layer of white. I cancelled a dinner with my parents because it was so cold and roads were terrible. I’m not sure if it’ll be a snow day tomorrow but it’s definitely a non-zero chance.

SNOW?

The forecast last week called for snow but all we got were some pitiful flakes that barely changed the ground to some spots of white here and there. The forecast again calls for snow starting Thursday evening, through to Friday, with accumulations of several centimeters. Will the forecast be more correct this time and if so, will we get a snow day on Friday? I can’t wait to see!

DRY

For the first time since last winter, the relative humidity in my apartment dropped to the 30% range last night. This was sparked by the sudden drop in temperatures, as it got as chilly as -7 degrees Celsius where I live. The colder temperatures can’t hold as much moisture so it got real dry, really quickly. I could feel my skin drying up.

I had to bring out the humidifier out, the first time in almost a year. I set the relative humidity target for 45% and I ran it all night while I slept. My skin still feels kinda dry but the humidifier sure helps. I don’t know how people in colder areas can function without one of these things. How does your skin just not crack when it’s like -25 out in like Calgary or Ottawa?

DOLLAR STORE GROUND BEEF

I’m fascinated by the dollar stores in the United States because they seem to offer items that are unavailable here in Canada. That fact, however, might be a good thing since some of these items appear to be terrible and bad for consumers.

I’m particularly fascinated by some of the food items that are offered in U.S. dollar stores, the ones that require refrigeration and freezers. I’ve previously seen videos on paper thin “steaks” that are sold for about a dollar. Now, it seems like you can get “ground beef” for about the same price.

In the video above, someone bought two packages of this “ground beef” and documented the cooking and taste test. You can probably guess the results but it’s amazing to see what you can actually get for a dollar in terms of meat.

INFECTED

I’ve been dealing with a gum infection for almost a week now. At first, I didn’t even realize my gums were infected. I woke up one morning and I noticed a pain in the lower left and back region of my mouth. It hurt when any piece of food would slide past that area. I looked in my mouth and an area of my inner jaw had a white spot (not the delicious restaurant kind) on it. In my experience, white, painful spots in my mouth are canker sores. I used to frequently get canker sores in my mouth when I was younger. I asked both my dentist and my doctor why I was getting them and how I could prevent them. They had no clear answers for me, sometimes they just spontaneously appear. So, I thought this was a rare canker sore.

There’s really nothing you can do with a canker sore, you just have to let it heal on its own. So I just left it for a few days, trying to avoid touching it. I noticed on the second day, however, this supposed canker sore looked a bit odd to me. First, it seemed like it would change shape if I ran a cotton tip along it. Was this oozing something? Canker sores don’t really ooze. This began to worry me.

Another day passed and I again pushed against the problem area. This time, a sizable amount of yellowish pus appeared, followed by some bright red blood. I instantly knew this wasn’t a canker sore since those don’t have pus and blood like that. I had an infection, which is more serious than a regular canker sore. I also noticed the gum area surrounding my last lower tooth in the back was now red and with spots of yellowy pus on it. Gross. The infection seemed to have spread.

Infections in the mouth, especially near teeth are things you should take very seriously. Left alone, you could easily loose a tooth. Also infections that occur in the head area just make me really nervous since your brain is so close by. So, at my first opportunity, I went downstairs to the dental office to schedule an appointment. Luckily, they were able to see me on the same day, just two hours later.

The dentist looked at the infected area and he really worked it. After the initial visual inspection, he took a gloved finger and pushed at the place where all that pus had initially come out. It hurt like a sonuvabitch and he must have hit gold because he immediately asked the hygienist for suction. He then placed the suction tip right where the pus was coming out and left it there for a good ten seconds, like he was trying to vacuum out all the nasty stuff. He also then took an ultrasonic cleaner and did some dental scaling for the tooth that was surrounded by the infected gums. He also took an x-ray of the tooth. He told me he just wanted to make sure that tooth was ok, since an infection of the gum might have led to some problems in the tooth as well. Based on the x-ray and the visual inspection, the tooth seemed ok but he wasn’t sure if it would stay that way. I was really concerned at this point since I didn’t want to loose the tooth to some stupid gum infection.

The care plan the dentist gave me consisted of me going on antibiotics immediately, Advil to reduce the swelling, plus some regular warm saline rinses, and a return visit in seven days time. I was cautioned that if things got worse, like an infection in another area, pain getting worse, or anything else that was out of the ordinary, I was to return immediately.

I have been on the antibiotics now for about 36 hours and there has been some improvement. The gum area around the tooth looks less red and less pus-filled but you can still tell it’s infected. There has been a decrease in the amount of pain in the area but without a doubt, the area is still tender. I’m on the antibiotics for a total of seven days, so I will continue to let it work its magic and hopefully things continue to improve.

I really hope nothing bad happens to my tooth back there.