Thursday, November 30, 2006

More snow

Tuesday and Wednesday were snow days in Seattle. Roads were still icy, temperatures broken all records and below 0. -7 in Bothell on Tuesday night. And wednesday night brought in more rain and more snow. Though the temperatures have moved above 0, so hopefully some of the snow is going to start melting now. Today too is a snow day, everything is still white, and staying at home I have totally lost track of the time. It still looks doubtful that I would be able to go to office today either, though I am going to try for sure.
And since the temperature has gone up a couple of degrees, the meltdown has also begun. I went out to see a few patches of black driveway, side street. Its somewhat sad as the snow was indeed beautiful, but I am not going to go down in tears seeing the dry or at least ice free road.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The snowstorm of november 2006

I am sure that is how this snow storm is going to be remembered. Monday morning started as usual, snow from yesterday somewhat melted, but the streets were good as usual. So I drove to office. Around 5:45, when I was about to leave, heavy snow started falling. When I started I was not too worried about it, its falling, and as usual it will go away, just have to drive slow. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. The traffic on 405 was less than a crawl, inching along at less than 2 miles per hour, my speedometer never ticked above 0. It took me almost an hour to reach the 124th St exit. That is where I decided to ditch the freeway and take internal roads thinking that there will be traffic, but it can't be worse! I was so naive. First I almost missed the totem lake blvd turn as the road was covered in snow and the turn looked deserted. Reached the signal, took left on totem lake blvd. The cars were moving ever so slow. One car had blocked the road, so once I passed it, I thought, good now we can move. But 132nd St was worse, its a uphill drive, and I was so scared of the car skidding back everytime we start. But super slowly I managed that, even managed the final hill to 124th Ave and the left turn. After that I thought its going to get better. It had already been 2 hrs since I left office. But it just kept getting worse. The storm got stronger, dumping even more snow and it was really really cold. I slowly kept moving moving. After I crossed safeway, I thought good, another 1 mile and probably 30 min I will be home. I also cursed myself 30 times for leaving the freeway. Then the 30 min passed and I was still at the 160th st signal. Inching along reached 164th, and guess what, I experienced my first skid in the snow. The car was total out of control, tires going somewhere, I tried breaks, but then realized I should not, for a moment I was in total panic that I am going to hit the car in front. Then sobered up, moved the tires towards the curb, applying breaks every so slowly. The car hit the curb, and came to a stop. That was a huge relief, I did not care what happened next, but I was not moving the car, I put it in parking, applied the hand break and got out. The scene on road was a total mess, all the cars were skidding like anything, even the 4x4 trucks were going everywhere out of control. People had started leaving their cars on the way and walking home. I decided to do the same, then a very nice lady came along. She said she and some of the guys there can help me push the car out of the road, I was so so thankful. very scared, I got behind the wheel again, very slowly moved the car forward, got it out of the road, parked it and left it there to walk home. A big part of the ordeal was over. As I was walking home, downhill from 165th, all the cars there had the same story, skidding in snow, not able to move. Some were about to turn around and get back, others skidded along and turned from 169th. I again cursed myself for leaving the freeway, thinking that maybe I could have reached the brickyard road or something and parked the car somewhere nice. More naivity.
Of course I was worried about the car all night. Then I came back and heard the news and the nightmare of drivers on 405. Since the traffic was not moving and snow was falling hard and temperatures were below 0, the freeway had become icy too. Drivers were stuck near by exit and further north for 6-8 hours, lot had to abandon their cars on freeway, like I did. Now I was almost thankful for leaving the freeway, who knows in what condition I would have been. The cars on freeway were also towed away, that would have been a real nightmare to me. I think I was really lucky to get his close to home without any incidents, I thanked God a 100 times and also the people who helped me get the car out of road.
Finally Tuesday morning I went to look at the car. The 124th Ave was looking like a graveyard of cars, all abandoned by owners, walk up to the car was also not easy. Anyway I reached my car, saw it safe, felt better, but still no way to drive it back to the house. AAA was no use here, the roads were just too dangerous. I came back, feeling a little better that there are too many cars and they are not going to tow. It was a sunny day, though temp was still below 0, but some ice was melting from sun's heat. The road was also sanded a couple of times. So I decided that its time to get some help and get the car back before things for worse. Then Ekta came along, she very generously agreed to come and help me get the car along with her husband. They were real help, they came in the cold, Kartik drove my car to its safety, and it finally seemed to be over.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Birthday 2006

Another birthday, now it no more looks exciting and special day,it should just go by like any normal day. But this year I had decided to run the Seattle half marathon to make the birthday special. Finished the race well inspite of the nasty weather. And then came back and Rahul and I had lunch at Spice route. I don't think that I had ever eaten so much in one sitting and that too totally guilt free. Maybe when I came to Redmond for Microsoft interview, ate a lot as I was eating alone, had a big budget and eating Indian food after long time. Anyway, so had a really good satisfying lunch. Then we came back, and I tried to get some sleep. Woke up to find out a snow stom in Seattle. Lot of snow falling, collecting on the ground. That got me worried how I am going to be able to drop Rahul to airport, my little car and not so good driving skills cannot handle the snowy conditions at all. So we requested Bash to drop him. I somehow managed to go to office slow slow. Luckily the flight was not delayed. Can back around midnight, still raining, drove back slowly, very scared on the freeway and big trucks were passing by in full speed. Drive up the hill on 169th was a little difficult, but in the end managed to get my car safely in parking.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Amazing Rainier

It seemed like a perfect day, cloudless skies, sun trying to give some heat, and to top it all off, Rainier was looking just perfect from 520. In fact I could also see it clearly from 405 in morning, but the view from 520 was flawless. I wished I was not driving and could look at it some more. They should make a view point there for the people to just sit and take in the view.

Friday, November 17, 2006

wettest november

its mid-nov and we have already seen record rains for nov, about 11.6 inches. This has been the wettest nov so far, but I think that has also prevented this from being a very cold one. If you ask me, I prefer the cloudy skies and higher temperatures, than the freezing sunny days.

Monday, November 13, 2006

seattle is beautiful

when everyone seems to be complaining about rains, flodding, gloom, I think its beautiful. Looking out it feels like that 'after monsoon rain' time of the year, everything is so clear, washed, there is no bright sun, just right amount of clouds in the sky. Of course the story is very different when you go out and the harsh cold wind hits you, it may not look that beautiful. Still I think it feels good to see the green and the yellow and the wind blowing......

Friday, November 10, 2006

non stop rain

its been raining non stop for last 1 week at least, and I don't know for how many days before that, and this is just the beginning of rainy season. Looks like we are set to break last year's record of max days with no sunlight.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Back after vacation in India

back to rainly seattle after the short vacation, 2 weeks seem almost nothing. And this time of the year in Seattle is really cloudy and rainy, though its still not that cold, the cloud cover keeps the chill out, or I am getting used to the cold climate. The rain started about mid-October, and is going to take us straight into winters.