January 7th, 2010


In which I am puzzled

Goodwood Furniture (Henceforth GWF): Hello, Goodwood Furniture, may I help you?

Me: Yes, my name is Janet Miles, and I need to start by apologizing. I had a furniture delivery scheduled yesterday, and I managed to (a) give you my cell phone number rather than my husband's, and (b) leave my phone in the car, so your delivery driver tried to drop off the bookcase and couldn't reach anyone. I am perfectly willing to re-pay the fee for a re-delivery.

GWF: Oh, my husband does the deliveries, and he's not here today, but if you call back tomorrow, or I could have him call you, you can work something out.

Me: Okay, sure, thank you. Let me give you *three* numbers: here's my cell phone, here's my work phone, and here's my husband's cell phone. And if you could please pass along my abject apologies.

GWF: Not a problem; when I start walking on water, I may start getting upset about things like this. Thank you for being so nice about it.

Me: Thank *you*, and I'll look forward to your husband's call.

Here's what's puzzling me: Why in the world is she thanking me for being nice when it was my fault in the first place?

Snow, ice, and slush, and the driving thereupon

Let's get this out of the way: everyone north and northwest of me can laugh now :-).

So. It's been at or below freezing for six consecutive days, here in Knoxville (record is 12 days). Today, we got the remnants of the storm that's been socking in the Midwest. It started about 1:30, and is still falling. I'm guessing about 1-1.5 inches of snow have fallen so far.

We've known this was coming, and every major road and most secondary roads in Blount and Knox county were heavily, heavily treated with snow-melt solution earlier today (I don't think it's plain NaCl, but some specialty compound, which is why I'm not calling it salt). I could be wrong), so on roads where people are driving, it's turned into slippery slush. On roads where people aren't driving, it's VERY slippery snow and in a lot of places ice. I am extremely grateful that we decided to buy the lot on the west side of the street, with the relatively flat driveway, rather than the one on the east side with about a 60-degree slope up to the garage.

I normally estimate 40-45 minutes to get home from work. Tonight was just over two hours.

On the bright side, however, there were relatively few accidents reported on the radio -- a couple of multi-car pileups on Chapman Highway (I hope they're all okay), a car into a pole at Ebenezer and Gleason (I hope they're all okay), and a few outside Knoxville (one out by Midtown, the caller reported that someone was being loaded into an ambulance; I hope they're all okay). None (as of 7:15 when I got home) on I-40 in the city, none on the Pellissippi Parkway, and none on Alcoa Highway. I didn't even see any cars in the ditch until just before I got home.

Everyone around me was driving very sanely: slowly but steadily, and leaving lots of room between cars. I did slip -- very slightly -- off the road as I was coming around the last curve on Montvale; fortunately, that's a very shallow spot and I was able to get back on the road surface without much difficulty.

The radio weather guys are saying, by the way, that this is behaving much more like the huge ice storm of 1980, rather than any of the more usual snowstorms, and that tomorrow is likely to be even more hazardous as everything freezes overnight.

Every school in about a 10-county radius is closed, even Maryville City, except, of course, UT.