Thursday, December 15, 2016
Everyone has a plan, until they get hit with a foot of snow
One of my favorite quotes was said by that known literary poet, that erudite intellectual of the ring, Mike Tyson.
Iron Mike once said "everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth" and ain't that the truth. I experienced this just last night. The "punch in the mouth" was the foot of snow piling up sideways outside of my place of work in a matter of hours.
You see, where I live gets snow -- snow worth mentioning on the national news. Perhaps you saw us on your television this morning. Maybe you saw the CBS weather guy, standing next to a snow-covered holiday display in the center of Adams, N.Y. Then they aired an interview with a snowplow driver, who plows roads in my county. And they interviewed my county's sheriff. And they ended it like they always end it, " ... and more is on the way."
It snows where I live at a rate that no larger city (besides Buffalo) could handle. I've seen snow all my life, but I've never seen snow like I've seen since I decided to reside in two different Great Lakes communities the last 30 years. I've woken up to two feet of snow several times and thanked God it wasn't four.
Last night, the snow started coming down somewhere in the afternoon. It wasn't too much. Maybe 2 or 3 inches. But we knew more was on the way. I went to work and the lake effect snow started moving into town. I made a bold move to go home for dinner but the snow had stopped. A half hour later I went back and the snow had ramped up ... and stayed ramped.
We received a foot of snow in maybe four hours. For those of you who have never been in a lake effect storm, the scariest part, other than driving in it and not being able to see (this is not hyperbole, you cannot see beyond the windshield), is the fact that the snow is coming down -- usually sideways -- at the rate and intensity that rain comes down. Freakish.
There's the radar from at some point around late afternoon. I live in the darkest part. I wish I could have saved a screen shot of the weatherunderground radar from 9 p.m. Imagine a huge, angry blue cone streaming off the lake in a northeast direction and not stopping until it reaches the state border three hours away.
Like almost everyone who lives here, I am used to this. It's a way of life every winter. No big deal.
So I'm there inside my cozy work building, knowing that when I leave I'll have to clear a foot off my car and hoping I can get out of the parking lot because the plows won't come through there until 5 a.m., when I start wandering the blogs. (All local sports were canceled, we had a little free time).
Lately on the blogs, the Walmart exclusive holiday boxes have been popping up and they were on display last night. These are the gimmicky parallels of the 2016 design that I enjoy so much. The smoke effect is replaced with snowflake art.
Normally, I jump on whatever holiday box Topps is issuing. It's a fun diversion from all the Christmas shopping. But I had no problems avoiding it this year because ... it's 2016 Topps. Of course. Why would I want that?
I even said so on one of the holiday box blog posts last night.
And that was 100 percent the way I was feeling at the time. I had stayed away easily with nothing nagging me saying "buy! buy!"
But then something happened later that night. It must have been that fourth tour around my car at 1 a.m. trying to dig out.
I got punched in the mouth.
"Hey!" I thought. "Where does it snow more than almost anywhere else? More than New England? More than Chicago? More than NYC? ... Duh, the North Country! (This is what we call our area, it's so well-established that my newspaper lowercases "north country").
"If there are any people who should have cards with snowflakes on them it's people who live here!"
I keep inventing more reasons to buy cards, don't I?
But I really don't have guilt over this. I think after last night -- the blasted snowplow on my street dumped a bunch of snow bolders in front of only my driveway, so I had to dig out of that mess before I could get in my house for the night -- I deserve a card with a snowflake on it.
Also, I was finishing up my Christmas shopping early today -- that's right, finished -- and when you're buying a bunch of stuff in a flurry, the cards just end up in the cart with everything else. It's a shopping avalanche. Happens all the time.
The only issue is, of course, I really needed only one card with a snowflake on it. And some Dodgers with snowflakes on it. But Topps doesn't let you do that. You have to buy the whole damn box. And now I have more cards of 2016 Topps than actual 2016 Topps, except there are snowflakes.
Those are the snowy vertical highlights.
Those are the snowy horizontal highlights.
I like this card particularly because it looks Ozuna is catching snowflakes.
And this one looks like they're dumping a bunch of snow on Matt Andriese's head.
It's a nice departure from reality. One of the ludicrous things about these cards is IT DOESN'T SNOW AT BASEBALL GAMES. They don't let you play baseball in the snow. If it snows, they call the game and don't come back until it stops. You might as well photoshop a mass shark attack onto cards. Same deal. Baseball games would not happen under a shark attack.
But, whatever, because I did quite well on Dodgers. I don't know how many Dodgers are in this set (I've seen the Reddick card already and I assume Kershaw and Seager are included), but six is an excellent start and will prevent me from caring about any missing cards for a long time.
These are the "metallic snowflake" parallels of the parallels. They're five to a box. Honestly this first-grade glitter project of Topps is not easy to detect. I totally missed two of these when opening the packs and ended up having to rub my finger across every card to find the missing ones.
And, as everyone knows by now, there is a relic/autograph in every box. I've yet to see an autograph. Here is my relic.
That's not too bad.
I rooted hard for Corey Kluber in the World Series, just because winning three games in one World Series is the standard for pitching greatness. And I love pitching greatness. It didn't turn out but it's still a nice pull.
The roads are all plowed now and the wind has died down just a little. I did a bit more shoveling today but, like I mentioned, a foot on the ground overnight is little more than a minor inconvenience.
Like having 2016 Topps in my house.
I probably will be trading off my snowflakes to regular team-collecting partners who want them, or anyone trying to complete this set.
Like I said, I really only wanted one of these cards, to represent where I'm from.
But when you get punched in the mouth, things happen.
Subject-verb agreement aside, I still apparently haven't seen enough snow.