A Small Compensation

Yes, I know I said I wouldn’t post again today. Sue me.

Besides, I know you don’t want to miss this: What you get to do when your entire yard is encased in ice.

We also did this on the two big hills on the back side of the house. Tons of fun. At least until the frostbite hits.

24 Comments on “A Small Compensation”

  1. Awesome. I’m in Butler County and did this with my kids today. Absolutely perfect, because by stomping down through the ice crust you can walk easily without falling, but by NOT stomping (or by sitting on a sled) you can slide for hundreds of yards without slowing down. I’ve never seen such perfect conditions for sledding.

  2. Grew up in Colorado — fondly remember sledding. And now that I’m a creaky old lady, I’m really glad to be living in Berkeley, where it never gets 20 below. It’s all good…

  3. Wow, I am jealous .. as I sit here in shorts and t-shirt. I know it’s cold and miserable there, but it certainly looks fun.

    Darned Florida weather

  4. Bob Portnell – Sparks, NV USA – In no particular order: Husband, parent, child of God, technical writer, stargazer, gamer, and in no particular order.
    Bob Portnell

    … this is the first time I’ve availed myself of an opportunity to hear Mr. Scalzi’s voice.

    It was not what I expected. I’m not sure what that says about him, or about me.

    Stay warm, kids and kids-at-heart.

  5. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang of Space Command

    Totally cool. Daisy looks pumped, too!

  6. I can’t decide if Athena or Daisy is more excited! It’s great to see them romping together.

    My own mutton-head is crashed out on the couch, and cannot be bothered to romp cutely in the snow.

  7. Hooray! You have hills!!!

    Athena will remember this forever. Same thing happened to us in Maine when I was 12 or so, and it was *amazing*.

  8. What I love most is that the dog is all like, “Yeah! let’s go again!” despite not actually being the one on the sled.

  9. Yes, I remember things like this when I was growing up in Kansas. I could start off at the top of the hill at the back of our yard and pick up enough speed I could go almost a half mile down the side of the street. Then there was the time I rolled up enough snow to make a life size VW Bug snow sculpture. Of course, now I’m complaining that the high here in Phoenix is only 45 degrees today!

  10. This is my idea of hell. I’m glad I’m living in a place where we haven’t even had a light frost for about three years, even if that means we have to dodge the floods and cyclones.

  11. I used to love sledding. I’m more of the picture-taking mom now. Just like this video. Way too much climbing back up the hill to do it again and again. That’s what children are for. They have the energy. Love that Daisy has joined in.

  12. Cool. No 1000 feet of vertical like we get at the Skummit ( or Sierra Summit, or China Peak-all the same) but then no 3 hour ride either. I remember sliding down hills in Aptos on cardboard. Man that was fun. Family time makes it all worth while.

  13. I did this last year on a dead-end street that was ice-cased. The incline wasn’t very steep at all, and it was very long, so I never expected to make it to the bottom. I did though, and had to bail to keep from hitting a bank of plowed ice at ouch-inducing speed. (I was riding my sled superman-style, and didn’t think it prudent to use my face as a brake). So. Much. Fun.

    I recommend the superman position–it really feels a little bit like flying. Just don’t do it on any hills that snowboarders have gotten to first, or you might hit one of their invisible ramps and kill your spine. My brother’s fiance found that out the hard way.

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