Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user jacquesofalltrades

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

98 Comment

  • Rave: so happy to be able to work at home today.
    Rant: People. Specifically the angry guy who said, “you couldn’t find a better spot?” as my dog peed in the snow last night. I guess there was a plant under there. Hey, guess what. in the middle of a snow storm no, I couldn’t find a better spot. I think your plants have other worries right now. Jeez.

  • rave: great neighborliness in the weather – shoveling, sweeping, dog-walking, and swapping soups. the older woman who lives a few doors down had surgery last month – and no fewer than 3 different neighbors swept, shoveled and salted her front walk and sidewalk all day to keep it safe and clear.

    rant: some of the “ice melt” chemicals that folks use really burn the pads on my dogs’ paws. sucks. poor guys start whimpering and picking up their little paws so gingerly. hate to see them burning like that when they just want to play in this weather. wish people could stick to non-chemical salts/treatment.

    • Try getting the ultra paws traction dog boots. They are great for snow and protect the pads. Hope that helped!

    • Mushers Secret All-Natural Paw Protection coats the paw pads in a non-toxic wax to protect against salt and ice balls. I just started using it on my dog so I’m not sure if it works.

  • Rave: Got a really long bike ride in before the snow hit. Made it home during the initial snow flurries and felt like a kid again.
    Rant: The salt. Took me 2 hours to clean off my bike of all the salt that was laid on the streets before the snow fall.

    • Kalorama_Kat

      THE SALT!!! It is as unnecessary as it is harmful.

      • unnecessary? you are crazy. salt melts the snow and prevents dangerous icy conditions. cleaning salt off your bike is better than having someone clean your brains off the pavement.

        also, who bikes in the snow anyway? cuckoo! cuckoo!

        • Kalorama_Kat

          It’s not a bike thing specifically. The salt is terribly corrosive and harms animals, plants, water, shoes, bikes, cars, and pretty much anything it comes into contact with. Its effect on improving road conditions is fairly negligible.

          • Yes, salt converts snow and ice into DHMO, which is extremely dangerous, and can be lethal to many living things.

          • “Its effect on improving road conditions is fairly negligible.”
            That is absolutely laughable. The only possible excuse for your absurd claim is if you’ve never actually seen a snow- or -ice covered road that has been treated with salt.

          • “Its effect on improving road conditions is fairly negligible.”
            Sorry, Kat. You just lost any benefit-of-the-doubt credibility you might have started with. Even if we were using table salt (instead of chemical de-icing compounds), it would STILL be effective in lowering the freezing temp by 10-12 degrees. That’s not “negligible”.

          • Take it easy there buddy…

          • Yes, this is why no animals live in the ocean! :>:|

        • I biked when there wasn’t snow and was on my way home when it started to snow. Even then the salt was already an inch deep. That is overkill, having lived in Chicago for over 30 years. And yes, there are more modern mixes of salt and natural dispersed grains that are less harmful to roads, cars and living beings.

        • I sometimes bike in the snow. Get off your high horse.

        • salt does not melt snow. It just lowers the freezing point. But the effect of it is fairly negligible when the temperatures are in the teens.
          And bicyclists riding in the snow are nearly infinitely less dangerous than drivers driving in the snow.

          • For the record, there are ways to treat salt so that it has a lower melting point.

          • For the record, there are ways to treat salt so that it has a lower freezing point.

          • “But the effect of it is fairly negligible when the temperatures are in the teens.”
            Yes, but add in some sunlight and a bit of traffic, then the temperature of the snow/ice/salt mixture rises and lo-and-behold the snow (or ice) melts. I literally watched this happening before I left for work this morning.

          • You are so a fed….but you are correct.

        • My BF does! And he loves it. He gets the trails to himself and gets an awesome workout. I think it is too extreme, but he enjoys it.

        • sorry, which northern states don’t use salt on snow? please be specific.

          also, if you actually read the article, it is about cheese BRINE which is another term for salt. it just happens to be a waste product of cheesemaking, the local industry.

        • I wonder if that would attract rats?

        • I read this and immediately flashed to some of those scenes in the movie “Ben”.

      • Oh no, pls protect the dog paws. Let all the humans fall and hurt themselves, but protect the dog paws.

        I’m not sure what you consider negligible, but salt/ice melting productions is the only thing that gets the sheet of ice from my side walk.

    • My experience has been that when you shovel the snow, the bitter dry air tends to evaporate any remaining ice/snow.

  • Rave: i’m very interested in the development at Monroe Street Market
    Rant: does anyone live there and/or have any thoughts on it? i’m a little concerned regarding the lack of grocery store other than ye$$$ market.

  • Rant: I usually shovel my neighbor’s sidewalk but just couldn’t do it this time. It took a grueling hour just to do a very half-assed job on my own!

    • Yeah I attempted to shovel my sidewalk this morning, but the ice was so thick that it was impossible with my plastic shovel. I think I actually made it worse by moving the snow as that at least provided traction on top of the ice :-/

      • Thanks, I feel better about not doing it. They never go out through the front door anyway, so it’s just for fine avoidance purposes.

        • “…so it’s just for fine avoidance purposes.”
          I hope you’re wrong about that, because that would be a real crappy attitude. They should shovel it so that people walking through the neighborhood have a safe and clear path, not just to avoid a fine.

          • That too. But as the person above noted, it’s actually less slippery to keep the snow on days like this. By the time I got to it at 7 this morning it was nicely packed down.

          • Anon 11:40 – Right now, sure. But if you keep the snow then after a day of foot traffic you’re going to have a nice tight pack that’s going to be slippery for days. If you can get it down to a thin layer (even if it’s slippery now) there’s a chance that sunlight and foot traffic will clear the rest much quicker, even in frigid temperatures.

          • Right, which is why I’m going to come back to it later when maybe it’s a little ore melted. I still feel weak and shaky from clearing 1/2 of my sidewalk; it’s not like I physically could have done more.

          • So it’s better to get it down to a thin slippery layer in the morning for the commuters that need to walk on it?

          • Anon 11:40 – Right on. I’m not trying to be hostile btw, just persuasive. 🙂
            Anon 12:39 – I think it’s better for it to be slippery for a short period of time rather than a long period of time. (Assuming that it’s not possible to make it not slippery from the start.)

    • I shoveled and salted most of our (short) block yesterday at 3, and was pleased to see that it stayed clear. even this morning it only took five minutes to clear. added some more salt and our side walk is looking good! Next time you might try shoveling before the storm stops.

      • Yeah, I thought we’d get a lot more snow and it would be fruitless to shovel early (I also had the stomach flu and wasn’t really in any condition to be shoveling snow).

      • epric002

        we shoveled and salted around 4:00ish when the snow lightened up and we thought everything was winding down, only to get another 2ish inches of snow through 10pm that had to be re-shoveled, and we were out of salt.

  • Seattle uses sand to lower the amount of contamination in runoff. This works in places with less persistent icing. It might be plausible here.

    • It is TEN degrees outside. You need to chemically lower the freezing temp by a LOT on days like today, in places like DC where few people have good snow gear.
      I’m sorry enough for the dogs that I do spend twice as much for the paw-friendly de-icer, but I would never expect someone else to. I’m just glad they make an effort for the people.

      • Or in other words, it’s cold enough that salt is not effective. Clear the snow, and use sand (or kitty litter) and provide traction.

        • i’m looking out on M street which has been cleared in the middle and is slushy on the sides thanks to the salt, plowing, and traffic. without the salt it would be covered with ice. your crazy green rants don’t change the reality that salt increases safety.

        • leftcoastsouthpaw

          As you probably know, sand does nothing to help clear the snow. Sand only provides traction. When it is this cold the salt isn’t helping, but when they layed it down yesterday to pretreat the roads, it definitely was beneficial. With the lack of plows in the city(and there is no need to acquire more for the few days we do get snow), salt and plowing is the best and most economical way to clear our streets.

          Also, sand might not be the most eco-friendly option.


        • Actually, we put salt on the sidewalk about 9AM and by 9:30 it had melted the layer of serious ice so much that we were able to shovel it off down to the concrete.

    • Sand is also better in really cold conditions likes this week, where salt is not effective.

    • And drivers in Seattle slide off the road.

      • Was there for the heavy Christmas storm a couple years back. Spent half my time helping push cars out of snow banks. Must have seen 8-10 cars slide into them. Probably had more to do with the hills and inexperience driving in the snow rather than sand vs. salt.

    • Google “youtube seattle ice sliding driving”. seriously.

  • RANT: THE S-BUS LINE THIS MORNING. WTF?!?! busses coming every 7 minutes jam packed to the brim, they said 2 hour delay so why not have buses ready? Lost my business today and i walked 40 minutes to downtown and now i can barely feel my face.

    Thanks WMATA! Hope the commute home is more pleasant

    • A bus every seven minutes seems like they did have buses ready. Obviously it’s a high-ridership day (they’re extra crowded on rainy days, much less snowy ones) and 7 minute intervals is shorter than regular service even in rush hour; if this was after rush hour, it’s much better service than normal. How often would you expect them to arrive?

      • Buses were only running on emergency routes this morning . S-Line is an emergency route but it always gets higher volume of traffic so it really doesn’t do a lot of us any good.

  • Rant: Just typed a long block of text, then my computer froze! (I’m sure it’s a problem with my computer and not the site.)
    Rant: Ongoing construction in my apartment. It’s left me without a toilet, bathroom sink, or usable shower since Friday. It’s not due to a burst pipe or anything else unavoidable, my landlords just decided to do some upgrades. They finally agreed to put me up in a hotel on Sunday, so I know they don’t owe me anything else, but the communication on their end has been horrible (I keep arriving home to find that the work isn’t done, having to call them, wait for a return call, then go to the hotel and check in again) and they should have scheduled such extensive cosmetic work between tenants (I move out at the end of the month).
    Rave: SNOW! Even though my office was closed yesterday, I came in and was able to get a ton accomplished. I also just love seeing the city covered in snow.
    Rave: Only three more work days this week!

  • Rant: So many neighbors didn’t clear their sidewalks this morning. I wasn’t out early either–walking to the metro at 9 am. I give a pass to elderly folks, but local businesses and apartment management companies could at least make a half-assed attempt.

    • The fire station at 6th and E St SW apparently can’t be bothered to clear their sidewalks either…

    • District law requires sidewalks to be shoveled within 24 hours after the last snow has fallen. It would be nice if people shoveled sidewalks this morning, but they are not required to do so until tonight.

  • Kalorama_Kat

    Well first I think there’s a pervasive mindset at play that you need lots of salt or else you’ll have terrible roads and tons of accidents and people will die. I think that’s flawed. During the day, there is very little if any accumulation on roads; only past nightfall does ice usually set in here in this relatively southern clime. There’s the old joke about the secret to speed reading being reading faster. Well, the secret to icy-snowy driving is to drive slower, simple as that. A lot of people here have little experience with inclement weather driving and seem to think there’s a mysticism to it that is only alleviated by salting the living hell out of the city. This is all to say that if the city used no de-icing agents whatsoever, and plowed aggressively on large roads, that it would have largely the same effect as the salt. Some people who are poor or overly-aggressive drivers would likely get into trouble regardless. Sand is a useful alternative to salt, though it contributes to air pollution. My solution, since you asked, is to plow and only use salt towards nightfall to combat the onset of ice; much, much, much less salt, mind you. I’ve lived in northern places with much more snow and ice, and they don’t use nearly as much salt, plow a lot more, and do not see brains splattered all over the roads with regularity as some sensational posters luridly suggest.

  • hispanicandproud

    Rave: Being able to sleep in a bit because of two hour delay.
    Rant: Not being able to sleep.

  • Rave: I love living in a city that shuts down over a few inches of snow. I thought that once I entered the working world that my snow days were over, but then I moved to DC and learned I was wrong!
    Rave: Yesterday I did a ton of laundry, made a sweet potato gratin, baked a cake from scratch, went for a long walk in Rock Creek Park through the snow, and had a Pixar movie marathon. A few successful snow day.
    Rant: None. I love winter 🙂

  • hehe, nice!

  • Amused: We’ve got some people on here asking that other people take special consideration when putting down de-icer so their dogs parts aren’t hurt while other dogs owners are telling people off while their dog pisses on other people’s property.

  • Rant – people that can’t leave their house because their street hasn’t been plowed. This is what winter looks like in the midwest, northeast, etc EVERY day from Oct to April!
    Rave – bad drivers are home because their street hasn’t been plowed – making for an easy commute for the rest of us!

    • Rant: People who just don’t get that this really is abnormal weather for DC. So most people don’t have the cars or the clothes or the skills for dealing with very cold icy weather that we really only get for a few days every few years. And it wouldn’t be cost effective for most of us, or even most municipalities to have those things. So yeah, Minnesota and Buffalo handle it better — but that’s because it’s their norm, and it makes sense to invest resources into preparing for severe weather.
      Rave: Hot chocolate!

    • Why are you talking about what happens in the midwest, northeast, etc? This is the midatlantic. Is it random observation day? Hey, how about all those people who walk around with umbrellas when it rains!?!? In the rainy season in Indonesia, you just stay inside for an hour, and then it gets sunny again!

  • Rave: Hunkered down and hibernating. And the one thing I was concerned about got cancelled.
    Rave: Mestermacher bread. I finally bought one of those funny looking dark brown bricks. This stuff is seriously filling.
    Rave: Instead of feeling stir crazy I’m indulging myself with sybaritic Lush bath products. Even the hallway smells like honey and flowers.
    Rave: Putting a dent in my to-do list.
    Rave: It’s so cold that I will be wearing my funniest of funny hats. Yup — the one with the earflaps and the tassels.
    Rant: It’s soooo cold out there that I’m not even tempted to play in the snow.

  • I’m actually somewhat agnostic on the salt debate, but I will add to the convo that I never saw salt used in my entire life growing up in Colorado – and we knew a thing or two about icy roads. So, it’s not completely insane to think that life can function in snowy/icy weather without salt.

    • Sure, we’ll just pass laws requiring all cars to have snowchains on the tires, like they have in Colorado. Add footgear designed for use in snow and ice (for every member of the family) to every household… yep, that makes a lot of financial sense when compared with a $15 bag of ice!
      (I grew up in Ohio. I never once went through a winter without snowpants, parka, waterproof gloves, and heavy duty boots. And I haven’t owned any of those items since I moved.)

      • I think we ought to have a law requiring all cars on the road to have winter tires during wintertime, like they do in Germany.

  • Rave: Just got offered a position for a stupid amount of money out of nowhere.
    Rant: But I’m really hesitant to leave my current position and its great commute and coworkers.
    Rave: But it’s a stupid amount of money.

  • Rant: All this talk about salt is making me thirsty.

  • Rant: Hairdresser hasn’t returned phone calls/emails to set up an appointment. My hair needs help, and I won’t get it before I leave on a business trip. And now I need to find a new hairdresser. Here’s hoping the new person I find talks less, works faster and is the same price at least!
    Rave: leaving for a business trip in warmer climes this weekend. Thank god. I’ll also get to see family which is nice!
    Rave: Hair dryer broke, but the new hairdryer and hairbrush are helping me get a few more weeks out of my grown out hair and not look like a rats nest.
    Rave: supportive friends helping outweigh the negative vibes from others. It’s really nice to be able to call on others for help and for them to give you exactly what you need.
    Rant: Being thrown under the bus in slow motion at work. Doing my best to make sure I cover myself when this projects blows up in everyone’s faces as I had predicted.

    • Da at Michael Anthony Salon in Cap Hill gave me THE BEST haircut of my life. I don’t remember how much for, tho. Sadly, I moved out of area after my first/only cut with her.

  • Rave: At work in a nearly empty office.
    Rant: Having to get to work today in the ice and snow. Nearly fell 3 time: on the platform at Silver Spring and twice in the in the slush on the curb at 7th and H NW.

  • Rant: Realizing that I’ve become that person at my office who is responsible for everything, and it’s my fault because I do the work and don’t complain enough.
    Rave: Told my boss I wouldn’t do something that would have made my life a living hell and she took it off my plate.
    Rant: Quitting this job without a backup plan. Scary but necessary.
    Rave: Returning to my toasty house tonight and parking in front of the fireplace.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Oceans
    Rave: Inside jokes

  • gotryit

    Rant: Opened my window sunday morning to see a guy getting head in his truck on the side of the road. Starting to explain the used condoms / drug baggies I’m finding in that area.

  • rant: Just read the Filomena thread which was just pathetic on so many levels. So many wrongs in that thread.

  • Rant/Rave: Possible cross-country move. My job applications have apparently NOT fallen into a black void and interviews are approaching instead. I’m both insanely excited and completely terrified.

    Rant: Co-mover (long term partner) is having a breakdown at exactly the wrong time. I’m starting to wonder if I should cancel interviews and halt forward momentum. No point in going through the motions (and the stress) if he’s decided that he’s not actually ready for this change.

    • Go forward – you can always say no to the opportunity. Things are always changing – it’s good to have more options, not fewer.

  • Rant: stupid southern construction standards. Our pipes freeze every time there is a cold snap. Why is it okay to put pipes on exterior walls?

    • gotryit

      It’s only OK if they’re well enough insulated. My plumber made it a point to avoid the exterior wall because he was concerned we wouldn’t pass inspection with only R-13 insulation (2×4 walls – the other R-5 I got outside of the wall might have been enough).

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