Monday, March 8, 2010

OCD and the Minnesota winter

There comes a time around every March where the lure of the ice chopper cannot be denied.

For me it was this past weekend, when temperatures raced above freezing -- and stayed there -- for more than 24 hours. There's something about ice that taunts us -- or at least me -- and while we dare not take the bait when it's 10 or 20 degrees, when it gets into the 40s, it's a fair fight -- sort of.

At my airport -- South St. Paul, Minnesota -- they screwed up the grading when they built the city-owned hangars, so water tends to flow in to the hangars as the snow on the roof melts, hits the ground, freezes, and makes a big mountain of ice. As further water drips, it goes into the hangar.

Now, I don't know how many of you understand how a hockey rink works, but the smooth cement floor has refrigerated coils underneath it. Add water and you're skating on thin ice.

The floor of a typical hangar works that way in the winter.

Generally, I've been pretty good about keeping the snow clear all winter, but once the snow started melting on the roof, I couldn't prevent the ice build-up. The problem is, it's going to rain tomorrow and all of that rain is going to pond back into the hangar if I can't get the ice removed.

I'm making progress, which is more than I can say for my hangar neighbors. On the other hand, they're enjoying their mug of beer today in blister-free hands.

In a few days, we're leaving for our drive down to Arizona. By this time next week, I'll be sitting in the sunshine watching a Cleveland Indians exhibition game, and thinking how different the northern climate can be on a guy.

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