Tonawanda News


February 14, 2014

ADAMCZYK: The modern form of cabin fever

Tonawanda News — “The snow is really piling up out there. I wish you wouldn’t make me leave here.” The noted tenor Meat Loaf sang that in a song from 1977, and it approximates an attitude I observe around Kenmore these days.

The ennui of winter comes, eventually, every year, that “I wish it would end” outlook. This year it arrived early, as did the snow. It is that low-level boom-and-bust rotation that hurts, that prevailing schedule of cold weather and snow, followed by cold weather and no snow. Just enough time to shovel it, move it, accommodate one’s self to it, and it goes away. Then it returns. The cold is a constant.

Be warned, if you have not by now: Weather bordering on ridiculous will be the setting for the rest of our lives, and if anyone does not believe “polar vortex” will be in our vocabularies forever more, well, you can stop reading now and return to your caves.

What we all do is return to our caves, these days, and watch the weather environment on television. At a summer resort in Russia they’re skiing, skating and/or luging on it. In the American South this week, they employed Buffalo-style maneuvers to deal with it.

In Greenville, S.C., a robot manufacturer built and demonstrated an automatic snow removal machine (I saw it on the Weather Channel), a suitcase-sized robot with tank treads on the bottom and a plow and headlights on one end, to deal with the city’s inch of snow. Charming. Why hasn’t anyone in Buffalo thought of that? Oh yeah, one inch of snow is unheard of here.

Cabin fever prevails, until it’s time to go outside, at which time it’s business as usual. Drive through snow in the streets like mashed potatoes? No problem. Shovel the sidewalk? Piece-o-cake. Then we return indoors to the comforts of a house full of heat, loved ones and television and we wonder why we ventured out.

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