Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, December 30, 2010:
It now seems as if there will be no quick retreat of the snow. Despite mildish weather, the snow pack is so thick it will generate its
own coldness. Even all these sunny days won’t make a huge impression on the
many feet of snow piled up.
LBI life is getting back to normal – just a lot narrower than it had been. Virtually every year-round Island home
has a driveway just wide enough for a vehicle -- and a pathway to the house
just wide enough to gain access to said house.
Many homes have snow banks to shoulder-high along drives and walkways.
Important note: Those walls of white on either side of a driveway thaw then freeze at night. When pulling in or out, drive as if that’s rock on
each side. I kid you not. When those snow banks freeze at night, they can put
huge and costly dents into a vehicle that bumps them. Just ask insurance
companies. That $500 or higher deductible will loom a lot larger in the wake of
Christmas shopping. Also, the same costly indentations can occur should you accidentally
impact snow banks now on the shoulders of every road.
There are a lot of folks walking around the streets – no sidewalks to be found. Give them a wide berth as you drive by them on slippery
roads. You are responsible, even if your vehicle sideslip all on its own. I saw
a female pedestrian get sideswiped by a sliding car in a parking lot yesterday.
Very minor. No damage due to the slow speed of the car. The slightly struck gal
was also a champ about it, consoling the thoroughly rattled older gal who
Along those same lines, it is now the law that you must remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before driving. Yes, it is the law. Should
ice or snow flying off your car cause grievous bodily harm to a pedestrian or
lead to an accident, you can be doing catastrophic hard-time in jail. I kid you
not. There have been a number of cases of otherwise law-abiding citizens having
chunks of ice fly off their vehicles, leading to serious even fatal accidents.
Out of the blue, those stunned motorists ended up being incarcerated for
life-ruing amounts of time. I believe North Jersey had
just such a case last year.
A fun little tale from the Outback area.
A buddy of mine, who has to commute over 40 miles to work (just to live in the Pines), routinely gets up predawn, cooks up his daily
high-energy oatmealish breakfast and does something akin to a gradual wakeup.
Hunched over his bowl and his beloved “organic” coffee, he sits at the kitchen
table to, as he says, “let my heart start up.”
The second day after the snow, he heard the subtle squeak of his cat door, only a few feet from his table. Glancing over, he expected to see
Lovie, his “mangy” cat, named by his former wife. “It’s the only thing I got
out of the settlement,” he unjokingly tells everyone.
Instead of Lovie, a “huge” raccoon head was peaking through the cat door. “It was a bit scared but mainly it was just giving me this sad look,” he told me by phone.
An animal person, he took a big gob of cereal and flicked it halfway to the coon. It seemingly took it as a peace offering and came in. “It barely made it through the opening,” he said.
“It ate the oatmeal and licked the floor. I was about to give it some more when the cat door moved again. This time a tiny raccoon face
looked through. I thought ‘What the hell,’ and took a buncha oatmeal in my hand
and threw it toward the door. The little one pushed in and began eating. Mom looked
over for her share. I wasn’t that hungry so I put the bowl on the floor and she
edged up and began eating right at my feet.”
Always looking for a way to go after his Ex, he said, “If she was here, she would have grabbed the shotgun soon as that coon looked in.”
I heard that. I knew her and she could – and would – shoot a hummingbird a football field away.
Needing to get to work, my buddy slowly stood up, saying, “I gotta get movin’ guys.” Mom and junior quickly took their cat door exit.
While the meeting was enjoyable (“It made my whole day,” he said), he’s now afraid he has opened Pandora’s box. “I can’t nail shut the cat
door, though I’d love to,” he said, referencing mangy Lovie. “I just hope I
don’t come home (from Cherry Hill) and find a dozen
raccoon playing cards at the table.”
I allayed his fears in the only way I could, offering, “Would you rather come home to a pack of raccoon or your ex-wife glaring at you for being late?”
His laugh told me that answer.
(Lest you think we unfairly jest about his tough wife, she is a now a prison guard.)