June 15, 2004

The TechKnow People Have Arrived

Either from slashdot or from elsewhere, many have jumped into the comment thread below with offers for help to displaced weblogs.com bloggers.

In other news, I was at a friend's house tonight talking about northeast winters. She's from the Mississippi Delta. I'm from Rochester, N.Y.

Our girls were making forts in the bedroom out of blankets and chairs and newspapers, and I remembered the feeling of being inside a fort as a kid, a private hideaway too small for adults to invade, our first apartments, our island escape.

I started to tell my southern friend about the long winters and lake effect snow, the snow so deep that we spent half the year digging igloos and snow caves in the huge drifts that the snowplows made at the side of the roads. These were the forts I grew up in. Not treehouses or bedroom forts, but snow tunnels.

My friend remarked about the safety--or lack thereof--of living in snow tunnels. Sure, we'd lose a couple of kids each winter, back in the 70s when the snow was for real, kids who fell into drifts and couldn't get out, kids whose tunnels caved in and suffocated them. Somehow, that was par for the course, no different than the tragic swimming pool drownings you read about down here during the summer. Really. Snow accidents were part of the terrain, as water accidents are in places where folks enjoy the sun a good part of the year.

The snows ability to suck up children never stopped us from digging and tunneling and building our forts. Mostly, I guess, because there was nothing else to do. Our parents knew that compared to hanging from car bumpers skating down the street at 40 mph under the rear axel, an activity reserved for the *bad* kids, tunnel digging was relatively safe.

We built igloos too during those long cold months. We'd work for hours, skin so numb that our thighs would be covered in hives by the time we went in for the day. In all of this nostalgia, I remembered the name of the all-time best snow apparatus ever, and I asked my friend if she'd ever heard of the iggy snow maker.

Winter people over 40, do you remember the iggy snow maker? Do I have the right name? I googled it just now and didn't see a reference. Not one. But I'm pretty sure iggy snow maker was the red snow-brick maker that made igloo construction easy.

I wanted to show my friend, since she has something in her garage that looks just like it. The only difference is hers is for building sand castles. I almost thought to steal it and keep it for my next winter trip to Rochester.

I mean really, what good is an iggy snow maker in sand? You can't tunnel through sand piles.