Making the weather call. This will seem silly to people north of Austin.

Martin Burke for ZACH Theatre. Austin, Texas. 

I just walked out to my driveway to find my car covered with ice. I don't have a real windshield scrapper but I know enough not to use a piece of metal. I used one of the plastic hand paddles we use in swim practice and, along with my rear window defroster, de-iced the back window and the windshield. The car's instrument panel indicated that the temperature outside is holding steady at 25 and we have a light peppering of ice/sleet (but not freezing rain) dropping down in staccato drops.

Our assignment downtown starts at noon today which means we should aim to be at the Westin Hotel by 11:30am, and that's where the Texas-Traffic-Roadway-calculus comes in. We're not precisely sure that we'll be about to make it out of the neighborhood and onto the main roads. If we do we're not sure how many cars we'll encounter, filled with baffled Texans, which have lost control and may be blocking intersections and roadways. We're not sure if all the overpasses have been closed. 

Ben and I have mapped out a route that requires us to travel over zero overpasses and transit only one bridge; the main bridge to the downtown Capitol. It's the Congress Ave. bridge. We hope that enough people have gone over it to provide some guidance ruts....

From there we wend our way through the one way streets of downtown. But, at least today, I'm reasonably certain we'll find street parking, and even more certain that parking enforcement will NOT be out today writing tickets for expired parking meter loitering.

Choice number two is to call the client and admit that we, like most level headed southerners, are frightened by the freezing weather and out of control fellow drivers and would prefer to stay home by the fireplace and drink coffee laced with bourbon and watch old movies on TV. 

We're an adventurous sort and will probably take the middle ground: be willing to give it all a go but ready to surrender to reality at any time and turn around. I'd hate to see a billable work day go fallow after my rough start to the year but I think health and safety trump micro-calendar cash flow issues.

To stay almost on topic I have to give a nod to the GH5's face/eye detect AF. It works well. It was one thing I didn't have to think about during yesterday's portrait shooting. 

If you are reading this in the northern hemisphere I hope you stay warm and cozy. If you are one of my wonderful readers in Australia I hope your heat wave has broken and you are staying cool and enjoying the great outdoors. 

The adventure continues. At least we don't have to shovel snow....


  1. Well, we're exactly on the 50th N (Austin is on the 30th), so quite a bit more North than you - about where Vancouver or Ontario are. Still, the weather is getting worse, and more and more unpredictable everywhere. Global warming, something someone in your government denies to even exist...

  2. «The best laid plans of mice and men ...»

  3. I'll bet folks in Austin are the same as those of us here in Eugene, Oregon—when the roads get icy and dangerous, we shift into AWD or 4WD and drive like we're impervious to anything… including common sense. At any time, statistically speaking, we share the road with drunk/drugged drivers (30-40%, by some estimates) and too many others who pretend the pavement is dry and "OK, if I just take it slow," which they don't.

    So be careful out there; you don't need another round of trauma in your life now, or ever.

    Sure makes an old movie and coffee sound good, doesn't it?

  4. It has warmed up to a balmy 20 degrees here in the Panhandle and the song stuck in my head, playing over and over in my brain, is: "She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini"

  5. As a northerner, I would rather shovel snow than drive on ice covered roads. Snow is easy, ice, not so much.

    Stay safe

  6. Hm, today it snowed about 40cm, and then some rain. Created a bit of caos, but nothing one cannot handle in Osl, Norway. Use winter tires, drive slowly, and remember that 3wd dont work when its slippery enough. Drive safe!

  7. G’day Kirk.

    If possible could you please mail some ice to Sydney. We’ll ship some hot air in return. (There’s plenty to spare in Canberra). Sydney’s western suburbs recorded about 115F a few days ago. That’s the hottest it’s been since 1939.

    As an aside, I take delivery today of a shiny new Panasonic G9. Should be an interesting piece of kit.


  8. As an Ex Bostonite - Go Pats, What can I say 3 unknown QB's and Tom Brady- now in Austin I tell my friends in the frozen north we don't shovel heat!

  9. Up here, a bit north of Kirk, we're being lead to understand that we're about to get a heat wave.

    The forecast for tomorrow is a high of 28ºF.

    Which is better than the -20º to -30º lows we've had during the past month.

  10. I still cop it from my 24yr old son from the time when I escorted him by foot a mile or two to school in a few inches of snow when he was 7 in the UK. On arriving at the school the teachers who had struggled to work decided to close the school because of the snow.

    Now I'm living back in Melbourne, Australia where it will be above 100F for the next couple of days and teasing my brother who lives in Vermont where lately it has warmed up to a balmy 8F overnight.

  11. When i lived in Vermont, and we had an ice storm, the only solution was to brave the slippery conditions and go to the woodpile a few times. Then, a good book and hot chocolate. 8WD would not work on ice.


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