Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ho Ho Ho, I'm Freezing My Dickens Off

First off, belated Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Saturnalia (anyone?), Festivus, Snoggletog (wait...this is from an animated movie), and anything or nothing everyone else celebrated.  I know I could say "Happy Holidays," but that's kind of a cop-out.  I don't believe it is a phrase of true inclusion.  I'd like to think if someone told me Happy Hanukkah, I'd be like "Heck yeah, buddy, light 'em if you got 'em."  By "'em," I mean Menorahs.

Myself, I'm a Christmaser, but if anyone's throwing a party celebrating any holiday (any time of the year), send me an e-vite.

Anyway, back two weekends ago, I did my annual Santa Run.  Unfortunately no Mike this year, but Jason and I did it up well.  They changed the route a bit to include more of downtown and I loved that.  Being that my Spartans were playing Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game, I refused to not cover up a bit of that red with some Michigan State green (which, for the record, changes shades all the time).

Here are some photos of that:

Though it didn't double again, the run grew by about another 300 people

Pre-Race Shot

Lining up at the start

Off we go

One of the final looks at Genesee Towers (Flint's tallest building at this time) from Saginaw

Genesee Towers again in the distance

Almost done, and joining back up with the 1 milers

Action Shot


Sleigh Shot

Run, run, as fast as you can, you can catch me, I'm immobile and made of wood!

I also made a gameday decision to do Run Like the Dickens.  I decided at 4am the morning of, got a few winks, woke back up at 7am, and drove through a mini-snowstorm to get to the race only about 15 minutes before the start.  Plenty of time.

I was a total moron and forgot my snow cleats and wore the Nikes I already hate, but now have completely flat bottom soles.  So I was doing my best impression of Super Mario Bros. 2, World 4, running but not moving all that much.

That dude is excited

5K taking off

Dickens Run is very very dog friendly

10K lining up

Bee People!

I found a Corgi.  His name is Scooter.  I stopped to pet him.

Just enough snow to slip on, not enough to grip on

Downtown Holly

Decked out Christmas House

Welcome to Freezy Beards

All Done
As I came down the finish corral, I heard a voice behind me say, "I'm coming to get you, Tardis!!!"  I did not let him get me.  I was happy about that, and about someone knowing I had a Doctor Who hat on (though I wasn't very pleased with Matt Smith's final episode as the Doctor on Christmas Day).

I spent an hour in a cafe in Holly drinking Chai Latte and warming up with a bowl of Chili.  I was frozen in place you don't even want to know about after that race.  After that I hopped over to see the Detroit Model Railroad Club in Holly.

I got the insider's tour, as I have a former co-worker friend who's a member
After that, the holidays got a little weird.  The ice storm knocked out a lot of people's power.  Ours went out Saturday at 4am.  With no power, I went downtown to watch the Genesee Towers implosion Saturday morning.  It was actually quite a party down there, and I ran into my friend (and neighbor) Ken.

Ken and I with GT in behind.

Here's a link to my implosion video, if you're not offended by some loud girl that says "sh*t" too much and says it once in conjunction with "balls"

Now you see it.... you don't.

 We spent the night at my MIL's place, after stopping at my BIL's (power also out) Sunday night, and her power went out.  It added a little frustration when the Lions did their thing and eliminated themselves from playoff contention, but not much, because I expected as much.

Lions Santa, wearing the classic bag-over-head throwback uniform

We tried to run my FIL's generator at our house Monday morning, and we could get everything to fire up, except the furnace.  So, being out of ideas, I just went outside and started taking photos of the beautiful scenery covered in ice.  I wasn't going to let a 45 degree house temperature keep me from realizing there's still beauty in the world to be seen.

After that I took our corgi for a walk

...and when I got back from that.  I heard the sound of a running refrigerator.  Then, I felt warm air coming up through the vents.  We were back!  I couldn't contain my excitement and ran all over the house flipping switches and turning on anything that might throw out heat.  I was going to get all the degrees I could, in case this was a temporary restoration.  However, we stayed on, and with my whole family also being out, and us supposed to host Christmas, this was a much-welcomed break.

Merry Christmas
With everything going on, this was probably the least prepared and most financially modest Christmas we've ever had, but it was also the most thankful I've ever been.  I was just happy to see my family and happy to be warm.  I was also happy that, with heat, we were able to fulfill our duties of dog-sitting our friends' Corgi, who we just had to give back today.  I didn't want to.  She was a sweetie, and she really took to me.  Nobody else give me your dog to watch.  I'm warning you, next time I just may keep it.

So, yeah, a fairly hectic, nomadic Christmas, but we had it a lot better than many people.  We had places to go to keep warm, and were not out as long as many others.  Some people are still out, and many just got back on yesterday.  Our initial estimate was to be out until today, so I'm thankful that we were back 5 days earlier.

I've seen estimates of total outages, state-wide at over 600,000.  That's a lot of people and businesses.  There were crews brought in from all states to help us, and I appreciate everything they've done and continue to do to bring people back.  Hopefully, today, as the ice on the trees melts, another branch won't fall loose from its icy hold and knock us out again.
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