Thursday, October 12, 2006

Oh Canada

A completely representative recent survey among my friends and relatives asked for their associations to Canada. The results in order of importance:

  1. Snow
  2. Maple syrup, maple leaves, maple trees, and other maples
  3. Forest
  4. You just moved there (well, I told you it was completely representative and double blind and all that)
  5. Snow

Further not top-ranking but interesting associations were: bears, nose-bleeding, Tim Horton's, palm trees (hahaha), ice wine and snow.

So, when I tell you I have had an overdose of Canada today, I don't mean I drank the bottle of maple syrup. No, today, we had a snowstorm of the kind where you can't see farther than 10 meters. I had to abuse a CD to scratch the ice of my windshield. Luckily, it's stopped snowing by now.

Here's the prove, photo taken 5 minutes ago in the back yard:

I am shocked, longing for a sunny beach in Santa Barbara, and hoping that my winter clothes will arrive in finite time. Another persistent inquiry today brought up the news that my furniture is still in Montreal. But today, I can nevertheless report progress: the truck company has figured out that the storage in Montreal begins to get expensive (STORAGE?! Yes, it turned out they were waiting for more stuff, so the truck would be fully loaded). Since capitalism demands it now, they consider actually bringing my stuff to Waterloo.

They don't work on weekends though.


  1. Iced windshield:

    1) Isopropanol sparing poured on along the top. Cumulatively expensive over Canukistan's 8 months of winter.

    2) Treat windshield with Rain-X. After application and cure, gently serially wipe with a couple of folded paper towels wet with isopropanol before gently buffing off residual haze. It will ice but the ice won't stick, more or less. If it works at all it lasts about a month, then reapply.

    3) Plastic wrap on windshield. If moisture gets underneath, not so good. Cumulatively expensive.

    4) Smear windshield with a bit of shampoo each evening as a release layer. So-so.

    5) Go capitalism! Invent an external Windscreen Snuggie that seals the glass against frost. Think of it as a parity-inverted California sunscreen. No, wait - that won't work. You're a theorist.

    Apply for grant funding to study the problem. Open Web page for public donations to study the problem. AH!

  2. Did you see this in the New York Times about the snow storm in Buffalo?

    This is an extremely rare event for this early in the season, someone said...

    They just want to tease you, the Canadians :-)

  3. Hi Uncle,

    this is great, I had a good laugh at it :-) My favourite solution though would be to travel without the annoying metal box at all, Scotty, could you beam me over?

    But you are right, all that stuff that you're supposed to apply to your windshield either doesn't help, or it inevitably leaves some smeary surfaces, which doesn't improve the vision either.

    However, after some weeks up here, I remembered an habit I had to give up when I moved to Arizona: Unless it's summer, you can perfectly leave your groceries in the trunk of the car instead of carrying all into the save environment of your fridge asap. Guess what the trunk of my car looks like only after some weeks...?

    Anyway, I should try the grant application. I pretend I do some years of research, and then I sent them a copy of your list.




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