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Jan 27 2007

bonus points if it’s in kilograms

Hi, this is Tom and I’m guest blogging today. I need some help, and hoping someone in the masses can assist me. I need a math geek.

Now before you all get up in arms, I used to be part of that crowd. Back in the day when I used to hang out in the Apple IIe lab with the rest of the acne-scarred dweebs entering a thousand lines of code just so we could play a Star Trek game where the starship Enterprise was made up of parentheses, brackets, and other text symbols and it took a minute and a half to move it across the screen by punching the backspace key over and over. Before you laugh, remember that my generation won the first Gulf War (or at least, things went better than currently).

I used to be able to figure stuff like this out. But then I became a musician for God’s sake. So now I need help. But rest assured, it’s for a good cause–eventually I’m going to need this as ammunition with my boys who will someday be teenagers.

I believe that, so far this winter, I have moved a ton of snow. I truly believe this after clearing my driveway for the sixth time in as many weeks. But I need the figures to back me up on this.

Eventually, I’m going to have a 12 and 15-year old who are complaining to me above having to shovel the driveway. Or mow the lawn. Or weed the garden boxes. And I need to be able to have a retort ready to make them realize how good they have it and to build character. You all know, the “I had to walk to school in 3 feet of snow in bare feet” kind of thing our dads all used on us. And I think that I will someday be able to say, “Why, in the winter of ’06 I moved a ton of snow with nothing but my bare hands.” I also need this to save me the expense of breaking down and buying them a snowblower–mostly because I’d rather spend the money on a Nintendo. Not for them….for me. As a reward for all those lines of code I typed in when I was their age. OK, it sounded like a good excuse to me.

So what I need is someone to calculate the weight of the snow that I have moved. Here’s the dimensions as best I can figure them:
– We have at this point had 6 snowstorms. Let’s for the sake of arguments figure that each one has averaged 8 inches of snow.
– Our driveway is about 16 feet wide and 32 feet long. Add to that the sidewalk which is 3 feet wide and about 40 feet long.
– That times the 8 inches equals 417 cubic feet of snow each snowstorm. With 6 storms that equals 2,502 cubic feet of snow.

Now here’s the part I need help with. I don’t know how to do the converting water to weight part. That’s where I need a math geek’s help. Or a meterologist.

For the sake of arguments, and augmenting the truth, let’s just figure that all of these were the heavy wet snow type of blizzard. Today’s was not–today was the ski powder type that the mountain resorts love. And for what Vail charges for lift tickets, they can bloody well drive a truck down here and pick it up. Today’s snow was the kind of powder that makes me want to step outside of the garage, my ergonomic $20 Home Depot shovel in hand, and in my best Al Pacino Cuban accent scream “Say hallo to my lettle friend!”

(For those of you who got the 80’s reference, I applaud you.)

So that’s the challenge. I look forward to someone’s numbers. And please feel free to use it on your own children. Spread the wealth, I always say.

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