MB(ecket)TA
February 19, 2015 9:21 AM   Subscribe

 
nature has forgotten us
posted by Fizz at 9:25 AM on February 19, 2015


Time to remind people that there is a lot of good about Massachusetts.

And not to worry if the recent weather has caused them to do things that call their sexual identity into question.
posted by ocschwar at 9:26 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]




The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
posted by theodolite at 9:33 AM on February 19, 2015


oh man, this was not a great thing to read while at work in general.
posted by boo_radley at 9:34 AM on February 19, 2015


Wow. Some of those photos are just...wow. I know nothing of US weather patterns. I get that this is unusual but how unusual? Is it something that happens regularly, or hardly ever, or is it endtimes bad?
posted by billiebee at 9:39 AM on February 19, 2015


endtimes bad. We're currently at the 2nd Snowiest Winter in (recorded) Boston History... and it all fell in past 30 days.
posted by davros42 at 9:41 AM on February 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Somewhere between hardly ever and endtimes bad, billiebee. In some places (like the tug hill plateau west of the Adirondacks and east of the Great Lakes) this sort of weather is, if not quite annual, not uncommon. In a place like Boston it's a disaster in slow motion.
posted by meinvt at 9:43 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


billiebee: Boston is currently at #2 for total snowfall all time at 97.3". Record for February shattered (currently 60.1", 16" higher than previous record), and it's only the 19th. Big chunks of the transportation system ("T") still not running after three weeks, politicians doing nothing but finger-pointing, lots of their past shenanigans of neglect getting exposed. We're tired.
posted by Melismata at 9:43 AM on February 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Many parts of the US have had epic snowstorms and blizzards (high winds, obscured visibility). What Boston is going through is very unusual - multiple snowstorms continually forming over the area, week after week. Doesn't happen like that for most areas.

Also, Boston's current snowfall puts it among the snowiest big cities in the world.

edit: Accuweather: Top 10 Snowiest Major Cities Around the World.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:44 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]




That's crazy. I only heard about it here, havent seen anything on our news about it. Sending hugs to the Boston MeFites. Take care.
posted by billiebee at 9:52 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


The one with the car full of snow. What happened? Did someone just leave their windows open or ?
posted by Sophie1 at 9:59 AM on February 19, 2015


This is quite good. Normally I'm not a fan of this style (and the fact that it's usually like "mad men quotes on p&r screen shots").

And n'thing the "I only hear about this here". I live in SF, the weather is nothing to write home about, but sheesh.
A month or so ago a friend of mine was complaining about not having real seasons in the bay area.
I'm fine with that.

Bundle up, New England mefites, I hope it blows over soon.
posted by lkc at 9:59 AM on February 19, 2015


billiebee- On the East Cost, things have been REALLY weird/bad since around January. My family is in the Piedmont of North Carolina, which typically hovers around 40 degrees (4.5C)for most of the winter, and they've been having temps below 15 degrees (-9.5C). I lived there for 22 years and I don't remember temperatures like that EVER.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:00 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Make a labyrinth or six!
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:00 AM on February 19, 2015


I'm beginning to think New York is the weirdest place ever. Down the Eastern seaboard, they are having a terrible winter, as well as up North. We've had hardly any snow, only one week of really cold temps, etc. I can't figure it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:02 AM on February 19, 2015


You're not wrong actually. "Unlike the vast majority of the state, New York City features a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa). New York City is an urban heat island, with temperatures 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit (3-4 degrees Celsius) warmer overnight than surrounding areas."

Also, I feel like it's been more than a week of really cold temps. Actually I feel like it's been cold my entire life and will remain so until I die, but w/e
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:04 AM on February 19, 2015


I'm beginning to think New York is the weirdest place ever. Down the Eastern seaboard, they are having a terrible winter, as well as up North. We've had hardly any snow, only one week of really cold temps, etc. I can't figure it.

And Southern Cali is roasting alive, don't forget.

Meanwhile here in the Midwest things are pretty much exactly normal, maybe a little chillier than we're used to in February but, you know, not much. (Bear in mind, our "normal" superduper totally blows. It's -34 today.)

Still, I am starting to think that in climate change terms, I should just stay put...here in the middle, where there's freshwater...
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:05 AM on February 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


And Southern Cali is roasting alive, don't forget.

We were pretty hot over the weekend - got up into the 90's, but the rest of the week it's supposed to be low 70's so not roasting, really.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:07 AM on February 19, 2015


complaining about not having real seasons

As someone who absolutely, unreservedly hates winter, these people can shut the fuck up forever.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:09 AM on February 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


We were pretty hot over the weekend - got up into the 90's, but the rest of the week it's supposed to be low 70's so not roasting, really.

So, more of a light sautée?
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:10 AM on February 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Make a labyrinth or six!

I actually spent yesterday afternoon with a friend digging a path to my shed so I could get my bike out. We moved a literal ton of snow - by some calculations I did, it was about 750 cubic feet (or 1.5 dump trucks), weighing roughly 2,300 lbs.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:11 AM on February 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


We've had hardly any snow, only one week of really cold temps, etc.

We've DEFINITELY had more than "one week" of really cold temperatures in New York.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:12 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


We've DEFINITELY had more than "one week" of really cold temperatures in New York.

I guess it depends on what you mean by really cold. I'm talking about single digits.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:13 AM on February 19, 2015


Great job now you've jinxed us I hope you're happy.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:15 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Far as I'm concerned, below 20 degrees = fuck everything
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:15 AM on February 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


My friend picked this week to go to Mexico. Great idea! Unfortunately I agreed to walk his dog while he's gone.

Wind chill of -20 tonight. Wheeeeeeee.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:16 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great job now you've jinxed us I hope you're happy.

It's supposed to be 41 here on Sunday. I'm going to wear shorts.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:17 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Its also supposed to Ice Pellet that day so I hope you do. X(
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:18 AM on February 19, 2015


Not much snow here in Western PA but it was below zero this AM and has risen to a high of 7 by now.
posted by octothorpe at 10:20 AM on February 19, 2015


I get that this is unusual but how unusual?

it would be somewhat unusual for boston; uncommon in where i live, sw michigan (although we have some pretty decent sized snowbanks right now) - in the keenenaw peninsula in the UP and some other parts of northern michigan, it's my understanding this would be yearly and expected

it is now 4 degrees in kalamazoo and 14 degrees in fairbanks, AK - this is stupid
posted by pyramid termite at 10:21 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't worry folks, despite being busy harassing environmentalists, the RCMP are on the job!
posted by Poldo at 10:23 AM on February 19, 2015


The one with the car full of snow. What happened? Did someone just leave their windows open or ?

I think so. I also saw this unfortunate situation while I was out running errands on Tuesday.
posted by dorque at 10:26 AM on February 19, 2015


Weather related story.

As a local resident of Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada, a friendly reminder that Niagara Falls has not frozen over.
Last year around this time, the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom reported that for the second time in what has been a frigid winter in the Northwestern United States, Niagara Falls had come to "an icy halt as the six million cubic feet of water that typically flow over the falls every minute has frozen over."

The story goes on to say that the flow of water over the falls typically can withstand icy temperatures, but it got so cold that it "brought Niagara Falls to a standstill - and photographers were there to snap stunning images of the frozen waterfall."

It appears someone reposted that story from last year on social media, and some people have mistakenly taken it for something that has occurred this year.
posted by Fizz at 10:28 AM on February 19, 2015


Still pants temperatures over here in Kingston and every time I see a snowflake I want to lash out in rage. It seems our plows get everything under control and then I wake up to another round of "Winter Wonder-fuck you."
posted by Kitteh at 10:35 AM on February 19, 2015


Time to remind people that there is a lot of good about Massachusetts.

And not to worry if the recent weather has caused them to do things that call their sexual identity into question.


FYI the secret punchline of that song is that in Norwegian "Massachusetts" sounds almost exactly like "Lots of cow shit" (masse ku dritt) so the song is actually an excuse to sing about cow shit for a few minutes, plus a little weird sexual confusion near the end.

Source: Host dad for Norwegian exchange student.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:48 AM on February 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Another thing to remember is that, while southern New England gets plenty of snow (Providence, about an hour south of Boston, gets a 12-18" storm every few years), there is usually a melt period between storms, so the build up is pretty limited. We've been below freezing since the first week of January, so not only is it snowier than usual, all the previous snow is still there, making everything much much worse.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:50 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a lifelong Bostonian. I work downtown. To say that the shitshow that is the last month has impacted the city is a vast understatement. Our subway system is effectively defunct (my normal mode of transport, along with literally hundreds of thousands of others). Car commuters are facing travel times during rush hour of 4 - 8X normal conditions--in both directions.

In a city known for its citizens being a bit edgy to begin with, folks are really starting to lose it. We've quite literally run out of expletives and superlatives to describe our reality.

The MBeckettTa is delightful, and much needed. But we need April (and its modicum of warming, blissful sunshine) something fierce. Shit, I'm looking forward to March.
posted by eggman at 10:50 AM on February 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


The sheer amount of jinxing going on in this thread is making my superstitious head explode.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:53 AM on February 19, 2015


I can't help but think of that bit in Spalding Gray's Monster in a Box, where he is invited to the Moscow Film Festival in the dead of winter:
The first morning I leap out of bed and run to the window, and I open the great curtains, open the shutters and Renee says, "What do you see, hon?"
"Nothing, NOTHING, NOTHING! It's like a Beckett Play!"
posted by chambers at 10:54 AM on February 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


(I posted this Tumblr in the other Boston snow thread which you should also check out for more crazy snow pictures.)
posted by maryr at 10:54 AM on February 19, 2015


But we need April (and its modicum of warming, blissful sunshine)

What, you really think April is ever going to come? Sure, the calendar may say it's April, but it's just going to be January in disguise.

That fucking groundhog is holding April hostage in its hole. We're going to find April cut up into small pieces scattered downriver.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:57 AM on February 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


At least they won't need to install gates/sidewalk barriers along the marathon route.
posted by maryr at 10:59 AM on February 19, 2015


Gotta make it through Smarch first.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:59 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


For me, this season has been the best justification of living in NYC ....

I don't have to own a car and hence, don't have to shovel anything.
I don't have to bother about blocked roads as I can use the subway and, due to heat island effect, subways are running good.
I don't even have to worry about buying groceries for a week, as there are a million delivery restaurant within a mile.

I <3 NYC.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:09 AM on February 19, 2015


I hate it when people post inspirational messages in their tagline, but this may have inspired me. What do you think of the following:

Love, Coffeespoons

-- Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time? (Beckett)
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 11:09 AM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't have to bother about blocked roads as I can use the subway and, due to heat island effect, subways are running good.

YOU GO OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW AND TURN AROUND THREE TIMES AND SPIT.

What's wrong with you, do you want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:15 AM on February 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


If it helps ... I typed that with while keeping fingers crossed on both my hands.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:21 AM on February 19, 2015


I've been lying under my desk knocking on wood for the past 2 hours so I think we're Ok
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:24 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Niagara Falls has not frozen over.

hell HAS frozen over, though*

*yes, it's a daily mail link from last year, but trust me, it's frozen over this year, too
posted by pyramid termite at 11:53 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


politicians doing nothing but finger-pointing

That's not entirely true. They *did* cut the transportation budget.
posted by uosuaq at 11:56 AM on February 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Governor Baker's rightly been getting a lot of shit for this, and only a couple months into his first term. The talk on the news now is that he's steadfastly refused to raise taxes, but most experts agree that some new money is going to be required to rehabilitate the MBTA. He's trying to look more interested now, but it took him a good long time to break out of "not my problem" mode. I think it's a bad indicator of his future performance if his answer to crises is basically, "I'm just the governor, what am I supposed to do about it?"

He may not be directly responsible for the current transportation crisis, but then again he was instrumental in dumping billions of dollars of Big Dig debt on the MBTA, so maybe he is.

In conclusion
posted by backseatpilot at 12:06 PM on February 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I just thought of something. You know how much ribbing George R. R. Martin gets about when the next book will be forthcoming, or how the HBO series is about to overrun the books?

Winter has come.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:10 PM on February 19, 2015


Re: Charlie Baker dumping billions of debt on the MBTA:

I'm tired of hearing this stated without context. The costs of building the tunnel were not handed to the T. That sounds insane and extremely Republican, but unfortunately it's not what happened. A condition of the Big Dig happening was that there was a big 2 billion dollar list of transit improvements that were to be made as concessions to environmental groups that opposed the Big Dig. These improvements were in general planned and executed (green line expansion to Lechmer is apparently one of them). Baker put THAT debt (earmarked for transit) on the MBTA.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2012/02/29/mbta-big-dig-debt/

But all that aside, the fact that the T is so broken makes me reconsider the wisdom of staying in Boston long term. The point is, we need money to fix the T, and leaders more interested in switch heating than ribbon cuttings.
posted by permiechickie at 12:26 PM on February 19, 2015


Hey, the Olympics will be a good reason to improve the MBTahahahaha
posted by dismas at 12:29 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Adding to the pile-on: they hired union workers and convicts to shovel a 9(?)-mile exposed section of the Red Line. Because, you know, railroad vehicles that have plows on them have not been invented yet.
posted by Melismata at 12:57 PM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is wicked funny. Also, pretty bleak.

Did Werner Herzog say anything about snow or winter or cold that might be relevant here?

(It's going to rain here in Rhode Island on Sunday. Before, I was wailing "I'm freeezing!" but now I have switched to "We're all gonna drown!")
posted by wenestvedt at 1:21 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the link. Many of these are quite funny- just what I needed since my mood is buried under all the snow.

The snow piles are halfway up my windows so I cant see much outside. One of my window frames is leaking in about twenty places. My attic is full of frozen water. And after bearing up just fine to the 60+ or 80+ or whatever + inches of snow shoveling so far, I got careless with the lousy, pathetic inch that fell last night and hurt my back. My car won't start. And it's snowing again.

The fragility of the infrastructure of modern life is really frightening.
posted by shiawase at 2:16 PM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Because, you know, railroad vehicles that have plows on them have not been invented yet.

The Green Line trolleys with plows on them have been derailing.
posted by maryr at 2:55 PM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


This snow will never go away. It'll be right here, in piles, on the Fourth of July. It'll be here to welcome students returning in the fall. It'll be here to mess with people traveling for Thanksgiving.

It'll still be here when next winter comes and dumps 25 more feet of the damn stuff.
posted by lydhre at 2:58 PM on February 19, 2015


We have always been at war with the snow.
posted by maryr at 3:02 PM on February 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


. The costs of building the tunnel were not handed to the T. That sounds insane and extremely Republican, but unfortunately it's not what happened. A condition of the Big Dig happening was that there was a big 2 billion dollar list of transit improvements that were to be made as concessions to environmental groups that opposed the Big Dig.

As a resident of Medford, MA, I can report to you that the Big Dig's improvements have induced a great deal more traffic on I-93.

That means a great deal more emissions right next to our main school complex. In the playground outside the kids can barely hear themselves half the time.

Those concessions aren't just for "environmental groups." They're for people who live downwind and near the added traffic, and who were promised reduced emissions thanks to improved transit options for areas right upwind.

If you don't want the Green Line Extension, et cetera, we can compromise: shut down one lane in each direction on I-93 instead.

Otherwise, these projects need to complete. HOWEVER, these are projects that the MBTA would never have undertaken as an autonomous agency, because simply spoken, the MBTA cannot take on that kind of debt load. These are projects that the Commonwealth decided to take on in order to get the Big Dig done. Ergo, the debt belongs with the Commonwealth.
posted by ocschwar at 3:28 PM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]




Far as I'm concerned, below 20 degrees = fuck everything

Then I will refrain from telling you that here in west-central Michigan, it's currently -19° F and expected to keep dropping for five or six more hours. On the bright side, the wind has died down, so the windchill is now -19 F too, up from -28 an hour ago.

My poor doggies hobbling about miserably trying to perform their necessaries in as few seconds as possible before limping (or needing to be carried) back inside is a pitiful sight.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:55 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


-12 in kalamazoo early this morning - grayling, mi, got down to -32

saw yesterday that miami had a wind chill advisory for plus 30 to 20 wind chills - then the weather channel site had a video of some guy in a truck experiencing wind chills of +21 who was exclaiming that he'd never been so cold in his life

i laughed and laughed and laughed - that would feel WARM right now
posted by pyramid termite at 5:21 AM on February 20, 2015


Apparently it's so "bad" in southern florida that some of the car wash services my friends use (they set up on paydays at various office complexes) took the day off.

Also, found on Facebook - snow mound with eyes carved in it, pop in glow sticks in the eye holes.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 6:40 AM on February 20, 2015


XKCD on alternate snow removal methods.
posted by curious nu at 7:29 AM on February 20, 2015


This snow will never go away. It'll be right here, in piles, on the Fourth of July. It'll be here to welcome students returning in the fall. It'll be here to mess with people traveling for Thanksgiving.

You hyperbolize, but last year in Chicago, when we had our endless hell winter, there was a pile of plowed snow in the grocery store parking lot behind my house that literally persisted, though in ever-dwindling form, until the end of May.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:48 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


saw yesterday that miami had a wind chill advisory for plus 30 to 20 wind chills - then the weather channel site had a video of some guy in a truck experiencing wind chills of +21 who was exclaiming that he'd never been so cold in his life

i laughed and laughed and laughed - that would feel WARM right now


I was just outdoors cackling and whooping because it was so "nice" today: 5 °F rather than last night's low of -25.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:53 AM on February 20, 2015


The annoying thing about the deep cold is, it's never low enough long enough to kill off the bugs that invade trees and gardens.

Edit: or, I could be completely wrong. See this article, NPR: The Upside Of The Bitter Cold: It Kills Bugs That Kill Trees
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:16 AM on February 20, 2015


You're wrong this time around, ZeusHumms, but unfortunately it's only a matter of time where we have the winter you're thinking of. Which will mean I will have to get my neighbor's maples cut down before they fall on my house.
posted by ocschwar at 11:04 AM on February 20, 2015


I read a book about running the Iditarod where the author talked about sledding up the Yukon in -70 degree weather. He was straight up eating sticks of butter and still losing a pound a day just from shivering.

That doesn't make NYC's 9 degrees right now any less balls cold and unacceptable!
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:22 AM on February 20, 2015




...so, a couple of weeks ago Baker appointed a panel to look into the problems with the T. The new head of the panel promptly went on vacation to Jamaica. While he was there, it was revealed that he owes $200,000 to the IRS and has other financial troubles. He resigned yesterday. Way to go, everyone.
posted by Melismata at 5:08 AM on February 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


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