This morning the world (or at least the part of it directly outside my windows) was covered in a thin blanket of snow, maybe a quarter of an inch. Enough to be pretty, not enough to be a major concern.
There are different responses called for different sorts of snow accumulations. Some are best dealt with with a snowblower, some a shovel, some a broom. Some require salt to melt the dreaded ice that lurks beneath. Some are a deadly, snowblower-breaking, heart-attack inducing layering of snow, slush, ice, and snow, like the Valentine's Day storm of 2007, and can only be dealt with through brute force and plenty of muscle.
And some are best dealt with by sitting down, having another cup of coffee, picking up the Sunday Funnies, and letting the sun melt the thin layer of snow in a few minutes.
Today's snow fell into that last category.
So I was a little annoyed when my peaceful Sunday reverie was broken by a sound very much like this:
(That's the Big Dog robot from Boston Dynamics.)
At first I assumed it was the neighbor who used to have all of his rain gutters directed onto our property until a visit from a city official who sank in our saturated side yard nearly up to his knees while investigating a complaint - he loves his noisemakers, and nothing gives him greater pleasure than shattering the quiet of a Sunday afternoon with a three-hour ride on his smoke-belching riding lawnmower. But it wasn't. It was the people another neighbor hires to clean her sidewalks when it snows. Only instead of making quick work of things with some brooms - or, better yet, ignoring the problem entirely and letting it go away on its own - they were slowly, methodically, going over every square inch of her sidewalk and even her car with leaf blowers. Not that the leaf blowers were doing a very good job: a lot of melted-on snow was getting left behind clinging to the sidewalks. But, hey, they were doing something to justify the bill they were going to send her.
Finally, after what has seemed like at least an hour, they have stopped. Now I can get back to ignoring my sidewalks and reading the Sunday Funnies.