Monday, December 8, 2008

How was your morning?

Ordinarily I don't mind getting up early on days when it snows. So when the alarm went off at 4:00 a.m., I should have jumped right up and been excited about the day. Except this morning instead of driving 30 minutes to be in the Wasatch, it was more like five hours. I was getting up so I could drive to Salt Lake and go to work, not so I could ski. And did I mention that it was snowing?

I don't mind driving in the snow. I've done it for pretty much my entire life. When I feel the tires slip, I generally don't panic, I just react as I'm supposed to and get the vehicle going in the right direction again. And when I'm alone, sliding off the road doesn't even scare me that badly, because there's pretty much nothing you could hit and do damage between Boise and Salt Lake except some of the dairy farms in Jerome. But there's something about driving 350 miles in the snow that I don't much care for. Go figure.

About an hour into the drive, I was feeling tired, so I stopped at a truck stop for some diet coke and a donut. There were no maple bars or chocolate triangles, and the apple fritters were pathetic and small. So I got a danish. Two bites in, I realized that the only way to have pastries at a truck stop in Mountain Home, ID, is to bring them in frozen. Unfortunately, mine hadn't thawed all the way yet. Not that it would have mattered. After two more bites, I just threw the whole thing out the window. I don't need to waste calories on something that bad. I kind of felt bad about littering, but I also knew that if I kept it in the car with me, I would end up eating it. And I knew I would hate myself for the rest of the day if I ate it. I'm sure some scavenging fowl was thrilled to find it for breakfast.

By the time I got to Wendell, the snow had let up, and I had dry roads but strong winds until I got to Tremonton. By Brigham City, it was snowing again. With abandon. By Ogden, I couldn't see much except for what was right in front of me. Fortunately, UDOT was out with salt and deicer, so the roads weren't bad at all. I stopped in Bountiful for more diet coke. 20 minutes after that, I was at work.

At work, I pretty much immediately opened the same spreadsheet I stared at all day Friday and for a few hours on Saturday night. Between the spreadsheet and I-84, it was starting to feel a bit like groundhog day. I'm sure my groundhog day experience is nowhere near as bad as what the two US Senate candidates in Minnesota are going through, though. I thought this take from the Steep and Cheap daily dose was amusing:

"The senate election recount in Minnesota is nearly complete, and it looks like the incumbent is slightly ahead of funnyman Al Franken. The margin of victory is a couple hundred out of the 1.9 million votes cast, which translates to a few hundredths of a percent. Basically, the margin of victory is so slight that we'll never truly know who received the most votes due to missing and incorrectly filled out ballots. Fortunately, Minnesota has a law on the books that in the event of a statistical tie, the winner of the election can be chosen by drawing lots, which is the best idea I've heard in ages. The only thing better would be if they did a best-of-three rock, paper, scissors match to decided the senate race and the whole thing was televised."

This got me thinking about other things that might be settled more objectively by rock, paper, scissors tournaments than by the current approach:

1. College Football national championship
2. Who gets the next federal bailout.
3. All Olympic sports that involve judges, such as gymnastics, figure skating, and ski jumping.
4. Which of all the dopers in the tour will actually fail a doping control.

To the Universities of Utah and Texas, to Al Franken, and to Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, all I can say is that I feel your pain. And if it comes to it, choose "paper."