Clocking In To Snow Prison

cabinAs we slowly crawl through the snow towards Spring, I feel the cabin fever creeping in, Modern Philosophers.

Maybe it’s just my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder acting up again, or maybe the copious amounts of snow that have fallen on Maine (and not melted at all over the past month) really are closing in on me.

Dr. Jekyll is always telling me to use my words to express how this horrible Winter is making me feel.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I’d take a few photos this morning to help get across my angst about the great white world around me…

work 4This was the view through the windshield of Zombie Car when I pulled into a parking spot at work this morning.

Can you see how the pile of snow in front of my vehicle is higher than the top of my steering wheel?

work 3Another angle through the windshield.  The snow is very high and we are running out of places to pile it.

work 2Welcome to Snow Prison!

Once you climb over this giant ridge of snow, you can continue on to one of the very narrow openings in the snow, where you will find doors leading to your cell.

Please note that the windows are completely covered in snow so as to enhance your cabin fever.  There are no Post Traumatic Snow Disorder medications in the prison dispensary, so do your best to deal with your symptoms naturally.

work 1This was the entrance to my cell block, Modern Philosophers.

Again, notice how the windows are completely blocked by the snow.  We can’t even be tortured by our view of the outside world.  We just have to sit in our cells and stare out at the snow all day.

How soon before it breaks through the glass and we are buried in the avalanche?

work 5A side view of the snow pile that is hard at work chewing through that brick so that it can gain entry to our Snow Prison.

It will get in soon enough.  That snow has been out there for weeks now, and it has shown no indication that it ever intends to leave.

Will you come visit me in Snow Prison, Modern Philosophers?  Can you bring me word of the outside world, far away from the snow?  Does such a place even exist anymore?

Posted in Humor, musings, Philosophy, Photography, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Superman Visits My Fortress Of Solitude

SupermanWhen The Man of Steel makes a surprise visit to The House on the Hill, Modern Philosophers, you rearrange your day to be available to hang out with him.

“I love reading your blog, Austin, and you told me I always had an open invitation to  The House on the Hill,” Superman explained as he stomped the snow off his boots from the short walk to my porch.

Thankfully, he remembered to control his strength and did not stomp holes through the floor of my front porch.

For the record, all Superheroes have an open invite to The House on the Hill, and I hope more will take me up on the offer.

The Modern Philosopher and his Superfriends.  I like the sound of that!

“Your stories about Maine’s harsh Winter and your battle with Post Traumatic Snow Disorder got me to thinking that we have a lot in common.”

Tell me more about this theory, Superman!

fortress“The House on the Hill is your Fortress of Solitude,” he continued as his cape rippled  in the morning breeze.  “You hunker down inside, safe from the elements and the stress of the outside world, and form your Deep Thoughts on your next plan of action.”

That’s exactly what Superman does at The Fortress of Solitude!

“Of course, your blog posts lead me to believe that it’s much warmer at my place of seclusion than it is as yours,” he joked with a mighty laugh.  “Plus, you have some very interesting guests, while no one ever wants to come to see me.”

Don’t be jealous, Modern Philosophers, but I now have an open invitation to visit The Fortress of Solitude.

We moved things inside because it was getting much too cold out on the porch for this puny human.  Once we each had a Snapple in hand, we continued the conversation in the warmth of my living room.

I must tell you, I’ve never seen anything more adorable than The Man of Steel petting the purring black cat curled up in his lap.  I doubt Cali had any idea who the visitor was, but she definitely took a liking to him.

Kriptonite-crystal“Like me, you have a weakness that drains your powers,” he told me as he petted Cali behind the ears.  “Snow is your Kryptonite.”

I countered that maybe Kryptonite was merely green snow.  Superman got a kick out of that one.

“The next time your Post Traumatic Snow Disorder makes you feel powerless, tell yourself that you are a Superhero, and snow is the one thing on Earth that has this effect on you.  I bet you that Deep Thought helps you get through the hard times must quicker.”

Faster than a speeding bullet perhaps?  I cannot wait to tell Dr. Jekyll about this at my next session.  This could be the breakthrough I’ve been hoping for!

“Of course, our most obvious similarity, after our striking good looks, is the fact that we each have an archenemy who is the bane (Superhero pun intended) of our existence.”

LexSnow Miser is my Lex Luthor!

How have I not seen this before, Modern Philosophers?

Superman is a genius and a true Modern Philosopher.  I can’t imagine the Deep Thoughts he is capable of forming.

“I don’t want you to let this horrible Winter get you down, Austin,” Superman informed me as he polished off his Snapple.  “Superheroes support each other, and I want you to know I am here for you whenever you need me.”

How cool is Superman?  Seriously!  He told me that on his way back to Metropolis, he is going to pick up a pair of glasses just like mine for Clark Kent.

After we had another Snapple, Superman cleared all the snow off of my property with his heat vision.

The Son of Jor-El is now officially my favorite Superhero.  Which Superhero do you think you’re most like, Modern Philosophers?

Posted in Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A Reminder About The Serious Side Of Winter

Juno HouseI will always be the first in line, Modern Philosophers, to use humor as a weapon against anything in life that causes stress, pain, sadness, and anything negative.

I definitely believe that laughter is the best medicine, and while I am still not a doctor, I prescribe it like this is Canada and all the medications are free.

Sometimes, however, we need to take a step back from the funny to look at something seriously.

My fear of driving in snow is well known.  I am open about it, and even poke fun at myself about it on the blog.  I know I am slowly overcoming this fear, by I’m making progress at about the same pace that I drive Zombie Car in a blizzard.

This morning, something horrible happened in Maine during the morning commute.  It was snowing fairly hard, and there was a horrific accident on I 95.

According to the latest reports, 75 vehicles were involved in the pile up, including a school bus and multiple tractor trailers.

No one was killed in the incident, which is a miracle considering the photos I have seen from the crash site.  Cars totally destroyed.   An eighteen wheeler on its side in a ditch.  A pickup truck folded up like an accordion.

Much praise must go to Maine’s first responders and to the staffs at both Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital for their work with the accident victims.

Sat shovelPeople tell me that I need to get used to driving in snow because I live in Maine now.  Something tells me that a majority of the drivers of those 75 vehicles have been driving in Maine longer than I have.  All their experience didn’t keep them from being a part of the horrible wreckage.

Someone was looking out for those people this morning, and for that, I am very thankful.

As much as I rant and rave and joke about this horrible Winter we are having, it is also a very serious issue.

Please be careful out there…

Posted in Humor, musings, observations, Philosophy, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

My Top 5 Uses For Snow

Austin JunoIt snowed again today, Modern Philosophers.

That’s old news by now, but a tragic event this morning did trigger my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder.  There was a 40 car pile up on the I 95 during the morning commute.  The pictures of the crash were horrifying, but miraculously, no one was killed.

The I 95 is the main road through the state, and the accident occurred a little south of Bangor.  I do not take that route to work, but many of my coworkers do.   Some of them missed the catastrophe by mere minutes.

On a more positive note, when I returned to The House on the Hill after an extremely cautious drive home, I discovered that Mark had cleared my driveway with the snow blower and had left the garage door open for me.

So I had a stress free ascent up the driveway, and Zombie Care is now tucked away safe and sound in the garage.

Whenever my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder flares up, Dr. Jekyll advises me to focus on the positives.  So, I’m thinking about Mark’s act of kindness and I’m forcing myself to write a My Top 5 post about positive uses for snow…

snowman1. Building a Snowman Who doesn’t love a Snowman?  They are cool, fun to build, and the ones that talk are always extremely entertaining.  Sure, I sometimes fear that Maine’s Snowman Army will turn on us and enslave us, but I think that is just a side effect of some of my more experimental Post Traumatic Snow Disorder medications.

snowball fight2. Snowball Fights!  Snowball fights are great exercise and an excellent way to blow off some steam after being cooped up inside because of all the snow.  If you make sure not to aim for the face, no one is going to get hurt, you can strengthen your arm for baseball season, and if you plan it right, it’s a great way to remove snow from your property.

football3. Tackle Football  Tackle football in the snow was a staple of the Brooklyn Winters of my youth.  We always played two hand touch in the street, but when it snowed, we could take it to the next level.  This was one time that you actually wanted to be tackled and didn’t mind a face full of snow.

Of course, I must admit that tackle snow football can be very dangerous.  When I was at NYU, such a game in Washington Square Park resulted in a friend having her leg broken.

I’m pretty sure that was the last time I ever played tackle football in the snow.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA4. Snow Angels  The Hopeless Romantic is going to write this one.  When I first started dating The Girl Who Moved Away, I would always start up and shovel out both our cars at the end of a snowy work day.  One of the first times I did this, she accompanied me and insisted that I join her in making snow angels in the middle of the parking lot.

Little things like that made me fall in love with her, and I’ll forever associate snow angels with The Girl Who Is Far Away.

Snow Miser5. It’s the perfect place to hide a body  If you’re like me, Modern Philosophers, and you pass your cold, lonely, snowy Winter nights plotting the grisly murder of the being directly responsible for your Post Traumatic Snow Disorder, then you’ve probably already considered the poetic justice associated that burying the body under all that snow.

No one is going to find it for months, and when they finally do, the snow and ice will have washed away any trace DNA evidence.

And ironically, investigators might right it off as a suicide, or say that the cause of death was accidental as the individual was caught out in the elements and buried alive under all those mountains of snow.

If there weren’t some illegal elements to this entry, it would be #1 on my list.

Honorable Mention:  Igloos, Tunnel World, Roof Diving

What did you think of My Top 5, Modern Philosophers?  Did I miss anything?  Was there something on my list that wouldn’t be on yours?  Do you want to talk more about #5?

Posted in Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments


candleCandle, candle burning bright,

Warm me on this frigid night.

Provide a light so I might see

The amazing world surrounding me.

Candle, candle with dancing flame,

I hear the darkness call my name.

Protect me in your orange glow

From shadow monsters down below.

Candle, candle do not flicker

Or else you’ll bring the blackness quicker.

I sense the walls are closing in,

When you go out, my fears begin.

Candle, candle in my hand

Provide the strength to take a stand.

If you help me to be brave

I’m sure the demons will behave.

Candle, candle don’t get smaller

I see the shadows growing taller.

Illuminate the garden path

And I’ll escape from evil’s wrath.

Candle, candle never leave me

Or else my blindness will deceive me.

With you forever at my side

I shall never need to hide.

Candle, candle burning bright

Inspire courage against the night…

Posted in Humor, musings, Philosophy, Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Maine Werewolves Return From Whirlwind Recruiting Tour


After spending nearly two months on a whirlwind tour of the United States, the Maine Werewolves are back, Modern Philosophers!

Yes, I am aware there is no full moon tonight.  That howling coming from The House on the Hill is just Gary Lincoln, the Leader of the Pack, and your favorite Modern Philosopher whooping it up in celebration.

“It’s so good to be home,” Gary told me as he sipped his Snapple and admired the giant piles of snow on my front lawn.  “I cannot wait for the next full moon so that I can race atop one of those snow piles and serenade you.”

I don’t think he was kidding, Modern Philosophers.  You can take the Werewolf out of Maine, but you cannot take the Maine out of the Werewolf.

“We were in Iowa for the full moon in January, and that was a lot like Maine,” Gary explained once we went back inside The House on the Hill.  “There was plenty of snow, lots of open space to run, and still an abundance of nature.  This County Wolf certainly felt at home.”

“This month was way different, though,” he continued excitedly.  “We were in Nevada, so we celebrated the full moon in the desert.  I’d never experienced anything like that.  A couple of the locals led the way, and it was beyond exhilarating.  Of course, I’m still combing the desert out of my hair!”

postcardSo why was Maine’s largest Werewolf Pack traveling across the country?

“Your blog has made us so popular,” Gary answered with a pat on the back so enthusiastic that I almost spilled Snapple on my toga.  “Packs from all over the country have reached out to us, asking for tips on growing and recruiting so that they can become as strong as we are.”

Lincoln and his Werewolf pack visited 16 states over the course of their journey.  While he won’t go into specifics about every state on his recruiting tour, he has already disclosed two of them in this post.

“You’d be surprised how many Werewolves there are across America,” he informed me while he ignored my throwing state names at him in hopes that he would acknowledge where the other packs were located.

“Given that the rest of this country isn’t as open minded as Mainers are, our friends have asked to remain anonymous until their packs grow and they find acceptance in their communities.  Of course, I have given them all an open invitation to visit Maine, and I’m really trying to get them all to come for Halloween Season.”

Gary was very positive about the chances of America’s Werewolf population trending upward over the next few years.  “The Maine model proves that Werewolves can thrive in this country.  It’s the twenty-first century, so it’s time for antiquated Werewolf stereotypes to be shattered.  What this country needs is a lot more howling!”

Timbo & Wolf Gary unleashed a howl so raucous, that it rattled the windows of The House on the Hill.  I, of course, felt compelled to join him.

Maine’s Werewolves are back, Modern Philosophers.  It’s time to unleash our inner beasts, and howl at the moon.  I’m told it’s an excellent way to fight Post Traumatic Snow Disorder…

Posted in Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Snow Miser Rides Into Bangor Atop A Woolly Mammoth

DSC_0017Like a conquering king, Snow Miser rode down Broadway in Bangor atop a woolly mammoth this afternoon, Modern Philosophers.

“The New Ice Age has arrived!” Snow Miser screamed as he hurled snowballs at stunned Mainers, who had no idea how to react to the sight.  “This Winter shall never end.  Bow to me now, and you show be spared a frigid and torturous death.”

Even if the witnesses to this shocking event had been able to snap out of their shock at the sight of the prehistoric beast marching down the city’s busiest street, they would never have been able to do anything to harm Snow Miser.

The evil snow nymph was trailed by his homicidal bodyguards, The Four Snowmen of the Apocalypse, and the gray afternoon sky was further darkened by a flock of Snow Miser’s lethal Snow Birds.

An evil worse than anything Stephen King could ever have imagined has come to Bangor, Modern Philosophers, and there appears to be no way to stop it.

Snow MiserSnow Miser cackled with glee as his woolly mammoth crushed cars, knocked down traffic lights, and defecated in the snow.

“March will not go out like a lamb,” he promised as he passed the Broadway McDonald’s, which only months before had been Mayor McCheese’s de facto Bangor campaign headquarters.  “You all, however, will march on like lambs to the slaughter!”

At that point, the Snow Birds dove at the crowd, causing absolute mayhem in the streets.  People ran screaming in all directions, cars collided, and businesses turned off their lights in hopes of not attracting the winged beasts.

By the time Bangor Police arrived on the scene, Snow Miser was long gone.  In his wake, he’d left a terrified, shivering public and the promise of worse weather to come.

According to Stormy McBlizzardton at the WBRR TV Weather Desk, the temperature is going to dip down to -15 degrees overnight, but gusting winds will make it feel like 30 degrees below zero!

“The New Ice Age is definitely here,” McBlizzardton confirmed for this Modern Philosopher as he stared at the Doppler Radar in his Weather Command Center.  “This will definitely go down as the coldest month in Maine’s history, and I don’t think March is going to be any better.”

lighthouseA woolly mammoth was just strolling down Broadway, Stormy.  We understand that we are totally screwed in this, Snow Miser’s Winter of Our Discontent.

I can feel my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder acting up, Modern Philosophers.  I think I might curl up in my freezer and sleep there tonight to stay warm…

Posted in Funny, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments