Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winding down

Yes, that's a Duraflame log. More about that in a bit.

My wife, younger spawn and I relaxed at the village diner late this afternoon, filling our bellies with comfort food and watching snow swirl outside. The tiny restaurant doesn't have much of a dinner crowd this time of year, so we had the place to ourselves.

The Big Winter Storm was pretty much of a yawner for us. Yesterday's round brought freezing rain, which encased our world in a half-inch of ice. Schools were closed and Mrs. KintlaLake shut down her shop ninety minutes into the day. We lost a couple of branches off of one of our maple trees. That was it.

Last night we got still more rain, but temps rose into the mid-40s and the ice buildup melted off the trees and utility lines -- a good thing, since winds today were gusting to near 50mph. There's a heap of fallen limbs under a long-needle pine behind our house, but again we emerged otherwise unscathed.

Schools closed for the second straight day. (Don't get me

Now we're seeing the back edge of the storm, squalls of snow driven by a stiff wind. No accumulation is expected.


Not everyone in metro Columbus was so lucky, of course -- the ice-wind combo took down lots of trees and power lines, leaving more than 100,000 central-Ohio residents without electricity.

And that brings me back to the Duraflame log.

This morning one of my wife's co-workers, a fellow about my age, said that his home was among those without power and announced that he was going to stop at Wal-Mart on his way home to stock-up on Duraflame logs.

To burn in his fireplace -- to heat his house.

When my wife asked him why (on earth) he'd choose manufactured logs over the real thing -- never mind that his fireplace will suck more heat out of his house than it'll ever add -- he insisted that Duraflames would be more cost-effective.


It wasn't that he misunderstood the question. He's simply a middle-aged man in search of a clue, just another of our society's

You don't need my permission to laugh at this guy's foolishness, but you have it anyway -- along with my blessing to feel a whole lot better about yourself.