When It Snows, We Shut Down

Five years of driving in Colorado winters is great preparation for times like this in Seattle:

DSC_0299
40.0 mm || 1/800 || f/4.2 || ISO100 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Last week1 Seattle got an amazing 2-5″ of snow.

Unfortunately, while I can get around with such practice, my experience is unable to magically transport itself into others. Thus I am still stuck in a city that can’t clear roads with drivers who still do stupid things:

I digress.

The snow started in earnest Monday morning. We were in a cold snap the previous weekend, so I was pretty sure the snow would stick. I left work early on Monday so I wouldn’t get stuck in the traffic, which turned out to be a good call. I heard it took some people as long as 12 hours to get home.

I decided to work from home on Tuesday, which was a good call as things remained frozen overnight and I heard it was a nightmare to get to work.

DSC_0306
35.0 mm || 1/800 || f/4.2 || ISO100 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

DSC_0307
70.0 mm || 1/640 || f/4.5 || ISO100 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Meanwhile, I commuted five minutes on foot my local Starbucks and camped out.

DSC_0327
18.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || ISO640 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States


  1. November 22-24th 

School Closed




Starbucks

Originally uploaded by mattmmatt

For the first time in 15 years1, the Colorado School of Mines has a snow day.

Due to severe weather and treacherous driving conditions, Colorado School of Mines will close today (March 26) at noon.

And it really wasn’t a full day either, just a half day. Still, I somehow feel my college experience is now more complete. Rumors are circulating that tomorrow may also be a snow day, but I have my doubts.


  1. says the lunch lady 

Surprise! It’s Snow!

We got a surprise snow on Monday that caught most people off guard. I think it only snowed an inch or so in the Denver area, but we got at least eight inches up here in the foothills (which is at least 500 feet higher in elevation).

Plowing the Snow
Nikkor 50mm || 0.4 seconds || f/4.5 || ISO1600 || tripod

All That Snow
Nikkor 50mm || 0.8 seconds || f/4.5 || ISO1600 || tripod

I tried a couple of new editing techniques on these sets of photos. The first involves how I adjust the exposure and black settings to maximize the contrast ratio. Ideally, there is at least one black pixel and and least one white pixel. I also tried using a new workflow process where I export from Lightroom into Photoshop and then use Smart Sharpen in Photoshop to, uh, sharpen the image smartly.

See the rest: Surprise Snow

Also, don’t forget that Andrew Ferguson Photography will go live tomorrow. Check back here around noon (Mountain time) the post.

Seattle Refuses to Use Salt

…that’s the headline from today’s Seattle Times. After reading the article (well, the above the fold part at least) I can’t believe how idiotic the city is. This is really just precious:
From seattletimes.nwsource.com:

To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.

But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by design.

“We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,” said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “It doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.”

The city’s approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.

The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.

“If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”

So quick recap:

  • “Great progress”
  • Snow and ice left on major arterials by design
  • Trying to create a hard-packed surface
  • Refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster
  • “If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”
  • “Great progress”

Yup, sounds like a great plan. Sometimes I’m sorry I ever left Colorado.

See also: 2 buses skid down slick hill, barely avoid plunge to I-5 (with amazing picture)

Snow and Thunder

It’s snowing outside right now and thundering.

Yes thunder.

It’s the weirdest thing.

We’re supposed to get 4″-8″ by 6pm tonight here in the foothills.