We got the forecast snow, but I don’t think we got as much as they were saying we would. Or maybe we did – I always pay attention to the upper end of the range they give, because that’s usually what we end up getting. I think they said 3-5 inches, and we got about three here. So I guess they were correct.

It is a very wet snow. I got up at 6:30 am to check on it, and at that time, we had only a little more than an inch. So I opted to go back to bed instead of cranking up the snowblower. Try out my clutch repair, or get 20 more minutes of sleep? Not a hard decision!

My riders assumed there was no school today since school was cancelled for their siblings. That delay, plus the road conditions conspired to get us to school 15 minutes late. Not that I’m too worried about that. It was, after all, snowing.

I realized on the way to school/work that I had forgotten my cell phone. When I got to the office, I called Va and asked her to bring it with her when she came into town to get Beth (school was to close early today because of the weather – the sleet and rain were forecast to start after lunch – and it did). I left the office to fetch my phone at 11:30. When I met Va, she told me that my phone had pretty much gone ballistic on us. She called it this morning so she could find it (it was in my other coat pocket). When she picked it up, all it would do was display the splash screen, and all the red leds were flashing like crazy. She could not turn it off. It ignored the charger. So she stuffed it in her purse and brought it anyhow.

I took it to the Verizon store on my way back to the office, and they concluded that it had experienced a “software glitch.” Also, the battery was dead (flashing led’s will quickly drain a battery). The tech reset the phone, and I took it back to my office and plugged it into the charger. It seems fine now.

It snowed, sleeted, rained, sleeted, and snowed some more for most of the day. On the way home, I swung by Pizza Hut to pick up our customary Wednesday fare. It felt like I was driving slow, but I was home in 45 minutes (including the pizza run). That’s a typical commute time (again, including the pizza run). I only passed one car that was in the ditch.

I ate a few slices and then went out to clear the driveway. The clutch repair was effective. It was very nice to be able to stop the snowblower any time I wanted to. The engine wanted to sputter a bit though, and I’m not sure why. I need to look into that. I also think I need to lower the scoop guides a bit, as it is leaving too much snow on the driveway. I’ll maybe do that next time I have to clear the driveway.

Last night after I posted, Jonathan and I went outside for a jog. We ran down to Sandogardy Pond with Penny. We walked back up though. Penny was not tired, but we both were.

Tonight I opted to count snowblowing as my exercise, as it is very much an aerobic exercise, even with a working clutch (though more so without). Once I caught my breath I decided to venture into the woods with a head-mounted flashlight to see if I could find any fresh tracks. I found a house cat trail, but that was about it. No bobcats or mice tonight!

Cat trails are pretty cool though, as cats have “perfect” registration. That means that the hind foot prints almost exactly in the same place as the forefoot. At least it does about 90% of the time. In the cat trail I followed tonight, I would see every now and then when the cat would lose its stride and the hind foot would print off to the side in its own track. The tracks I posted yesterday were also cat tracks. At first I thought it might be something else, because some of the prints appeared to have five toes, and cats only print four toes. But after careful examination of the photos, I concluded that the fifth toe was an imperfect registration of the forefoot. Cool. I am still very much an amateur tracker, but I’m getting a little better at it.

I need to buy a spray bottle so I can try plaster casting in snow. Later this month we’ll have Pathfinder Leadership Training, and I have been asked to teach the Animal Tracking honor. It is certainly more convenient to find tracks in the snow around here than it is to wait for spring or try to squeeze the honor in during the fall. Pathfinder clubs typically meet during the same months that school is in session. If I can figure out how to do this, it could be a boon to other PF leaders in the conference. There are a LOT of honors that are more suited to the warm months, so any time we can figure out how to teach one in the winter too, that’s a bonus.

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