Ain't this a kick in the snowballs

It's times like this I'm glad I'm from Idaho.

I bleed ice and I crap snowballs.

For those of you who don't live in the greater Salt Lake area, we've recently been able to take part in several storms, each of which has left a layer of white on our fair town like greasy frosting heaped on a crappy grocery store cake.

Through a combination of geographic features, wind patterns and God's sense of humor, about half of this snow has ended up square in the middle of my driveway.

Which really I don't mind for the most part. Shoveling snow has pretty much always been a part of my life so I'm pretty used to it. It gives me a good chance to think about what I want to write (which apparently was about shoveling snow).

Plus it's a really good work out. I don't get much physical activity these days. Walking to to work, basic house maintenance and running up and down the stupid stairs looking for my glasses are pretty much the extent of it.

Throw shoveling pounds of wet snow into that equations and I'm getting freakin' buff. Between my recent return to playing Street Fighter more than sleeping and my newly discover biceps, I really want to punch something.

But then I realized that everyone around me has one of the three things I won't hit someone in possession of (glasses, boobs or the ability to fire me) or was in church and I don't fight in church anymore so I'm kinda out of luck.

Although I have been saying some very disparaging remarks about acappella singers hope to elicit some sort of a response. So far those harmonizing, panty-waists haven't have the crotch rocks to respond to my challenges.

Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, in my drive way up to my knees in god-snot.

Like I said, I've been clearing driveways since I wore Duck Tales underwear (or to be more accurate, started wearing Duck Tales underwear, since that's not a seven year span), so I've gotten pretty good at it.

Now if you had asked me a year ago if I was good at shoveling snow, I would have thought that my 5th grade teacher was wrong and that there was such and thing as a stupid question and you had just asked it.

I considered shoveling snow to be like breathing, or going to the bathroom or drawing swiss cheese, anyone could do it.

It turns out however, that there is a skill to shoveling your drive way, and yes, I'm really stinkin' good at it.

Because of the recent kidney stone in the housing market I've recently been able to move into a neighborhood way nicer than I really deserve. This new place is way different from anywhere I've lived in that no one has been shot yet and no one else actually shovels there own driveway.

Oh sure, their drive ways are clear of , but they didn't really earn it. They all cheated really, using snow blowers, or ATVs with plows on the front of them, or their kids.

I don't have any of theses luxuries.

All I have is a metal snow shovel, one glove, a back that could give out at any moment and the knowledge that I truly am more manly than anyone else on my freaking block.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a nice bubble bath waiting to soak my muscles.

Steve Shinney is also way better than his neighbors at other manly activities like growing beards, cooking meat with fire and killing bears with cricket bats. You can request any of these services in the comments section below.

Its a hardware thing todo

I'd like to say that the reason I haven't written more than “buy chicken” on the back of my hand is I've been too busy jumping my jet ski over a pit of flaming rhinos.

That, unfortunately, would be a lie.

In truth however, there are only two things that have been keeping me from writing like I should: I have a house, and I have Street Fighter.

The second of these has been a blast from the past the likes of which I have seen since found that box of action figures on my way to the fireworks stand. More on that later though.

The former however, has been a mixed blessing. I'm thrilled to have a place of my own. I'm very excited to be building equity (although I'm going to be honest here, I'm only exicited because I like to build things. It reminds me of Legos, I'm not ever sure what equity really is, but I'm stoked to build the crap out of some).

One the other hand, there are a lot of down sides to owning a home. Like the fact that I'm poor now. And that I'm pretty much committed to use the same shower for the next 20 years. Or if something around the house breaks or starts to smell bad, I have to fix it. I'm not used to having that kind of responsibility.

Back when I rented, if the toilet backed up, I could just move.

I made sure that was in all of my contracts.

There is however, for me at least, one advantage that resounds above these disadvantages.

I get to go the hardware store.

Soon after we bought our home, I became keenly aware that my current armory of tools would not be enough to keep up with the roughly 2000 things that needed fixing before I could go to bed.

I never thought I would see the day that a hammer, three screwdrivers, a roll of duct tape and a level wouldn't be enough to fix all my problems.

I was kind of a dummy until I got this place.

So I went to the store.

I love going to the hardware store. I always had. There's just something about the smell of wood dust, paint and testosterone that lingers in the air that I just love. Before becoming a home owner though, I never really had a reason to go.

Once in a while I'd need something real, like a nail, but normally my trips were to figure out what materials I'll need to get when I finally get around to making that robot.

But hardware stores are kind of different than others. In other stores, if I spend too long browsing through a section I have no business – such as ladies underwear (once again, for the robot) – the employees all ignore me completely,

Or they call the cops.

But at the hardware store, people would see me looking in awe at an propane tank I could totally use to make it shoot fire, and they would ask me if I needed help getting it into my cart.

So then I would be faced with having to explain that I really didn't need anything and just like looking a shiny piece of metal.

Now that I have a reason to go there, naturally there's no one around to freaking ask what I need and let me get on with my day.

OK, that's not true either, when I first walk in, I surrounded by more bright orange than you'll find at a hunter's camp. However, at this point, I'm still under the delusion that as a manly man, not only do I need help to hook up a gas dryer, but I don't even need help finding the parts.

I wandered around for about 10 minutes, mostly looking at shower heads and toilets (you should really check out this year's models by the way, amazing), before I can admit to myself that I am a moron and don't know the difference between the 47 rakes they have (although it doesn't matter, I don't need a rake) and another 10 convincing myself to admit it to one of the helpful guys in an apron as well.

By this time, the whole store is on break, and I'm reduced to wandering around like a four-year-old lost at the mall, only instead of crying out “Moooooooooom” I have to shout out “SpraaaaaayPaaaaaint”

I hope this equity thing is worth all this hassle.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is currently trying to finish his basement with Lincoln Logs. It's going well.