Friday, February 29, 2008

Our Long Winter of Discontent

It’s snowing again. And so continues our long winter of discontent here in Michigan.

So far this winter in Saline and Ann Arbor, we’ve had a lot of snow. But by the end of February, most of us are thinking about Spring. Our typical winter gives us about 42” of snow. Global warming, anyone?

While the snow is beautiful, it tends to make driving more difficult – especially when buyers want to get out to see homes. So what happens? We run low on salt available for our roads. Meanwhile, Detroit sits on top of huge salt mines. Go figure.

The largest city in Michigan has become a national joke due to a mayor with complete disregard for the station of his office. The will of the voters? The mayor claims to “be about the work of the people.” Maybe the judiciary will have something to say about that. Still, the city serves as the butt of jokes on late-night talk show monologues, and Michigan suffers further in public image.

So what are we to do on snowy evenings? Order out for Pizza, and swizzle some adult beverages to forget the problems going on all about us in Michigan. But wait! Now we find that pizza prices will be rising substantially. What’s the reason? Oh, wait! I know! We have such a demand for corn (for our E-85 vehicles) that the wheat crop is declining sharply. Man, those ethanol vehicles sure taste great!

Last Sunday, as many local Realtors® prepared for their open houses later in the day, we pick up the local newspaper to catch up on the news. There, above the fold on the front page, is an article about foreclosures remaining on a record pace in our County. Thanks, newspaper! That sure encouraged buyers to get out to visit open houses. Nice way to scratch the back of one of your largest advertising revenue sources. We’ll think kindly of you as we wad up your publication to serve as kindling in our fireplaces while we dine on pricy pizza. Besides, the future of Real Estate advertising lies on the web. Goodbye, newspaper!

Meanwhile, the general populace cries out for some good news – in our long winter of discontent.


Jeff Brown said...

Global warming and the law of unintended consequences are combining to inspire comedians everywhere. :)

I'm trying, in vain mind you, to imagine what it's like to live for months in that kinda weather. It must prey on a region's sanity at times.

Salt shortages and rising pizza prices are but the tip of the iceberg. (pun intended, sorry) Some of the unintended consequences of pretending man can affect cyclical global weather, whose patterns are as old as the planet itself, are laughably arrogant at best and an indication of mankind's overestimation of it's power at worst.

The good news for Michigan? I hereby fearlessly predict spring is just around the corner.

Or, take a quick three day weekend trip to the land of perpetual spring and summer, San Diego, and get recharged!

Vance Shutes said...


San Diego, here I come! Your comment is knee-slapping hilarity! Thanks for brightening an otherwise snowy day, especially with your fearless prediction!

Pamela Shutes-Meixner said...

Okay Vance...I guess I'll stop complaining about our weather here in Seattle...maybe lots of rain, even cold rain isn't so bad after all. But imagine your foul weather here in the hilly country. I received a good dose of Michigan about three months ago when it snowed 14" and a 90 minute commute turned into a 10 hour one. Ohhhh the benefits of flat land.


Vance Shutes said...


Yes, our snow in your mountains is a certain recipe for disaster! At least it was sunny here the day after our most recent snowfall. I can deal with cold and snow when the sun is shining - even more so, when it finally gets back into shirtsleeve weather!