Christmas Snow, No Pudding For You (Post #309) 12/27/2012

Merry Christmas everyone.

I had thoughts of posting another series of posts on the 12 days of OkieRover Christmas and the Festivus holiday tradition of the Airing of Grievances but was just not motivated to do so this year. School was hard on me this semester and my writing energy was hammered by the class.

Also, one of our four-legged children has been down all week and her injuries have me mostly depressed. We are treating her with drugs and hope she can heal. I hate it when we have an injured pet.

After a lovely Christmas dinner at the children’s aunt and uncles house. We took my Father-in-law home (that’s him in the A-Driver position). The roads were no where near as bad as previous years. The most trouble we had was getting the doors on the Range Rover to open with the handles. UGGGH! That is not going to be a fun job to fix. I also heard some suspension noise from the left front. I’m guessing springs will be coming sooner rather than later. And that shock mount I found that was busted will need some welding.

My wife’s sister Aunt SuSu (Susan) and brother-in-law John cook a mean turkey and SuSu’s dressing rivals only that of my wife. SuSu’s banana pudding was pretty good too. My oldest daughter Fireball still has the market cornered on banana pudding. But with the weather such as it was and her with a bun in the oven with only 5 minutes left on the timer, J-man with a wonky back and single digit wind chills they wisely stayed home with my favorite holiday banana pudding. Insert unhappy face here.

The Ford Exploder they drive is 4×4 but has the wrong tires on it for any prayer of staying un-stuck. If you remember the infamous Snowpocalypse of 2009 I had to extracted them from a snow drift in our neighborhood with the then front-wheel drive Range Rover. If you recall, I had a then unknown broken rear axle shaft. The Best 4x4xfar even when limping on a single axle.

It has been a long time since the four of us were in the Range Rover together. I asked RovErica to take some action pictures. The three of them then began mocking me with every turn, exaggerating the effect of the minimal G-forces being exerted on us at 15-20 mph. Good times, good times.

RovErica then got everyone in the back to ham it up for some snaps. It seems like we see the kids only when they need something these days. I guess I was the same way when I was their age. Now I understand the looks on my father’s face and the tone of his voice when I called home “just to say hi” and to let them know “I was still alive”. His tone to me when I hadn’t called home in three weeks pushed all the Catholic guilt buttons on the console. I’d be a basket case if we didn’t have cell phones.

Thanks for reading, Merry Christmas, and Happy Rovering to you all.

Winter is Coming (Post #307) 12/8/2012

I love that line, “Winter is Coming”. If you are a fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones you know the phrase Winter is Coming has a special meaning. It is appropriate in this post because ONE, winter is indeed here although you wouldn’t know it in Oklahoma; and TWO, it implies that there is a impending doom upon you. Oklahoma weather is like that. One day you are wearing shorts wondering if you should reopen the pool, the next day you are wondering if you have enough firewood and if it would be cheaper just to open the freezer doors because its colder outside than inside the meat freezer in the garage.

Such is life on the plains. Be Prepared, is not just the Boy Scout’s Motto it is a warning, be ready for what ever comes your way. I’d like to say I am always ready. Fact is I am ready more than I am not. And compared to other people, sometimes I’m just down right psychic in my level of readiness. A regular Okienostradamus.

So with that, whether you drive a Range Rover, Discovery, Defender, Series II or III, Air Mobile, or Forward Control you should have a nice kit of preparedness in the boot. You all know this is a Land Rover blog, but this advice extends to you even if you drive a Jeep or a Honda Civic, get some basic items together and be prepared.

While I was suffering from insomnia last night brought on by a runty little skunk spraying our rookie watch dog, Bocephus (RovErica named him) at 0230, I was thinking of the kit in the rear of the Range Rover and this post.

I have written about this before, “What’s in Your Console” is found on my website I talk about all the items I carry in my quest to be prepared. So I thought I’d list a few items to deal with what will surely (I know, don’t call me Shirley) make you one of the most prepared flatlanders on the plains. You never know when you might be in the middle of a Snowpocalyse.


Handy for digging yourself out of a snow bank when you are in a Target or mall parking lot or dispatching zombies. If you exercise your option to UPGRADE you could get one of these, Cold Steel Spetznaz Special Forces Shovel. Prices vary, so shop around. I have one in the Range Rover. Very handy in many situations.

You could also opt for the traditional G.I. Joe Entrenching Shovel.

These are available almost anywhere. The ability to have the spade set at 90 degrees to the handle is excellent for digging and pulling snow out from under the body of your motor. It also folds up and can be tucked out of the way easily in your boot (trunk). It can be used as a weapon if necessary too. I’ve heard many a story of troops using them as a last resort.

Jumper Cables

Winter is jumper cable season. You may be surprised to learn heat kills more batteries than the cold, but it is true. I can safely say I have used my jumper cables in winter four times more often than summer. Get a pair of the higher quality ones. They last longer and will be easier to use when the north wind is attempting to cut you in half. Jumper cables are not very useful as a weapon unless you are a ninja or have Mel Gibson strung up by a chain to be tortured ala Lethal Weapon (1987).


Every vehicle I own has a blanket in the trunk. They are useful in summer when you need a ground cover while you enjoy a picnic or fireworks show. In winter they might just save your life if you happen to slide off the road and can’t get yourself unstuck. You can get a blanket from any number of places. I like the woven blankets of Mexican origin. They are cheap, so cheap that if you were to get them covered with goat heads, stickers, or whatever you call them, you just leave in the nearest waste bin.

Ice Scrapers

I buy these when they are on clearance for a dollar at the end of winter. I toss them in the trunk and hand them to the EXCEPTIONALLY UNPREPARED MORON scraping their windshield with a credit card or their keys or their sandals. Seriously, really, I’ve seen it. Not only did the moron not have a scraper but they were wearing SANDALS IN WINTER TIME during an ice storm on the plains. I should just let natural selection take her icy course on these idiots but the condescending judgmental looks I get to give them when I hand them a free scraper are too good to pass up.

Tow Strap

Having a tow strap might be a nice addition. Don’t scrimp on this one. Get a REAL tow strap. Rope, cord, etc… will not cut it. Chains are impractical due to the weight to distance ratio. Twenty foot of grade 70 tow chain can move up to 4,700 pounds but it also weighs 20 pounds. A tow strap capable of pulling 6,000 pounds weighs only two pounds and can be purchased for around a saw buck (ten dollars).

Know Where Your Recovery Points Are
Crawl under your car now while you are dry and warm and look for the recovery points. I’ve run into many cars that don’t even have recovery points. As a matter of fact I ran into a Mercedes sedan in my neighborhood that didn’t have a recovery point in the front. What ever you drive, find out if there is a place to hook a tow strap and how to get to it. It isn’t any fun to dig under your car when it’s in 8-12 inches of snow to find the effing recovery point only to learn TOO LATE you don’t have one there.

I could probably go on for nineteen pages with suggestions. I’ve heard people say they put bags kitty litter their trunk. I can probably see that for traction on the ice sheets we often have here in the southern plains. Never used it myself. There are a hundred more items but I will not dwell on them here.

Winter is Coming. Be Prepared. Take the bull by the horns. Endeavor NOT to be “that guy/gal”.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention today is the 71st Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. 
Never forget.

God Bless America, Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

Oklahoma Blizzard (Post #243) 2/3/2011

In case you just woke up from a Rip Van Winkle style slumber the central states got smacked by a blizzard. A real deal, Snowpocalypse style, weathermen telling you we are all gonna die, go to the grocery store and buy everything even though you don’t need it, shut down highways and schools, blizzard.
It was pretty bad. Far worse than that has been the single digit temperatures. I think we got all the way up to 17 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday. The lowest temp I’ve seen was 5.3F for my neighborhood. That was the reading on the cheap car thermometer I bought last summer for my Range Rover. It now has an impressive 112.5F for it’s high and 5.3F for it’s low temperature. Such is life in Oklahoma.
Check out this pretty cool time (2:00 minutes) lapse video from three cameras. Considering this kind of weather event has only happened about a half dozen times since 1970, you can see how it shut down the state. 
I remember some notable ones. 1973 Blizzard, 1974 Blizzard, Ice Storm of 1987, Christmas Eve Blizzard 2009 and this week. I’m sure a more astute weather historian could fill in the blanks for us, but those are the biggies I remember.

4.3F Overnight (Post #242) 2/2/2011

35mph winds and white-out conditions

We were blessed with another blizzard the past two days. The arctic air mass settled on our fine land and with it brought temperatures which make you wonder about the logic of 20w50 oil in your crankcase. The overnight low was 4.3F and at 10:00am the temperature on my porch was 5.9F.

I was granted a second snow day by the powers of our autonomous collective. And with that second slack day, I decided to sleep in as my lovely wife Mrs. Okierover decided to go to work. Ten feet out of the garage she high centered the Honda CRV. She came in to wake me and inform me that my morning work out would consist of snow shoveling. RovErica‘s Taurus and Diet Mountain Drew’s Scion xB are not going anywhere today and probably tomorrow. The drifts are just too high. With a little luck we’ll have above freezing temperatures to melt away the snow this weekend.

As you can see, our house and driveway face North and the wind blows the snow into drifts that form a lovely wall right at the bottom of our driveway. From what I saw Mrs. Okierover did not attack the drift with any velocity. Unfortunately she in her efforts blocked the Range Rover in. In order to get her to work I had to get her out first.

My neighbors begin to dig out

An hour of snow shoveling and some strategic driving with the Range Rover allowed me to carve ruts that will allow her to get out. I fully expect a call tomorrow morning while I am at work, telling me she is stuck again.

On the way home from taking her to work I stopped to help an elderly man who had gotten his C class Mercedes stuck in a drift. Why he drove directly into the drift instead of around is a mystery. The man was also transporting his dog, in a cage, to some unknown location. It was difficult to convince him to allow me to drive him to his house instead of him walking. It was also impossible to pull him out. The entire under side of the Mercedes was covered in plastic. I couldn’t find a tow hook on either end of the car.

I gave him a ride home with his little dog. He had a pickup truck there in the driveway and he, I’m sure, took that little dog somewhere. I have a few more posts to finish you can catch them later this week.

Happy shoveling Rovering and stay warm and thanks for reading.

Snowpocalyse 2009, Christmas Eve Addition (Post #160) 12/25/2009

Wow. A record blizzard hit Oklahoma yesterday. 35mph steady winds, gusts past 50mph. Wind Chill temperatures dropped below ZERO last night.

I taxi’d my daughter to work and home. The home trip was punctuated by dozens of abandoned cars right in the middle of the streets. I gave one kid a ride home before the snow hit. He had just got off work and the wind was making a walk home miserable.

On the way home I helped pull a car out that was high centered on the snow at intersection of Sandpiper and Porter. Neither kid had a coat. They just had hoodies and sweat pants on. At least one of them was wearing Lugz on his feet. I told them I would pull them out if they promised to just go home and not back out. They were very appreciative.

I pulled a GMC Jimmy, 2 wheel drive version, out. I managed to get myself stuck in the process. But eventually I got him out with the help of the mailman. We freed the vehicle and finally pushed it to pavement. After the last one I was spent. I managed to breech the 3 foot snow drift in front of the house and got home.

The failed viscous coupling came in handy as the traction control system is mostly not working. But with the viscous on full I had locked front wheels which was very necessary. I may have to investigate getting some kind of lockers.

The entrenching tool came in handy as did the tow strap. The look on people’s faces when you break out an entrenching tool is hard to describe. I must look like the most well prepared boy scout/Marine on the planet.

On the first car rescue there were no recovery points on that car. I think it was a Pontiac. The customary places to hook a car up to were not there. I’m not sure what that kid hooked the strap to but it was some part of the suspension.

I need to get better hooks on the tow strap. The ones there are fine for cars but they do not hook to themselves or any recovery points on my Range Rover. The other strap I have just has loops on the ends. These are fine for Rover to Rover recovery but not domestic automobiles.

I’ve got a video of the wind piling snow behind the house. It was a wicked one.

There is a snow drift where I was standing to video.

A local news channel got some footage from the mess yesterday. It looked like that everywhere.

Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.