So there was no question but what I was going to have to use the snow plow under real Iowa winter conditions for the first time. The first challenge was just getting it out of the garage.
The problem is that when the snow is higher than the machine, it doesn't work very well.
But—creeping along at a turtle's pace and stalling out frequently—I managed to shove it a ways down toward the sidewalk
I then realized that the smart thing to do is shovel a bit and use the snowblower to widen the path. (Let me note appreciatively that my local paper has posted safe shoveling pointers well worth noting by a paunchy middle-aged civil servant such as yours truly.) Then it works like a charm, spewing snow industriously wherever you choose to aim your snow spout.
In no time, I was cutting quite a clean line.
I even did the driveway; a degree of nature-taming diligence which is not required by midwestern officialdom.
Mind you, this was two hours' work. Good thing I didn't have to go to work today, because this sort of activity does NOT happen before 7:30 a.m. in my world. By the time I was done, I was ready for a reward. So I got in my car and drove out onto Highway 20; a perfectly idiotic thing to do, but then I am old and wise enough to embrace perfection of any sort.
I ended up at my current favorite Dubuque eatery: the Speedway Diner, where I got my usual eggs over easy, rye toast & hash browns. The place was deserted and I sat at the counter. I chatted a bit with the waitress before reading the paper cover-to-cover and doing the crossword puzzle as she conscientiously but unobtrusiively kept my coffee refilled. In other words, we had a perfect relationship.
And that was the outdoor programming section of my snow day. Now I am holed up in my "living room", by which I mean "recording studio".