Down in the yard between the apartment buildings just outside my flat there is an army of people milling about. Children in brightly colored winter clothes are horsing around like children do, nothing unusual with that. What catches my attention are the grown ups who are standing around, evenly spread out among the playing children like beacons of grayness in a sea of sound and color. Each person is holding some sort of shovel, feverishly hacking away at the layer of ice and snow on the ground. They are trying to clear the snow with hand tools while nature, being what it is, will either thwart them with a new layer in a few days or do a much better job by actually melting it all away. Well, I guess they feel good about their efforts. It’s all rather fascinating to watch.