Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

CP: Psst, it’s me. Don’t tell anyone, but I have figured out how to beat winter.

 

RN: You’re moving?

 

CP: There’s a perfectly nice room in the basement of the Star Tribune, very close to the building’s ancient boiler, so it’s toasty. My cot is comfy, and I can steal a wafer-thin bit of broadband. Better yet, I can just pad upstairs to work in my corduroy slippers.

 

RN: You told me to tell you if/when you devolved into the bedroom footwear-wearing type at the office. So here’s me, telling you. But I get it. After last year’s endless winter, I woke to Monday’s snowfall blanketed in a sense of dread. Or should I say ennui?

 

CP: My big fear is we won’t get a thaw, and will be on ice skates clear through April.

 

RN: Don’t even say that out loud. With a shovel in my hands, I tried to bright-side the season’s first snowfall by thinking of it as an opportunity for an impromptu cardio workout. Turns out, I’d rather go to the gym.

 

CP: I thought I could ignore the ice and snow when we got “instant winter” last Monday at 5 a.m. Rather than shovel and get my car out of the garage, I sneaked out the front door, hopped in a Car2Go and mini-commuted to work. Trouble was, all the ice and snow remained on the following morning. Calgon, take me away.

 

RN: Unfortunately, when it comes to obliterating snowstorms, we can’t say “there’s an app for that.” At least not yet.

 

CP: There is an app called Plowz that lets you tap on your phone to order a snowplow.

 

RN: Hiring a babysitting-averse neighborhood kid seems so much less complicated. Besides, I’m over 50, which means I barely know how to send a text. Don’t ask me to start downloading apps.

 

CP: Oh, please. You can feign digital dunderheadedness, but you tap out complex status updates on Facebook faster than a downhill snowmobiler.

 

RN: I’m secretly hoping that someone from HarperCollins or Random House sees a book in my Facebook ramblings. Something to keep me busy during what I’m predicting is going to be a back-to-the-Stone Age winter.

 

CP: At least you have that spouse to help with the shoveling. Can’t you send Robert out while you page through the L.L. Bean catalog by the fire?

 

RN: He’s caught on to that little ploy. Besides, the Bean just opened at Mall of America. Wait, I thought you cashed in your Gold Bond trading stamps for a snowblower a few Decembers back.

 

CP: Real men would never use the tiny Toro I marched out and bought as a back-relief mechanism. But it glared at last winter and never backed down. I love it. Even cleared the walks of both neighbors this morning.

 

RN: Good. I’d hate to see your name pop up on that list of sidewalk-shoveling scofflaws. Who, by the way, are the biggest losers, ever.

 

CP: And the biggest winners? Snowbirds who’ve escaped to Coral Gables and Palm Canyon.

 

RN: I can’t believe I’m saying this and it’s only mid-November: Sun Country, take me away.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib