Well, it turned out that there was little work to be done. It didn't really start getting warm until Saturday evening and then it melted impressively all night. The two foot high pyramids of snow on my back-balcony planters were effectively gone by the morning, just puddles with small icebergs floating in them. The sidewalks basically cleared themselves, though a lot of quantity still remains on the edges and yards.
My cats took advantage and were quite psyched to go outside. I imagine there is a lot more stuff for them to sniff when the snow melts away. The younger, more intrepid one made his way across the neighbour's backyard, which was covered in wet snow. Every step of the way, he shook his paw, but doggedly (or cattedly) continued on to the far side, out of my view, to whatever his important destination.
It actually felt a bit like Spring. And this is a dangerous trap to fall into. Interestingly, the temperature will again be going up into the single digit positives tomorrow (though with a lot more precipitation). I suspect that we still have a ways to go before spring, but it is possible that Winter's back is broken and we won't see anymore continuous super-cold periods.
The other bad thing that comes with Spring is the dogshit. I'll try not to rant and rave too much, but if there is one reason I would like to win the Lottery it is so I could then spend all my time monitoring the streets and capturing and punishing dog owners who don't pick up after their animals. It's just so selfish and lazy. I'd love to have a crack team of turtling ninjas who could follow those owners home, sneak into their residences and take a big, steaming turd in the middle of their living room floor.