Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We've become a bunch of Nancy's

(Apologies to anyone named Nancy who took offence to that)
Windchill. We never heard of such a thing as kids. I first remember windchill warnings as a young adult. (Let's say the 80's, just to throw a number out there) Explained as a value of watts per square inch or something that measures the time exposed skin can freeze or develop into frost bite.
As a local, I can't say I've ever had frost bite. Sure, I've been cold. I've been REALLY cold. I cut my teeth framing houses before air nailers. We'd hand nail everything. Every sheet of plywood, every stud, every floor joist. Ever try holding a hammer in your hand with a glove on? The grip is all wrong. Try playing tennis sometime wearing an oven mitt... How about holding a nail you've retrieved from a pouch with a mitt. Try it... just for kicks.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not whining (not yet, we haven't talked about how much said hands hurt now in life), simply that when you're properly dressed, this whole, morning radio spiel telling everyone how -30 feels like -45 and the school buses aren't running, I mean c'mon. I've lived here long enough to ask, "What are you going to do in February?" That's the beautiful thing about January in Winnipeg. The worst is yet to come.
Sure, the wind is brutal. It'll suck the life out of you inside of about 5 hours. You spend so much energy trying to stay warm, you're exhausted by afternoon coffee. The coldest job I ever did was just outside of St. Andrews Airport. The wind from the north... my goodness, it was cold, but the house had to be built. We built the north wall first, and we didn't cut the plywood out of the windows. A place to hide!
The point is, we seem to have become "afraid" of the cold. I know at my age, I don't spend a lot of extra time outside, but I'm still not afraid of it. Coveralls, a goose down parka, glacier boots by Sorel, a scarf, a toque, warm mitts, all covering up a sweater over a shirt and some lined pants... it's about dressing appropriately.
And by the way, what's with, "My car wouldn't start"? How old are you? How long have you been in the country? Did you plug it in? No !? What are you? Stoopid? OF COURSE IT DOESNT START! If it DOES start, be surprised. Sure, new fuel injected vehicles are WAY better than the normally aspirated stuff we used to have, but for goodness sake, that' NOT an excuse unless you're new in town.
The idea of stopping school buses... had they done that when I was a kid, I would have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting...
Dress properly, and if you've reached my age, complain bitterly about the cold (or not), but for goodness sake don't let a little bitter cold keep you indoors.
Snowmobile, snow shoe, cross country ski, go sledding, skate... it's really not that bad.
Can we PLEASE stop talking about how cold it "feels" and just deal with how cold it IS. When it's windy, I don't have any exposed skin.


  1. Just played sponge hockey yesterday, thermal underwear, long johns, track pants, two sweaters, hockey jersey, balaclava, touque, magic mits, hockey gloves, two pairs of socks, and broomball shoes, LOVED IT!!!!! Just hope you don't take a sponge puck to the thigh, or groin!!!!

  2. For some reason, people really get a kick out of making the weather seem worse than it is. Changing windchill figures from a relatively abstract number as they once were to temperature equivalents didn't really help that. A lot of people will suggest that windchill of -33 is the actual temperature when in reality it's -22 or whatever the case may be.

    We could probably all stand to suck it up a little bit and respond to the conditions more appropriately instead of constantly griping about them.

  3. Gonna talk about this on Ignite 107.1 right away! :)