Baby, It's Cold Outside...

No, seriously, it's cold. Check it out.

Now, I know a lot of you Northerners are thinking, "20° isn't that cold - get over it! That's like early Autumn, here." Sure. But you have to remember, things are very different here.

Let me elaborate. Here, no one checks to make sure the car's heater works when they buy it. Luckily, mine does. Heck, there are even  houses that don't have central heating - just a small electric heater, maybe, for chilly nights. We have central heating, thank goodness. And a surprising number of pipes are outside. My washer and dryer are in a shed outside, because I don't want them heating up my house - at least, most of the year. Now, I have to worry about whether or not the pipes will freeze - there's no insulation out there.

And let's talk about clothes. I went shopping for the kids and myself earlier this winter, around Thanksgiving, to get sweaters and jackets and other warm clothes because we were going to Kentucky, where I expected low temperatures. I couldn't find anything. All the shirts were short-sleeved and/or gossamer thin; long pants were likewise thin; jackets were limited to pretty much windbreakers. Even the socks are thin! That's because we dress for the heat, and don't expect cold. This is Swicky's idea of "dressing warm":

Look! A hat! And pants! Warm...

I should mention, she got that hat in Kentucky - not Louisiana. And my kids are lucky - they're homeschooled, so they don't have to go outside and wait for a bus that may or may not be heated, to go to a school designed to stay cool.

It was so bad today, a coworker of mine had to wear a velour tracksuit to work. Now, to be honest, I always assume anyone wearing a velour tracksuit is forced to wear one. Their houses burned down and only the tracksuits remained; or some German terrorist is holding their spouses hostage and will release them only when confirmation is sent that they wore the tracksuits. Full disclosure: Michael is on his own in that situation. He'd better learn some MacGyver tricks. Anyway, I didn't have to check with her - almost the first thing she told me today was that it was the warmest outfit she had.

And what if there is ice on the roads? No one here knows how to drive on ice. And there aren't salt trucks ready to make the roads safe. And there are lots of very long bridges spanning very big lakes.

Imagine that, covered with ice. Driven on by the worst drivers in America. Fun times! I don't know if there will actually be ice on the bridge, but can you imagine if there was? Even if there isn't, imagine all the drivers freezing in their non-heated cars, going as fast as they dare, trying to get somewhere warm.

So, yeah, it's miserably cold, and I don't like it.

Moving on!

Today was pretty good at work. They kept sending me paperwork I though I'd already finished. But it wasn't too bad. Now I'm off to gather blankets and hibernate 'til Spring. Or, well, tomorrow, when I have to go back to work and make some more revisions.


Default mood: Pensive

  • Best book auction history ever. This is amazing! I wonder if Neil knows. I think I'll tell him. Also, go buy some people some livestock. 
  • Cache of rare antique Japanese books discovered in Boston museum: Neat!
  • Mister Happy Man: Never underestimate the good you do by just being friendly! It's appreciated more than you know.
  • Our Views: Libraries set for 2014: In a digital age, do we still need libraries? (Of course we do, don't be silly.) 
  • Matt Smith is coming to Comic Con, New Orleans! I really, really, really wish I wasn't working that weekend. Who wants to get me an autograph?
  • Do we need to rethink Sunday morning?: Warning: Religious Post. I happen to love liturgical services. I didn't grow up with them; in fact, our church services were downright chaotic, comparatively. I don't think changing the service structure will suddenly draw in great numbers of converts. Actually, I think churches are more likely to gain members by being a quiet, serene place where newcomers and seekers can reflect in peace. I do know that written orders of worship, with set prayers and clear instructions, can be very helpful to people unfamiliar with church services, as well as those for whom English is a second language. I'm not saying liturgical services should never change - but I don't think "let's make it hip for the young 'uns" is the reason to do so.

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