Tom Waites eloquently stated that "It's colder than a she-bitch wolf-dog with nine sucklin' pups pulling a number 4 trap up-hill in the dead of winter with a mouth full of porcupine quills”. Some days like this, when the weather appears to be getting the upper hand you may have to bring out a wider tire, lest we slide sideways beneath an erratic lonely driver who decidedly is not looking around them, but rather updating their blog as they swerve 2500 lbs. of steel into your one meter of salty slush.
Today I awoke to -22 and factoring that bastard son of an insolent weatherman stating it was "Umm Like minus 47 with the wind chill, or some shit. I heard them say that my skin could frost-bite in 30 minutes on my ride to work... Then another said pets can freeze solid in a minute or two outdoors. How prey-tell do we arrive at these imaginary valuations -- as if the stock market and the weather were the very same Scam? So be it the numbers are up and down, and people take profits and then lose their shirt, but it seems that Brokers and Weathermen (weather-people duly noted, Mom) need only be correct half the time to be rewarded handsomely. Another man said, "c'mon Sun!, you've had about 4.5 billion years to get this right, at the moment it is in fact sunny, but Mr. Sun does not seem to be working at the moment toward warming up the place. Perhaps in spite of the sun's efforts, it is something like 40 degrees below freezing!". Brace yourself, because today is gonna suck.
So what is the strange math that is used to calculate that mystical fairy-shit called "Wind Chill"?, and while we are at it, what metrics are used to determine the "Feels-Like Index"? Last I checked My wife alone knows what I feel like, and not even I can't say for sure that I'm in touch with my feelings. So what wizardry is applied to a composite of Temperature, Humidity, Barometer, and Wind to create the "feels like" Bad Weather News Cycle that oppresses the crap out of everyone? It's Cold outside true, and inventing “How I "Feel" and droning on about the time it takes for skin to freeze each time it gets shitty cold out, is like watching Nazi Propaganda. We know that it sucks, and we know that we can't change it, and we don't want to re-live it, but it seems to always be Bad News we wake up to.
When I was a Child, I'd swear we were told that cold came from the North, or the North Pole for that Matter, and then... once or twice, someone blamed Canada. Then People claimed that cold arrived from the upper atmosphere, which made some sense, because whenever I'm on a long plane Flight they can't seem to keep seated people comfortable, and they deliberately drop the temp to keep passengers awake and as surly as the staff is. Seems to be in retaliation for their having pulled a crappy route to pick up extra hours. In my youth there were a lot more illustrators fancifying the weather with anthropomorphic "Old Man Winter", "Happy Suns", Blowing Clouds with eyes and a Mustache. Remember the Cloud Blowing a swirling twirl of steamy puffy white? Back then he was mischievously happy, but looking for an illustration for this post, I could only find angry stock images. These days I simply get texts from so called friends and relatives bragging about their awesome weather elsewhere. Save the screen-shot of your weather app, and I'll spare you mine. It seems like years ago, I recall happy clouds and breezes, and well prior to the endless news cycles, and immediate weather-bugs, weather was just that, and if you walked outside, looked left , then right, and closed the door again, you'd know what the weather was doing. Today, that instant blast may betray your inner monologue. Please don't kid yourself, as you say, ah, well it's not that bad, as your warm fresh skin takes a puff of bracing cold. When you venture forth, you may find it's not what you thought. Fond memories of happy weather illustrations, happy news-casts, and days well before my friends taunted that they lived someplace "warmer". Today the Weather is just angry.
The Media Now plays up everything that is down. Here is what they say at the National Weather Service: "Much below normal temperatures and Lake Effect snow will continue across the Central and East U.S. this weekend. The next Canadian system brings heavy snow across the North Plains and Mississippi Valley on Sunday, and the Great Lakes and Northeast early next week. Behind this front, the coldest air of the season will plunge the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes into life-threatening conditions". End Quote... So there you have it the Canadiens are to blame. Can't they keep it in?, Cant they hold their cold? They mock us...
Dreadful cold is a bummer, and riding my bike in it isn't as fun as a Sunny 65, So I'll just say that we need to work on how we portray the weather, and show a bit more compassion for everyone that works out of doors, by not scaring them when first they wake. Here is the forecast Transcript, paying close attention to the "I- word', "A strong cold front and arctic air mass is expected to invade the same areas next week producing much below normal temperatures and bitterly cold wind chills". Gloomy right?, are the Canadiens in effect "invading"? Wow!, look out, it's cold there too.
The day before yesterday the Gas Company parked outside and drilled some probes in the Ground. Each day I ride home and turn right onto my street, and each day a Car slides through the intersection and nearly hits my bike, as well as the perpendicular prick who is also sliding through the 4-Way stop. Lately, at that final point of my ride, I'd smelled Gas and Reported it, so I'd presumed they were there to find a leak. I'm glad they'd set about to save me from going up in an explosive fire-ball, in spite of the cold. The weather was Ultra Mega cold, and it was just after dark. Each of six workers were wearing massive Cover-all's which made their heads and Hands look tiny, like Astronauts, or Deep Sea Divers. They were probing for the leak, and I was happy of that. In-spite of the cold they were pulling an all-nighter to dig up the street, locate the pipe and replace it. So that nobody in my house blows-up, Nice! I watched as I chopped accumulated Ice from the sidewalk, and scraped it into the street.
People in Cars continued to slide through the 4-Way, ignoring the bundled Workers plugging away, with reparations. Irony would serve that they race to get home, and find their Gas Service interrupted.
I think the weather-woman tauntingly woke them up and told them that their skin would freeze in 20 minutes, but they were not paying it any mind. It does rightfully suck when it's below-zero for a week and all we can do is lament about how much we dread it. So, I'll say this... I have a bike and I'll be riding home soon, and it will be refreshing and chilly, true, and my fingers will go numb right about the time that I round the final corner where they just fixed the gas leak, but it wont suck as much as all that. It definitely wont suck as much as it would have had the gas not been delivered. I can tell you that I know the "Feels-like Index" is Bull-shit, if it is even a real thing, but today I'm grateful to ride home and have a working furnace. So if the cars could be a bit more considerate, as each crunching steel SUV rolls though the stop in front of my house, with a single driver, and no passengers, smug in their warm car -- Perhaps they could consider those who work in the cold outside, and those who ride bikes, and give them a brake.
By the way, here is a Definition of Wind Chill: Wind-chill or windchill, (popularly wind chill factor) is the lowering of body temperature due to the passing-flow of lower-temperature air. (Hmm unclear, still confused?).
While Wind-chill may be exactly that, I'll tell you what it is not, It is not less than one more reason to be kind to each other, band together in families and tribes someplace warm, and enjoy each other's company. If you are feeling shut-in, and are up to it, take a bike ride, or ride to work and calibrate your own "feels-like index". Mine feels like that.
Bar Mitts, are simultaneously ugly, practical, and perhaps perfect.
Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.