Everybody Talks About the Weather

It’s 9 degrees this morning. Yesterday it was 22. Normally I don’t mind cold weather. In fact I don’t usually consider 22 to be particularly cold. But I was cold yesterday, and I’m sure I’ll be cold when I step outside this morning.

Maybe because it’s because it got cold too quickly, so I haven’t had time to adapt yet.

Maybe it’s the high humidity–75% yesterday and a brutal 83% this morning. A dry cold is so much nicer than a wet cold. I’ve been outside in just a sweater at -2 in a dry cold and been comfortable.

But my real worry is that I’m just getting old. There’s mo doubt that my hands hurt more in the cold than they once did, and I’ve taken to wearing gloves in temperatures for which I once would never have considered putting on such protection,

I’m not that young anymore, it seems. As Greg Brown sang, “it’s too late to die young, so we sit at the table long after supper with a good wine.”

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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17 Responses to Everybody Talks About the Weather

  1. pierrecorneille says:

    One thing I miss about Denver is how warm it usually was, even when it was “cold.” I suppose this was because of the sunshine and the dry weather. I’ve never really been good with cold weather, so my (in)ability to handle the current cold spell isn’t to me indicative of much of anything.

    However, I do feel my age (I’m 40) in other ways. My backpack (yes, I still wear a backpack) *feels* more present than it does before. I can sport it just as easily, but something about wearing one is more difficult than it used to be. I’ve never been particularly good being at loud places or restaurants, but now I have much more difficulty. Also, I can’t stay nearly as late as I used to. Finally, at my job, where we have a lot of undergraduate employees, I feel my age when most of my pop-culture references are over their heads.

  2. Matty says:

    I always tell myself that if someone doesn’t get my pop culture references it is because I am more cool and sophisticated, nothing to do with age.

  3. Michael Drew says:

    I’m fairly sure at this point there have been more days this December where we didn’t make it out of the single digits here in the Twin Cities than when we did. It’s close in any case. It definitely came early this year. I was very unhappy when it first did; now I’m inured to it like I rarely am until late January.

  4. pierrecorneille says:

    Matty,

    It’s not just the pop culture references, either. It’s also my humor and the types of jokes I make. I like to think I’m a funny, affable fellow, at least in person. But then I remember when I was 20-ish and knew 40 somethings and older who also liked to think of themselves as funny, affable people but whose humor was to my mind very corny and old fashioned and seemed designed more for self-promotion than being funny. Perhaps that’s just the way different generations interact with each other, but I can’t discount I’m falling more into the old(er)-fogey-who-thinks-he’s-funny-but-isn’t camp.

  5. Dr X says:

    I remember some bone-crushing cold winters during my late teens to early thirties in Chicago. I was shocked by Chicago weather, having moved from New York. It can get cold NY, but there are fewer extremes or extreme stretches.

    I and everyone else talked about the Chicago weather a lot in years 77-80-ish and 84-5… There were strings of days deep into negative territory. Living out in the far Northwest suburbs of Chicago in the early 80s, there was a winter when we had many days in the negative teens and one day when we touched -29, with windchill colder than -80. Actually, since the late 80s, it hasn’t been quite as bad as that in Chicago, though there were some exceptions. I recall some -20 days in 2009. I was actually live witness to this video filmed on the 400 block of Michigan Avenue, shot in 2009. Quite funny.

    It’s pretty hard not to complain about the whether when it goes that far toward the local margins of experience, wherever your locale happens to be. When it’s 29 in St. Petersberg FL, people flip out.

    The temperature dipped below zero one night this week and I’ve been complaining about the cold more over the past week. Once it reaches single digits, my complaints escalate.

    My practice partner and I are both East Coast transplants. We’ve been close friends since graduate school together. We were in school during the winter of 84 to 85. This week while walking to lunch together, I remarked on how pretty the snow was and that I could enjoy it because the temperature had risen up to the 20s. She reminded me of 84, which led me to relate my experience at the time.

    It was another string of days with temps well below 0F, with a number of days in the -20 range. My girlfriend and I had our cars parked in the parking lot where we lived (Lance–Barrington Lakes). Every night, I’d figure the midpoint between bed time and waking up and at 2:30 or 3:00 am, whatever the midpoint was. I’d go out to the parking lot and start both or our cars to warm them up. I was not alone in the parking lot. Dozens of residents did this because at those temperatures there was a significant risk of that our cars wouldn’t start in the morning if left in the cold all night. Also pretty hard not to talk about the weather at that point. And evidently, I’m still talking about that weather nearly 30 years later.

  6. J@m3z Aitch says:

    Dr. X,
    I was in high school in the late ’70s, early ’80s. I remember those winters vividly. In the ’70s we had February lows of -10 to -14, and in ’82 we hit -18. But then in 2009 we hit -16 here (which is only a couple of hours from where I went to high school), and in ’04 we had -13. And looking at the data, we had -22 in 1994 (but I was in So Cal at the time). So I don’t know if much has changed over time. Some years aren’t bad, some years remind us what cold really is.

  7. Murali says:

    If the winter is too cold for you, come to Singapore. Its a warm 27 degrees Celsius (which is about 80.6 farenheit) And you’ve got some of the most awesome christmas light ups in the world.

  8. J@m3z Aitch says:

    Oh, god, no. Hot and humid is the worst for me. I cannot handle it.

  9. AMW says:

    It’s 85 degrees and about 20% humidity outside my office right now.

    And yet, I wear socks to bed to keep warm. You tell me who’s old.

  10. lancifer666 says:

    Dr X,

    The winter of 1977 (the infamous blizzard was 1978 so people forget about 1977) was also a bad one in Chicago and the rest of the mid west. Our family had moved to Indy but I went back to Chicago (Shaumburg) to buy a notorious street racer (a 1969 Mustang Mach I with the 428 Super Cobra Jet engine) that I had been coveting since my early teens.

    I took a Greyhound to Chicago and bought the car for $750. It was pretty much clapped out compared to its previous glory days, but man did I lust for that car.

    It didn’t have a heater and the temps dropped to -27 F the night before I was going to drive it back to Indy. It took my friend Kerry and I about two hours to get the thing started and running.

    I drove it wearing a parka, gloves and thermal line boots. I had to use a plastic scraper to remove the frost from my breath off of the inside of the windshield as I drove. The floor was cutout for the sequential “bang shifter” so cold air poured up from the hole in the floor. It had a 4:57 gear ratio in the differential so the engine revved to 4,000 rpm at 65 mph and it had header mufflers (really just tubes bolted to the engine) so the noise was deafening. It also had “cheater slicks” on the rear which had almost no tread but luckily it was too cold to snow.

    It got about 8 miles to the gallon on the trip and I was nearly frozen and deaf by the time I got back to Indy.

    But I was the happiest nearly frozen and deaf 17 year old in the nation.

    I handily won my first street race (against a 1973 455 “Super Duty” Trans Am) but put a connecting rod right through the side of the engine block in a duel with a 1971 SS Camaro.

    That tired old war horse began my love affair with high performance cars.

  11. Dr X says:

    Lance, hysterically funny, retold over thirty years later. At the time, it must have been brutal. In 1977, I drove with friends from school to a bar (Poor Richard’s) on one of those colder than -20 nights. I had a ’73 Capri, manual transmission. When I came out to the car just before 2 am, I pulled the shift lever and it just snapped in two–a clean break in the shaft, which my passengers found incredibly funny until we had to walk all the way back to the campus.

  12. lancifer666 says:

    Dr X,

    Even though I was physically miserable it was one of the happiest times of my life. It’s funny how youthful exuberance is a tonic for physical discomfort. I also did some pretty stupid things in that car, including the aforementioned street racing. I guess I was a typical teenage male, in that I had no concept of my own mortality and was prone to risky behavior.

    My dad, never a performance car guy, was gravely disappointed when I sold the 1971, 200 six cylinder Maverick he had given me and bought “that damn hot rod”.

    I dreamed about that Mustang even years after it was sold (for a lousy $400).

    My brother had a 1973 Capri. Fun cars built by Ford of Europe and sold as Mercurys in the states.They were quite popular with their owners back in the 70’s and 80’s. I can’t remember the last time I saw one.

    This winter is starting out pretty frigid. We may be due for one of those sub-zero episodes later in January or February.

  13. J@m3z Aitch says:

    1971, 200 six cylinder Maverick

    Mavericks! We had a ’73 Maverick (until I wrecked it running into a tractor), and Johanna’s family had one, too.

    We may be due for one of those sub-zero episodes later in January or February.

    No worries. Global warming will heat it up to only about 19 below instead of 27 below.

  14. lancifer666 says:

    Global warming will heat it up to only about 19 below instead of 27 below.

    He he, I’m sure that “unnaturally warm” temp will wreak havoc on the fragile mid western ecosystem.

    My Maverick was a snail but it was dependable. I saw it many years later being driven by the younger brother of the guy I sold it to. He was also an IUPUI student and I spotted him getting out of it in a campus parking lot.

    He said his brother drove the thing all the way through his pre-med undergrad and into medical school and then handed it down to him. The car had well over 100,000 miles on it and was still plugging along into the mid 1980’s.

    It was perhaps the least fun to drive vehicle I ever owned but it was durable and dependable. My dad had a Pinto at the same time and it was a sports car compared to the Maverick.

  15. J@m3z Aitch says:

    I crashed ours trying to drive it like a sports car, but when the tractor you’re passing suddenly makes a left turn, it doesn’t much matter what you’re driving.

  16. Dr X says:

    Lance,

    That 1973 Capri with the 5 speed, six cylinder 2600cc was a zippy little car. Mavericks… might have gone the rest of my life without thinking of Mavericks. Good friend had one when I was in high school in CT. Too bad about the Mustang. That would be a great car to have now.

  17. lancifer666 says:

    My brother loved his 5 speed, 2600 cc “Cologne” V6 Capri.

    Mavericks, on the other hand, are not missed by most of us former owners.

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