Friday, January 31, 2014

A transplanted Texan learns to deal with cold

I was born and raised on the Gulf coast of Texas. When I left Texas and joined the Navy, I lived in California for the better part of 13 years. Winters, for the most part, were mild, short affairs. Then I moved to Virginia, starting in the Southeast, and slowly moving North and West, to where I live now, where any further North or West will put me in another state. Winters here are particularly harsh, but they are definitely WINTER, and I've had to learn new skills to deal with them.

This winter has been particularly cold, with several mornings below zero, even before wind chill is factored in. My career doesn't allow me the luxury of snow days, and very often I'll spend part of the day working outside, especially when the weather is severe. I've just had to learn to cope, and I thought I'd share some of what I've learned

1. Try to keep your gloves warm. Specifically, don't leave them in the car overnight. Cold gloves will not warm up your hands until your hands warm your gloves.

2. Put your gloves on before your hands are cold. Normally, I hate wearing gloves, but thinking ahead is critical. Basic thermodynamics dictates that it's far easier to keep something warm that's already warm than it is to warm something up that's cold.

3. Cover your ears. Hanging off your head the way they are, they're easy targets for frost bite.

4. Wear a hat.

5. Dress in layers. Add and remove layers as necessary. You can work up a sweat, no matter how cold

6. Heat pumps aren’t effective in truly cold weather. If your house relies on one, you need to come up with an alternate plan to use instead of or to assist the heat pump, or your electric bill is going to go through the roof and your house will still be cold.

7. Your house is going to be cold anyway. Dress accordingly

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

You know you're getting old...

When you daydream about taking naps...