As do I.
Before I jumped into my vehicle (the ever trustworthy Big Girl started up with nary a whimper, though she did bitch a little about being outside all night) I checked on the pond. The fish are all at the deep end, they go dormant in the winter. As long as the water doesn't freeze all the way through they'll be fine. They've tolerated colder winters than this before.
But we have to have a clear patch in the ice so that the pond can "breathe." We have what I like to call a "bubbler" (as it blows a steady stream of air into the pond, creating bubbles, I know, I am wicked clever...) which keeps the water oxygenated. While the fish don't need to eat in the winter (if they did they would die as their metabolisms slow to the point where they couldn't digest the food and... well, let's just say, "bad things happen") they still need to breathe. (Note how I keep putting stuff in parentheses. Yeah, I know. I'll stop.)
Noting that the pond was covered in ice, I went back into my humble abode (where it was nice and warm, oh yeah, I promised to stop doing this...) and grabbed my big hammer. No, it looks nothing like Thor's hammer. I wanted one of those but the guy at the hardware store just looked at me funny.
Actually it's a mallet, not a big one, this guy weighs in at about five pounds. I don't remember why I bought it... (oh wait, yes I do, it was to pound stakes into the ground when The Missus Herself was doing all the landscaping here at Chez Sarge and... um, yeah, sorry).
So I got the mallet and headed out to the pound. Now you can't just start bashing away at the the ice. The pressure waves from doing that can harm and even kill the fish. So I just kind of use it to "lean" on the ice, as it wasn't too thick it cracked nicely and I was able to create a mini-polynya in the pond so that the water can "breathe." If the pond is completely iced over, the gases and stuff from in the pond can poison the fish. So a bit of open water must be maintained. Or so the pond people tell me.
After that it was off to work. Now the reason I mention the weather is that at work we were talking about the sorts of weather we've experienced in our lives. Being from Vermont I've experienced extremes of heat and of cold. Hottest I ever saw it in summer was 110°, yup that's pretty hot. Humidity was in the 70s, none of that "dry heat" for the Green Mountain state, no thank you. (I've been in Nevada and experienced that dry heat stuff, yeah it beats the humidity but it's still hot. No, there were no parentheses surrounding these two sentences, that was your imagination.)
Most uncomfortable heat I've ever experienced was in Mississippi on the Gulf Coast. I spent a summer there in the Air Force learning something I already knew.
"Yes, Sarge, we know you have a bachelor's degree in that subject but the book says you have to go to tech school just the same..."And one never argues with "the book." It's just not done.
At any rate, summers in Biloxi are "interesting." Temps in the 90s, humidity of around a gazillion percent. Okay, a bit of an exaggeration. But not by much. I did note that it was pretty miserable the first couple of weeks. I mean you're always sweaty and...
Oh wait, everyone is sweaty. Hey, isn't that a beach over there? Why yes, yes it is. We humans are pretty adaptable. Fill a cooler with beer and ice, throw in a beach and the sea, have a few lovely ladies sunbathing and things aren't that bad. No, not bad at all.
So that's the hot side of my weather experience. The cold side was all experienced in Vermont. I once delivered newspapers in -25° cold. That was damn cold. Three layers of clothing and I was still close to hypothermia. A hundred yards from the house, walking up the hill, in the snow (both ways...) I noticed that I couldn't feel my legs. Oh, I could still move them but pounding on my thighs felt like beating on wood, they were beyond numb. I thought that perhaps I should just sit down for a few minutes and...
Yeah, they would have found my frozen corpse later that spring. Fortunately I got home just in time. Thawing out hurts, let me tell you. But it beats the alternative.
What's the coldest temperature I ever saw? -40°. Yup, the temperature that is the same in Celsius as it is in Fahrenheit (note that all the temperatures given above are in degrees F, I don't do metric, unless it's measuring the bore size of a firearm or cannon, and then only as appropriate. I mean there's... Sorry...)
Now note that I said I "saw" -40°. Didn't go out in it, no sirree. Too damn cold to survive for very long without specialized gear. The sort of gear they don't issue to paperboys. School was cancelled that day, too dangerous to be out and about. Yes, some people did go out, those who were dressed for it and those they found the next spring. I'm pretty sure my Dad mentioned they found a couple of guys who went out drinking and froze to death. I have no proof of that, but it happens from time to time.
So this weekend is supposed to be pretty cold. But I don't plan on going anywhere I don't have to. Besides which, I used to go skiing in temperatures below zero. Not much mind you, but as Scott the Badger can attest, you acclimatize, eventually. Hard to do in Little Rhody though, temperature here is all over the place. Sixty one day, ten the next.
So here one doesn't get used to the temperature, one just rides it out, because in a couple of days, it will be warmer again. There's an old saying in New England, "Don't like the weather? Wait a few minutes, it'll change."
I'm sure that saying is widespread, but we New Englanders said it first. Or so I'm told by the old New Englanders of my youth. And now that I'm an old New Englander, I say stuff like that as well.
'Scuse me, I'm off to get a bowl of chowdah. It's real good when it's cold outside.
(Well, a hot bowl of chowdah ain't bad year round neither. And sorry about all these parentheses in today's post. They were on sale.)