Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jack Frost's Speedo

This is the window in the back door (which happens to be in my bedroom) that leads to a small uninsulated entry way.

FUCK it's cold out.

It's currently -24*F/-34*C. Colder than a Yeti's titty out there.


Thump Thump Eyes said...


Rug up honey!!! With that just outside the door I'd be freaking out!

Richard said...

That is freakin cold... -24 F = -31 C, no matter. Here we are somewhat tempered by the Great Lakes.

It is now about -20 C, and the local media is announcing "Extreme Cold Warnings" with all the urgency one would expect for an impending Class Five Hurricane.

The crunch of snow is now that "chalk on a blackboard" sort of squeak. Overhead jets have a totally different sound to them, because the cold air carries sound better. Snowflakes are tiny. All but the most hairless dogs don't care, and have a ball running about without getting too hot.

What I hate most here is the sandy salty slush. Forget both, plow the roads and let us buy snow tires for Pete's sake.

At least the slightly cooler temps have prompted five of my orchids to send out flowering stems.

Thump Thump Eyes said...

"Here we are somewhat tempered by the Great Lakes."

-20F is hardly tempered Richard, gak that's cold, I can hardly imagine it!

"sandy salty slush" what does all that salt do to the plants around the place? (dumb question, but just curious)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I don't think I've ever been in weather that cold. I've gotten close, but you win.

Richard said...

Hi TTEyes,

Salt does cause at least two biological problems of which I am aware.

Salt spray, lifted by vehicles, does damage roadside coniferous trees (pines, cedars & junipers), and will occasionally kill smaller ones. However, most of the winter plants are dormant. Then in spring, before the plants get going, rain tends to wash away and dilute the worst of the salt. Some sensitive plants may not make it, but I have read no work identifying what those may be.

Biologists consider warm spells, where salted snow melts before unsalted snow to be a bigger problem. The resulting salt water run-off floods through fresh water streams, at such concentrations that most species of animals and plants suffer significant population loss.

Some Enviro types tried to campaign against salt use, but were largely ignored. They were ignored because most people found it obvious that the consequence would be a lot more deaths, injury and vehicular damage.

Salt does rot cars, so many people get their cars under-body and hidden spaces sprayed with rust resistant compounds, or even plain oil.

If you have to do a fair bit of walking in the salty snow of roads and sidewalks, the salty water accumulates on your footwear, and the bottom of your pants, creating white salt lines and coatings when it dries.

Below about 25 C (-13 F) even the salted surfaces can form ice slicks. The MTO (Ministry of Transport of Ontario) starts using "Pickled Sand" when expecting weather below 15 C. The sand has its own problems... clogging drains, making the slush all the filthier. Over the years it can accumulate on road side lawns to a depth of 6" (15 cm). When roads are dry, street-sweeping vehicles have to be used to clean up the roads each spring. Where roadsides have ditches for drainage, the more filled in ditches have to be re-dug every ten years or so.

Richard said...

Here's an unrelated beef I thought I'd 'air' here, with Fiery's forbearance.

Tattooed Breasts

God made breasts just fine as they are! Unless the tattoo is very tasteful, subtle and off to the side, I don't really want the privilege of seeing my woman's breast only to find it has been desecrated!

Did you know that some people even get the whites of their eyeballs tattooed!!