Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Maybe this is not the morning to say again how grateful I am to be making my recovery in a temperate climate. But it really would have a very different outcome if I had icy sidewalks and cold winds to contend with.

A lot of my therapy and exercise takes place in the outdoors and I've learned that if I settle in, try to get comfortable, and do less activity it just makes things worse.

This morning, as she was leaving for work, Lisa mentioned she had opened our kitchen window. I immediately wondered about the yeast I was culturing in there (beer stuff–– more on that later). Would it get too cold? Cold. I will point out it is now 56ºF and expected to reach 72º today.

I started reading the news and noticed a piece about the cold front in the northern Midwest. I wondered what this morning looks like for our friend Ellen in St. Paul. I looked it up. Here's what I saw:

I couldn't breathe. For a full minute I stared and gasped.

I'm not sure I've ever–– even growing up in New York, living in New England, traveling all over the country–– experienced anything like that.

Midwesterners? How are you doing? Do your cars start? Do you burn rocket fuel in your fireplace? Are the children and small pets allowed to go near the windows?

I just noticed though, there's good news for St.Paul. It only feels like -11 below. Hi, Ellen. Stay warm. Pip & Loki, stay inside!


Knit Wit said...

Yep, there just seems to be something wrong when the daily high is posted as a negative number. *shaking head*

We've got a balmy 34* here in Asheville, NC at the moment. Very glad I'm not facing a winter storm right now.

homeschoolmommy said...

HA Minus 11 is warm compared to what we had last week. Our high one of the days was minus 25 and it was even colder than that a little further north (something like -56) It's nice that its now almost 20.

Anonymous said...

Hey Robb,
Tom McKenna here (blast from the past). I recently got back in touch with a few of the PMHS theater folks and heard about your injury. Just wanted to drop a line to say hi and to let you know that I'm rooting for you. Your determination is inspiring. I also like the fact that you live in such a beautiful place. It's 18 degrees here in CT, and we're waiting for more snow.

Kara said...

Keep in mind poor Ellen has no fireplace... Those cats had better be really really good foot warmers!

Steve, Christa & Emily said...

It pays to have a good (expensive) battery, and keep a charger and jumper cables on hand, that being said Chicago isn't that bad, actually nice today.

Eric Sandin said...

Hi Robb,

Eric Sandin here, another blast form the past. Hope you are feeling well and you spirits are high!

In re the weather; I recall a small device my dad had back in NY that was an electric oil dip stick. You plug it into the wall and the dip stick end would stay mildly warm allowing the oil to stay fluid. He also had a indoor car starter so he wouldn't have to go out there to start the car. Crazy cold weather living humans.

Luckly, I live in So. Cal. now and love it. Although I'd move to Nor Cal any day of the week.

Anywho, I'm glad you and Lisa started this blog. Thank you. It's very nice to see your smiling face once again.

Peace&love, my Brother.


Wisconsin Hiker said...

Yep, pretty frigid here also (southeast Wisconsin). 4 above right now, but Thursday's HIGH is expected to be 4 BELOW. Life goes on pretty much as normal, although there was some talk about possibly closing some schools (but I don't think that will happen). Car doors are creaky after sitting outside for a while, and it's generally a good idea to let the engine run for a bit before driving off.

By Saturday it should be a balmy 20 degrees and lots of people will be back out hiking/cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, etc. (and of course letterboxing!)

ASL Girl said...

Yeah, it's pretty cold here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Just last night the wind was blowing the snow straight past my window. However, Embarass Minnesota gets some of the coldest temps. by far throughout the state.

Pockafwye said...

I live and work in the St. Paul area.

Things are a bit different even here on days like today. Many people go out to their cars at lunch to warm the engines up so they'll still start when they leave the office in the evening. Even folks who grew up here generally put on their hats and zip up their coats. And all but the hardiest joggers and folks who bike to work take the day off from such outdoor activities.

This morning was the coldest here since Jan of 2004, but check with us again on Thursday morning. S'posed to get quite a bit colder.

Hartx6 said...

Here in northwest IL its cold too. Though today seemed warmer than I expected.

News last night said that we were in a "BLIZZARD WARNING" until noon . . . however, nothing became of it.

I live 1.9 miles from work, my car doesn't have a chance to warm up. I could see my breath hitting the inside of my windshield all the way to work!!


Anonymous said...

When I was in Casper Wyoming right as the arctic freeze showed up before this past xmas, it got to -35 degrees at night, and stayed there, for a full week.
Remember going outside in the cold and having the hair in your nostrils freeze stiff and tickle you as you were breathing? Well at -35 degrees, the moisture in your breath freezes into little icicles on your eyebrows and you have to knock them off your crunchy-feeling face every once in awhile.

But every once in awhile is every 15 minutes, because the weather guy said any longer than that outside will cause severe frostbite. Not JUST frostbite, but severe. This is actually really bad in places that have nursing home populations where the populace has dementia, as people wander off outside and freeze to death, basically dressed in regular houseclothes. These are unsavory survival things I learned when I lived in Detroit for 10 years as well.

We are supposed to be getting some cold weather here in Pennsylvania, (or have been, actually) but I can honestly say that since being in Wyoming, -15 almost sounds tropical!

When I was back here and it was 40 degrees, I laughed when I realized it was 75 degrees WARMER than what I had been in! Almost makes one long for some of that global warming, eh?


Anonymous said...

Hey Robb,
Dexter Jones here. Blast from the past part 3. Robbi sent a link to your page on Facebook. Many of the old gang have recently been in touch, brought together by the passing of Mr. Pollock. I wish you the best in your recovery. Many people were asking about you because I posted all these pictures up on Facebook and you were in so many of them. I don't envy you the long road you've traveled or the distance yet to be covered, but your inner strength will see you through.
Always forward,


knitica said...

It drives me nuts that we get such a bad rap about weather here in Buffalo. Today it will be positive 11, 23 degrees warmer than St. Paul. It almost never goes below zero here except at night. I don't think I could live in the upper mid-west, not with weather like that.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Robb, there is a reason I moved here after 7 winters in Boston and it ain't just the palm trees.Friend in Alaska states they're having a little heat wave, it was only -4 today whereas it was -43 last week. The kids aren't allowed outside unless it's above -20. And then, only in special clothing with face masks. The cars do not work at those temps, the cold makes the metal too brittle. Her key broke off in the ignition, then the car doors also froze open.
I do like palm trees...

ArtGekko said...

Here in MN it is mind-numbingly cold, but once it gets below -20°, it all feels the same! Our district was the only one in a 20-mile radius to NOT cancel school this morning. Go figure.

We layer up, bundle up (think Ralphie's little brother in "A Christmas Story" -- "I can't put my arms down!"), hunker down, and think smug thoughts about how hardy we are (though some of that might be foolhardiness)!

The coldest I remember seeing was -36° actual air temp in NE Wisconsin as a kid. You breathe in and your nose feels like it's gonna crack off your face.

Did anyone notice the dewpoint on Robb's screen-grab? -21° -- how is that even possible?!?! At what point is the lack of moisture so severe that it becomes a vacuum out there? We gotta be close!

A side note, I believe we were 50° colder than Fairbanks, AK this morning.

Syndee said...

Brrrrr...it was 1 degree when my husband awoke this morning. My heater keeps blowing for hours on end--can't wait for that oil bill! I find myself longing for warm weather and palm trees, but alas, I shall not be seeing them any time soon--must stick close to home for a while now. Enjoy those 50-75 degree days!!!


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