Well, we made it home Saturday. Then it snowed. Then it got cold. The diesel didn’t start when we got home (not because of any diesel fuel issue but because of a dead battery). Since it was snowing … and today it was -20 F we didn’t trickle charge it yet. We’re going to charge it tomorrow and then try starting it Wednesday when the temps are supposed to get north of 10.  We’ve discovered some things about packed snow, ice, and salt.  When temps are below -15 salt doesn’t do squat. Snow melted/softened by salt which then is cooled below 10 or 15 below is hard as a rock. Squeeky snow (which is snow below 0) is very slippery on the roads. The only solution is to go slow … and finally, I live on a road which is on about a 15% grade. You can’t drive up it. You can only go down. If your speed gets above about 5mph … you’re out of control doing down. Creeping is only way.

A reminder, the difference between 60 and 20 is the same as the difference between 20 and -20. Think of what you wear at 60 compared to 20. Stay warm out there if you’re in this arctic blast.

I’d have posted tonight, except life intervened. I did get to the gym to swim however but a little late. I got 1500 yards in, but we got there late so I had to stop before I got to 2000.

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  1. Boonton says:

    It is amazing, is it not, that we can struggle with -20 degree days yet still take a dive in a giant pool of warm water and swim. We are down only to -2 or -3 with lots of wind. They say this is a one day thing, though, and soon we’ll be back up to 50.

  2. Mark says:

    Well, it seems that water, although a great heat conductor compared to air, when the differential is 98-82=16 degrees compared to 98- (-20) = 118 … the delta T (and wind to increase heat carry off) for the air wins.

    Looks like y’all hit 50 by the weekend. We’re only warming to 38 by then.

  3. Boonton says:

    I was thinking more about the ability we have to remove ourselves entirely from nature. 1000 years ago your only option was to bundle up and huddle by the fire until a few happy summer months came. Today we have the ability to relatively cheaply remove ourselves entirely from nature and then plunge back in.

    Somewhat related, http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/01/07/extreme_cold_is_better_than_extreme_heat.html makes the argument that cold is better. Essentially you can bundle up and more or less go about your normal business in extreme cold. When it’s 110 degrees, though, what can you do? Formal dinner? Job interview? Not really. We only think warm is better because we like to vacation to warm spots more than cold, in reality we are better off dealing with extreme cold than extreme heat.

    Energywise, though, I’ve read that air conditioning takes less power than heating. So environmentally the southern states might be more green despite the best efforts of their politics.