Colds and Hot Toddies

Well darn it all. I finished the last of my Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey tonight.

But it was for a good cause. I’ve had a cold the past few days and nothing helps that out better than some nice herbal tea (peach in this case) a good dash of honey, some lemon juice, and a double shot of good whiskey. Had one last night as well and slept pretty good.

As much as I like Stranahan’s, I think my my next “local go to whiskey” will be Breckenridge Bourbon. It’s mellower and a bit smokier than Stranahan’s. It’s also about $20 a bottle less expensive. I’m still keeping it local, though.

And I’ll sleep well.

Cannot fill in the blanks.

I have had a cold trying to get me all week and have had no thoughts other than “When will this thing go away?” So there are a bunch of daily quotes without thoughts to fill them in. I’m going to have to let them stay that way and not look at it as failure.

In the meantime, DayQuil is keeping me mildly functional. When I have more thoughts, I’ll put ’em here.

Slow Rider

I rode my bike to the train station today for the first time in weeks. Even with the threat of snow this afternoon, I just felt the need to not drive my car and get a little exercise in the process. It was cold, of course, but I got so much more out of it than I do when I drive.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a car I thoroughly enjoy owning, and I enjoy driving as long as traffic stays out of my way. But this morning’s bike ride to the train station showed me a few things that I was starting to forget about.

The ducks in the little pond at the front of our development are one of those things. The pond had about twenty mallards doing their duck things in it. Some were standing on the little ice island on top of the pond and others were in the water and swimming around. If I had driven, I would have only had a second or two to notice, if I had noticed at all. On my bike, I was able to slow down and enjoy the scene. Quack!

About a third of the way into my ride, I noticed something moving off to the side of the road. I would not have noticed if I was driving, since I would be going past at thirty miles per hour. On the bike, at about one-third that speed, I again had a chance to see a cute bunny rabbit hopping about, trying to find a place hide from me. One of my favorite things about the move to Colorado is the number of bunnies I get to see. We have one living in the bushed right outside our front door. There are quite a few others in various places along my route to the train station and even at the station. I smile every time I see one and get a happy feeling inside. Squee!

Even though I had a bit of exercise on the way to the station this morning, I was more relaxed when arriving and enjoyed my ride to work even more. I’m realizing the Amish have it right in many ways: avoid being too fast. Sometimes life needs to be lived at its own speed, rather than the fastest speed possible.

It did snow today in Denver. Not a lot. Just a few light flurries. It was still snowing when I rode home. I enjoyed that ride, too. I usually ride home quickly, but took my time today. I took my time for two reasons. The first reason was safety. There’s no sense wiping out and giving the drivers a show, possibly injuring myself. The second was to intentionally slow down.

An added bonus was that the snow was forming a sort of warp speed visual effect as I rode in it. Prolonging that felt good. I arrived home happy and relaxed. The best part is, the ride home usually takes less time than the drive.

Weather permitting, I’ll ride again tomorrow. Slowly.

 

Temperate confusion

We have a small refrigerator in the garage. It holds beer, mainly. Just before dinner, I went to grab a couple of brews to enjoy with dinner.

It’s was 29 degrees outside when I did this. That means our garage was probably somewhere in the low 40’s or even high 30’s. I’m pretty sure the fridge stays at around 45 degrees or so, give or take.

So my question is, why was the fridge running when I got the beers? If it’s colder in the garage than the fridge keeps its interior, why would it need to cold down? Or was it heating up its insides?

These are the kinds of questions that keep me up at night. Wake me right out of a sound sleep. Fortunately, beer helps me sleep a little bit. So does scotch, and since I keep that at room temperature, I don’t worry about it at all.

 

Brrrrrrr

I just checked the temperature and there’s this little mark in front of the number. It’s like a dash or — oh my! — it’s a minus sign. There is a minus sign on our temperature.

So it’s -2 in our little part of Denver.

I think that’s as cold as I have experienced in a very long time, probably close to 25 or 30 years. I’m not sure how I feel about owing tomorrow two degrees already. I would rather not owe any. I like have at least a few spares, if not 70 or 80.

And for some weird reason, I feel like going for a walk.

Brrrrr is a single syllable

I grew up in Buffalo, NY so I used to know what cold is. I used to know what winter is. I moved away when I was 19 years old and spent my adult life in Florida and Nevada. I have learned what heat and humidity (and a dry heat) are instead and have forgotten about cold.

Our move to Denver, CO this year has given me plenty of reminders about cold. I think I’ve mentioned before I don’t dislike it so much as I’m not used to it. And as I experience more cold weather again, I am coming to a few realizations.

The first is that I’m not fond of single-syllable temperatures or temperatures with more than five syllables. I’ve found that most three-syllable temperatures are mostly tolerable. There are a few exceptions in there, but for the most part this holds up.

For instance, it’s currently 8 degrees outside my home. That’s not enough degrees. It could warm up to twenty, but that’s still quite chilly. Twenty-nine? Close enough. I don’t need arctic wear for that.

On the other end of the scale we have one-hundred. That’s hot but not quite “Africa Hot” as Eugene Morris Jerome would say. Even one-hundred five with four syllables is still manageable if somewhat uncomfortable  The temperature that crosses the threshold is one-hundred seven. That’s the magic temperature at which it’s too hot. I know this because below 107, when I close my eyes it’s still just hot. But at 107 and above, when I close my eyes, I can feel searing heat on my eyelids, in the shade or in the sun. It’s just plain weird, but a also quite accurate.

The other thing about heat is that you can temporarily escape it via air conditioning, but that requires energy and something to be working. Stripping down to no clothing doesn’t really help much and could cause complicated legal issues or at least arrest. Cold simply requires clothing. It might be many layers of clothing, but you only need to buy the clothes once. And they have the opposite effect of being naked to escape heat: you’re very well covered. The colder it gets, the more covered you are. No risk of arrest! And it’s not like I have to keep my jacket, gloves, hat, and scarf plugged in like A/C requires.

Regardless of where I live, I think my favorite temperatures are in the high 60s and low 70s. I think Harry Nilsson put it best in his song “Everybody’s Talkin'”:

I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Thru’ the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes,
Backing off of the North East wind,
Sailing on summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone 

In the meantime, I like where I am, so having my clothes suit the weather isn’t all that bad either.

Colorado’s cold helps me exercise

Sure, I grew up in Buffalo, NY so I knew cold, but I have spent my entire adult life living in the warmer climates of Florida and Southern Nevada. If it got cold there, it wasn’t that cold and it didn’t stay cold that long. Since we moved to Colorado in May, I have experienced plenty of cold. I’m not complaining, and this isn’t unexpected. I just need a little adjustment to get used to it.

One of those adjustments was to purchase thermal underwear. I have never owned thermal underwear before. I must say I like it. The Sears Outlet nearby has a great selection of Craftsman and NordicTrac brand thermal pants and shirts … for $6! Yep, $6 thermals are mine. Lots of them.

And here’s the best part: NordicTrac makes treadmills and other exercise equipment. Nice fancy expensive stuff. Their $6 underwear is also quite nice, and since it’s made my the same company that makes exercise equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines, wearing the underwear is just like exercising. Of this I am convinced. I’m wearing some as I write this, which is easily the equivalent of jogging a few miles uphill. Or more.

I can’t wait to get to sleep and run a marathon or two in the warm cuddly comfort of my bed. I will be in amazing shape by Spring.

I wonder if wearing the Craftsman thermals will make me a better handyman.