The headline for today’s post is a play on the popular description of cold temperatures: “Colder than a witch’s tit in a brass brassiere.” We have been having a rather cold and damp January here in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metromess, and I have been getting questions about how I’m holding up, what with all the side effects I have been dealing with from the medications and the actual cold weather I have had to deal with.
The answer is “Not too bad, really.” All things considered I could be much worse off than I am, to which I thank my friends and fellow congregants at my church. While they clean out their closets I get warm stuff to wear, and some people have given me new stuff to keep my corpus from turning corpse.
Hands have been the big issue this year partially due to the meds issues and partially due to the “this is Dallas and we don’t carry warmer gloves than that” issue. I have purchased through the Internet a pair of ski-gloves from a brand called Manzella, an Italian company that I had never heard of before, but the gloves are very water-resistant and pretty well-insulated (rated at 40g of Thinsulate). Paul, if you’re reading this I still have your money for the gloves sitting on the table, you caught me in the bathroom when you delivered them. Combined with some Astronaut Glove Liners that somebody found in their closet that were too big for anybody in their house I’m good down to about 25F in the rain, even with the PAD issues from the study meds, and yes we had 25F in a drizzle here in the suburbs of Hell. I think they would be good below 0F when my fingers are in their normal condition and it isn’t raining.
Below the waist I now have a pair of Pearl Izumi tights from 5 years ago that have seen very little wear and are very soft and warm. I don’t know why but when it comes to tights those two words seem to be connected. Soft tights are warm, and warm tights are soft. My bike Nashbar tights from that year are both not as warm, and not as soft, being mostly a wind-stop layer that goes over long underwear or other tights. and the unknown brand of stirrup tights are also soft and warm, but not very good at stopping wind.
Now for my torso this year I hit the jackpot as I got 3 base layer shirts for Christmas, 2 of which double as single layers for summer. Add those to the mil-spec flight jacket I got back in the 20th Century when I was flying (1994 or ’95, as I recall) and I have some serious thermal insulation. Plus I have a ANSI Safety Lime t-shirt I wear over the top of the flight jacket so I can be seen during the day, which the wife says makes me look like a neon Michelin Man, but I can be seen.
The remains of the blinky vest I bought in 2002 is being fitted with a set of blinky cuffs run by the same blinky driver that used to run the vest before the wires broke. I could fix the wires, but I would have to destroy the vest to get to them, which kinda negates fixing the wires. I still have a bunch of reflective vinyl tapes on the vest, and moving the LEDs to the cuffs lets me signal turns better and also makes me more visible from the side.
Add the wool socks and the waterproof socks I have been wearing since the last century and everything is finally warm and dry.