:: Monday, December 20, 2004 ::
I went outside into the deceivingly bright sunshine on Sunday morning wearing my heavy duty North Face (tm) winter coat and wrap-around-the-back- of-the-head earmuffs, thick gloves and carrying my lunch - which quite humorously had an ice pack in it.
Before I had walked the 50 or so feet from the door - shoes crunching loudly on the small amount of snow on the driveway - and to the CrV, the fabric that makes up the outer shell of my jacket began to crinkle and make noises of protestation under the duress of the quick temperature drop. It was really cold for the first time this year. Made my eyes water behind my sunglasses and freeze on my cheeks in the slight wind.
I climbed in the driver's seat of the CrV and turned the key. The engine hesitated. A distinct complaint at the request. For a split second I had one of those 'uh-oh' moments where I thought a call to CAA would be in order. I would have been quite concerned, to say the least, if the first exposure to the elements would have caused my wheels to not start. But much to my relief, it turned over and came to life.
After cranking the oversized environmental control dials to defrost, and full heat, and stabbing the button for internal air, I tried the wipers to clear the small amount of snow from the windshield. No luck. Under that snow, the wipers were frozen to the glass like a foolish kid's tongue to a pole in a school yard. Swearing, I got back out and retrieved the scraper from the trunk and began separating the rubber blades from the ice. I was outside long enough to make the hairs on my moustache and goatee freeze solid from my breath. I made a mental note to give myself a trim when I got home.
The only thing I can say I like about clearing off the snow or ice from the car in weather such as this is that it allows the car to heat up a bit. The drive to work is only a couple of Km, and so when there is no scraping and extra waiting around, it doesn't get too warm inside. It was however getting pretty toasty when I got to work today.
Flash forward 11 hours. I got in and started the engine in the underground garage of the Galleria. The onboard therm said it was 8°C. Once outside in the night air, I watched the small LCD display tick down every twenty or thirty seconds. I drove the pretty much empty quiet streets up past Victoria Park and East on Dufferin, listening to the mellow Northern Lights program on CBC Radio 1. By the time I pulled to a stop at home, the term was showing -16°C. Driving at 50kph or so meant that the windchill outside the window was -30°C or more.
I have written or started to write several science fiction stories over the years. Do you think it is a coincidence that some of them are set on barren frozen worlds of methane ice and super sub-zero temperatures? I don't think so.
Observed on 20 Dec. 2004 at 1:00 AM
Condition : Clear
Temperature : -20°C
Pressure : 102.2 kPa
Visibility : 24 km
Relative Humidity : 58%
Dew Point : -26°C
Wind Speed : WSW 5 km/h
:: Mike Wood 01:36 [+] ::