Saturday, January 6, 2018


It’s been a cold year so far, in more ways than one.

First there’s the obvious.  It’s cold here in Baja Canada.  Bitterly cold.  Ditch-digger weather.  Sad brass monkeys all around.  We’ve been below 0F at some point of pretty much every day since we got back from Tennessee (and a few before that, apparently).  Last night it got down to -13F, which is about -25C so we’re cold in both metric and imperial units.  It’s cold.

I realize that my Canadian friends are even as I post this frantically typing out messages that start out with “You think that’s cold?  We picnic in that weather!” but you know, I’ll let you guys have that one.  And the health care.  And the sensible regulations on firearms.  And the government that isn’t clinically insane and a threat to the survival of the human species.  So yeah, Canada.  Good on ya.

Meanwhile here in MURCA! it’s colder than Mars.  It snowed in Florida.  Texas was at freezing in one corner and well over 100F in another on the same day.  And most of the Northeast was bombed by a snowstorm, if I heard that right, one that apparently involved putting large portions of Massachusetts underwater.

Good thing the climate isn’t shifting, because otherwise?  I’d be worried.


It’s also been a cold year on the viral front.  We all made it back from Tennessee in reasonably good health, but almost as soon as we landed back home everything fell apart.  We’ve all had the same maddening cold.  It’s not one of those colds that wipes you out and leaves devastation in its wake so you can curl up in a wodge of blankets with only your nose sticking out and whine into your steaming bowl of chicken soup for a few miserable days until it goes away.  No, this cold just makes you feel kind of bad – a sore throat, a few aches, a cough that won’t quite go away, some stuffiness.  You feel a bit better one day, a bit worse the next day, but never quite laid low and never really good, and it never goes away.  It's really nothing you can’t fight your way through the workday with if you have to.  Just enough to remind you that once upon a time you felt good but now you don't, sort of the way you feel when you remember that we used to have a government run by law-abiding officials who weren’t actively subverting the social contract.

Not all that long ago, too.

The cold also makes food taste off, the way colds will.  This is a particular problem for me right now because I recently received a most generous gift of a bottle of whiskey.  It is a fine bottle of whiskey, quite possibly the finest I have ever owned, and I am truly grateful to have it.  I am very much looking forward to enjoying it, an experience that having the bitter cold winter outside my door could only enhance.

You know those commercials featuring those Manly 4-Wheel Drive Land Yachts Of Manly Manliness bursting through snowbanks and scattering wildlife?  I always feel bad for the people who own those things, storm-busting their way to a productive day at work while the rest of us stay home and sip whiskey while reading a good book in a comfortable chair.  To each their own, I suppose.

But there is the maddening cold that we all have, the cold that makes everything taste like something you should have put more time into preserving when you made it last week.  I absolutely refuse to open this bottle of whiskey until I can actually taste things right again, and at this rate that might be June.

In the meantime, we cough and wheeze at each other, wrapped in our blankets and waiting for the ability to breathe normally again.

Yeah, it's cold.


LucyInDisguise said...

And the virus was good and easily spread to those he loved, and those he had never met. And the virus has a name:

“It is mine, I tell you. My own.
My precious. Yes, my precious.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Virus

Curse you Red Baron of the Cold.


David said...

And your mangy little dog, too!


So you're stuck with this lousy cold too? My sympathies. It's been more than a week now for me, and I'm getting tired of not quite breathing and feeling vaguely like I should have gotten the number of that truck before it drove off. Of course, now it's all settling into a chest cough, which all illnesses do for me. If the next great pandemic is respiratory, you can just say goodbye to me now.

LucyInDisguise said...

It may actually be worse than you think. Week #3 for me. Wife is in week #5. NO relief in sight. I keep having visions of The Stand.

I'd go back to bed right now if the stupid pump for the number bed hadn't died on New Years Day. Currently waiting for warranty service.

Life's a bitch, then you get a mangy cold and then your bed gets a flat.

I am definitely going to buy a backup pump for this bed. Don't care that it's $300 - the sofa is not very comfortable (nor is its firmness adjustable!) and it is approximately 2 3/64 " too short.

And there is this damn crow hanging around on the power pole out front ...


David said...

Oh, that is not a good sign. Sigh.

I made the mistake of reading The Stand when I had a cold like this, actually. It was not the brightest thing I ever did. Add to that the fact that I read the Revised, "I'm Famous And Don't Need To Listen To My Editors" edition (with the extra ream of pages that were cut out of the first edition), and it was a joyous reading experience let me tell you.

Having a bed go flat is just wrong. We do pretty well with one of those foam mattresses that come in a big box and slowly inflate over a day or two. And microfleece sheets, which are "instant warm" - no cold sheets while your body heat makes them habitable! Honestly, I don't know why I'm not typing this from that bed right now. Oh, right, desktop computer...

LucyInDisguise said...

"... and it was a joyous reading experience..." I will interpret that a facetious. With just a dash of snark.

I tried (unsuccessfully) to read The Stand. I've actually made an honest attempt to read three other books by that not able author. (Wait. Notable. More accurate with or without the space? Judgement call ...) The movie sucked, but was much better by several orders of magnitude. Would have been even better if himself didn't feel a need to appear as a prop in the movie. It may be that very thing that induces the nightmares.

I feel a case of the drowsies coming on ... almost certain it doesn't have anything to do with the current subject and derailment of your blog post.

Almost ... [cough, cough, sniffle, sneeze, shiver, etc.]


David said...

Subject? We don't need no steenking subject!

I actually had two motivations to read The Stand.

One was a class I was supposed to teach, entitled "Film and History," in which I was supposed to pick a theme and examine films touching that theme and how they fit into the larger context of American history at the time. I am, as those who know me well will attest, cinematically illiterate, so this was a challenge. So I went with Post-Apocalyptic films, since I had read a great many books in that genre and could use that to structure the course (many of those books had been made into films anyway). I read it in a bit of a hurry, which is why I kept reading despite the Flu-like Crud that I had the whole time.

The other was a 7th-grade bet I had made with my friend Matt. The Stand was his favorite book at the time, and he demanded I read it. The Lord of the Rings was my favorite book at the time, and I demanded he read it. We eventually agreed that if one read the demanded book, so too must the other. It took me 28 years to get to reading his, so I figure he has until 2036 to read mine.

Drowse the cold away, Lucy!