We’ve had our two days of winter cold

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

While I was writing this, the temperature outside plunged into the 20s. That is just too cold for this area. By the time you read this, though, it should be comfortable again.

That is the magic of the Texas Gulf Coast – a couple of days of this cold stuff, and we’re back to the normal 60s and 70s in the winter.

This is my type of weather. Give me a few days of winter, and let’s have fall and spring for the rest of the time, except for summer, when it gets pretty hot. But I would rather have it hot than cold.

I felt sorry for the fans at the 49ers-Packers game at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis., where the temperature at the end of the game was a balmy 3 degrees, with a wind chill factor of about -18.

The players were equipped with all their warm gear and running around the field, but the fans had to remain in one place and cheer, except at the end.

And, when the game had a chance to go into overtime, I wonder how many fans were hoping it wouldn’t because they had trouble feeling their toes by then? It was a good game, though, as I watched it in my heated house.

My friends in the Midwest were posting things like it’s -20, and someone on a bicycle was pretending that it wasn’t cold. I’d have trouble going from house to car in that cold.

When I lived in areas like that, I could not wait for warmer temperatures to return. One time my car was covered by snow, and when I was able to finally dig it out, there was a parking ticket on the windshield.
Here is one paragraph that caught my attention on the Internet machine:

“The forecast is extreme: 32 below zero in Fargo, N.D.; minus 21 in Madison, Wis.; and 15 below zero in Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Chicago. Wind chills — what it feels like outside when high winds are factored into the temperature — could drop into the minus 50s and 60s.”

Like John Boehner said, “Are you kidding me?”

This type of news is frequently exaggerated, but even if it is half-way correct, that is still unimaginably cold.

Weather news is often pushed to the limit in the MSM, or main-stream media. When a hurricane hits an area, there is a tendency to report that other hurricanes will also hit, or that the area is going to get a lot more rain.

The people affected love to hear that, I’m sure. It’s kind of like twisting the knife.

Going to the Internet weather sites give a clearer picture. Weather television tends to go a little overboard. They finally have the limelight and are making the most of it.

I’m not saying that all TV weather is like this, but a lot of them love to scare us to death - like the weather people in Los Angeles, who made temperatures dropping into the 50s there look like an Arctic blast. They even showed a soccer practice where players had to wear long pants. Good thing we have Jimmy Kimmel putting it all in context.

“It was so cold, I had to wear two tank tops to work today,” he said during a recent monologue. “So, please, if you would, say a little prayer for us. We’re suffering here.”

Of course, it’s better to be safe than sorry, as long as the information is correct.

All this nasty weather also has been bad for retailers. After all, who wants to shop January sales in -20? Hey, all you people who went to the Green Bay game, you’re frozen anyway, so stop by the mall and boost those sales while the rest of us stay home.

And, for all those people who like to ride bicycles and run in cold weather, I found a helpful tip on the Internet machine that may help.

“Although it may be hard to believe now, your body will get used to the cold weather. In order for your body to adjust, however, you’ll have to continue braving the outdoors for your workouts.”

I have a better way: Drive to the warm gym and have a nice workout. Then jump back in your warm car and drive to your warm house.

I have seen videos where the crazy people go swimming in the icy lake or ocean and claim that it’s not an unpleasant experience. They are lying. Don’t try it. Substitute the plunge in an icy lake with a hot shower.

But if you are interested, the 18th Annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge will be on Jan. 25 at Sandy Point State Park. It benefits Maryland’s children Special Olympics.

If you are going to freeze voluntarily, do it for a good cause.

We don’t have one of these events in this area, perhaps because we are sane. There have to be other ways to raise money for a good cause, like a barbecue,or a tug-of-war, or a dance, none of which require freezing.

Enjoy our wonderful weather, dear readers, and stay warm when the temperature drops a bit. We’ll weather through these few cold nights somehow. Or, we probably already have, as you read this on your back porch because it’s back in the 70s again.

It was a tough two days, I admit. But we made it.