Monday, December 15, 2008

Three Dog Night

The next fool who spouts off about global warming in my presence is going to get stripped and chained to the maple in my front yard for the world to see. And I sure as hell hope it's lard-ass Algorey.

It's 1930hrs and the damn thermometer's already reading 17 below, on its way to 30+ below and fifty-plus wind chills. Not that it's unusual for those kind of temps in Minnesota, but it's a bit early. Not that anything about weather has been 'normal' or 'average' this year. Below average winter last year- way longer than norm- and lower than average temps all summer. I think the AC was one once, twice at the most and then only due to humidity readings. This fall was colder than average every day.

Now, rather than over-saturate us with global warming shit, they're switching to climate changes. Like- DUH: climate changes every day.

I have a sleeping bag filled with six pounds of down that's really warm on cold nights- in a tent, anyway. Haven't tried it sleeping on the ground yet, hope I never have to- but the way things are looking in this country nowadays, I may get that opportunity. Also have a military cotton duck cover for it that, according to my illustrious Uncle, adds ten degrees more warmth to the bag. Hopefully he's right. (Nope, ain't trying it out tonight, thank you!)

Also, the tent is a four season tent that's had a bit of snow-cover for insulation upon occasion. Spent a honeymoon in '96 in the BWCA and the temps dropped to twenty below that year, too. But then, it was January 12th and we expected it. (I wonder...did that honeymoon on the frozen tundra have anything to do with the Big D? Hmmm..)

Sorels are some of the best cold weather footwear available. Didn't have them when we were kids, though. In those days we wore boots with overboots and lots of sox. Will Steger swears by the Mukluks his wife makes up in Ely- and they sure look warm, though utilising the same liners Sorels use. Some day when I'm feeling rich and the Sorels wear out...

Having a pair of 'choppers' with wool liners really keep the hands warm, too. But I prefer leather gloves with a nice fur lining. Usually it's rabbit, and warm. Not as warm as the choppers, but good enough and easy to work in compared to the mitts. If I'm doing work that doesn't require dexterity of fingers, or just skiing or walking around, the choppers get used cuz they're great for that.

A pair of long-jons under jeans or wool pants and a snow-suit over those, or a heavy insulated work cover-alls, and a person can spend a day on the ice and not get cold.

Down jackets are nice to look at, for sure, but not nice on the wallet. The only one I've ever owned is still in use after 30+ years, but it isn't my only jacket and I sure don't wear it on cold-cold days. Then I grab the parka- if I'm going to be fairly sedentary. Otherwise, the fiberfill cotton-twill shelled jacket fits the bill. I don't like 'coats' because they're so long, can't get into pant pockets easily and seem to get in the way more than anything. But I like my coat, too. Just for those reasons: it's long and covers the backside when parking on a log and keeps snow out of the pockets, as well as twigs and seeds.

To be perfectly honest, I rather like cold weather. Not the kind we're getting tonight, but temps in the above zero range. Not too cold to be outside, fairly easy to dress warmly for without becoming the Michelin Man. Sunny days on the ice fishing or wandering through the woods is kind of fun. The dog likes them, anyway.

Anyway, I have a plan for the really cold night I'm sure no manufacturer of firearms ever took into consideration. At least, not the modern new-fangled plastic ones.

One of my brother-in-laws (or is it 'brothers-in-law'? never could keep that grammatical shit straight) recently bought an XD45: nice, smooth and black with a steel upper and plastic lower. Of course, being the skeptic I am, I had to ask if he thought it'd survive being shot in below zero weather. Too, I hadda follow suit and bought a playmate for the all steel Smith. Tonight, that plastic gun is going to sleep outside and in the morning when I wake, I'm going to see how strong that plastic is. I wonder if I'll be able to get a new one. Honestly, I do expect something to happen soon as it goes BANG!- and I hope I'm not eating a slide when it does.

Tonight, though- gonna be a long one. "Three dog night," as the old-timers say. The single ones, anyway. I doubt any wife would let three dogs into the bed...

Okay: bad joke. Sorry (shakin' head as I write it).

Sleep well tonight, Folks- it may be the last good night sleep for a long time.

Bless God-



  1. ...cover yer eyes,brother...i just cant get used to plastic...a decade ago,my gov't model was so cold it dern near froze to my hand(northern mich winter...right at 'zero' actual temp) the seat of the truck,4 mags without a hiccup...our 'stress test' of the day...(hint: ARs' dont do well for few initial rounds)
    Anyway,be safe,let us know what happens...

  2. Right on, Ken: I have a serious problem with plastic. Give me steel any time. Still, I just hadda have the newest toy on the block.
    Temp was 28 below when I got up at 0600, rose to 23 by the time I got outside- ooo, it's a pain getting the Michelin costume on! Well, it wasn't that bad, still, not as sweet as going out in fifty degrees with T-shirt.
    Had my gloves on- big leather honkers- and caused a bit of dilemma for a second. Have you ever thought about how BIG your fingers are inside an XL size glove? Holy Moley, they're huge. I was really concerned the thing would go off as I forced the finger into the trigger guard, but it didn't.
    Then aimed and pulled back...nothing. Dang. The trigger moved, nothing happened. Time to do some thinking (OUCH, that hurts!) about this. Now: why won't it fire? (No, I didn't look down the barrel to see if there was a bullet in the chamber! Remember: there ain't no such thing as an empty gun.)
    Raised to sight again, squeezed back...hmmm...the finger's moving, so I know the trigger's going back. Somewhat, anyway. Kept it aimed as I moved eyeballs to look things over. Ever consider how much 'slack' there is in 1/4" of glove insulation? Pull back farther. Nothing. Back to the drawing board. Something didn't quite feel right, so sight again and pull once more. Allow for insulation and keep pulling, then felt the problem. AHA! (Somtimes I have a Thomas Edison moment.)
    The glove's leather and the insulation is thick and I was holding both hands in normal fashion. Just not allowing for the palm swell on the glove.
    Grip harder with the web, compress the grip safety much, much harder, and squeeze off the shot.
    Worked. Sooooo, lessons learned: A) gloves suck when shooting pistols with trigger and grip safeties. B) hold tightly though it 1) changed the POA a bit and hadda readjust and 2) felt recoil was sure a lot less and recovery time was faster.
    Also, tried a couple draws and aim.
    Ugly, to say the least. Felt awkward as hell when I couldn't feel the grip as readily as I like. Also, the gloves sure keep your finger from going into the trigger guard smoothly. More like a fight. Still, with the off-hand holding the gun, the finger eventually finds its home.
    Dressed warm as I was, with the wind blowing in my ear, there was noticeable shake from the weather and cloth restriction that the group was opened enough to be 'bad shooting', still, all would have been a hit.
    All in all, I think the test was a success just for lesson learned as well as the weapon's ability to hang together in extreme cold. So, color me happy face (big smile here) as to a successful test.

  3. Just reading that made me cold! Ha! It's damn cold for me down here, but for you it's t-shirt weather.... You can sure pick out the snowbirds down here during a cold snap! Us locals are all bundled up, and the snowbirds are in shorts..... Stay warm up there!

  4. Speakin' of T-shirts...I wanna get one that has "INFIDEL" written on it. :-D


I believe in the First Amendment and so should you. Speak your mind and piss on political correctness!