Thursday, January 9, 2014

"30° will feel warm!"

For those of you who have known me a long time, you know I spent a year and a half from December 1973 part way through June 1975 going to school at the University of California in Berkeley. 

A good friend from Worthington was the first person I met when I started going to school in the eighth grade. His name is Tom Wallace. In the spring of 1974, Tom, and my sister, Kathleen took the train to Oakland so they could help me move back to Worthington for the summer. Here is a picture of Tom and me on Sproul Plaza during that trip.

If you were ever a student or a visitor to the Berkeley campus, you know exactly where we are in the picture. I miss my hair! I had a cool 1974 haircut and beard! I am only showing you this picture as a frame of reference for how long it has been since the title of my post and I love the picture!

Click on the image to make it larger:

That fall my parents and my uncle Terry rode back with me to go to school for the 1974 – '75 school year. I moved into Putnam Hall in Unit 1 just off campus. There I met Mike Ross and his roommate, Doug Hamblin. They had another friend who did not live in the dorm whose name is Kevin McDonnell.

We became friends that year and Mike eventually took a job in Minneapolis working as a computer programmer for a lumber company. Mike liked Minneapolis and the different lifestyle here than he was accustomed to in the Bay Area.

In 1978, when I bought my first house, Mike lived in the basement until he got married sometime later. It was in February 1979 when Kevin decided to visit Mike during one of our famously cold winters.

Mike went to pick up Kevin at the airport, and Kevin was wearing a T-shirt and jeans and carrying his baggage. Mike asked Kevin where his coat was? Whereupon, Kevin replied, "Well, how far away did you park?"

Mike said something like, "It doesn't matter how far away I parked, it's 27° below zero out there!" Kevin scoffed at the comment and as they left the terminal, the automatic doors opened up, a blast of that frigid air hit Kevin right in the face and without breaking stride, did an abrupt 180° turn, threw his bag on the floor of the concourse, took out his coat and hurriedly put it on!

Kevin had left temperatures in the 60s and 70s in the South Bay dressed like he normally would in temperatures in that range. He was not prepared for such a drastic change in temperature. Later that day, Mike made the infamous quote, "30° will feel warm, just wait and see!" Kevin WOULD NOT believe him!

Later during his visit, the temperature got to 30° and Kevin had to admit as snow and ice were melting around them that indeed, 30° felt warm.

I wanted to tell you that story because of what we have just gone through here in the upper Midwest. Actually, parts all over the country are experiencing record cold temperatures and some people are claiming we have no problem with global warming!

I went out of my apartment today for the first time in a week. I went to my acupuncture appointment, and as I got on the freeway the flashing FREEWAY FORD time and temperature showed 17° at 11:57 AM. Last week when I waited at the stoplight to go to acupuncture, the temperature actually doubled while I sat at the light! It went from 1° to 2°! It is not very often I can say I watched the temperature double in a matter of waiting for a stoplight.

When the temperatures got down to dangerously low levels like 20 and 30° below zero readings not counting wind chills of 50, 60 and 70° below zero, it was time to just sit back, skip my Friday night Gopher basketball game and watch it on TV, watch playoff football, some television, catch up on my Facebook timeline and enjoy my mom's company and she was stuck here too. She always comes on Friday afternoons and helps me do my attendant care until Monday at 8 AM. This weekend she stayed until Wednesday around noon because of the bitter cold.

As this polar vortex recedes from Texas up into Canada, our local meteorologists are predicting temperatures in the 30s by this weekend! That is a 60 to 70° swing in less than a week! Imagine if any other part of the country were to experience a 60 to 70° swing in just a few hours.

Let's take Phoenix: if one day it is 60° and the next day it is 110 to 120°? Or Miami, or San Diego, or any other state that gets extremely high temperatures?

I am not boasting about this, but I read a study several years ago about the biggest swing in temperatures of the major cities in the United States and Minneapolis/St. Paul area experiences a more dramatic temperature swing of somewhere between 100 and 130° possible temperatures.

I am anxious to go outside this weekend and see just how warm 30° will feel!

As always, I look forward to your comments.




Colleen said...

Mikey, it will feel awesome! And how far away can spring actually be -as the days become longer! Yahoo!

Richard Zajicek said...

Springtime is just around the corner!

Steve said...

You know, there is a place in Russia called Omiokan Russia. It can get the lowest temperature. It only gets above 0 in the summer. It can get -70 this time of year, AND PEOPLE LIVE THERE!