Some Stones Unturned

Knitting, Biking and Some Sober Second Thoughts

Archive for the tag “Canadians complaining about weather how original”

So it snowed here

snow

Blargh.

It snowed quite a bit actually.  And people freaked out.  And then other people freaked out about the people freaking out. Which I don’t really understand because as much as getting snow is a part of living in Canada, so is complaining about getting snow, at least in Southern Ontario for as long as I’ve lived there.

I myself am not much of a winter person. I’m fine down to about -12 and I’ll tolerate about -18 if there’s not much wind. I think snow is pretty and I like cross-country skiing but I don’t get much of a chance to do it. But for the most part, I just grit my teeth and try to outlast the winter, which hasn’t been hard the last couple years of non-winters, but is looking like it may be more challenging this year.

And as I was contemplating this, it struck me how the year is structured for people like me, with roughly one communal event or idea per month that we’ve agreed to to try and convince ourselves it’s not so bad and it’ll be over soon.

October I still consider fall.

November is typically when you get the first snowfall, so it’s still new and magical seeming and you’re not yet tired of putting on two layers every time you need to go pick up some milk or something.

December is Christmas or whatever your solstice-timed holiday of choice is, celebrating, as Doctor Who so beautifully put it, being halfway out of the dark. The sun is barely out, but at least the days will be getting longer, right?

January has New Year’s when you are meant to approach the world with fresh optimism, start some new routines and make some changes in your life to spiff things up.

February has Groundhog Day.  I know this seems like a stretch, but the very fact that news crews get up at 6 am and wander out to a hole in the ground where a guy in a ridiculous costume claims to tell you what a groundhog is thinking pretty much tells you how desperate we are for something, anything, to tell us how much longer we have to endure winter. I had a roommate from the Netherlands for a while and he saw Groundhog Day being covered on TV and trying to explain it to him was next to impossible:

“Why does him seeing his shadow mean anything?”

No no, it’s just a silly tradition.  It doesn’t mean anything.  There will be more winter regardless.

“Oh, well how do you know if he saw his shadow?  Do you ask him?”

It depends if he runs back into his hole.

“Won’t he run back in because of all the people around?”

Never mind.  This is too hard to explain.

I’m not saying this is a good “getting through it moment” for February.  I blame the February blahs on the questionableness of this moment. I mean, first off, the little guys can’t seem to agree and just taking a simple majority doesn’t seem to give reliable predictions. But even if it did, then if he does see his shadow you still have six more weeks!  But still then you know there’s an endpoint somewhere down the line, which is comforting when winter seems to be dragging out forever.

March is the time for the expression “In like a lion, out like a lamb.”  Or vice versa.  So either the weather is terrible but you remind yourself that it’s about to get better. Or it’s nice but you remind yourself not get too excited because there are still some cold spells to come so you should take advantage while you can.

And then April is spring, hopefully, at least if you live in certain parts of the country.

So currently still a month and a half to go. But we can do it folks. We’re, like 78% of the way out of the dark I think, if I did my math right.

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Is This Blog Ever Going to Have Anything about Biking on it?

Ummm, hopefully? My fault for starting it in January I guess. A couple of year ago, I did bike most of the winter, but only to places I had to go not weekend trips to interesting places in the city. This year it’s been warm enough to probably make a go of it again, but I haven’t really had many places to go within biking distance (work is walkable; my weekly ultimate game is too far).

Also I really need to get my bike in for a tune-up, particularly new tires as the treads on mine are gone. But there doesn’t seem to be much point until after the cold goes away. I only got the bike 2.5 years ago and I think I’ve managed to keep it in pretty good shape myself using bicycletutor.com but at some point it really needs a professional to look at it and make sure the brake cables aren’t about to snap or something.

But so my one biking story from this winter is that a couple of weeks ago, I got all bundled up, pumped up my tires and headed to my dentist appointment downtown. It was just below freezing when I left, but dropping rapidly, close to -10°C by the time I was finished and had to head into work. My dentist is in a pretty big office building and I was taking the elevator down after my appointment and a guy got on and saw my helmet. He asked how the winter biking was going. I told him today was a bit cool, but not bad. He said that was his brother’s opinion as well, and that it hadn’t been that snowy/icy this year, which is indeed much more of a concern than the cold. Why you need multiple people’s opinions on the biking conditions when you could just stick your head out the door and check the weather, I’m not sure, but it’s always nice when people are interested and not (a) shocked you bike in winter or (b) complaining about crazy/self-righteous cyclists. And if there’s any way to stop Canadians from talking about the weather, I haven’t found it yet.

Also, my appointment was at 11 and I had to walk past 3 or 4 bike posts that already had bikes on them so either there are a lot of abandoned bikes in that area, or biking is really becoming more popular this winter.

Also also, there is a Bulk Barn on the ground floor of my dentist’s building. Yes, a Bulk Barn in the city. Within biking distance. This is going to change my life. Come spring it is going to be weekly candy and trail mix bike trips downtown. At least weekly. It’s great that I can go to the dentist, get my teeth cleaned, then buy candy knowing I won’t have to face the consequences until six months later.

Anyway, there are a huge number of bike lanes in this part of Florida (where I’m vacationing for the week). My parents are in one of those weird gated communities and all the roads have bike lanes in both directions in spite of the fact that the roads are not busy at all (unless you count golf carts in the bike lanes). Supposedly there are bikes in the garage, so maybe there will be another bike post about the weirdness of toodling around nearly-abandoned streets. But otherwise, to answer the question in the title, probably no bike-y things until spring this year. Sorry.

It’s Cold Out There Campers

I went to the movies today.  It’s about a three block walk from my building.  On the way there, I saw a kid with his toque pulled all the way down over his eyes so he couldn’t see, complaining that it was cold and his Mom was dragging him by the arm and telling him that if he just walked faster they would be warm sooner.

Winter

Noooooooo!

Yes, winter has finally decided to show up and I’m just as offended by it this year as I was last year.  I consider winter an uninvited guest at the best of times, but this year it’s like just last week he was protesting “No, it’s fine.  I think I’m going to stay with cousin John out East, so I won’t be imposing on you this year.  Really.”  And yet this week he unexpectedly knocks on the door and doesn’t even look ashamed or sheepish that he never bothered to call ahead or anything.  Last weekend it neared double digits and I went for a run outside.  This weekend it is currently -15°C, feels like -21°C with the wind chill, and venturing outside for a leisurely stand makes my lungs hurt.

It is hardly-anyone’s-on-the-street weather.

It is snotsicle weather.

It is I-don’t-have-any-fresh-vegetables-but-I-don’t-want-to-get-bundled-up-and-walk-the-block-and-a-half-to-the-fruit-stand-so-I-will-just-have-toast-for-dinner-and-consider-that-can-of-artichokes-that’s-been-sitting-on-my-shelf-for-six-months weather.

It. Is. Cold.

When will I learn?  When will I suck it up and stop complaining?  Apparently not this year.  Sorry about that.

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