How Cold Is It?


The Long Shadow and the Frozen Delaware River

If you’ve made any, how are your New Year’s resolutions holding out?

We’re almost a week into 2018. Has it been tough not falling off whatever wagon you may have jumped on?

The temptation to stay indoors during this incredible cold snap is almost overbearing.

For us in the Philadelphia area, the last time it’s been above freezing was at 2:54 p.m. on December 26th of last year with a balmy 33°F/.5°C, according to Northeast Airport’s weather data.

The coldest it’s been since was 6°F/-14°C at 6:54 a.m. on New Year’s morning, and that’s without considering the “real feel,” or wind-chill temperature. Overnight tonight, or Sunday morning, should be the coldest of them all thus far, with readings to hover around 0°F/-17.7°C by daybreak.

If your resolution was to lose weight, staying indoors certainly isn’t advantageous to your goals, especially when the cupboards and refrigerator are within several short steps straightaway.

To shed some pounds is one of my resolutions for 2018. Over three years ago, I went on a green-coffee-bean diet, during which I lost 45lb/20.4kg/3st 3lb.

Stopping here, allow me to go off on a tangent. Why is it the government of the United States insists upon using the Fahrenheit scale for temperature as our standard, while the rest of the world uses Celsius?

Why hasn’t the metric system been adopted as well? Probably the reason is that so much of American manufacturing’s processes would have to be retooled at a great expense. Laziness for learning an entirely different measuring system, or fear of change may be the common denominator.

Canada went through it, starting in 1970 when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of the current Canadian PM: Justin Trudeau, began metrication implementation. My father moved back to his hometown in Canada from the US in 1977, and he had to learn it. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

England still uses the “stone” as a unit of measure for people and large animals, which dates back to a royal statute made during the reign of King Richard II in 1389, fixing the weight of a stone at 14 pounds each, comparable to a good-sized rock.

Returning to the essay, since losing all that excess fat, I had regained it all, hitting the original pre-diet weight during the Christmas holidays, prompting me to go back to counting calories. Not using the green-coffee-bean extract, I’ve cut down on everything again; for I had been eating many sweets, lots of carbs, consuming a load of dairy products, and sitting on my rump more than I should have been doing.

Seems to be working. I’ve lost five pounds so far.

My main resolution is attempting to be less of a wiseguy and constant complainer. My cynicism hasn’t waned any, however; but biting my tongue has been a constant endeavor, as well as curbing my ballyhoo on Social Media.

There have been plenty of occasions where I almost slipped and posted a typically belligerent thought or observation; although, sarcastic digs when appropriate don’t count.

To help with controlling my weight, I’ve been hiking about actively to burn up calories, hence all the picture-taking along my beloved Delaware River lately. The cold weather hasn’t stopped me. I just look like the Michelin Man when all bundled up in layers with the big coat, long handles, pants, shirt, sweatshirt, scarf, gloves, boots, hood and toque.

Michelin Man

Facebook/Michelin UK

The river has frozen over in spots, not so much in the lower tidal areas near Philadelphia; but I bet by tomorrow morning, the waterway in Andalusia will be. We’ll see.

Today was a lazy one for me, staying inside all day, taking a nap and doing not much of anything beside writing this and perusing the net, considering the temps made it barely into the mid-teens; and I took a deserving break from the arctic vortex, whose blustery temperature is presently 11°F/-12°C.

Again there’s no cover tune for this week. I have not felt inspired, but permit me to share some photos of the area’s winter’s wonderland from the past ten days:

Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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