Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside.

Yeah, I know that you northerners crack up when a Texan talks about cold as if he knew what he was talking about. But I've been cold before. One fall, I was hunting with Dad up on Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs, CO, when I noticed that my rifle action was frozen solid from the snow and refreezing, meaning that I couldn't have even shot at the elk that I was trying to hunt. No amount of effort on my part was at that point capable of thawing the action, and believe me-- I tried. That same day, Dad caught a touch of frostbite, even though he was a seasoned hunter. I don't mean "caught a chill," or "got the shivers;" I mean that flesh crystallized.

So, I've been cold before. Maybe not Jack London-esque, your-spittle-crackles-as-it-freezes-in-mid-air, so-we-might-as-well-use-the-Kelvin-scale-kind-of-cold, but still-- I've experienced damned well below freezing, in the open air, for long periods of time type of cold.

It's cold today. The temp says 28... now make that 21degrees Fahrenheit out, and the wind, though now dropping, had been flirting with a steady 25 mph most of the day, gusting a good 35 or so on occasion.

Just right for a nice hot cup of coffee.

Which I spilled.

On the seat of my cruiser.


Did I mention that it's windy?

On the plus side, my winter clothing is still packed away somewhere in a storage unit that I packed during our July move, and after I complained a bit, my PD sent my uniform parka and liner combo to finally have my patches and name stitched on them, so I don't have a uniform coat.

Oh. Wait. That wasn't the plus side.

Uh, the fact that the only pressed shirts I had ready this morning were short-sleeved? No... that's not it.

Ooh! I've got it. This is big news, for me anyway:

Somebody makes a set of underwear worth the $15.00 US that they're asking for it, and it doesn't even come from Victoria's Secret. Seriously.

My wife heeded my whining request[s], and picked up some long underwear for me last week. She said, "I didn't know which you would want, so I got you some old school (waffle weave) and some new crap. Tell me now if you don't like the look of the new stuff because it cost a fortune, and I've got the receipt, so I can take it back."

Look carefully in that admonition, and you'll find in it that glowing sparkle: It's Love.

So I said that I would try the Remington licensed long underwear. She rolled her eyes and said, "Of course you'd choose the expensive crap. Why did I even suspect you'd go for the cheap stuff?" (Still more Love.)

Now, I know that the same folks that button-rifled and headspaced the 26" stainless steel fluted heavy barrel to my old Remington Model 700 Sendero .300 Winchester Magnum (which I later sold to a retired Texas Ranger when I was in a pinch for cash) are not the same people that manufactured these long-handles. I fully understand how licensed products work, and, as a rule, I avoid them. Usually, it involves a very prominent logo on outerwear. I don't like wearing ANYONE's logo on my outerwear, unless I'm paid to advertise for them. But I especially don't like wearing gun companies' logos on my outer wear. Several reasons:

1. See above.
2. I don't like looking like a wanna-be, who is thrilled to associate himself with anything gun-related.
3. I'm a private person about my lifestyle choices.
4. Why mark myself as a possible gun-toter, when I'm trying to blend in long enough to ruin Mr. Bad Guy's day?
5. Often it's overpriced ordinary merchandise that I could get for a good deal less if it didn't have the logo, and could then also wear to a wider variety of activities.

But licensed underwear... Hmmm... Reasons 1 through 4 are dispensed with by the very fact that I wear it under my outerwear (hence, like, you know-- the name. Underwear, dig?). And because they don't get the benefits of those who want to sport the logo, maybe the licensing company has to actually spring for quality.

Did they ever. Wow. Even wet with coffee, it keeps me warm. Never overheats. Never gaps. Sits close to the skin while never binding. Never hinders movement. Very thin.

I'm getting more. This stuff is great. It's way better than old polypro, and it kicks waffle-weave's butt.

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At Sunday, December 23, 2007 5:51:00 AM, Blogger Farmmom said...

I'm sitting here in Southern Colorado and it's 15 degrees outside. I have also been to Southern Oklahoma in the wintertime. I'm not sure where you are in Texas but if it is like Southern Oklahoma it's not the temperature that gets you, it's the humidity!
During the summer the humidity makes it feel hotter and in the winter it feels colder. I'm a Colorado girl and I can say I understand what you mean.
Also having been to Wolf Creek Pass , doesn't it remind you of that old CW McCall song? It really does look like a can of worms.

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 8:04:00 AM, Blogger Barbara said...

I don't know what you could get from VS for a measly $15....maybe a lip balm...

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 9:36:00 AM, Blogger Christina RN LMT said...

I moved to Vegas in part to get away from the cold on the East Coast. I still get to bitch about how cold it gets here, though!
Yesterday morning on my way to work, I passed a bank sign which displays the temp, and it was 34F.
Now THAT'S cold, dammit!
Sorry about your clothing woes, but congrats on the underwear (only on the internet does that not sound weird).

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Comrade Misfit said...

With regard to the rifle action freezing up, you could have tried the old trick used by GIs in the Battle of the Bulge and in Korea:

Urinate on it.

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Ambulance Driver said...

"Wow. Even wet with coffee, it keeps me warm. Never overheats. Never gaps. Sits close to the skin while never binding. Never hinders movement. Very thin."

Had a girlfriend like that once.

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 12:51:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

jeezooskreestomeester, it was COLD yesterday afternoon into the night. You ain't kidding; I was bucking a headwind that literally made me have to downshift to get through it. At least I have some buildings to break it up a little. I'm sure it's much more brutal on the prairie. The only thing between the North Pole and north central Texas is a barbed wire fence.

I got started wearing those old funky red Union suits back when I was in college in AR. when I was volunteered for frat service projects on cold weekends. The trap door can be a little drafty, but if you rig it all up right, it works fine.

Stay out of the wind as much as you can this weekend. It's still pretty hideous out today as well, for such a clear and beautiful day. Looks are deceiving.


At Sunday, December 23, 2007 1:54:00 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

No amount of effort on my part was at that point capable of thawing the action, and believe me-- I tried.

How about pissing in the action to melt the ice, then wipe everything down with gun oil with a bit of gasoline mixed in it? Gasoline lowers the freezing point of the oil. Old Stalingrad trick.

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 2:14:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

All of these suggestions to melt the frozen action of a rifle on a ridgetop 11 years ago. :)

First, micturating on the rifle action probably would NOT have melted it. This was my aforementioned Sendero, and was 10 lbs of heavy-barrel, scope, and long bolt action, screwed into an aluminum bedding plate moulded into the stock. The 26" heavy barrel was fluted, to increase the heat dissapation. The ambient temperature was somewhere around 10 F, with snow falling. I don't think that a pound of 98 degree urine poured haphazardly over 8 lbs of metal in 10 degrees would thaw it all out satisfactoraly.

Then, too, there's the issue that I was HUNTING ELK. The jeep was a mile distant down the canyon, and I had a rifle, a knife, a pistol, a small backpack with munchies and water, and a lighter. Nothing short of a full fire was going to thaw my rifle, and that would kind of ruin Dad's hunting. (Dad had the good sense to tie his action up with a bandana. I had smiled and said "well my action is stainless, so I'm fine." And I let the snow fall on it. Oops.)

I wasn't able to open the action. I wasn't able to operate the safety. When later I got the action open, I wasn't able to drop the firing pin for a long time until the core of the bolt had thawed.

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 2:15:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

And, Babs? I had no idea what Victoria's Secret stuff really cost. Do they really sell lip balm? I also had no idea that their underwear chapped one's lips.


At Sunday, December 23, 2007 9:00:00 PM, Blogger JPG said...

Sitting in my nice, warm living room and reading about that particular elk hunt, I've begun shivering, just at the recollection.

I'd about decided that if an elk showed up inside 200 yards, I was going to hand you my .338 and tell you to have at it. I was prolly shaking so hard I couldn't have hit one at 100.

Then, late that morning, I went through some drifted snow, fell eight or ten feet, and landed atop my rifle. I weighed around 230 back then, and this compromised my confidence in the sight-in job, lovingly worked-up handloads notwithstanding. I finished that hunt carrying my back up rifle, an aging Ruger .30'06.

It was a real good hunt, despite certain, ah, discomforts.

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 9:13:00 PM, Blogger GUYK said...

I have seen that north wind come blowing through Whisky Taw Falls Texas at forty miles per hour..blowing a misting rain that froze when it hit the not fit for man nor winter I spent in Amarillo AFB the snow drifted on one side of the two story barracks so high one slide down it from an upper story window..but on the other side of the barracks you could see the grass..and three days later it was all Texas mud


At Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:10:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Fixit said...

OK now, we aren't that far away from each other, where did the wife find those undies? Local?

You know the city gives me a pretty good set of insulated clothes, but they smell like smoke. I could use a little insulation now and then that I could wear under my uniform, or huntin' clothes.

Mr FIxit

At Sunday, December 23, 2007 11:22:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Don't recall where she went-- Target? She tried the People's Republic of Wally World first, but after standing in lines, found that they were sold out.

At Monday, December 24, 2007 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

"Do they really sell lip balm? I also had no idea that their underwear chapped one's lips."

You're going to hell for that one.


At Monday, December 24, 2007 1:49:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Yeah, and I didn't even show the guts to use the 2nd person possessive.

At Friday, December 28, 2007 12:55:00 PM, Blogger mdmnm said...

For better long underwear, sometimes you can score at Marshall's where it will be marked down quite a bit. UnderArmor for $10 and such. I doubt you'll have any luck right now, given the recent weather.

At Saturday, December 29, 2007 9:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate the cold...

We had about -4F over christmas(between -4F and 14F most of december), though now the weather has turned, the snow has thawed and the thermometer outside my window says about 41F.

Mind you, I'm in Sweden... -4F is hardly unheard of, though I must say that riding a bicycle when it's about that cold stings my face a bit...

Oh and we use the Celsius scale here, so I had to convert for those numbers... -20C = 4F, -10C = 14F, 5C = 41F, if I got my math right...

At Wednesday, January 02, 2008 4:59:00 AM, Blogger KD5NRH said...

Sure, "spilled coffee" always gets blamed. Maybe instead of longer underwear, you should have had her pick you up some thicker "astronaut underoos."



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