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Not news for anyone who lives north of the Caribbean, but it is really cold today. Was said to be 16F in NYC at 12:22; stiff wind so it certainly feels colder. Went out many layered. Reminds me of my Chicago childhood when we walked miles to school and miles back in sub-zero the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln.

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Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



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And up hill both ways!

-17 F when I took my son to daycare (about a 20 minute walk); his cheeks are like fresh wax which receives the cruel imprint of the stone seal that is Winter.

Luke Hill: Yes!! How did you know?

Aye, I remember the days when ships were made of wood and men made of course:-)

Took a brisk walk at lunch in the 15F weather, past a theater marquee proclaiming Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln. ;)

Well, it's in the 60s today in the SF Bay Area ... cooler than usual.And that is why so many of us live here!

And, of course, where else could we regularly experience this?

So, throat-slashing at a pro football game.Kinda' like brain-killing at a pro football game.And folks ask, Why?Bring back the lions, by God! A'hm ready for MEAT!

We in Michigan felt sorry for you in Superstorm Sandy. But 16? Pffft. It was minus 3 this morning where I live, and we live in Michigan's Banana Belt. Cover up your ears and nose New Yawkers, cuz that's where frostbite is most commonly occurs (just 30 minutes of exposure does it). And remember that alcohol only makes you FEEL warmer. It actually suppresses blood flow to the top layers of your skin and can bring on hypothermia faster.

Jean, you mean that brandy the Saint Bernards supposedly carry can kill you? It's 73 outside here right now, at 5:30, but if you want to suffer emotional stress, ask Gene Palumbo what's going on where he is.

Tom, the Bernies carrying brandy is supposedly a myth. I don't know, though, because we don't have avalanches here; mostly people go in ditches and a winch is more practical to get you out. (Factoid: You know you live someplace really cold when "winch" is used as a verb.) Anyway, I don't mind the cold. It reduces things to practicalities and essentials quickly. An ordinary drive to work is an adventure, and people feel they've accomplished something just by arriving without mishap.Are you talking about the earthquake in El Salvador/Nicaragua? Last I heard no casualties or damages reported.

Jean R: "Reducing things to practicalities and essentials quickly." Yes, indeed. The fashionistas have gone undercover and everyone looks rolly-polly in their down coats. The six-inch heels have been replaced by UGIs. The fur coats are out in full force. Yesterday sitting waiting for a movie to begin a silver fox (probably a dozen of them) swept in beside me and looked to attack as the owner lifted it (with a crane) off her shoulders. When I shuddered she assured me they would not bite. I expressed my doubts.

Honestly, there is nothing like fur, though it does weigh a ton. My grandmother gave me an old mouton coat from the 1940s that I wore all through college, when I was walking a couple miles to class every day. Sheep were being slaughtered for food anyway, so why let the pelts go to waste? Those thin thermal insoles you can get to put in the bottom of your shoes and boots also really do work. But really nothing like a pair of swampers with full felt linings.

It feels like winter again. Now "we're cookin' with gas!"[I love it].

Twelve below when I roused myself out of bed at 6.30 AM. And we're in the warm part of Vermont (our version of the Banana Belt); elsewhere it's dropped to -25 and even -30. Minus 50 atop Mt. Washington in NH, with gusts up to 70 mph, so I've heard. Still, better than those parts of Staten Island that don't yet have post-Sandy heat.

Dear Lord! -30 and hurricane winds? How can anyone not take the Al Gore seriously?

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