Alaskan cold vs. The Rest of the U.S.

In the last week I have woken up to weather between -45F and -38F, today was a relatively balmy -18F when I sauntered out of bed at 9am, hmm...must have warmed up a bit while I slept in.

I had the pleasure last week at my real job of working a couple of contractors who were wanting to test some equipment at our facility. They met me in what I would call the equivalent of sweatshirts. I asked them whether they were ready to go and they said yes. I assumed they would be putting on their coats, but apparently said sweatshirts were their winter gear. So at -40F we all jaunted up to the roof of this 8 story building, me in my nice coat, gloves, hat, and scarf, and them in, well...sweatshirts and Old Navy gloves. Those poor guys. Not only were they freezing to the point where their fingers were numb, their nose hair had stalactites, and their glasses were unusable, but they had no idea how their equipment would handle the cold either. Apparently, they had left the equipment in the car over night. Bad decision. At -40F, LCD screens freeze, and it takes a long time for them to unfreeze.

Also, extension cords are not all created equal. In arctic environments flimsy plastic cracks. You need a different kind of extension cord to get power outdoors in the winter. Trust me, this is coming from a person who has to plug in her car everywhere in the winter. When I first moved to Alaska, I thought everyone was very environmentally friendly as they all plugged in their presumably electric cars. No, turns out the plugins in all of the grocery stores, workplaces, and homes, are merely to keep the engine warm enough to start in weather colder than 20F.

So when anybody asks me why on earth I would apply to law school somewhere as miserable as Seattle or Chicago I tell them that the weather could only get better. I currently live in a state where for much of the year it is too cold to snow. Think about that. Chicago, phh, when the dean called me it was 20 above zero, that's warm. And Washington sate, during their cold spell was 30. In Fairbanks Alaska, when it hits 20 above on a regular basis in the Spring, people start breaking out their shorts. This is part of the reason why Texas is not being considered as a law school destination and why hubby is only considering Arizona because of the proximity it has to his numerous male relatives, all of which have boats for his water-skiing pleasure.