Chris Uggen's Blog: first minnesota winter? follow the way of dino

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

first minnesota winter? follow the way of dino

the first bare hint of snow blew in this morning, which sometimes occasions a little grumpiness around the minnversity. but don't despair, first-years and other newcomers. it might be getting cooler, but we're months away from january cold.

plus, you will find beauty in winter, even in january. just click on the photo and imagine shooshing through the woods. the air will taste crisper, the light will seem brighter, and the night sky will reflect gorgeously off the snow. but trust me on this one: you've gotta get out of the house. those attempting to ride out the winter indoors can end up going the way of jack torrance.

i actually enjoy my long winter runs, as my water bottle only occasionally freezes solid. i recommend a heavy coat and good boots, sharp skates and skinny skis, and a warm companion. what's more romantic than skating beneath the stars at loring park? or skiing through the woods at como or wirth, then repairing to lurcat or warming fireside at frost's?

if you still remain concerned about winterlife, do a little research to allay your fears. other vets can offer suggestions for books or films, but i'll offer this bit of required listening: just as it took a visitor like tocqueville to write the definitive treatise on american civic life, it took a well-tanned rat packer to cut the definitive treatise on minnesota winter love. if you follow dino, you won't end up like jack. enjoy the winter.

7 Comments:

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chief benefits of living up THERE are:

1. Everyone is on an antidepressant for six months.
2. No risk of sun blindness.
3. Polar bears and reindeer are cute.
4. You're less than five miles from Santa's workshop.
5. After the first ten feet of snow, the house becomes insulated to O C.
6. Those using Celsius and Fahrenheit scales measure identical numbers [Celsius and Fahrenheit converging around -40].
7. Throw anything outside to put it 'on ice' for six months.
8. No need for fences, as the neighbor cannot cross the snow pack /iceberg to pester you.
9. Shoveling snow provides a continual employment.
10. There is a high demand for military surplus vehicles like Humvies and Tanks to get around.
11. Cold weather increases fertility and supplies a perpetual flood of young adult migrants old and sensible enough to escape the cold.
12. A good sanity test-- someone who stays there voluntarily probably can be diagnosed as suicidal or lacking rational thought.

I'm sure there are very good things about living in winter, but I place them in line with how the sinking of the Titanic produced a wonderful reef.

Greg

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Lars said...

ugh. this is why i came south for grad skool and if i have to move back north, its gonna be hard. i'm a little irritated i'm wearing long pants all the time now.

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous chris said...

greg and lars, you don't seem to buy my winter is beautiful philosophy. how 'bout the argument that it helps one appreciate spring and summer all the more? i'll confess to sometimes wondering why my norwegian ancestors decided to stop in minnesota as they made their way across the continent. perhaps it was simple familiarity.

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Lars said...

oh, i buy your argument, or did when i lived in Chicago. I remember saying it over and over as I walked to school/work. And my Finnish heritage might prep me almost as well as your Norwegian for the cold. But, I'm telling you, Carolina is pretty beautiful too. When I can ride my motorcycle to work on Christmas Eve, there's beauty in many places....

 
At 3:00 AM, Anonymous chris said...

well, i wasn't gonna play the dangerous ethnic heritage card. but since you brought it up, a dude named lars shouldn't even need a coat in the winter, right?

 
At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Lars said...

you got me there, I concede.

 
At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It probably takes a special breed of persons to find polar winters as beautiful. Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Siberians all may qualify. So do those with Multiple Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, and/or other major psychotic disorders.

As chair, maybe Chris is trying to lure new faculty with a 'winter is beautiful' campaign. My suggestion would be to target those that are from Canada or even more remote and desolate places like North Dakota. Point out that much beer and a WARMER climate awaits them. Six months of Keg Parties always attracts some people.

Is there any connection between the climate and deviance? Maybe the Vikings would have been a peaceful tribe of traders had they resided in a place where they didn't face 3 months of darkness and three months of perpetual daylight. Three months of darkness and three months of insomnia would be enough to turn me into a bersurker!

 

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