A Christmas eve blogpost from New Mexico

Some trouble editing my author page homeblog today at www.lulu.com/GaryCGibson, its a cold day too. I can’t access the repost commands in order to make changes for some reason.

It reminds me somewhat of sailing in back of Tybee Island Georgia in the bayous or whatever they call those channels that flood with the tide, when a squall arrived dark and gusty. It wasn’t possible to get the boat to respond to the rudder changes. I decided that it was caused by a lot of seaweed clumps blown off the tops of the submerged islands gathered around the swing keel (that was in a up position). With so much lateral blockage or drag the rudder is comparatively meaningless.

Its was a happier climate than that of New Mexico today. Here is a recipe to simulate homelessness in case actual homelessness ever occurs. One, sleep outside when its five or ten degrees with a sleeping bag not suitable for that temperature. Two, shiver occassional at night, yet think about remaining warm. Three, at five am put on boots that are at five degrees over cotten socks, and allow your feet to remain semi-frozen or whatever until 10 oc’clock. Ride a bicycle at dawn in a wind that pushes the wind chill down a bit after defrosting the seat, have a couple flat tires that need to be pumped up every mile, allow the wind to keep the feet and hands suitably cool etc.

Anyone should realize that at altitudes over a mile their is far less humidity in the air, and that cold winter high pressure areas may drift in to put a bite on the balmy 40’s. Yet it is such experience that allows one to comprehend to a minor degree what the inmates of the Gulag Archipelago experienced such as Alexander Solshzenitsin wrote about in his volumes 1,2 and 3 on the subject.

In the Kolyma region of the Soviet Union inmates might be packed in a transit house with a fenced yard and of course no insulation or heating in the slatted board building while temperatures plunged below zero. Of course the inmates were not provided with adequate or any winter clothing, wearing threadbear arguments and so they arrived at a tough choice regarding lunch/breakfast/dinner served once a day…Take a small peice of bread or some salted herring.

The ones that chose the salted herring got thirsty and drank the only water available, at 32 degrees or so. That water lowered their body core temperature sufficiently to make them incapable of warding off the cold enough to remain alive. The bodies were stacked like cordwood outside the fence of the transit camp it was written.

Actually the short yet substantive New Mexico cold snap reminds me of old times in Alaska when I could go outside and freeze anytime if serious precautions were not taken, and sometimes in spite of them.