Tag Archives: Cold

How To Shop

Clothing for entering a blast freezer

This is what I should have been wearing!

Many years ago, when I was in the wholesale food business with my father and brother, we got a new customer who sold to many high-end restaurants. Many would recognize the names of these famous Hollywood eateries, all of which were very successful and (bonus) somewhat recession-proof. This was a very good thing for us, as it provided a substantial boost to our gross income. I became the schlepper; the one who had to drive around every morning and pick up the items our new customer needed to service his clientele. I did not mind. I was young and full of energy and truly enjoyed arising very early in the morning to greet the day.

My job meant driving around every morning, picking up the items that had been ordered and getting them to our customer’s location, where they would be either stored temporarily prior to delivery, or further prepared for later  delivery to their customers. Generally, three days of the week required me to enter as blast freezer that was forty degrees below zero; so cold that it had no solid doors, merely thick plastic curtains as a safety measure, ensuring no one could be accidentally locked in. The freezer was huge and the doors big enough to accommodate a large forklift laden with several palettes of product.

I never had to pick up more than I could carry out by hand, so I wasn’t in there for very long. As a result, I made the decision not to spend the money to purchase the kind of clothing that I would have needed had I been required to spend more than a few minutes in that freezer. I would put on a sweatshirt above my regular shirt, a jacket, and a white butcher’s coat on top of that. Still, I can’t recall a time I was in there more than a minute before I found myself wondering what it would be like to freeze to death. It was painful almost from the instant I pushed aside those curtains and stepped inside!

This meant I would generally stand outside of the freezer for a few minutes and mentally chart the shortest course to pick up what I needed, which would facilitate a quick retrieval and egress. With the exception of stationery stores, which I view as museums of contemporary business practices (and which have those sacred items, paper and writing materials, enshrined within), this is how I have since shopped for everything. I suspect most men do the same, despite never having had to enter a forty below blast freezer. It’s how we roll.


Return from Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Falls

All Levels of Yosemite Falls

I was careful not to disclose our location on Twitter recently (well, at least not too blatantly) as I didn’t want anyone figuring out where we lived and coming by and overfeeding our cats or tropical fish. Yosemite Valley was a great place to spend five days camping with two other families, despite the fact the first evening and night were cold and wet. We arrived on Thursday evening and set up our tent in a light, continuous rain – managing to keep reasonably dry. Unfortunately, we immediately discovered we had a couple of minor leaks in the floor and were not able to repair them enough to keep a few small puddles from forming.

Normally, the sound of rain falling  can be quite soothing for me, but that night it kept me awake most of the night. It was coming down hard and I was sure the tent would be flooded or something would collapse and we’d be inundated and miserable for the rest of the trip. The following morning I discovered it had actually hailed during the night, which explained the ferocity of the sounds I had heard at times. Fortunately, though there were some leaks in the tent, for the most part we remained dry through the seemingly endless, cold night.

The following morning I was awakened by what sounded like an elephant pissing outside our tent. I heard our friend’s voice and, being tired from my lack of sleep brought about by anticipation of our tent’s imminent collapse during the rain, I chose to ignore it. I learned later the rain had collapsed the center of an older EZup canopy and the only way it could safely be emptied of the large quantity of water it had managed to accumulate was to take a knife to the center and cut a slit in the canvas. Hence, it was actually the EZup that was pissing. There truly are no elephants in Yosemite Valley, I’m pleased to report.

At any Rate, we had a great time and I just wanted to share a picture of the entirety of Yosemite Falls, which I took with my BlackBerry. I can’t believe how good it came out!


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