Building a suit of Armour against the cold.

Update (2:21 AM): I found something that rings true like a tuning fork for my life. Dammit, how many times has this happened to me? But I've only varied the outcome twice, and both times led to disaster and regret. So was I wiser all the other times, when I played the wiser cards? Who knows. Maybe I'll comment more on this tomorrow morning.

Scratch that prediction, I'll try and be more mature and deep later. For now, I'm tired from working (I hadn't been scheduled to work the whole evening, but my replacement didn't come in. . .sooo) and I am in a Motorcycle mindset.

Which is what I'm gonna talk about right now.

I have begun building up an anti-cold suit. A sort of new-age armour against the rigors of what passes for winter in Alabama. It began from humble roots: jeans, boots, and a leather jacket. As it evolved it has briefly incorporated sweaters and scarves, and absorbed as permanent additions several adornments including so-called 'winter gloves' and ski-pants.

As a result of this slowly evolving armour system, I am now fully covered from head-to-toe, and in fact only about 136 square centimeters (my upper face) remains covered by only a single layer (the plexiglass faceshield on the helmet). That amounts to 0.7 percent of the total surface area of my body. The minimum number of layers for the remaining 99.3 percent is 3.

The total weight of this suit is now approaching 20 lbs, and includes materials with names ranging from the mundane to the fantastic. Sure, the beginning of the list is recognizable:

Cotton, Fleex, Wool, Denim, Steel, Rubber, Leather. . .

But as I continue to catalogue, I am starting to realize that many of the names sound like the rejected name and gear suggestions for the home planet or starship of a technologically advanced alien race from a sci-fi drama:

Nylon, Polyester, Aluminium, Plexiglass, Polycaronite Blending Thermoplastic, Fiberglass, Polystyrene, Cordura, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.

Thermoplastic? Cordura? Polystyrene? These are not substances used in the creation of attire, these are the materials used to construct the sinister and threatening weapons of a robot population hell-bent on our destruction.

In short, I have started wearing enough winter-riding gear at night that I'm beginning to resemble a ninja-robot-assassin than a human being. After all, the only remaining visible skin is the aforementioned patch of my upperface and eyes. With that exception, everything else is covered by either space-age plastics, fabrics and textiles, or the skin of other creatures less-fortunate (and probably way colder, now) than myself.

But dammit, the ride home is nice and warm, for the most part, these days.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


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