Sunday, March 11, 2007

Iced Out

The good news this weekend was the switch to daylight-savings time.

It is really depressing when you get home from work in the dark and have to turn on all of your lights as you walk in the door. When I heard they were going to extend daylight-savings time by 4 weeks this year (3 weeks earlier in the spring, one week later in the fall), I was ecstatic.

Of course, as some of you know, I own many clocks and normally it takes me awhile before I get around to updating all of them. I was so happy this year, however, that I already changed them all!

And I don't want to hear anyone complaining, "But we are losing an hour of sleep." C'mon, it's a tiny price to pay for the extra daylight. Be happy you don't live in northwestern Indiana: they not only moved their clock one hour ahead for daylight-savings, but they also switched from the Central Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone. In effect, they "lost" two hours Sunday morning.

Indiana is one of the more confusing states when it comes to keeping the correct time. You can read more
here and here.

The bad news this weekend is that I wasn't able to launch my kayak for her maiden voyage as I had planned.

All the fresh water lakes are still frozen around here. I thought by Sunday, I might be able sneak in for a quick paddle, but I couldn't do it.

Some of my co-workers were worried about my maiden voyage.

Really, what could go wrong? The water temperature is near freezing, I've never kayaked before, and my swimming skills would make a 5 year-old laugh!

I did read up on the effects of being immersed in cold water. It turns out that in 40 degree water, a healthy individual can remain conscious for about a hour. The real problem with that hour survival time is that it assumes no exertion, just being balled up to conserve heat. Any movement (such as trying to climb back into a kayak or swimming to shore) can reduce your survival time to a matter of minutes. Cold water removes body heat about 25 times faster than cold air. Also, your hands, being one of the extremities that your body reduces heat to first, become numb almost immediately, making it impossible to swim at all.

Well, maybe by next weekend the water will be a little warmer, right?

On the subject of water sports, check out this video. It's called "Slip and Die" for obvious reasons.

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