This winter has been colder than the last several winters. That fact has engendered an odious amount of discontent among area residents– and visitors. I’ve attempted to counter this tiresome culture of remonstrations and gnashed teeth by repeating a quote from Norwegian polar explorer, Roald Amundsen.

Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær. // There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

Admundsen led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole. They achieved their goal in December, 1911. Not satisfied, he repeated the task at the top of the world in 1926 and reached the North Pole. Roald knows cold. But I fear he may be a bit esoteric for contemporary audiences. And besides, everyone knows that explorers are crazy.

So let me transcribe this conversation among a group of Canadians I happened to overhear. We were all drinking coffee at The Roasted Bean at the Mirage. They were waiting for the first morning session of HDAW. For point of reference, it was -5 in Chicago on the same day and the entire city was shut down. It was 65 and sunny in Las Vegas, but that’s beside the point.

My wife called this morning to tell me it’s -42 in Winnipeg.
What are your kids doing?
Oh yeah? The kids have school then?
Yeah, my son was at hockey practice at 7 o’clock this morning.
Oh yeah?
Yeah. He had a game last night at 8 and was back at practice this morning at 7. He’s got another two-hour practice tonight at 8:30.

Minus-42 and it’s just another day. Schools open. Two-a-day hockey practice and travel plans for a weekend tournament in balmy Minnesota. So, seriously, Chicago. Put on your hat and shut your yap.