I love that transition period when you’re leaving a warm building and walking out into 5 degree weather, when the warmth falls away like a fair-weather friend and you can feel micro-sized ice crystals forming inside your nose within seconds. It’s a feeling of natural wowness comparable in warm-weather California terms only to swallowing a mouthful of salt water after being kicked around by the backwash undertow of a large wave.

A boogie-boarder could conceivably drown off the California coast if things went the wrong way, and a person could easily die in Connecticut weather like this if you were suddenly stuck outside without a heavy overcoat and no place to duck into. This is extremely serious cold, and I’m about to get into an even more Arctic-like environment tonight when I arrive in Upper Siberia, about 45 minutes west of Rochester.