(For the record, I have another blog post almost entirely written, but I'm not entirely sure how it's going to end, so I'm giving you this one, instead... I hope they both end up being worth it.)
You know how little kids get told not to put their tongues against things that are frozen metal (like a flag pole)? That's in large part because the hot, moist tongue will quick freeze to the metal. And, even once the two are separated, the tongue will have suffered burns.
It always sounds odd to talk about burns when you're talking about cold, but it's because cold will do the same the thing to the skin cells that fire will.
Why is this important right now? Because it is freakin' cold this week in Minneapolis. Every time we walk out into the porch to let the pooch in or out, we have to touch the metal door handle. So far, that's been okay. Although I've had a couple of moments - on the way back in from her walks when I'm carrying... stuff - when I've accidentally touched the handle and thought it was pretty bad.
But quick touches aren't bad - much like when you accidentally touch a pan as your potholder moves, but you don't really burn yourself.
Yesterday, though, I had to put some air into my tires. I had on some fingerless gloves, because I needed enough dexterity to do the fine-motor actions. So I removed all of the valve stem covers and loaded the quarters into the machine and was on my way. I grabbed the air hose, and moved over to the car. Then I positioned the nozzle and squeezed the trigger. While wearing my fingerless gloves. The two metal pieces of the air hose are the two I was holding in place. With my fingers.
I spent much of yesterday morning at work with fingers in my mouth, trying to even out the temperatures (an interesting feat for an editor, I'll admit). By today, I was pleased to find that only my right index finger and my left ring finger had slight blisters - on the inside of the middle knuckle in each case.
No pain (except when I do things like wash my hands in warm water), and no loss of feeling, so I think I'll be in the clear.
And, until the windchills (and - hopefully - the actual air temperatures) moderate back above freezing, if I'm wearing fingerless gloves, you can be pretty certain that they'll be the ones that convert from mittens, and the mitten part will be in place 99% of the time.