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Excitement heating up over new extended-cold-weather gear (U.S. Army/National Guard)
Army News Service ^ | Dec 15, 2006 | Donna Miles

Posted on 12/15/2006 11:55:50 PM PST by Stoat

 

 

Excitement heating up over new extended-cold-weather gear

Dec 15, 2006
BY Donna Miles

Sgt. Seth Paul and his wife, Sgt. Katja Paul, both military police officers with the Alaska Army Guard's 49th Missile Defense Battalion at Fort Greely, call the Army's new Generation III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System the perfect answer to extreme conditions they face in Alaska. Photo by William D. Moss

FORT GREELEY, Alaska (Army News Service, Dec. 15, 2006) - Members of the Alaska Army National Guard here are sizzling with excitement about their new cold weather gear that keeps them toasty warm even when temperatures dip to double digits below zero.

The new Generation III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System takes the latest insulating and wicking materials that have become hot tickets among skiers, snowmobile riders and other extreme-sports enthusiasts and adapting them for Soldiers operating in demanding arctic conditions, explained Maj. Joe Miley, operations officer for the Alaska Guard's 49th Missile Defense Battalion. "It's designed to work in extremely cold weather," he said.

Unit members got the new, layered system about two weeks ago, just in time for the coldest part of the season here, when the "Delta winds" bring in sustained 60-mph winds, with higher gusts, and temperatures can hit minus-60.

Those conditions make soldiering pretty demanding, explained Sgt. Seth Paul, a military policeman for the unit who patrols the Missile Defense Complex on some of those bone-chilling days. They gel up diesel fuel in vehicles and fray or split belts, freeze up weapons systems, and render radios unusable.

Such conditions can take an even bigger toll on troops, particularly those serving outside for extended periods.

The new ECWCS gear, with 12 components that can be mixed and matched depending on the conditions and how active a Soldier is, offers the critical protection Soldiers here need to do their jobs, Miley said.

The system begins with silky long underwear that's made of lightweight, moisture-wicking polyester designed to keep the wearer dry. The mid-weight shirt and pants provide light insulation during warmer days or an extra layer in colder conditions.

The hands-down favorite piece of gear among the Guardsmen here, the green fleece jacket, offers a snuggly replacement for the Army's heavy black fleece jacket. "It's lighter and warmer, and it's modeled after animal fur," Paul said.

On colder days, Soldiers can top the fleece with a lightweight, waterproof windbreaker or a breathable, soft shell set designed for cold, rainy ways. A waterproof layer offers even more protection in prolonged, hard rain. During the coldest days, troops can add a puffy, extreme-cold-weather parka with high-tech insulation quilted into it and matching pants that zip over other layers in the system.

After two weeks wearing the new gear, the Alaska Guardsmen here give it a unanimous thumbs-up. "I love it. It's comfortable as pajamas, but still looks really professional," said Sgt. Katja Paul, an MP who makes up half of one of the husband-wife teams within the 49th Missile Defense Battalion here.

"It's easy to take care of. You wash it and dry it, and you're ready to go," she said. "And the real beauty of it is that the whole system can be easily folded up and put in your rucksack."

Spc. Anthony Montoya, a battalion communications operator, touted the new gear's breathability, even during heavy activity. "It works well on the range. It's comfortable and lets you move around, but it's still light and compressible," he said.

Seth Paul admitted to putting the new gear to the test "on Army time and off Army time," including snowboarding in his off-duty hours. "It's great stuff," he said. "You can get it soaking wet on the outside and it still keeps you warm and dry."

The new ECWCS gear is slated for initial fielding to the Army in about a year, but the 49th Missile Defense Battalion and a few other units received it ahead of schedule, based on their mission. The Fort Drum, N.Y.-based 10th Mountain Division received it in 2005, in time for its deployment to Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Christopher Cavoli, commander of the division's 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, offered the new system his highest praises after seeing its effectiveness in Operation Mountain Lion in the spring.

"During Operation Mountain Lion, I found myself praying for bad weather -- the first time in my military career I was actually begging for a cold front to come through," he said. "I knew my Soldiers could handle it and the enemy couldn't.

"The ECWCS allowed my men to outlast the enemy on their own terrain," Cavoli said. "When the enemy was forced out of the mountains due to the bitter cold to take shelter, that's when we got them."

(Donna Miles writes for the Armed Forces Press Service.)




TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: army; clothing; ecwcs; ecwcsgeniii; guard; military; nationalguard; uniform; usarmy
Lt. Col. Christopher Cavoli, commander of the division's 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, offered the new system his highest praises after seeing its effectiveness in Operation Mountain Lion in the spring.

"During Operation Mountain Lion, I found myself praying for bad weather -- the first time in my military career I was actually begging for a cold front to come through," he said. "I knew my Soldiers could handle it and the enemy couldn't.

"The ECWCS allowed my men to outlast the enemy on their own terrain," Cavoli said. "When the enemy was forced out of the mountains due to the bitter cold to take shelter, that's when we got them."

Woo Hoo!  An anti-terror weapon that you put on and zip up!  :-)

Military

3rd Generation ECWCS

 

 

The 3rd Generation of the Army's Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) is a radical re-design of the cold weather clothing system for the U.S. Army.  ECWCS GEN III features seven new layers of insulation including three Polartec® fabrics:  two layers of Polartec® Power Dry® and a layer of Polartec® Thermal Pro® High Loft .  The system is currently undergoing a large scale user evaluation and is planned for fielding in its final version in the Fall.

 

Compared to ECWCS Gen II, GEN III offers a systems approach for clothing design - each piece fits and functions either alone or when used in the system to provide the most options for the soldier. 
 

The introduction of GEN III would not have been possible without the vision of PM soldier in Ft. Belvoir, VA and US Army Natick Soldier Center in Natick, MA.  The developmental partnership between Malden Mills, PM Soldier and Natick is ensuring that our soldiers have the best available products to complete their mission.

 


1 posted on 12/15/2006 11:55:53 PM PST by Stoat
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To: Stoat
They're not going to need them in a couple years http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1754345/posts
2 posted on 12/16/2006 12:00:17 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: Stoat

Synthetics don't sweat and wick moisture away from the body. To solve that problem, you either wear nylon fishnet underwear or cotton underwear to stay dry and comfortable. On top of that you can wear a polyester fleece mid layer. And in really extreme cold, a down jacket or a lamilite jacket is perfect for keeping in warmth. Its not too difficult to devise a layering system for cold wear conditions.


3 posted on 12/16/2006 12:00:52 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Cry wolf! I'll be dead before I ever live to see the Arctic ice all gone.


4 posted on 12/16/2006 12:02:55 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
I'll be dead before I ever live to see the Arctic ice all gone.

Don't be such a pessimist.

5 posted on 12/16/2006 12:05:33 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: goldstategop
Synthetics don't sweat and wick moisture away from the body

Actually some do. Polypropylene is one that comes to mind.

you either wear nylon fishnet underwear or cotton underwear to stay dry and comfortable

Well...which is it? Nylon is a synthetic after all. And be advised cotton is a terrible insulator when wet and doesn't wick at all.

It's fine till it's damp, then it actually pulls heat right straight out of your body.

By far the very best 'next to the skin' stuff is silk longjohns. Absolutely nothing beats it.

Then you can layer polypro or another advanced synthetic on top of that. Over that I usually put on a layer of good old fashioned wool or just go straight to something that breaks the wind.

Of course these days I mostly try to stay inside next to the fireplace...

L

6 posted on 12/16/2006 12:06:03 AM PST by Lurker (Historys most dangerous force is government and the crime syndicates that grow with it.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

I'm only 44. Do the math. I'll be nearly 80 by then. Granted, its a looooooooooooooong tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime.


7 posted on 12/16/2006 12:06:52 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Maybe if we all burn things we can speed it up. Do it for the cod.


8 posted on 12/16/2006 12:08:49 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: Stoat

It's all a complete waste of money. It's warm up there. Haven't you heard? The ice is melting!


9 posted on 12/16/2006 12:09:48 AM PST by spunkets
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To: goldstategop
you ... wear nylon fishnet underwear

Not any more.

10 posted on 12/16/2006 12:10:14 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: spunkets

Scroll down one post.


11 posted on 12/16/2006 12:10:44 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: Chena
Cold weather / Arctic / Alaska / North Pole Ping!

:-)

img140/1646/stoat44vx.jpg

12 posted on 12/16/2006 12:14:12 AM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Lurker
This is a good description of fishnet long underwear:

Fishnet Long Underwear

13 posted on 12/16/2006 12:17:49 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Jeff Chandler

That stuff scares me. I'm afraid I'd get something caught and tangled up in the net.


14 posted on 12/16/2006 12:24:00 AM PST by spunkets
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To: Stoat

The only thing not listed is is a white overjacket or pants.

Green on white is a little, well, visible.


15 posted on 12/16/2006 12:25:41 AM PST by ASOC (The phrase "What if" or "If only" are for children.)
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To: spunkets
That stuff scares me. I'm afraid I'd get something caught and tangled up in the net.

I'm guessing that the fishnet apertures (fenestrations?) are sized so that only liberals need to worry about that sort of scenario   :-)

16 posted on 12/16/2006 12:27:21 AM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: ASOC
The only thing not listed is is a white overjacket or pants.

Green on white is a little, well, visible.

I thought that was rather strange also.  Perhaps there's a thin overjacket that's supplied to troops working in snowy areas, but it's strange that no photos feature that.

And it seems that it would be simpler to issue clothing to these troops that's white already, so they don't have to bother with extra gear.

Hopefully all of this is available and just wasn't featured in the photos for some reason.

17 posted on 12/16/2006 12:34:58 AM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Stoat
Most likely. When I was up at the NWTC, we had to wear 'tops or bottoms' of a white overall.

Strangely, when wearing just half, it is difficult to see or estimate the range to a person half camoed.

'Course, on a thermal imager, it altogether too easy to spot a person up and walking around.

On a semi related side note, we 'lost' a trooper in the back of the NWTC, past Mississippi Range. An AC-130 was in the AO and was able to spot the man in just minutes. I hope the one flying for the My Hood operation can find the missing climbers.
18 posted on 12/16/2006 12:43:36 AM PST by ASOC (The phrase "What if" or "If only" are for children.)
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To: Stoat

Bump for later read. Sounds interesting!


19 posted on 12/16/2006 12:46:02 AM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: ASOC
Strangely, when wearing just half, it is difficult to see or estimate the range to a person half camoed.

Perhaps the contrast 'fools' the eye; maybe in a manner similar to those drawings that you have to stare at for a few seconds in order to discern a secondary or tertiary image?

'Course, on a thermal imager, it altogether too easy to spot a person up and walking around.

I'm guessing that one area of intense military research is in the arena of garments that mask the wearer's heat signature.  This would be great until you're injured or in trouble in an unfriendly zone and need a ride out.  Not giving off a heat pattern gives rescuers one less tool to help them find you.

On a semi related side note, we 'lost' a trooper in the back of the NWTC, past Mississippi Range. An AC-130 was in the AO and was able to spot the man in just minutes. I hope the one flying for the My Hood operation can find the missing climbers.

Let's all hope and pray that they are found safe.  A note left behind indicated that they had ample supplies, but an injury or a particularly vicious storm can make all of that pretty meaningless.

20 posted on 12/16/2006 1:00:27 AM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: FreedomCalls
Bump for later read. Sounds interesting!

Thank you; I thought it was and I hope that you will also  :-)

Unfortunately, the gear is only available to the military at the present time, so the rest of us will just have to make do with whatever we can find on eBay and a hot rum toddy to keep us warm   :-)

21 posted on 12/16/2006 1:09:19 AM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: goldstategop
Thanks for the link.

I use these silks. There's nothing like it if you spend time in the outdoors.

Silk is the warmest fiber per weight known to man. The way it feels next to your skin makes one certain that there is indeed a loving God.

It also has excellent wicking abilities so you stay nice and dry.

And for the price you just can't beat it IMO.

L

22 posted on 12/16/2006 1:13:45 AM PST by Lurker (Historys most dangerous force is government and the crime syndicates that grow with it.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

There are those on this forum who have the answer to everything, and in reality post comments which lack creditability.

If you look at some of the replies to the cold weather "expert" you have hit the nail on the head.


23 posted on 12/16/2006 3:06:33 AM PST by tiger-one (The night has a thousand eyes)
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To: Stoat

If they were able to snow cave up with their supplys. They should be able to ride the storm out.


24 posted on 12/16/2006 3:25:56 AM PST by riverrunner
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To: Stoat

Fredom calls wrote: "Unfortunately, the gear is only available to the military at the present time..."

But you can order Polartec fabrics direct from Malden Mills and make your own gear. The stuff is super easy to sew. It can't unravel so there are few seams to worry about finishing and it comes in super wide widths at very low cost.


25 posted on 12/16/2006 3:49:33 AM PST by finnsheep
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To: Stoat

I was a Security Policeman many many many many years ago. I recall I recall going to work (this is no Korea), you got you thermal underwear, fatigues, field jacket liner, flack vest, parka, furlined flightpants on. You get on post and then..ya gotta take a whiz...this is where you find out just how good a "shot" you are.

This was something they never covered in Security Police school.


26 posted on 12/16/2006 8:11:38 AM PST by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: Stoat
This stuff better be TA-50 issue, I'm sick of buying clothes I only wear two days a month.

While we're on the subject - whose idea was it to put a zipper on the ACU top, but only buttons on the pants? And how tactical is all that noisy velcro?
27 posted on 12/16/2006 8:21:44 AM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: ASOC
The only thing not listed is is a white overjacket or pants.

White pants? After Labor Day?

28 posted on 12/16/2006 10:07:09 AM PST by Maceman (This is America. Why must we press "1" for English?)
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To: struwwelpeter

I can sew a button back on in the field, a broken zipper is a trip to the tailor. The TA 50 wool shirts and field pants were rugged as wore like iron.

FWIW Zipper = fastner, interlocking, slide (plus size in inches)
they *do* have a NSN. Who knew?


29 posted on 12/16/2006 11:23:20 AM PST by ASOC (The phrase "What if" or "If only" are for children.)
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To: ASOC; leda

NWTC bump. My wife made me stop waring nylons. ;)


30 posted on 12/16/2006 11:33:24 AM PST by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: patton

Never quite went that far
Did the silk, polypro, chinesse drawers, field pant, USAF Fat Boy pants, same on top except got Eddie Baur down parkas to wear as we had to string com systems and such.


Trying to describe to someone (who has never had to *work* outdoors at -40 ) what "cold" means is tough. I can still remember how happy we were when a Chinook would blow in and the temps would rocket up to 0.
Or of people setting their tents on fire from running the Yukon stove full blast, trying to thaw out fuel so it would run, etc, etc.

Glad I live in the banana belt now - Anchorage.


31 posted on 12/16/2006 11:49:21 AM PST by ASOC (The phrase "What if" or "If only" are for children.)
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To: patton

lol! ya goof!


32 posted on 12/16/2006 12:04:16 PM PST by leda (Life is always what you make it!)
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To: ASOC
I hear anchorage is only 2 hours from Alaska. ;)

Buddy of mine at NWTC caught his fart sack on fire - we beat it out with our e-tools. Never laughed so hard in my life.

33 posted on 12/16/2006 12:10:05 PM PST by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: finnsheep
You can find American made polar fleece for a good price. Here is one store that has them ready made:

Walkabout Polar Fleece Wear

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

34 posted on 12/16/2006 12:18:31 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Lurker
I use these silks.

Those look great! I find regular thermals rather sweaty.

35 posted on 12/16/2006 12:33:47 PM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: Stoat
when temperatures dip to double digits below zero.

60 below for six weeks doesn't quite fit the description of a double digit dip.

36 posted on 12/16/2006 12:36:12 PM PST by RightWhale (RTRA DLQS GSCW)
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To: goldstategop

The Arctic icepack will be back every winter, maybe not as thick as it used to be: three feet thick instead of six feet.


37 posted on 12/16/2006 12:37:56 PM PST by RightWhale (RTRA DLQS GSCW)
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To: patton
LOL

Los Anchorage - everyone is jealous because we have street lights and a real sewer system.
38 posted on 12/16/2006 12:42:01 PM PST by ASOC (The phrase "What if" or "If only" are for children.)
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To: goldstategop

I hate waffle-butt..


39 posted on 12/16/2006 12:46:00 PM PST by Freedom4US (u)
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To: Lurker
Correct. Cotton=death in a cold, wet environment. I've got some silk long johns; essential if you're spending any significant amount of time in the elements.
40 posted on 12/16/2006 12:49:45 PM PST by stormer (Get your bachelors, masters, or doctorate now at home in your spare time!)
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To: Valin
You get on post and then..ya gotta take a whiz...this is where you find out just how good a "shot" you are.

This is true. You've got to consider the "shrinkage factor" too.

41 posted on 12/16/2006 1:11:53 PM PST by Wycowboy
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To: Wycowboy

EXACTLY! :-)


42 posted on 12/16/2006 2:44:56 PM PST by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: Stoat

Hi there, Stoat! Thanks for pinging me to this interesting article. We had a cold spell set in for Thanksgiving and then some with temps falling to -58. It's -38 right now. Now if they could just design a pair of bunny boots that aren't so darn heavy and cumbersome. LOL


43 posted on 12/16/2006 6:40:06 PM PST by Chena (Our troops could teach you alot about determination, courage, and honor if you'd listen.)
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To: struwwelpeter

That(TA-50)gear, was the first bit of gear I turned in, when I got my separation papers. Free from going to the field in Germany. The "Mickey Mouse" boots..... good grief.


44 posted on 12/16/2006 6:45:29 PM PST by Capt_Hank (btu's...kcal's...to kJ's, but my activation energy is still high.)
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To: Chena
Hi there, Stoat! Thanks for pinging me to this interesting article.

I'm delighted that you've found it interesting  :-)

 We had a cold spell set in for Thanksgiving and then some with temps falling to -58. It's -38 right now.

Lawdy, how do you even manage to get by, day in and day out, with cold like that?  Do you have to keep your car's motor running 24 hours a day?  I heard that they have to do that with the pipeline service trucks on the North Slope. 

The stoatmobile has a nice big diesel and when it gets "cold" (I'm in Seattle, LOL) the 110v engine block heater works just fine, but that's only in temperatures in the teens or single digits, nothing at all even close to what you get...I don't know if it would be effective at those sorts of temperatures.

I'm guessing that "getting ready to go outside" is probably about a fifteen minute process for you, what with all you have to put on.  :-)

I recall you saying that you've been there for some time, so I guess that the benefits of living there outweigh these sorts of inconveniences.

Now if they could just design a pair of bunny boots that aren't so darn heavy and cumbersome. LOL

Yes, unfortunately Ladies boots that are stylish aren't very practical.  Even electric insoles wouldn't help in temperatures like that   :-)

img234/538/anncoulter22qy.jpg

45 posted on 12/16/2006 9:48:56 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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