2009-01-19 23:08:20.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

Two out of infinity. Collect them all today!

Most people know someone in their lives that have so many of one item it makes you wonder why they would ever need so many of just one thing. It may be a collection of hats, jerseys, sunglasses, purses, porcelain figures, thimbles, beanie babies, video games…I think you get the idea. Sometimes, you just ignore it or go along with it but others are just so excessive you just up right have to ask the person, “Why?” If it’s something they wear, they might say they are accessorizing and certain ones only go with certain occasions or outfits. If it is something they use or play with, they might say it is because they like to switch it up from time to time. Or if it’s collectibles, they might have an interesting story as to what got them started and why they continue on with it. But, sometimes there is just no good answer no matter how they try to spin it.

This hit me today when I was thinking about how many collections of winter equipment I own since working here: boots, socks, outerwear, gloves, goggles, etc. Out of these though, my collection of goggles is the largest and oddest collection of winter equipment I own. The average person might own a pair for skiing/snowboarding, hiking above tree line, motorcycling, snowmobiling, or working with lawn equipment. Prior to working here, I would have been average in this respect. I owned one for skiing, one for riding my motorcycle, and one for yard work. But then I started my job here where goggles are a required piece equipment for over half of the year. They obviously protect from the cold and winds but if tinted correctly, actually help enhance our vision.

So when I started here, I had my one pair that I wore skiing and my motor-cross pair for backup. I learned quickly though that my motor-cross pair were useless up here because they do not have anti-fogging lenses. And then I was told my first week that I should invest in two cheaper pairs just in case one gets blown off my head I have another pair to wear and not mind possibly loosing as well. So, I did just that bringing me to four pairs. The cheaper pairs were just that though, cheap. The straps would brake, the lens would pop off and the anti-fogging, although better than my first back up pair, did not last long if hiking in the fog. So, once I was hired on full time, I decided that I should invest in at least one pair of better goggles. That brought my total to five. But then I started working nights which would mean that all the tinted pairs I had bought would be deemed useless. That meant buying two clear pairs (one as primary and one for backup). That brought my total up to seven. Then, reading reviews of certain goggles that work better in fog during the day, I started looking for sales on these to better my vision since we are in the fog over half of the year. This would bring my total to nine. And the last pair was a cheap but decent pair that I wanted to wear for shift change since they would be a good pair if we had to get out and hike but a cheap enough pair that if they got scratched, it would not make my stomach sink. So that brings my total to date up to ten.

To some reading this, my justification for ten pairs might seem valid but the more I think of it, there isn’t really any justification for some of them other than I wanted them. I have back ups to the back ups to the back ups but in reality, I have never lost a pair (but I know of others that have). I haven’t really scratched any that badly. I have had to replace lenses due to putting them on or near the heaters (note to anyone reading this: although heaters will dry them, they will get ruined. Hang them some three feet above to be safer). I do have a few pairs that have interchangeable lenses but over time, these form gaps that let air in and the lenses themselves sometimes cost as much as a new pair from the previous season, so there is really no real savings.

I might have reasons for having all ten but in reality, I only use two pairs weekly; one for the cat ride up/down and hiking which are tinted, and one to work nights, which are clear. I guess this collection is just like everyone else’s collection of items and it all boils down to wants and needs. But where as most people don’t need the excessive items they possess they just were things they wanted, most of my goggles came from my needs and now I am stuck with a collection that four years ago I would have never thought I wanted. But I have heard that you know you have issues when you look at your collection at some point and have regrets. And as I think of my collection of goggles, all I can say is I have no regrets. But ask me again in a year and see if my answer’s the same.


Ryan Knapp,  Staff Meteorologist

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