And the cellphone was lonely, so he brought home a GPS handheld to keep it company, and then so he would be able to mush out into our frozen wasteland and play with the GPS (which is really kind of neat) he got a pair of those new skinny aluminum snowshoes.
At this point, I don't mind. It gets him out walking, it gives him a hobby, and since he wants to go climbing next summer, I do not have to go with him now, and I do not have to worry about a 66 year old man stravaging all over the White Mountains for the first time in decades.
It does seem that when men embark on Adventures like this, they are no longer content with a stout stick and good boots. They need compasses that cost a week's wages, a better camera, walking sticks that do everything but play the bagpipes, special backpacks to hold all this stuff...if he ever falls over with that new backpack on he will be immobilized until someone can get him unhitched from it.
And the calendar (picture those transitional calendar page effects from forties movies) is whizzing past February, the days lengthen noticeably, and in 27 days it will be spring. Mud, snow, glop, and all. Not a hard winter, necessarily, but a winter, and I may just go stand in the mudsnowglop when the time comes, just because it's there.