Re: We have forest wallpaper, at least.

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This is and has always been my life.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:13 AM
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The keeping-it-real, or the wishing-you-kept-it-real?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:18 AM
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I made it through this summer with just a square fan in my window. It was a mild summer, though, and I've got air conditioning at work.

I do like to feel some kind of weather indoors. Overairconditioned air makes me headachey, and of course the shock of going outside is unpleasant. And in winter, I like wearing sweaters and woolens and such indoors and resent places where the thermostat is turned up to 70 or above.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:20 AM
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she likes to feel the weather inside the house

Rainy days are unpleasant.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:21 AM
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Rainy days are unpleasant.

Then why are there so many topless bars?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:22 AM
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Heebie is carpooling with my parents?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:22 AM
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I keep it so real that I made it through a NYC summer with only cross-ventilation. My parents are crazy, though: they barely have insulation, and their answer to complaints is to break out blankets or light a fire.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:24 AM
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Then why are there so many topless bars?

In your house?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:24 AM
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8: In her house, I'm presuming the topless bar serves milk.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:27 AM
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Back when I was single and living on the 1st floor of an old decrepit house, I had no AC, and the furnace was just able to keep the pipes from freezing in the winter.

It sucked.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:28 AM
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It's already dropping into the 40s at night here. Last night walking around I could smell the smoke from people's fireplaces. It was nice.

I run the heat in winter, but try to use the air-conditioning as little as possible. Most places I've lived haven't had air-conditioning (or needed it). I run the ceiling fan a lot, if there is one.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:28 AM
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If h-g's friend lives around Austin, she's pretty tough. We have had periods without AC in Dallas, and as I remember, with some strategic window and fan management, it doesn't get above 90 inside.

Our HVAC compressor blew out over the weekend, and it will be spring before we think about replacing it. Unless I think of something. What pisses me off is the July I spent in the attic replacing all the ductwork.

I usually open my window this time of year, leave it open and close it only when I leave the house, if it gets above 85, or my water bottle starts to freeze. I have had it at 45 in here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:30 AM
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Last winter my 75+ year-old furnace was dead for several weeks in the middle of winter. Weather inside the house = not fun.

I've been told that fireplaces are not actually that good at heating (something about the warm air being sucked up the chimney). Is this true? There is a giant pile of cured firewood in the yard that begs to be used.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:33 AM
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I lived in a very hot country (regularly over 40C in the summer) without a/c. When it is really hot we'd close the windows and the curtains. It was fine except for some nights when getting to sleep was uncomfortable. Now in a moderately cold country, we definitely use heating but that seems more necessary to me -- the pipes would freeze etc. I dunno how cold our house is compared to others, but I see people exiting their houses in winter wearing just shorts and tee, so I guess most people turn it up way more than we do (we usually have the thermostat around 17C). Increasing our ceiling insulation made the temperature much more stable.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:35 AM
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I've been told that fireplaces are not actually that good at heating (something about the warm air being sucked up the chimney). Is this true?

Yes. Get yourself a decent cast-iron wood-burning stove.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:36 AM
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I've been told that fireplaces are not actually that good at heating (something about the warm air being sucked up the chimney). Is this true?

Oh yes. If you light a fire, everyone in the house needs to directly in front of it, or they will fucking freeze to death.

/bitter rant from experience.

My parents' house is really out-of-control cold. It's a 1940s ranch house with very cool Frank Lloyd Wright-esque bay windows, which let all of the heat escape. They've been gradually double-paning most of the windows, but the big bay windows are prohibitively expensive and are now against housing code. This is in Northern California, directly opposite the Golden Gate, so the fog rolls in AT my parents' house. On the positive side, the house never gets too warm. Or, really, warm at all.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:39 AM
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If h-g's friend lives around Austin, she's pretty tough.

She does and I think she is, too. She did say that they used the AC on the relentless stretch of days we had over 100 degrees this summer.

We almost broke the record! We had 68 days over 100, and the record is 69. That record is rightfully ours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:40 AM
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This is in Northern California, directly opposite the Golden Gate

Sounds like a sweet location.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:40 AM
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What drives me batty is remembering how effective shutters are. If you close your shutters in the morning, they'll block most of the light from your window, and the room will be drastically cooler. In New York, some of the older buildings in super-tony neighborhoods still have their shutters, but clearly only because they look cool. They're not just ornaments, people! They're technology!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:43 AM
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Oh yeah, shutters! Many places in Edinburgh have them. First time I used them I slept something like 14 hours. We were up recently and the baby slept in as well! All parents should invest in shutters.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:45 AM
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Sounds like a sweet location.

It is. My parents don't have a bay view (apparently, by accepted convention that adds $100,000 to the price of a house), but there is a distinct, perceptible microclimate.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:49 AM
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Yay for central heat! Boo for central AC; it's all about the ceiling fans.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:52 AM
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Bummer. I rent, so no wood stove for me. Or fire, apparently.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:56 AM
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My parents' house where I lived until high school had a wood-burning stove. When we moved, we ended up in a place with a fireplace which we used maybe once. The stoves are definitely better (and it's possible that that's what people around here have; I've only seen apartments).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:02 AM
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After living in my house for four years without ever turning on the air conditioner, I had it taken out because it was an ugly window unit. It was in one of the windows flanking my fireplace and I felt like my living room had a black eye when it was in. Then my dad gave me a whole house fan for my birthday and I lived happily ever after.

I've only caved to the heat one time, when I was driven to go see _March of the Penguins_ in an air conditioned movie theater. I like to believe that the rest of the times, I chose to go dunk in the river.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:07 AM
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Seven and a half oz of milk! That's a new PB.

Off to teach.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:08 AM
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I grew up in Austin, and we were mostly non-AC before my pubescence. I don't remember if our house actually didn't have it, or if we refrained from using it until it got way too hot (like, high 90's indoors).

Then, due to getting computers in the house, we started turning on AC when the indoor thermometer reached 90.

Of course, you couldn't do this in most modern Texas houses - ours was old enough that it wasn't built with AC in mind.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:12 AM
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I lived in an apartment with coal heating for a year, and boy did that suck. It was a GDR-era stove rather than one of the beautiful older ones, so it got hot a lot faster, but wasn't made to hold heat at all. I learned to sleep with a quilt, a sleeping bag, two layers of clothes, and a hat.

I try to keep the thermostat turned down in the winter, but that usually ends right about the time I first get sick.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:26 AM
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My current flat is really well insulated. I hardly ever use the heat - two winters ago I didn't use it at all - and I don't have a fan because there's no space. It does get unpleasantly hot in summer.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:27 AM
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A cool summer in Minnesota with few days over the low eighties--no A/C for me! We have a window unit for the front bedroom, which really heats up. I do have air conditioning at work, though.

I personally like to defer turning on the heat as late as possible, tend to keep windows open all year round, keep the heat set very low, etc, but my lousy housemates don't care for this. Of course, now that we live in a giant, drafty victorian house, we have to keep the heat set at 63 even in the coldest weather (which means it's less than 63 in most of the house) and 59 at night because we can't afford anything else.

Last winter was glorious! I was just short of freezing all the time. Somewhere around Guy Fawkes Day this comes to seem normal.

When I worked in Shanghai all those years ago, we lived in an uninsulated concrete block building and really didn't have heat. (It got down to just below freezing at night and was in what I assume to be the mid-to-upper forties a lot of the time.) I was never warm from about mid-November through early April. I ruined my health by soaking my feet in very very hot water before bed every night so that they would be warm enough for me to fall asleep. I had a special wide, shallow red plastic bowl for this purpose. It was fantastic! Never been so well-suited by weather in my life.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:28 AM
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Just reading this thread is making me cold.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:29 AM
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Being British, we don't have air conditioning. However, our flat is pretty badly insulated,* and our downstairs neighbours in previous years never seem to have their heating on so we get no rising heat through the floor. Last winter we spent a fortune heating the place.

* despite having double glazing, and not being large, it seems to take hours to heat up and cools almost immediately the heating goes off.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:31 AM
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17: We almost broke the record! We had 68 days over 100, and the record is 69. That record is rightfully ours.

However, a lot of different heat records were set in your area this year (plus still time--Austin Mabry's latest ever 100-degree day was October 2nd). And here is a more localized breakdown on 100 degree days from the NWS (I'm pretty sure San Antonio's was a record and maybe Austin Bergstrom as well. But that may be due in part to shorter reporting periods.) There have been a few years with zero.

AS OF SEPTEMBER 3RD...THE NUMBER OF 100 DEGREE DAYS FOR 2009 WAS AS
FOLLOWS...

AUSTIN MABRY.............................68
AUSTIN BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...55
BURNET...................................27
DEL RIO..................................65
HONDO....................................68
KERRVILLE................................31
LA GRANGE................................54
LLANO....................................50
NEW BRAUNFELS............................72
PLEASANTON...............................58
SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT........59
SAN ANTONIO STINSON FIELD................70
SAN MARCOS...............................63
UVALDE...................................67


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:33 AM
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God, I hate air conditioning. For server-related reasons (don't ask me), Buck believes that our bedroom, where the servers he runs his publications off of are located, can't ever go above 68°F or so. I am cold and annoyed by the horrible droning noise of the air conditioner all summer. I live for the winters, where even though I'm cold, I can at least listen to the pleasant, peaceful sound of traffic going down Broadway and the 1 train rather than the goddamn air conditioner. Hate hate hate hate hate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:56 AM
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32: I am starting to doubt ttaM's Scottishness. Complaining about the cold? Good grief.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:59 AM
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re: 35

I've been done south too long -- all the stoicism is wasting away.

I remember the flat I had in Glasgow, when there was a big freeze over the New Year of 95 or 96? Sash windows that didn't fit properly, huge high ceilings, and gas heating that we had discovered wasn't good in the 'not dying of CO poisoning' stakes. Then the electricity went out. I've never ever been that cold before or since. That was -22 C or something like that, and it wasn't much warmer inside than out.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:03 AM
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34: You might have him read this ("Google: Raise Your Data Center Temperature") and see if he will at least relent a few degrees. (Biggest benefit of the cold end of the range is that it does give you a bit more time to do something useful in the event of cooling malfunction.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:07 AM
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36: 1995-96 is right. It was about that cold in Embra too... I know what you mean about the south. It's so rare that it gets properly cold down here, I'm getting spoilt.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:10 AM
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I too hate air conditioning, and not only because it helped the South to rise again. It's totally unnecessary around here, but it's increasingly a standard feature in new construction. Tough out those few super-hot days, people! You're wasting energy!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:11 AM
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re: 38

Oxford can be strangely chilly and damp compared to other bits of the SE. I wonder if it's something to do with the Chilterns, or something. But yeah, it rarely gets as cold as Scotland, and Scotland [the odd cold snap aside] isn't really that cold either.

I've spent a couple of Christmas/New Year periods in Prague, and that was pretty chilly. New Year 2002 (?, I think), they had a cold snap, and it was _really_ bloody cold.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:24 AM
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I praise Jesus all summer long for his bountiful gifts of air conditioning.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:30 AM
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If you light a fire, everyone in the house needs to directly in front of it, or they will fucking freeze to death.

For the record, this is not true if you build a proper fire. Fireplaces are inefficient, but if you have plenty of wood you can heat just fine with one.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:32 AM
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Our house growing up had a coal fire, but it was a proper glass-fronted, enclosed coal fire, with a boiler behind it. It heated the whole house quite cheaply and efficiently.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:37 AM
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Our furnace also crapped out during a cold snap two winters ago, and we spent almost a week without heat or hot water (it was a combo unit). 40 degrees turns out to be colder than you think. Fortunately, I had finished installing a gas stove just the day before, so I was at least able to warm my hands over the burners.

42: Those blower-grate things (basically a set of pipes that running air under the fire and back out the top of the fireplace) are very effective.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:38 AM
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I'm kind of having trouble wrapping my mind around a coal fire. Do you go out and buy briquettes? Is it like powering a locomotive? (Do you get locomotive breath?) It seems like it'd be toxic, through vague associations of how the coal industry wrecks the environment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:43 AM
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Coal generally burns cleaner than wood for same number of BTUs.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:52 AM
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Do you go out and buy briquettes?

And have tasty barbecue all winter long.

ttaM, do old buildings with coal burners there still have coal delivery through chutes into the basement?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:59 AM
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40 - Thames Valley, I think. Or maybe Chilterns - you know the cutting on the escarpment on the M40 between Jn's 6 and 7? I've come through there (towards Oxford) on a motorbike in the middle of a summer night, and you can feel the temperature drop.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:11 AM
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Growing up in the frosty wilds of suburban Philadelphia, I had a coal-burning stove. A giant pile of coal would sit in the driveway from fall through spring, and we'd haul it in in a bucket.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:18 AM
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Do you go out and buy briquettes?

You do buy briquettes, though they're much more dense than the ones you'd use for your grill.

My coal-heated building had a little section behind a gate in the basement for every apartment. But no chutes! When we ordered the coal, men took it down to the cellar in baskets on their backs, a whole half ton of it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:18 AM
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40, 48: At this link you can make a variety of detailed climate maps of the UK including various temperature ones.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:27 AM
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My grandfather had a coalburning furnace with hot air ducts at his house in New Castle, Pennsylvania (for a while as a boy I thought that "coals to New Castle" was about his town). He would shovel coal into the furnace, like a stoker in a steamship, a couple times a day in cold weather. One of the rooms in his basement was his coal bin - it had a chute from the outside where he'd get coal deliveries. The furnace had air filters and such, but my grandmother didn't like how the hot air from the furnace made the curtains dirty. I still like the smell of burning coal.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:36 AM
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Growing up, we didn't have A/C and used the wall-mounted heater maybe two times a year. But that was because I lived in a blessed paradise. (Actually, our house was generally pretty cold compared to other Californians' homes in the winter, in the high 50s at night and the 60s during the day, but that is obviously not so bad with a sweatshirt and a blanket.) My parents moved to a different climate-zone (much hotter/much colder) in the same general area and now have a wonderful wood-burning stove that actually regularly overheats the house with very little effort, but no A/C.

Unfortunately, although I would like to be better about not using the A/C so much now that I live in a much hotter climate, I simply cannot sleep if it is hot. I don't mean it takes me longer to fall asleep, I don't mean I'm just uncomfortable, I mean, all I do is lay there and toss and turn, as soon as the indoor temperature creeps above 72° or so. If I don't air condition, I'm always tired and incredibly cranky, so I've decided to suck it up and just feel guilty about my energy usage. I barely drive my car! That makes it all ok, right?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:45 AM
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Heebie, let me be the first to congratulate you on your bountiful rack


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:58 AM
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My house has no heat and no A/C, but we make up for it by flying too much.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:24 PM
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Last winter, in London, in our Victorian - i.e. terribly "nice" but built out of shit by crooks - flat, it was bloody cold, frankly. I'm trying to get around to going around it with a sealant gun, foam, etc filling cracks. (The coldest I've ever been was down in the -18 or thereabouts range in Vienna in 2001-2002.)

I usually don't mind; she does, a lot.

At the other end of the scale, I must have got used to sleeping in absurd heat in northern Australia, but I've clearly lost it. In Lisbon in August I could either close the windows and not sleep due to heat, or open them and not sleep due to noise.

I remember in our last place, the gas boiler began clicking and needed the solenoid whacking with a spanner to get it to fire, and then it got inspected and not just condemned but immediately disconnected and sealed as a menace to life and limb, so I had to persuade the heating system to pump hot water from the immersion heater in the cylinder into the radiators. (powered-up the thermostat, controls, and pump in the dead boiler, which wasn't actually illegal 'cos not involving gas, but probably hella inefficient)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:24 PM
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Los Angeles does tend towards the utterly balmy, and the week ahead looks like a good example. However, it's easy to be cold here; the winter night-times creep down into the high forties, which would be unremarkable except that many homes aren't built to keep the weather out at all. I've spent many more cold nights in my apartment here with the wall-mounted heather running full blast than I ever did in PA, CT, or high desert CA.

On the other end, my apartment gets wretched solar gain during the summer. This year, my ninth summer in it, I installed some cellular shades and a teeny air conditioner, but leaving for a café was still a much better coping tactic.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:38 PM
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|| Rockefeller public option amendment, the most expansive one, goes down 15-8. Conrad, Baucus, Lincoln, some others voting no among the Democrats. Now comes the Schumer public option, which is narrower (does not hook the buying power to Medicare) ||>


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:43 PM
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Oooh. Thanks PGD. Keep us updated, 'k?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:46 PM
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If "Miss Winters and the Wind" were online, I'd link to it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:47 PM
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I got soaked walking to a bus stop - timed it right for the hardest rain so far today - and since I'm about to go out again, I don't think I'm going to dry out for a couple more hours. It's in the low 50s here, so this isn't some early fall sort of warm storm either.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:49 PM
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59: will do, but there was 5 hours of debate on the Rockefeller amendment, so may be some time on Schumer.

Schumer is doing a pretty good job on this and Rockefeller and Schumer seem determined to get something through. Schumer just said he and Rockefeller will take this to the floor.

So bummed I missed you in Sac, Megan -- I owe you an email or phone call. We ended up spending the rest of the week in Tuolomne Meadows and never got back to the Central Valley.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 12:54 PM
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Tuolomne Meadows over the beautiful Central Valley? There's just no accounting for tastes.

Next time. When you have your priorities straightened out.

(Also when I'm more accessible. That was an odd week without either private email or phone service. I was sad to see your email too late to do anything about it.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:00 PM
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Schumer public option amendment fails, 13-10. I think it could potentially win on the floor though. Sorry for the threadjack.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:39 PM
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||

No more masturbating to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.

|>


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:41 PM
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64:The public option was never going to survive the Finance Committee. Nor will it survive conference without one in the Senate bill. The only real hope is for Reid to merge HELP and Finance and put it in before it reaches the Senate Floor, then somehow get 60 votes.

Forlorn.

(Sorry for threadjack)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 1:48 PM
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64: Schumer public option amendment fails, 13-10.
Making it explicit:

The Senate Finance Committee can't even endorse a modest public option like Chuck Schumer's. Citing his belief that a public option can't pass on the Senate floor "at this time," Finance chairman Max Baucus joined two Democrats and all Republicans in voting down the amendment, which failed 10 to 13.
Joining Baucus on the Democrats' side of the dais were Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and, by proxy, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) who wasn't present for the vote. There will be no public option in the Finance Committee's health care bill.
And why doesn't it have the votes on the floor? Because the President of the Rich People and the Senator from Blue Cross and the Senator from the Insurance Lobby don't WANT it to have the votes, that is, their *own* votes.

max
['Sorry. Play through.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:04 PM
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67: yeah, the circularity of that argument was amazing. I mean, I think the number of votes for a public option on the floor is at least 55-56, so Baucus is if not the margin himself then damn close to it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:07 PM
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Does anyone call Baucus out to his face? Or would that be uncivil?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 2:23 PM
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I lived in Baltimore with no air conditioning, and in Nebraska in a place where the air conditioner frequently broke down.

Suffocating humidity, waking up soaked (Baltimore), trying to sleep when it's 95-105 degrees in doors (Nebraska; I actually slept in my office at one point because I thought I might drop dead of heat stroke during the night if I tried to sleep at home).

F*ck that noise. Give me some air conditioning!

And a public option!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:20 PM
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And a pony on a boat!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:26 PM
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I have some cousins who heat with coal. It seems to work pretty well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:31 PM
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When I lived in Nebraska, we had a house with central A/C, central heat, central vacuum, and intercom between all the rooms. For those two years, I don't think my family fought about anything at all. We hated Nebraska, but that house was the shit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:31 PM
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And I, at 7, had a ballet barre and mirrors all along one wall, and a wallpaper mural of a meadow along the adjacent one. And we had a golden retriever puppy. Goddamn it, that was nice.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:33 PM
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Hope Samoa's OK.

|>


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:34 PM
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Pssst.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:36 PM
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re: 56

That New Year in Prague is got down to minus 25 or something like that. But that was cold even for there. They'd had a cold snap. What was freaky though was it was -10/-15 or something all through the day, for a week or two. In Scotland, I've felt it down below -20 a couple of times at night that one winter of 1995/96 I mentioned above,* but during the day it doesn't usually stay that cold.


* quoting from the BBC website: "The coldest UK temperature ever recorded, of -27C (-17F), was equalled on 30 December 1995, in Altnaharra, northern Scotland. " It was -21 or thereabouts in Glasgow that week.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:37 PM
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Eh, some of us have to work, too.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:37 PM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 3:57 PM
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No it isn't! It's a huge pain in the ass.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 4:11 PM
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||

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/i-did-not-hear-martians-rapping-on-my.html

The second of these letters is great.

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 4:30 PM
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That is lovely, ttaM.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 4:37 PM
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My rule of thumb: If I'm uncomfortable wearing just shorts and barefoot, no shirt, it's time for AC. If I'm chilly fully dressed including warm slippers, undershirt, and sweater it's time to turn up the heat. Nighttime the analogues are underwear and a light sheet or pj's and warm down comforter. This roughly corresponds to maintaining the temp at 70-85 during the day, 60-75 at night. I guess I could by a schlafmitze and wear a hat during the day, but I'll pass.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 4:41 PM
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69: Does anyone call Baucus out to his face? Or would that be uncivil?

Well, the thing is, is that Baucus is carrying water for the leader of his party - so you have to say he is at least loyal to the boss. (I don't think that lets him off the hook, since this is probably the way he would go anyways, but it's something.) The leader of the party, the President of the US, and the man who promised 'universal' health care with a public option has no excuse, except to say he was deceptive about what he meant by 'universal'. And technically, he isn't raising taxes (in fact, he's going to roll over the Bush tax cuts!), but in practice, real regressive taxation will go up! But you get... uh.... MORE MONEY FOR RICH PEOPLE! YAY!

While we're at it, since I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration, for a second straight day, frustrated Democratic lawmakers Wednesday by declining to say whether it backs their demands for more civil liberties safeguards in anti-terrorism surveillance and property seizures.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee kept pressing Assistant Attorney General David Kris to go beyond previous administration statements that it supports continuing provisions of the USA Patriot Act that will expire at year's end.
Bush's third term is going fairly well though, isn't it?

max
['Well, Bush the Elder's second term. OK, maybe it's just the same.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:09 PM
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69: Baucus himself is very soft-spoken and civil. But anyway, yes, it would be uncivil and very much against the way the Senate works. Relationships are everything.

IMO It actually would be problematic to go yelling at someone who could help your own causes and constituents, just to get personal catharsis for your own frustration over some issue. But you can work against someone behind the scenes.

I do think Baucus is gaining back a bit of the respect he lost over the last few months, though...it's looking like health reform is truly going to happen, and he is hustling the bill through committee. He agreed to just enough amendments to keep the liberal wing of the committee on board (hopefully more good stuff gets added in the Finance/HELP merge).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:37 PM
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53: all I do is lay there

Ahem!


Posted by: nosflow understudy | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 5:38 PM
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Many new houses in northern Europe are passive climate control. Want.
||
We might be hiring a mathematician who was involved in designing CDO securitization formulae for one of the big banks. I can't decide how I feel about this- he seems really good at math and wants to get into a field that's not evil. But.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:21 PM
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SP!

Hire me instead!

I'm... not a mathematician.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:23 PM
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As far as the guy you're actually going to hire goes, a lot of my friends from the internet boom in SF got into cushy financial jobs, and they have by-and-large continued to do the evil things they were doing before, so at least he got out because he wanted out rather than getting out because he had to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:24 PM
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I'm... not a mathematician.
That sounds like a reasonable qualification.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:25 PM
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I think I applied to several jobs at your institution, actually. It'd be funny if anybody actually thought I could do them, and hired me for them, but it's not that likely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:45 PM
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I applied to several jobs at your institution, actually. It'd be funny if anybody actually thought I could do them

President, provost, trustee, and cardiac surgeon?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:49 PM
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President, provost, trustee, and cardiac surgeon?

That was one of them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:50 PM
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Due to budget cuts, the duties of many positions have been consolidated.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:51 PM
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87.1: Americans actually pay money for decent design? Perish the thought!

93: Trustee generally doesn't pay, so strike that one.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:52 PM
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Haven't seen your resume for any of the 3 open positions in our group (actually, I don't think I know your last name) but you'd be surprised by the mix of seemingly unrelated backgrounds we'll hire. It's a pretty big place now, anyway- over 1200.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:54 PM
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Sifu should send a resume to Obama along with a cover expressing interest in Fed Chair. I'm sure the Bernanke reappointment will be reconsidered if Sifu makes clear that he's available.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:54 PM
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It's kind of entertaining to see who's considered plausible for various impressive positions and who isn't. Random, and sometimes frightening, but entertaining.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:57 PM
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96: url!

97: url!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 6:59 PM
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Those comments are making you throw up?
If you're asking for a link to the openings, send an email.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:02 PM
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98: That's why it's good to shoot for the moon! After all, even if you miss, you will still be among the stars!

Furthermore, genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. And the quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:05 PM
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My current employer has many good qualities, but it also has a certain number of people who basically spend their days acting out what happens when the smartest kid in class syndrome meets the Peter Principle.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:18 PM
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Otto has convinced me. Just sent in a resume for Beatles guitarist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:19 PM
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Anyone in the Bay Area watching out for the tsunami?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:20 PM
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103: Trust in yourself, and you can do anything.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:20 PM
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104: The watch was cancelled a while ago for most of the Pacific, but the news out of Samoa isn't looking too good.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:21 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:22 PM
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Hmm. Yahoo still has a link to a story about potential tsunami-related waveform activities in the Bay Area on the front page that I see. Maybe they need to update it. The Samoa news looks pretty bad.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:25 PM
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Vacationing in Hawaii, and actually got herded out of the water due to possible tsunami-related shenanigans. No actual tsunami, but there was a pretty dramatic four or five foot swing in water level over the course of a few minutes.

No air conditioning at all, as the climate in SF (at least where I am) is nearly pathologically mild. There is a heater, but it gets used pretty rarely. I want to get a heat recovery ventilator or some fancy furnace, but with how little mine get used it seems impossible to justify.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 7:41 PM
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||
First the fucking Senate Finance Committee. Then the fucking Red Sox. Now this, from my daughter's homework: "A sentence has a naming part. It names a person, place, animal, or thing. The naming part tells who or what the sentence is about." This is followed by a sentence, "Pat sees a pig", with an arrow indicating that "Pat" is the "naming part". It's as though my entire fucking world is crumbling all around me.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:31 PM
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Well, obviously "pig" isn't a naming part. The sentence isn't about a pig, and a pig certainly isn't a person, place, animal or thing.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:33 PM
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110: is it wrong of me to kinda hope the sox do it tomorrow, when I'll be at the game?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:35 PM
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I doubt the Red Sox are much help at diagramming sentences.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:37 PM
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113: I speak the language of the insider.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:38 PM
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112: If you can bear to watch, have at it. What an excruciating end of the season. They lose two to the Royals? My mom could beat the fucking Royals. Christ.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:41 PM
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Pittsburgh Pirates here. PNC is trying to borrow TARP funds to pay to get their name taken off the park.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:42 PM
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110: I feel for you, Jesus. My daughter has an "educational toy" that describes father as the opposite of mother.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 8:49 PM
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110 and 117 are disheartening.

I, myself, am cursing the day that web-based applications made it possible for funders to set character counts for grant proposals. Holy smokes it is it annoying to sit here tweaking vocabulary so I don't go 87 characters over the limit.

I want the freedom to use the simple English words that work the best, darn it! Don't force me to go with some polysyllabic word because it's shorter than the six simple ones.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:33 PM
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Witt: 340 characters (excluding spaces)

This: 228 characters

I curse the day it became possible for funders to set character counts for grant proposals. Tweaking text so I don't go 87 characters over the limit is irksome. I want the freedom to use the simple English words, not some polysyllabic word that's shorter than six simple ones.

(Abstracts are shorter than proposals and that's what I've been doing lately.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:38 PM
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I hate you, Moby. Will you come work for me?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:41 PM
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No thanks. I work for somebody who already has grants. That's why I get to write abstracts and (though I haven't finished one lately) papers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:42 PM
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I grew up in the mountains of WNC with a cast-iron wood stove and no AC. We used a lot of window fans and cross-ventilation. The wood stove was extremely effective but sometimes we'd turn on the electric baseboard heat even though my father practically stood there with a stopwatch and a calculator working out how much it cost to use. I

When I was in high school my parents got tired of being without any way to mitigate the heat and installed an attic fan. Then they got tired of only having an attic fan and bought window units for the kitchen and their bedroom but nowhere else. I would open the windows in my room at night, listen to the highway that ran along the lower rim of the valley on the other side from us and daydream about the occasional car taking me somewhere with central cooling.

Actually, now that I think about it the first place I lived with anything like AC in my bedroom was my fraternity house, where I had a window unit so badly fucked up that if I turned it on for more than ten minutes it would start forming a sheet of ice on the outside and cold air would stop flowing from the vents. Now I'm so hooked I can't sleep if it's at all warm. Rah winds up with a mountain of covers and me laying there free-styling.

I now marvel at the fact that my high school, build in the late '50s, had no air conditioning. Instead, every classroom had massive windows that opened outwards at an angle and teachers would open all the windows and leave their doors open and prop open the doors at the ends of each building and hope for air flow.

Regardless, I don't want to feel the weather inside. That's why I'm inside.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:46 PM
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Actually, I can imagine abstracts being bizarrely fun to write, in a distilled-essence, haiku sort of way. I don't mind writing to length, generally.

Where I mind it is when you're the petitioner, so you can't count on the reader guessing accurately or being generous or flexible about intent. And it doesn't help if it's an explosive topic where the language you use really matters.

Gah, I've wasted at least 45 minutes today not writing this thing. Back to work so I can get to bed at a decent hour.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:51 PM
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Abstracts are petitions of their own kind.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 9:54 PM
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Author irked at web applications that set character limits for proposal descriptions; forced to replace multiple short, simple words with fewer long, complicated ones.

340 characters excluding spaces. No footnotes. No bibliography. Available at http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_10070.html#1094677


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:06 PM
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Author finished draft; going to bed.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:10 PM
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My favorite heating systems have been the apartments with pipes carrying the heat throughout the building whether you like it or not. But that's mainly because I sleep better when it's warmer. Often it was too warm, but between too warm and too cold, which I've had in some apartments with poor insulation and a weak heating system, I'd rather err on the side of too warm. However, I'm open to finding other ways to keep warm at night, IYKWIM.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 10:15 PM
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However, I'm open to finding other ways to keep warm at night, IYKWIM.

Warming pans?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:03 PM
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Hot-water bottles, à la Bertie Wooster.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:05 PM
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I lived in Melbourne in the early eighties, and encountered a culture of dealing with the heat that was quite new to me. I was accustomed to opening windows to keep the fresh air flowing, but was told no, you had to keep the windows closed to keep the heat out. My flatmate snarled at me once for being so foolish as to cook something in the oven, thus making the heat even worse. Then when a cold front came over you raced around the house opening all the windows wide to cool everything down. The weather forecast included the minimum temperature at night as well as the maximum during the day. I can't imaging now being able to sleep with the temperature never falling below 20 degrees but I managed it at the time. Businesses had air conditioning but it wasn't at all common in houses.


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:09 PM
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131

Livermore California where I grew up was like that. If you opened the windows at night and shut them doing the day the heat indoors usually wasn't too bad even without AC. Low summer humidity helped also.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:19 PM
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128, 129: This is what I get for writing "IYKWIM" instead of "ladeez."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-29-09 11:26 PM
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Marriages would last longer if we chose partners for sleep compatibility. You spend a third of your life in bed; if you're not happy there, you're not happy anywhere. King beds and individual climate control for all.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 12:02 AM
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Even a kingsize bed gets squashed when 2 (TWO!!!!) children are in it with you. The newly-7 year old turns up about once a week, and that's ok, and then last night the nearly-9 year old didn't feel well, so he climbed in too. So I woke up wondering why I couldn't move. And then left and found an empty bed elsewhere. C and I fantasise about having enough space to have a bedroom each.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 12:58 AM
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my dad didn't have air conditioning in our house in the low country of SC for many years. I used to take a cold shower, wrap a damp sheet around me, and hope I fell asleep in front of the fan before I dried out. the worst is when it never gets below 90 at night. now here in narnia I have to run the air con at night, usually set to 26C, along with the ceiling fan. sometimes in my 19th floor apartment I would let air flow do its work, but rarely.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 1:24 AM
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133 and 134 - I agree and understand completely.

135 - Our friends in Costa Rica do not have ac. Just as it starts to get unbearable at 3 pm, it starts to cool off again. It reminded me about how important a cool breeze is for so many people in the world. The hours that we work and play have been so greatly impacted by ac.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 4:40 AM
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When I was in Moscow around New Year's '94/'95 I was staying with a family who lived on the 4th floor of an apartment building. The heat was so massively effective, and the weird body pillow/blanket things under which we slept so warm, that in the middle of the night I would have to get up and go over to the window in the living room - where my roommate and I slept - and open it just a crack and stand in front of it to get a few seconds of bitter cold as an antidote. I've never been in a place with such wild disparity between the outdoors and indoors. Movie theaters in the south during the hottest, most humid days of August may come close to producing the same whole-body shock when leaving one environment for another but they're still not as bad as that Moscow apartment in winter.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:23 AM
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137: Chicago office building in the summer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:32 AM
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I got pretty well acclimated to the Sacramento climate by having no AC at both work and home. I haven't used the AC through 2 summers at the new place yet. I have a fan that follows me from room to room. Point it one way into the living room and the opposite way at the computer. Take it into the bedroom if it's hot enough.

The old place had ceiling fans which have got to be my favorite invention in the world. One day we had a brownout when it was 110, and I had to walk around the house to simulate a breeze. This town has made me a connoisseur of breezes.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:38 AM
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In Turkey, recently, and in Grenada a couple of years back, it was bloody hot, but, tbh, I didn't really feel the need for AC except at night. If you are out of the sun, very hot temperatures aren't that bad in daytime. Trying to sleep, though, when it's really hot, is just horrible.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:40 AM
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There was some recent study that showed the optimum temperature for sleeping based on cognitive function tests the next day, and it was pretty cold, below 70.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 7:47 AM
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This summer I didn't put in my AC window unit, and there were a couple of miserable nights, but in general it was fine. However! I did spend a couple of evenings sitting on the roof, and I wondered how crazy I'd have to be to sleep out there, the way poor New Yorkers did before AC. It really was much cooler than inside.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:34 AM
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141: at last, a biological rationale for the Scots inventing everything in the world.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:44 AM
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Trying to sleep, though, when it's really hot, is just horrible.

On the plus side, it tends to dampen your roomates' enthusiasm for having sex while you're there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:49 AM
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If you are out of the sun, very hot temperatures aren't that bad in daytime.

Unless you are wearing work clothes and want to look put together. I hate sweating through my work clothes more than anything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:51 AM
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re: 145

Yeah, I suppose. I find that hard to predict, too. Sometimes you end up a sweaty crumpled mess, and other times, not, and it doesn't vary linearly with temperature.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:52 AM
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144: but then you have to listen to unenthusiastic sex.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:55 AM
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how important a cool breeze is

Yeah, one of the sadder climate change studies I saw at a conference was talking about wind shifts. The Santa Ana's in LA are expected to be fewer and milder (good news to some, but I loved them as a kid) and the Sacramento Delta breeze is expected to weaken when the ocean is warmer. That's when I found out that I had deeper emotional attachments to a regular wind than I would have thought.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:55 AM
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147: "Meh. O God, meh."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 9:58 AM
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149: "Yes, do that again. Or don't. Whatever."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:02 AM
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"Are you sure it's not in?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:04 AM
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"Pray, my dear, have you not forgot to wind up the clock?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:23 AM
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I had the heat up at about 20 C for most of last night, which is usually ok for me,* but it was still chilly. I really hate wall-length windows sometimes.

*Thermostats vary really widely in terms of what they read and what the temperature actually feels like. I've been both warm and cold at about 68-70 F. Either because they're inaccurate, or they take their reading somewhere other than where you are.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:26 AM
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I wondered how crazy I'd have to be to sleep out there, the way poor New Yorkers did before AC.

My parents have a sleeping porch, but they live in the country* so it's not really quite the same thing. It is great in the summer, though. On the second story to catch more breeze, just off their regular bedroom.

*By which I mean, only 3 minutes from a Starbucks but in an area that is zoned for hobby farms and the like.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 10:53 AM
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152 FTW.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 5:46 PM
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Is this the hot sleeping thread or the roommate sex thread? I think they've merged.

Someone mentioned upthread a college roommate sleeping in the closet. Good grief, I remember such an incident now: one of my two freshman year roommates wound up huddled in the closet one night.

Of the three of us, I was, uh, {cough} the only one that year who had a boyfriend, and my roommates were kind enough to give me the single bedroom, while they had bunks in the second bedroom. That was nice of them! One weekend, however, a friend of mine visited while one of the roommates was out of town, and said friend brought someone home from a party to the room (suite). I'd gone to bed by then; found my other roommate in the closet in the morning, with my friend and guest in one of the bunks.

Bad behavior on my friend's part? Well, she and I did have a mutually-perpetually-miffed at one another kind of friendship.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-30-09 6:04 PM
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155: thanks. Ten points, by the way, to anyone who has actually quoted that at the appropriate time.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 1-09 3:08 AM
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122: me laying there free-styling

Sigh.


Posted by: nosflow understudy | Link to this comment | 10- 1-09 1:18 PM
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