• Life

    The Air Conditioning Dilemma

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    I sometimes think that air conditioning is both the cause and downfall of our society.

    On the one hand, it’s let us comfortably expand as a species into jungles, swamps, and deserts, and build large cities there.

    On the other hand, it’s let us comfortably expand as a species into jungles, swamps, and deserts, and build large cities there.

    It keeps us comfortable in those more temperate locales where it only get particularly hot for a couple of months of the year. That’s the benefit my family is after right now.

    We bought a house built in the 1960s with baseboard heating. Owners in the 1980s put a gas furnace in and ran vents to the first floor. A few years ago, long after we moved in, we broke down and invested in central air. Until then, we’d gotten by with strategic fans, sprinklers, and sweating.

    There are still no vents to the second floor. In summer, it gets hot upstairs. For those of us who sleep upstairs—my wife and I and both daughters—it’s not always comfortable. (It gets colder upstairs in the winter, too, in case you’re wondering, but there are still electric base boards.)

    The point of the matter, I guess, is that the heat got to us this week, not to mention one of our daughters threatening to buy her own air conditioner, and we decided it was time to cool off the second floor a bit. Vents to the second floor have been on the list for a long time, but other, more pressing things have always gotten in the way. Not in the cards right now, either. A huge project and/or a huge expense that we just don’t have the budget for right now, partly due to COVID reasons and partly due to normal there are other things higher on the list reasons.

    So now R2-X2’s less programmable cousin is doing its best to turn hot air into cold air on the upper floor of our house.

    I’m not really happy about it. There are other things I would rather have spent the money on that would get us closer to the goal of selling the house and moving into the home we’re going to retire (and probably die) in. But sleeping comfortably is a thing and I was outvoted.

    Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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  • Life

    What I Did This Summer

    Facebooktwitterrssyoutubeby featherLet me follow this vaguely back to school title with the note that, just like physical health, everyone is responsible for their own mental health. Period.

    Don’t blame the world or other people or things beyond your control. These may be causes, but they are not excuses. Take responsibility, take action, do what is necessary to get better.

    For my part, a combination of things in various aspects of my life drove me to centre on my family and tune out the rest of the world a bit. That second part really isn’t healthy, either, stealing from one part of your well being to feed another, but I figured that out eventually too and I’ve taken the steps to centre myself and decide on a clear vision of who I want to be. The nice thing is I’m mostly that person. The other nice thing is I’m aware that it requires ongoing growth and effort to continue to be that person and to improve him. And to be there for the people around me.

    Every day is a new one.

    On a less abstract note, it was a busy summer. We made some significant progress in de-cluttering the house, although a bit portion of that clutter has merely moved to the garage for the moment. There were lots of small activities, video games, movies, geocaching, karate classes, and football skill improvements, as well as the usual summer chores and cleaning up the yard. I cut down three dying pine trees to save five more—whoever lived in the house before we did planted them a foot or so apart and they’re far too big for that now, but I hope I’ve given the rest of them a fighting chance.

    And of course, there was Fan Expo, about which I have written much, and I’m probably not done yet. I also haven’t managed to put the good cosplay photos I took at the con up on Facebook or Flickr. I should add that to my list of things to do.

    Be well, everyone. Mentally, and physically.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather