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Archive for July 22nd, 2011

My house is over 100 years old and doesn’t have central air. And I don’t have air-conditioning units hanging in my windows. (Long story. Don’t want to get into it right now!)

On weeks like this past one… and especially on days like today when the temperature is at about 95F and the heat index is over 110F, I hide. Preferably someplace cool, dark and underground.

My basement is sometimes a good hiding place but this year, I thought my 3-H (HHH = Heat & Humidity Hideout) should have a more social element. Much as I enjoy the solitude of my basement, I felt that I would try and add a new dimension to it, at least until I can learn to master estivation. [1]

I decided to hole myself up in one of the local courthouse libraries. I could hang out, socialize with my fellow criminal defence lawyers and, best of all, catch up on my reading (6 back-issues of Rue Morgue magazine, The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War as well as Incubus Dreams, an Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novel by Laurell K. Hamilton).

The next decision was… which courthouse library? The one closest to me was literally underground but somehow not as refreshingly cool as another courthouse about a 20 minute drive away.  The closer courthouse library had fewer people coming in which presented a bit of a problem in that, while it would be quieter and would not interrupt my reading, it would by the same token not afford me with the much-desired aforementioned social element. Also, being underground, cell phone reception was non-existent.

The farther courthouse it was then! I headed up there with the A/C unit in my car on full blast.

The one block walk from the parking area to the courthouse was most definitely hot but manageable. I went up to the third floor, grabbed a seat strategically located in between the cross breeze provided by two electric fans and settled down to a nice day.

It was great! Went through all my copies of Rue Morgue. Read quite a few pages of both The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z. I even managed to get through several chapters of the Anita Blake novel. The problem arose just after 5:00 pm. According to reports, the day was scorchingly hot. Even the slight breeze did nothing to relieve the oppressive heat. I now had to face the prospect of walking a block in the blistering heat only to arrive and an equally blisterlingy hot car.

I could have stayed in the library longer and, given that my house was not air-conditioned, probably have stayed until well after dark, but I promised to meet someone at a cafe at 6:00 pm. I was also expected for afternoon and evening prayers at the Chabad shtiebel in Niagara Falls.

When I got to the cafe, it was closed as a result of the excessive heat. I guess the air-conditioner and ceiling fans weren’t enough to keep customers cool. So my friend (and Upcoming Zombie Apocalypse co-conspirator) retired to a nearby restaurant which was dark and relatively cool, albeit not underground. Hey, you can’t have everything.

Finally, off to afternoon-evening prayers at the Chabad shtiebl in Niagara Falls. Definitely underground… by two floors. Not all that dark, really. But while the little room we use as our synagogue is generally quite cool and comfy, something went awry and the place was rather toasty and muggy. Add a dozen or so fervent hasidic Jews plus about 90 minutes or so of prayer time and I was almost looking forward to getting out into the night air.

Made it home after a luxurious 25 minute drive with the A/C on full blast once again! Flopped onto my bed with the electric fan beside me and tried to get as much sleep as I could.

And that is how I managed to make it through the hottest day (so far) of the summer of 2011.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Each city should erect a statue to the man who invented air-conditioning!

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[1] To spend a hot, dry season in an inactive, dormant state, as certain reptiles, snails, insects and small animals.

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