August 17th, 2008


Chill Out

I know that air conditioning is bad for the environment. I truly believe that the more we try to cool down, the more we heat up the globe making it necessary for even more artificial cooling. (As I write this, the air conditioner in my home just kicked on because the temp inside is now over 74 degrees.) Yet, I challenge Joe Klein, the writer of this article, to endure the months of May through September in a sub-tropical climate without the benefit of a stalwart air conditioning system. He lives in upstate New York and it does get hot there but August in southern Louisiana is torturous without a/c.

Juannie and I endured a night without a/c last week when our ancient yet diligent system finally expired on a Sunday evening. We knew it was coming but we hoped to get through one more summer with the old girl cranking through the hot, humidified nights. The outdoor component of our circa 1975 system got flooded during Katrina and kept on kicking. It helped to quell the mold and mildew we encountered once we got home after three weeks in exile.

We desperately missed that cool blast when the power went out four days later after Hurricane Rita passed through the Gulf of Mexico devastating Southwest Louisiana. There's no way to comprehend the heat and humidity after a tropical storm or hurricane. It takes days of sunshine to dry up the entrenched moisture following such torrential rains. And that sunshine, while welcome, makes it unbearably steamy. We waited 5 days for our power to come back after Rita and not even Joe Klein would have denied the blessings that coolness confers once power and a/c were restored.
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Beijing Bang Bang

My new favorite sport to watch during the Olympics is handball. It's a combination of basketball and soccer. I've never seen it before these games in Beijing. I happened to catch it early last Saturday morning and now I am addicted. I am seeking it out along with the other sports I love: synchronized diving, badminton, ping pong, beach volleyball, non-beach volleyball, gymnastics, basketball and trampoline. Of course, I've watched Michael Phelps clinch his 8 gold medals. I'll be sad when the Olympics are over.