Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 16 February 2003

Some writing today. The first good session of work in far too long.

This evening, though, we watched "The Music Man," a truly great story.

The heat in our apartment is funny.

It's hot-water heat from a gas-fired boiler in the basement. In most ways it's a lot nicer than forced-air heat. It doesn't dry out the air as much. It's quiet. But there's an odd quirk about the system: it's really slow to react to changes in the thermostat setting. If you turn the temperature up a degree or two, the apartment will warm up a bit--after eight or ten hours.

The apartment managers pass out a document every fall when they fire up the boiler. One of the things it says is to set the temperature to something comfortable and then leave it alone. That's about what you have to do. There's just no way to vary the temperature in any useful way (such as to have it cool while you're sleeping and then warm when you get up in the morning).

This is usually okay. We set the heat to a reasonable compromise and then just dress appropriately. Sometimes, though, things get out of whack. We have south-facing windows, so when it's sunny the apartment can warm up a lot. If we react to that by turning the heat down, it can get really cold the first non-sunny day. A cold wind from the wrong direction can also cool the apartment down a lot (I assume this is just a lack of insulation).

Jackie likes it colder than I do. She likes to be able to wear her nice wool sweaters. This doesn't really amount to a point of contention between us, although we sometimes tease one another when we find ourselves having to put on hats and scarves or shorts and t-shirts.

On one of the cold days earlier this year, I told her that I'd like a pair of fingerless gloves, so I could sit at the computer and write even when it was cold in the apartment. So, she's knitting me a pair. The first one is finished and I'm wearing it now. It's quite satisfactory for typing, and the hand that's wearing it is a lot warming than the other hand. (Full disclosure requires that I admit that the other hand is the one that picks up a cold soda can from time to time.)


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