Windows: There's a line in one of my all time favorite books, Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, where one of the characters chides another, "That's the kind of thinking that leads to buildings with windows that don't open." I was thinking of that this afternoon when I was walking back from the grocery store, because the weather conditions outside were absolutely perfect, the kind of conditions that people spend a small fortune to try to replicate with artificial climate control: temperature in the low 70°sF, dewpoint in the low 40°sF, gentle breeze, good air quality, almost no pollen. But still, even in my lower working class neighborhood where you'd expect people to be economizing, at least half of the houses and apartments I walked past had the windows all buttoned up tight and the air conditioners roaring. I was over at a couple of friends' house the other day to help them with some yardwork, and had a serious problem when we went outside: because the temperatures were nice enough that the air conditioner wasn't running, it felt unbearably stuffy, like a tomb, like the air hadn't moved in days.
The thing that strikes me about this is that I remember, faintly, that when I was a kid I hated having the windows open, even in perfect weather. But after several years living aboard the Libertalia, my old RV, I can literally no longer remember why or what that was like. And any more, I don't even know what's normal and what's weird. Which of these statements more accurately describes you?
Poll #988097 Windows Open?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: None, participants: 168
What does it take to get you to open the windows in your home?
|I never do. I can't stand outside air. That's what air conditioners and furnaces are for.|
|Only when the weather outside is just perfect.|
|Any time it's not hot or cold.|
|As much as I can stand, any time I wouldn't be seriously freezing or baking.|
|I scarcely remember the last time I closed the windows.|
Books: I repost this list from time to time. I forget who it was who said that no books are ever lost by lending except the ones you most want to keep? This list is almost that bad, nine books that if I don't get them back soon, I'm just about going to have to order replacement copies. Seven of them, to my annoyance, I don't even know who has them. If you have my copy then unless you are actively reading it right now, unless it is actually on the top of your currently-being-read list, I'd really appreciate getting it back. And even if you have a good reason for not returning it right away, if you're on the "don't know" part of the list, will you at least please tell me that you're who has my book? And ideally get the 10 digit ISBN off of the cover and shoot it to me so I can log it into LibraryThing, so I remember?
- Camden Benares, ZEN without Zen Masters
- Lois McMaster Bujold, The Warrior's Apprentice
- Lois McMaster Bujold, Ethan of Athos
- Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed
- P.J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores
John Allen Paulos, Innumeracy
- Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone
- William Strauss & Neil Howe, Generations (mari_who)
- Lawrence Wright, Saints & Sinners (alienne)