The Ice Caps Aren't Going to Melt Before I Do
  • Maggie Franklin
  • July 1, 2009

Have I ever mentioned that I hate the heat? And I'm not talking that "anything over 100" range — I'm talking more like anything over 80. Frankly, 80 is pushing it. I really like 56-65. Fahrenheit, of course.

 

Since the age of 12 it has been my intention to move to Alaska. Somehow that keeps not working out for me though, and 27 years later I find I am still giving out my hometown zip code at those stores that collect it "for marketing purposes." And for those of you who are not familiar with California, I am here to testify that it is not all beaches and mountains. I live in the middle of the state, which is quite nicely positioned if you have a few days off and can't decide: mountains, ocean, or desert? City or country? Because within a couple of hours and a single tank of gas, you can get to any of them. However, when you live here and have to go through life on a daily basis, our triple-digit summers can really do a number on your morale.

 

Especially when you don't like heat.

 

The BF doesn't really notice it. He falls into that "well, once it's over 90 or so, it's all hot, but whatever" category. He swears he would prefer a car without air conditioning. He's obviously not right in the head.

 

Now, as for myself, I'm certainly not going to claim to be all anti-environmental. And I'm not really opposed to this "going green" movement that's so popular (although I have to admit, when it comes to some things, you really want to make sure your bandwagon has all its wheels before you jump on it). But I definitely do believe in treating Ma Nature with a healthy respect and try to live an environmentally responsible lifestyle — unless it means giving up my air conditioning! That is not an option. Unless I get to move to Alaska. Then maybe we can talk.

 

And so it was that when I owned a salon, the thermostat was set to "snow." Everyone knew they needed to bring a sweater to their appointments, and if they forgot, I had a loaner. I never once griped about my electric bill, even though the a/c unit my measly 600-square-foot salon was originally equipped with was over 30 years old, and by no means "energy efficient."

 

I no longer own a salon. I no longer have the final say over the salon's thermostat. Today, I really miss owning my own salon.

 

The BF's dad works in refrigeration. I have an excellent source to go to for advice on all things pertaining to mechanical refrigeration. Which is how it has come to my attention that, contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for a residential air conditioning unit to cycle on and off. Yes, it’s going to make your electric meter spin like the teacups at Disneyland, but as long as the unit is in good running condition, it shouldn't damage it.

 

Also. That is what programmable thermostats are for. Get the dang a/c to cycle on at 6 a.m. and bring the interior temperature down to 72 degrees while it is still only 85 degrees outside! That way, by the time everyone gets to work — and the hairstylists start heating the place up with hair dryers and curling irons — it will take less work on the part of the AC unit to maintain a reasonable room temperature. It'll also take longer for the interior temperature to climb.

 

It just doesn't strike me as requiring a degree in computational fluid dynamics.

 

Meanwhile. Yeah, 80 degrees does feel like you walked into a cold storage unit when you come in from 108 degrees outside. And given that I pretty much just sit in a chair all day, it's not entirely uncomfortable. But I work with products that are crazy temperature sensitive. If the temperature climbs over 76, I experience a significant difference in the way my acrylics set up. I'm not just whining about how hot it is, I'm legitimately trying to do my job.

 

But like I said, it's not my say anymore. And today is hot. And I'm grumpy.

 

 



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