Sunday, June 1, 2014


I am not displeased to have woken up to a world in which the Spurs advance to the Finals again...

When I wrote in this webspace at around this time last year, I did so in part to complain of the changes to my body wrought by life away from the kindly summer sunshine of the American South and Southwest and of the lack of adequate ventilation in homes and many other places in The City. Now I live much closer to the South and the Southwest; Oklahoma is not really part of either, having not seceded from the Union and having insufficient Hispanic influence upon its traditions and histories, but it is a lot closer than New York. The sun is more like it was when I grew up, long in the sky and unstinting with its gifts, although it is far more humid here than was true for me in the Folk Festival town (and the anniversary of the event is today, as well). Here, as in The City, though, I find myself cooled by window units rather than honest central air.

I understand why Sherwood Cottage relies on the things, three window units working in tandem to make livable the living space and ease sleep in the bedrooms. The building is not young, and it has obviously been treated poorly by some of the tenants it has had. Neither circumstance prompts the kind of expenditure that would be needed to have central air installed, and although the landlord is a decent person, I know that the housing is provided as a way to make money; spending money on it is not the most desirable act for the landlord to take.

I gather also that expense factors into many of the decisions to cool by window unit. Although I contend that the long-term cost of central air is less, I know that the initial cost is far greater, requiring much in terms of mathematics to figure out how much air needs to move to effectively cool a given space, labor to set up the duct work and other machinery, and outlay in terms of materials. I also know that it is an involved construction process. (I believe I have mentioned how I know such things.) Window units can be bought at local stores easily, often for under $200, and can be put into service within an afternoon. They offer immediate relief at a lesser immediate cost, and so they are attractive.

Even so, although I am faring better now and do not threaten to burst into flame at the merest brush of sunlight as I did while in The City, I still sweat far more profusely than I prefer or that I remember, and much of that perspiration still flows from my upper lip. I still fall back on older ways to keep cool, and they still work, but they still send me to the toilet frequently. At Sherwood Cottage, though, the bathroom is not quite so cool...

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