Big giant head


In Other News

My kid's got quite a mouth on her. Disrespectful as hell, and a name-caller, too.

At dinner tonight I was doing something that made her laugh -- just eating, probably, or maybe breathing -- and she turned to Beth and said "Daddy's funny, Momma." I got a little puffed up with pride until she turned to me and said "You funny looking, Daddy."

Oh. Thanks. I think.

When she's not insulting me like that, she's calling me names. I think they're bad ones, but I'm not really sure. We'll be playing her Pooh game or I'll be fixing her breakfast, generally being Supercool Dad, and she'll suddenly give me a dismissive wave of the hand and call me names.

You a grover, Daddy.

You silly Toofoofoo.

You goofy guy.

She's either channelling a Japanese tourist or calling me names, it's hard to tell. Either way I think I probably shouldn't like it.

I'm tellin' ya, I don't get no respect. But then, what Grover does?


Wednesday - February 3, 1999
Tales From The Meat Locker

Cold fingers here tonight. I'm generally pretty impervious to cold, but when it does get cold it's my fingers that suffer. That wouldn't be much of a problem if I were, say, a soccer player or a basket weaver skilled in the art of toe weaving, but fingers tend to come in handy when you're using a keyboard and mine don't dance nearly so well when they're blue and stiff with cold.

Okay, so they're not really blue. Or stiff, even. But they are cold. That's my point here.

Part of the problem is our heating/cooling system. Our house is something like 3,000 square feet and the system is rated for only 2,500. Crank up the heat and select portions of the house -- the closets, for example -- get toasty warm, but other sections -- like our bedroom...or the den...or the living room -- climb just slightly above meat locker temperatures. The system just can't crank out the hot air fast enough or push it far enough to make much of a dent, especially in the brutally cold 45 degree overnight temps we've been suffering here in LA. Of course, we don't really know if it could warm the whole house because Beth likes to keep the thermostat set to Frostbite and when I bitch about it she tells me to shut up and put on a sweater. My argument that sweaters were made for the great outdoors and heaters were invented so we could run naked and free indoors (indoors: a concept fostered by the need to escape sweater weather in the first place), well she just doesn't get it.

Even if we did run the heater full blast full time, it can't blow the air hard enough to get it up to my office, the only second-floor room in the house and located on the far side of the house from the heating unit. They taught us in Heating & Cooling 101 way back in high school that heat rises, but I'm here to tell you that they lied. I occupy the highest point in this house and by their laws of physics (or maybe it's combustion) I should have the warmest room in the place, every last BTU in the joint should come coursing up the stairs into my lair. I should be sweating up here, stripped down to my skivvies and puddling up the floor, cursing the heat and dreaming of Alaska. Instead, I've stolen the space heater we got for the guest room (guests are hereby advised to wear a sweater to bed) and it's buzzing away behind me, making for a really nice patch of toasty warm carpet about three feet square...on the other side of the room.

I suppose I shouldn't bitch too much. I mean, it does get warm up here sometimes. Our laundry room is at the bottom of the stairs leading up here and my office gets quite tropical whenever we run the dryer. There's something wrong with the dryer vent -- a clog somewhere in the pipe leading outside, I think -- and the dryer won't dry if the vent is attached. It tumbles away and when the buzzer goes off you have wet, cold clothing because it never warms up. I took a look at it once, but my home improvement track record was fresh in my mind and I gave up before I broke anything. So we've disconnected the vent hose and now the dryer works like a charm. Unfortunately it also spews all its exhaust right back into the laundry room and up the stairs, setting off the smoke detector in my office. I find it difficult to work with a shrill beepbeepbeep scrambling my brain, so I yanked the battery out and now I live in constant danger of immolation, which would solve the cold problem while also introducing a host of new, warmer ones.

But at least it gets warm up here when the dryer's on. Really warm, and humid, too. I get condensation trickling down the windows and have to open the door to the balcony to let some of the warm air out and cold air in lest jungle flora and fauna start growing in the corners. (Not that I'd notice if it did; it's not like I ever clean this place, as viewers of my webcam can probably testify.) In a sense, my office is the dryer vent. But that's not helping me now because we're not doing laundry tonight, so it's kind of a moot point. But I thought I'd mention it anyway, just FYI.

All I'm saying is that it's cold up here tonight. My fingers are near the flashover point of being blue and stiff and I don't know how to type with my toes, so this is probably going to be a short entry. Or was going to be before I started rambling. Now it's a long, rambling entry, but my fingers are still really freakin' cold, so I'm going to slap a save on this and get the hell downstairs where it's still cold but warmer than here.

I'll probably dig up a sweater when I get there.


backward indexward onward

Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins