Tuesday, July 07, 2009


A ridge of high pressure is, according to the morning weather, about to move in and settle over Colorado. Ah! A couple 90° days, perhaps more, are on the way. What a nice change from June!

It has rained enough for right now. We’ve had so many consecutive days in a row that there is moss growing everywhere. The weathercast last night said that the relative humidity was above 90%! Geez! I might as well have stayed in Florida if this is how it is going to be. But the real telling moment was when I got into bed.

There is a passage in Foucault’s Pendulum where the characters in the book take a trip to a villa in the north of Italy, in the mountains somewhere. The villa is old, musty, and dank. They describe the vain attempt to keep the bedding dry by using a sort-of frame thing that lifts the covers off the bed and supports a sort-of charcoal brazier bed warmer. The effect of which, apparently, is to keep the dank bedding warm more than to get it dry.

Last night as I was turning down the bed I noticed that with the relative humidity so high, the covers were literally damp from the ambient humidity. They weren’t actually wet mind you, there was no specific point that was any more moist than any other, it was just a general dampness from being in contact with the wet air.

It was like being back in Thames Ditton. The Villa had two problems. Not only was it often cold and damp (or warm and damp in the summertime), but it also had one of those combination washer-dryer units that is supposed to do the job of both appliances, but doesn’t do either very well. Bedding could only be washed when there was nobody else in The Villa because it took a week to dry, hung over drying racks by the heaters.

Or it was like the time I had a bad fever and was in the hospital. They wanted me to sleep under a refrigerated blanket. For those of you unfamiliar with this implement of torture, it is a rubberized-canvas thing (similar to the old-style pool floats) that has coils if tubing running through it. These coils were full of circulating cold refrigerant. The effect of which is to make the blanket cold enough to actually condense the water out of the air and cause it to drip on you all night. Sure, it keeps you cool and helps bring down your fever, but you cannot sleep under one because it is like the Chinese Water Torture all over your body!

Luckily, this high pressure ridge is going to bring warmer and drier air! Sure, I may have to water the garden, but at least the bed will not be damp when I crawl into it!

Wherever you are today, I hope your weather, whatever it is, pleases you!

Don Bergquist – July 07, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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