Thursday, August 11, 2011

Travelogue: Australia – Happy Medium

I have always had the urge to giggle when I hear the phrase "strike a happy medium." It springs always creates the image in my head of a fortune teller skipping down a lovely garden path, her crystal ball bobbing along and winking merrily in the sun when all of the sudden her fun is cut short by a muscular arm whipping out from behind a tree and clocking her right on her perky little chin! In my mind, she then gets the entire cartoon treatment… Her eyes cross as she wobbles slightly and then, stars and planets orbiting her head, she keels over backward into the daffodil-strewn clover.

 Ah! I feel better already now that we have struck this happy medium!

I can also see why it is so hard to do. I mean, really, she could have parried that blow with the crystal ball if she had really tried. Also, what's up with the arm, why does it never seem to have an actual body attached to it? It just seems to jut out from the edge of the frame. Is there a person standing just out of view? Is the cameraman hitting her?

But enough flights of fancy. This all comes to mind today because I have been trying for over a week now to find a good temperature for my hotel room. I no longer believe that the problem is my poor grasp of arithmetic… I have come to the decision that the heating on my room must be off-kilter.

Theoretically, if I set the heat to 24° Celsius I should get a temperature out that is somewhere around 75° Fahrenheit, by extension, if I want a temperature of 70° Fahrenheit, then I need to have the heater set to 21. So why then, I it that if I set the thermostat to 24 I temperature approximating that of the Arctic Circle and then, setting it up one degree Celsius to 25 transports me to the Tropic of Capricorn?

If I do the math, the difference between the two is less than two degrees Fahrenheit… barely noticeable; but no so in the room. I had thought that perhaps the maid was leaving the windows open but this was also not the case. I've resorted to setting the heat to 24° and just pulling the duvet off the spare bed and sleeping under an ecological layer of bedding.

In Colorado I always find it humorous to listen to the people who complain about the summer being too hot and the winter being too cold. The news readers on one station always make the same inane comment: "…they are the same people who complain about the heat (cold) in the Summer (Winter)."

I guess I really don't have long to wait. It will be summer again this weekend when I get to London. Although I didn't use all the winter clothing I brought with me down here to Australia, I did use most of it… I am glad it was available!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will find a way to strike a happy medium. (Try for the little cartoon bluebirds tweeting around her noggin as she sinks slowly to the floor!)

Don Bergquist – 10 August 2011 – Canberra, ACT, Australia

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