Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Dog Days

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit driving to work. The uphill walk between the Silver Spring metro and my office this morning was excruciating. Fortunately I brought my machete, so I was able to carve a swath through the wall of humidity. No matter. By the time I got to the office - which, in a departure from the usual, is mercifully well air-conditioned today - I probably looked about like this minus the Hawaiian shirt.

Oh yeah, and this just in: Major delays on the Red Line due to a suspicious package left on a train. That means I'll probably be rotting on the outdoor platform in Silver Spring for at least 45 minutes before a train comes.

Not exactly what one likes to see when contemplating public transportation.


Anonymous said...

Ride your bike to work!!! faster and you get exercise :-)


Jamie said...

Surely you jest! Once the temperature drops to somewhere within the range of an Iraqi airfield (versus now, which is about the equivalent of being inside an active volcano) we can talk.

But seriously. My plan is to start running to work and metroing home... or perhaps vice versa. In any event, it seems keeping some running stuff on hand at work would be a good idea no matter what, since the Metro has about a 50% reliability rating in my first week of train commuting.

IceCreamMan said...

It's funny. The week before last, I was freezing my ass off. Homes here tend to be built with no thermal insulation (before you make comments about the Third World, keep in mind that many homes in California have the same problem), so overnight lows below 40°F feel like the end of the world.
During college, I spent a few days at the home of a friend in DC in the summer and I was surprised by how horrible it was. I was lucky because, as the guest, I got to sleep in the basement, which was the most comfortable place in the house.
I live in a tropical country, but for some reason it never gets really, really, really hot in São Paulo. I don't think I've ever seen 40°C (um... 104°F). I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen temperatures above 37°C (that one everyone knows - 98.6°F) in the seven years I've lived here. Even 35 is rare.
When I worked in an office without air conditioning and sometimes had to wear a suit for visiting customers, 28°C (82.4°F) felt awful. I would make any excuse to go to the engineering department, which was air conditioned.
It surprises me that the summers in Chicago were much more unpleasantly hot and humid than those in São Paulo.

Unlike Jamie, I can realistically ride a bike to work, and in fact, that's the best option available. I really have to buy a new bike. My ice cream shop is just a little too far from my apartment for it to be convenient to walk, but it's way too close to justify going there by car, especially since parking can get scarce in the neighborhood around the shop, and I don't want to take up a parking space a customer could be using.
As Jamie saw in May, I'm thinner than I've ever been in my life (I actually got kinda squishy at a few points in my life, the worst being the six months I spent with my then-wife when I first came to live in São Paulo), but I can tell you I'm horribly out of shape, despite being thin. The daily bike rides will give me a chance to improve the overall health of my body, especially the heart and lungs.
This was so much easier when I was 25.

IceCreamMan said...

J, I just thought of something...
Could you wear shorts and a T-shirt for the trip to work and do a reverse Mr. Rogers routine there, changing from your casual clothes to your business clothes while you sing about what a beautiful day it is in the neighborhood?
OK, the singing is optional, but you get the idea.
It would involve carrying your clothes, but it seems to me that might be less uncomfortable than wearing even biz cazh clothes in the outdoor sauna.

Side note: how do you write the sound like the French "j" in English orthography? I used "zh" in "cazh" above (I think that's how one or more of the Romanization systems for Chinese do it), but it looks weird. The consonant in the middle of "casual" does not sound exactly like "s," "z," or "j." How can I write that sound?