Hotter Than Two Rats in a Wool Sock

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s been hotter than an ex-mayor’s crack pipe a two-dollar pistol. Days like these make me want to sit out in the sun, slather myself with cocoa butter and nurse a pitcher of margaritas. Margaritas seem to add something to the ambience when I’m in the yard blasting P-Funk, singing along while the neighbors are trying to have a barbecue.

For those of you who aren’t dehydrated and suffering from heatstroke, here are some ways to reduce power demands, brought to us by Arlington County:

At home

  • Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until the cooler evening hours.
  • Turn off non-essential electric appliances and equipment.
  • Use window blinds to block direct sunlight.
  • If you have a gas power lawn mower, make sure to mow your lawn in the evening.

In the office

  • Turn off lights wherever possible, including in corridors and unused meeting rooms, and overhead lights if practical. (In addition to the power used, lights produce heat, adding to the air conditioning burden.)
  • Actively turn off computers and monitors not in use. (The “sleep” mode is good, but the “off” mode is better!)
  • Use window blinds to block direct sunlight.
  • Turn off radios, coffee pots, and personal fans when not in use.
  • Portable space heaters should not be used for local temperature control. If your office is too cold, call the building’s Facilities Maintenance. A space heater can cause a thermostat to think the space is too warm, which would send even more cooling to the area.

On the road

  • Use mass transit or carpool.
  • On “Code Red” and “Code Orange” days, all Northern Virginia bus services — including ART (Arlington Transit) and Metrobus — provide free rides to passengers.
  • Combine several errands into one trip.
  • Don’t idle your car engine. Vehicles idling when not in use produce almost as much harmful pollution as when the vehicle is traveling. And in this hot humid weather, vehicle pollution lingers longer.
  • Fill up your gas tank after sunset.
  • Try not to spill gasoline when filling up, and don’t top off your gas tank.
  • Never leave anyone — children, adults or pets — in a parked car.

I’m making my funk the P-Funk. What are you doing to reduce power consumption during these horridly hot and humid days?

6 Comments so far

  1. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

    People actually use space heaters to warm up an area when the AC is too high? Seriously? Are people that retarded?


  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

    Why no gas after sunset?


  3. Ex-Hy Hy (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    Apparently it’s better to gas up in the evening when the air is cooler and less humid because of the gas vapors. During the day, all of the gas vapors released when people fill up just contributes to the atmospheric misery and is exacerbated by the humidity and heat. Also, in the evening the gasoline itself is theoretically cooler, thus keeping you from getting ripped off by buying expanded gasoline.


  4. Max (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

    I turn my a/c completely off and walk around the house naked, but I put plastic wrap down before I sit on any furniture.


  5. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

    Ex Hy-Hy: Yes, I have seen this in a couple places I have worked. Someone is too cold in the summer and turns on the heater instead of changing the AC settings.

    Tom – yeah, the gas vapours are bad for the atmosphere. Gas vapourises at a low temperature, so the hotter it gets, the more of that stuff is going into the atmosphere and nto in your tank. Two bad things!

    Max – is that whay you opted not to come to Wayan’s cookout? His ban on nakedness didn’t stop Don from coming in his birthday suit and sitting on everything.


  6. Don (unregistered) on July 12th, 2007 @ 9:01 am

    You’re totally leaving out the fact that I made sure to use those plastic doily things they have in public restrooms!



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