Friday, October 14, 2011

It’s Good to Have Goals

It’s nearly mid-October and I’m still throwing on my shorts in the morning.

Of course it’s totally dark when I get up at 6 AM, and it’s hard to find my shorts, but I eventually do and on they go.

We just went through a stretch of 80 degree weather (remember?), which allowed those of us who are inclined to such things, to tune up our tan lines.

The rain returned for a bit, but who can’t get enough of that after the August and September we’ve been through. The good news is the temps are expected to stay in the mid-60s to low 70s for the next little while.

That’s just fine with me because I’m in the midst of my annual “putting off turning on the boiler” crusade, which I will endure as long as the stars allow. And by stars I mean the ones up in the sky, not George Clooney or Lady Gaga, who have nothing to do with my utilities.

The heat goes off May 1st and stays off…as long as I can manage not feeling my toes.

Sometimes that's May 3rd....
Last year I was able to hold out until October 21st, which was good for second place.  First place was the 22nd, so while the 21st is respectable, it was, as you’d expect, a source of great disappoint.

I can hear you now…

“One day…you couldn’t hold out for one, maybe two more stinking days to tie and possibly break the record?”

I know…but you had to be there.

We went through a stretch…a bad stretch of 4 or 5 days of cool, dank, rainy weather.  And no sun means no natural heat for the house.

The house was stuck at 62 degrees at the height of the day and dropping a little bit more each few hours. Finally on the morning of the 21st, the thermometer read 54 degrees.  That was all I could take, unless I was resigned to not utilizing my fingers in the foreseeable future.

So on went the furnace.

The end of the dampness; the stiff knees and back.

The heat was filling the house and the mice and spiders could stop their incessant whining.

The thing is, the next day a warm stretch like the one we just went through settled in for a few days that pretty much took us right into November. 


My longtime dream…November. Right there for the taking.

I had blown it….

But you had to be there…really.

It was pretty frickin cold in here.

And it’s not that I’m cheap…or too cheap. At the height of summer’s Sahara heat and rain forest humidity, I crank up the air conditioning and don’t look back.

No…it’s more a matter of pride…or stubbornness.

Plus it’s good to have goals…right?

I just like seeing those tiny little nubs that barely pop up on the bar chart that indicate how little gas I‘ve used from May thru October.

I like showing the gas company how badly they overestimated my consumption, and underestimated my resolve and frostbite tolerance in their little level billing plan.

I imagine them in their shabby little gas company office grouped around a computer screen nodding their heads in awe, feeling small when the numbers come in. The whispers in the hall, around the water cooler about the guy who broke the system.

That’s what I imagine….

Plus when the heat comes on…the winters not far behind. 

So as long as I hold out….

I’m doing this for you, people.

I’m doing this for you….

I’ve got Thanksgiving in my sights.

But I’m a little worried about next Wednesday.

Day to day…day to day….


  1. Those of us who work at home pay the price in cold toes. (Ever write on a bed that's wrapped in a heated mattress pad? Nice! I'm doing it right this minute . 54 outside right now, here in Grovers Corners!

  2. I think that might be cheating,,,,

    Give my best to Mr. Drucker down at the General Store.


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