Before the Blackout

After my interlude at Comic-Con International in San Diego, I spent the rest of my week-plus vacation visiting my family in Irvine, California. It was a blast; I sat by the pool, took my nine year-old nephew to a magic shop, and watched a ton of movies. I’ve been back home since late Sunday night, but I’m really freakin’ swamped here, not just with work, but also with all manner of extracurricular and personal activities.

Which explains the lack of blog posts here at (and this mea culpa post, the likes of which I normally avoid), at least in part. The other part is this damnable heat that dogged me in California and that’s dogging me again here in New York City. Temperatures have routinely been in the upper nineties, with the heat index breaking 105 F. Lovely. Makes it uncomfortable to do much of anything.

Conservation as Personal Virtue

Faced with this heat wave and the demand that it causes on the power grid, the whole region has been gripped by the fear of a possible blackout. Like a lot of conscientious New Yorkers, I’ve been trying to do my part by turning off lights, shutting down my computer, unplugging appliances and generally not complaining when the air conditioning in my office was barely working. I haven’t complained, especially as the city as a whole has been doing much the same on a bigger scale: turning off the Empire State Building’s vanity lighting, setting thermostats higher at government facilities, etc.

But then, while shuttling between appointments at work today, I passed through Times Square (as I normally do) and I saw that most of the shops there continue to flagrantly and uncaringly run their excessive, neon-lit billboards and animated signs full-bore. The one offender that stuck out in my mind was Quicksilver’s store at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue, which is as profoundly unnecessary an operation as any I can imagine right now. There’s just no reason for stores like that to be running at full power in the midst of this heat wave, is there? Commerce be damned… if there’s a blackout, they deserve to get their asses sued for that.

I just wanted to get that off my chest. I’ll be returning to more substantive posts by next Monday, at the latest. Stay cool, everyone!

  1. khoi, you know that you could’ve saved 200lbs of CO2 by simply posting an image of them and dropping the f’bomb, right? c’mon, what are you doing with those newfound skills from that photo class? 😉

  2. Khoi, I was at the Comic-Con in San Diego and the temperature there was nothing to the heat and humidity here in Louisiana I’m experienceing. I’ll gladly switch weather with Californians any day. I can’t speak for New York though but I’m sure you are still fairing better than we are. Either way I’m struggling with getting work done as well.

  3. Khoi, I totally agree with you and I actually wrote a post about the same topic the other day. There is no reason for those stores to be running at full power during the heat wave that we were all just trying to get through without a major blackout. I read an article that ABC News and Reuters shut off their screens and tickers in Times Square to conserve electricity. Obviously, not every company whose obnoxious signs that waste so much energy feel the need to do their part. During my very limited walks outside I passed by countless stores whose doors were wide open to let their AC-generated frosty air spill out onto the sidewalks. It was a very pleasant split second relief for those having to walk outside, but what a waste! Their AC was running full blast while all the cool air escaped out those front doors.

  4. Like Ron, I sympathize…but I’d gladly trade the humidity of Tampa for the dryness of Claifornia. You guys normally get snow for christmas…it was 85F here last year. It sucks that many of you don’t even have A/C though.

    If you do have A/C, I have a stay cool tip for you. Find a vent near a ceiling fan. Try to divert the air toward the fan in the best way possible. Place a couch directly under the fan. Take a shower. Don’t dry off completely, but enough not to soak whatever you touch. Grab a pillow, blanket, and crank up the fan. Nap on the couch. It worked well for me when I had that kind of setup.

    Stay cool!

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