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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 Subtraction.com (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!+