2008.12.24 Hanging the tree, losing the heat

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I’ve got to get through this thing quickly because I have far too much to do. With my wife and daughter out of town for a few days, I was left in charge of decorating the house.

I think they pretty much laughed at the very idea and figure they will be hard at work themselves on Christmas Eve when they return.

I took the challenge seriously and spent a lot of time thinking about it. Like at 3:33 a.m. when I happened to wake up and the thought popped into my head.

I knew what I wanted to do. Take the old spindly fake tree from the basement, glue the sections together so they wouldn’t come apart, drill a hole through the trunk about half way up and suspend it on fishing line a couple of feet off the ground. They always complain about how short it is on the years we use that sorry excuse of a tree.

Ornaments would have to be tied onto the tree so they wouldn’t fall off when the tree was spun in circles.

I was thinking we had a smaller tree in the basement, also, and I made plans to attach that to the top of the other tree for a double tree effect.

So much for 3:33 a.m. thinking. The second, smaller tree doesn’t exist. The spindly thing has a metal column that can’t be glued. And the fishing line would be cut if it went through a metal opening.

In other words, it’s going to take a lot more time that I don’t have. There’s news to write, coaches to call, etc.

I don’t want to use duct tape, but I’m having to rethink this whole thing.

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Everybody knows that we lose enormous amounts of heat via the top of our heads, right? Or is that right?

No, it isn’t, according to a couple researchers from Indiana University. They traced the old 45 percent loss of body heat figure to a U.S. Army field manual written in 1970.

They say some faulty reasoning went into that conclusion. If that old heat-loss statement were true, hatless people would be just as cold as pantless people. That’s something we don’t even want to think about in this weather.

I sleep in a cold bedroom—intentionally—and my head is uncovered at night. I should have doubted the old theory on my own. If my body heat pours out of my head every night, I’d use up enormous amounts of energy just by sleeping.

My head feels just fine in a cold bedroom. I experimented with my foot last night—probably about 3:33. I stuck it out the side of the bed uncovered and it didn’t take long at all for the freeze to move in.

I tried a hand. It took longer, but it wasn’t too long before I wanted it back under the covers. But my head? I don’t want that under the covers. I don’t want ear muffs. It’s just fine the way it is.

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I walked into a place last week in Fayette and someone said, “So you don’t think much of Tom Saylor.”

I was taken aback. I had just met the man the week before and I really liked him. What did people read in my column last week?

After I talked to her about it, I discovered her statement was actually more along the line of, “So you don’t know much about Tom Saylor.”

That’s true, I was out of town for a lot of the Hudson streak. I lost track of Morenci football, not to mention Hudson.

So I really didn’t know anything about Tom, and, as I said, I wasn’t properly impressed when his name came up.

But when Tom and his wife, Colleen, visited the Observer, I really enjoyed the encounter. It should be fun talking with him this fall. I don’t know much about you, Tom, but I’m with you.

When we talked this week, he said he appreciated my perspective on high school football and his coaching, although maybe not as much as his wife enjoyed it.

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“If your feet are cold, put on your hat.”

– Walter Pitkin, Weston, Conn.

Now we’re back to heat loss again. This came from RulesOfThumb.org, a wonderful collection of rules for living that might be good and might be garbage. This one, we know, doesn’t make much sense. Besides, its hard to put your shoe on over the hat.

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Like I said earlier, I’ve got to wrap this up and move on.

I’m still seeing that suspended tree and now I’m visualizing a wreath hung from the bottom. I’ve gotta go.

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