Thursday, November 26, 2009

Way up high

Some years back I was enthralled by Henry S.F. Cooper's book A House in Space, published in 1976, about life for three successive crews aboard the early-1970s U.S. space station Skylab. Only later did I realize the book first appeared as two installments in Cooper's long, wonderful series of articles about space in The New Yorker, and only later still -- last week, actually -- did I look up the articles in the Complete New Yorker DVD set and revisit this marvelous work of science journalism, the finest piece of writing on space exploration I've read.

I'm fascinated by those cranky astronauts, their impatience with the color of the clothes NASA designed for them, their delight at floating about in the roomy interior of the station, and especially their awe at the planet Earth as they gazed at it through the observation window.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beep beep

Ereck and I differ on how best to enter the parking lot at Metcalfe's Sentry. Now that we've lived in the neighborhood a while, and visited the supermarket many times, I've concluded that it's almost always best to enter from the rear entrance at Segoe. Less congestion. But Ereck is loyal to the Midvale entrance. We may never agree. And that's okay.

Spotted in the prepared foods last night at Metcalfe's Sentry: Cranberry fluff.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Scarce resource

A couple of weeks ago, the hot water ran out.

From our taps came only warm water, and not enough of it. The water heater was on the fritz. It wasn't an utter crisis, because we did have warm water enough to bathe and shave and so forth. But we had to manage our water, and I kept thinking of that "Seinfeld" episode in which everyone is unhappy because the landlord installed low-flow showerheads. Vigorous hot showers are one of civilization's triumphs. For a sad two weeks, we might as well have been washing in a creek.

But as of yesterday, thanks to a landlordly intervention, we have a new water heater, complete with oceans of scalding water. Now excuse me while I take a four-hour shower.