Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Relative Humidity

For maximum comfort, the humidity level in your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. For Christmas, we were given a digital thermometer/hygrometer. We found out that the humidity on the main floor of our house measures 20 percent.

I didn't think that number was too awful bad. Until I read in the manual that the lowest number the hygrometer can show is 20. The actual humidity could very well be 19 percent. Or 3 percent.

Appropriately, we were also given a humidifier for Christmas. It now sits in the bedroom. We have it cranked up to combat the dryness.

At the same time, our basement is cold and, well, very basement-like. There is a dehumidifier down there. We have it cranked up to combat the dampness.

Yes, you heard correctly. We are now using electricity to add moisture into the air upstairs while we remove it from the air downstairs.

Sometimes I take the water from the dehumidifier tank and put it directly into the humidifier tank. It's like we have our own ecosystem going on. Guided by a hygrometer. Measured in kilowatt-hours.

Friday, January 6, 2006

The Fruit Of Commitment

It's that time of year again! Clementine season.

What did you think I was talking about?

The clementine is an interesting fruit. It is actually a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin that is imported from Spain, Morocco or North Africa. So it has a little bit of a world diversity/Benetton thing going on.

The most obvious oddity about the clementine is that you can't buy just one of them. Clementines are only sold by the crate. There are like 30 of them in there. Why do I have to purchase an entire tree full of fruit at one time?

They aren't that much smaller than regular oranges. But they are much, much bigger than grapes (the only other mainstream fruit that must be bought in bulk). They are clementines. You'd better really want a whole bunch of them. Stay away if you are unsure. They are the fruit of commitment.

Once you get them home you are completely focused on that crate. All other fruit is forgotten about, as you realize that you must consume 2 or 3 clementines every day for the next few weeks. Just so you know what you're getting into.

And don't get me started about that plastic orange netting that they put over the top. It is magical. Every single clementine looks perfect through that net, so it is hard to pick out a good crate. They could probably hide a lime in there and you would have no idea until you got home.

All this being said, clementines do have an upside. They have a sweet citrus taste, are easy to peel and have very few or no seeds. Plus there's that song...

Now that I think about it, I should start giving out clementines as wedding gifts. They're unique. They're fun. They could last throughout the entire honeymoon. Newlyweds need something to put in all those glass bowls...

What? I think it's a good idea. There is a matrimonial tie-in...

They are the fruit of commitment.

I had to buy a whole stinkin' crate of them.