Archive for April, 2011

It Burns…
19 April, 2011

Not even in the wildest flights of fancy have I ever been cool. Yet some might have thought I was attempting such because starting in college I wore sunglasses constantly. Until then I had been sent to private schools with strict dress codes prohibiting such obvious tools of devil worship as sunglasses. So the first time I had the option of choosing my own accessories, on went the shades.

Rather than trying to be cool, I was protecting my eyes from the painfully bright sunlight. I had always assumed that my aversion to direct sunlight was a side-effect of my genetic heritage. Certainly my delightfully fair skin demanded caution with respect to exposure to the sun. It took me decades to realize that most other people did not experience the same discomfort that I do.

I discovered that I am a highly sensitive person. As such I am more sensitive to bright lights and loud noises. When I was a young child my family took me to Farrell’s for my birthday. I have always loved burgers, fries, and ice cream, so it seemed like a no-brainer. However, Farrell’s had a birthday tradition of sounding a fire engine siren and banging drums and cymbals whilst employees ran through the restaurant with a stretcher bearing ice cream. It startled me (and probably reminded me of the crash that took my dad, too) and I began bawling.

I keep the overhead fluorescent lights turned off in my office. The light coming from the office across the hall, the blue incandescent light bulb in my desk lamp, and my monitors is plenty of light for coding. If I am reading something or having a meeting, I will turn on the overhead lights. Otherwise I keep them dark because it is easier on my eyes. I still get unsolicited opinions on the lighting in my office. But my low-light vision is plenty good enough and it makes me more comfortable.

My spouse and kids are very accommodating of my photic needs. I just wish the rest of the world was, too.

Schweddy Balls
13 April, 2011

Wednesdays make for a sweaty ride to work since I do my treadmill, endurance training on those days. I get in the car between forty-five and sixty minutes after I finish on the treadmill and I am still sweating. I know not how much those internal thermometers that one swallows cost but I am curious what my internal temperature is then. On cold mornings my body heat will fog up the driver’s window and the driver’s side of the windscreen. I am probably the only person driving with the windows down when it is 45° F. Well, except perhaps for the smokers…

As far as I can deduce, my high running temperature comes from three factors: 1) a surface-area-to-volume ratio beneficial to heat retention; B) lots of muscle mass that produces heat; and III) a genetic predisposition. Both sides of my family tree hail from the Isles. It is more of an effect than a cause, but copious sweating is also common to both sides of the sweaty tree.

I have the register in my office fully open to maintain a comfortable temperature. Many people offer unsolicited comments on the temperature of my office. The only time I can remember feeling uncontrollably cold was one evening when I was ill. (I assume with the flu.) Even with below-freezing temperatures, I may feel cold in my extremities and exposed areas but not unduly so. My rule of thumb is whatever another person experiences at a given temperature is what I would experience at 15° or 20° F less.

My spouse and kids are very accommodating of my thermal needs. I just wish the rest of the world was, too.