Mark Twain provides a disclaimer in the introduction to “The American Claimant”
No weather will be found in this book. This is an attempt to pull a book through without weather. It being the first attempt of the kind in fictitious literature, it may prove a failure, but it seemed worth the while of some dare-devil person to try it, and the author was in just the mood.
Many a reader who wanted to read a tale through was not able to do it because of delays on account of the weather. Nothing breaks up an author’s progress like having to stop every few pages to fuss-up the weather. Thus it is plain that persistent intrusions of weather are bad for both reader and author.
Of course weather is necessary to a narrative of human experience. That is conceded. But it ought to be put where it will not be in the way; where it will not interrupt the flow of the narrative. And it ought to be the ablest weather that can be had, not ignorant, poor-quality, amateur weather. Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article of it. The present author can do only a few trifling ordinary kinds of weather, and he cannot do those very good. So it has seemed wisest to borrow such weather as is necessary for the book from qualified and recognized experts-giving credit, of course. This weather will be found over in the back part of the book, out of the way. See Appendix. The reader is requested to turn over and help himself from time to time as he goes along.
I, on other hands, will get right to the weather. It is a damn sight too hot here. They plan for tomorrow to be worse. On Sunday I had to sit in the 95F degree sun for a few hours in celebration of one of my off spring’s graduation. The heat was compounded by numerous cliche sightings: “the best years of your life”, “life’s journey”, and uncountable mentions of dreams, and potential.
The police department provided an honor guard at one point in full dress dark heavy uniforms. This got me wondering if they have those magical cooling vests used by athletic mascots. I like the idea of extremely local heating/cooling; and I got to wondering if they make an analogous vest for motorcycle riders based on the principle of a swamp cooler. This is a step in that direction. We had brought along some blocks of ices, frozen into 2 litter bottles, which we kept on our laps. It’s amazing how much you can cool the body if you can get your hands cold.
This morning my laptop decided it was hot and it disabled one of the processors. I have this cute little MacBook Air now, and it transmits more heat to front of than the old machine. So I broke out the ice pack. I love this trick. I keep these ice packs in the freezer, and when the machine get too hot, or the fan starts to bug me, I slip one under the machine. The best part, I discover, that with this new machine the chill runs thru the machine and keeps my hand cooled. That’s great.
Oh, and note that this trick demands a lap desk. We have two schemes. One is to make the lap desk out of foam core board. The other is to use this amazing stiff 1 inch think corrugated cardboard I picked out of a dumpster at MIT.