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December 2, 2008 Dampening of the spirits (and garments)

It’s bitterly cold today, and I’ve spent most of the day under my feather comforter, huddled next to my laptop.

Unexpected side-effect of bone-dry 20-s and 30-s indoor temperatures: My pesky habit of breathing in and out all day long means that I’m releasing quite a lot of moisture into the air. There are big puffy clouds of breath in front of me more or less continually. When I get the blanket-huddling angle wrong, as I tuck my nose under the covers, I end up fogging up my glasses.

But that’s not the only thing fogging up.

My clothes are cold enough – near freezing – that the moisture from my breath is condensing on them. This means that not only are they painfully cold to put on, they’re actually damp. They’ve felt damp for a couple weeks, but I’ve been assuming that it was an artifact of how cold they are, that my skin is just misinterpreting the coldness as moisture (since damp clothes dependably pull the heat from your body, just as these cold clothes do). But when I huddled in front of the heater, I realized that my clothes had started *steaming*. At first I thought that they were smoking, because they were catching on fire from the butagaz flames, but no. The condensed droplets are steaming off.

I’m not really sure how I feel about that. I’m liking my decision to keep the next day’s clothes under the covers (an old trick from camping trips) but I’m a little alarmed, nonetheless. It’s barely December, with the three coldest months of winter still in front of me, and it’s already sub-freezing in my house.

{{deep breath}} Okey-dokey…

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