It appears to me that many offices, stores, banks and other places of business are uncomfortably warm this winter. Several government buildings seem especially overheated.
I have been tempted to write about this, but up until now have remained silent out of deference to the frigid wife who has been my joint tenant for so many years. I keep turning the thermostate and she keeps turning it back up with the comment, "It's freezing in this house. It may seem warm to you because you have high blood pressure, but I'm turning blue."
I am finally emboldened to speak out today because I have a letter from Robert F. Kinter of Hyattsville, who shares my view that many public and private buildings are overheated and that temperature controls in general are not very good.
In the summer, air-conditioning systems run full blast while people don sweaters and open windows in an attempt to avoid pneumonia. In the winter, windows are opened to dissipate excessive heat.
In short, although we pride ourselves on the technological excellence that put our scientists on the moon and then brought them safely home, we endure surprisingly imprecise and unsatisfactory heating and cooling controls. We waste expensive energy to make ourselves uncomfortable.
To be fair, we must take note of some factors that make it impossible for even the best of heating and cooling controls to please everybody.
Different people are comfortable at different temperatures.
When a person wearing an overcoat comes into a store and is greeted by a clerk who is not wearing an overcoat, it is not easy to find a temperature that will suit both.
It is necessary for people to enter and leave homes and other buildings. Each time a door to the outside is opened, temperature control becomes more difficult.
Anybody who has been assigned a table near the front door of a restaurant on a cold night understands why people in one part of a room may be comfortable while those in another part are not.
Strange as it seems, the most difficult time for building engineers is usually during unseasonably mild weather, such as a February day on which the thermometer gets up into the 60s or an August afternoon when it never gets above 75. For some reason, modern heating and cooling systems (and building engineers) cannot cope with this problem, and the more they try to explain why they can't, the less sense their explanations make to me.
It just pains me to see windows opened to counteract the effect of dollar bills that are being burned up to create heating or cooling. Is it any wonder I have high blood pressure? BATTLING BUCHANAN
Mention of hypertension brings to mind broadcaster Pat Buchanan, a world-class arguer. Pat was so tightly wound up when he was born that he'll probably run another 120 years before he begins to slow down.
Buchanan is quick-witted, intelligent, knowledgeable, a skillful debater and often logical. His bulldog tenacity in attacking opponents is admired by some in his audience but disliked by others. There is greater unanimity of opinion about his habit of interrupting other panelists in mid-syllable. This is rather generally thought to be unfair and ill-mannered.
A couple of weeks ago, Buchanan tangled with the Rev. Robert F. Drinan, the former Massachusetts congressman, on the After Hours program on Channel 9. Time after timel, Buchanan asked questions of Father Drinan and then interrupted as Drinan attempted to answer.
Eventually, even a philosophical priest can lose patience. After extreme provocation, Drinan snapped, "Do you ever permit anybody to finish a sentence?" And with hardly a millisecond of delay, Buchanan shot back, "Yes, You just finished one."
The debating point went to Buchanan, as usual. But if ballots had been distributed among the audience, I'm sure Drinan would have gotten the votes.
It's hard to love a motormouth. PUN FUN
Danny Klayman is intrigued by the story about the pretty lady who takes off her clothes for Playboy photographers when she isn't busy sharing a house with congressmen she wants to lobby on a crop insurance bill. Danny wonders whether crop insurance covers wild oats.