You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill -- a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long [emphasis mine -- RF]. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates . . . A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer -- a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into your house, saving energy on air conditioning.

Well, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of last month's DTE bill of $200, I've been keeping the heat at 60, and have even built up my tolerance to as low as 58. But this makes a lot of sense, too. Maybe I should turn it down when I'm sleeping?

How did I not think of this? What other completely obvious things do I not yet know?

It'll be better when the university is open again. I'll be able to minimize the amount of time I spent at home by studying at the library (where I'm able to focus better - with ear plugs - on purely reading-based tasks, anyway).

I need to remember to buy a pair of flip-flops sometime so I can use the shower at the gym instead of traipsing back and forth each time I work out. I've been meaning to do that for, um, a few months now.

I was sitting in bed, wrapped up in covers and reading relational psychoanalytic thought, and had the image of an old cartoon of a "Starving Artist", burning somewhat-important accouterments of his trade to keep warm. It made me smile, acknowledge that this experience isn't quite what I envisioned (how could I have anticipated the fucking house would be frigid? I watched them install brand new, double-pane windows), I am grateful, and I'd rather be poor because I only work very part-time and have almost-complete autonomy on how I structure my time between academic, professional, and personal interests than be more materially comfortable but so busy working to pay for all of it that I'd never be home to enjoy it anyway.

The mutterings of a man wearing two pairs of underwear, basketball shorts, and sweatpants, and a stylish scarf over two hoodies.

One of my neighbors had her car repossessed today. It was quite an event, spanning about an hour, and the one time I looked out the window (after laying in bed, listening to it), she was clutching a large rock in one hand, while the other was busy engaging in menacing finger-wagging up toward the driver of the tow truck. As she repeatedly insisted, "I gave you $60!". Apparently the car was, uh, more expensive than that?

Oh, Highland Park: you are my home, and even though I may not look it, I belong.


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