This is going to be a brief post dealing with an issue that I have a feeling is only going to get worse. Yes, it will only get worse as we continue our road-trip deep into Florida. I’m talking about humidity. Remember last summer when you were sitting on your patio sipping a Bud Lite from a frozen pint glass? You’re proud of this pint glass because you got it as a souvenir at the new craft beer pub that just opened it’s doors in May. Remember how the glass got really wet before you were half-way through? Someone probably said the glass was “sweating”. Well, we all know that glass doesn’t sweat. Overweight guys who mow lawns in August in Kansas or Ohio, sweat. Rock stars sweat. All the Congressmen awaiting subpoenas, sweat. It’s the condensation that makes the drops run down your souvenir pint.
A little background at this time is probably necessary. If you hated science in school or forgot the science you did learn, or you simply don’t trust or believe in science at all (in that case, you’re probably a climate change denier), then I need to say a word or two about this thing called humidity. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Sometimes it’s confused with Relative Humidity. This is expressed, on the 6 O’clock Action News, as a percent (%). This is the amount of water vapor the air can hold at any given temperature. If its 75% R.H., then the air is holding 75% of what it is capable of holding (at a given temperature).
It’s important to remember this: Cold air can’t hold as much water vapor as warm air. So when the moisture-laden air meets the chilly souvenir pint glass, it condenses–forming water drops.
It simply isn’t sweat. Sweat is another problem altogether.
I went to college in Louisiana, so I know humidity when I feel it. When I stepped out of an air-conditioned classroom, I felt like I was wrapping myself in a wet towel–a very warm wet towel.
How a large percentage of the human population life and work, and even survive at latitudes about 25 degrees north or south of the equator (at low elevations) is something I’ve never fully grasped. I have a much easier time accepting that aliens produced crop circles. If Elvis is indeed still alive, I think he’d been living in Bangor, Maine.
I’m back in the South. And, I’m having my first issues with the high humidity levels of southeast Georgia. It’s late October, so I can’t really wrap my head around what the summer must be like.
I’m sitting at a picnic table at an RV park outside of Brunswick. The table feels damp. The bench I’m sitting on feels damp. My bottom feels damp (even though I’m sitting on the Business Section of the New York Times from October 23. It’s sixteen pages of stock and bond reports. I doubled it over and it’s now thirty-two pages. My bottom still feels damp. I have that feeling you get when you sit in an Irish peat bog for two days in the rain. The keys of this laptop are damp and my fingers keep sliding off causing numerous tpyos. As you can see from the opening photo, my iPhone is covered in dew–and it’s not even morning. This presents a unique problem. If I wipe the ‘dew’ from the screen of my iPhone, it swishes away app or picture I happen to be looking at. I feel as though if I stand still long enough, lichen and moss will begin to grow on my ankles. A fern from the crook of my elbow will be next.
If I was back home at Rainbow Lake, NY, I could huff my breath against a window and draw a face or a heart. Here, I can draw anything on nearly any surface that water vapor can condense on. I’m thinking hard about where there may not be a film of moisture. Probably the inside of our micro-wave oven.
I bought a temperature/humidity unit at Radio Shack (before they went belly up). It had a nice big digital display for me to see without reading glasses. There is even a horizontal bar that shows a few black lines on a continuum from DRY to VERY HUMID. The black bars have lived in the VERY BAD end (the right side) for several days.
The biggest insult of all? I have to wipe the glass cover to read what the temperature and humidity is at the present time.
On an even more personal note: I always carry around a small notebook (I prefer Moleskin brand) to jot down ideas for blogs or plot lines for any future novels. The problem is that the pages of my note books are limp like kelp leaves. Or to be more honestly descriptive, damp toilet paper. Did you ever accidentally drop a roll of Charmin into a full bath tub? If you ever did this, I can tell you that you can do nothing, ever, to make that toilet paper even come close to being dry again.
The image of a soaking wet roll of toilet paper is a fitting way to end this blog.
Lastly, if we ever get out to the Mojave Desert or Death Valley in early March, I’m going to have a real problem with how dry my hands get.
I hate dry hands.