Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to create a mcro-climate before breakfast

Contrary to what one might think, I have not developed any kind of physiological resistance to cold, nor do I enjoy freezing at all. But still, lighting up the wood stove makes little sense if I arrive at the cabin at night and leave early in the morning.

Sleep and exercise are both activities that go well with low temperatures. Eating breakfast, however, does not. Above is a low-tech solution, inspired by Japanese inventions like the kotatsu and hibachi, both based on the idea of heating the body instead of the room. I simply put an Aladdin lamp beneath what I rather grandly might call my dining table, and as the heat rises it drifts past me. This works best with a tablecloth, but that increases the danger of something catching fire. Hanging on the wall, the lamp would only heat up the ceiling in the short time I spend eating breakfast.

Felis, The Evil Cat, approves.

Obviously, I also dress in layer after layer of wool. The indoor temperature today was below freezing, after all. Outdoors clothes are incredibly uncomfortable in these situations. Soft, loose garments feel nicer. Belts or elastic bands that cut off the circulation of air between the lower and upper parts of the body are best avoided.


Oldfool said...

Many years ago I used a Japanese made kerosene heater that used a wick. It was nothing more than a giant kerosene lantern. It gave a lot of warm light. I think it was about 5000btu. I manage to get a bad can of kerosene and that killed the wick.I trashed it about 5 years ago as a rusted hulk.
I like your method. Our weather is moderate now but when it is what I call severe (you would laugh at such a candy ass) I do exactly that. Warm the body not the room.

Terria Fleming said...

Very ingenious! I like this idea.

Diane-Sage said...

So true about the kotatsu. Most of my Japanese friends had one in their main living spaces. Works very well.
My kitchen in Japan was so small it was easy to heat while cooking breakfast. That was the place to dress too before we left for the day.

C.S. said...

Only been reading your blog a few weeks, really enjoy it. First time I've seen a photo of Felis, a gorgeous creature!

Northmark said...

Felis could be a model. And she acts like one too.

Strangely, it is hard not to love her. The reasons for this are entirely human in origin, rather than feline.

analogmanca said...

I do much the same.I took a large stainless steel dog dish.Drilled a 2 inch hole through one side,cut open the opposite side,then set the aladdin inside, and used expanding foam to fit it tight, and make a base.Now I have a lamp that reflects heat out 3 to 4 feet,and reflects all the light out in one direction.I cant use kerosene as the stuff has way too much sulfur (burns my eyes).I use low odor paint thinner.It burns so much cleaner, and I have not needed to trim my wicks since I switched.