On Typing with Gloves, Fact-checking Before Blogging, and Other Complexities of Modern Life

Michael Giberson

I tried typing with gloves on, but it didn’t turn out so well. (Can you read this: “Tgjhkis a tewaest rfp0 k,u tuju[o9jme woytuj gp0v4es pjm.” Me neither.)

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman is urging consumers to be more “energy conscious” and called for greater conservation and energy efficiency. I forgot to turn the heat up this morning and my fingers were beginning to feel the effects of last night’s energy consciousness, hence the glove experiment. Until I get a gloves better suited to typing, however, I’ll just have to remember to crank up the heat.

I was getting my fingers warmed up to complain about something Bodman said in a speech in Washington on Thursday. According to a Dow Jones Newswire story:

“The damage that was inflicted on our oil and gas production by the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico … have certainly increased the public’s awareness of energy issues,” Bodman told the group. “Now we must do an even better job of heightening this awareness to make America’s energy consumers smarter, more conscientious, and more efficient.”

That struck me as not quite on target. Contrary to our esteemed Secretary of Energy, I would suggest that it wasn’t the damage, per se, but plain old higher energy prices that increased public awareness of energy issues. However, when I found the full text of the speech on the Department of Energy website, it turned out that the ellipsis concealed a relevant addition. Here is the full paragraph from the speech:

The damage that was inflicted on our oil and gas production by the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico–and the high prices exacerbated by intense global energy demand–have certainly increased the public’s awareness of energy issues. Now we must do an even better job of heightening this awareness to make America’s energy consumers smarter, more conscientious, and more efficient.

This is awful, of course, because it means that checking original sources is actually useful. As a fairly standard blogger – well I am out of my pajamas already this morning, but aside from mode of dress – I prefer to bloviate untaxed by traditional journalistic norms and old fashion practices like fact checking. I promise that I only went to the Department of Energy website because I couldn’t find a public, non-subscription version of the Dow Jones story. I wasn’t trying to check my facts, honest.

So anyway, I had this rant about the relative value of prices and politicians with respect to getting the public to economize on energy, but I’ll have to find another hook to hang it on. Meanwhile, my fingers are getting cold, so thjhat iow all I jhave top sqayu on thje tyoppioc.


8 thoughts on “On Typing with Gloves, Fact-checking Before Blogging, and Other Complexities of Modern Life

  1. Mike,

    Try snug fitting silk glove liners (Wintersilks), rather than your ski gloves, which are probably a bit of overkill anyway.

    You don’t mention the “frigid” temperature you are dealing with this morning, so I don’t know whether to really be concerned or not. However, an investment of less than $100 in an electronic thermostat with automatic setback would avoid a repeat of “fat finger” syndrome. The installation instructions are sufficiently straightforward that they should be able to be successfully followed by a PhD economist / energy blogger. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Savings are approximately 1% per degree setback per 8 hour period. They may well be somewhat higher in the metropolitan “District of Comedy”.

  2. Just go to the grocery store and pick up a $1.39 pair of jersey work gloves and cut the tips off the fingers. Probably you can leave the tips on the thumbs, since you are only going to use the space bar with them.

  3. Mike,

    I second Ed’s suggestion of an automatic thermostat. I purchased and installed one for $60 recently, and I’ve calculated the savings at about $14/mo for the winter months. Those savings would be greater if the house were empty during the day, because the thermostat could then be set to let the temperature fall during that period as well as at night. Even so, $14/mo savings from the thermostat (plus additional savings from improved insulation) has gone a long way to ease the impact of rising natural gas costs, at least in my household.

  4. Mike,

    I can sympathize; we keep our house at 65 degrees when we’re home, and my office is in the attic, so I have to run one of those oil heaters in addition.

    Tell me your glove size and I’ll knit you a pair of fingerless gloves!

  5. Lynne,

    Please tell me that you have a CO monitor in your office. No unvented space heater should ever be operated without a CO monitor in the conditioned space.

  6. I’ve been adding insulation to my windows.  They are so good, my place remains nearly 30° F above the ambient with the heat off (there is a heated space downstairs).  I still have to boost the heat for my fingers’ sake and to have nice showers, but an hour a day is mighty cheap.

    On top of that, you can’t even see my additions from outside.

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