Neither Hot nor Cold

There comes a time in everyone’s life when technology passes you by. It seems my time has come. I’ve recently described my tempestuous relationship with our microwave (which is no better) and I am constantly struggling with my wifi, iPhone, and all things Bluetooth. My latest brouhaha is with our thermostat – and it isn’t the constant battle for supremacy between husband and wife; I lost that long ago. No, my new thermostat seems to be trying to bring religion along with total home comfort.

At the end of last summer, our upstairs air conditioner stopped working. I called the man who said the AC needed something fairly inexpensive (WIN), but both of our furnaces were in need of replacement (LOSS). Our house is eighteen years old; it is that time when systems fail. So we bit the bullet.

Along with the systems, we got a high-tech thermostat that I named Coolio (Dad joke….) I find it awesome that I can manipulate the temperature of my house with an app on my phone! Sometimes I change it a degree or two just because I can. It makes me feel some measure of control even though I know I have none.


When my oldest came home from school and saw it mounted on the wall she said, “we aren’t nearly cool enough for that!”

“Au contraire, mon ami,” I exclaimed. “It doesn’t take being cool, it just takes a big check.”

Coolio and I have lived in harmony since September. He did a great job through winter of keeping the house warm. The AC man came back out recently  for a spring tune-up and said our main unit was getting close to wearing out. I told him my bank account was to and we agreed on a band-aid for this year.

And then came the season of in-between: when Atlanta’s indecisive weather can be 35 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. Coolio was set on heat AND cool for those days… only it didn’t cool. The poor fan blew and blew but never turned off. The air wasn’t coolio.

Fear crept into my heart Friday. I began to prepare for the phone call that would cost another $5000 and bemoaned all the fun I could have with that money.

On Saturday I decided we were past the need of early morning heat and just switched Coolio to cool. To my amazement, when it signaled the air conditioner… it worked. Cold air blew through the registers. It’s a springtime miracle!

Like any old codger, I began pondering the technological facts – searching for reasons that elude me.

Heat / Cool

Hot / Cold

Hot nor Cold

That’s when it dawned on me: Coolio is quoting scripture. He’s proselytizing me… calling me out.

“So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”    –Revelation 3:16

Now I don’t mind if Coolio is some crazy street-corner prophet. I can ignore that as easy as I do the pearly-toothed televangelist. After all, I barely go down the hall. But what if God is really speaking to me through my thermostat? Is Coolio right? Am I lukewarm???

I mean, God spoke to Balaam through his donkey, why not use a thermostat in today’s day and age?

I don’t know what’s going on here. I’m just glad I don’t have to get a new AC right now. But if Coolio flashes an address for me to send a donation in exchange for healing, I’ll know he’s in cahoots with the televangelists. When that day comes, Coolio will be Gonio.



My Political Machine

The real political landscape has been such a train wreck of late that it is nearly impossible to turn away. My ideal version of politics doesn’t have staunch opinions, sound platforms, or cohesive arguments as much as it has snark and sarcasm. Over the weekend I made a couple of political observations that received some funny feedback:

I saw a news clip where some demented knucklehead was already talking about assassination and I thought, wow… it took me 49 years to notice that the word assassinate has ass in it twice.

Say what you want about the women’s march, their determination is impressive. If men planned a march we would never choose a cold Saturday in January. We would loosely plan a brief, warm-weather protest that didn’t interfere with football, March Madness, or hunting season. Perhaps something of a global toast during a commercial break.

One of my friends suggested I should run for office. I know it was tongue-in-cheek, but that will never happen because it pseudo-happened once before and the results were disastrous.

Thirty years ago – a young buck, arrived in the big city with pristine ideals and a shimmering view of how things should be. Untainted by the sludgy dregs of political gruel, he set out to make his way in the world. Quickly entrenched in party activism, his work ethic, potential, and shockingly white teeth were spotted and he was raised up as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives – or possibly someone with the exact same name as him was, my memory is weak on that point.


And this is just one of a myriad of reasons why I would make a lousy politician – my memory is so bad that I’ve whitewashed it over the years. I am sure I wouldn’t get too far into an election cycle before some dirty little secret from deep in the past would be paraded across the evening news and my handlers would ask, “Is that true?” And there I would be, staring blankly at the screen thinking, “Uh… she looks vaguely familiar.”

But seriously, with everyone holding cameras 24-7, I wonder who will ever be able to run for office again? There is too much film, too many potentially compromising selfies, too many texts for anyone to be clean. Fault and moral weakness can be found in everyone if we dig into their piles of digital information. Then, I remember who just won the highest office in the land…

Strange world we live in.

The truth – a young buck, fresh from college and not concerned about much beyond the weekend in a big city notices that a guy with his exact name was running for congress. He collected his quarters for gas (making sure he didn’t tap into the Friday night fund) and goes down to the party headquarters to volunteer. Signing in as John McClane, he stuffs three envelopes before sneaking out with every yard sign and bumper sticker he can carry, throws them into his jalopy and drives off with the little party manager in his too-short tie chasing after himt

I still remember seeing him in the rearview mirror yelling pitifully, “John? Where are you going, John?”


I put those signs and stickers everywhere and told my family that I was running for office. And here is where I learned I had no future in politics. My grandmother immediately said,

“I wouldn’t vote for you. You are way too young and you’ve already made too many dubious choices.”

And there you have it. If you can’t get your grandmother to vote for you, you should never run!


(Bonus points if you recognized my assumed name)

Photo Credit: JD Hancock