Friday, December 28, 2018

Hot Tea For Sick Papa

Greetings, Internet Friends and Family!

It's that most wonderful time of the year, when we are cooped up with people bringing us gifts, food, and whatever virus they have encountered in the last week or so. 14-year-old Kenneth woke up on Christmas morning with a fever of 102.1, and Papa had it by the next day.

A cold is a virus, and unless you took action before you knew you needed to, there's nothing to do for it but treat the symptoms and wait it out, and try not to infect other people. My gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, has returned to the work place to see if she can spread a little disease there. That's mostly because she has this unbending streak of job loyalty, which won't allow her to take time off.

Not me, though. I did ALMOST go out yesterday to get some things I need, but then ran out of time and energy, and just started another pot of jasmine rice, and took a nap.

Best thing for the sore throat: hot tea. Good stuff to put in it: Lemon. Honey. Whatever. Ginger. It's mostly gonna help by keeping your throat warm and wet.

Now, STARTING OUT with hot tea is never a problem. Everyone knows how to do that. But, I like to drink out of my Papa mug, and it holds A LOT of liquid. And I found myself having to visit the microwave multiple times to reheat the stuff.

Kenneth suggested an insulated cup. Yes that's a good idea, except I don't have one and I don't want to go out and get one. Besides that, it's not my Papa cup.

Many, many moons ago, my coworker/trainer gave me a cute , dainty handmade coffee cup with  a matching lid, which she said would keep my coffee warm. Yeah, that MIGHT work...if I knew where it was and could tolerate having the frilly item in my man cave.

I could do like Steve McQueen does in "Bullitt" and use an immersion heater. Another cord would NEVER present a problem, particularly when attached to a hot piece of, no.

But then I remembered a trick learned in 1972 from a congenial Army mess sergeant: if you want hot coffee, you gotta warm the cup first. A few years later, I took a physics class, and got the basic theory down, and he was right. You can't GET hot coffee if you pour it into a room temperature cup; it's a matter of heat transfer to reach equilibrium.

I expanded that idea today, and realized what I needed: additional hot mass in my cup. Something dense, to act as a heat storage device, like the reverse of the heat sink you use when soldering electrical components.

I may have mentioned that I reload for my firearms. I have LOTS of metal on hand! However, I decided some time ago not to consume lead, put it in my mouth, or make eating utensils out of it or get shot by it. So, the bullets were a no-go.

The solution came when I found decorative rocks: dense, clean, and with life-affirming messages written on them that don't come off in hot liquids. I even used math to figure out some things, but that may bore you, so I'll leave most of that out.

My hot tea life-affirming rocks

I will say that the two rocks, "Courage" and "Persevere," weighed a total of 7.0 ounces, while only displacing 1.8 ounces of fluid.

And, it worked. My cup of lemons, honey, and whatever else I added, stayed hot enough to be a comfortable drink for quite a bit longer than it would otherwise.

This life hack has been brought to you by the Papa Pat and the rest of the Chattahoochee Pattersons, wishing you courage, the ability to persevere, and excellent health.

Peace be on your household.

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