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SUPERPOWERED RELAXATION Why I Turn to Superhero Shows to Unwind
As the owner of a growing
failed to spark my imagination. Everything in Marvel is larger-than-life — the stakes, the personalities, the superpowers, the action — it’s just impossible to resist. As I got older, I started dabbling in a few of the comics. Though I was never a comics expert, I remember my stacks of Thor, Superman, and Batman that I’d tear through whenever I got a chance.
business, I’m a busy guy. Though
I’ve managed to expand my team in recent years and allow myself some
“I NEED THE CLASSIC BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, STORIES OF HEROES THWARTING VILLAINS.”
wiggle room, I’m still dedicated to meeting the needs of all my clients, whatever the
Then, when I started lifting weights in high school, I found a level of strength to aspire to in The Incredible Hulk. It’s hilarious to think about how compelling I found Lou Ferrigno’s rendition of the character, with his spray- painted green hair and prop-fueled, lime-green physique. But especially as a teenager, I related to Bruce Banner and his conflict with his furious green alter ego. I think any teen can probably immediately identify with a grumpy Jekyll figure who’s struggling to get out. Obviously, these superhuman tales are always going to be wildly exaggerated, but in a lot of ways, they comment on society in seriously interesting ways. I say that, but of course, sometimes it just comes down to the kinetic thrill of watching these superpowered figures beat down on each other. Recently, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has been constantly entertaining, along with the incredible fight scenes of Netflix’s “Daredevil,” “Iron Fist,” and “The Defenders.” The other day, I was watching Daredevil sock his way through a group of ninjas when my exasperated wife asked, “Just what is it about these shows that you appreciate?” I told her that sometimes it’s fun to see these embodiments of real-world conflicts duke it out in such a black-and-white fictional world. But it’s also just a blast to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the overblown, whizz-bang action.
circumstance. While I may not be heading out for emergency calls on Saturday nights too often anymore, I’m almost constantly working on Aire Serv in some way or another.
Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love what I do. But even business owners need to unwind after a long day. For some people, true relaxation is catching up on episodes of “Deadliest Catch” or watching baseball. But personally, I need something a bit more fantastical. I need the classic battle between good and evil, stories of heroes thwarting villains. Often, that’s action-packed detective novels, but lately, I’ve been engrossed in a bunch of series that harken back to my youth. Sure, reality TV is bigger than ever, but it just can’t deliver the raw entertainment value of Marvel and DC superhero shows. It must have all started when I was a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons in my pajamas. While there weren’t a ton of superhero shows back then, the few that were popular never
GARDENING: BRINGING FAMILY TOGETHER WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER INVESTING IN A FAMILY GARDEN
DECIDING ON PLANTS When it comes to deciding which plants you want in your garden, there are many variables to consider. Do you want to grow edible plants, ones that have magnificent blossoms, or ones that are easy to care for? Flowers are a good start if you want a plant that grows a little faster; plus, they lend a pop of color to your garden. Growing vegetables is also rewarding, as the kids will take great pleasure in eating what they’ve grown. Other possibilities include sunflowers, blackberries, peas, and lettuce. You might be surprised at how willingly children eat their greens when they’ve had a hand in growing them. Family gardens can bring something new and fresh to your home. So, get outside, enjoy the sun, and discover the joys of plants and gardening.
After spending a winter cooped up inside with your family, there might be a little tension between everyone. Fortunately, it’s spring, and the warm weather, melting snow, and blooming flowers offer a good way to ease restlessness. This season, why not bring your family closer together by starting a family garden? A LEARNING EXPERIENCE Nearly every step in the gardening process can be a learning experience for kids and parents alike. Begin by discussing where you should start and why, what supplies you’ll need, and the types of plants you want to grow. Gardening also offers opportunities to learn about science, ecology, and nutrition. COLLABORATION Gardening gives your family a chance to collaborate. When you’re stuck inside for long periods, you may be spending time together, but it’s usually not quality time. Working in a group to create and maintain a garden is a hands-on experience for everyone. It’s a chance to get the whole family involved with a single project, and you can literally share the fruits of your labor.
SUMMER IS COMING KEEP YOUR COOL WITH REGULAR A/C MAINTENANCE
Is it time for a tuneup? For many of us, our air conditioner has been sitting unused for the past several months. This means that when you turn it on for the first time in spring or summer, it likely won’t run as efficiently as last year. When you turn on your A/C, you expect it to effectively and efficiently deliver clean, cool air. Efficiency is paramount when it comes to your A/C. You don’t want to be stuck with a bigger-than-expected electric bill for the next few months because your A/C isn’t running at peak performance. No A/C unit will be as efficient as it was on the day it was installed or during its first summer. But with annual tuneups and regular maintenance, you can keep it running efficiently while prolonging the life of the system.
working just about as hard as your A/C in the coming months. That’s why it’s so important to schedule maintenance in the spring. Get your A/C ready before the heat arrives and it has to work overtime. You don’t want to turn on your A/C only to discover it isn’t working as expected. There’s nothing cool about a lack of cool air.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do as a homeowner to boost the efficiency of your A/C unit:
• Have an outdoor unit? Clear away vegetation and debris. Give the unit about two feet of clear space. Use a hose to wash away dust, dirt, and other debris from the condenser coils and exterior grilles. • In the home, check registers and grilles for blockages. Check and replace air filters as necessary (once every 2–3 months, or more frequently for homes with occupants with allergies or pets).
When you schedule A/C maintenance in the spring, you save yourself a major hassle later in the season. You can be sure our technicians will be
A HISTORY 5 COOL FACTS ABOUT AIR CONDITIONING
Willis Haviland Carrier is considered the father of modern air conditioning thanks to his inventions, patents, and research. The Carrier Corporation founder developed the first electric A/C unit in 1902. He is credited with the discovery of one of the key principles of cool air: humidity control. Air conditioning was one of the driving forces behind the success of cinemas in the 1920s. At the time, air conditioning hadn’t yet arrived to the home market. It was still an extreme luxury — very expensive and very bulky. Many film historians thank A/C for establishing the summer movie season. When it was hot outside, patrons could see a movie to cool off. In fact, many theaters advertised cool air as part of the moviegoing experience. The first car company to offer air conditioning was Packard in 1939. The option was not popular with consumers. It was bulky, taking up most of the available trunk space, and an expensive feature at $274 ($4,800 today). By
1941, Packard took the option off the market. It wasn’t until the 1950s that A/C returned as an option and more car companies began to offer the luxury. It finally became standard in 1968 when American Motors put it in all of their AMC Ambassadors. In the 1940s, though A/C hadn’t yet taken off in automobiles, it was becoming slightly more common in homes. Window-mounted units were showing up in stores, and while it was still a luxury item, it was quickly becoming more practical — though few families could afford one. The average window-mounted A/C unit cost about $350 ($6,000 today). Jumping ahead several decades to present day, about 87 percent of American households have an air conditioner, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the Northeast, the most common type of A/C is the window or wall unit, while central A/C is more popular in the South and Midwest.
Willis Carrier, inventor of the first A/C unit.
ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH LEMON BREADCRUMBS
HAVE A LAUGH!
Spring is the height of asparagus season. This dish, which features the crunch of breadcrumbs and a refreshing splash of lemon, is the perfect way to highlight the natural flavors of the vegetable without overwhelming them.
• 2 pounds asparagus • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • Kosher salt • Freshly ground pepper
• 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped • 2 teaspoons lemon zest • Juice of one lemon (not packaged lemon juice)
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 425 F. Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20–26 minutes, turning asparagus halfway through. 2. When asparagus is nearly done, heat remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and fold in parsley and lemon zest. 3. Transfer asparagus to serving platter, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with breadcrumb mixture.
Recipe inspired by Food and Wine Magazine
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Jim Serra’s Superhero-Loving Alter Ego INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 Gardening: Bringing Family Together 845-256-6158 | aireserv.com/mid-hudson-valley
Keep Your Cool This Summer
5 Cool Facts About Air Conditioning
Roasted Asparagus With Lemon Bread- crumbs
This Season’s Best Family Activity
SEARCHING FOR SPRING FAMILY SCAVENGER HUNTS MADE EASY
Spring is in bloom, and there’s no better time to get some fresh air. If you are looking for a way to get your family outside and away from their screens, why not plan a spring-themed scavenger hunt? More than just a fun way to spend the afternoon, scavenger hunts build problem-solving skills, encourage teamwork, and get your family to exercise their minds and bodies. Here are some tips on how to plan a memorable family scavenger hunt. PLAY IN TEAMS Your whole family can participate together, but it can also be fun to strike up some friendly competition with teams. Have at least one parent or an older, responsible sibling on each team to make sure everyone stays safe and follows the rules. TAKE PICTURES Since everyone has a camera on their phone, why not use it? By taking pictures, you don’t have to worry about losing anything you find, and your teams can more safely collect certain items. For example, bird feathers are a great item for a spring scavenger hunt, but you don’t want your kids to touch them. Make a rule that a team member must appear in every picture so no one can cheat by finding photos online. CUSTOMIZE YOUR LIST There are plenty of scavenger hunt lists online, but it’s more fun to brainstorm with your family. Have everyone think of three to five spring-related items, like yellow flowers, a kite, or a rabbit- shaped cloud. Do some research into your local flora and fauna. If you put a
bluebird on the list, you might want to make sure there are bluebirds in your area.
DON’T FORGET THE PRIZES! Prizes don’t have to be elaborate to be fun. It can be something simple, like Popsicles or fake medals, or maybe the winning team gets to pick a restaurant for dinner.
Scavenger hunts are one of the best ways to create lasting family memories this spring
without breaking the bank. Just get your
list, gather your family, and have fun. Happy hunting!
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