Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
  Using my brain for something besides a paperweight

For valentines day my wife got me a large bar of chocolate. Not one of those ones you see on the grocery store shelf, but a five pound slab. Besides taking up a rather large space on my desk, it was also upwards of half an inch thick, which made breaking it into smaller pieces a little troublesome.

Around here in February (which is when valentines day is–remember that guys) its very cold. Outside is cold, inside is cold, and down in the basement where I work (and where the chocolate bar ended up), its is cold. It gets a little warmer in the summer (like 66°F instead of 58°) but by in large no matter what time of the year it is, its basically cold down here.

Unfortunately, Chocolate has about the same consistency as sheetrock at these temperatures, so I was producing a large mess in my attempts to break up the giant bar. One effect this had was to slow down my consumption of said candy, to the point that there was still at least two pounds left this week when I finally had a breakthrough.

I hadn't really been trying to come up with a solution to the problem, except that recently I had been trying to limit my intake of carbonation and so I was looking for alternative sources of caffeine. And chocolate is a great source of caffeine. So I was staring at the thing, and enjoying a small updraft of warm air from my portable oil-filled radiator, when my brain connected the dots and wah-lah.

I guess all those times of putting chocolate in my pockets as a kid finally paid off, as my brain realized that if I set the bar on top of the radiator, it would get warm and soft. Of course if you leave it on a hot radiator too long, you'll have a goopy mess, but as I was sitting right next to my experiment, I could keep an eye on it. After about two hours, it looked ready, so I took out my knife and sliced it up into little bits as easy as cake.

Mission accomplished. Now I just have to avoid eating it all in one sitting.

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