Friday, July 09, 2010

Local Warming (Rewind)

Our air conditioner is fixed after almost a week without. A switch failed, that’s all [only $200 and it’s going on our gas bill since D’Wife called the utility company, instead of the H/C guy we used a couple weeks ago]. Thank goodness the whole condenser coil didn’t need to be replaced, as the first guy feared might happen

So, how did we survive a week which saw a Heat Index here in Atco, NJ of 107° at noon Tuesday??? [Baker, CA (in Death Valley, USA) was only 106°; Winslow, AZ had a Heat Index of merely 100°]

Hot weather + A/C-less houses don’t bother me; I tolerate heat well. One of the benefits of being a small, hairless mammal, I s’pose.

Plus, I had a bit of insight on how to help D’Family deal with it that I learned from my kid-hood.

[Please forgive the following bit of self-plagiarism]

We never had A/C when I was a kid … neither in Connecticut, nor when we first moved to New Jersey. We had an “open the front screen door, open the back screen door, open all the windows, and hope for the best” summer cooling policy. There was one big grey metal window fan we brought South with us; along with its air circulation responsibilities, it also served as a “how far will you put your finger through the hole in the screen?” benchmark.

Put your stuff away, make your bed first thing in the morning, keep the dishes out of the sink, and clean the countertops, Mom said, and we’d have comfortable summer.

She added an important corollary: “A tidy house is a cool house”

Sure; that makes sense. Who needs a lot of clutter when you’re hanging out with your friends? We should keep everything [snacks, sodas and juices] available and within easy reach.

Then, Mom took it a step further, in her own nutty-as-squirrel-shit way, to explain the thermodynamics behind the wisdom of keeping a clean house, especially during the Summer.

“Heat” she revealed to us, “Is reflective. It bounces off flat surfaces. This is okay, when you have one big flat plane, like at the beach. It comes down from the sun in a straight line and Bang-zoom! it bounces right away. Further inland, when you have clouds or haze, it bounces back again, which sucks. But, when you’re inside, and you have GI Joes and Hot Wheels and model airplane parts and books and crap all lying around, that is quite a collection of tiny flat surfaces. The Heat can bing and bang around all day, rattling around in little nooks and crannies, trying and failing to escape, thus warming up the whole damn house.”

Substitute the word “heat” for “radar” and it sounds like my Mom discovered the nugget behind Stealth technology, i.e., y’all should minimize reflective surfaces.

However, the drive to put things away, as tidily as possible; referencing and cross-referencing (on note cards or just committing to memory), must certainly been a contributing factor to kick-start my OCD.

That’s partly sensible


Oh yeah ... The beer[s] of choice during this unfortunate episode? Victory Whirlwind Wit; Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen and Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat

Could this be the line-up for the next Lawnmower Beer Championship 3-Way Dance???

Stay tuned ...

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