Friday, August 04, 2006

Hot off the presses

'Til it's gone, we don't know what we've got,
Nor pay notice 'til something is not;
But you might be surprised
That I just realized
That, for days, it's been gawdawful hot!

This is a total fabrication, of course. Not that it's been hot but that I just noticed. In fact, I have been following the study increase (with only a couple days reprieve) of above normal temperatures in Cleveland for the past three weeks like Philip Marlowe on the trail of a murderous heiress. I just didn't think it was worth mentioning until there was a break in the case, so to speak.

So now that I spent half of last Sunday, one of the hottest so far, installing a window air conditioner in the bedroom that serves as an office; we are finally getting some relief. We have been able to survive the Cleveland summers with the help of ceiling fans for years, enduring the odd, exceptionally hot, day here and there. I finally broke down and bought a bedroom air conditioner a few years ago after a sleepless week brought on by a heat wave. And that seemed to do the trick until mid July of this year.

Now after a couple weeks of really uncomfortable weather and Rene trying to write her book and me hoping to attain a modicum of tranquility by organizing the office, we were faced with the question of how to create a workspace livable for someone other than the firemen in the Titantic's engine room. Whole house AC is out because we have steam heat and a retrofit would be far too expensive. On the other hand, a second window unit raised worries about tripping breakers in a house with wiring that Edison would have found antiquated. Never the less we opted to take the chance, figuring we could always alternate operation of the ACs since work and sleep hours don't overlap.

I found a bargain on a nice unit small enough to be easy on the amps, though it took considerable tinkering to get the right fit in our windows. By late afternoon, with sweat burning my eyes, I was able to tap the remote until a lovely glowing red 75 appeared on the digital display and cool air gushed forth from the cheap plastic grate. Within hours, the formidable "88" on the display had sunk all the way down to a tolerable "82," so baked in was the heat to walls and ceiling.

Now, 5 days later, I sit in the comfort of a still cluttered but much cooler office awaiting tomorrow's break in temperature but confident in my ability to thwart the heat demons at the touch of a button should they return. I am only troubled by the worry that now that I am able to go from "temperature controlled" house to car to work to car to house to car, etcetera, etcetera; my brief encounters with the typical Cleveland summer environment will become more intolerable and I shall hardly ever want to breathe what passes for fresh air here again. Well, at least I may finally organize the office.

Weather Cooling, But More Rain on Way
WCPN, 8/3/06

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