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A Hot Time In the Old Town

I live in Dallas, Texas. It gets hot here in Summer. Not Nevada-hot but Nevada doesn't get North Texas-humid, either. There's a difference. Why it gets so humid here is anyone's guess.

Anyway, one summer, about ten years ago, I wondered how North Texans in the mid-1950s survived triple-digit temps sans air-conditioning, so I gave it a try. (Incidentally, I work out of my home so there's no 78-degree office escape.)

To be honest, a whole summer without the magic of AC was no big, hairy deal save for the unpleasant torrent of hot air which billowed from the back of my Mac Pro, raising the temps in my work room at least five degrees higher than any other room in the hacienda. It seems there's a YUUUUGE difference between 89 and 94 degree.

After the experiment was over I discovered that I could easily do without AC again if I had to but, you know, why suffer? Even though jumping into bed after a cold, refreshing shower underneath the friendly hum of the ceiling fan almost made a day of pouring sweat all worth it.

Since then, though, I've made it into a game: How far into summer can I wait before turning on the AC? (For reference, the lady next door cranks hers up in March. Yes, March.)

This year I made it to July 3rd, but that decision was made mostly because one of my cats is getting older and needed some respite. So I reached over, flicked the AC to "On" and.... nothing.

Suddenly, when faced with the possibility of no AC over the 4th of July holiday, I was intently aware how of hot it was.

I proceeded to check all the switches, the wiring, the main fuse box, my collection of Beanie Babies. Nothin'. Still dead. The final suspect was the thermostat and, upon closer inspection, the controls for cooling seemed, maybe, possibly, to be malfunctioning?

"Ah-HA!" I said and made a dash for the local Big Box. Forty-five minutes later I'm back and the new thermostat is finally in place. I flick the switch to Cool" and... nothing.

God damn it.

It's at this point I begin envisioning little dollar signs floating out of my wallet. So I trudge back to my little work room and sullenly get back to work.

About 15 minutes later I say to myself "Hmm, that's a lovely cool breeze coming through the window. I guess the weather is changing."

And then I realize the AC is on.

So now I perform the task I am always loathe to do.... I read the user manual. I mean, what self-respecting American male does that? But, yeah, it seems there's some new trick, a default 5-minute wait period before the compressor activates.

So after all my efforts and expense a cool front rolled through the area last night, bringing rain and drastically reduced temperatures.

I'm going to take the credit.


Ironic Footnote: At about midnight, July 4th, a powerful electrical storm hit the Dallas area. An hour later, just as the tempest was waning, one last roaring crack of  thunder was followed by all the power going out in my area of town. It was a lonnnnnng, steamy six hours until the power returned.

So, AC is nice but I'd have harvested the organs of an orphan for a simple box-fan late last night.


end rant

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