And I screwed up in yesterday’s post confusing the heat index with the wet bulb temperature. The actual wet bulb was 62°F when the heat index was 110. Mea culpa. The current temperature and wet bulb are 108° and 57° respectively for a heat index of 109.
Anywho, the forecast was for triple digits with two 1s, and the GM decided I couldn’t take the bus because of over a mile walking in hundred degree plus temperatures. While I appreciate her concerns, I know how to live in TX even when temperatures climb over the century mark. I mean I finished the HHH twice, and could have finished more except for equipment failure on 2 attempts and a non-heat injury at my first. I really needed more seat padding on my first attempt in 2002, as my tailbone crashed into the fiberglass bucket seat as my antique Stratus crossed the railroad track where the 100 mile and 100 km courses separated. She wanted the other in-person players to pick me up but Casa de El Poeta is only convenient for one player on the way in and nobody on the way back, so I was fine with taking the bus back in the late evening. The GM was not, so she cancelled the game.
On a similar note I have been keeping the cats inside in the AC instead of letting them go back out into the heat, because I’m the human and the adult who knows how hot it is. They didn’t even come in until almost 1400 and it wasn’t easy convincing either one to come in even though it was already over 100° by then. It’s pushing 90° inside because we don’t have enough AC to handle the heat, so the cats get lots of fresh water and so do I. The cats are wandering around trying to find someplace comfortable to take their naps while I have the fan from the expired AC in my office blowing on me. And I’m planning on a long cool rinse to bring down my core temperature before I go to bed tonight.
Well the AC fan in the office runs out above my knees so I’m retiring to the bedroom which has a working ceiling fan. The rest of you take care, particularly if it’s hot where you are.
The heat here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell has been, well like Hell. As I compose this the local dry bulb temperature is 108°F (42°C), but the air is so dry that the wet bulb is only 110F. The best the poor AC units can do is pull the inside of the house down to 90°F. Other good news, Clint finally made it home, safe and noisy. He has been elsewhere pretty much as long as the Internet was out. He wasn’t eating going by how hard he hit the food dish, but he found water someplace because he’s not exhibiting any signs of heat injury, and also not attacking his water. But he does like to sit in the direct blast from the AC unit so proving he’s no dummy.
One of the things I’m doing to beat the heat has reminded me of another way of removing water from alcohol called cryo distillation. How I was reminded is I bought store brand frozen pops, the kind that comes in the clear plastic tubes you put in the freezer until they freeze solid like the brand name Otter Pops. One of the methods of cryo distilling is to put the mixed liquid in long, thin tubes with a spigot at the bottom to drain off the desired fluid after freezing out most of the water, which is kinda what you get when you freeze the pops vertically. Most of the sugar syrup and flavor ends up at the bottom of the tube, but you get a nice air space at the top to cut open the tube without spilling anything. This was one of the ways they used to make an apple liqueur known as Apple Jack. And yes, that’s where they got the name for the cereal. Legend has it the first apple jack was made when a keg of hard cider was left on the porch during a hard freeze and split the keg, leaving a center of concentrated alcohol and flavor near the bottom of the keg. Apple cider had been heat distilled before to make apple brandy, but that’s a distinctly different beverage than apple jack which retains much more of the original fruit flavor than apple brandy, or so I’m told as I have never sampled either one. But if you wanna make your own now you know how, and PVC pipe and fixtures are not that expensive if you live on a place where extended periods of sub-freezing weather are common. If you don’t, you can dedicate an upright freezer to the cause and go small scale.
I mentioned I had determined a new way to mount the body for the version of the wide frame that did not have rails just for mounting the body, and it’s lighter (by a bit) than using the rails welded to the top of the floor. Basically it takes the filler between the main rails and the body intended to keep water out of the interior and makes it structural by replacing the tube with a shaped sheer web, and drilling the holes for the mounting bolts and welding nuts to the filler piece instead of the second frame rail. This eliminates 3 of the 4 walls of the rail to save weight at no loss in rigidity for the final structure, but it will be kinda floppy until all the edges are at least tack welded together. This cavity would be a prime place to get a dose of Boshield tube protectant to prevent rusting out. And the joint between the frame and the body will get a shot of bed liner spray to seal it from the inside and prevent road spray from collecting in the floor. Actually I’m thinking about masking off the part that goes outside the body before mounting the body and putting the body on while the spray is still wet to seal the bolts from allowing water inside.
And I’m starting to get hungry and dinner won’t cook itself like it does when Mrs. the Poet is here 😇.
And there are a plethora of them. Office temperature is about the same as before, peaking at 86°F right after sundown every night. And every day I have to “fight” with the cat about keeping stuff that belongs on my desk actually on my desk. He really wants to get on my lap, but there just isn’t enough room for a cat on my lap while I work on the computer, so he goes behind the monitor/laptop screen and ends up pushing everything off the desk trying to get comfy. So I yell at him and he pouts, then walks across the keyboard as soon as my back is turned.
Anywho, just got back from an argument with Mrs. the Poet about spending money. Not that I’m spending it unwisely, but according to her I’m not spending enough. The reason we even have window units is because way back before Dad died our central AC died first, and the reason it died was the wiring in the house has gone bad. I had an electrician look at the situation back then and part of the problem is our breaker box is no longer up to code and before any other work can be done that has to be replaced at about $1K then troubleshooting or replacing the bad wiring may commence. In today’s $ we are looking at $3-8K total repairs before fixing the AC can even start. And the reason we are looking at these costs is the wiring may or may not have been up to code when the house was built in 1985, there was some shady business with building inspection back then.
Another reason for the argument is I have been working from faulty data on our finances. My data says we have about 8 years left before we have to sell the house to cover taxes, but according to Mrs. the Poet I was only informed about one of 3 accounts and we really have a lot more than that, more than twice as much. I’m not used to working like that. But either way we are looking at between $5K and $9k to repair the central AC compared to $130 to replace the window unit in the office. We got the window units about 10 years ago, and the three little ones all failed last summer pretty much at the same time, so to get everything back to status quo would be about $400. Now the real problem is our heat tolerance differences. I’m good to about 85 for sleeping under a ceiling fan, Mrs. the Poet really needs something cooler. Going the other way I can sleep comfortably under a heavy quilt as cool as 50 with a pair of wool socks on, where Mrs. the Poet starts complaining under 60. Part of that is I spent two winters in my grandmother’s house that only had a wood-burning stove for heat and the bedrooms would get near freezing in the winter and only got a small window unit for AC after Dad got back from Vietnam, and we moved out before the AC went in. The other part is I spent years riding as much as 200 miles a day out in the heat so just hanging around in the same heat is nothing, barely even uncomfortable.
Bottom line, I want Mrs. the Poet happy and comfortable, but not at the cost of not having a place to live shortly after that. That’s why the T-bucket project stalled, so that we would still have a roof over our heads.
Our last window unit seems to be dying and not cooling and I’m suffering in an 86°F(30°C) office. I’m pretty much covered in sweat and somewhat smelly or maybe more than just somewhat smelly. I am seriously lacking energy from all the heat, but there is an up side to this: my back is not hurting much while the muscle is nice and warm. I was able to get to sleep without using pain relievers last night. I made the mistake of also not taking the diphenhydramine I use to shut the brain down so I can sleep, so I basically didn’t get to sleep for anything more than a catnap and woke up again around noon. I’m bobbing and weaving in my chair so I think I will be able to get to sleep early.
And I think I will take that trip to bed shortly.
I was out in the heat again today paying bills and I really cut it close this time. I had to pay the phone bill after getting to the office just after they closed yesterday, so I was out during the day in the sun and the heat. Well I didn’t get any water or hydrate before I left and I started getting nauseous walking around. I didn’t check what the temperature was, but it was over 90 and it felt muggy when I opened the door.
I think I might have saved enough money from various gigs to get that brake hone and install those spindles this week. I have 2 trips to the lab rat keeper and another trip to take movies of my heart beating. This time I’m getting driven to the echocardiogram so I don’t have to spend more than 7 hours on the roads to get a 20 minute procedure done. I have to wear that infernal Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor and carry a jug of my urine around again, but maybe by the end of the week I’ll have a mockup installation of the spindles on the axle.
And I was just taking a “think break” to let my mind put more words together and putting the kingpins in the axle bosses where they are supposed to go, and as the instructions warned they don’t fit. First installation in a new tubular axle and both bosses are out of round by a few thousandths, just enough to keep the pins from dropping in unhindered. Enough that I had to get a hammer and drift to get them back out. And the instructions also say that the only way to fix this is with the brake hone… Before anyone says anything, yes I had the grub screws all the way out before trying to install the pins.
I’m trying a different strategy on sleeping, going to bed early before I’m tired and just letting the brain do its thing until I fall asleep. I was up by 0800 today waking up all on my own. It really looks like the longer I wait to hit the bed the longer it takes to turn off my brain. I was asleep in under an hour last night and the night before and woke up before my alarm yesterday and this morning. It’s weird being up that early. My usual M.O. is to wait until I feel sleepy, then get in bed, and have the brain go crazy trying to solve all the problems I didn’t get to during the day. Then several hours later I finally fall asleep only to get awakened from REM sleep by my alarm. If I turn the alarm off and get back to sleep I drop immediately back into REM and either continue the dream I woke up from or move into another one. One recurring theme I have been having lately in my dreams is mountain freeways replaced by multilane fiberglass slides that go for miles. Everyone gets out of their cars and slides down the mountain to meet their car at the bottom of the slide. This says something, but I’m not sure what it is yet. It is loads of fun sliding down the mountain, especially at night. But anyway that doesn’t happen when I go to bed before I get sleepy.
And I was writing a paragraph about sleeping and guess what happened? Yep, faceplanted right into the keyboard. Can’t sleep when I want to but when I’m doing something and need to stay awake? ZONK!
And now I really need to leave and fill out my bag limit of check-ins on my mobile game so I can get what I can out of it before it goes belly up.