Tuesday, 26 July 2016

09:03 – Yesterday morning, Barbara commented that the air conditioning had been running all night. We had the thermostat set to 75 and it was showing 78. There was also a little “Stage 2” icon, which I hadn’t seen before. A quick Internet search told me what that icon meant. I assumed that our air conditioning was just having a hard time keeping up with the extreme heat we’ve been having recently. But it just kept getting warmer and warmer in here as the day went on. When Barbara returned from Winston yesterday afternoon, she said she thought maybe we were low on Freon. So I called the HVAC folks who’d checked out our system right after we moved in here last December. They were, unsurprisingly, booked up yesterday and today. He said the soonest they could make it out here was Wednesday, so we set up an appointment.

Yesterday afternoon, we opened several windows for some cross ventilation, brought the oscillating fan in from the garage and set it up in the den, and turned on the ceiling fan in the master bedroom. Ordinarily, Barbara hates to have air blowing on her, but as warm as it was (and is) in the house, she made an exception. I closed the windows and drapes this morning to keep the cooler air in and the hotter air out. Our high today should be several degrees cooler than yesterday. By next week, our highs are to be in the 70’s (~25C), which is more usual for high summer in Sparta.

We’ll manage for another day or so until the AC is up and running again. As I said to Barbara last night, this is the way people used to live all the time. When Barbara was growing up, their house didn’t have air conditioning until she was in high school. I think I was in junior high when we had a serious heat wave in New Castle, PA. My dad came home one day with a huge window air conditioner, which we installed in the den. For the duration of the heat wave, we all slept downstairs. I take comfort in the fact that Sparta is experiencing extraordinary high temperatures right now. Our highs have been up in the low 90’s F (~ 33C), which almost never happens. (I blame it on global warming…) If this is the worst it gets, we could live with it even in a long-term power failure. Winter cold is the threat here; summer heat isn’t a real problem.

While she was down in Winston yesterday, Barbara picked up another 6-foot folding table. We’ll use that out in the garage to assemble small-parts bags, build science kits, and so on. We have a 5-foot folding table out there now, along with three other small folding tables. Those, we’ll fold up and store in the attic. The new table is identical to the existing one, but a foot longer. That gives us 11 feet of work surface, which is enough to bin bags four dozen at a time or build kits three dozen at a time.

I’m getting very tired of the MSM’s maniacal focus on the political conventions. Who cares? I mean, if there was a riot or someone set off a bomb, that’d be news. But the outcomes of both the RNC and the DNC were pretty much known in advance, so what’s the point to covering them in exhaustive detail? This stuff isn’t news: it’s features. I just did a quick scan of the CNN and FoxNews home pages yesterday. Both were about 5% actual news stories and 95% features or human interest. That stuff doesn’t belong on the front page. Hell, it doesn’t belong in the front section. One might almost think that the goal of US MSM is to distract people from real news. Oh, look. A squirrel! It’s a sad commentary on the state of US “journalism” that when I want some US news I go to the UK newspaper websites to get it. Geez.