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Inspirational Reads

I Blame Time Warner Cable

July 28, 2011

My home internet is fucked. That's why this space has been mostly blank. Plus, I have been busy trying my best not to sweat. Epic fail on that part.

I also have to replace my entire air conditioning unit from the compressor to the air handler. And that's been...joyously stress free! I can't tell you just how pleasant this whole situation has been.

Tomorrow is going to be 104, maybe 105. And then Saturday is going to try and top Sunday.

My coinpurse is already sagging a bit more.

I think "In the Out Door" was the winner of the poll (pole...heh). I'll get that taken care of next week. It's not the kind of story you write up on the work-based computer.

And yes, it is probably exactly what you think.

Perspirationally yours, mgj

TMI Thursday: Choose Your Own Adventure!

July 20, 2011

I'm hot, and I'm a bit exhausted, and I'm trying to finish writing a chapter in one of my books, so I'm not going to give you a story today. Stop bitching; you've gone months in between posts from me. You can wait a little while longer.

The other problem is, I have a lot of stories I can tell in the TMI vein. So, I'm going to let you decide, based pretty much solely on their titles. Here are your options:

The First Time
The Pearl Necklace
Who Let the Dogs Out?
In the Out Door
After Hours Fun

I'll leave the voting up to you. Next Wednesday night, I'll put together whatever it is that you all have decided upon. For reference, all of them are about sex.

So, you have that to look forward to. Better pick the right one.

That's Not Cool, Dude

I could write a country song about air conditioning.

It started back in May, when we turned the air conditioner on and warm air came out of it. I run a heat pump for my house, which is apparently "exactly what I need". Only thing is, it wasn't warming us much during the winter and in May, when we had this first bout of ball-stickingly hot weather, it wasn't cooling.

Unimpressed and ready to burn the house down, my best friend, Joe, gave me the name of a guy who had serviced air the past. I called the guy and, because it was the first real wave of heat that we had in the summer, he was pretty booked and couldn't get out to my unit for two days. Remaining unimpressed, I waited. And sweated. Or made my own gravy. Or whatever.

Finally, he arrived, changed out some rusted pieces and recharged my unit with coolant. And then he put freon in the air conditioner--hiyo! Anyway, the air was running fine for a while. Things were cool. Not frosty, but I didn't need to wring my pillow out at night in order to shuffle off to dream land.

Not so my car, however. Er, well, the loaner car that I'm borrowing from my wife's grandmother. It probably needs a coolant recharge, as it is slow to finally cool the air, and once it starts cooling the air, it doesn't do a fantastic job, especially when the heat is 90+. When it's enough to melt lead, as the next few days are threatening to be, it just says "fuck it" and doesn't even try to cool the air.

This is fine, since I'm not in my car that much. Just from getting to home to work to other work to home, and half the time I'm not driving in what could be called "the heat of the day." Unfortunately, with the current weather forecast, despite my best efforts, I'll be driving in the heat of the night, too. And I'm not calling anyone "Mr. Tibbs."

To make matters better, the book store has a long history of air conditioning units not working quite right. Apparently, if half of them are working, it's a good day. A great day, in fact. This summer, there have been very few great days. Exacerbating the matter, I spend most of my time standing near the front door. When people come in, not only do they drag in their git along with the acerbic, clinging stench of second-hand smoke, they also drag in the hot air from outside. This air just sort of settles over my position and, despite not moving, I still stand there and sweat.

Which brings me back to the lab, where the air chillers fail, spectacularly, every summer when it gets hot. Let me assure you, ninety humid degrees in a lab coat is not nearly as sexy as one might imagine. At least the lab coat hides the pit stains, but it's more difficult to surreptitiously jangle my ballsack away from it's adherence to the insides of my thighs.

To bring this bitch full circle, last week, the air conditioning unit was running, but no air was being moved in the house. The fan in my air handler, which blows the air around and moves the cool air into the house and pulls the hot air out, was burnt out. It needed a new motor. So, I called the same guy who had done a coolant refill for me. He changed the fan out and air was moving again.

Now, the fan works great. The air is moving, I hear it humming, and there's a generally decent flow of air through the house. Bad news, though, is that the air that's moving isn't cool. It seems as though the "leak test" for the air conditioning unit wasn't exactly aced, apparently, and the coolant has leaked out. I know this because it's 90 degrees in my house at night when I go to bed. 90 degrees at midnight is not cool, in any literal or figurative sense.

I'm loath to call this guy back, if only for the fact that I'm not sure I won't be liberally sprinkling my questions to him with the word "fuck" and "dickhead". However, I don't like sleeping in a puddle of my own drippings. And the other thing is, I've already paid him $700 for his work this summer, which has basically netted me zero, as I'm right back to where I started in May. Plus, I don't really have $300 for the service call.

So, I could totally write a song about the painful misery of summer's heat without the joys of recirculated air. It'd either be country or the blues, and if it was a blues song, I would so change my name to Boiling Waters.

Totally Blowing Shit Up Tuesdays: This Is Why It's So Effing Hot

July 19, 2011

I probably should not be whining about this, since it's not three million degrees in North By God Carolina...yet. Or again. Or however you'd like to put it. However, I've said it before and I'll say it again: the coinpurse is hanging mighty low.

I guess the price to pay for one very nice weekend is that we'll soon be thrust deep into the bowels of a very certain fiery hell. Some people (Texans, mostly) call it "summer". It's summer, so let's crank the motherfucking heat all the way to 11, right Mother Nature?

Who knew Mother Nature was such a fan of Nigel Tufnel?

Anyway, this whole ungodly heat wave that has been melting butter all across the Midwest and Great Lakes region--and which is headed straight for the east coast--is just more fuel for the fire for the global warming crowd. Any stretch of hot weather causes them to scream about carbon footprints and cow farts and such. Just like balls-deep snow causes the extremists on the other side to squawk just as loudly against global warming. Whatever it is, global warming or not, I know that I have to wring my pillow out around 4:20 every morning, and that's just not good eats.

I need to slow down my typing: my knuckles are sweating.

Anyway, global warming, celestial alignment, God's hot little prank on all of us--whichever reason you can come up with for this ball-saggingly hot streak, there's no denying that the temperatures are cranked up. Grab yourself a cool glass of ice tea or iced water or scotch on the rocks and check this shit out:

By the way, when I hit 45, scotch on the rocks is all I'll be drinking. You've been given ten year's warning, Scotland! Time to up the manufacturing process!

As you can see in the video, the sun doesn't get along too well with Thai food, either. That big, galactic fart was a solar flare coupled with a massive ejection of charged plasma particles. Fortunately, that was pointed anywhere but toward the Earth. If it had been pointed here, well, we wouldn't be having the conversation, now, would we?

Here's another clip, a closer view but also viewed at a slightly different wavelength of light so you can see the shit falling back into the sun. It's pretty awesome to see the light flaring when the sun's own ejecta lands back on its surface.

Now, run that back and pay special attention to the place where the flare originates and watch it as the flare erupts. Did you see that dark circle running away from the epicenter of the explosion? That's a blast wave. On the surface of the sun. From where part of it blew out.

*takes hat off head and fans self*

Pardon me. I need to catch my breath.

Here's something cool, though. If you look at your keyboard right now, everything you see--the carbon that makes up your flesh and bones and the plastic keys to your keyboard, the aluminum that forms the frame, the hydrogen and oxygen that makes up most of that delicious cup of coffee sitting on your desk, even the calcium and phosphorus that makes up the ceramic of your coffee mug--all came from shit like this. The sun--or any star--burps out the atoms that make up pretty much everything (elements heavier than iron, though are made when the sun truly gets surly and goes supernova) when it ejects material out of itself like this. Most of that stuff fell back to the sun's surface, it's true, but some of it went floating off into the deep, dark nether regions of space and may, someday, turn into the coffee mug or ballpoint pen of some future denizen of Earth. Or it could go further out and be incorporated into some alien life form's civilization.

That's pretty fucking beautiful, if you ask me (and I know you did...why else would you be here if you didn't want to know?), even if the sun could, tomorrow, point one of those blasts directly at the Earth. If it happened, we'd have about eight minutes to call our loved ones and hurry to the shelters where we can bend over and kiss our asses good-bye.

Kind of warms the heart a little, right? Well, good. Now that your heart is warm, it matches the rest of this hellish weather, doesn't it?

Where's my damned scotch and water?