19 July 2011

If it's Tuesday, This Must Be Indiana...
And if it's Indiana, it MUST be sweltering outside (which it is...imagine that).
Another scorcher today, kids, with temps in the mid to upper 90s. The heat index will cross the century mark again.
In some ways, it does make one hearken back to the days of the 1930s...when Grandma and grandpa had NO air-conditioning, and many folks didn't even have a PROPER refrigerator.
How DID they survive?
One would have to say they were made of stronger stuff than most people today (with the exception of our military's special forces).
There was a time when, if a day like this came around back in the OLD neighborhood in Philly, the MILKMAN having seen us little urchins on the steps of our rowhouses, would "accidentally" drop a huge chunk of ICE off the tail of the truck before he drove off, and ALL of us would sit there in the heat, sucking on pieces of ice larger that our own HEADS...LOL.
Sure we got soaked sucking on that ice, but we were hardly sweating at that point. And I'm sure the milkman felt good doing his "deed" for the day.
Just try and get a free piece of ice TODAY...
Hell, try and find a milkman that delivers, for that matter.
At least Mom didn't have to truck out to the store for milk.
She was probably hanging laundry out in the sun and heat, or IRONING clothes (no permapress in those days) with a small oscillating fan on her, or perhaps "powdering our sheets", so we wouldn't perspire at night.
Yeah, we really did some STRANGE sh*t in those days...and we SURVIVED.
Wonder how some folks today would fare is they STILL had to do things our Moms used to do, AND in such heat without the assistance of "Mr. Air Conditioner"?
We have central air in our fortress, and even though it's an older, less efficient model, it does a respectable job of cooling MOST of the house down.
(upstairs is always a problem...damn you, physics and thermodynamics)
Warm air rises, cool air drops (it's a density thing) and well, there you are.
The basement is cool enough to make you want to grab a flannel shirt, while the upstairs is...well, closer to the sun, so it's WARMER...lol.
I've worked in refrigeration and air conditioning a long time ago, and the principle hasn't changed, nor have the two basic steps:
1) Take room air and remove the heat (and humidity)
2) If confused, refer back to step 1
And that's about it. I'm not gonna get into the pressures, gases, coils and other stuff needed.
All you really need to know is that when operating properly..it WORKS.
And one of the most overlooked aspects to ANY air-conditioning system is...THE FILTER.
Like our system, the filter is in the blower unit for the furnace, and is one of those 20"x 25"x 1" square (ish) things you can get almost anywhere for about a buck. And they WILL get "dirty"...they will accumulate all kinds of crap as the air passes through it.
And that's the KEY here...allowing the air to PASS THROUGH.
So, when the filter gets "schmutzed-up", you replace it (or wash it, if you have a more permanent filter).
Manufacturers say to "inspect and/or change your filter every 2 months"...(yeah, right).
That's in a normal house with two people, no pets, and who dust everything off ever other day and have plastic slip covers on damn near everything (including the kids)...LOL.
As in combat, or fighting crime on the streets, the "situations are rarely if ever...normal."
If you have pets, or kids (or, God help you...BOTH), or dust less frequently, you check the filter every TWO weeks, and that's dependant on the amount of TIME you run the A/C unit (or furnace in winter).
On days like this, you will be running the unit damn near non-stop for most of those 24 hours, and all that time ADDS UP.
That filter that was good for "two months" will very likely become as clogged in about ONE month (or even less), and that means you're restricting the air flow, and the house seems "not as cool" as it should be.
So, check those filters and change 'em if they need it. Your A/C unit will thank you (by lasting longer).
Next, don't set your thermostat LOWER to get the house COOLER...doesn't work that way.
We're NOT talking REFRIGERATION here...just "air-conditioning".
If you want your FOOD COLDER, you can turn UP the number in the fridge, and that will damn near freeze everything.
But it's a much smaller space, that is relatively airtight (unlike your house), so you can see why that won't work when it comes to cooling a house.
Also, the pressures and gases used are different for refrigeration AND air-conditioning.
Best thing to do is find a nice setting for that t-stat on the wall (somewhere between 76-80 degrees F.) and leave it alone.
Home systems will be hard-pressed to deal with ALL this heat, as they're all pretty much designed to work up to temperatures around 90 degrees, F, and besides, most any house will "leak" air in OR out....and you want some of that. If a house is "too tight", there can be buildups of CO real fast.
Also make sure the condenser unit outside (that big thing with the fan going balls to the wall in it) is free from debris or anything that might restrict air flow over the coils. THIS is where the "heat-exchange" takes place, and the MORE hot air coming off that unit, the better.
That lets you know it's COMFY inside, got it?
(you now all know the basic aspects of self-maintaining your air conditioning systems...congratulations. You passed with flying colors.)
*** Lastly today, I want to change gears...and I think you'll figure out WHY soon enough, because this is something I have wanted to see happen around OUR part of the ghettohood for a long time.
Well, the time may be right, and the fruit ripe for the picking as they say...
Here's the link to a really GOOD article by Frank Gray:

The story is about finding HOUSING for WOUNDED WARRIORS.
Now, what have you heard me say about making something like that occur DOWN HERE...and for how long have I belabored that point?
THIS part of Fort Wayne has an amazing opportunity at it's doorstep to TRULY revitalize the SE side.
With well OVER 400 HOUSES (available) which could be rehabbed and renovated for a LOT LESS than putting up a bunch of new constructs, it makes damn good sense to get some vets INTO these houses...
And that would only be the first (good) domino falling.
Get ENOUGH soldiers into housing down here, and you WILL clean up a LOT of the crime that has caused this side of town to go down the crapper, thereby bringing BACK many of the businesses that closed, due to criminal activity.
Chase the riff-raff out with veterans who KNOW what service to one's nation IS, and the city can reap the whirlwind of profit, because property values WILL RISE AGAIN (sounds a bit messianic in nature), and tax revenues will be forthcoming.
FOUR HUNDRED HOUSES...that's what the city is staring at. Hell, we have TWO alongside us that I would LOVE to see some veterans move into and take pride in, because that's ONE thing that is needed down here for starters...PRIDE.
(and having a bunch of former soldiers that know how to handle weapons of all kinds would be kinda cool to have all around - no one would be screwing with them, that's for sure!)
This is a project that is barely off the ground at this point...BUT can have such far-reaching effects, in changing the cityscape and making the south side of Fort Wayne a vibrant place to live and raise a family once again, 'cause it sure ain't that way NOW.
Most of the houses here can be EASILY adapted for any special requirements these soldiers might have or need, not the least of which is building ramps for wheelchair access. Most all of the lawns are LEVEL with the sidewalks, so few steps are needed. Ramps would be simple to construct.
Many of the houses here are ONE STORY...again, easy to navigate for those who might have mobility issues.
This is such a "win-win"...it's not funny!
It's more sobering than anything, really...and best of all, the wounded warriors get something they can call THEIR OWN in the process.
They can maintain that sense of pride they have come to know through their service to our nation.
If nothing else, such a venture would have the novelty of NEVER HAVING BEEN TRIED BEFORE (here)...and that's what makes America so damn great
Doing what is considered different...for the betterment of those in need.
THAT is what this nation is about.
Being the innovator, the one with the right idea at the tight time...that is OUR country.
I feel this project can (and should) be the impetus that can make this city excel, and become a beacon of real hope not only for the rest of the state of Indiana, but for the nation as a whole.
We have this unique chance to lead...by example, and Fort Wayne should make every effort to make this happen.
Our troopers are depending on such things, and we should never shirk OUR responsibility to such brave individuals.
And that's all I'm gonna say on that.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


CWMartin said...

Bob, I pray that project works... but how long will it take for some welfare mama with a big-mouth NAACP-aproved pastor who can afford a lawyer to louse it up somehow? God, I hope not...

I don't even remember how I survived pre-AC. Rather not recall, either.

Oh, and just to hit you back on a comment you made over at my place- You connect Bonnie & Clyde, etc., to the heat wave back then- and then want to round up a plane and a well armed crew to go relieve scammers in Libya of their imaginary money during the current heat wave... kinda proves the point, eh?

Bob G. said...

TO address the last point first:
I hadda feeling you'd like the connection there.
I figure it would be a nice few days out and about...fresh air, change of scenery, and we'd get to shoot some guns and have some fun...swell PAYBACK for all those scammers...LOL.

Now to the first point:
I also pray that the project would find a home here (no real pun intended).

I figure the support of THE PEOPLE would cause greater outcry AND backing for OUR WOUNDED than for our "lazy"...

And when you stop on by tomorrow, I'll be "splainin" some FACTS about "the poor"...the facts the POLITICIANS and "community leaders" will NEVER tell you.

The only way we conditioned the air in our house when I was young (aside from opening windows and letting in the fragrances of the nearby factories) was with some AIR-WICK...and a 12 inch oscillating fan that was noisier than all get out.

...And we SURVIVED.
Amazing the resilience of the American Spirit way back when.

Hey, thanks a lot for stopping on by today and sweating a apell. (nah, we got the A/C on HERE...you know that).

Stay safe up there
(and keep cool)