Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Too Dang Hot

20090421 pencast

These two posts over at Just Write got me thinking about records again, and more than once have I ogled one of those old console record players at the secondhand shop and dreamed of somehow hauling it home unnoticed. I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.


Mike Speegle said...

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of living in a home without central air. Inhuman, is what it is.

In other news, you have inadvertently inspired me to go look for a pair of big, heavy earphones.

Olivander said...

Yep, those days before central air (heck, even before air conditioners, when the only source of relief was an exhaust fan wedged in the window) were when we valued big, leaf-dropping, sap-dripping shade trees in the front yard. These days, I drive around the newer parts of town and all I see are barren yards. They remind me of the shanties we used to see out by themselves in the remoter wilds of the prairie, surrounded by nothing taller than the waist-high grass. We'd see them and wonder how anyone could survive out there in the baking summer head and ravaging winter winds.

Just for the record, West Virginia--the hill country especially--freaks me out.

mpclemens said...

Our current house is a typical California rancher, built in the post-WWII boom time, but the neighborhoods have had time to have all the newness smoothed out of them. The houses, tiny as they are, have character for the various additions and refurbs and the sticky doorframes and plaster cracks that come with living in a seismically active area. We also have a lovely tree-lined street with great climbable sycamore trees that drop leaves and bark and branches and shade almost all year 'round. I couldn't live in a place without a decent mature tree on the property, it's just wrong, even where water is as precious as it is out here (another drought year for us.)

Living on the plains completely gave me the willies -- it's like trying to eat at a table in the middle of an empty restaurant... too agoraphobic to be comfortable.

Strikethru said...

Let it be noted that those of us in the Northwest don't have central air in our houses, generally speaking. I don't. This becomes a real problem for about 1-2 weeks a year, usually in August, when Washingtonians spend a lot of time at the movies, or wandering the aisles of Target.

speculator said...

Your words remind me of the pre-"personal stereo" days when it was common- at least in urban places- to walk through the city and hear music coming out of open windows (usually from speakers facing out!).
If not music, it would be a baseball broadcast (in Maine, the Red Sox).
Ever watch a ball game through a TV shop store window, with other pedestrians?

The Maine coast doesn't get the hot weather you refer to, but your posting does bring back memories!

Duffy Moon said...

Chez Moon does not have central air. We use a few window units as needed in July and August, and it's never uncomfortable.

Lots of shade trees around. What we're experiencing now, however, is a disturbing and growing sense that trees are the enemy. An uptick in weird little windstorms of late has sent some monstrous old trees crashing down - sometimes a little too close for comfort. We're having a tree butcher come out in the next week or so to take out one huge and ominous weak-crotched (titter as appropriate) tree, swaying houseward in a threatening way.

I recall back in the day when we lived in the upper floor of an old house, and had no AC. We spent much of that summer in the frigid air of the local second-run movie theater. Saw a lot of crappy movies ("Fluke"?!) but stayed cool.

Monda said...

No air conditioning? We'd all die in a week down here. I've had mine on for almost a month now and will until the end of October.

And yes, I remember a time when no one had central air, even down here. But there were all sorts of workarounds: attic fans, ceiling fans, sleeping porches, table-top fans, standing in front of an open fridge, window fans, covered front porches, hand-fans, and huge glasses of iced tea. The air was still over 100 degrees and thick as oatmeal, but it was moving.

I'm too spoiled to live like that anymore.