Saturday, June 28, 2008

Swamp Cooler

The swamp cooler in the little house is probably forty years old. I remember it from the days the little house was a workshop. It's much bigger than the swamp cooler in the big house. It should keep this place almost frigid, but something is not working quite right. Sadly I am not of the generation of women who grew up knowing that they could do anything, so fixing it myself is out of the question. But I think I have some idea what the problem is--I think it's the fan belt. If not the fan belt, then the problem is the motor that runs the big barrel fan. I will put motor lubricating oil on my shopping list, and hope I can keep it running through July and most of August. That is the scorcher time in Salt Lake. Every day will be over a hundred degrees, and the nights will only cool into the eighties.

So, here you go Diva. There are two motors that make a swamp cooler work. The swamp part of swamp cooler is the water that's pumped from the bottom of the cooler up to the filters that line the three outside walls of the cooler. This pump sits on the bottom and sucks up water into the tubes that feed it into little troughs in the top of each side of the cooler where it trickles in a steady stream, so that the air being sucked through them is cooled. The other motor runs the big barrel fan that propels the air into the house. A swamp cooler is only effective in a very dry climate. Before my handyman retired, we had a conversation about swamp cooler versus central air-conditioning. He has both in his house, so has the option to use one or the other. He said the only time he ever uses his air-conditioning is when the humidity is above 20%. The rest of the time the swamp cooler is more effective and comfortable. It makes the cool air coming into the house slightly moist and softer seeming.

I know some man is going to read this, and laugh his ass off at my shaky grasp of the workings of a swamp cooler. But that's the best I can do.

Sad Little Saturday

Okay, it comes down to the anticlimax of daily life. I must get my sorry ass in gear, and clean this box before it kills me. Yes, vacuuming is on my list of chores. A dreary trip to the store, mainly to pick up drugs, more cantaloupe, more Jiffy cornbread mix, and smokes. (Fuck you Petro! No I will not quit! ) Today is amateur day at the grocery store. It's send the kids to do the shopping day, so you can stay home and write checks to pay bills. The kids are pissed off that they are saddled with this unpleasant chore, and take their revenge on the rest of us, by leaving their carts blocking our way while they wander off looking for something odd like baking soda. What do they know of baking soda? What the fuck is baking soda anyway? And why would anyone at their house need baking soda--nobody bakes anything anymore. You want cookies? Buy them in the tube, ready made dough. Mom's going old school in this heat? Not likely.

Then there is the heat. It's in the mid 90s in the deep shade of the gazebo. It will be in the high nineties or worse on the sea of blacktop at the store. At least I have no need to roll my windows up. I'm driving a car I could leave my keys in with the windows rolled down, and nobody in a car stealing mood would look twice at it. No self respecting car thief would be caught dead in the dog mobile.

I'm going to buy some really good brownie mix. My Administrator needs a brownie fix. It costs a fortune to send a care package next day air to San Francisco, but I would have no blog without him. And since I get his expert help for free, while others pay for his services, I'm only too happy to be his surrogate mother, and send him brownies. I'll have to wait to bake until close to midnight--let the place cool down, get the windows open.

I'm working on a righteous political rant. It's percolating. It will have to be released soon, or I will blow a gasket, and what with the infected finger and the broken toe, I can't afford any more injuries. I have a doctor appointment Monday.

Maybe I'll take a nap, and do all my work in the middle of the night. I can only use the swamp cooler for short bursts of cool air since the motor is about to die. I keep planning to do a post on swamp coolers for Divajood, since every time I mention my swamp cooler she asks, "What's a swamp cooler?" So, for now, I'll go back to my rumpled bed, and write checks to the utility companies, so I can continue to run the fan all night, continue to take cool showers. This chore will make me sleepy.