geoviki: (blood the demon)
[personal profile] geoviki
Although this post is entitled "On Work/Not Work", Imma start with a side topic:

On Swamp Coolers.

Can I just say I'm tired of 90+ degree days already?  So, so ready for cooler days.  Denver summers are getting hotter; scientific proof agrees with me.  Whenever I see an article about climate change deniers, I wanna punch them in the throat with my sweaty fist.  Anyway, here in our semi-arid climate, we can use evaporative coolers (aka swamp coolers) to relieve the heat.  Ours is a big unit on top of the roof, with a big, waffly pad in it, and water runs over it, and air blows thru it and, thus cooled, into our house.  Works fairly well, and most importantly, cheaply.  But it only works in dry climates, which is why many of you have never seen one.

By late afternoon, though, it's really humid in here, and then the swamp cooler doesn't work as well.  So I get hot and sleepy (and, clearly, whiny).

And the reason I'm even home to experience all this is that, in the revolving, binary status of working/not working, I'm currently not working.

Most of you know I actually retired 3 years ago.  But that was somewhat inaccurate; I negotiated a new, part-time job that I was supposed to seamlessly segue into.  I didn't, though; I was caught in non-work limbo for a year caused by crappy management.  And then I worked a bit, and then worked more and more hours until I was going full-tilt half-time for 2 years.

Then Congress triggered the Sequester this spring.  So now, even though I want to work, and my team wants me to work, and my 2 years of earlier work resulted in a hard-dollar savings of over $600,000, and my future work would result in the same savings or more, I cannot work.  Such is the life of a Federal employee these days: you cannot count on things staying the same.  Actually, my team is figuratively spiraling the drain.  We lost our head honcho in December, and he remains unreplaced.  My boss, his right-hand woman, retired in July.  The office is locked and dark, and the hundred folks left behind are trying to save themselves any way they can – mostly by scrambling for the exits.  Retirements and resignations are at an all-time high.  No one's got my back because they're watching their own.

So I'm floating in this plasma of "not working, but things could change, but then again it's not that easy."  The suckiest thing is that I'm now doing the job I was probably born to do.  It suits me so completely, and is so necessary.  Learning to let it go is a true challenge.

And it doesn't help that I'm hot and humid (and whiny) every day.

Date: 2013-08-30 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If you're considering downsizing, then ignore this. But really, we invested in air-conditioning AND solar panels and the solar panels pay for the air during the summer. It's more than worth the costs.

Learning to let it go is a true challenge. Don't let it go entirely, just put it on vacation. It needs to be done and they will find money for it. They always seem to find money when they need to.

Date: 2013-08-30 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I guess I forgot to mention that the swamp cooler is our only cooling solution because we have hot water heat (with little radiators in all the rooms), and therefore, no ducts in the house.

In our last house we did have ducts, and eventually AC, although the ducts proved to be too small for AC and so we had to replace them all. And in the way of things, we sold that house to someone who worked in HVAC, who could've done all that work so cheaply.

In our first house, we were too poor to do anything but use portable fans.

I am trying to relax about the not/work thing. The hardest part is that no one is in charge right now, so no one is engaged or remotely worried about me and my issues. I'm down in the noise.
Edited Date: 2013-08-30 03:00 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-08-30 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We lived without AC for fifteen years. What saved me was one of those crappy portable units that we put in our bedroom window so that ONE room was bearable and I could sleep at night.

Date: 2013-08-30 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember how hot it was at your house when we came up for lunch that day.

Maybe it's menopause that makes me more intolerant of heat. Or the thyroid thing. Or just getting cranky in old age? *shakes cane, threatens small children re: lawn*

We had that kind of AC arrangement growing up in Michigan - one window unit in my parent's room. Now there's a terrible summer climate for ya. I pretty much grew up in the basement. A veritable troglodyte.

Date: 2013-08-30 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The menopause is part of it. My internal temp is always near simmer these days. The heat kills me. I'm sure you all thought I was a total slug in Cape May, but the combo of heat and humidity and I'm a goner. I. HATE. IT. I would rather live in a cold climate than a hot one (says the woman who's lived in California all her life).

Date: 2013-08-30 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
federal funds disappearing sucks. our local science museum is watching grants they've been getting for years dry up and having to lay off staff that are much needed.

and global warming sucks, as does menopause and peri-menopause (which is the stage i'm at). this summer saw me getting really sick mostly due to body changes from the afore mentioned and the ridiculous heat. ugh.

(huh, guess i'm whiny too)

Date: 2013-08-31 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
At least we can whine together, right!

Date: 2013-08-30 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry (as well as angry at the sheer WASTE) about the job business, but your opening paras gave me a smile since I remembered staying with you the week you got your swamp thing (or, possibly, your new swamp thing) and it brought back good memories.

Date: 2013-08-31 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, I remember that clearly too because it smelled so awful when we first launched it. That was the chemical fire retardant, I think, in the pad, but it smelled like all of the unwashed masses had taken residence in our attic. You were very polite and did not gag, not where I could see at least.

Also you were polite and did not take me to task when you discovered that Chicago and Denver are really not, um, neighbors. I appreciated very much that you made the effort to come out and hope I made it up with great scenery. Now you can watch concerts filmed at Red Rocks and say, "Hey, I climbed that!"

Date: 2013-08-30 05:46 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I've noticed, looking at the weather reports, that you guys seem to be on average 8-10 degrees F warmer than here. And it's hot enough here!

We don't have A/C or a swamp cooler but are considering getting one for next summer, just to cool the bedroom.

Date: 2013-08-31 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I do recommend swamp coolers but it does take a bit of getting used to. You have to leave windows cracked in opposite parts of the house to promote airflow, and doors expand with the humidity and stick. Makes your skin all nice and moist, though, so there's that.


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