Thursday, August 12, 2010

My day in Hades...

...is about to become a night in the same place.

Honestly, I thought AZ was bad. It would get to be upwards of 120+ F, and those days were the ones where you did your level best to stay indoors and hide from the sun. It's been over 100 degrees here in KS, and I now live in a trailer with two housemates, Ray and Cody. You folks probably know this, provided you've been following along. But today...Oh, today was bad. You see, a trailer is essentially a tin can with minimal insulation, completed by a plywood wall that is so "sturdy" one can push a thumbtack through it with ease. In short, during these exceptionally hot days, our air conditioning has been noticeable, but just barely.

Today, the A/C died. It's not that it ceased to work at full capacity. It flat-out died. That means the 107 it was outside was around 115 inside. Cody was off at work for most of the day, but we remained in touch with him as Ray and I tried to get the danged thing fixed. Not that we would dare to try this on our own. No, we may be dumb, but we ain't stupid. Instead, a neighbor volunteered to help us.

His diagnosis, after Cody had replaced one of two capacitors earlier, was to claim that the fan motor was shot, as was the second capacitor. So Ray and I went off to get replacement parts.

When you fix a car, you need parts that are tailored to the exactly make and model. Only an engineering genius can fake it with parts that don't actually belong in the vehicle you're working on. But an A/C unit isn't so demanding. As long as the parts fit the brackets, and the parts can handle the power expected to go through it, you can put whatever will go into it. Since I was the one with the money at that moment in time, I paid for both parts. The cost was around $100, and the usual promises to be paid back for their thirds of the cost were made by the guys.

Alas, the capacitor was the wrong type. I stayed with our neighbor while Ray went off to seek the proper part. Cody eventual came home from work, and standing around finally became too much for me. I went inside to ice my knee and take it easy.

I wasn't there, but I heard cries of jubilation as I also heard various air circulation machinery come to life. I was expecting the guys to come in with smiles and a declaration that we would celebrate by running off somewhere and wait until the house cooled off a bit. Instead, I was told about 15 to 20 minutes later that the thermostat might need replacing, and that they were off to Wal-Mart to get one.

But I wasn't. What's more, I wasn't going to wait in this toaster-over of a trailer anymore. Instead, I asked to be dropped off at Ray's sister's home, where the A/C was working just fine. And there I stayed for over four and a half hours.

So much for being picked up in an hour or two, eh?

I got brave. No one was available to come get me at the time, so I walked home. (Why, yes...It DOES hurt. Thanks for asking. =P ) When I got here, Cody was...Well, the only word I can come up with to properly describe him is "suffering." Cody was SUFFERING. The windows and front door are open, with fans blowing to try and circulate the air. Ray was out with Wyatt, lending a hand at Wyatt's workplace taking inventory. And the summary of the repair story is that there'd been no success, unless one considers that our new thermostat now tells us exactly how nightmarishly hot it is in here. (It's 12:14 AM at the very moment I'm typing these very words, and 90 degrees F in the more airy living room.)

Plans are being made in the hopes of getting this properly fixed tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm wondering what to do tonight. I suppose I could ask to sleep at Wyatt and Jess's place, but space there will be limited. What's more, Cody is the one that has to work tomorrow. I can remain awake or unconscious if I so desire...although being unconscious due to excessive heat is a scary prospect. I'd go spend a night at a motel, but I only have $249 in the bank to last me until the end of the month. Sure, the guys should be paying my back some of what I spent today...if repairs don't break our bank accounts tomorrow.

And what of our cats. We have Jenny (Ray's cat), Lemmy (Siege's cat that he couldn't take with him when he moved to CA), Nike (my cat), and Random (Cody's cat). When I walked in the door, I headed straight for the bathroom to splash cold water on my face. Nike was lying in the tub, looking like a defeated little kitty. I could probably take her to a motel with me, but I don;t have an extra cat supplies that she'd need for the night. (Litter, food bowls, etc.) I'm somewhat terrified of leaving for the night to find a bunch of cats dead from heat exhaustion. G-d...Nike is lying on my bed at this moment, and I can see she's panting. I wish there was something I could do to make her more comfortable.

Of course, there was also some brief communication with Becky. I tried to tell her as swiftly as possible what was going on. I really missed chatting with her for hours on end, but I couldn't stay here and do so, and to involve myself in a lengthy chat while at Jess's place wouldn't have been very comfortable.

I'll try to keep you folks posted. But if we have to abandon the trailer for a few days until the A/C is fixed, assume any extended silence is due to the fact that we relocated our current positions here in Hades.

Edit: It's now 11:46 AM as I type, and this is what's happened and will happen.

Cody and Ray spent the night at Wyatt and Jess's. While they slept in cool comfort, I stayed here. I took my larger, more powerful fan and propped it against the open front door in the hopes of cooling off the living room. I got the room from a sweltering 90 degrees to an arctic 87. (Yes, that's sarcasm.) Still, the cats appreciated it. They were all gathered in the living room, completely wiped out from the heat, but didn't appear to be panting anymore.

Eventually I locked up the house and went to bed. I did so with a long sock filled with ice around my neck. While it helped to keep me from overheating, I believe I now need a new pillow. The moisture that seeped into the pillow may be turning to mold in this heat, even as I type.

Professionals are sue out here in about two hours. With any luck whatsoever, this will all be fixed and done with...unless the problem proves to be even larger than we thought. Then...Well, I don;t know what I'm going to do, but spending another night in this easy-bake oven is out of the question. I'd like to retreat to a motel for a couple of days, but I'm officially out of "extra" money. Alternatively, it's simply too dangerous, LITERALLY, to stay in this kind of heat.

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