The air conditioning in our hangar office space has been playing up lately.  Since we’ve been suffering through record heat, this has been a bit rough but not nearly as rough as what the air conditioner repair guy has to go through.  I can’t imagine climbing up 40 feet and walking around on a metal roof when it’s 104 degrees.  That’s one tough guy.

But there is no shortage of whining inside.  Everybody but the ex-military guys whine and claim they can’t work under these conditions.  I’m guessing that if you’ve been in the military then you’ve probably been somewhere that’s extremely hot and had to eat combat rations out of your helmet at least once (all the while wearing battle gear, body armor, and lugging a full pack of heavy gear).  Furthermore, you’ve probably also had to eat the same aforementioned rations that have been heated by burning C4 explosive that you dug out of the back of a disassembled mine in subzero temperatures.  So they don’t complain – they know how good they’ve got it.

Those of us permanent civilians should probably be sent to the tropics once in awhile to tend our airplanes.  When they’re parked on a ramp in the tropical sun for hours and have to wait there for some unknown delay, and then suddenly have to start the engines and take off, it can get a bit hard to stay fresh and clean.  That will teach you to keep working when conditions are sub-optimal.  Or, as they say in this business: “off nominal”.

I try not to whine when the air conditioning goes out.  But if my house A/C goes out and I have to sleep in the heat – all bets are off.

I guess the best way we’ve found for dealing with this long and awful heat wave is to stay inside.  We’ve tried to get outside and do what needs doing early in the morning (on the weekends naturally) and then hunker down inside.  Mel and Erin have been organizing and packing for the big move to the dorm at OSU but other than that, it’s been TV.

As happens most summers, there’s nothing really on the TV to watch.  Mel has been digging through the TV schedule to find old classic movies to catch with the DVR and that’s been fun.  Then there’s the DVD collections that we either own or can borrow from others.  It’s been fun to watch a TV series from start to finish in a few days.

I’ve also learned that there are a lot of so-called “classic” movies that end up being classics simply because of some small thing that made them unique at the time.  As such, they are interesting to cinema history buffs but may still be pretty annoying to watch.  Some really stand the test of time though. 

I practice the guitar most days for a little while.  I’ve built a couple of electronics projects at my new desk.  I should probably update Erin’s graduation video like I’ve said I want to. 

So in many ways it’s been like winter.

It’s inevitable that I have to blog about the hot weather.  I think this may be the summer that breaks the great heat wave of 1980.  It’s been over 100 degrees for over 21 days so far.  Not all of those are consecutive but that’s only because one day some pop-up storms came through and lowered the temperature to around 99.  That doesn’t really count as relief.

This is some pretty serious heat along with really bad drought.  This could cost the state a lot of money that we don’t really have.

Oh, well.  It usually cools off by October.

It has gotten hot already and there is little evidence that it will cool off any time soon.

Normally June is pretty nice and for a few years there it was relatively cool.  Usually it gets hot permanently in July and by that I mean into the mid 90’s.  Then in late July you can expect a day over 100 and several such days in August.  Not this time.

It’s been over 100 for a week or more and no end in sight.  On those days it’s been less than 100, it has been 97 or more.  On these days, Mel and I tend to act like we do in the middle of the coldest part of winter: we stay inside and watch TV.  One of the people I follow on twitter has already said “OK people.  Enough with the posting photos of your car thermometers.”  I’ve been trying to get some projects done like practicing my guitar and building some electronics projects but Evan left with the desk and I haven’t built another one yet.  Plus, Erin came home with the first two seasons of Big Bang Theory borrowed from a coworker and I’ve gotten addicted to watching those. I find much that I can relate to.

I did get one small project done: Erin’s wand.  She’s going to the premier of the Harry Potter movie along with a bunch of other people.  She’s had her ticket purchased for over a month.  They don’t usually do this but they’re going to dress up.  It’s easy for them because they still have their robes from graduation.  She crocheted a Gryfindor style scarf and asked me to make her a wand on “my spinning thingy”, i.e., my lathe. So I got out early last Saturday morning to take care of that before it got too hot. (BTW, all my turning tools are so dull that they almost don’t work.  There’s something else I have to take care of.)

My biggest problem with the heat is the sweat that runs down my forehead and into my eyes.  For this I have always employed a sweat band around my head but ever since John McEnroe retired from tennis these have been hard to come by.  I finally found one on Amazon that advertises to be the best of the breed.  I bought one to test it and if it works I will stock up.  I don’t like hats that much for this purpose; I have to pull them down so far that they get annoying vis-à-vis my glasses. If this doesn’t work I have toyed with the notion of applying underarm antiperspirant to my forehead.  This is definitely one of those first-world problems and as such I don’t put too much thought into it except when I see something on the “cool tools” website touting the “best sweatband”.

Evan had returned home for that day in order to keep an appointment at the optometrist so I had a second opinion as to how it looked.  It looked good.  A quick application of stain, some shellac, and it was ready to swish and flick.  Wingardium Leviosa!

So the high heat isn’t so bad after all.  Unless I have to go outside.