Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A High of 84 in the Living Room

If you want to move to South Florida, you have to like it warm.

You also have to understand that things are different here.  The stability that you have in some other areas isn't completely guaranteed here.

Things work for the most part, but when they go wrong they leave you scratching your head. 

In the seven years I've lived here, I've seen water spouts, tropical storms (weak, and I've been lucky), thunderstorms that threatened to fill the street in front of the house, power "pops" on a daily basis, and wildlife that really shouldn't be here.

Don't get me started about the iguanas.  I'm thinking about finding that recipe they had in the little restaurant in Port of Spain, Trinidad for Iguana Tail Soup.

When life gives you Iguanas, make Iguana Tail Soup!   Skip the Lemonade, I'll be in the kitchen for a while.

There isn't a "perfect" place anywhere in the United States.  Even San Diego has earthquakes (minor ones, but they're there) and it's a near desert climate.  If utilities were completely cut off in Las Vegas, the interstates would be clogged with SUV's loaded up like the Clampetts heading off to Bev-er-lee within a day or three I would wager.

But here on our quirky little island smack dab in the middle of the South Florida Sprawl, you get to expect weirdness.  Nothing terribly threatening, although a tornado would ruin your day. 

When Wilma came through, my neighbors tell me, power was off on my block for two weeks.

I guess then waking up warm and sweaty at 5:30AM the other day was a minor inconvenience. 

It was 79, in the house. 

Air Conditioning is a requirement here.   We go from cooled house to chilled car to cold offices, stop off at the refrigerated mall for lunch, and reverse our paths to come home at night to our climate controlled comfort.

Sure you adjust to the heat some.  I keep my house at 78 during the day if I forget to turn the air conditioning down to it, otherwise it goes up to 80.   Meh.

But at that time of morning I knew something was up. 

We had had a shower come through, and I slept in blissful ignorance.  The dog doesn't seem to mind the weather, and the parrot is off in the living room too far for me to hear.

Every time we have a storm, we have a power surge.  I swear if you can put a personality to the power here, Mrs. FPL is a menopausal middle aged woman with bad knees and a limp.   Wilma slapped FPL's infrastructure around and it left the power creaky at best.

If we have a power surge, then anything can happen.

In our case, even though everything is on filters, the house, plus each major appliance, the router went mental.  It stopped working for us.  

It also weakened a capacitor in my air conditioning.  That capacitor took a couple days to finally blow.

Knowing the symptoms, I got a late in the day appointment to get it fixed and made sure there was plenty of ice for drinks in the house.   If it got too bad, I'd grab the dog and take him somewhere more comfortable.   As it was it only hit 84 indoors by the end of the day.

It's not even getting into the 90s yet which is a bit late by my memory for this time of year.

So while I was scrambling to restore my daily driver computer that got hit by a virus, we had to figure out the a/c and the wifi router.  

Busy day.

It was interesting to watch the dog get thinner as the day went on.   He planted himself in the middle of the living room, under the ceiling fan, on the tiles.  Spreading himself out as wide as he could get, he melted into the Florida Tiles on one side, caught as much of the breezes as possible on the other.

Just one day without A/C.  Not a major problem, and the temperatures weren't too terrible.  After all, this isn't the desert with 110 or 120F heat. 

Our Crusty Old Compressor got fixed by our Crusty Old A/C guy with a couple interesting stories about how it was Back In The Days.  One thing he said was that he's heard stories from other A/C people.   Down here, A/C repair is a racket.  They know they have you.  Billboards scream "Your Wife Is Hot" and in smaller print it says "get your A/C fixed today".  That company I have been told is a ripoff, and you really have to have a recommendation from a friend for repairs here.

The story goes that with Tropical Storm Chantal looming, and it has since blown out in the Caribbean, they were looking for more money.  You see, storms have lightning.  Lightning strikes the power lines and sends a surge into them.  Those surges blow out the capacitors or compressors and Your Wife Is Hot becomes truth and not a cute slogan.  These bozos were looking forward to "raking in the dough" - his words, not mine.

Now I understand why when a major storm is coming through, people cut power off to the house.  May as well let the next guy watch their dog melt into the floor instead of you having to do it too.

No comments:

Post a Comment