Shootin' the Breeze

by "Bummer"

bummer @ abate

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August 2018

    When youíre hot youíre hot...

    Iím writing this in June and the temps have been scorching! As luck would have it, my central air is pretty worn-out and itís leaking Freon from somewhere that my furnace/air guy canít seem to locate. He DID come by to re-charge my unit, but itís about 25 years old and it uses the old-style Freon (which is incredibly expensive). He used some recycled stuff that he had from switching out other units to try to get me by for free until my whole damned unit can be replaced in a week or so (since heís so busy.) Iím talkiní lines, condenser, everything, from the ground up. The new system will surely be more energy efficient too.

    Today I came home from riding all day and it appears that itís leaked out again, so I just gotta wait, even though the weatherman says itíll climb back up into the 90ís again in a few days. I have a few pedestal fans Iíve been using in my living room, bedroom, and here in my study, so Iím guessing it wonít be that bad.

    Now, of course this isnít really THAT much of a problem compared to others that many people have. And I AM grateful that Iíve reached the point in my life where day to day living isnít a struggle... Iím relatively comfortable in every way usually. But it sorta pisses me off that Iíve become so damned soft and spoiled in some ways too!

    Hell, when I was a kid growing up in the late 1950ís and early 1960ís, neither my family, nor any of my friendís families, had air conditioners of ANY kind, central OR otherwise... unless you wanna count our dads sticking HUGE fans in the living room windows, setting them so they blew out, and cranking those suckers up!

    I remember playing ball (or whatever) and coming home to stand OUTSIDE the window just to feel that magnificent blast of air blowing all over my young sweaty body. And as long as I didnít screw things up by continually running in and out the doors, even the inside of the house stayed relatively cool. I never quite understood that, and I remember Dad getting really pissed whenever Iíd take it upon myself to reverse the air-flow! Many people donít seem to be that bothered by heat and they actually appear to enjoy it. Not me!! I now have plenty of insulation on my OLD sweaty body, and the heat really annoys me.

    Though Iíve often said how much I prefer it, Iíve been doing a lot of country riding just to enjoy the road-wind on these 90+ degree days that weíve been having lately. I specifically mentioned COUNTRY riding because most of our bikes are air-cooled and in temps like this, city riding sorta defeats the purpose when even the roads are blistering hot and riding at those stop and go city speed limits lets the heat just rise up to you from the engine. In fact, my old Shovelhead actually once seized up in really slow moving and jammed-up city traffic on a very hot day long ago. After pushing it over to, and parking it in, some shade for a while - it finally started... and then it was fine and hasnít done it since (my son Jason now has it).

    When I had a pool, on some days I used to stay inside the house rather than venture out to swim just because it was too hot to go outside! When I did, I often had to put something on my feet just to cross the wooden deck because it was burning hot, or else I was dancing towards the pool screaming, ďOuch, ouch, ouchĒ like a little girl, (no offence to all you big and little girls out there.)

    Jason lives in Louisiana where it gets so hot that people who own pools canít even enjoy them in the summer. There, when the temps are over 100 degrees and so humid your insides feel like theyíre melting together... instead of being cool and refreshing, the pools feel like hot tubs without any of the pressured jets and stuff, and ya donít do hot tubs on hot days!

    Whenever Jason comes up here to visit and complains how cold it is I often tell him, ďIf youíre in Ohio and youíre too cold, you can always put on more clothes... but down there if youíre too hot, you canít get any more naked than naked!Ē Ben, my other son, lives in N. Carolina and thatís a little bit better, but it still can be far worse than here.

    But getting back to it, weíve ALL become so spoiled. Now, with this latest ďairĒ problem, Iíve found myself jumping in the car and going somewhere I didnít even need to go to get a short air conditioned ďfixĒ.

    Itís hard to believe that we used to travel in cars without air conditioning, without intermittent windshield wipers, without power windows, without kick-ass stereo systems (but at least we had cigarette lighters and ashtrays!) And instead of a ton of channels to watch on TV, remember when we only had six or less? And those were off the air after 1:00 AM or so! Hell, I get flustered if my TV remote batteries die and I have to actually get up to change the channel! And thanks to my micro-wave, Iíve only taken the pots and pans out of my oven where theyíre stored a few times in the past year.

    Nowadays people think that they can cook if theyíre able to assemble relatively simple and easy meals from stuff that comes in boxes and cans. But then again, even my mother (who really COULD cook) eventually fell for that easy cooking stuff. I remember when she first discovered instant mashed potatoes (and I immediately wished she hadnít LOL!) She DID used to bake her own bread every week, (and MAN... that smell!!)

    But the time and effort of baking that bread was tedious for her Iím sure. Iím also sure the only reason she did it so often was for Dad and the rest of us (and because of that we never bitched about those damned potatoes).

    In the old days if we needed to phone someone while on the road and the call was that important, we had to seek out and use the public telephones which were scattered all around town in actual stand-up telephone booths with a door that closed behind you for silence and privacy. Some of them even had a little triangular seat in Ďem. A friend I used to work with bought a whole bunch of Ďem from the phone company when they took them out of our plant. Heís been selling them to people for big bucks on-line so they can use them as nifty rain and winter school-bus waiting-shelters for their kids.

    For the most part many people bitch and complain all the time about how great the old days were... and in many ways they were. But in many ways they werenít...

    In the 1950ís I had a great-uncle whose family had to use an outhouse on their farm Ďcause the old man never got around to installing plumbing in the house except for a hand-pump in the kitchen. They had to go outside even when it was WINTER... unless they used a chamber-pot on really stormy nights!!

    When I was in high-school in the late 60ís I had some older buddies who graduated before I did and were immediately sent to Viet Nam. One I was good friends with told me (for obvious reasons) that I should learn typing in case I got drafted. I remember him telling me, ďBetter to be a company clerk on base behind a desk than a grunt in the jungle behind an M-14.Ē (And typing class was where the girls were, so that closed the deal!) My point here is that even though I can type, using a typewriter for things like writing this column every month would be a helluva lot more hassle than using this computer with its ďdeleteĒ, ďcopy and pasteĒ, ďinsertĒ, ďresetĒ etc. (I rarely use the spell-check because I write with so much slang and funky grammar... ya dig?)

    Anyway, when it comes to modern conveniences Iíve heard a few people say that they canít stand air conditioning for one reason or another. If any of you reading this agrees with them, yíall can come and visit me for the next week. In fact if ya like, we can dig a hole out back and pretend my toilets donít work too. Letís get medieval together!!

    Well, thatís my two cents for this month.

                                        If you have it, I hope YOUR air is working fine...


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