Tuesday, September 01, 2009

learning my abzzzzzzzzz

Felipe calls her "an old Mexican school marm hidden behind the mountains" -- the regulator of Mexico's rainy season.

Four months on. Eight months off. As if the rain guys belonged to a very good fireman's union.

If he is correct, that school marm should be investigated for dipping into the bucket -- Mexico simply is not getting the rain it should these days. This summer is leaving man and beast panting for one last drop of water before we shuffle off to that Sahara in the sky.

If it were not for the humidity in my little fishing village, I would suspect that David Lean had slipped into town while everyone was busy sweating and had started a remake of Lawrence of Arabia.

I am doing as well as I thought I would in the heat (and that translates to "not very"), but Jiggs has been having a far more difficult time. Nights are worst for him. I think that is true because our bedroom is very hot -- and the ocean breezes stop when the sun starts setting. Regulated, I suspected, by the same school marm who controls the rain. She may even run the teachers' union.

I have mentioned that the woman who owns the house purchased a portable air conditioner for the bedroom. I have tried not to use it most nights because I knew how expensive electricity is in Mexico. I was also reluctant to use it because it does not reduce the temperature in the room by any more than a couple of degrees -- running all night.

But, for Jiggs's sake, I have turned it on to create a bit of cool breeze for him whenever the bedroom temperature gets over 90 degrees.

Over the weekend the electric bill arrived. For our extravagant occasional use of electricity, we were charged the equivalent of $100 for the past two months.

To me, that initially seemed high. This house usually has an electric bill of about $10 a month.

But air conditioning is expensive everywhere. My house in Salem had an electric bill this month of over $100 -- and Oregon has relatively inexpensive electrical rates (thanks to subsidies from the generous American taxpayer).

I played with the idea of cutting back on using the air conditioner. That lasted just long enough for me to watch Jiggs's pleading eyes.

But Felipe's school marm intervened. Maybe the federales were closing in on her, but she decided to give us a nice soft rain for two days. The furious hurricane that is building in the Pacific probably had something to do with the rain, along with an extremely brisk wind and some amazing wave activity.

The greatest gift, though, was two nights with temperatures in the 70s. I actually turned off the fans in the bedroom. Both of us had the first full night of sleep since we arrived in April. By "full," I mean that we did not roll out of our respective sleeping arrangements until 8:45.

Maybe Hypnos gave the school marm a micky. However it happened, two full nights of sleep has put both of us in high spirits.


Anonymous said...

Good idea...using the a/c. After all you only live once....I'm doing a rain dance to jump start this questionable rainy season.
Have your rain gear and umbrella handy!!

American Mommy in Mexico said...

My opinion: There is something wrong that air conditioner. Our room units made it downright cold. Get soemone to come look at it. And then use it!

Larry in Mazatlan said...

The heated air is exhausting outdoors, right? I've seen installations here of portable units where the plastic exhaust duct is missing and the heated air (goes-out-a) dumps into the room after the heat is extracted from the inlet (goes-in-ta). Net result; little change. Also, where is the condensate draining to? Hopefully out of the room.


p.s. Like the techy terms above? Once an engineer always an engineer.

1st Mate said...

Steve - Enjoy your sleep. This should all be over in five or six weeks at most. We also have a wimpy air conditioner in the Capt's studio, which discourages me from going in there and working on our recording project. Not good. Strategically placed fans help a lot, but we're thinking mini-split. If you broke down and got a better AC, you could always take it with you when you move. Or get your landlady to reduce your last month's rent and leave it there.

Steve Cotton said...

Francisco -- Even when it does not work well, it is better than nothing.

AMM -- I suspect the unit was simply not engineered for a room this large -- a bedroom, an office, and a very large bathoom. It puts out cool air and it pumps out the hot. In fact, the hose that pumps out the hot air is so hot that you cannot leave your hand on it. I suspect a lot of that heat is simply radiating back into the room.

Larry -- See my answer to AMM. When I sit next to the hose leading out the window, I can feel the heat radiating through it back into the room. Everything appears to be working. The unit is simply not up to dealing with this room.

1st Mate -- For some reason, I could not sleep a wink last night -- and it was a perfect night for sleeping. We had rain and thunderstorms. The room was cool enough that I turned off the fans. But something was amiss. Jiggs did not sleep either. He is currently conked out at my feet -- even too tired to eat his breakfast.

Babs said...

You would be in hog heaven here at night. In the low 50's....I sleep like a log....do logs sleep?
HIgh yesterday, because of the rain, was 66. I had on long pants and a long sleeve shirt. High today, after three days of rain, 80. come check it out!

Larry in Mazatlan said...

Insulate the exhaust duct. You're getting a lot of heat radiated back into the room.


Calypso said...

Just returned to NEW Mexico from three weeks in Las Vegas. The house deals there were incredible - I would have bought one were I a lizard. How anyone lives in that heat is beyond me.

50 bucks a month to be comfortable - a small price to pay amigo. Be COOL!

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- You make it sound enticing. Temperatures in the 60s would be perfect.

Larry -- Good idea. Now to find the material.

Calypso -- Comfort is winning out over profligacy fears.