The First Hot Days

The first hot days of late spring have let us know that we will be warm this summer. This is the case nearly every year and even the silliest of us should have twigged to it by now. In past years I have gone along with the gag and consented to be uncomfortable for months. This year I am going to revolt. I have the weapons at hand.

a. I have an air conditioner in my study. When the heat rises I am going to retreat to this room, damn the expense, and continue in comfort.

b. I am going to rise with the lark. Getting older does that to you – I can only assume that the lark has a dodgy bladder as well. Never mind, while I am up, I might as well get on with scraping the carcase, boiling the coffee, and sending out the posts. Also the laundry and other menial tasks. It is cool in the dawn.

c. The workshop heats rapidly, so part of the early morning will be devoted to what might be done in comparative comfort. The later morning will be reserved for whatever spray painting jobs have been lined up, as the heat will make the paint flow better and the noon to 4:00 o’clock period will be perfect for still air and heat curing of the paint.

d. Work on small kits in the study is easy…I have a portable modeller’s workstation I cobbled up last year. I just pick it up, move into the house, and carry on.

e. The period just after lunch is going to be devoted to a deliberate siesta. I am retired and have the time for this, and find that it is a very refreshing thing. And hour and a half is more than enough to energize me to go all evening when it is cool.

f. Gotta go somewhere? Drive in the heat of the day with the A/C in the car going.

g. Gonna wear heavy restricting clothing in the heat? Nope. Gonna wear cargo shorts, thongs, and a tee-shirt. I’m home and I can dress to please myself. Begone shoes…

h. Water? We have one of those cooler things and I might as well use it more.

i. Fremantle Doctor coming in? Open the house to it. The workshop has a whirlybird and big open Rolladoor.

j. Salad. Cold meat and cheese. Sushi. Just because we have an oven doesn’t mean we have to live in it.

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Warning: Trigger Language.

The heading image is heavy rain falling from a grey morning sky somewhere on the North Atlantic in 1944 – as observed from the conning tower of a surfaced German U-boat.

Here is a second image with an added element: an RCAF Bristol Bolingbroke patrol bomber. It is painted all white underneath and the fitters have deliberately left the British red/white/blue roundels off the wings.

Notice that the only things you can see clearly are the anti-icing boots on the front of wings and horizontal stablisers? And if the wheels were up, you’d not even be able to see the tyres? And the airplane would be able to bring your death by machine gun or depth charge out of the rain all the more easily?

Here’s a picture of the Bolingbroke with the landing light on, coming back from the mission later in the day. Not a great deal more visibility, but at least there is something..

I post this, not warn U-boat crews to be more vigilant, but to warn drivers of white, silver, or light grey motor vehicles along Perth’s freeways in the winter rains.

IF YOU DON’T TURN ON YOUR FUCKING HEADLIGHTS YOU ARE INVISIBLE!

Death can find you at the Armadale Road turnoff just as easily as it can find you off Iceland. Death is looking for stupid people right now – people who are stupid enough to travel at high speed in the rain with no lights.

Turn on your lights.

The Little World – Beating The Heat

Today is hot and muggy here in Perth – we are due for a thunderstorm. It is a reminder that it will get hotter as summer comes on – we can expect 36º to 42º for at least two to three weeks in the peak time.

Hobby building in my shed is a misery then – the interior temperature in the place climbs to 38º by mid-morning and it is all you can do to stick it out in the heat to do a project. It even drove me out of my computer room, and that meant I had to sit around the place thinking up trouble. To prevent this, the wife put and air conditioner on the computer rom – I can stay there typing and imaging all day.

It occurred to me that if I can do that, there, I can do this, here. ( And all you English teachers out there can grind your occlusal surfaces in impotent rage. That’s a real sentence. ). Today I made a modelling tray to bring inside for the summer. It will also serve in the depths of the July and August cold.

Okay, it’s not the complete workshop – but then it can’t be. The workshop has dust and spray paint and mess, and I need to keep this room clean. So I’ll use it for good old plastic modelling with brush painting. I have that pile of kits to build, and if the weather is dreadful, I can sit in here. It’s the reverse of my childhood in Canada when I took refuge from the snow by building kits on the kitchen table.

Note the portable palette containing the tools – this can go back and forth from inside to shed as needed. It was free. The hobby tray was free, too, courtesy of the packaging on the new kitchen, which was not free. At this point of time I wish to ask the members of the Little World congregation to come together and pray that the new ovens and stove work when they are connected tomorrow…we are sick of Subway and pub meals.

 

The Wet, Frozen Wedding

Today is wet and cold. It is also Saturday – the traditional day in Australia for weddings.

Somewhere in the metro area there is a bride, groom, wedding party, celebrant, and congregation shivering their shows off and praying that the reception venue is warm. Or at least dry.

I can only hope the groom has had a good stiff shot of rye to give him courage. Likewise the bride. It’ll be a tough one in the Baptist churches today…

The gardens pictures will be memorable. The bridal party huddling under umbrellas or trying to avoid the drip from the bridal arch that looked so romantic in the brochure. The limousine driver putting out the red carpet, then deciding whether to pick it up again, wring it out, and stow it in the boot…or just drive away and leave it in the mud.

I’ll bet the celebrant doesn’t tarry with the ceremony. No long pauses or flights of oratory. In between ” Dearly Beloved” and ” Kiss The Bride” there will be very few pauses.

And here is the funnest part – a few of the weddings will be outdoor affairs with no cover. No shelter. No Plan B. It’s A Man’s Life In The Regular Brides…

I’m not shooting today. I’m here in the house typing away. I can read a calendar and a Met map.

The Clothes Dryer

DryThe invention of the clothes dryer may very well be the basic point at which we turned from savages to civilised people. Prior to this were were at the mercy of providence and the Meteorological Bureau for enough clean clothes to wear for a week – after this we could structure our lives around art, science, and literature.

Why it took so long is a mystery. The resourceful colonists in Massachusetts and Vermont and such invented cider presses, iron stoves, and gasoline buggies long before they had the good sense to supplement the clothes line. Even before the age of steam there must have been someone who was bright enough to realise that fire makes heat and hot air could dry clothes. It isn’t rocket science.

And what a boon it would have been to the pioneer women, They might have been resigned to  spending their days in childbirth and Indian fighting, but they would all have welcomed dry towels to do it with.

If a primitive society could devise a way to distill bourbon they could dry clothes in the winter. I think there must have been a conspiracy way back then. It would make for a good PhD…

 

 

 

My Warmest Regards…

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To Canada and the United States, and Russia and Sweden and everyone else who is foolish enough to locate their country north of the equator. I have just been looking at your life from the perspective of a model builder.

Specifically, someone who is building a model of a 1960’s mobile home from Canada. I’m using Google pictures and references to look at the equipment and structures, and I can’t help but feel sadness and sympathy for you in your winter.

We have one here in Australia and New Zealand. and there are even places where it snows for a few months. The mad are confined there at enormous expense and compelled to slide down hills on pieces of fibreglass. The odd thing is that they commit themselves and pay inordinate sums to be cold and get injured.

You people in CAN, USA and RUS don’t seem to have a choice – when winter comes and you are still there ( as opposed to the ducks and geese who have the good sense to leave ) you have to spend inordinate sums to stay warm and to see food that is not frozen. It looks from the photos on Google as if you have to have propane heaters, oil heaters, wood stoves, and such to survive. This is fine for the modeller who can duplicate it in plastic and wire but it must be expensive as hell for you.

We have it easier – winter is cold and rainy and we spend money on gas, wood, and electricity to keep warmer, but we do not need to spend as hard to do it – frequently a wooly sweater will do the trick. Few of us ever have snow chains on our tyres or have to shovel anything at all.

Have you thought of flooding into North Africa and and leaving the frozen wastes of Europe and America to the displaced millions? They all want to go there, so let them. A few winters in Regina or Urkutsk would sort it all out and by then you can have the resorts in Palmyra and Tripoli cleaned out and running well.