Friday, August 26, 2005

At least I have cloth seats

I had to run an errand for work yesterday afternoon about 2:00.

Have I mentioned that it's hot? Only about 103 yesterday with a THI (that's Temperature Humidity Index for you folks in cooler climes) of 107. I mean it's warm enough that a light jacket should keep off the chill...

And there is no shade to park my car in.

I open up the car and slide in and crank it up. First order of business is to dial the AC up to permafrost. The second order of business is to remove the sun shade from the front windshield. (It's a violation of the natural order not to employ a sun shade in the Texas summer) The LAST step in the process is to close the door. Hopefully by this time, SOME of the heat (130 or more in a closed car) has leaked out the open door and your AC has a fighting chance.

As I pull out of the parking lot, I can feel the, as yet, tiny beads of persperation beginning to form. I have the AC on recirculate (for maximum cooling) and so it should soon start to at least get incrementally cooler. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to really make a difference as the removal of the sun shade allows the full radiation of the Texas sun (you didn't know it belongs to us, did you?) to better heat the front dashboard, creating a temporary counterbalance to the cooling of the AC.

After a couple of blocks, I notice that it doesn't seem to be getting any cooler. By this time those tiny beads have become BIG beads, some even refuse to maintain their state of beadiness. My hand to the vent can only feel hot air coming out. Oh, great. What's wrong with my AC? On the hottest day of the year, naturally.

By this time I'm getting a little concerned. That's when I notice that the button on the dash that controls the compressor. When the AC is activated, it has a little green light that stays on. There is no little green light. Ergo, the AC is not on. This button sometimes gets pressed in the process of removing the sun screen. In other words, it's my own fault. After pondering my next course of action for .000003 milliseconds, I reach up and press the button.

Almost instantly, I can feel a difference in the temperature of the air coming out of the vents. It's no wonder I was so hot. All I had been doing before was recirculating the increasingly warming air (close car, apply sun, repeat as necessary).

At least now I know what it's like to sit in a convection oven. (I can mark that one off my list)

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