...so when I got up around 11 to feed the cats, there was a message on the machine from my brother, wanting to know if the government rent on the bunker had been paid.
Things I thought of, but did not say, when I called him back:
"Eh? There was tax due? When was this?"
"Why, no! I took the money you sent me and shoved it up my ass!"
"No. By the way, did you hear there's a new strip club down by the interstate?"
"Was that what that check was for? I thought it was a belated birthday present. Incidentally, I've got a new computer...."
...all of which would have been the prelude to, "of COURSE I paid it! HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK I AM?" And from there it would have descended into profanity, which is why I didn't say any of these things.
Still, it's really kind of insulting, you know? What does he think I did? If there had been some kind of problem I would have been screaming bloody murder about it on the due date and he for damn sure ought to understand that much.
Instead of being sarcastic I took the high road, though I prefaced it with a weary sigh: "The tax has been paid, it got paid on time, and there's no trouble."
* * *
Of course I fell asleep again after that--see above, "Xanax"--and didn't wake up until evening because the cats weren't bothering me and the damn phone wasn't ringing off the hook.
Dinner was General Tao's Chicken. I didn't want to cook; it's too hot outside. It was still close to 90 when I got up. But Culver's was out; I'm trying to limit myself to one DD combo per week only because it's almost $8 and it's one meal, and I had my one DD for the week already.
Thinking about it, I realized that I had not eaten out very much at all this week, not compared to some weeks. One DD on Tuesday, Pizza Hut on Wednesday (which was three meals for $11) and General Tao tonight makes three times, which is pretty good for a bachelor living alone.
Anyway, I took the bike: went to the ATM, then to the Chinese place, and had minimal waiting there before I tucked the bag into the trunk and rode home.
The dang thing shifted, and leaked. Now my trunk smells like General Tao's Chicken. *sigh*
Wearing the full kit, though--with the relative humidity sitting in the thirties--I was as comfortable as can be when moving, and only a little warm when stopped. Of course it's evening, not midday, so I'm sure solar insolation was a factor, but WTF.
I expect that if I could find a good riding jacket--synthetic material with vents etc--I'd be even more comfortable in this kind of weather, and probably more safe than I am with the suede jacket.
Alas, the chicks don't give you a second glance when you're wearing all that gear in hot weather. For that you have to ride in your shirtsleeves without a helmet.
* * *
The other thing I did this morning, after feeding the cats, was to close all the windows and turn the thermostat down to 77. This has resulted in a pleasantly cool bunker without having to run the AC an excessive amount. If the low humidity holds and the temps get as cool tonight as they did last night, I expect I'll be opening up around 9-ish and cold-soaking the place again.
I do not expect this pattern to persist much past mid-June, though I will of course accept it whenever it may happen. We may be nearing solar maximum; it doesn't change the fact that Cycle 25 is weak compared to other maxima.
I have to admit Mom was right to get the place sided with vinyl siding, and to get new windows. A few years after these changes I'm prepared to say that the bunker is more energy-efficient now than it's ever been.
Of course, the other aspect is me setting the thermostat at 77 rather than 72.
One thought I had:
When I lived in Cedar Rapids, one fine early summer evening I saw that the landlord had a screen door--and wondered, WTF?
What he'd done was to go to Menards or some place and buy a wood screen door. They're cheap--they were on sale a couple weeks ago for about $15--and what he did was to trim it so that it would just fit in the door jamb. He added a couple handles to make moving it easy; and thereafter on pleasant evenings he could have the front door open without all sorts of bugs coming inside.
It was such a good idea I and my GF did exactly the same thing. It might have cost as much as $20, all told, but then we could put the little double fan thing in the kitchen window, have that screen door up, and have fresh air flowing through the apartment while we cooked and watched TV or whatever.
The HVAC returns that feed the furnace here in the bunker are not sufficient to the task, not even with the extra ones that were put in after we got central air. There's a pressure differential across the basement door whenever the blower is running; it's not a big one but it's there. I've got to keep the basement door closed to keep the cats out of there, but I was thinking it would be nice if there were some way to replace the regular bifold door with a louvered one that would let air through. That way the furnace blower wouldn't be struggling to pull in air, which might mean better ventilation.
Then it hit me: why not use the screen door idea?
That's as far as I've gotten, but I did see that Menards ad a few weeks ago. I just need to measure the opening to get the right width; then it's just a matter of fitting the dang thing and adding a couple handles.
This will be a better idea for winter, of course, because cool air tends to sink, and forcing the hot air through the AC (instead of letting the cool air recirculate) is probably more energy-efficient, even if the blower is struggling to pull in air.
Still, it bears thinking about.
* * *
I'm thinking I'll ride the motorcycle to church again tomorrow morning. Why not?