115 Degrees In The Shade

Well, folks, I have a couple more practical posts in the making, but they’re not quite ready for public consumption. On the other hand, I did say I was going to post at least once a week, and it’s been over a week now, so I thought I’d better offer up something.

About That Headline

Yes, it’s one hundred and fifteen degrees in the shade (135° in the sun!) here in the desert west of Phoenix. The absorption refrigerator is struggling to keep its contents cool. Stepping outside into the light breeze feels like walking into a giant convection oven. The forecast is for another couple days of the same, and the area is under a Heat Advisory. Summer is definitely here.

Keeping My Cool

Thanks to the Wonder of Ancient Technology known as an evaporative cooler, it is a very comfortable 82 degrees indoors, without running the air conditioner. I love my swamp cooler — not only does it save energy and money, but it also allows me to enjoy fresh cool air and open windows instead of having everything closed up and recirculating the same stale air. In another week or so I’ll unfortunately be having to do just that when the monsoon season’s increase in humidity renders the evaporative cooler ineffective. I’ll also see my electric bill triple for about three months.

Avoiding The Heat

So what have I been doing while I stay indoors avoiding the heat? Well, I’ve been pecking away at decluttering. I am amassing a boxful of small electronic bits, pieces, gadgets, and gizmos that individually would not be worth the trouble of selling, and don’t seem appropriate for thrift store donation either. Still, they’re just too darn good to throw away. I’m thinking of putting the whole boxful on eBay as a not-quite-mystery box. I’ll put up a couple photos and maybe some general descriptions of the highlights, and see what happens. If nothing else, it will be fun.

Multimedia Maintenance

I’ve also been working on my digital library as I transition from “legacy” paper and polycarbonate media to bits and bytes on a hard drive.  This is an ongoing project which I spend time on now and then when I’m in the mood. I could go into more detail sometime if you’d like to read about it. Let me know.

Clearing Clutter Pays Off

There are plenty of ways that eliminating clutter pays off. More space and less distraction, for example. But I wasn’t expecting it to pay off literally. I was going through some folded bits of paper and receipts the other day, making sure I wasn’t about to throw away anything important, and there it was folded up in an old store receipt: a twenty dollar bill! Pretty cool, huh?

In Other News

Do any of you write for content farms, or have you in the past? Are you considering writing for one to help make ends meet? You should give this NYT  Opinionator blog post and this Faster Times article a read.


14 responses to “115 Degrees In The Shade

  1. We’re headed into another very hot time here too. We got a break of a couple of days and some rain last week, and that will be all the rain for weeks. It’s only in the 100 to 104 degree range here. Some people say they can’t tell any difference between 95, 105 and 115, but there’s a difference. Also, our hot temps in May were with low humidity, something that’s rare here. Now we have the humidity.

    I have written for content farms and made some nice money doing it. Google is trying to eliminate low-quality sites from their rankings, but I don’t think it will matter much. They will just find other ways to function. I can write good content and bad content, so either is fine with me! Interesting articles, though.


    • Mike | HomelessOnWheels

      I wonder if it’s that they really can’t tell the difference, or that after some point they just don’t care. I can sure tell the difference.

      As for the content farms, I dunno if I could just crank out pointless drivel all day. It would probably depend how much I needed the money. I’m glad to hear you did OK with it though, Gip.

  2. hey mike!
    have been checking on you each day… began to wonder how your health was because you’d said you need to stay near your doctors for awhile.
    (no pressure tho on blogging!) just glad to know you’ve been in your rv doing what you enjoy.
    like the mystery box thing, sounds fun. we used to do it at garage sales and you’d be surprised the people that would spend $5 or even $10 on something they didn’t even know the contents of!
    as to content farms…. good grief!!! maybe a way to make money… but not on a minimalist’s less-stress, less is more lifestyle i would think.
    the joys and pitfalls of cyberspace!
    cheers guy,
    tammy j
    ps… wow! and i thought it was hot here. … like gip it’s been 104, 105. but this morning we actually had rain showers. HEAVEN.

    • Mike | HomelessOnWheels

      Oh, yeah, I’m OK, Tammy. Just a bit of a dry spell with writing.

      Yeah, people will buy almost anything. I think people will gamble on a mystery item because of the fun of seeing what they’ll get. A modern-day version of finding buried treasure.

  3. Thanks for your link to The Faster Times! I am an unemployed writer and found that article very interesting. I also saw your Freshly Pressed post today, well done!

  4. Hey Mike, I lived in my car for a week while traveling up to Alaska so I feel you on decluttering. Keep enjoying the freedom of your wheels!

  5. Mike | HomelessOnWheels

    Living in a car is traveling a bit light for me, but people do it. I suppose it’s easier just for a trip than it would be full time.

  6. Love the idea of a swamp cooler. Have you posted pics of that? I live in Houston, so not sure how much humidity would make it useless.

    I have gotten rid of a lot of old useless electronics on freecycle.org. I found another box of stuff the other day with so many extra cables, internal zip drives and crap like that. But someone always wants that stuff. So I will post that on the site next week.

    I’ve been scanning old school papers and photos to the hard drive. It takes a while, but worth clearing the clutter.

    • Mike | HomelessOnWheels

      I haven’t posted pictures, but that’s a good idea for a follow-up post. I’ll bet there are lots of people who have no idea what a swamp cooler is. Thanks, Marc!

      As for Houston, I’m not familiar enough with the climate to make a recommendation, but I can tell you that once the dew point get into the 50’s the cooler’s performance is significantly reduced to the point that most people will find it unacceptable.

  7. Hey Mike,
    I live in Florence and can relate to the 115 degree weather. I am anticipating the monsoons coming soon and hope they do not delay too much longer.

  8. Mike | HomelessOnWheels

    Hi, Lori. I’m not looking forward to the increased humidity, but the rain will be awesome. Maybe next week – first week or so in July is about when the monsoon weather usually begins.

  9. Pingback: Swamp Cooling In The Desert | Homeless On Wheels

  10. Pingback: Swamp Cooling In The Desert | Homeless On Wheels

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