Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Unemployed adventures in energy conservation

It was dog-balls hot in Boise on Monday, so I started my experiment in energy conservation, i.e. saving money on the electric bill this summer.

The challenge with being employed and away from home all day is properly regulating temperature in one's household. And there's nothing worse after a shitty day in the orifice than coming home to uncomfortable living quarters.

We've always been pretty good about keeping the heat low (or off) during the day in the winter, but summer is a different story. The high-desert summer temperatures get unbearable here — not Phoenix unbearable, but bad enough when your skin is used to Northern New England — and that means the A/C and ceiling fans are usually running 24/7 come July.

Not this year. One benefit of being unemployed is being home all day, and the arrangement lends itself well to a pantsless existence. Thus, I plan on striking a balance between living without air conditioning and avoiding heat stroke-induced insanity. Luckily I have a high threshold for suffering. And access to a kiddie pool and cheap beer if it comes to that.

So, yesterday morning I closed all the windows, drew all the shades and turned the house into a cave. It's damn near vampiric right now, but at 4:30 p.m., with the temperature outside 81 degrees, we're only at 71 on the Laid Off Loser Fortress of Solitude thermostat. Not bad. 

Yesterday it got up to 73 in here before the sun went down and the windows went back up. I was hoping not to eclipse 70 today, but I just sauteed some vegetables. Plus I've been thinking real hard.

But tomorrow the temperature is supposed to drop and I don't plan on sauteing any vegetables or thinking real hard. And I might have the Winter Warlock over for tea and sympathy, and that motherfucker puts off a good chill.


  1. Dog balls hot? Man, that is so funny, I just had to write a post about it and add you to my blog roll at laidoffusa.com.

    How hot is that exactly? Is that a popular expression in Boise? I've sure never heard it in Maryland or Pennsylvania or, come to think of it, anywhere but your blog.

  2. I read your post — thanks for the shout-out. I'll add you to my blogroll, too.

    I don't know where I first heard the expression, but Google "hot as dog balls" (with the quotations) and you'll get around 80 hits. So, it obviously came from somewhere, as phrases do. I want to think I first heard my mother say it, but maybe not. I can't take credit for making it up. In any case, it's damn hilarious.

    I don't think it's a popular expression anywhere. I'm originally from Ohio, where it certainly gets hot as dog balls, but I haven't heard anyone use it outside my family. Cheers.