Found 11 posts tagged with 'weather'

Spring Thunderstorm

May 25, 2008 — 0 Comments

In the Pacific Northwest, rain is almost a daily occurrence but this rarely comes in the form of thunderstorms. Growing up in the desert Southwest, I miss the power and emotion that a thunderstorm can bring. I miss the otherworldly yellowing of the sky as the sunset bounces off of thunderheads high up in the sky.

Last night, that familiar scene played itself out here in Oregon and Southwest Washington. I couldn’t let the beauty of the storm pass overhead without taking some photos of the clouds.

My favorite photo out of the series appears below. It’s actually a photo that was taken vertically instead of horizontally (the position of the camera), but I like the way it turned out when it’s rotated.

To see the entire set, go to my flickr stream.


Here Comes the Heat

August 01, 2005 — 0 Comments

I thought it was a mistake when I first looked at my Konfabulator weather widget. According to the widget, the high here for Wednesday will be 96 degrees and on Thursday it’ll be 98 degrees.

I still couldn’t believe it, so I fired up the Weather Channel website
and it’s showing the same thing. With the temperature being 2 degrees
away from the century mark, people without AC are going to die in their

Looks like I was just in time.

It's Hot Outside But I'm Cool Inside

July 29, 2005 — 5 Comments

The summers here in Portland, Oregon are mild compared to other parts
of the country. However, there are times that the temperature outside
skyrockets and that makes the temperature inside most homes and
apartments akin to the inside of an oven.

Last summer when temperatures hovered in the high 90 degree range for
several days, I swore to myself that I would not suffer another summer
without air conditioning. As most dwellings here aren’t equipped with
central air, I had to get the next best thing; a window air

Window air conditioners present a special problem for me because of the
windows in my apartment. They are “slider” windows which means that
they open and close on the horizontal axis instead of the vertical and
most window air conditioning units are made for windows that open

There are air conditioners that are sold specifically to solve the
problem with my kind of windows. The first is to get a “mobile” AC unit
that has a hose for the exhaust. Most of these are quite spendy coming
in at the $400.00+ range. I have two rooms that I want to cool, my
bedroom and my office (houses lots of computers). I would have to get
two units and I really didn’t want to spend that much money on AC
units. So I moved to the next option.

They specifically make slider/casement AC units like this unit,
but the price of it ($369.00) immediately turned me off especially when
regular window AC units can cost as low as $100.00 (depending on BTU).

Being determined not to melt this summer, I formulated my plan. I knew
that I wanted two AC units (one for my bedroom and one for my office).
I knew would need something to mount it so that it wouldn’t fall out of
the window, and I knew that I had to plug the space above the unit
(the slider window is quite large to to bottom).

I ended up getting two LG 6000 BTU AC units for approximately $140.00
each at Home Depot. The 5200 BTU units that I wanted (which were on the
website – $119.00) were not available in the store, so I got the next
best thing. At 6000 BTU, they are plenty capable of cooling each room
(and probably a bit of an over kill considering that I measured the
rooms and I came up with needing a 5000 BTU unit).

I also got two AC-Safe Universal 5000 – 10000 BTU support brackets (I
can’t link from Home Depot (idiots) but if you want to look it up the
Internet number is 193005 and the catalog number is 100091666) so that
I could mount the unit in the window without having to drill holes on
the outside of the building. These are listed at $29.89 each.

Finally, to cover up the gaping hole in the window without looking like
a ghetto scrub, I decided to get clear acrylic to cover it. Although
plywood or cardboard would work, I decided not to make my apartment an
eyesore and went with the acrylic. I got mine from Tap Plastics
as they cut the pieces to size. I live on the second floor, so it’s
unrealistic to think that someone is going to break through the acrylic
but if I lived on the first floor I would definitely get polycarbonate
(specifically Lexan) which is harder to break. Each sheet of acrylic
was $25.00 but Lexan is more. Make sure you measure properly so you get the correct size.

So my approximate total for everything was $389.78 for two units and the materials to make it happen.

I should note something that I didn’t have to pay for; a drill. In
order to mount the bracket, you have to drill holes into the inner
window sill. I found out that my Black and Decker 9V cordless drill
wasn’t up to snuff but I was able to use my friend’s Makita which is a
much beefier 14V drill to do the job.

I had my friend Bob (I refer to him as Mister Jimmy Rig) come over and
help me with the first unit to make sure that I got a handle on how it
was gonna go down. After he showed me the first one, I was able to do
the second one on my own.

Basically, here is how it works:

  1. Remove the screen from the window (do not discard)

  2. Drill the holes into the inner window sill

  3. Mount
    the bracket to the inner window sill ((if the screws are being
    obstinate, rub soap on them to make them go into the wood easier)
  4. Fasten the safety arm (this leans against the exterior of the
    building with a rubber foot, so there is no drilling on the outside)
  5. Put in the window AC unit (I had to use wood as shims on each
    to balance the unit. I’m sure you could buy wood, but you can get
    some spare wood to work at a lumber shop or Home Depot)
  6. Put in the acrylic and mark the holes so you can attach the plastic to the AC unit
  7. Remove acrylic and gently drill holes into the marks (Do Not push hard on the acrylic when drilling as it will crack it – I don’t think Lexan suffers from this)
  8. Screw the acrylic to the AC unit
  9. We also screwed it into the top using some clever jimmy rigging
    but you can use tape to affix the top of the acrylic to the window if
    you want
  10. Take a drink of your beer, you’re done

NOTE: There is one thing that I found out after I mounted the units.
Because of the bracket and the shims, there are small gaps in between
the window sill and the AC unit. It’s possible that little critters can
get in through that area, but I’m going to spray mine with DAPtex Plus
so they are barred from entry. DAPtex, unlike polyurethane, can be used
by a novice and is easily cleanable with soap and water.

My office, which hit a rather warm 92 degrees this year, is now at room temperature. I’m living the good life now.

Summer Is Coming

June 14, 2005 — 0 Comments

Summer weather has yet to land here in the Pacific Northwest even
though it is mid-June. This is a common occurrence here although I’m
used to being in the “dog days” of summer by the time mid-June rolls

It’s probably a good thing that summer has such a late start here.
People would melt in their skivvies if they were forced to endure a
prolonged summer season without having access to air conditioning for
their homes. I’m still shocked to find the some of the fancier
apartments here don’t offer central air.

Hopefully the summer season will get a particularly late start so that
I can buy two air conditioners (one for my computer room and one for my
bedroom). Every time I think of putting a window AC unit I think that
something like this will happen. This is especially bad considering that I live on the second floor of my apartment complex.

Strange Weather

January 17, 2005 — 0 Comments

It seems like we’ve had a bit of strange weather here in the last few days. On Saturday, freezing rain was pelting Portland and now it’s almost 60 degrees outside. That’s pretty extraordinary for Portland in the middle of winter.

Interestingly, while driving home I noticed that the most treacherous roads during the big freeze are actually the most safe now because they don’t have mass amounts of gravel on them.

The Last Gasp of Summer

September 24, 2004 — 0 Comments

Although it’s officially fall now, it was rather nice here in Portland today. It actually got up to 74 today. I figured that I wouldn’t see weather like this again until next spring but it appears that summer is hanging on for one last gasp.


March 07, 2004 — 0 Comments

Today is the first day in a long time that I haven’t walked outside and cursed the heavens because of the weather. This morning I walked outside fully expecting the chill to hit my bones, when suddenly, it was warm. Not high desert warm but it was warm nonetheless. Right now it is 63 outside and tomorrow it is supposed to hit 65.

The Savage Frontier

January 05, 2004 — 0 Comments

According to the Weather Channel it is currently 22 degrees and with the wind chill it feels like 13 degrees. A local TV station is prophesying the end of the world here tonight with all sorts of snow, ice, cats and dogs falling from the heavens. If that happens and the land is covered in white treacherous stuff then I get to work from home tomorrow (read: play Zelda all day long).

By the way, if you didn’t get the title reference, here it is.


October 09, 2003 — 0 Comments

Earlier today the weather got real nasty outside. It was so dark that it seemed like a giant space dragon had eaten the sun (if you know what that is from good for you!). So I’m working away at the office and all of the lights go out and so does the power to my PC (much to my chagrin since I have a mini-UPS). Immediately after the power outage, someone screamed like Flanders and (it lasted for a second) there was a huge boom of thunder. I wonder if the building got hit by lightning… Oh yeah, and some of our servers got rebooted as well, even though they are connected to a huge UPS. I guess it doesn’t help that the UPS, with its batteries, has been around since I was in high school.

Stupid Heat

September 04, 2003 — 0 Comments

It’s almost 3 am. Can’t sleep because it’s about 1000 degrees in my damn apartment! I never thought that I would hear myself say this, but “Bring on Winter Time”! By Saturday the temperature is supposed to drop 20 degrees at the high and isn’t supposed to reach 90 during the day for the rest of the year. GOOD. I don’t care if by Sunday I’m wearing a fur coat that is bigger than DMX’s.

Oh and one more thing, boss scheduled a 9 am meeting tomorrow. Great that means that I have to wake up in 5 hours.