Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hot and Cold in Russia, California & Korea


I feel a bit confused with one phrase of yours:
"I gather that your "private houses"
don't even have heaters only and no air-conditioning units."
So, I am not sure if I understand you correctly that you may suppose a Russian house to be
without a stove. Eh?

In Russia, there cannot be even imagined a house without this or that heating device.
I did not mention this fact because it seemed to me "too evident" to speak of.

In the Russian village "private house" there is most frequently the famous "Russian stove" that is stoked with firewood.
Less frequently with coal.

The urban "private house" can be heated also with the gas heater which makes water boil in a boiler and then the hot water circulates along the tubes around the house.

In the towns with big urban "blocks of flats" there are usually several giant boilers, each of them heating a whole
region of the town with a great number of big multi-storeyed houses. We call this "центральное отопление" = "the centralised heating".

I understand the "air-conditioning" only as the "cooling."
Maybe I am wrong?
If you mean that your air-conditioner can
also heat your home, I don't know.

Yes, some times, for the state of emergency, we can buy a little portable electric heater in our shops. But it can be used only for a short period of time for it is too expensive to heat the room during several winter months with the electric device.

What is "very hot" I remember from my own experience, as a young sailor. Once in India in the late 1960s, when our merchant ship was staying in an Indian port, our ship's "air-conditioner" appeared to be suddenly broken.
Oh, it was terribly hot!
We could not normally work or sleep.
Although it was most inconvenient, yet it was not mortally menacing.

But if, God forbid, the heating would have suddenly failed during the Russian Frost -- that would be not simply inconvenient.
That would mean for you only one end -- DEATH.

Of course, in case if you have not got enough crates of Vodka to survive the bitter frost :-)

You, Lawrence, can easily guess that we Russians care little, if at all, about the cooling. We have no such problem in Russia.



Sorry, That sentence should have read, "I gather that your "private houses" have heaters only and no air-conditioning units."

And we have heaters as well as air-conditioners. There is a "central-heating" unit installed in our attic. Our house is fairly large and during the coldest times Susan sometimes prefers using a small portable heater rather than heat up the whole house beyond a certain point.

As to being cold, I got pretty cold in Korea. We were not well supplied during the Korean War. I recall that in our unit we had only one pair of thermal boots for walking post during the winter; so whoever had to walk the coldest post, got the boots. I recall that post. It was way down at the end, farthest from our Quonset huts. There had been a rice paddy there before our base was created, and of course the paddy-ditch was still there and would fill up with water when it rained. Sometimes we had to know where the banks were because the water would be up above them.

I recall being pretty cold back then. We had just our normal summer clothing but wore additional layers of clothing anything we happened to have.

But I was colder walking post at the base at Twenty-Nine Palms after I got back. I don't know what the absolute temperature was, but it got windy out on the desert and it didn't make any difference what we were wearing, the wind would cut right through it.

29 Palms made up for the cold winters with a vengeance during the summer. We had a thermometer hanging outside our Quonset hut and I once saw it reach 132 degrees. I have been told that was impossible, but I saw it and the thermometer was in the shade. Adding to our misery was the fact that we had no air-conditioning in our huts. What we had "swamp coolers." They would run all night and increase the humidity, but as far as we could tell they didn't make it any cooler.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are supposed to be very good in the heat, but I have been on hikes in the summer when my Ridgebacks would scurry from the shade of one bush to the shade of another. They would wait until I walked past them and then run ahead to the next shade.

I don't know if you read any of my notes in which I discuss the possibility of getting a smaller dog next time, but a dogs ability to withstand heat is much more important than his ability to withstand cold in California. My Ridgebacks can withstand cold as long as we're moving. I've never seen a Ridgeback complain about its being too cold when were on a walk or a hike, but at night when it's time to sleep, if it is cold, they want to be under a blanket.

I have read about some Russian breeds but they all seem to have heavy coats. My son, who likes Airedales likes the look of the Black Russian Terrier, but I don't think they'd do all that well in Southern California heat. But then I don't think his Airedales do all that well in the heat either, that is unless they are shaved almost down to their skin. But maybe a Black Russian Terrier could be shaved that way as well.


No comments: