Beating The Heat

 Posted by at 1:03 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 112020

There’s not much going on right now except staying inside avoiding COVID-19 and the nasty heat and humidity as much as possible, and getting a lot of writing done.

But we did have to venture outside yesterday to drive down to Titusville for Terry’s semi-annual appointment at Kutryb Eye Institute. She suffers from chronic dry eyes and even prescription eye drops alone are not enough to give her relief. So every few months they insert tiny punctal plugs into her tear ducts. The plugs are medical devices that sit in the tear ducts to help prevent tears draining away, which helps to keep the eyes moist. It sounds barbaric to me, but it’s a quick and easy procedure, and Terry says she can’t feel them. And best of all, they seem to help.

Like every responsible business and medical practice, Kutryb takes precautions to protect their patients and staff. When we got there, Terry called to say we were in the parking lot, and someone came out to take her temperature and ask the standard questions about COVID symptoms or exposure, then took her inside.

Only patients and staff are allowed inside, so I sat in the Explorer with the engine running and the air conditioner on high and was comfortable. I spent the time narrating another chapter for my next book in the Tinder Street series into my Sony digital recorder.

When Terry came out, we drove out the causeway toward the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to see how many people were out enjoying the water on such a hot day. Quite a few were, some fishing, some riding jet skis, and some just wading in the water. One older couple were sitting on folding camp chairs in the water. I guess that’s one way to beat the heat!

Back at home, I downloaded what I had narrated into Dragon Naturally Speaking and discovered a problem. It was very garbled. I use the digital recorder all the time with no issues and could not figure out what the problem was. At first, I thought maybe the battery was going bad, but according to the battery meter in the recorder it was fine. Then it hit me that while I have used the recorder in the car before, it was always on much cooler days when I did not have the AC going full blast. I suspect it provided too much background noise and interfered with my narration. To test the theory, I spoke into the recorder at my desk, saying two or three sentences, and it was fine. Lesson learned.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that some readers suggested I build a floating deck, which is not physically attached to the house and is positioned an inch or so away from the building, since our county building codes demand an engineered drawing, a land survey, and a floodwater survey for a regular deck, all of which would be a lot more money than I want to spend. After studying the building codes online, it looked like that might work. But yesterday the County Building Department finally called me back in response to several calls I had made previously, and as it turns out, Volusia County requires a building permit and all of the above mentioned plans and surveys for anything. The guy basically said if I nail four foot-long pieces of lumber together to make a square, a permit is required and it has to pass inspection. So I guess we won’t be having a deck after all.

I am trying to build up my presence on the BookBub website, and I would appreciate your help. My goal is 500 followers and I am at 360 now. Please consider going to my author’s page and following me there. And If you have reviewed any of my past books on Amazon, cutting and pasting the review to my BookBub page would help me tremendously. The link is Thank you.

Thought For The Day – You know how in the movie Jaws all of the beaches are closed because the shark keeps killing people, but they go to the beach anyway? That’s what this pandemic is like.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Beating The Heat”

  1. We had a problem adding a back porch in Lake County, Oregon, 1973. My father owned a gas station/towing business. He found a bed of a truck like a n uhaul and parked it beside the house. It didn’t have any rails but was sure nice out the back door and added a few steps for the three foot to the ground. Don’t know if that would work for you. Also they had those portable porches for rv’s a few years ago. No building, just unfold.

  2. How about a “trailer” as a deck? Flatbed trailer with a bit of overhang and some jacks on each corner for support you could also have railings. Might have to license it or maybe not if you never took it on the road. Another thought was a pontoon with skirting to hide the floats.

  3. Re: the deck. Figure out how big you want it. Get some of those nice vinyl fake planks. Lay them out on the ground. Don’t fasten anything. Set out some nice patio furniture. Set out a nice gas fire pit, one where the fire is up higher so as not to melt your fake planks. Or instead of the planks use pavers. They at least shouldn’t blow away. Sit in your nice patio chair and give the finger to Volusia Co. and their bureaucratic rules.

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