My beloved 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix has seen better days. Two years ago the transmission blew out and I had to pay two thousand dollars to replace it. Just recently the catalytic converter quit working and I had to pay two hundred dollars to replace that particular component. I wonder if I’ll keep pouring hundreds, if not thousands of dollars into this vehicle in the near to distant future. Even if I spend one hundred a month on repairs, that’s still noticeably cheaper than three hundred dollars a month for a brand new car. My friends tell me that I’m making a false equivalence, claiming that the three hundred a month would be an investment into a car that would survive for years to come. My current car by contrast isn’t going to survive very far into the future. For instance, right now my air conditioning isn’t working so well. The fan blows at the right speed, but the air leaving the vents isn’t very cold. At first I thought I needed to call a heating and cooling company to service my car’s air conditioner, but a quick internet search told me otherwise. I was dumb enough not to assume I should take it to a mechanic for any issue, regardless of whether or not it’s the air conditioner. Thankfully, the mechanic I found online turned out to be affordable and reliable. All he had to do was recharge my car’s air conditioner with more coolant. Now that it’s filled up with more coolant, the air conditioner is blasting ice cold air once again. In the process I found an amazing mechanic that I can use for years to come.
I don’t know what compelled me to move to this area.
After being in the city for a decade, I wanted to try living somewhere more rural.
I should have tried for the suburbs instead of swinging to the opposite end of the spectrum. Because right now, I’m so far out of town that I have to drive for 25 minutes to get to the closest grocery store. There’s a gas station 10 minutes away, which is the closest business in any direction. Likewise, my closest neighbor is several miles down the road. I like the seclusion and privacy that this place affords me. On the other hand, I hate the constant driving as much as I hate the fear of being so far from hospitals and emergency services. I wonder sometimes how long it would take for police to arrive if I called 911 to report an active burglary. And if there was a life and death emergency, would the ambulances get here in time? That question haunts me relentlessly. On the same token, it isn’t easy getting contractors and repairmen to visit me so far away from town. A plumber once charged me extra for every additional mile it took to get to my house after he left the city limits. My heating and cooling supplier doesn’t charge me for miles, but they definitely never give me priority on appointments. The worst thing is situations where they need to replace a key component in my HVAC system, but they don’t have the part in their truck. If I lived right next to their shop, they could leave for a few minutes and return with the component. Not only is that not possible, but this time they actually had to special order the part from the manufacturer. I was stuck waiting an additional week for the HVAC company to receive the right part to get my heating system working again.
I live in a cabin that my father helped me build.
It wasn’t out of some dream to live off the grid, but more of a consequence of my financial situation.
My job doesn’t grant me very much income beyond what’s necessary to survive. I have to make compromises every month if I hope to afford bills while shopping for groceries to eat everyday. When I saw a plot of land at a steal, I jumped at the opportunity. My father co-signed a bank loan with me so that I could get a mortgage to buy the land with enough left over to build a small cabin. Since my father comes from the construction and carpentry business, he was able to find the best wood for the lowest prices. He knows everything about different types of trees and the quality of wood that they produce. It was a blast getting a chance to build a house with my father and bond through the entire experience. I was almost sad to see it complete when we got to the finish line, hoping that we could keep it as an evolving project. Thankfully, he offered to help me pick out appliances to fit my limited budget. That meant going with a window air conditioner for the time being. He had a spare portable air conditioner in a storage unit that had sat for years without being used. For the first year I used both of those air conditioners in tandem. I’m thrilled to be a proud new owner of a central air conditioning system. My old setup was better than nothing, but it’s hard to beat the power of a strong central air conditioner. And that is regardless of what size your living space happens to be, whether you have a cabin like me or a larger house.
For the past week straight I’ve been hearing loud construction start at 8am. I work nights and don’t get to sleep until at least 2am, so getting woken after just six hours of sleep is enough to start my day off on the wrong foot. But it’s not just the sort of construction noise that most people are used to. They are pounding huge cement pylons into the ground as they’re rebuilding a bridge a quarter mile down the road. With every downward motion comes a rumble that feels like a tiny earthquake. As a constant noise for hours on end, I usually get out of bed disgruntled and attempt to start my day with a strong cup of coffee. If there were other noises happening simultaneously, like the landscaping people outside or the TV in the other room, I wouldn’t be able to hear it. Unfortunately, I was presented with this scenario yesterday as my air conditioner slowly broke down. Normally I would have heard the noises coming from the air handler before it finally died. I know that I would have noticed the lack of noise that I’m used to hearing whenever my air conditioner is running normally. It took the sudden change in temperature inside my house for me to realize something was wrong with the cooling system. Unfortunately, I can’t get my air conditioner to turn back on. I realized that my only recourse was calling my heating and cooling technician to make a repair later this week. The thought of paying for these potentially expensive repairs is enough to make my head spin. I hope it doesn’t cost too much to get my air conditioning working again.
I hate portable units because they have to recycle conditioned air to cool off the hot compressor located inside the machine
I am making my best effort trying to transform this old apartment. My friends call it run-down, but I saw a work in progress with the potential of greatness. With some paint on the walls, new carpets on the floors, and beautiful furniture and decorations, I was convinced it would look like a completed home. I finished the first two steps, I’m just trying to get the last of my junk moved in from storage. Getting a few paintings hung on the walls was a nice touch, especially my Salvador Dali reprints. When my best friend stopped by yesterday for a cup of coffee, he was speechless at the transformation. He genuinely questioned whether or not he was in the same apartment as before. Between the paint, the new floors, and the recently installed furniture, he was shell shocked by what he was seeing. When he confirmed it was the same door number, reality began to sink in. I was happy to show him the kitchen after giving him a tour of the other rooms. It’s really rewarding to see someone impressed by your hard work, regardless of the application. I was also proud of the brand new window air conditioners that I bought and installed by myself. I purchased one for the bedroom and a second for the main area where the living room and kitchen are located. Between the two window units, I get a perfect flow of air throughout my entire apartment. I hate portable units because they have to recycle conditioned air to cool off the hot compressor located inside the machine. You’re constantly expelling air you just cooled outdoors after it gets hot trying to cool the inside of the air conditioner.
American novelist Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” For most of the year, SF Bay Area weather is delightful.
The summers, however, are strange.
The weather in the Tri-Valley area east of SF can get extremely hot in the summer. This creates a low-pressure area that pulls the cool foggy air in from the Pacific Ocean. The hills and mountains usually block the fog from spilling over into the valley but on rare occasions, the entire area is covered in a thick fog creating very hazardous driving conditions. The city can get quite chilly and windy like the evening during the 1961 All-Star game at Candlestick Park when San Francisco Giants pitcher Stu Miller was blown off the mound. One consequence of the SF fog is that many homes do not have any air-conditioning. That’s because the fog acts as a huge AC unit as it moves in from the Pacific. Fog is formed by tiny droplets of liquid water and not gaseous water vapor. If the droplets get bigger, gravity will take over and they will drop as rainfall. If not, they will evaporate and make the surrounding area cooler, much to the chagrin of Mark Twain. HVAC may become a bit more prevalent in the Bay Area if the climate warms. Currently, AC is only needed about 10-15 days each year, but recent trends show that number increasing. Avid climate change activists in SF will need to decide if their comfort is worth a larger carbon footprint by using an electric AC unit. Mark Twain was born in Florida, Missouri and I will venture a guess that he preferred the weather in the state of Florida to the crazy cold summers of SF.
Space heater for sale
Today, English and Mandarin Chinese are the top two languages followed by Hindi, Spanish and French.
In total, there are about 7,000 different languages globally. The biblical story about the Tower of Babel explained how the many languages of the world were first created. According to the bible and biblical scholars, it was constructed about 4,000 years ago when all the people of the Earth supposedly spoke the same language. All was going quite well when someone had the bright idea to build the tower with the explicit purpose of reaching heaven and to keep people from moving to other parts of the known earth. God saw this as a challenge to his directive “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1) so he punished the people and stopped communications by making each person speak a different language. Since God is all-knowing, he must have known that the earth’s population would eventually “fill the earth” and that the intermingling of languages would eventually come to pass. He also must have known that instruction manuals for many items from furniture assembly to HVAC systems would have to be written in several languages. The word furnace in Spanish translates to “horno” according to an online translator but in “simplified” Chinese, the term is 熔矿炉. I could cite other examples, but I think the point is made that God works in mysterious ways. Fire to heat homes was likely used by those denizens of Babel who all spoke the same language, but it took man until the 20th century to make HVAC a normal household fixture. I just hope that my HVAC technician knows how to navigate the “tower of babble” of that installation manual that is confusing in any language.
My neighbor loves camping more than anything else on earth.
He goes just about every weekend, and it’s actually year round.
It seems like for him, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside. It doesn’t matter to him if it’s the middle of winter. He still feels like he has to go camping and get out into the great outdoors, even when the weather starts cooling down in the winter. I remember the first time that I saw him loading up his truck with his camping gear last winter. The temperatures outside were in the single digits and it was cooling off more and more as the day went along. I remember thinking that he was crazy, out there loading up the truck with his tent and fishing poles and all of his camping gear. I went outside and asked him how in the world he was going to stay warm enough sleeping outside in that tent. He said that he had a tried and true method of keeping warm while he was out camping in the winter. He told me that he always takes a gas powered generator with him when he goes out and he also takes an electric space heater. He told me that if he plugs the space heater into the generator and lets it run part of the night, he ends up being nice and toasty warm inside of the tent. I thought that was a really great idea, but I told him to be really careful with the carbon monoxide issue that could come up.
We’ve lived in this area for the past five years and I have to say that sometimes I’m still surprised at the cold temperatures that we end up having during the winter times.
- It’s pretty cold around here most of the year, but I just can’t seem to get used to it.
I grew up in the southern part of the country where we barely ever had temperatures in the winter that got down to freezing or below. I don’t really remember needing to run our heating system very much during the winter at all because it just wasn’t ever really all that cold old. Somehow, I ended up living up in the northern part of the country and getting married to a guy who lives up here. He wasn’t interested in moving back where I was from, and so we ended up buying a house and settling down here. We bought a house with a really great high efficiency heating system and we even have radiant heated flooring in the kitchen and in the bathrooms. We love the radiant heated flooring, but I still like having a fireplace more than just about anything else. We never had a fireplace when I was growing up because it just wasn’t ever all that cold. Up here, though, our house has always had a fireplace. Now, though, I’m thinking that to make things easier for us, I want to get a new gas fireplace insert for our fireplace. I think that a gas fireplace will be much better for us than a wood burning fireplace.
My husband Ron is an HVAC technician and he has been ever since we met ten years ago.
I have to say that he’s really good at his job.
He loves working on furnaces and air conditioning systems, but his favorite thing to do is install new HVAC systems. He loves going to new job sites and working as the HVAC contractor to figure out what sorts of heating and cooling systems the new homeowners will be needing in their new construction home. Ron says that it’s really rewarding to him professionally to figure out the best sorts of heating and cooling products for each new home. He’s kind of a people person, too. So he always gets along really well with customers, and they all really like him. He gets all kinds of great compliments at work and he’s been the HVAC technician of the month more times than I can count. The thing that Ron really appreciates about being an HVAC technician during this time is the fact that he has excellent job security with his job. He says that no matter what happens in our country, people are always going to need their furnaces and their air conditioning systems to be working. I guess he’s right about that. We as a society are really spoiled when it comes to the indoor air quality in our homes. We only want the best, and we definitely want to be at a comfortable temperature at all times. I guess it’s a good thing that Ron is such a great HVAC technician.