There is nothing that pisses me off more than paying somebody to make me look like a complete idiot.
It was cool enough yesterday, and Nancy was running a slight fever, so she was cold. She turned on the furnace.
About 5:00 p.m. she came in and said “hear that motor running? Wonder what it is?” After lurking around the house, she said “it’s been making that noise all day.”
Damn tinnitus. The only way I could hear it was to turn everything off. As we stood in the hallway next to the thermostat, I turned off the furnace. The noise stopped. It wasn’t the fan motor it was some other sound.
That’s the extent of my diagnostic skills when it comes to furnaces that are in a crawl space with a dirt floor.
Nancy called the service guys and they came out today, walked in the house, turned on the switch I turned off, the furnace fired up, the fan fired up and they gave her a bill for $69 and said, “if he wants a new furnace we are extending the rebate program through the end of the year.”
Guess whut? That $69 bill you gave for walking in my house and flipping a switch just cost you a shot at selling me a new furnace.
You $69 pigs.
Heres some old fun posts
- Imagine I’m In Your House with a Hose. I'm not sure where Grandad lives exactly in Ireland, sometimes I think he's not sure either. I do know that he likes to be a moving target usually hiding out in the woods, or belly down in his garden with Sandy nearby. It's apparently been a rainy season at his house. He writes it is always pissin' rain. Today it's raining on him again - and he's inside. It appears to be under control. So there I was at about three o’clock this morning, up on the roof, in the pitch dark. It had started to rain at this stage, so I was wet as well. The tank was fine. So was all the plumbing. But the weatherproof casing that surrounds the tank was full of water. and the only thing I could do was bail this out by hand. I would say I got about 20 gallons out, in all. It stopped the waterfall in the bathroom. So I tidied up and went to bed. Like all good bloggers, my story is much better. Since my wife was gone, I needed to slip home at lunch and release the hounds. As usual, I had slipped my shoes off at the front door (I don't like shoes much.) As I headed down the short hall to the bedroom where the dogs were crated, my first step was a squish. Not a dampness, but a squish, where the water quickly covered the top of my sock. The hall went past the water heater closet so I knew I was in trouble. It had sprung a small leak. I reached the top to turn off the water inflow, but since I really didn't want 40 gallons of water in the carpet, I quickly ran to the garage to get a hose, hooked it up to the drain faucet, attached the hose and proceeded to twist the faucet off the heater. Now I have 40 gallons of hot water gushing out the pipe the size of a garden hose and splashing off the side of the gas furnace. I jumped back, swore profusely, and panicked. I looked for anything to catch the water. Wastebasket after wastebasket filled up, when I realized this geyser wasn't slowing. It was coming full force, and worse, the water was now cold. I reached up to turn the shut off valve as hard as I could, but it wouldn't budge anymore. So I jam the hose up against where the drain valve used to be. Now what? I'm getting drenched from the spray, and I'm all alone. All alone. Think. The water meter is in the front yard. Where is the wrench to shut it off? How the f*ck do I know? Where's the pipe wrench? Toolbox. Plan: drop hose, grab pipe wrench, dash out front door and shut off water. The first time I took the hose off was frightening. Imagine I'm in your hallway with a garden hose going full blast. So I jammed the hose back against the hole where the drain valve used to be. Gotta be more prepared, there is going to be a lot of water coming out. Ignore it. Just get it stopped as soon as possible. Out the door I dash, shut off the meter, come back inside and wait and wait. There is a lot of water in the pipes from the meter to the hot water heater. Finally it came down to a trickle. I'm very unhandy, but I know which way to turn a faucet to shut off water. I can't control a plastic faucet breaking (common they tell me due to the heater.) When they replaced the heater, it seems that they put the shut off valve on the wrong pipe. It wasn't between the meter and the heater, it was between the heater and the house. I still don’t know where that water came from. I blame Global Warming. Said Grandad. Good reason, and one that I can't use. But I do know where our meter wrench is now - right beside the water meter outside. Now if I only knew what that one light switch was for.
- A Distant Thunder Becomes a Local Thunder A Distant Thunder This is my favorite painting. We had a distant thunder that turned into a full blown summer thunderstorm blowing down half a tree onto a power line. So our part of town was without power which meant no innerweb! No problem, I have a converter that will run off the car lighter. So I figure I'll just sit in the car and surf the web. A/C and everything. As I was climbing in the car, I broke off my USB wireless connector. Nothing else to do, so I figure I'll run to Best Buy. HORRORS, they had no power either so they were closed. Staples! Yes! And since I always hated that little USB thing hanging off the laptop, I upgraded to a wireless card. And of course on the way home I realize - duh - no power, no wireless! Now the whole time, my wife is sitting in the recliner in the semi-dark just relaxing. I tried to convince her that she would be more comfortable in the car with the a/c, but she said she was fine. "I'm going to watch a DVD" I said. "Go ahead," she said. Chose The Big Lebowski, took it to the car, slid it in the laptop and got a message from Bill Gates and the RIAA that said they couldn't check my analog something or rather and it wouldn't play. So I'm back in the house, telling her that Bill Gates was a prick, and I was going to get Akio Sony to help me. She bought me a Sony DVD walkman. So I take that to the car. Of course I had the wrong power cord. Back in to get it, just in time for hear her talking to her third favorite man, the Pizza Hut guy. (Her second favorite man is her massager.) I got the right cord, plug it in, fire it up and no sound! Of course, no earphones. So I'm back inside, and asked her which would happen first: I get DVD playing, pizza guy comes, or the power comes back on. She didn't answer, just shook her head. Got DVD playing. pizza guy came, walked right by the running car (glad we have tinted windows.) Of course, I'm back in the house to get my share, back out to the car, get video going again and about 10 minutes into the worst movie I have seen to date - Corrupt - the lights in the house are on! OK, nerd vision: I have my large noise canceling earphones around my neck, the Walkman, the laptop, and two power cords, the DVD and install CD in my hands. Obviously I am so not a techno-nerd, but I sure looked the part.
- It Was Pretty Good, Thank You, How Was Your Saturday? This was one of those Saturdays where every plan I made got screwed up and made for a pretty good day. Everybody slept in - I poked my nose out from under the covers at 7:44. I rousted the pooches and got their morning routine accomplished, everybody cooperated. Turned on the heat. It was 57 degrees in the house. Nancy was in D.C. with Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert to Rally to Restore the Sanity and/or Fear. I didn't want to turn the heat on without her permission, but it was damned cold. First thing to go wrong. Furnace didn't fire. The lawnmowers wouldn't start so I could mow/mulch the leaves from the neighbor's tree. (Yes, I have a back-up lawnmower because Nancy said if I bought an electric start she would mow the yard sometimes. Then she had a series of operations that kept her doing it.) Second thing to go wrong. I hooked up the blow-me leaf handler and blew the leaves from the patio and NASCAR room/cigar bar. This brought me back to the dogs to do a pee and poop run. A message on the answering machine at 11:23 said that the 2:00 zipline run with a bunch of volunteer firefighters had been moved up to 11:30. The zipline was 30 minutes away, but what the heck, it's Saturday and if I caught up with them, fine, if not fine. Potential third screwed up plan. I went anyway and met them just as they were going into get "geared up." After 90 minutes of flying through the tops of the bare trees yelling like an idiot, I was hungry for some good Q. Big Bubba Bucks Belly Busting Bliss BBQ was just 20 minutes away. Major problem. Closed. Sign said they would be open Saturday 10 am to 8 pm. It was 2:45. In the back lot next to Bubba's I could see some blue smoke rising from the trees. No such luck, just a bunch of good old boys watching a big pile of brush burn. They didn't have a clue why Bubba was closed. But they did get a chuckle when I told them when I saw the blue smoke I was afraid they had a hog burning and had put him out of business. Lunch was a Diet Coke on the interstate. Exercised the Magnum Hemi Wagon by running up to 100 mph a couple times. Zipline fever! Back at the old Rancho Del Leafo, I gave the mower another try and vroom! Mulched the leaves. It had been so long since I last used the mower (because of the drought) that I guess it just needed more priming. Made myself a healthy snack of two Quaker chocolate coated granola bars and invented a new adult beverage: Take a 24 oz. plastic souvenir cup Add 12 ounces of diet Sierra Mist Cranberry soft drink Add a healthy slosh (maybe 4 ounces +/-) of apple cider Add a like-wise unhealthy slosh of Demon Rum I call it the Seirra Misty Apple Took a break to drink and read the latest AARP magazine and was all pissed off at the cover because of the airbrushing done to Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White - the people who say that plastic surgery isn't for them! But they sure do like the old photoshop treatment OK. Accumulated all the extra long extension cords in Edison's Cabin to reach get power for the electric hedge trimmers to the bushes near the street. Done and done. Well, not really, more like done and a half. I left the trimmings in a heap in the driveway. If I am able to move tomorrow, I'll put them in trash cans. Made myself a hearty meal of Nutrisystem Chili and another Sierra Misty Apple. Read in Business Week how Google doesn't pay their fair share of taxes. I am conflicted. As an owner, I want Google to make as much money as possible, but corporate tax avoidance through shell corporations to do the Double Irish and the Dutch Sandwich stinks. (Mostly because I can't do it.) Watched a Southwest Airlines jet land at the Smallburg Airport. We don't have scheduled commercial service to Smallburg. The approach to the main runway lines up with the street behind the house. The muckety-mucks think Smallburg should have scheduled commercial service. They haven't read that airlines are cutting back on flights. Except for Southwest, which is moving fast and furious to make it easier to jump the Mexican border. That 737 landing actually was quieter than the corporate jets that zip in and out at tree-top level. The flight originated from Dallas Love field, the home of Southwest. Things that make you say hmmmmmmmm. I should have alerted the media. Watched the sun disappear and fired up the chiminea to burn the sticks that had accumulated from a summer of big winds. Had another Seirra Misty Apple. The embers died down at 7:44 p.m. and I am inside for the duration of the day. All in all, not a bad twelve hours for a Saturday.
- Great Story Tellers Disguising Themselves As Appliance… I ran across a great story teller the other day when I was trying to buy a used dryer. He decided to publish his tale about our attempted transaction on a Yahoo discussion group. I advertised a dryer for a cheap price which included delivery if in or near Grecia. Well a buyer told me he lived in Atenas and I agreed to deliver free anyway. When I met him in central Atenas- he told me to follow him to his house. after 25 minutes of driving on the worst roads I have ever been on- I stopped following him and turned around and went home. >It took me 3 hours to drive there and home and $30 gas. He lied to me- why didnt he be truthful and tell me he lived way way past Atenas? At least he could have taken delivery in central Atenas and we could have put the dryer in his suv. I thought my old truck was going to fall apart on those bad roads. Makes for a great story, right? As with all story tellers, he left out some details. Details that kinda change the story. I was that buyer. Here's my side: I advertised a dryer for a cheap price which included delivery if in or near Grecia. Cheap = $250 USD. It was fair price for a dryer in Costa Rica. But hardly cheap. Well a buyer told me he lived in Atenas and I agreed to deliver free anyway. I told him we planned to come to his place to pick it up. He said he could bring it to Atenas after he went to San Jose. I told him I lived in Guacimo. He didn't know where that was. I asked him to meet me at the gas station the next day. He agreed to meet us about 4:00 pm and I would buy it. He never showed up. I got a text the next morning saying he didn't get home until late and could he bring it that day and he would call back in an hour when he left. Because he stood me up, he said he would bring it to our house. I told him our road was very rough. He joked "just like every other road in Costa Rica." Five hours later he calls to say he was on his way. I told him to get to the Red Cross and call me for more directions. He called, but his phone was almost dead... a fact he told me about five times. After trying to give him simple instructions: Turn left and go 4.4 miles, I gave up and said I would meet him. When I met him in central Atenas- he told me to follow him to his house. This is true. after 25 minutes of driving on the worst roads I have ever been on- We drove 15 minutes at ten miles an hour on the road that runs from Atenas to Escobal. There is scheduled bus service. It's a dirt road, but dozens and dozens of people drive it everyday. It is National Highway 707. I thought my old truck was going to fall apart on those bad roads. I stopped following him and turned around and went home. When he turned around, we were within 500 meters of our gate. If he knew where to look he could SEE our house. He never tried to communicate via flashing his headlights or honking his horn that he had it and was quitting. When he stopped, I knew he wasn't be hind me. I turned around and back-tracked to find out what was the problem. He was gone. It took me 3 hours to drive there and home and $30 gas. It's 31 km. Google maps says it takes 30 minutes to drive and that's about right. If it took that much gas, he has a leak in his tank - entirely possible! He lied to me- why didnt he be truthful and tell me he lived way way past Atenas? I didn't lie. I told him, our original intentions were to come to his place in Grecia. Then I said I would meet him in Atenas. But he insisted on delivering the dryer. I thought my old truck was going to fall apart on those bad roads. Me too! I think that about our effin' car everyday! -------- The dude drives for "3 hours" spends "$30" on gas, gets within 500 meters of collecting is $250 and he turns around and gives up.
- Let Me Be the First to Irritate the Crap Out of a Few People I'm going to suggest that Grandad, Catch Her in The Wry, Redneck Diva, Suburban Hippie, Queen of Shake Shake, and Joy of Six do this meme. bwahahahahaha, Happy 2008! Bold any that apply: Father went to college Father finished college Mother went to college Mother finished college Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor Were the same or higher economic class than your high school teachers Had more than 50 books in your childhood home Had more than 500 books in your childhood home Were read children's books by a parent Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs Went to a private high school Went to summer camp Had a private tutor before you turned 18 Family vacations involved staying at hotels Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them There was original art in your house when you were a child Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 You and your family lived in a single family house Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home You had your own room as a child Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course Had your own TV in your room in High School Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 Went on a cruise with your family Went on more than one cruise with your family Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family