Tags: home repair

Me 2

Monday Update

Two items of note (I guess) for Monday:

Item The First

My AC at the house blew up on Friday. The external compressor, which we believe was original to the house and thus 20+ years old, is beyond repair. So now I'm without AC for a week and gathering quotes for a new unit. I have two of three quotes in hand - there is an $1100 difference between them. Quote #3 is due today. Yes, Virginia, it pays to shop around.

Also due to the lack of AC, and thanks to relaxations of the COVID-19 rules at work, I see a couple of days in the office in my future.

Item The Second

For a variety of reasons, including the lack of AC on a day in the mid-80s, I went to the grocery store on a weekend. I was reminded of how much I dislike doing so. I've never been fond of crowds, and less so as I age.

I started doing weekday grocery shopping when I was unemployed. I resumed it during the pandemic back when they had capacity limits in stores. Now that I'm working from home, it's easy to nip over to the store right after work. I shall resume that practice immediately.

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Me 2

In Fairness...

In fairness to Comcast, having grumbled about my slow Internet, they did get out last night and fix it. Also as part of the fixing, I got a new TV box and a $70/month reduction in my bill. Go me!

In other news, I read and devoured Mary Robinette Kowal's latest novel, The Fated Sky. It's book 2 of her "punchcard punk" universe, in which a large asteroid forces man to accelerate the space race in the early 1950s. In this edition, Elma York, our "Lady Astronaut" goes to Mars. It's a wonderful book, but you'll never look at a donut or rice the same way again. In even better news, Mary signed a six-figure deal with Tor to produce three more books in the same universe. Yeah team!

Finally, I backed a Kickstarter project for Unidentified Funny Objects 7, an anthology of humorous SF. My ebook came today. More on that anon.

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Me 2

The Joys of the Big City

My master bathroom has two sinks. On one of them, the drain was stuck closed. I finally got around to fixing it, which involved replacing the stopper at the bottom of the drain. Alas, the Home Depot "universal" stopper proved to be not universal enough for my sink.

So, I was sent to a specialty supply store, one that only sold plumbing supplies. It was a run-down looking place in a little strip mall. There was a small lobby fronted by a counter, staffed by one man, and off to one side and behind a half-height divider was a desk, also inhabited by one older gentleman. One asked for a part, and the counterman went and got it.

But here were the most important things. First, they knew at a glance what I needed. Second, they had it. Third, it was a 15 minute drive from my house. You don't find places like that in a small town.

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Me 2

How Did We Ever Function Before Google?

I wonder how we ever functioned before Google. Last night was a case in point.

I have a garbage disposal on my kitchen sink. Over the weekend, it got into a bind and wouldn't spin or drain water. This concerned me, as I had visions of plumbers in my future. On a whim, I Googled "clogged garbage disposal." One of the top results was a helpful video that explain that modern garbage disposals have a hex wrench socket in the bottom, which can be used to manually reverse the grinding mechanism, thus getting the device out of a bind.

Fortunately, the previous owners had left the hex wrench that came with the disposal in a logical place (under the sink close to the disposal) so I crawled under and went to work. Once I actually got the hex wrench in the socket, the grinder was easy to spin and as soon as I moved it the water drained. I was then able to get a flashlight and a set of kitchen tongs and go at it from the top to fish out the piece of plastic causing the problem. Plumbing crisis averted.

But had it not been for Google, I would have had no idea about the socket.

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Me 2

Two Nice Things

Two nice things happened over the weekend.

Nice Thing #1

I got my carpets at the house cleaned.  I paid for a service, and three young guys showed up and in 90 minutes did what would have taken me all day.  They also got it done better than I would have.

Nice Thing #2

One of the “perks” of being on programming for a volunteer SF con is that, if the con is financially sound, you get your attendance fee back.  This is usually in the form of a check all by its lonesome in a cheap envelope.  Well, I got my check back from Capricon and it also came with a thank-you letter.  A generic “greetings, volunteers” letter to be sure, but it was the first actual thank-you I can recall receiving from a con.

Me 2

Salt Mines, Return To

I'm back at work after an uneventful weekend. I finished a first draft of a short story for a potential anthology. Also, I broke down and called Allied Garage Door for my defunct opener. They said Saturday that they could if I wanted to fix the opener. I said no, get a new one, which will be installed Wednesday. In the meantime, we're having relatively dry and warm weather, so the car can sit out front.

I lead an exciting life.
Me 2

It's Always Something

I arrived at my house last night to find that my garage door opener no longer opens the garage door. The motor runs but the chain doesn't move. Since the door can be opened manually, it's not a broken spring, but rather something in the opener. Were I a Heinlein-ian Competent Man, I'd pop the cover on the opener and replace the failed gear. I'm not, so I'm going to replace the opener and hire somebody to do the work.

Parenthetically, did you know that modern (last 20 years) garage doors do not have handles on them? To open manually, one must hold onto a hinge with one hand and pull down on the emergency lever with the other until you get the door up enough to get your hand underneath the door. It takes a bit of grip strength to do this, and it was performed by me last night in the rain. At least my door has a manual lock on the inside, but that comes with it's own set of challenges.

Home Ownership

My AC at my house runs and puts out some cold air, but was unable to pull the house below 75 degrees last night. Of course my parents are visiting as well. Yippee Kay Aye. (At least the repair guy will be in this morning.)

Weather and Travel

Two pretty heavy storms rolled through Chicago last night. In my neck of the woods, the one window that hasn't been replaced yet sprung a small leak, and that was the extent of the damage. (The rain was being blown against the window as if I were in a giant car wash.)

Over the weekend, I was reviewing my travel plans for Worldcon. I was looking to see if I could squeeze in a jaunt across the Channel to see the D-day beaches. It doesn't look promising - the fastest option I saw involves taking the Eurostar train to Paris and backtracking to Bayuex. In short, I'd burn a day of travel to get there and another day getting to Ireland.

No Rotary today, because we're marching in the 4th of July parade Friday so I cancelled the meeting. Since I have writer's workshop tonight, this will allow me to get to the gym over lunch.