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Old thermostat. Set at 80F and reading 55F.

Old thermostat. Set at 80F and reading 55F.

Holy smokes! Where does the time go? Twelve days have passed without a post! My excuses are many and serious including a gas leak. Yes.

About eleven days ago, my little desk heater died just as the weather was going from balmy to blizzardy (by California standards). Day temps in the high 50’s and nights almost to and possibly including, freezing. The little valley that this town sits in right at the base of the foothills, is a “pool” for both hot and cold air. As a result, if it’s 85F elsewhere in this valley, it’ll be 90+ and the same in reverse. So I really needed heat!

I’d asked the property manager/landlady (she lives with the landlord) over a month ago to please fix a few things including vacuuming out the pit in the floor where the little one foot by one foot gravity furnace sits about 16 inches below floor level. It hadn’t been cleaned in two years and since it’s grates are open and have no cover, all manner of dust and hair fall down into the box.

Back in January I mentioned this needed to be done but as usual nothing was. The short of it was that it took over six days of her ridiculous solutions to getting the furnace to work. Rather than hire a professional (her excuse was “oh, it’s so old, no one knows how to fix them) she had her two day laborers spent multiple hours every day futzing with solutions. All of the jerry-rigged.

I finally told her to hire a professional, that this was stupid. So she says she’ll call around and “oh, you can look up on the internet and see if you can find one. Normally I wouldn’t do this but I was so fed-up with her that after waiting to hear from her for five hours, I did. First listing on the web and I find a guy who knows what he’s doing. This is a benefit of buying old fixer-uppers, you’re exposed to all the old technology.

Called her up and asked what she’d found. She hadn’t even started looking! So I gave her this guy’s name, number, his solution and his cost which was less than $200. Turns out she calls him, gets his solution, then sends her guys to Home Depot to get a new digital thermostat.

One comes over to install it, three hours later he calls the other guy. The second guy flips through a couple of random pages in the manual and then ignores is. Note that on the package it states “installs in 15 minutes”. So five hours later it’s in. They leave.

Overnight the heat goes up to 82! They had screwed up all the default settings by pushing this button and that. I actually read the manual and a second one that was in the packaging which they didn’t even see. Turned the furnace off and went back to bed. In the morning I called Honeywell, explained the problem. They said by turning the thing off for eight hours, it would revert to default settings. So I turned it on and sure enough it worked.

The next morning I wake up and smell gas. Call the gas company. Someone will be out between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. I repeat “gas leak”! Doesn’t matter. Amazing. After about an hour I’m getting nauseous even though the doors are open (can’t open the windows because they’re painted shut).

Call the gas company back and ask if getting sick to one’s stomach was a symptom of gas poisoning. This person is operating on a full tank of gas and moves me to top of the list. Within ten minutes a tech was at the door! Yes, the pilot was out. He fixed it and put the long rods to operate the on/off gas switches into the box and labeled them, telling me what to do to turn off the gas if this occurred again.

Next, I went for my three month follow-up to laser eye surgery to re-attach a tear in my retina. Got all the drops…numbing, dilating and so on. Luckily I asked to only have the one eye dilated since I was driving. Good results, all’s well and don’t have to come back for six months.

Made the mistake of running too many errands on the way home with the dilated eye on a very sunny day. By the time I got home and got the groceries out of the car and around to the back porch I was toast. Went inside, washed my face and went to sleep, leaving the groceries on the porch (in the shade). Woke up three hours later. My right eye was super bloodshot and swollen. I put eye wash drops in it. Brought the bags in and went back to bed.

That was two days ago. The right eye is still bright red where white should be and swollen. I’m guessing the drops as well as the poking and prodding for pressure readings as well as the bright lights to photograph the interior did not agree with my eye. Sigh. Maybe I should have checked my horoscope for this month. What do you think?

So that’s part of what I’ve been doing. What are you up to?