Can I just... step off the roller coaster for a few minutes? Kinda feeling dizzy... just a bit.
Let's see, we're having to replace the central air/central heating unit in our house because (1) it has reached the age where there are no spare parts available any longer and (2) even if there were spare parts available, it wouldn't be safe to fix.
Yeah, that was fun. The guy who came to repair it works for the company who installed it in the first place some twenty years ago, and after first telling me what needed fixing and how much it would cost, then telling me the parts that needed fixing needed to be replaced, then telling me they don't make those parts any more, I got to deal with the blustering, Good Ol' Boy owner of said company. Mr. Good Ol' Boy took one look at me and decided that I was the type that could be easily manipulated into what he wanted me to do, and proceeded to try to intimidate me into agreeing with him that his company should be the ones to do the work.
Y'all know that went over like a lead balloon, right?
Funny how Mr. Blow Hard and his tech went all through the closet where the CA/CH unit is housed, with Mr. Blow Hard taking measurements and loudly telling his tech that they'd have to rip out the wall, and probably part of the floor to put in a new coil, and he would recommend a contractor to rebuild the wall after they were done replacing the unit, blah, blah, blah, and it never occurred to him that I was texting the Husbandly One basically a blow by blow account of what was going on while I sat quietly at the kitchen table with the laptop. Mostly, Mr. Blow Hard shouted out a series of arcane numbers that I'm guessing were supposed to be measurements of some kind, or maybe it was just supposed to impress me with how technical he was...
When he finally "presented" me with his "findings," I said politely, "Well, I'll discuss this with my husband, and we'll let you know what we decide."
He frowned, then smiled indulgently and looked at his tech, nodding as he said, "Oh, right. You'll discuss this with your husband." He snickered. "You mean, you'll ask him what to do and then do what he tells you."
Yeah, that pretty much made me see red, but I just raised an eyebrow and said, "No, I mean I'll discuss it with my husband. We're partners. Neither one of us makes big money decisions on our own. We talk it out, go over the pros and cons, and go from there. Sometimes he has the final say, sometimes I have the final say, but either way, it gets discussed, we do research, and decide how big a hit our budget can take, because it affects both of us. So when I say we'll discuss it and let you know, that's precisely what I mean. You have a problem with that?"
"Well, if you go with us, you won't have to pay the service fee for this visit," Mr. Blow Hard said, still trying to work the intimidation factor. "But if you go with someone else, I'll have to send you a bill for $85."
"That's fine," I said with a sweet smile. "We'll let you know."
"You should decide soon, because we might be booked up," he said as he headed for the door.
"We'll take that chance," I said firmly. "Bye now."
Yeah, that was fun.
We called a couple of companies, but decided on one recommended to us by the Tall Blonde. What settled it was (1) he got back to us and (2) he didn't just look at the main unit. He also went up into the attic to check the ducts and connections, and went under the house to check the coil and the drains. He was very patient with my questions, and also cleared up a mystery that's been driving us crazy for some time now.
Every time the A/C or the heat came on, I'd smell this... faint burning odor that made the back of my throat burn, and would sometimes set my asthma off. We had the unit checked several times because of this, but there was never anything we could find to explain it.
Then Mr. A/C guy takes a look at the duct work and peers up at the top of our unit and goes, "Huh."
Yeah, that's not a good sound, either.
Seems that when Mr. Blow Hard's company installed the unit, they used a type of duct work that has since been banned in our country because it's... well, basically a piece of crap. And when all the new ductwork was installed, they left this original duct work in place where the unit connects to it all. Basically, what happens to the crap duct is that it dries out and starts cracking, then dry rots and gets blown about in the system. That's what I've been smelling every time the unit comes on.
Mr. A/C said, "What I don't understand is why they left it there. Because even if the new duct wouldn't fit, there's a way to work around it and adapt it, so... why leave the old stuff? It's not safe!"
Well, judging by the crap unit Mr. Blow Hard wanted us to buy, I'd say it was done to cut corners. After all, how many homeowners actually look up into their attic to see what they've got up there? And how many of those that do would know what to look for or what they're even looking at?
We're fortunate that the weather has been mild, though the first three or four nights after we lost our heat were tough, because it got down in the thirties. Thank goodness for lots of blankets!! This house holds on to the cold like you wouldn't believe, and I've had to open the windows during the day just so I can feel my fingers!!
The Impertinent Daughter's team survived a three day soccer tournament over last weekend, and so did we! Again, in San Marcos at the fields where the Impossible Son and I froze our katooshies off. And, yes, it was cold, but not as cold as last year! Friday night, they were in first place, but by Saturday afternoon, because of the bizarre point system the folks who were running the tournament were using, the JV found themselves playing for third.
I'm still not sure where we placed, because every person I've asked have said something different. Personally, I think they placed pi.
Hey, it makes about as much sense as that point system!!
And the Impossible Son has started soccer practice for the rec league this week, which is going to be frustrating, I can tell already. Why? Because once again, there weren't enough coaches for the record FIVE U12 teams that were formed this season, so they basically started grabbing any warm body. And one of the warm bodies is the woman who is coaching my son's team.
I have nothing against her. She's a good person, I've known her since the Impertinent Daughter started playing soccer, and now her daughter and mine are playing JV for the high school. It's cool. However... she's never coached soccer before in her life and has no idea where to start. The good news is, she knows this, and has enlisted the help of several girls on the high school team, as well as any parents who have any sort of know how, or is willing to help out. This can work, I've seen it work before.
I've also seen it go to hell in a handbasket.
So... I'm hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that things will go well. However, the Husbandly One and I have decided this will be Mr. Impossible's last season playing here. If he plays rec league next fall, it will be in San Marcos.
And that is the State of Jo so far. Woo.