Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Air Conditioning? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Air Conditioning!

I spent the bulk of Sunday driving south from Toledo to Greenville, SC. It's about 630 miles.

That's a distance maybe 50 miles shorter than my slogs from Greenville to Delray Beach, FL. I think the Greenville to Delray Beach drive is easier; maybe because I have driven that round trip at least 10 or 12 times and the Toledo route just twice.

My fraternity brother who hosted our Toledo shindig gave me a Clive Cussler book on CDs for my drive home. He currently makes the 7-hour drive between Toledo and Davenport, Iowa twice a week and books on CDs occupy his time on those drives. He had just finished the Cussler book on his last drive back from Iowa.

I'd never listened to a book on tape or CD.

Here's how old I am. I spent the summer between my junior and senior year in high school working for the Kentucky Printing House for the Blind. There I was in the shipping department. Our primary job was to package up recorded magazines for the blind. They were on 33 1/3 LPs! We worked adjacent to where the records were stamped. It was never less than 95 degrees in there and sounded like the boiler room of a battleship steaming into the Battle of Midway.

Anyway, I had never listened to a recorded book before.

Those of you who know me, know I am a voracious reader. The whole listening-to-a-book thing was a new experience.

I tend to day dream when I'm driving on long trips and found myself doing that Sunday. I'd be paying attention to the narrator and enjoying the story, but suddenly realize I had forgotten to listen and had no clue what was going on. I'd have to skip back a minute or two and try to pick it up around the spot where I zoned out.

I listened to it the entire trip, but I am only about half way through the 14-CD set. I have no idea when I will be spending enough time in a car again to finish it or even make it worth while to plug CD #8 in.

The chance of my remembering the half of the story I've already listened to when I do finally take another trip sufficiently long to accommodate seven hours of narration is indeed slim.

I told you about my drive home to tell you this: When I arrived home at 8 PM, the air conditioning in my house wasn't working.

It was 88 degrees, and the cat was lying on her back in front of the refrigerator with the door open. She seemed quite pleased with herself.

No idea how long the air had been out. I was gone four days.

As someone whose outside compressor has been stolen, that was my first thought. Nope, it was still there.

Because darkness was beginning to close in, I didn't even unpack my car. I grabbed a screwdriver and headed back out to the compressor; sweating and cussing the entire way.

I removed the panel hiding the electronics and did the only thing I know how to do, I began tapping things with the handle of the screwdriver. I could hear the contactor relay buzzing, so I figured that was the problem.

The exact same thing happened two years ago and a few well-placed raps with the screwdriver handle was all the incentive it needed to kick back into operation. This was a technique I learned the previous winter when the contact relay stopped working in my furnace. I had already bought the replacement part. As I was preparing to remove the problem relay, I read online that some people were able to urge the part back into operation by tapping it with a screwdriver handle. I did and it worked. I still have the $60 replacement part in its box.

I suspect I could replace this part myself. In fact, I had someone tell me this morning that I may be able to remove the part, clean the relays, reinstall it and be back in business. Nah, I don't think so.

There are so many wires and connections to this insignificantly small part, I just don't want to mess with it. I probably could fix it without knocking myself into next Tuesday, but I am under-motivated to attempt it.

I found a guy who will come and replace the part, labor and all, for $115. I hate to spend the money, but the part would run me at least $45. I figure it's worth $75 or so to have someone else do the work and run the risk of setting his hair on fire.

I am waiting for him now. It's 3 PM. He told me he would be here between 2:00 and 3:00, and would call me 30 minutes before his arrival. I have yet to hear from him.

My optimism is waning.

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