Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Technical Difficulties

Yesterday my son asked me why I didn't blog about him more often. I told him that I'd considered blogging about him that very day. Then I told him the story I considered telling.

He said, "My gosh, Mom! Why would you tell people that? Why would you even think about writing about that?"

1) That's why I didn't blog about it; and 2) that's why I don't blog very often about my son.

I try hard to separate the stories that are completely mine to tell and the stories that belong, in whole or part, to someone else. You'll also notice that in this blog I don't call my children by name. I assume that my half-dozen regular dedicated readers actually know my children's names; what I don't want is for this blog to show up when someday a potential employer or significant other or nosy-Parker googles my children's names. This is my blog. It doesn't need to be part of their history.

In a similar fashion, my nephews are not actually named Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Fred; the gay married couple I sometimes write about are not actually named Bert and Ernie; and even darling Maddie of last week's fan questions is not actually named Maddie, though she is in fact in fourth grade in Indiana.

Yesterday was a highly frustrating day in the technology department here. First there was a new chapter in the dryer saga. Awhile ago, my upstairs dryer quit working. Now, I have two washer/dryer sets, one downstairs, which I mostly use for horse laundry, saddle pads, etc., and one upstairs, which I mostly use for people laundry. So the upstairs dryer made horrible noises and produced a horrible smell and didn't dry. I called a repairman, and got a--what's the word I want, it's not snarky--maybe condescending, only that's not quite right either--anyway, a man who clearly thought I was an idiot. He told me the whole problem was that the dryer had lint in it, and I needed to go on Amazon and buy a lint-removal-thingie. Then he left.

Supercilious. That's the word.

Chagrined, I went on Amazon and bought a lint-removal-thingie, and I removed a truly impressive amount of lint from the dryer. After that, it still didn't work.

Then I was gone for over half of the next several weeks so I just did the people laundry downstairs despite, you know, horse hair and hay and stuff. Yesterday I had the dryer guy back. Different guy, much less annoying. He immediately found a great big functional problem with the dryer (HA!). He put in a new part, started it all up-

--and told me I had too much lint. Apparently the dryer vent is just chock full o'lint, and apparently this is VERY BAD. I'm not allowed to use the dryer until I've gotten someone in to clean the dryer vents.

I never knew you could clean dryer vents. I'm guessing this is something like when I took my truck in to the tire place to say that one tire seemed to be very slowly losing air, and the guy looked at some code on the tire and informed me, horror-struck, that my tires were ten years old. I said sure, so was the truck. (In my defense it had very few miles on it for its age.) The man said, eyes wide as saucers, "Ma'am--you can't do that," so I let him sell me four six (it's a dually) new tires.

I found a dryer vent cleaner and he's coming Friday, being booked solid cleaning other peoples' dryer vents until then.

At the same time all this was happening, I had an air conditioning problem. It's been unseasonably hot here--how I've loved it--and we noticed that one of the upstairs heat pumps was not functioning, because if we closed the door to the master bedroom that room very quickly grew very hot.

For you northerners (Hi, Mom!), heat pumps are a Southern type of air conditioner/furnace. They're quite energy efficient, and very good at cooling, but can only heat well down to about twenty degrees Fahrenheit, so nobody uses them where winters are cold. (We have a backup gas furnace for very cold days.) Each heat pump can only handle a certain square footage, so our house has four of them.This is not unusual.

Anyway, the guy came, and I showed him the two upstairs units and explained how our bedroom got hot. He told me it would be a Freon problem, but then it apparently wasn't, and eventually he came down and said that one of the units needed a new such-and-such valve, which he would have to order, and that he'd turned that unit off so the compressor wouldn't go out. I said okay. An hour later I went upstairs and the whole place was hot and neither unit was working. My husband came home and got frustrated; I, having just got off the phone with the dryer vent cleaner guy, got frustrated back and suggested he call the repairman and discuss it himself.

He did. Apparently the problem with the valve is in the OTHER upstairs heat pump, the one we thought was working well. My husband asked what was wrong with the one we knew was broken, and the guy said, Oh. He didn't check that one at all. So he's coming back, but, you know, probably not today, because he's very busy and all.

In the midst of all this, I was, very grumpily, working on the revision to my novel. I've decided we need a whole new beginning, and it's tricky, but overall, given the plethora of supercilious men in the house, it went well.