Thursday, November 17, 2005

#91 - Autumn in California

It's autumn here in the Golden State (so called) and my air conditioner is on the fritz. During the hottest part of August, the thing just sort of went belly up, and we had called out the friendly repair guy. Repair guys are always friendly when they know that you're so addicted to their product that you'll do anything, even listen to their not-too-subtle sales pitches, to make your unit functional again. Ours was no exception.

"Well, you know, this unit is a little on the old side, and it's really not big enough to handle your square footage. Now, really, you should probably replace this one with a more efficient unit. A little pricey, I'll admit, but then you should be trouble free for quite a few years. On the other hand, if money is tight (this said after seeing the look on my face) I can replace your puny condenser with this dual condenser."

My standard response to sales pitches is, "We'll have to wait and see how we do with taxes next year." This statement is always at least half true. Most major purchases generally require waiting to see whether we get money back from Uncle Sam. Uncle Arnold sometimes give us money back, too, but not as much as the Feds. In this case, it may well be a cold day in hellAnaheim before we buy another A/C unit. "We'll go with the condenser," I said.

Bottom line: it was still expensive. But, especially in August, it was worth it.

The problem with living in Southern California is that summer takes so long to go away. September never really cools down. Then we get that so-called "Indian summer" phenomenon that occurs in October and keeps the weather mildly warm for a week or two. No one calls it that, anymore. Too unPC, I guess. Anyway, it usually chills down on Halloween night so that we all freeze when we go trick-or-treating. Finally, in November, come the Santa Ana winds. These winds blow down from the northeast, and they are warm. So, ambient temps here for the last several days have been in the 80s. This means, of course, that my nifty new dual condenser in the air conditioner has likely exploded, or caused key moving parts to go on strike because they see themselves losing job security. Whatever the reason, my air conditioner is not working, and we are feeling it.

I'd like to call my friendly repair guy and have him come out and fix this thing. Allegedly it's still under warranty (assuming it's the condenser that's quit) and it shouldn't cost me an arm and better part of a leg to get it fixed. Unfortunately, this means digging through the various strata of paperwork in our soon-to-be-former office. Fans of the Move From Hades® will understand why this could be a problem. I may have to hire a professional spelunker to dive in there and locate the papers for me.

So, here we sit, one week away from Thanksgiving, sitting in front of our only fan like parched travellers in the Sahara. All appearances to the contrary, however, I'm really not complaining. For one thing, the extended warm weather is one of the charms of living in the Southland. I've spent limited amounts of time in areas where they have winter. I am not a cold-weather person. Cool, definitely. I can handle cool. Drop me down to around 50 degrees and I'm happy as a clam. Anything lower than that and I start to feel it. Especially now that I have mildly arthritic knees that act as a personal barometer. Also, people who live in wintery climes tend to brag about it in a manner reminiscent of the kid in the schoolyard who had bragging rights because he had a cast on his arm. I personally feel that these people get everything they deserve. Me? I still have happy memories of riding my bike in a mild rain on Christmas day when I was a kid, and being disappointed that Mom made me wear a windbreaker.

That's winter.

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