June 22nd, 2004

Half Staff

With the death of President Reagan, I've had numerous opportunities to see flag flying at half staff since they fly at half staff for 30 days for the death of a president.

I've noticed there are a number of flags/flag poles that were setup not taking flying at half staff into account. I've seen flags so big that that they're practically touching the ground when at half. Other flags can't catch the wind because it's being blocked by the building the flag is in front of. Then there's some where it actually hits the building.

Nothing truly profound here...just an observation.

Stay Cool

We've had the air conditioner (heat pump) off over the weekend since it was really nice outside and opening windows was just as effective (and cheaper). However, when we tried to turn it back on yesterday, we were back with the same problem as before--the fan would run, but the outside unit never kicked on to actually cool the air.

So Lissa called the service people again today to use the 30 day service warranty they gave us. They were able to come out this afternoon, and the unlike last time, the unit was still malfunctioning when they got here. The service guy was able to determine that a switch on the outside unit that's apparently supposed to automatically turn it off if it gets too hot was stuck in the off position.

To remedy this problem, he simply removed the switch and hardwired the connection. He said a replacement switch would be $150-200, but that he might not bother replacing it. He said the life expectency of a heat pump is about 10-15 years and that ours is 8. So rather than sinking money into a somewhat costly but non-critical repair, just save the money toward a new unit at some point. He left the decision up to us. That seemed reasonable.

There was no charge for today's visit and he actually advised us on a way to *not* spend money unnecessarily. I am pleased. This has been a far better experience than what we had with a different company when we had problems last year. Last year, repairs were delayed by problems with ordering parts. We had to live in a hot house for over a week. They gave us estimates at a couple points, but each time they did work ended up charging us substantially more. As a result, I called someone different this year.