When I was elected president of the local chapter of the Humane Society, I knew we would need a steadier way of raising funds that we had been using so far. We were able to get better and more predictable sources of dog and cat food for our shelter, but ultimately we would need a better source of operating revenue. Somebody had the idea of setting up a thrift store to support the shelter’s operations. We talked to several owners of strip malls and other commercial property, and finally found one willing to donate the space, so we began to set up shop. When we moved in at the beginning of summer, air conditioning was pretty important because of how hot it was outside. Neither volunteers nor customers were going to show up without functioning climate control, and the cooling system was flaky at best. In the morning we would set the thermostat, there would be a lukewarm breeze coming out of the air vents, and we would carry on as well as possible. The landlord would promise to send somebody to look at the HVAC system, but nobody would show up. One of our volunteers was married to a heating and cooling technician, and she agreed to come look at the climate control system on the next weekend. The cooling repair person showed up when she said it was coming and began the air conditioning repair. She stayed until late afternoon, replaced the air filters, did an A/C tune-up, and got the system working. Now we have a cool shop and great air quality to help raise money to keep our animal shelter going.
It is moving into fall but, down here in the south, it still feels like the middle of a hot summer. I am looking forward to the day that I can open my front door and get hit with a gust of cool, crisp air, but I know it will be weeks or months until that day arrives. I have been trying to get outside more often recently, so I leashed up my dog the other day and we took a drive over to one of the nicest parks in town. As soon as I parked and got out of the car, I knew that our park trip was going to be short lived. It was unbearably hot outside. I had forgotten to change out of my jeans and thick cotton t-shirt, too, and that made matters worse. As hot as it was, I took my dog for a loop around the entire park, which took about a half hour. By the time we got back to the car, I was sweating, she was panting, and I knew that we both wanted some water and cool air. On the drive back home, I put the air conditioning on full blast in the car so we were both able to cool down some. When we got back home, my dog laid down in her bed and fell asleep, exhausted. I turned the air down on the thermostat, turned all of the fans on in my house, and laid down in my bed. That was when I decided that until the temperature outside cooled down some, we probably would not be taking another trip to the park anytime soon.
Taking care of dogs can be tricky. They can be tough animals, but if exposed to the wrong temperatures they can get very ill very quickly. We have a dog that is built for the summer. Naturally short coat, he drinks a lot of water and loves to get outside and run around. Whenever it gets cold he gets very sick very easily. We have tried heated beds in the past and those are just hit and miss. This year we bought him his very own doggie HVAC system for his crate. The system has a heating unit in it that blows warm air all around him to keep him nice and cozy warm. Since we like to keep our house a little bit cooler during the winter, this was the perfect solution for our family pet. The installation was quick and easy and we watched a tutorial on the Internet to set it up. We had to put the heating element into the housing before we could mount it on his crate. After that it was all good to go! We set it for around eighty degrees and it has been working well! From what we can tell he cuddles right next to the heating element and sleeps with his head right against the vent. So far this year he hasn’t gotten sick! He has been healthy as can be, he just doesn’t get to go out and exercise as much as we know he wants to. We are thinking about moving him into one of the big closets we have and putting a portable heater in there with him, so he has more room to move around instead of having to be in a crate.
Setting up my new apartment was a moment I’ve been waiting for, for such a wildly long time. From being in high school and college I’ve been waiting to have my own place to decorate and come home to. So far it’s been kind of weird feeding myself and cooking for each meal but I’m getting used to it. I like that I have a room to decorate and other rooms to decorate. My roommates and I did a rustic theme and a contemporary theme. It looks a lot better than most college apartments usually do. When I got into my new place I immediately felt that there was no AC however. It was kind of an upsetting feeling because that was never something I thought I would need to be watching out for. Turns out we had no AC system at all. I guess it’s because most of the year here is pretty cold. My roommate and I had a brand new dresser that was put in our kitchen for some reason but we honestly had no need for it. There’s less counter space than we need but we brought the dresser outside to the storage shed anyway and brought other tables in. With all that moving, and having no AC I was seriously destroyed. Decorating and unpacking was making my forehead so wet it was crazy. I couldn’t have wiped my forehead anymore than I had. That was a terrible experience having to move everything in.
With commercial-free music so easily available nowadays, it is no wonder that no one listens to the radio anymore. The majority of people now forgo the radio altogether, instead opting for the music that they have downloaded on their cell phones and various other devices. Gone are the days of being forced to listen to the songs that one does not want to hear and waiting for a favorite song to be played. With the ability to download music directly to devices, many people now do not even hear commercials. Unless, of course, they are using a music app that has not been upgraded to commercial-free listening. More often than not, though, disruptive commercials are no longer heard. Though I do download music and use music apps, I still find some type of charm in listening to the radio. Every morning, I turn on the radio while I get ready for work. I cannot help but be amused by my local radio station, whose host enjoys announcing birthdays and anniversaries while playing very few songs between commercials. I estimate that, for every five-minute song played, there are fifteen minutes of talking, whether it is the host or the commercials. The funniest part is that the commercials are played day after day, hour after hour. For the past two weeks, I have heard the same HVAC company commercial. It is a local HVAC company, family owned and operated, that is offering a deal on system tune-ups before the cold comes. I just smile, hearing the enthusiasm in their voices, thinking that one day radio commercials will be obsolete. Until then, I will listen to the same HVAC company commercial again and again.
My sister in law works at a historical university. She works in one of the offices, not in a classroom. Her office is in one of the oldest buildings, so they are always having maintenance problems. It drives her crazy. They are always calling in a plumber, electrician, or HVAC service person. Sometimes, she goes into work only to find that there are no lights or the restrooms are closed. Both of these things are annoying, no doubt, but the absolute worst situation is when there is no air conditioning. Modern workers demand modern HVAC systems. In the winter, it is necessary to have a reliable heater. In the warmer months, it is vital to have sound air conditioning. It can be quite an investment to get a new HVAC system installed, but it must be done. The workers in offices are considering going on strike if the administration does not provide adequate heating and cooling. It is silly that it had to get to that point, but the university does not care much about support staff. They only care about the faculty and athletic teams. That is because they bring money into the college. But without strong support, the faculty can’t do their jobs and the coaches are too focused on athletics to even know how to order new jock straps. They need the office workers, so they need new HVAC equipment, plain and simple. My sister in law heard that they have put out a request for service to the local HVAC providers and will soon be making a decision on the best kind of HVAC system to purchase. Sometimes things can move very slowly in the higher education systems, so hopefully they will have their new HVAC equipment installed before the start of the new year.
As the owner of a restaurant chain, I am regularly traveling to various towns to check up on each restaurant. I genuinely enjoy talking with people and brainstorming with each manager to develop new ways to keep customers happy, but traveling during the winter can be rough. Winters in my region are incredibly cold and filled with snow, making for uncomfortable driving conditions. Any time there is a restaurant emergency, I am usually the one who gets called in, and there are plenty of emergencies during the winter. Last month, I had one of my restaurant managers call me in a complete panic, because the HVAC system had broken. It was only twenty degrees outside, and there wasn’t a furnace to keep guests and employees warm. I immediately got into my car and drove out there to help. When I walked into the restaurant, I couldn’t believe how frigid the indoor temperature was! The employees were all wearing jackets and still shivering. I could immediately tell that this was a big HVAC problem. I told the restaurant manager to close the restaurant down for the day, and to send everyone home. I found the number for a local HVAC company, and asked for a technician to come out and perform a furnace repair. Luckily, it only took a few hours for the HVAC technician to arrive and repair the furnace. After this incident, I have instructed all of my restaurant managers to close the restaurant, send everyone home, and call the HVAC company immediately if the furnace ever starts malfunctioning. Not having a working furnace doesn’t make for a comfortable or safe environment, especially in the service industry!
I’m an absurdly light sleeper. If there’s the slightest light, noise, or movement in my bedroom, I’ll wake with a start and have the hardest time falling back to sleep. It has been a curse I’ve had to deal with all my life. School and work pose a real challenge for me because it’s just too easy for me to miss out on sleep and have a hard time functioning the next day. I’ve never been able to sustain a relationship because most people will want to share a bed with someone they’re dating, and people usually aren’t that understanding. Even worse, during the winter I can’t run the heating at night, because it will wake me up when it comes on. Because I went to college in the south, that wasn’t too big a deal because you wouldn’t freeze to death without the furnace running at night. When I had to move to the mountainous west to work, though, I could no longer go a night without the furnace running. The pipes would freeze without heating. Besides, there aren’t enough blankets in the world to keep me from freezing without the climate control going in winter. Unfortunately, when the thermostat clicks over, the thermostat wooshes on and the air ducts rattle just a little. I jolt upright in bed when that happens, and it takes me a precious quarter hour to drift back to sleep, even in the warm glow provided by the gas heater. Eventually, somebody told me about hydronic heating. I called an HVAC provider and they installed heated floors in my house. The quiet warmth lets me sleep through the night.
My husband and I have known each other since we were in college. We were both in the same MicroBiology class, and he was smart and pretty good looking. I made sure to find the seat that was closest to him, and make him my lab partner. Ever since that, we have been nearly inseparable. We both graduated from college with our PHDs in BioChemistry. We have a lab on our property that my husband I and work from, and he is constantly working on something interesting with the kids. He is a wonderful Dad to our four boys, ranging in ages from three to seventeen. They enjoy having time with their Dad in the lab they have named, “The Secret Lair.” Last weekend when I away at a conference, my husband and the kids were alone in the house. This alone should have warned me that there would be problems, but I thought for sure that my husband could handle everything. When I came home from the weekend away, their were contractors in the lab, and we were having a new air filtration installed. When I asked my husband about this large expense that we never talked about, he informed me that I couldn’t go inside for the next two weeks until it aired out. Apparently, all of the men of the house were trying to concoct a new recipe for fart dust, and ended up making the entire lab, including our office space, smell like rotten eggs and dog fart. My husband said that even with two air purifier running constantly, the smell was still unbearable. He was assured by the HVAC contractor, that an air filtration system would rid the area of all odors.
I have been working on a project in the garage for about five or six years. I have a large scale model of all of the downtown areas of our nation’s capital. I have working on the model since I was in graduate school, and I have put a lot of time, energy, and money, into preserving all the pieces perfectly. It’s a beautiful replica of every street within a 20 block radius of the White House. It has taken me thousands and thousands of hours to complete what I have finished already. Each piece has been hand painted and crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Next Saturday, I am moving into a new house with my fiance. We agreed that her house is more accommodating than my “bachelor pad” apartment, so I am going to be moving. That means that for the first time since college, I will have to move my model also. I am very nervous about transporting every tiny piece. I am also very anxious about the new space we have for my model. I get to turn the entire attic into my area for the model, but the attic is musty and humid. I had to install a dehumidifier in the attic to preserve my model. I purchased two small portable dehumidifier units from the local hardware store. After angling them to the perfect spots, they seem to be keeping the air crisp and clean, free of humid, and moisture. I hope the dehumidifiers continue to protect my investments for all the years to come.