Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Furnace

A couple of weeks ago, I was forced to buy a new furnace. As it turned out, the warm weather in the following week and a half meant I probably could have postponed the purchase by a week or so, at least. But, as that turned out, the check I wrote that Wednesday was not cashed until just this past Friday - over two weeks. Generally speaking, checks are deposited very quickly by companies. They like to earn interest on money, if nothing else. Thus, this delay had me slightly worried about lost checks, claims that I didn't pay, having to cancel payment on said check after writing a new one, fighting collection agencies, cancelling business with what I had thought to be a trustworthy HVAC company, etc. Turns out they just take their time collecting their pay.

Anyway, it would have cost ~$500 to fix the furnace, so I figured that was the equivalent of ~$500 off the purchase price of a new furnace. Since the condenser coil above the old furnace wasn't installed properly (the drain pipe was too narrow and clogged), the old furnace was rusted out, and I think dripping water had fried the electronics in the broken component twice already. I was tired of that furnace. Incidentally, A.B. MAY fixed it the last time and did nothing to even investigate the rust. Plus, they incorrectly installed a new water panel in my humidifier, which caused it to leak water all over the back part of the basement. Needless to say, I was not happy with A.B. MAY.

Still, I had Neal Harris and A.B. MAY out to give me quotes on a new furnace, just for kicks. Neal Harris started their furnaces at $2775 for a standard 80% furnace, and an 80% 2-stage variable speed furnace was $4180. Not what I was hoping to spend. A.B. MAY's prices were $1790 and $3593 for the same type of furnaces. Still a bit pricey, really. My friend, Brian, recommended ISSA Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, and their prices were $1650 and $2550. What they lacked in professionalism (and there was a definite lack, there), they made up in price, confidence, personality, and trust-inspiring behavior.

So, I ended up spending $2550 to fix something A.B. MAY should have fixed last year, but the new furnace will allow me to get a high-efficiency heat pump next year or so. Overall, I haven't had too much stress over spending that money, so I'd call it a good purchase.

My Cell Phone

I've known for a long time that my cell phone is old and out of date. I've taken pride in my ability to talk to people on such an ancient device. I've even learned to text on it! I still don't think a phone needs a built-in digital camera, mp3 player, or whatever else is available on cell phones these days - all I do is talk (and now a bit of text) on it!

However, the other day I was fiddling with it absentmindedly. One of the things I do is to flick the antenna out and back in. Well, my phone has gotten so old that one of the people I was with laughed that my phone even had an antenna. I realize that extending the antenna likely never had any effect, and was their to make previous generations more comfortable with the high-tech devices, but it has served me well as a little doodad to twirl and otherwise play with. It pains me ever so slightly to know that my next phone will almost assuredly not have such a useless game included in its construction.

I have no deeper point to make - I just thought it was a rather amusing situation/observation. Also, my cats are still adorably cute.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Elect Barack Obama

Holy fuck; he is inspiring.

Edit @11:16PM: I completely forgot about Biden during that speech, and was surprised to see him walking out on stage.