Tag Archives: money

Still looking at AC units

And there are a plethora of them. Office temperature is about the same as before, peaking at 86°F right after sundown every night. And every day I have to “fight” with the cat about keeping stuff that belongs on my desk actually on my desk. He really wants to get on my lap, but there just isn’t enough room for a cat on my lap while I work on the computer, so he goes behind the monitor/laptop screen and ends up pushing everything off the desk trying to get comfy. So I yell at him and he pouts, then walks across the keyboard as soon as my back is turned.

Anywho, just got back from an argument with Mrs. the Poet about spending money. Not that I’m spending it unwisely, but according to her I’m not spending enough. The reason we even have window units is because way back before Dad died our central AC died first, and the reason it died was the wiring in the house has gone bad. I had an electrician look at the situation back then and part of the problem is our breaker box is no longer up to code and before any other work can be done that has to be replaced at about $1K then troubleshooting or replacing the bad wiring may commence. In today’s $ we are looking at $3-8K total repairs before fixing the AC can even start. And the reason we are looking at these costs is the wiring may or may not have been up to code when the house was built in 1985, there was some shady business with building inspection back then.

Another reason for the argument is I have been working from faulty data on our finances. My data says we have about 8 years left before we have to sell the house to cover taxes, but according to Mrs. the Poet I was only informed about one of 3 accounts and we really have a lot more than that, more than twice as much. I’m not used to working like that. But either way we are looking at between $5K and $9k to repair the central AC compared to $130 to replace the window unit in the office. We got the window units about 10 years ago, and the three little ones all failed last summer pretty much at the same time, so to get everything back to status quo would be about $400. Now the real problem is our heat tolerance differences. I’m good to about 85 for sleeping under a ceiling fan, Mrs. the Poet really needs something cooler. Going the other way I can sleep comfortably under a heavy quilt as cool as 50 with a pair of wool socks on, where Mrs. the Poet starts complaining under 60. Part of that is I spent two winters in my grandmother’s house that only had a wood-burning stove for heat and the bedrooms would get near freezing in the winter and only got a small window unit for AC after Dad got back from Vietnam, and we moved out before the AC went in. The other part is I spent years riding as much as 200 miles a day out in the heat so just hanging around in the same heat is nothing, barely even uncomfortable.

Bottom line, I want Mrs. the Poet happy and comfortable, but not at the cost of not having a place to live shortly after that. That’s why the T-bucket project stalled, so that we would still have a roof over our heads.

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I can’t decide

I can’t decide if I’m just cheap, or acclimatizing to the heat, or what. Because it doesn’t really bother me that it’s 84°F in the office, the real concern is for my electronics, some of which are not performing correctly, like this laptop. Since I have to use the on-screen keyboard to use some of the keys, things like cursor control are important right now. But the cursor is wandering all over the screen without any input from me. I used to be able to park the cursor on top of the <m> key on the on-screen keyboard and just tap the touchpad at the bottom of the keyboard to type the letter “m”. And the cable box is a little wonky too but nothing I can put my finger on to say specifically what’s wrong. It might just be the remote instead.

But me? I’m just dandy, if a little damp. Not sweaty, just not dry, damp. Also not uncomfortable. Which is why I think I should be getting the new unit for the bedroom instead of the office except for the electronics, which are much more heat-sensitive than me. That is my dilemma, save the electronics that will cost a fortune to replace, or have a bedroom Mrs. the Poet can sleep in. But she’s leaving for the summer, so that has to weigh heavily in the decision. And before anyone says anything, Mrs. the Poet spends most of the summer in Upstate NY every year, and has since we moved to TX back in 1989.

Not as warm but still hot

There has been a slight reduction in dry-bulb temperature, but the humidity has increased to compensate for it on the heat index. Current office temperature 86°F drybulb outside 93°, and heat index is 99°. This is still several degrees cooler than last week, except the office temperature. I’m still looking at various window units to keep the office chill, prices have ranged from $129+ tax to about $250+ tax. Mrs. the Poet and I will discuss the budget this week because she’s leaving Tuesday of next week after Father’s Day.

Another financial note, my Dad left a financial instrument in the trust that requires I take money every month when I hit 60, so we are setting up an account to take the automatic deposit from this thing this week. It had been auto depositing to Dad’s checking account until he died, and because I’m the elder brother I have to take the money now. Based on my life expectancy we have to take a minimum of $100/mon. This will help, and Mrs. the Poet deciding that this money should go directly to me so I get something to spend on myself and cover my expenses, like my phone and comic books, and bus fare for things like Lab Rat Keeper and RPG Group. Stuff that’s just for me would be covered by this money, stuff like AC in my office we cover out of family finds because that gives multiple places in the house to cool off and also lets the bedroom be cool enough to sleep at night because the heat from my office isn’t radiating into it. Seriously, the rooms on the west side of the house are like saunas in the summer because of the setting sun baking in after the heat of the day. And until codes said otherwise the hedges in front did a great job of keeping off the sun. Then codes said there was a limit on hedges that are taller than the windows and the afternoon sun has streamed in ever since.

On other news, I think I might have found a source for a cheap engine for the Sprint-T. Pentastar powered Chargers, Challengers and trucks frequently go for less than a thousand dollars at local auctions when they have Salvage titles. All I need is the thousand dollars and a truck to haul it home. So still a total fantasy at this point, but a fantasy with the cruel edge of near attainability. Which makes it even crueler because it dangles just out of reach, and I can see other people getting it instead of me. That’s the real turn of the knife, watching other people walk away with my fantasy. It’s a real good thing I am not suicidal, because I know I’ll just hurt and not die, because if I was suicidal shit like this would send me over the edge. “That thing you have wanted for over half a century? Here are other people getting the things you need to have it almost every day for cheap, but you can’t have it.” And it all comes down to that one thing I don’t have any extra of, money.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not deprived. I have a fairly comfortable house, plenty to eat, a bed that doesn’t try to kill me, access to entertainment, stuff unimaginable just a few years ago like mobile internet in the palm of my hand, with access to billions of songs for free after paying for general access, and a communication channel that gives me direct access to POTUS. Now getting him to pay attention to what I’m saying is another story but I can still DM POTUS. And in theory he can answer, with something other than “New phone, who dis?” I just can’t have that one thing I have been pursuing since childhood, and it irks and nettles me.