Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 2164

So, what did I learn today? For starters, I learned that a lot of water leaked out of our broken pipe last month. I received our first water bill since our plumbing problems began, and it was humongous. I called the city to see how to go about getting an adjustment on the bill and since I was dealing with a government bureaucracy, the procedure was about ten times more complicated than it needed to be. I'm supposed to go ahead and keep paying my bills like normal, and then fill out some paperwork and send it to a completely different department to apply for an adjustment to my bill. Supposedly, about three months from now the city will apply some sort of formula based on my historic water use averages and credit back some of this month's huge bill. I wonder if the people making the adjustment and the people currently taking my money even talk to each other. At least the problem is fixed now and I only have one wonky bill to deal with.

I was going to go look at dehumidifiers in several of the big box stores today, but discovered that nobody kept them in stock. Keeping an inventory is a thing of the past. Unless you're dealing with a popular day-to-day item, most stores force you to buy online these days. Some stores ship the item to a retail store where you pick it up. Other deliver it to your home. If you actually want to look at the item before you buy, you're out of luck. It's frustrating. The reason I wanted to buy a dehumidifier locally is that my UPS guy has a habit of breaking heavy objects by just dropping the package at my door. I've had to return a number of things delivered by UPS and FedEx because they were broken when they arrived. Fragile or Handle with Care stickers mean nothing to these guys.

Faced with the prospect of buying online, I started reading the online reviews more carefully. It appears that most people feel that dehumidifiers are too noisy, only last a year before they break, and are so poorly designed that you always spill water on the floor when emptying the water reservoir.  I remember one review in particular. "Your machine sucks water out of the air just fine," the review said. "It's too bad it immediately overflowed and spilled all the water it extracted on my new carpets and ruined them." Once again, you get what you pay for. With portable dehumidifiers you've got two choices. You can pay $1400 and up for a commercial machine designed to run 24 hours a day, or pay $200 for a consumer machine that will break in a year.

When I was running errands today, the Service Required light came on in my car. I hate this ambiguous message because sometimes it means that something is seriously wrong with your car and other times it is just a reminder that it's time for your next service visit at the dealership. I didn't want to take any chances since I have to transport Dot in the car tomorrow, so I drove over to the dealership and showed them the problem. There was nothing wrong at all. It was just reminding me about the service appointment that I had already taken care of last month.

I got a call from an IT guy today telling me that he had just replaced all the web cams in one of my client's buildings. This meant that the pages for viewing these cameras no longer worked. I told him I'd fix the situation if he'd sent me send me the information I needed to create new web cam pages. Ordinarily, this would be something I could do while I was talking to the guy on the phone. Not anymore. Since I've already converted this particular site to a responsive, mobile friendly format, it is much more complex to modify. There goes tomorrow. Between taking Dot to physical therapy and adding these four live cameras back to the website, that's my entire day.

It was clear this morning and I was surprised to see how far Jupiter and Venus have moved apart in the morning sky. The last time I looked, these two planets were almost touching. It appears that even the planets are moving faster than I am these days.

Puppies are today's Dalmatians of the Day
Watch of the Day