Thursday, August 7, 2014

A rather better day

Today was an improvement over yesterday - although almost anything would have been an improvement!  The air-conditioning was fixed by mid-morning, and cooler temperatures made life much more bearable.  To my surprise (and irritation), we learned that modern A/C motors are no longer the simple units of old.  Apparently one has to tell the supplier the type of unit (manufacturer, model, etc.) in which it'll be used, and it's then 'programmed' to work in that particular system.  I can see how making a single motor that can be programmed to work in 20 or 30 different units is easier from the factory's perspective, but it means one can't just walk in, buy the motor one wants, and take it out the door.  Now one has to provide the necessary information and wait two to three hours until the supplier can put it through the programming process - and pay rather more for the motor as a result.  I'm not sure this is an improvement from the user point of view.

I also picked up some shims from a hardware store.  Slid beneath the uprights of my bookcases, they tilt them backwards just enough to provide greater stability.  So far they look good, but I might still pursue the option of fastening them to the wall for greater security.  Since these are rented premises, I'd rather not do that, because it'll come out of our security deposit when we leave;  but it may be necessary.  We'll see.

Miss D. and I are now setting up our shared office space in the largest bedroom (we've taken the second-largest as our actual bedroom).  It'll have two desks, three computers, a laser printer, a scanner, and a treadmill at an upright desk so we can exercise as we work.  Internet access is a problem, though.  I'm using a T-Mobile internet hotspot, which isn't bad, but it's a lot slower than cable.  I'm trying to find a cable Internet service, but both Comcast and AT&T want a contract for one to two years.  We can't agree to that, because we may have to move for work reasons at short notice;  but the sales assistants to whom I've spoken so far all say they can't sell me a month-by-month service package.  Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get a decently fast Internet service on that basis in or near Nashville at an affordable price?  If so, please let us know in Comments.

A thunderstorm has just passed over, with lots of lightning, thunder and rain.  It's broken the oppressive heat and humidity that's plagued us for two days.  Things are much more comfortable now.



Rev. Paul said...

I'm very glad to hear that your A/C is repaired; Miss D must still be melting in the heat... and obviously, it wasn't helping you, either.

Bryn, Anglesey UK said...

Hello Peter, just a thought re. your broadband ~ satellite internet. I am in the UK so I have no knowledge of cost relative to cable or 3G/4G for you in TN, but in the event of a sudden move it is just another piece of furniture to move, and no fixed contract tied to a specific address. Ideal if you find yourselves moving out into rural areas not served by cable. Best wishes from sunny Anglesey!

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest adding 'earthquake straps' or l brackets to the bookcases?

Miss D can explain

Anonymous said...

Dunno what your level of handicraft is. It should be possible to fasten the shelves to a stud in the wall with a screw. Don't pull the shelves tight against the wall, it's just to keep them from falling over after all. Afterwards, remove the screw, and you only have a small hole, easily patched with a bit of spackle when you move out. Really, no worse than what you'd have for hanging a mirror or a heavy picture.

Will said...

Don't quote me, but I'm fairly certain that a Comcast agreement can be moved to a new location. Haven't done it myself, but a roommate appears to have accomplished this, about a year ago. It took a couple calls to get it handled. Came from a different state.

Will said...

And, then he moved into his son's place a few months later.

For the bookshelves, you might consider running some wood strips from the top of the units across to the other side of the hall or room. Then attach to other furniture. Or run across the tops of several, out to the side walls, and attach this to units that are at right angles to the group. If the tops aren't high enough for head clearance, bolt risers to the unit tops to get the stabilizers closer to the ceiling. This way, nothing gets screwed to the structure, they end up being self-stabilizing.
Oh, yeah, expect the cat to try to use these! Might be best to use wood wide enough to make it safe for her, if they aren't near/against the ceiling.

A variation on this is to screw/bolt a number of units side to side, and then turn one (or more) at right angles, and fasten it to the last one. I currently have 4+1 like this. (I dislike how heavy furniture leaves more-or-less permanent impressions in carpet, so I cut plywood strips that are just slightly oversize to set under the bookcases.)

If none of those work in your space, two other options occur to me:

Cut plywood(hardwood surface for appearance) end pieces (wings), in place of turning units sideways. If doorways, etc, are in the way of doing that, consider trimming a sheet of thick plywood, with beveled edges, to fit the area and bolting the units down to that. You end up with a raised floor, and it may not be quite as strong as using wings for stability, but beats doing nothing.

IB said...

On satellite internet, check with Marko. I think he finally got a hard-wired connection, but he was on sat for several years in NH.

Anonymous said...

For those shims, you could visit a floor tile sales store and ask for some free tile samples. They work great, come in squares about 3" square, no fuss no muss.

Glad to hear A/C is working again, is there a sweeter sound than that cool air blowing through the vents ? Relief just flows through the pores.

Diamond Mair said...

If Suddenlink is available, I know we have month-to-month; check with local cable TV outlets, if they offer cable-based InterNet.
Also, should you be possibly considering moving out of the area completely, there SHOULD be some kind of clause in any contractual setup, that would allow you to leave the contract with no adverse effects {like the clauses in rental agreements in civilian communities, renting to military personnel/families}.

Semper Fi'

Cedar said...

Do NOT do satellite. It's expensive and very limited. Download a software update and they will FAP you (not the slang term, I assure you) down to dialup speeds for 24 hours or more. We had it for a year in New Hampshire and it was miserable. You might enquire with one of the contract services about moving, but keep in mind it may not be available in teh area you have to move to.