Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,
Rowyn
rowyn

Contractors and Transportation Issues

I started this entry on Friday, but didn't finish it until just now. Sometimes, I'm a bit slow.

I'm very nearly current on LJ again -- about five hours back, at this point, thanks to this two-hour lunch I'm taking.

I'm taking a two-hour lunch because it's that or walk home in the cold. I still haven't bought a scooter. I haven't quite made up my mind on that count.

The HVAC fellow came back with his price yesterday -- and it came in low, for a wonder! I'd convinced myself that it was going to be much higher than his over-the-phone estimate, which was already higher than the inspector and my real estate agent had guesstimated. But, no, the final numbers were quite reasonable. I have to make up my mind on a few factors -- whether to get a new programmable thermostat or keep my old one, whether or not to install a basement thermostat (the basement is finished but we don't use it much, and I'm wondering if it's worth it to keep it habitually at the same temperature as the first floor) and whether to use Janitrol or Lennox (Janitrol is apparently the private label of the heating & cooling world. I was leaning towards Janitrol until I stopped and thought about the fact that my house's current 30-35 year-old furnace is a Lennox and still running. The HVAC guy said that they don't make furnaces that reliable any more, alas, because in light of that, what I really want is one just like the one I have now, except new).

A plumber will be by to give me an estimate on the plumbing issues (yay) and we'll get the washer/dryer tomorrow, too. Oh, and a friend who does landscaping is going to see what I need in terms of fill dirt, too. Then we go to the office Christmas party. Busy day. I want to get the furniture in the basement arranged, as well. Oh, and do some more unpacking and tidy up the first floor. All the unpacked boxes are in the basement now, at least, but I've got a lot of stuff sitting on top of counters and whatnot, looking cluttered and annoying me, on the first floor. I want all that junk out of sight somewhere, at the very least.

I've been thinking about transportation some more today. My options go something along the lines of this:

Buy nothing: For the past week, Lut's been taking me to and from work. I could also walk, and probably would if the weather were nice. The weather isn't likely to be nice again for three or four months, but from April through October, walking should be eminently reasonable. Having Lut drive is a bit inconvenient for both of us; it's a jog out of his way, it means we have to leave at the same time, and it means I'm averaging 75 minutes a day of "lunch at work" instead of the half hour I used to take. Despite this, I'm spending as much or more time at home as before the move. Yes, my prior commute was that much longer.
Advantages
* Cheap.
Disadvantages
* Inconvenient for me -- if I had my own transportation, I wouldn't need to take long lunches or wait for Lut. Or walk in the cold.
* Inconvenient for Lut.

Buy a cheap scooter I can get a scooter for a few hundred dollars that will putt me to and from work
Advantages
* Still pretty cheap, enough that I might even be willing to get one of these for now, and a more expensive one down the line
* Faster and more convenient than walking
Disadvantages
* Probably one of the most hazardous options -- not as protected as a car, can't do it off the road like walking, not as fast or as visible as a larger scooter or a motorcycle.

Buy a moderately priced scooter: Level_head pointed me to a web site where I could get a 49.5cc engine scooter for $800, that'd do 25-30 mph
Advantages
* Fairly cheap
* Faster and more convenient than walking
* Marginally safer than the dinky scooters
Disadvanatges
* Still riskier than walking/riding
* More expensive than a cheap scooter

Buy an expensive scooter: "Scooters to Go" sells 49.5 cc engine scooters that have a top speed of 55mph.
Advantages
* Safer than a cheap scooter, insofar as it's better able to keep up with traffic
* Just as fast as driving to work, for all practical purposes
* I'd be able to use it for more than just the short hop to work
Disadvantages
* Expensive
* I'd be tempted to use it for more than just the short hop to work, whic might make it more dangerous to own, overall.

In theory, I could also buy a car or a motorcycle. But I'm not even going to bother listing those, because I know I'm not going to do it. Cars are expensive -- not so much to buy, but to own: insurance, repairs, gas. Motorcycles are cheaper, but I need a motorcycle license to ride and I'm not going to get one.

So these are the four options that are the most appealing. So far, by default, I'm going with the first. Even though it's not unreasonable for me to buy a cheap scooter now and get a pricey one later if I want, I have the feeling that if I do get an inexpensive one, I'll be too cheap to upgrade. At least until the original breaks or dies.

Getting a ride in with Lut, especially during the winter, certainly has its appeal. However, it really would be nice to be able to zip home on my own. I particularly feel the nuisance now, while I'm having contractors work on the place. If I had my own transportation, I could zip home to meet them during my lunch. Instead, I have to stay home or arrange for Saturday meetings or whatever.

So, eventually, I'll probably get some form of scooter. Which, though -- I dunno.
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