OK, granted, I'm a pretty sporadic poster, and I've gone weeks without updating before, so I suppose most of you are more like "you were gone?"
I was gone.
I took copious notes on my trip, which I will eventually transcribe and post. I'm sure you're all looking forward to that.
Well, I'm sure at least one of you is looking forward to it, because he told me he was. I don't know about the rest of you. But you are reading this, which is a good sign that you want to hear more from me, so I'll take that much on faith. Right.
Before I get to my vacation, however, I'll cover recent events, like, getting home.
The climate control in my apartment is set up in a rather peculiar way. First off, the whole building is either on A/C or heat, depending on the time of year. That is, the building managers have someone come out twice a year, during spring and fall, futz with the system, and switch us from heat to A/C or vice versa. This means that, even if it's a cold day in June, you can't get heat in your apartment. It also means that there are inevitably some uncomfortable days in the spring and fall when the weather doesn't match the currently available climate control. But the building is well-insulated from both heat and cold, so it's not too bad, usually.
My apartment in particular has further oddities. We have two separate climate control units. The den, where our computers are, has its own unit with a couple of dials, like the climate control on a car (for fan speed and hotter/colder), rather than a thermostat.
The rest of the apartment--bedroom, living room, kitchen--is controlled by another unit, located in the wall between the bedroom and the living room, which has a thermostat. The fan in this latter unit has been broken for the last couple of weeks, with the result that there was a small pocket of cold air around the base of the unit, and no noticeable A/C in the rest of that part of the apartment. We'd complained to the management several times about this, and maintenance men had come in to the apartment a few times, poked at it, mumbled about needing replacement parts, and wandered off again, never to be heard from again.
Before we left, Lut complained to the office one more time, hoping that, maybe, the problem would be fixed by the time we got back.
We'd rented a car for the trip--Lut's car has run with surprisingly few problems for the last three or four years, but it is seven years old now and he didn't want to worry about it breaking down on a long trip. So when we came home on Friday evening, we parked the rental on the street, instead of in the building's gated lot, and came in through the front door, rather than the entrance from the gated lot. We take the elevator to the 8th floor, and despite being tired and overburdened with stuff from the trip, as soon as we get out we immediately notice that (a) the corridor is hot and stuffy and (b) there are large industrial blowers on the floor all along the hallway, labeled "DRYCO". My first thought is that the A/C has gone out all over the building, and that the blowers are there to provide ventilation. Lut speculates that they're drying out the building: maybe the sprinklers were set off while we were gone? I offer that maybe they had the carpet cleaned?
As we get to our apartment door, Lut says, "With our luck, they knocked out the A/C completely trying to fix ours, and we won't have it anywhere."
We get inside, and there's our living room A/C unit, partially disassembled, and the room's warm. Lut is not thrilled. Fortunately, the den A/C is unharmed. We resolve to talk to the office on Saturday.
Saturday, we take the rental car to pick up my cats from the vet. While leaving the apartment, we notice that the blowers are still going, and that carpet's been pulled up in the western wing of the building. Odder still, there's a huge plastic tube, maybe two feet in diameter, wrapped around what looks like the sprinkler pipe. I can't tell if the tube is inflated by air, or if it's layers of plastic sheeting wrapped around. But I want to get the cats before the vet closes, so we don't talk to the office yet. But on the way down, as the elevator stops at other floors, we see that they, too, have the industrial blowers going.
After we get the cats and drop them off at the apartment, we pull the rental car around back so we can switch stuff over to our car and drop off the rental.
The back lot looks ... very strange. There are industrial vehicles everywhere, most of them boxy machines-on-wheels, labeled "DRYCO". There's a giant dumpster over by the back door. One of the two back doors is missing entirely, replaced with a sheet of plywood with a big hole cut out to accommodate another giant plastic tube, running from one of the vehicles and into the building.
What on Earth happened here?
We return the rental car, come back to the apartment, and go in through the back door. More tubes, suspended overhead, appear to branch off to every side corridor in the building. We finally get to the office, and before I even ask about the A/C in our apartment, I want to know: "What happened while we were gone?"
It wasn't the sprinklers. A disgruntled (now former) tenant opened up the valve on one of the big water pipes on the west side of the 8th (and top) floor. The entire building, with the exception of some of the apartments on the east side of the 8th floor, was flooded.
We live on the east side of the 8th floor. (Phew!)
Water damage everywhere. Most of the tenants are living in unoccupied apartments elsewhere in the building, while their own apartments are rehabilitated and made livable again. Goodness!
Looks like it was a good week to be elsewhere.
As for the A/C: while we were out running errands, the maintenance folks fixed the fan. Sort of. The woman in the office explained that the fan is now stuck on "medium", but that if we change the thermostat, it'll stop blowing cold air. And the maintenance people will be back in, today, I think, to fix the fan-stuck-on-medium issue.
I certainly hope so, because it turns out the unit ignores the thermostat entirely, continuing to pump out cold air regardless. It's a cool day outside, probably around 65-70, and the temperature in the living room is 70 degrees and dropping. Given that I generally like it warm--I'm perfectly happy at 75-80--I'm thinking, well, could be time to put a sweater on. I turned off the A/C in the den (still working normally) but I think the chill is spreading.
Maybe I should go outside and get some exercise to warm up ....