So, it looks like I’m getting a new furnace and hot water heater for my house. It seems funny to be thinking about furnaces and hot water heaters in the middle of a southern Ontario summer, although given how cold this summer has been it really isn’t too much of a stretch.
Anyhow, I knew that both the furnace and hot water tank in my house were old and that I’d have to replace them eventually, but it wasn’t really a pressing issue or something I spent a lot of time thinking about. Then, the other day a rep from LivClean showed up to tell me I qualified for a new hot water heater. I’ve already blogged about my frustrations with how that turned out, but suffice it to say I was impressed with neither the sales rep nor the technician, and in the end they couldn’t install it for me anyhow. I’m now convinced I dodged a bullet.
What that incident did do, however, was prompt me to call Direct Energy, the company I’m currently renting my hot water tank from. I talked on the phone with someone there for quite a while about the various options and then she booked an appointment for one of their energy management consultants to come out to talk to me further. During that appointment I learned a ton about high-efficiency furnaces, tankless water heaters, and ecoEnergy retrofit grants. The consultant who came out to talk to me was helpful, friendly and took the time to really explain things to me — the exact opposite experience from the one I had with LivClean.
So, the long and the short of it is that I had an energy audit done on my house, am replacing the old units with newer models, and getting an impressive amount of rebates, tax credits and credits on my utility bills for doing so. I’ve also been told that I should see a difference in my overall utility bills once the new systems are up and running. I don’t doubt that, given that my current furnace and hot water tank are over 20 years old.
Dear St. Catharines City Council,
Thanks for the new bike lanes. Much appreciated.
Hugs and happy cycling,
The Dandelion Diva
-Last night I watched the first two episodes of CBC’s The Great Food Revolution. I hadn’t intended to watch it, but the TV stayed on after Jeopardy and it only took me a few minutes to get hooked. In two hours this show covered many interesting topics — cooking schools, celebrity chefs, how sushi became popular in North America and the “behind the scenes” processes that go into the development of President’s Choice products. (and, yes, I’ll admit I’m a bit of a slave to the PC brand). Anyhow, this was a very interesting 2 hours of TV-watching and I’m looking forward to the remaining two episodes.
-I have finished the latest round of edits on a major research project that I’ve been working on for many, many years. I packaged it up and sent it off this morning. I’m still thinking of ways to celebrate the occasion. Suggestions welcome.
-I am supposed to be getting a new hot water tank today. Why does this fill me with dread? I think I’ve convinced myself that it will be more complicated that it is supposed to be. This aspect of home ownership (the upgrades and renovations that I can’t possibly fathom doing myself) freaks me out. Still, I want to avoid the situation that happened in the last rental house I lived in. In that house the bottom of the old hot water tank rusted right away and flooded the basement. It was an old house, so replacing the tank was not a straight-forward job (something about an old chimney and no chimney liner) and we were without hot water for days. I sincerely hope that I got all of my bad hot water tank karma out of the way that time and that things will be uneventful on this front today.
[Update: so, when the LivClean guy was out here setting up this whole new hot water tank dealio the other day I specifically asked him about the chimney liner, given the last experience I had with a hot water tank. He, apparently, checked and said I have a proper liner and everything would be fine. The technicians just stomped in and out of my house and couldn't do the install because, you guessed it, I didn't have a chimney liner. Whatever.]
The Brock Review is seeking submissions for an upcoming general issue (Volume 11, Number 1). Articles that focus on any research topic in the Humanities will be considered for publication, but articles addressing interdisciplinary topics are especially encouraged. Creative pieces will also be considered for publication in this issue. Deadline for submissions to this general issue is September 30, 2009.
Please visit the journal website for article guidelines and submission instructions.
I just snapped this series of images of a juvenile Baltimore Oriole splashing about in my bird bath. It is so funny to watch the birds splash around!
I can not believe that in this day and age that there are still people who kick up a fuss when someone decides to buck the trend of uniformly manicured (read boring), high-maintenance lawns. Whether the decision is to plant veggies in the front yard (because, hey, maybe that’s where the conditions happen to be the best for growing) or to cultivate native species and flowers where others might choose to lay sod there always seems to be a brigade of nosy Nellys (or Neddys) who oppose the “unsightly” mess of nonconformity.
The latest story on this front is the tale of Hank and Vera Jones who decided to cultivate plants that attract butterflies. Sounds lovely to me, but apparently the neighbours and the City of Ottawa disagree.
When will the madness end? Why is it so difficult to a)mind one’s own business and b)let go of this stupid notion that we have to all have miniature golf greens surrounding our homes. (oh, and don’t even get me started on the reader comments that follow this news story — long grass = “hillbillies”?! wild grass = “unsafe for children”? Really? Give me a freakin’ break!)
And on that grumpy note, I’m going back to my editing. *hrumph*
I continue to plod on with the manuscript edits. Plod, plod, plod.
I have spent the entire day on a paragraph. An innocent-sounding query by one of the lovely people who reviewed one of my manuscripts ended up sending me on quite a fact chasing mission. The idea was that I needed to add in a sentence or two to an existing paragraph, you know, to clarify things and add in a little factoid. Searching for this particular factoid seemed like it would be a straightforward research question, but it ended up being anything but.
Imagine, for instance, that there existed a law banning, say, eating ice cream cones in public. But this imaginary ice cream cone law had different clauses for, say, sugar cones vs. regular cones — maybe one was banned earlier. And would frozen yogurt count? And what if different branches of the legislating institution had different laws on the books about eating ice cream cones in public? All of the sudden it becomes quite difficult to offer up a straightforward factoid-laden sentence explaining the imaginary ice cream ban. Yeah…that is about the size of the research/writing I did today, substituting, of course, the imaginary ice cream ban with the actual subject of my research. The digging I did today revealed some really important stuff and this will certainly strengthen this section of the manuscript, but I would really like to have more than a single paragraph to show for about 9 hours of work.
Slow and steady wins the race and all that jazz. I feel like I’m running through jello right now.
Two more exciting developments have happened in this region over the past week: the McMaster Niagara Family Health Centre is now officially open, and Brock is now leasing the Hair Cloth Building in downtown St. Catharines.