Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sukkot ~ A Little Heat Goes A Long Way

Note to readers coming from Bill Keller's "How To Die" column  in the NY Times ~ 
the post you are looking for is PINING FOR THE FJORDS


With all the ruckus over the Big Bird assassination attempt, some very real news seems to have fallen below the radar. For a change, the news out of the Middle East isn’t very good, but for once, it doesn’t include Israel in the news flash.

Syria, as everyone already knows, is in deep and serious trouble. They are in the middle of a civil war (no matter what they want to call it) and they are killing their own kith and kin. People are dying from shelling in every major city, and now, that shelling is killing civilians across the border in Turkey. And Turkey is firing back.

To date, there has been no outcry from the Arab world about Syria’s self-immolation. Nor have there been outcries against Turkey for returning fire. No one is standing up to tell Turkey to sit down and calm down. No one is telling the Turkish PM not to defend his own borders. And no one is making much of a fuss about the shelling…except the Turks.

Am I the only one thinking there’s something totally wrong with this scenario?

On a lighter note…or rather my bank account is significantly lighter….my furnace of 24 relatively stable years decided to give up the ghost this week. Upon inspection, it was discovered the heat exchange thingee had a small crack. Realizing we are on the cusp of winter and the temps are already dropping, I went into high gear to find a new furnace…and, of course, an air conditioner since that was also 24 years old and well, if you’re gonna do one, you should do them both. I set up three on-site bids from companies that came highly recommended.

Thursday, when the last bidder came, there was talk of red-tagging the little darling right in the middle of Sukkot…much the same way the gas man had red-tagged my stove the week before Pesach. I was told that despite the frosty temps to sleep with windows cracked throughout the house to mitigate any carbon monoxide. I figured I had 24 hours to make the decision and, after much tossing, turning and worrying, I decided to stick with Lennox and called the company that had installed the furnace in the first place. Ryan the Apollo guy said, “How’s tomorrow?” and it was a done deal. I didn’t want to wait until late next week because I was concerned about two things: 1) not having heat with a 91 year old in the house, and 2) not waking up at all.

 Lennox Elite 296 Furnace
The removal and install went pretty smoothly. The only gross part was the dead mouse where the filter goes…which was the reason I’ve had so much trouble getting the filter to drop all the way down. They showed me the corpse and there was really not much there, just skin and bones…which confirmed my suspicion this was what happened to the mouse that disappeared down the family room duct some years ago…the one we never found.

And so, after writing a cheque for a whole lotta buckos, I have a new 96% high efficiency-sealed system Lennox replacing the Lennox that had served me so well, and a new high efficiency air conditioner. While the furnace is somewhat shorter, the air conditioner is much taller. Go figure. But at least I can stop worrying about the damn things.

KC with shrunken etrogim

And speaking of cold weather…is my new car cool or what? When I got in it this morning to go the Great Twin Cities Marathon and Sukkah Party over at the Murphy/Carlsons, a warning light blinked on the dashboard, and then the outside temp light started blinking. The message? “LOW TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE.” How many cars actually tell you to go back in the house and get a sweater????? 

The Wifely Person Tip o'The Week
If you have not done so already:
get your annual well furnace check-up.


  1. This is entirely off topic, but your comment on the NYTimes was wonderful. It made me want to pop over and see who you are.

    Nice to read you.

  2. Love your writing, and (you know this) adore you. But, I feel the need to point out that the Arab community has indeed spoken out on the madness in Syria, and have pulled no punches in calling for Bashir al-Assad to hit the road out of Damascus. Turkey has been quite vocal. They've been overrun with refugees fleeing the violence. Initially, they welcomed the refugees, set up safe houses, and gave aid to masses of unfortunates. But, now it has reached a saturation point, compounded with the violence spilling over to within their borders. One major concern is the threat of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal falling into the hands of rebels, who no one is just quite sure yet where they stand on the fanatical Islamists spectrum. Now, there's something that should set a rippling shudder throughout the region, especially in Israel.

    1. Yes, the Arab League has rumbled about the situation but they have taken no real action. On January 28th, 2012 they official withdrew their monitoring mission due to the "deterioration" of the situation in country. Since then, they've done pretty much nothing, and the little they have said amounts to nothing.

      You might want to read Kofi Annan's statements on why he resigned as envoy for the Arab League:

      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stepped up to bat yesterday (October 8th) by saying they will help to arm the rebels, but that is a double edged sword as you pointed out.

      Turkey is not a member of the Arab League. Right now, their interests are solely in controlling their own border. Syrian shelling into Turkey is violation of sovereignty and they should respond. My obtuse point was it's okay for Turkey to fire back...but not okay for Israel. Double standard? Ja, sure, you betcha.

      And you _know_ I totally adore you back, Toon Guy!

  3. Nice post. We bought a new furnace/AC in July, our old one was just about the same age as yours. We are very happy with it, and it is nice to lose the worry. We also put in a new faucet in the kitchen, and I thought of your post when we were doing it. My new Delta with the big neck has made me so happy, who knew a faucet could make a difference.
    Thank you for your sanity and insight, I appreciate it.
    Enjoy ~