I love to work out and I do it harder than anybody else. At least that is what I tell myself to keep me pumped up while at the gym. I have been an avid gym member for the past five years and the changes to my body and mind have been both dramatic and awesome. I used to be obese and I Was constantly depressed which led to more eating and weight gain and so on and so on. It was a vicious cycle that would have led to a premature death from a horrible life. Screw all that noise! Then one day my buddy turned me on to this podcast called The Joe Rogan Experience and it really turned my life around. I learned a lot about nutrition and exercise and ended up getting really into it and doing my own research. It’s all been an uphill battle from there and oh so worth it. The gym I work out at has all sorts of amenities like a swimming pool, yoga classes, and even a sauna. The only complaint I have is how hot they keep it in the winter. I understand that it is cold outside but that doesn’t mean you have to keep the furnace tuned up so high on the thermostat. People are working out in there which already breaks a sweat and keeps you warm so I really don’t see the need for it to be so hot already. Maybe they have a bad HVAC system or maybe the workers who aren’t exercising get cold.
The one thing that holds true for every waiting room that has ever existed in every possible universe from here to infinity and back is that the people in them will be waiting. It doesn’t matter if it is a doctor’s office, accountant, spiritual healer, or the IRS, if they have a waiting room expect to be sitting there for a while. They try to make waiting rooms a bit more comfortable than their function would suppose by putting old magazines, cheap furniture, and a fish tank in them, but alas it really does nothing but serve to annoy the people waiting in these rooms even more. I had a fun experience in a waiting room the other day (and by fun I mean terrible). I was at the dentist office which is already not a good time and I had to sit in the waiting room twenty minutes before I had fingers and tools rammed into my mouth. This was all bad ion and of itself, but then there was the heat. It was ridiculously hot in there. It felt like someone just decide to turn the thermostat up all the way to see if the furnace had enough power to cook us with hot air. I was very close to losing it and with the patience of a saint asked the receptionist why they hated us so much. She replied that there were no heat ducts behind the window and that was the only way the HVAC system could keep warm. At that point to keep from going on a rampage I left.
I work at a fancy law firm downtown and one of the biggest hassles used to be finding somewhere to park. There’s lots of business down there and it was no easy thing to find a spot during the morning rush hour. A few times I remember even having to park at a meter and running out to the car every couple of hours to put more money in to avoid getting a parking ticket. My boss was gracious enough to give me the money for the parking but realized that a better solution had to be had. The solution came in the form of a parking garage that was built on a plot where an old abandoned building had been demolished. A bunch of businesses in the area all put in and bought the land off the city very cheap and put up the garage. It was an amazing effort and the parking garage was a top notch piece of architecture. It had everything, even heat! There were sliding panels that could be opened up when the weather outside was nice and closed when it wasn’t. The HVAC system in the basement was huge and the furnace was as large as a small studio apartment. There were ten different companies that put in on this project and all their employees could use the garage free of charge. Anybody else that wanted to use it had to pay a fee and those varied depending on if it was a single person or a company. It turned out to be very lucrative.
I have been so fortunate to have found the person whom I have spent the past twenty years of my life with. I couldn’t even think of having it any other way. We meant initially on her front porch. Don’t worry it wasn’t anything creepy, I work at the post office and her old apartment was on my route. We would strike up friendly conversation with each other whenever we saw each other and she was even kind enough to get me a present at Christmas time. One Friday night after work I was down at the local bar having some dinner when she walked in. I had never seen her outside of at work and had never seen her in that bar. She said hi and we started talking. Apparently she had been stood up on a blind date and was there to drown her sorrows. I invited her to sit with me and we could drown them together. Flash forward to today and it has been an amazing trip. There is only one thing we argue about and that is what temperature to set the thermostat at. I like it cooler than she does. Honestly I’d be fine with taking the whole furnace and throwing it out the window. I even went so far as to call the HVAC company and ask them if there was any way I could mess with the thermostat so it read hotter than it actually was. The guy on the phone laughed and said she would just turn it up more anyway. He’s not wrong.
I don’t know what it is about the court in my town but it is always sweltering hot in there. I think they do it on purpose to screw with the defendants but I could never prove it. Or possibly it’s because the judge is eighty years old and doesn’t have the best blood flow anymore. Whatever the case it is extremely hot in there. I had to go to court the other week to fight a speeding ticket that I didn’t deserve to get and I knew what it was going to be like in there ahead of time but I still wasn’t fully prepared for the ridiculous conditions inside the courtroom. I had to present my case and try to get acquitted from this bogus charge and all the while I would be sweating buckets up there. The furnace must have been set to one hundred and everyone in the place was feeling the heat. When it was my turn I started presenting my side of the case. The cop pulled me over after the speed change sign but had clocked me on his radar gun well before it. I had evidence and everything! About halfway through my presentation I couldn’t take it anymore and asked the judge if he could lover the HVAC system. He looked surprised and asked the court if anybody else was hot. There was an overwhelmingly loud YES in unison. He said he felt fine but had the bailiff turn down the thermostat and open a couple windows. I ended up winning my case.
My brother has been in the hospital for the past few months fighting off a mutated strain of Polio that is resistant to all current methods to cure it. It has been a tough struggle but my brother is strong and I have no doubt that he will pull through on this. We have been visiting him regularly the entire time and I have become acquainted with the nurses and doctors and even some of the janitorial staff who work at the hospital. My favorite person is the maintenance man named Jack who does all sorts of things to keep the hospital running. He does electrical work, fixes holes in the walls, and even is certified to perform repairs on the HVAC system. He was telling me that there is this crazy air filter that is way better than anything you would see in someone’s home or business. You have to have an air filter of that good of quality in the HVAC system because some patients have broken or worn down immune systems and even the most innocuous thing to a healthy person could be a death sentence for them. Jack also has to keep up with the high tech thermostat that can keep different parts of the hospital set and different temperatures depending on what they need. It is a complex system with lots of electronic components but that is why they have Jack to take care of everything. I asked him if he could turn on the air conditioning in my brother’s room as a joke and he laughed.
In the past few months I’ve realized how important it is for me to set my own schedule and have less stress in my life. I was previously working in a very intense biological research environment, and frankly, I was increasingly miserable. I couldn’t stand the humans I worked with or the pressure I always felt, and I decided to make a big change with my career trajectory. I’m now working from home, both as an independently contracted writer and also working for myself. I love my new lifestyle except for one caveat; because of my HVAC unit it costs so much more money to work from home. You see, I’m the only person home during the day, so any heating or cooling efforts are exclusively for my own sake. This is quite energy inefficient, since the entire house is being heated or cooled for only one person. I’ve tried to keep the thermostat set very low, so that the furnace is barely running throughout the day, but I’m absolutely freezing cold all day long. Even worse, my office is currently situated on the ground level of the house, so I’m trapped on the most inherently cold floor all day long. I’ve deeply considered moving my office upstairs to take advantage of the naturally warm air trapped on the top level, but I’m not sure that all of my office supplies will fit there. I need to work out the logistics, but in the meantime I guess I’ll keep running my tiny space heater and wearing my snuggie every day.
I’m not the type of person who believes I’ll ever win anything. I don’t think that a brilliant future awaits me, and I certainly don’t believe that a pile of money will ever fall at my feet. I know plenty of people who are counting on large inheritances or luxurious jobs, but I don’t foresee anything so lucky happening to me. That’s why I have a hard time even imagining what it would be like to win the lotto. If I ever won I wouldn’t have the first idea what to spend my money on, and I definitely wouldn’t be one of those idiots who blows their money on expensive toys. In fact, I’d probably be super lame and put my fortune towards something like a new HVAC system first and foremost. You see, while I love my current residence, I absolutely despise the heating and cooling system which is installed here. The thermostat barely controls the air conditioner or furnace, and it seems like the HVAC has a mind of its own most days. The temperature fluctuates wildly throughout the day, no matter if you’re using the AC or heat. The furnace makes terrible whining sounds in the middle of the night and the air conditioning unit hums at an irrational volume. The thermostat is an old dial unit and it only imprecisely alters the air conditions. I know it isn’t an exciting idea, but if I ever got so lucky as to win the lotto I would love a modernized HVAC system that I could truly count on.
My eight-year-old son, Jack, suffers from severe issues with allergies. The poor kid is allergic to everything from dander and pollen to dust and mold. Spending time outside is always an issue, and results in stuffy nose, itchy throat, and watering eyes. I have taken every possible measure to create a safe and healthy home environment for my son. I invested quite a bit of money into updating our complete heating and cooling system a couple of years ago. Both the furnace and air conditioner feature multi-stage filtration which helps to trap airborne contaminants. I have also incorporated a whole-home air purification system which works independently from the heating and cooling equipment. Whether or not the furnace or air conditioner is running, the air purifier continues to clean the air. It captures contaminants far too small for the eyes to see, and kills bacteria, such as mold, mildew and viruses. To keep my heating, cooling, and air quality components working at their best, I have signed up for a maintenance program with a local HVAC contractor. A technician visits the house twice per year to thoroughly clean, inspect and tune the equipment. He uses chemicals to eliminate the growth of mold, mildew or algae on the cooling coil, and removes any buildup of dust and debris. Because of this, I can be sure that the furnace and air conditioner are not spreading pollutants throughout the house every time they start up. My house remains cleaner and more comfortable, and my son benefits from a healthier living environment. I also enjoy lower monthly energy bills and fewer HVAC repairs.
About two years ago, my husband and I retired and moved south. We had both lived our whole lives along the northern border of the country, and we were ready to get away from the snow and sub zero temperatures. We didn’t, however, want to move so far south that we’d be constantly sweating from an excess of heat and humidity. We found a little house in an area where the weather still cooled off in the winter but never dropped below freezing. The house is equipped with an electric heat pump which handles both heating and cooling. At first, I was not convinced the heat pump would effectively handle our temperature control needs. I had never heard of a unit which provided both heating and cooling. Plus, the heat pump doesn’t even create heat, but simply finds heat in the air and moves it from one place to another. I have to come to really appreciate the benefits of the heat pump. The system operates a lot like a refrigerator, and the heating and cooling process is very energy efficient, quiet and clean. Because the outside temperature never drops below thirty degrees, the heat pump has no trouble finding sufficient ambient heat in the outside air to keep our home perfectly comfortable in the winter. In the summer, it reverses direction to provide cooling, and is very good at combating humidity. I like that I don’t need to worry about fumes, fire hazard, or combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide. It is easy to switch between heating and cooling, and there is only one appliance to maintain. I simply hire an HVAC professional to service the heat pump once per year, and it has never given us any trouble.