August 10, 2006: The Air Conditioning is Working Now

Today is my work from home day this week. Because I have been so busy at work I am not sure that working from home makes very much sense, though. My connection to work is really slow and for some reason the remote access client has started saying that I have a cache issue on my Linux box so I am using my Windows laptop to access work which means that I am dropping from a 1600×1200 screen down to a 1024×768 which really affects my ability to get things done. (For those not wanting to do the math themselves, that means that I was getting only 41% of the screen real estate that I am used to!)

Like the past few days today was slammin’ busy. But at least I didn’t have to commute in to the office. I still had to spend several hours on the phone. I worked all day including through lunch. I didn’t take any breaks at all until 7:00 in the evening!

Dominica went out and did some shopping during the day. She bought a second laptop desk for herself. We were so happy with our first one that we figured having two of them would be a good idea. She ended up buying the very last one that Office Depot had. They are a unit custom built for Office Depot and they have been discontinued which is really sad as it was a great product.

I did manage, here and there, to get in a little work on the asset tracking system that I have been working on. So far the MySQL database has reached 32 tables (an impressive number for those in the know) and I expect it to be much, much higher very soon. I am quite happy with how my little project is coming along. I am getting a lot of the basic functionality out of the way and getting the code pretty tight so that it is really easy for me to work on and expand down the road. This is a pretty large programming project for me. I seldom do any programming and almost never on a scale like this. It is still really small but it has been a lot of fun.

I wanted to get out of the house this evening so Dominica and I went over to the Omega Diner. I just needed a break from sitting in the house all day.

We got home and Dominica worked on knitting and reading her assigned reading for class. She has discovered that she can knit and read at the same time using the new laptop desk so she is much more happy and much more productive. She managed to get a lot of reading done tonight. She was quite productive.

For the past few months, since the weather had been hot and the humidity has been out of control, I have heard a dripping sound coming from the center of the house. From time to time I have looked into the furnace “room” and have found standing water on the floor but was never able to actually located the source of the water. Tonight it got so bad that I decided to be a bit more intrusive in looking for the source of the water.

I had also looked previously for the air filter for the furnace knowing that it would have to be changed (which shouldn’t be something that I have to do in an apartment but no one ever does what they are supposed to do) but there was clearly no filter on the furnace nor was there any place to put one. Dad had mentioned that I needed to change the filter for the air conditioning to work better but I looked several times and there was most assuredly none to be foune. I even made Dominica look tonight and she verified that there was none nor was there a spot for one.

I had always felt that the dripping sound came from the wall with the cold air return that was not quite adjacent to the furnace. I looked at the air intake a little more carefully and discovered that I was able to toolessly pull the panel off. I looked in and saw nothing. It is in an area of the house with very poor lighting so there wasn’t much opportunity to see anything in there but it looked just like an empty duct so I put the cover back on.

We did more searching and found nothing so we decided to get a lamp and to try to intake ductwork again. This time I lay on the floor so that I could get a clear view into the duct and with the help of the lamp was able to identify the air filter slot that was empty and a little but behind it was the remains of the old air filter that was so clogged with dirt and limp from water that it had collapsed and been sucked into the furnace fan. It took a while to identify everything as things were not where they were supposed to be and the fan spindle was sticking through the middle of the filter. The filter wasn’t blue but was the color of dirt so it blended into everything in the darkness. We had to shut down the furnace and use a mop handle to pull the filter out. It was several feet inside of the wall. I have never seen or heard of anything so bizarre before. How anyone could possibly be expected to find this I have no idea.

The furnace fan area was the source of the dripping water. Water was pouring in from somewhere above the fan that I could no identify since they built it into the wall but there was a lot of water coming down and some of it was getting sucked straight into the fan. Hopefully without the filter in place maybe the water will stop collecting and will start to dry up. Dominica will attempt to find a filter tomorrow.

We turned the air conditioning back on and could instantly feel the increased air flow in the house. What a difference this is going to make. During the night the air conditioning only ran occassionally and managed to keep the house quite cool. I can’t believe that we didn’t manage to find this until after the massive heat wave that we had last week.

I had to get to bed early tonight. I am doing the early morning coverage tomorrow at the office which means that I have to be up just after 4:30!

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