Prior to leaving I had to appease mom's god tax by making sure her gift to me (the year prior) was present and in plain sight. I swear, the things I do to keep that woman from crying. She still cried before I left. This departure also marks Bridgette's gazillion'th road trip with me. As such here's my obligatory "Driving Miss Bridgie" picture.


I left a little later than intended and I paid the price for it. On our way out we were greeted by almost every driver Orange County had to offer. To make matters worse it seems the drivers were crashing into each other at regular intervals along the freeway slowing our departure to a crawl. Eight hours later we arrived at (my friend) Barry's house. The gate was opened and we pulled into the compound that is his family's domicile. The family was sound asleep but that didn't stop us from having a few drinks and catching up before finally heading off to bed.

I woke up around 8am and it was starting to get warm. I fired up the AC and proceeded to make Bridgette's breakfast. By the time she was happily scarfing down her food I had noticed that things hadn't cooled down and were getting warmer. I thought I had mistakenly turned on fan and not cool. I was distressed to learn that my AC was on cool which was blowing out hot air only. This kind of put me in a small scale panic. I followed the instructions on the AC unit and made a few calls. The mfg wasn't any help so I called a repair guy whom I sadly didn't do business with. I like to reward honestly when I can since it's kind of rare these days. I only say this because he was completely honest about what my options were after giving him the details. His main suggestion was to simply replace it with a new unit based on their short lives. After that I made my way to the house and had breakfast with the clan while explaining my plight. Barry is and has always been that one friend of mine whose "never say die" attitude has never ceased to amaze me. I did learn from him and do my best to put that into all facets of my life. I am a work in progress and know I've plenty to learn. Long story short his confidence brought me to the following picture.

We removed, took apart the old AC unit, and tested all the potential problems areas before drawing the same conclusion as the AC repairman. I shopped around online, made a few phone calls, and found a possible replacement. Turns out it was just a bit too large, didn't fit, and we had to return in. Before coming to that conclusion Barry had offered a myriad of possible solutions which I'd almost went for. We spent at least an hour or more proving it out. In the end it turned out there were a few critical structural issues which prevented some of the more creative solutions devised. We wound up returning the AC unit we picked up in favor of another that Barry had found. It took the mistake of the first attempt to lead us to the second solution which solved the problem. We found the right AC replacement at Sears no less. It was a perfect fit. The installation took less time than was spent removing the original dead unit.

It was a perfect fit! The time to install the new unit was far less than it took to remove the old one. The experience helped to rekindle a few of my earlier personality traits that I'd lost touch with. I used to be open and willing to try anything, but have become less willing in later years. Experience is a great teacher but it can also make you unreasonably rigid when you don't need to be. The old me, is/was leaning toward just waiting a few days. My original thought was to wait until l I could bring it into a service shop where a proper repair crew would've done a great job in replacing it. It would've also costed me more than twice what I paid for (without Barry's help). Instead of spending 2-3 extra days in Phoenix, my plans were delayed only by a day.

Thank you Barry! Your graciousness and hospitality will not go unrewarded. Either by my own actions, or life, or both.

Passing Storm by Ottmar Liebert on Grooveshark

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