You may want to read this posting in installments...
Damn, damn, damn - I am so sick of being ripped off! I am afraid that, as former Minnesotans, we are too ethical to rip anyone off, but obviously others are not that well-intended.
Drummer had scheduled an a/c company to look at our units (one for upstairs, one for down) and do any necessary service today. This is a good, reputable company and Drummer knows the owner. No, folks, these are the good guys. But in the course of the inspections, the a/c service guy noticed and pointed out things to Drummer which showed that our former a/c service people took the money and ran. Two years ago we had to have our downstairs unit replaced and the bad guys did some other stuff (supposedly necessary) while they were messing with all of that. Well, it turns out that they replaced a perfectly good a/c coil (and trust me, I am just repeating all of this, because I don't know diddly about a/c units). The good a/c guy asked Drummer why we had replaced the coil, and the answer was that the bad a/c guy said the new unit would run much better if it had the coil by the same manufacturer (when we replaced the unit, we had upgraded to a better brand) . The good guy asked if the bad guy had mentioned the 10-year warranty on the old coil - and no-o-o-o, of course that was not mentioned. Damn! $1800 dollars out the door, which we could have held on to for a few more years. I am so pissed. And the bad guys installed the blower unevenly, meaning it was not blowing directly across the coils directly, and so we weren't getting the full benefit of the new unit, even. We are thinking about reporting these little gems to the Better Business Bureau. And if you live in the Houston area and want to know the name of the a/c company that ripped us off, look at the first few entries for a/c in the yellow pages and don't use the one that begins with A and shares the same name as a skiing resort in Colorado. That's all I will say for now about that.
I am continuing this novel on Friday. So, to continue... While the a/c guy was doing his thing, Drummer discovered a pocket of bees swarming outside near the house. Looked like they were trying to build a hive or just plain get into the house, using an opening where a piece of the siding had pulled away slightly (back of the house, kitchen corner). So he phoned a company that we have used before (they took care of the gophers(!) that surfaced in our back yard a few years ago) and arranged for them to have a look-see. The guy set up a nighttime visit to eradicate the critters from our abode. See, bees are less active after sundown, so they are easier to get rid of then.
This was our night to go out to dinner with a group (originally all were from our church) with whom we meet once a month, just for this dinner. A different couple or single selects the restaurant each month. We went to a local restaurant called Corelli's. It was good and conversation was lively and we all got caught up in each other's goings-on for the past few weeks.
When we returned home (about 8:15), the bee guy hadn't been there yet. But he drove up just after that and conferred with Drummer. Once he set everything up to (hopefully) kill the bees, he sent us up to the second story (inside) of our house, back in that same corner, and asked us to put our ears to the walls and floors and concentrate on whether we could hear any swarming after he did the first blast. We couldn't hear a thing - the bee guy thought he could detect something, so he did another blast. Then, afterwards, he instructed Drummer about how to seal up that siding so the critters wouldn't have another opportunity to get in. The house has a lot of Hardiplank, so I guess there are different requirements for taking care of this kind of a problem. I'll defer to Drummer in this one (gladly). The exterminator (yes, I know that is the proper name for this guy) said that he was glad that Drummer had called them so quickly - he has horror tales of folks waiting for a few months and then wanting the bees - which are now very infiltrated into the siding - removed.
So, that explains how we spent nearly $800 Thursday, and that didn't even include the cost of dinner!