Leonardo da Vinci
Now I know you are thinking, “What? It is 100 degrees in Georgia and you put a quote up on dressing for the cold!”
Read it again…
da Vinci is talking about how to take your time and think things through and you can do no wrong. Thinking before you leap into the cold will save you from the power of the elements that can harm you.
Cold or heat, they are both equally powerful against you if do not prepare to take them on.
Wednesday evening my daughter arrived home from camp. She had spent 9 hours in the blazing Georgia sun that tipped 100 degrees. She was hot, tired and beating by the elements, but in the same context, she had a ton of fun.
She wanted to cool down so, this being a shower night she headed upstairs to rinse the day off and cool herself. About 5 minutes later from heading upstairs, she called down to me, “Dad!” “Dad”, she said. “I must be really hot because the more time I spend up here the hotter I am getting”.
I thought, “the more time upstairs she is getting hotter?” “Oh-oh…” First thing I though as I approached the stairs heading up was the air conditioner had stopped. Before I reached the middle section of the stairs, the air temperature changed 5 degrees and when I crested to the landing, it was almost 10 degrees hotter.
I made a bee-line to the thermostat and it read, 87. The a/c was set at 78. I pulled the thermostat off, changed the batteries and put it back on, no change. Nothing, no power, no sound of the furnace circulating air, no cool noise coming from the vents and no change in the temperature.
The next thing I did was to check the circuit breakers. The basement breakers were not “tripped” and the outside air conditioning breakers were fine as well. The a/c unit “looked” in decent shape, but on the outside looking in with no tools or equipment, of course it would.
At 8:30PM and with the sun hitting the horizon there was little I could do tonight. I headed in and opened all the windows upstairs, turned the fans on high. I turned the a/c on the main floor down a few degrees and reversed the fans to pull the air down in order to pull some of the coolness from the night from outside inside.
By 9:30AM, the air temperature upstairs was 83 degrees. I told the girls, think about it as camping, but only in your own bed tonight. There were a few groans, but in my head I thought, “no big deal”. Besides, I grew up without a/c in my home and I survived, they will survive as well.
As I lay in bed ready for sleep, I thought that we as a society have become weak. We complain when it is cold, we complain when it is hot, we complain it is cloudy and we complain when it is sunny. We go from our a/c houses, to our a/c cars, to our a/c offices, shopping malls, restaurants and back. When one of these cycles are broken, it is like our whole world is falling apart.
As I drifted to sleep the old fashion way, fan and an open window, I said to myself, “I will take care of it in the morning”.
The morning came and you know what? I slept great! Maybe it was the night air, maybe it was the heat, maybe it was both? I was mostly undisturbed the whole 7 hours, which rarely happens.
Thursday, I had already first thing I advised my group via email that I was working from home. Second, I headed off to LTF to swim. Half way to LTF it dawned on me that I forgot my swim suit! There goes swim. No time to go home and get back. I decided to turn around and grab my suit and then swim at the Johns Creek LTF, no biggie.
The outside pool was very warm. I was going to swim inside but the lap pool was a cloudy, milky green color. The same look as the Alpharetta pool had in the winter. Then I realized the Aquatics Director, Dave had moved over to Johns Creek. I guess he brought his “experience” in turning, crystal, clear blue water, murky.
The pool temperature outside was at least 80. I did not complain or think, poor me. I sucked it up and did the workout. It was tough with my heart rate jacked through the roof, but there are worst things in life than a warm lap pool. Besides the pool is outside in 100-degree weather for the last 5 days, it is going to be warm.
After a leg strength-conditioning workout and stretching I headed home to call a service tech to come fix the a/c.
My neighbor had given me the name of his service company and I was about to call them, but I stopped. Do I really want to be raked over the coals for a repair? Heck no!
Let’s use deductive reasoning. Another trait of human society that has almost become extinct. We want instant gratification and if we need to try hard to do something, we put it in our minds to fail.
I am going to tackle this a/c issue on my own. I started at the source, the thermostat. I pulled it off and connected the wires together to see if the unit would turn on. If it did, the thermostat was bad and I would replace it. When I tried to get a spark from the wires and hear the furnace blowers kick on, there was silence. No power.
Okay, no power means that the furnace or the a/c unit will kick on. Circuit breakers? I went to the basement. None of the breakers were kicked off. I had a power meter and there was power in all the breakers. So this is not the issue of lack of energy. I headed for the attic. I opened the furnace cover and found the black and white power wires leading to the circuit panel that regulates the power to the blowers and ignition. I hooked the power meter up, no power? Power was coming from the breaker but not going into the circuit panel???
I found the shut off switch to the furnace. All gas furnaces have a shut off switch just in gas the ignition light goes out. Stops all power just in case gas is present. There was power to the switch? So, power to the switch but no power to the furnace? What about the power after the switch to the furnace? I hooked the power meter up, no power! With power in but no power out of the switch, the switch must be bad.
I took the switch off and headed to Home Depot. I picked up an industrial heavy-duty switch and installed it. As soon as I put the cover back on the furnace there was a humming sound from the blowers kicking on. A minute later the cool air started to flow.
1 hour of deductive reasoning and a $4.98 switch from Home Depot, saved me over $500 for a service call and probably unnecessary parts. "Cha-ching!"
Needless to say, with a little patience I was able to protect my bank account from any unwanted wrongs. Thanks Leonardo.
Friday is a semi off day. I get to run 15 miles tomorrow as part of my training plan. I had not run since Wednesday so today was a light, short run. I was fortunate have the opportunity to run with Michelle this morning. Michelle “got” to run a short 3.6 miles at an 8:15 pace. Perfect. It was a nice run with a nice youngster. While most 24 years old were probably on their way to bed at the time she was getting up, she is very dedicated in her training regiment for Ironman Florida, in November.
Thanks for the short run, great conversation and companionship. I enjoy the company on the run when our running schedules allow it.